I Made An Apple Cider Bar

October 21, 2021

This was a quick and easy set up!

I wanted something fun and fall-ish, and an apple cider bar sounded like a pretty good idea – complete with donuts. Let me tell you, this concept is unbelievably quick and easy, but is a huge hit while entertaining.  They’re fun to put together and a great way to celebrate the season. My apple cider bar went together in just a few minutes and is displayed in my kitchen on my large island.

There are many apple cider bar ideas out on Pinterest. Some of my inspiration came from Liz Marie Blog.

Just for the sake of this…I did not make the donuts.

If you are having guests over or just want to do something special for your family you can get pretty creative or just keep it simple.  

Apple cider is one of my favorite fall treats and is the perfect transition drink between summer and fall.

This is a cold cider bar.

This is apple juice.

Simple organic apple juice. I think this an easy “cheater” version using apple juice, which tastes just as good. 

I like things simple and quick, so this fit right in.

  1. Where to Begin
  2. 1. Beverage Container – Get a beverage container to serve the cider. Since this apple cider is cold I used a simple container purchased from Walmart.

2. Cider – Just mix together 1 bottle of apple juice (64 oz.), 5 cinnamon sticks, 2 tsp. cloves, and half of a lemon {sliced} in a pot and simmer for 30 minutes. (Recipe from: Clean & Scentsible) You can either serve it hot on those days that feel like fall or refrigerate it for those warmer days. I chose to serve it chilled.

3. The Apple Garnish – Slice the apples into thin circles for a pretty garnish. I liked how the apple looked cut into circles, in the cup, instead of slices but you can cut them however you would like. I used apple circles to garnishes in the apple cider as well.

4. On The Side – Additional garnishes were available: Apple slices, cinnamon sticks, pumpkin spice, whole cloves and ground cinnamon. Other garnish ideas you may consider for your cider bar could be sliced oranges, star anise, and maybe alcohol for a spiked cider(adults only)!

5. Sweets – Add desserts! All apple cider bars need treats! I picked up donuts, powdered sugar covered donut holes, and apple strudel bites. A pumpkin shaped jar of pretzels were added.

6. Fall Decor – A few decor items were added for additional eye appeal like the DIY apple cider sign, flowers – yellow mums, bowl of apples, and a vintage grain scoop filled with apples and candles.

I hope this inspires you to create & add an apple cider bar to your fall gatherings. This makes our friends and family feel special and visiting your home extra memorable!

Cheers!

Whimsical Halloween Decor

October 19, 2021

While I don’t decorate a ton for Halloween, I do enjoy styling a few vignettes here and there.

I like whimsical decor at times and that’s what brings me to style fun vignettes for the Halloween season. It’s always been a favorite of mine because it’s super fun!

Whimsical Halloween decor brings in paper bats on the mirror and wall, (the only kind I like!), black crows, a black cat, skulls, bony hands, and candles glowing throughout the house. Maybe a tad more of those ‘spooky’ Halloween touches that we might remember from when we were younger.

Spooky Foliage & Lots of Candles

Spooky frosty foliage that is a little on the enchanted side is perfect for any Halloween look.

The vine wreath is foraged from my yard. Naturally decayed. I have gathered plant vines, arranged them into a wreath. I’m always inspired by even the not so pretty greenery as it dries and makes it’s way for another season. As the leaves dried they gave way to an almost frosted color that I accented, for a ‘spooky,’ look with a little black spray paint.

I tied on a black ribbon for the rustic luxe.

Tape a few bats here and there- on a mirror, on the wall… to add another Halloween touch.

Add a Touch of Spooky

Think branches – maybe spray painted black, black crows, and little glowing candles. Don’t forget the candles- for a bit of fun!

I added the creepy…

I added creepy skulls, bony hands, and black crows.

Layer on the Halloween look…

Have some skeletal fun by adding “Mr. Bones” to a wreath for a door.

No bones about it…the skulls have it!

This guy is served and lit up at the dining table.

Add in the bony hands.

Add a framed and silhouetted copy of “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Witchy Decor

My inspiration for this look was witches! A Witche’s hat, her broom, and those shoes with her favorite socks. Oh, I must not forget her black cat – “Kitty.”

Bring out the Halloween items to get all the spooky vibes.

Add a ghoulish saying to a chalkboard and tuck it into the vignette.

