Simply Mrs. Edwards

{just the life of a new wife}


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Homegrown Apple Pie

We spent this past weekend at my parents home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Their house is built in the middle of a 100+ year old fruit orchard. The original orchard was a huge area of land, but with parcels of land being sold and roads and homes being built, the majority of the fruit trees have either been cut down or engulfed by the surrounding forest. My parents own about 3 acres of the land and have made a point to keep the heritage of the orchard going. They have reclaimed and trimmed back old, abandoned trees and have seen amazing crops in recent years! This weekend we spent some time in that orchard picking apples. Homegrown, organic, delicious, apples. Here are a few photos of our apple picking afternoon…

One of biggest things I admire about my Mom is that she is incredibly talented in the kitchen and genuinely enjoys passing her knowledge on to me. I think it brings her a special kind of joy to see her daughter learning and loving the art of homemaking. This weekend she taught me how to make apple pie. It may sound crazy, but I had never made an apple pie before! A true homemaking crime, I’m sure! We used fresh golden delicious apples from the orchard and a tried and true recipe from my Mom’s arsenal to make the most delicious pie. It was a very simple process and is a recipe that I will be making again, very soon! 

Homegrown Apple Pie

Apple Filling  (my Mom’s recipe)

  • 7-8 medium/large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 3/4 – 1 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar (brown or white)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cinnamon sticks + 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Pie Crust (adapted from Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2012 issue)

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. ice water

Combine apples, water, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium pot. Simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain excess liquid and set aside.

Place butter pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until hard (15-20 mins). Once butter is hard, combine flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor.

Pulse until mixture is coarse with some blueberry-sized clumps. Add ice water and immediately pulse until water is just incorporated.

Squeeze a small amount in your hand to make sure it holds together.

Lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Empty half the dough onto each piece.

Fold edges of wrap together and gather dough into a disk. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Remove pie dough from fridge and partially unwrap. Place disc on a piece of parchment, leaving the plastic on one side. Roll dough into a circle about 1/2-inch bigger than your pie pan.

Press one piece of dough into your pan, leaving edges hanging over the edge.

Cut the second piece of dough into 3-inch wide strips.

Add filling into pan and spread evenly.

Weave dough strips into a lattice pattern over filling and press overhang onto the edge of crust. Trim the edge, fold under, and crimp.

Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake at 375 F for 30-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Be sure to place your pie on a parchment lined sheet pan to catch any drips!

Let cool and ENJOY

Homegrown Apple Pie

Apple Filling  (my Mom’s recipe)

  • 7-8 medium/large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 3/4 – 1 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar (brown or white)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cinnamon sticks + 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Pie Crust (adapted from Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2012 issue)

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. ice water
  1. Pie Crust: Place butter pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until hard (15-20 mins). Once butter is hard, combine flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is coarse with some blueberry-sized clumps. Add ice water and immediately pulse until water is just incorporated. Squeeze a small amount in your hand to make sure it holds together. Lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Empty half the dough onto each piece. Fold edges of wrap together and gather dough into a disk. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.
  2. Apple Filling: Combine apples, water, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium pot. Simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain excess liquid and set aside.
  3. Remove pie dough from fridge and partially unwrap. Place disc on a piece of parchment, leaving the plastic on one side. Roll dough into a circle about 1/2-inch bigger than your pie pan.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  5. Press one piece of dough into your pan, leaving edges hanging over the edge. Cut the second piece of dough into 3-inch wide strips.
  6. Add filling into pan and spread evenly. Weave dough strips into a lattice pattern over filling and press overhang onto the edge of crust. Trim the edge, fold under, and crimp.
  7. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake pie for 30-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Be sure to place your pie on a parchment lined sheet pan to catch any drips!
  8. Let cool and ENJOY!

This pie will most definitely be making an appearance again very soon. I may or may not have eaten pie for breakfast this morning. It’s healthy, right?! My Mom happily told me that I am now in charge of pies for Thanksgiving. With great baking, comes great responsibility apparently…

Eating Pie,
Mrs. Edwards


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Criss-Cross Crock-Pot Applesauce

There is no denying it, fall is my most favorite season of them all (see what I did there?). I love the changing leaves. I love fall weddings. I love pumpkin. I love the cinnamony, spicy smells of fall. I love the sweaters and chilly weather. I love gearing up for the holidays. I love everything about it!  What better way to bring some lovely fall smells and tastes to our home than to make some tasty applesauce? I just so happened to have a whole bunch of apples and a new Crock-Pot that I needed to break in. I made this recipe up as I went and lucked out with some delicious applesauce! Ready for the recipe? It’s SO easy!

Crock-Pot Applesauce
(makes about 4 cups)

  • 8-10 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut in chunks
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick + 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup water or apple juice
  1. Place all of your ingredients in your crock-pot. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6.
  2. Once your apples have softened, remove from your crock-pot (careful, they’re HOT!). Stir to blend and mash with a spoon or blend with an immersion blender.
  3. Serve warm or refrigerate in a covered container.
  4. ENOY!

If you’d like to make a larger batch, you could try your hand at canning some for later (some on canning tips here and here).

Hope you enjoy this yummy treat!

