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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Monochromatic Winter and Sweet Saturday!

Happy Saturday, my sweet friends! :o) I hope you had a wonderful week!

It is tradition for my family to have our Christmas lights officially turn on after dinner on Thanksgiving, which means instead of crafting I've been stringing lights. How Thanksgiving is mere days away is baffling! While I don't have a paper craft to share with my treat today, I do have another facet of creativity. With winter fast approaching, I am excited to test my photography 'skills.' (I use that term loosely.) During my first (and only) winter picture session, I had all sorts of troubles while learning my DSLR... snowy photographs are challenging. Throughout my initial adventure, I discovered that I LOVE monochromatic winter pictures. The mood is simply gorgeous. So I'm sharing a few of my favorites leading up to the first snowfall of the year, which probably isn't all that far away. Pretty soon I'll be able to gauge how much I've learned since, which should be interesting. Hopefully I won't cry in disappointment. (Kidding!) Most likely to see any fluffy snow detail, you'll need to click and enlarge these.

Probably my absolute favorite... I love how the fluffy snow is so delicately covering the Christmas lights.
Looking up into a snowy pine tree, with one tiny pinecone still nestled within the needles.
A snowy path to a neighbor's house.
And now it's time for Sweet Saturday! :o) With the cooler weather, it's nice to curl up with a seasonal treat. Or as was the case yesterday, come in from a blustery day and take a dessert break from climbing ladders and pleading with lights to stay lit during the testing phase. Before dashing outside to begin, I made this tasty Autumn dish. A repertoire staple, executed in a new (to me) way... and it uses apple cider, which I adore. Skillet Apple Crisp!
This was completely gone within hours... and for good reason. The apples are tender without being mushy, the sauce is super thick and delicious, and the streusel topping provides a perfect crunch. I, and my loved ones, couldn't have been happier with this. Perfectly Autumn. Making it in a cast iron skillet made me feel fancy for some reason, even when it felt like my wrist might snap from the weight. (A cast iron skillet is not necessary for this recipe.) I love this and will certainly be making it again soon! If you give it a whirl, I hope you love it, too. :o)
Thank you for frolicking to my happy little blog today. I wish you all a beautiful weekend! :o)

Recipe Notes:
 * If your skillet is not oven-safe, prepare the recipe through step 4 and then transfer the filling to a 9x13-inch baking dish. Top the filling as directed and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

 * If you can't find Golden Delicious apples, any sweet, crisp apple such as Honeycrisp or Braeburn can be used. Do not use Granny Smith apples in this recipe.

 * Old-fashioned rolled oats are preferred, but you can substitute quick-cooking notes if that is all you have available.

Skillet Apple Crisp
Yield: 6-8 servings

For the topping:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup pecans, chopped fine (optional)
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
3 pounds Golden Delicious apples (approximately 7 medium), peeled, cored, halved, and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 450ยบ F.

Make the topping: Combine the flour, pecans, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the butter until the mixture is thoroughly moistened and crumbly. Set aside while preparing the filling.

Make the filling: Toss the apples, granulated sugar, and cinnamon together in a large bowl; set aside. Bring the apple cider to a simmer in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Cook until reduced to ½ cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer the reduced apple cider to a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Stir in the lemon juice and set aside.

Heat the butter in the now-empty skillet over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the apple mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the apples begin to soften and become translucent, 12-14 minutes. (Do not fully cook the apples.) Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the apple cider mixture until the apples are coated.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit, breaking up any large chunks. Place the skillet on a baking sheet and bake until the fruit is tender and the topping is a deep golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes, and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Source: Brown Eyed Baker



  1. Karen, Karen, Karen, Wow, what beautiful winter pictures! We don't get any sign of snow where I live so it's always a joy to see! Your pictures are so fabulous, winter wonderland crosses my mind.
    In my mind I sing...I scream, you scream, we all scream for SWEET SATURDAY!:) I was enjoying the pictures of your yummy apple crisp and my half awake hubby walked by the computer screen and then backward stepped and said mmmmm, that looks good are you making that for breakfast? Breakfast, well it does have fruit in it! Looks like a fabulous recipe and I will try it very soon! Thank you for all your goodness!
    Have a super fabulous day:)