This frame is a dollar store item that I painted the glass with chalkboard paint to create the chalkboard.

Once again, layer different items that can add to the aged spooky factor, a beaker puffing smoke (a vase – a Ross find that was literally $1.00) with stuffing tucked inside, add some Spanish Moss around the bottom of your candles, and an old amber bottle covered with a sticker holding a black burned-down candle for a used look.

This is just to name a few added elements to give it more of that authentic spooky look.

I’ve had way too much fun styling this vignette for Halloween … I love the moody, dark, spooky Halloween vibes I get from this corner! 

Thanks for stopping. I hope I’ve inspired you in some Halloween fashion.

Happy Haunting!

It’s Heirloom Pumpkins and Dried Florals

October 13, 2021

Have you ever been so inspired by something that you wanted to recreate it in your own style?

This seems to happen to me A. Lot!

Well, while searching the land of blogs, one of my favorite bloggers, French Country Cottage, had “dressed” her dining space with those Cinderella – “chunky style” pumpkins. This is what inspired me as well as when your husband brings you home some sage green chunky pumpkins and says, “knowing you, you would love these.”

Yep, He was right!

Using those pumpkins…I had to create.

This was the easiest table scape ever!

Natural Touches for a Centerpiece

1. Where to Begin

I started with the those green pumpkins. The colors from pale to dark green were my jumping off point and what inspired me. I cleaned them and set them down the center of the table.

2. Something Metal

I added a shiny silver tray to the center of the table with the dark green pumpkin to add another layer, additional texture, & style to elevate it’s rich green color.

3. Dried Florals

This arrangement was from my yard & field. I looked to nature to help me find the color and textures that spoke to me – and then layered on the look (You might remember I created this look last year). Looking to nature – I went out to my flowers & clipped dried lambs ear, my field for dried golden grasses & rabbit brush stems, dried leaves and branches from my trees, a couple of faded white roses, and added in some dried eucalyptus stems . I foraged all of natures bounty, collected and arranged it in a simple glass gallon jar.

This is a natural, neutral autumn look- it is all about the multi-shades of greens, whites, golden tones, and lots of neutrals with texture.

4. Candles

For a warm glow and cozy, candles were added.

Dark and moody vibe

 Just by themselves, or anyway you style them, pumpkins make a bold and simple centerpiece for an Autumn harvest party.

5. Dishes

Vintage dinnerware ready to serve autumn guests in rustic elegant style.

Vintage white plates trimmed with a delicate floral motif in soft pale greens, pinks, and golds that add a feeling of elegant with a simple touch are stacked to serve. These were thrift store finds that I fell for with their simple, but elegant style.

I added crystal stemware for that extra sparkle.

All in rustic elegance!

This may be my favorite look.

I hope I have inspired you as I have been inspired to look at autumn decor, dried florals, & vintage in a different way.

Happy Wednesday All!

An Autumn Tablescape

October 9, 2021

I have a whole lot of autumn styling on the brain right now!

So, when I walked into this yard, I knew I wanted to style a fall tablescape here.

The lawn, surrounded with all those aspen trees layered in a slight touch of autumn, had the perfect little layering of fallen leaves.

Beneath The Branches –

October always brings it’s crisp air and signature colors. Part of a true harvest celebration.

I was sure I wanted to use those autumn tones. You know, the traditional oranges, rusts, deep reds, creams with just a pop of turquoise.

What a wonderful meal could be shared beneath these lovely branches surrounded by golden & green grasses.

A Collected Appeal

For a setting as free-spirited as this, somewhat easygoing, I wanted to create a look with a bit of variety. Starting with a couple of turquoise chairs at a sweet worn -chippy white table. Mismatched china, starting with a simple white and a floral motif that reflects the autumn accents across the tablescape and beyond.

A white pitcher filled with vibrant blooms stands out amid the autumn shades of this yard. Yellow sunflowers, dahlias, mums, and a pop of dark lavender catch the eye.

With my iPhone in hand I tried to capture the perfect angle.

On the table a burlap runner lays the foundation. Collected, vintage dishes, plaid napkins, thrifted copper banded glasses and goblets, and white tea cups all curated to please the eye. A table set with a relaxed appeal – an eclectic blend of fanciful touches.