Totally applesauced,
Mrs. Edwards


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Crock-pot Chicken Chili & Homemade Corn Bread

Today was one of the first “real” fall days around these parts. It rained overnight throughout the morning and was a wonderfully cloudy and brisk day. It was the perfect day to bundle up and enjoy a day at home. Thankfully, I got to do just that! Today’s weather called for a classic fall dinner- chili and corn bread. My goal with this meal was to not have to go to the grocery store, but to be able to use things that we already had. We typically make chili with ground beef, but Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard only offered chicken today. I went out on a limb and basically made up the chili recipe as I went. I’ve never had a chicken chili, but figured that it would be worth a try. I was a bit nervous at first, but then realized that since I knew we liked all of the ingredients, there was a pretty good chance that the end product would turn out delicious. The cornbread recipe (with a few modifications) comes from my faithful friend, my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. This entire meal was a cinch to put together and the end products were so hearty and delicious!

Crock-pot Chicken Chili
(makes 4-6 servings)

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of pinto beans, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of great northern beans, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 oz.) of tomato paste
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, chili powder and oregano to taste (1 used about 1 tablespoon of each).
  • If you like green chilis, bell peppers, onions, etc. you can add them too!
  1. Place chicken breasts in bottom of crock-pot. Add beans, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and seasonings. Gently stir to combine.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. About an hour before serving pull chicken breasts out and shred. Add back into the crock-pot and cook for another hour or so.
  3. ENJOY!

Homemade Corn Bread

  • 1 c. of flour
  • 3/4 c. cornmeal
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten (or if you’re out of eggs like I was, you can substitute in 4 Tbsp. water + 2 Tbsp. oil + 4 tsp. baking powder)
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. Add the 1 Tbsp. butter to a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a 9 x 1 1/2-inch found baking pan. Place in oven about 3 minutes or until butter melts. Remove skillet from oven; swirl butter in skillet to coat bottom and sides of pan.
  3. In a small bowl combine eggs (or egg substitute), milk, and oil. Add mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into hot skillet or pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Cut into slices or wedges and serve with your chili
  5. ENJOY!


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DIY Painted Pumpkins

Our front porch looked pretty sad all summer with a half dead plant hanging on for dear life. When I saw pumpkins for sale at the store I knew just what I needed to spruce up our sad front porch for this fall season. Pumpkins! But plain pumpkins wouldn’t do, so some masking tape, craft paint and a little elbow grease later, I had these fun painted ones. Don’t you just love ’em?! I’ve been dying to use a chevron print somewhere and this is the perfect spot!

Supplies: 

  • Pumpkins
  • Craft paint in whatever colors you’d like
  • Paint brushes
  • Masking tape
  • A monogram printed out (I used the Lavanderia font in 170 pt.)
  • A pencil

Begin by taping off the chevron print. This definitely takes some time and some patience to get the pattern just right. I found it helpful to cut my tape into 3″ lengths and then place them. Since it’s almost impossible to find a perfectly round pumpkin, your pattern will get a little wonky at some point. My pattern is super weird in one section…so that side is now facing the back :)  Once you get it all taped off, go ahead and get painting! The color choices are endless- navy blue, gold, yellow. Have fun with it!

For the monogram pumpkin, you’ll need to cut out your letter and tape it on the center of your pumpkin. No measuring necessary,  just eyeball it. Take a pencil (that’s sharp enough to make an indent on the pumpkin, but not so sharp that it pierces the skin) and trace over your letter a few times. You’ll need to press kind of hard to make an indent that you can actually see. Choose your paint color and paint over the indent!

My lumberjack husband cut a few wood rounds for me to prop these two on to create some height next to the door. This project was super simple and the look will last as long as the pumpkins do!

These pumpkins are a perfect match with my Fall Rosette Wreath. Fall has officially arrived at the Edwards’!

Thankful for Fall,
Mrs. Edwards


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Fall Rosette Wreath


On Monday of this week our outdoor thermometer hit 100 degrees. On Tuesday, I placed this wreath on our front door. And on Wednesday, our temperatures dipped back down into the low 70s. I’m absoulely sure that by placing this Fall Rosette Wreath on our front door I was solely responsible for this lovely fall weather that we’ve been experiencing the past few days. Yep, no problem. You’re welcome!

This wreath was so, so, easy to make. And cost less than $10.00! Want to try making one yourself?

Supplies Needed:

  • Grapevine wreath
  • Scissors
  • Felt cut into 3″ x 3″ squares (I used 8 1/4 of the 9″ x 12″ sized sheets to make 100 squares total. I found this color at JoAnn’s)
  • Fabric glue
  • Hot glue gun

First, begin by trimming the edges off of your squares to make a round piece. By no means does your circle need to be perfect, it just needs too be round-ish.

Next, cut your circle into a spiral, leaving a small tab in the center. This tab will become the bottom of your rosette.

Begin rolling your felt from the outside edge of circle inwards towards the center.

Once you have your piece rolled up, place a dab of glue on the bottom and fold the tab over.

Ta-dahh…you have a rosette!

Now just repeat this process until you have about 100 of these (depending on the size of your wreath). This is a great project to park yourself in front of the TV to work on. It’s pretty mindless and actually doesn’t take too long once you get a rhythm going.

Once you have all of your rosettes made, begin hot-gluing them to your wreath. There really isn’t any scientific way to do this. Just place a dollop of hot glue on the bottom of your rosette, stick it on, and hold it in place for a few seconds. I would, however, recommend placing newspaper underneath your wreath to prevent glue from dripping onto your work surface.

Continue placing the rosettes on your wreath until you have completely filled the front side. You can place them as tight or as spread apart as you prefer. I placed mine pretty close together and really like it!

Hang your wreath on your front door and enjoy! This is a great way to way to welcome fall to your home and neighborhood. Maybe your weather hasn’t quite caught on that it’s already October. I hope that once you place this on your front door you begin to experience cooler temperatures and the loveliness of fall :)

Lover of all things fall,
Mrs. Edwards

P.S. This project was inspired by this one  by Stelabird :)