  2. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! I see my Sunshine's photos!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!! *tackles you and squishers you something silly*

    OMJ!!! I so wasn't expecting that little added bonus surprise for this extra happy Sweet Saturday!!! SQUEEE!!!!!! *bounces cause I am soooooooooooo excited for everyone to see my sweetest sis's gorgeous wintery wonderland pictures* They are like a jumbo mocha frapp for the eyes, Sunshine. Tee hee! Just look at how flawlessly you captured the beauty of God's wintery miracles. Your gift of photography is truly heaven sent. It takes an extra, extra special heart to caputure moments like this this as you have, Sunshine. Nothing says the holidays are just around the corner like gorgeous photos of beautiful snowy blessings. And these, my sweetest sis, are as gorgeous as they come. *hugglers them and you forever* You just totally made my know that right? SQUEEE!!!

    And OMJJJ! Are you kidding me?! You made the dessertness in a skillet?!?! How genius is that?! I haven't stopped drooling since you told me what you were making, Sunshine. I want some of your amazing dessert so bad my tummy just won't stop whining! TEE HEE! Stop it! Bad tummy! TEE HEE! Nothing feels or smells more like autumn then something apply on the stove, right sis? I wish I could have been there to see the contented smiles on your family's faces as they devoured your incredible creation. SQUEEE! Sooooooooo apply perfect!!!

    *sends you non-stop snowy hugglers cause you are the bestest EVER!*

    I LOVE YOU SUNSHINE!!! Happy Sweet (and snowy) Saturday Everyone!!!
    ~~~ Christina :)

  3. You know, my friend, I have little love for Winter. And it is COLD here today (-31C which is -24F), and I had to go out (Saturday is my busy day), so I was doubly unimpressed. BUT, I have to admit, Winter sure is pretty, isn't it? You've done a marvelous job capturing the beauty of the Winter season. I am especially fond of the photo of the path to your neighbor's house - simply breathtaking. I hope you've framed it and hung it on your wall for all to see. :)

    And DESSERT!!! I ADORE Apple Crisp - just the smell of it cooking is enough to make my mouth water. I can hardly wait to try out your recipe! Personally, I think it would make a marvelous Christmas Morning breakfast - I may have to awaken the household with the sweet scent of apples baking. Oh YUM. :)

    As always, Sweet Saturday has made my entire weekend better. Thank you, my talented friend. :)

    Hugs, Nita

  4. Your black and white photos are so fabulous, Karen!! I love them...especially the one with the delicate pine cone!! Just beautiful! B/W is definitely best to show the contrast between the snow and nature!! Your pictures are so beautiful!!

    Ummmmm, skillet apple crisp sounds so delicious!! And nothing smells better baking!! Yet another of your awesome recipes I will be printing out to try!!

    I hope you are having a wonderful weekend my friend!!

    Hugs, Lisa :)

  5. Wow Karen, these pictures are just beautiful. You should frame pretty! Thank you so much for the recipe. Apple crisp is one of my all time favorites and I am dying to try yours. My mouth is watering just thinking of how yummy this will taste! Thanks again and have a wonderful wknd!!
    Sherrie K

  6. Happy Sunday Karen. I totally shook my head in agreement with you about being baffled that Thanksgiving is only a few short days away. I can't believe it Karen. I don't have a thing done!!! Oh Well. Anyway, love your photos. I need to get a new camera so badly. Also, your recipe sound so scruptous. I think I am going to make this for Thanksgiving day;) I may be calling you for help, Hugs!

  7. Oh Karen, all of your photos are beautiful but I think the lights with the touch of snow on them is my favorite also... there doesn't seem to be anything you can't do and do well... AND to say that apple crisp is understated... I hope you had a beautiful week end.. hugs from ukiah

  8. Beautiful photos Karen.They are so serene.
    Jayne x

  9. Absolutely beautiful pictures my friend! I love that you shared these with us! I love each image you took and agree that the monochromatic color scheme really fits these photos. You live in such a pretty area and it seems the neighbor's house is in the distance which is so nice!
    And, thank you for the apple crisp recipe! I have been trying a couple of different ones that I haven't been totally satisfied with the crust, but I think this one will be perfect and it looks delicious!


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