Bring In Color With Candlesticks 

I added height with the tall taper candles in the brass candlesticks, and for added ambiance and additional pop of autumn color – orange/rust taper candles in vintage candle holders. A sure mixing of metals. A mix and match of colors, tones, and textures.

Since we started to have a bit of a breeze, of those Nevada Autumn winds, I did not light the candles.

Create interest and volume by layering different fall elements, like baby pumpkins, gourds, pears, or apples.

Add more texture to your space with cozy blankets & pillows to ensure cozy comfort.

A Table For Two

Spend a delightful fall day enjoying a spread that captures the laid-back bliss of this most pleasant season.

Just a gathering of mismatched china. Not every occasion has to feel ‘formal’ with matchy-matchy. Grab those dishes, set up your table in a casual way for warm seasonal charm.

Seek Inspiration Right Outside Your Door

With folks still staying at home and not traveling as much, we can still be creative in our own spaces of our home and yards.

I hope you find some inspiration in this autumn tablescape to create your own and gather.

Happy October!

The Easiest Apple Crisp

October 7, 2021

I found the easiest & best Fall dessert.

This might be a true – Fall classic dessert.

It’s an apple crisp.

This recipe, of fresh sliced & baked apples is topped with a buttery- cinnamon-oat-sugar topping that is sure to please!

Do you have a classic Fall dessert that you just LOVE?

The cooler temperatures have me going to the kitchen a bit more to make those comfort foods & maybe those easy classic desserts.

I searched the web and came up with this recipe from Belle of the Kitchen. She calls it The Best Apple Crisp Recipe.

And, I agree.

What apples did I use for this easy apple crisp?

You can use any apples that you like!  

I used what was in my refrigerator – that is, a variety. A couple of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. Some of my Golden Delicious came directly from an orchard grower in Washington.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE APPLE CRISP –

  1. 1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. 2. Grease a baking dish (9 x 13) with butter.
  3. 3. Peel and slice your apples into a large bowl. I used 4 medium to large apples. You will need about 5 – 6 cups of sliced apples.
  4. *Tip – I sliced my apples using an apple slicer to speed up the process and to remove the core easily. I then sliced the apples 1 – 2 more time each with my knife so that the widest part of the slice is roughly 1/4 inch wide. 
  5. 4.  Combine the sliced apples with 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  6. 5. Mix the apples with the sugar mixture until the apples are well coated.
  1. 5. Pour your apple goodness into your prepare baking dish.

6. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter and stir until well coated and crumbly. I used a fork to combine the ingredients.

7. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the top of the apples.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes until the apples are tender, the crisp is bubbling, and the topping is golden brown. 

You can test for apple doneness by sticking a small knife in the center/piece of an apple. If there is no resistance the crisp is done!

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, serve & enjoy!

This is the perfect treat to have by the fire on a cozy fall evening.

Seriously delicious and sooo good.

The Easiest Apple Crisp

Recipe:

Ingredients

Filling –

  • 5 -6 cups fresh apples, sliced
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping –

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a deep dish pie plate or large baking dish with butter or cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the sliced apples with the sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and mix until all of the apples are evenly coated. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  3. In a separate medium size bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter and stir until well coated and crumbly. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the top of the apples.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  5. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on top. Enjoy!

Spooky – Caramel Apples

October 5, 2021

If you are new to me, I will let you know that I’m the girl that is all about Halloween.

A little spooky, a little creepy chic, and mostly a little elegant luxe Halloween.

So Let’s Creep It Real!

I’ve been wanting to create some caramel apples that had a little poisonous appeal.

So, today I’m sharing a post on my spooky caramel apples.

I think these caramel apples are well fit to feed and poison a princess. Hahaha!

While they are dipped in caramel and not boiled from a cauldron…

they do however, look a little bewitching.

Caramel Potion – Double double, toil & trouble…

This is so simple and easy. I customized this for speed and ease.

  1. 1. I opted to use the caramel sauce in the tub.

Fire burn and bubble…

2. Put the caramel dip in the sauce pan and melt on low-medium heat stirring constantly, adding 3 generous drops of green food coloring, & 1/2 cup of water until the caramel sauce is bubbly.

I wanted to give my caramel apples that poisonous appeal – hence the green food coloring.

Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog…

3. Skewer your apples & Dip

I used cleaned twigs cut from an apple tree for the skewers. I sharpened the ends a bit with a knife.

This made it a bit easier to push the twig into the apple.

Wool of Bat and Tongue of Dog…

Dip your skewered apple in the bubbling caramel and then roll in chopped walnuts – then place on parchment paper.

By pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.

4. Refrigerate

Refrigerate for about 10 -15 minutes to set the caramel and serve.

To keep this bewitching recipe simple I chose walnuts for my topping.

You can easily sweep together many other delicious candy toppings to add to your caramel apples.

These apples are perfectly imperfect!

Still tasty and delicious – covered in gooey layers of caramel and nuts.

The only toil and trouble was boiling the caramel, adding 1/2 cup water, and about 3 generous drops of green food coloring.

Happy October folks!

Autumn in the Butler Pantry

September 30, 2021

The Last day of September!

And, I’m baffled how the months just seem to fly by.

This has been an odd summer. First, the miserable heat. Second, the lack of rain, third, the terrible amount of smoke from our neighboring state, and the sinus infections that I have suffered from as a result. The list could continue, but I will stop there. I need to look at the sunny side!

I wanted to share with you a little autumn styling in the pantry.

The side you see when the barn door is open.

The butler side of my pantry is all about my collections on display.

Open storage display.

Shelves filled with my collection of white serve ware.

This is a little favorite spot for styling dishes for the season.

All year long there are various dishes on display and for autumn- metals and pumpkins are in the rotation.

I love a collected feel!

A Charming Collection

I gathered up the white dishes, stacks of plates, platters, bowls, teacups and more.

The pitchers and cake stands are all stacked on the shelves where vintage and new mingle side by side. By keeping the color scheme all one color, it creates a charming display while storing all of those pieces used everyday and on occasion. I used the concept of grouping similar items together.

All the cake stands and all the pitchers together.

I’ve mingled the few pieces of copper that I have collected along with my collection of white for my autumn decor. I love to sprinkle a touch of those warm tones with the pale neutral colors.

The pieces of copper add additional warmth and brightness.

Copper just might be a new obsession.

I have become such a fan of metals for the autumn season. It is so easy to incorporate those delicious tones into your decor. And the best part is- that when you aren’t using those pretty little mugs or copper pots- you can enjoy them on display.

Charming baskets are a favorite way to store items and keep them tucked away while keeping them easily accessible.

For me, autumn doesn’t always have to be in the traditional orange tones. 

I do love a few traditional orange pumpkins tucked in among the mums outdoors on the porch. 

Harvest Banner

 My harvest banner was made by me.

I saw this and copied. Well, you know? When your budget is short, you do the next best thing. I think this is a form of flattery to the original.

This is just another way that I have added a touch of autumn decor to my space.

Create a sense of beauty even in the mundane.

Stack Something

Stacks of plates and serve ware.

Anything else that stacks. This is a simple one- but something I have found to really work when it comes to open shelves. Often we just think of setting this on a shelf – but how it is set on the shelf can make a difference. Stacking things like plates or bowls adds height. Stacks add visual appeal and interest.

Storage can do double duty and be as pretty as it is practical.

A collection of wine stems tucked here and there.

Bring in The Metal

Silver. Gold. Copper. Or brass. And then repeat it so that it ties the various shelves and elements together. 

Real and Faux

I used a real and faux pumpkins throughout the open shelves for that touch of autumn…

added some golden grasses to a top pitcher for more texture and contrast.

Collect everything at a slow and steady pace.

This little space is a somewhat bright spot and it just tells me to decorate. I’ve shown it a couple of times in my blogging, but Autumn just seems to be the most natural to dress it up a with.

I hope you enjoyed my autumn decor in my very neutral pantry.

This is where I share a little bit of my wild west stylin’ for my wild west livin’.

Mom’s Fresh Apple Cake

Monday, September 20, 2021

Friends fall is here! Literally days away!

I’m so excited to be in the kitchen baking my Mom’s Fresh Apple Cake.

Mom

This cake recipe came from my mom’s kitchen – so this is a special and unique cake!

I hope you enjoy and give this recipe a try.

I will be sure to share all my tips here for your baking success.

Here is the Recipe:

Written by Mom –

Tip 1:

Use Granny Smith green apples

Ingredients:

  • 3 -4 large Granny Smith Apples (4 cups diced apples – peeled, not chopped too fine)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Instructions:

  • -Cream oil and sugars, add beaten eggs and vanilla.
  • -Sift together dry ingredients, add to sugar mixture and stir/mix well until well blended. (This batter is very sticky)
  • -Fold in apples (I added my chopped apples to the cake batter while using my mixer)
  • -Bake in 9×13 pan @ 350 degrees until tested done
  • -When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

-1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 

-1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 

-1 tsp. vanilla 

-1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar (about 4 cups)

Let’s Make It!

-Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended.

-Add powdered sugar gradually, beating after each addition until blended and creamy.

Serve Your Dessert:

Serve your dessert to guests with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I hope you enjoy my apple recipes coming at you for fall.

Rustic Jute Twine Pumpkins

September 15, 2021

A rustic fall DIY done on dime and in less that 30 minutes.

You know me, I’m all about rustic!

These little jute twine pumpkins fit that bill!

Are you ready for autumn?

Ready for some quick autumn decor done with twine string?

These jute twine pumpkins were created from supplies that I already had on hand.

Here Is What You Need:

-Jute twine

-cinnamon sticks

-hot glue gun

-scissors

-foliage, leaves to decorate

That’s It!

Most of us DIYers already have these items stashed in our pantry or craft supplies.

Here’s How to Make The Rustic Jute Pumpkin:

Step 1:

Wrap the twine around 4 of your fingers 20 times.

Wrap the jute around your 4 fingers 20x like this.

Step 2:

Using a small cut section of jute twine, wrap the piece of twine through the middle of the coil of twine and tie it off.

Tied off section –

Make 5 to 6 of these sections. Depending on how full you want your twine pumpkin.

Step 3:

Glue the section to a cinnamon stick, twig, or a pumpkin stem.

One roll attached to the cinnamon stick

Step 4:

Glue the 5 sections to the cinnamon stick – stem.

The final product – Embellish as you wish.

How cute is that!

Oh, I love this time of year!

I hope you enjoyed this DIY and it inspires you to create your own.

A little wild west stylin’ for my wild west livin’

An Apple A Day – A Baked Apple Oatmeal Treat

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.

Labor Day seems to mark the end of summer.

With that being said, fall is just around the corner.

And you know what that means???

Apples, pumpkins, early morning frost, and falling leaves, and maybe some baked apple treats coming your way.

Even though the temperatures are in the high 90’s … Yes, and it’s still HOT, I’m thinking cooler weather and autumn desserts.

Today, I wanted to share a dessert or a breakfast – depending on how and when you serve it.

This is an oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts stuffed into a delicious apple (I used a Honey Crisp) and baked (or any big delicious apple of your choosing) . This is a simple recipe that is so easy to make. I found the recipe here while browsing Courtney Allison’s beautiful blog at French Country Cottage.

While I love to try fresh new recipes and my husband loves apple pie,

I had to try it- and we thought it was good enough to share.

So you are aware, I adapted the recipe to our liking.

Here Is What You Need – Ingredients

2 – 4 apples 

1 cup rolled oats 

1/4 cup brown sugar 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/4 cup butter

Fresh Bluberries

chopped walnuts or pecans

caramel topping for drizzle (optional)

vanilla ice cream (optional)

Directions –

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Core each apple making a large well in the center and arrange apples on a baking dish/pie plate

(Save some of the apple meat to add to you oat mixture)

Mix oats, the1/4 c brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Cut in the butter until evenly combined. (I softened the butter a bit before adding it to the oat mixture.)

This is the apple crumble with oats, cinnamon, apple chunks, and butter combined.

Spoon the oat mixture into each apple.

Sprinkle with brown sugar and walnuts.

Bake @350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Bake the apples until they are tender for approximately 30 minutes,

or until the filling is lightly brown and bubbling.

Piping hot. Fresh out of the oven.

Here Is What We Did: As a Dessert –

We drizzled warm caramel over the top and served the warm apple with vanilla ice cream.

My husband contributed his ideas and likings to this recipe.

So delicious and good!

For Breakfast –

 Top with fresh blueberries, serve and enjoy!

A blueberry topped breakfast treat.

Maybe a little on the healthier side;)

This is a delicious apple crumble recipe with oats, cinnamon, and a buttery crisp stuffed in an apple.

A perfect fall comfort food.

Seriously a delicious and fun treat.

I hope you get a chance to make this delicious dessert/breakfast treat.