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Tasteful Tuesday: Apple Crisp Pecan Pie

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

You read it correctly: Apple Crisp Pecan Pie! This dessert combines the tastes of apple and pecan pies with the crumbly texture of apple crisp. Whether you choose to share or keep to yourself, this unique treat is sure to be an instant hit.

What you’ll need:

Filling:

Apple Crisp Pecan Pie

Apple Crisp Pecan Pie

  • 5 to 6 cups thinly sliced and peeled apples
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 unbaked, 9-inch pie shell

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. FILLING: Place sliced apples in a mixing bowl. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, flour, and spices. Stir until mixture is well blended, then set aside.
  3. Prepare pie pastry; fit into a pie plate and set aside.
  4. TOPPING: In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, butter, oats, and pecans. Pulse until mixture is crumbly (a pastry blender or fork may also work to mix topping together).
  5. Pour apple filling mixture into the prepared pie shell. Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over apples, then place in preheated oven.
  6. After approximately 35 minutes, check to make sure crust is not getting too brown. If desired, sprinkle extra chopped pecans on top.
  7. Bake for an extra 10 minutes or until the apples are tender and topping is browned.
  8. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then slice and serve alone or with ice cream (will serve about 8).

Winter Decorating: DIY or HIDFY (Have It Done For You)

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Freezing temperatures and bitter weather patterns are here, but don’t think that just because the holidays are over you don’t have reason enough to decorate your home in the spirit of the season. Combat the cold outside with warm and cozy decor inside; either by investing in new furnishings or crafting handmade fixtures. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

LightingWine Bottle Light
Lamps and candles are one of the easiest home accessories to work with, especially when crafted out of items you may have lying around the house. If you haven’t packed away your white string lights, or have extras waiting to be packed away, adding them to a glass vase, large Mason jar or empty wine bottle quickly creates a new lighting fixture perfect for windows and tables. When adding to a wine bottle, simply allow the string to come out of the top to plug in, or choose to drill a hole through the back for a cleaner look (find out how to do this safely here).

Epsom Salt Mason Jar LightsCandles can also be easily added to jars or vases. Add a little Epsom salt to the bottom of a jar for a snowy appearance,
then place the candle on top of the salt. Place outside along a walkway or inside on a coffee table for a warm, rustic decoration. Add greenery and white sparkly baubles around the glass container for a complete wintry centerpiece.

A lantern lamp also adds primitive and unique style to any cozy room or darkhallway, especially when lit by a candelabra bulb. Our Coach Lantern Accent Lamp is perfect for an end table or small stand, and creates a warm glow during those cold nights when the wind howls outside your windows.

Blanket/Throw
Curling up on the couch underneath a warm blanket is a classic winter “activity,” – especially during a snowstorm, while watching a movie or when diving into a new book. Blankets and throws also make great decorative pieces; snowflake, evergreen tree, snowman and other patterns perfectly add a wintry feel to any of your rooms. But if you are feeling crafty and want to get off of the couch, you can make your own seasonal or year-round blanket to enjoy. All it takes is some fleece, scissors and a little bit of patience:

  • Pick out between 1.5 to 3 yards of fleece (2 pieces) at your local fabric store. You can choose the same color, print, or mix and match prints and colors for a unique look.
  • Lay out both pieces on a flat surface, making sure the softer sides face out.
  • Cut a rectangle out of each corner, using a note card or similarly sized object to guide your scissors. Work your way down each edge, cutting 2- inch long strips that measure about 1 or 1/2 of an inch wide.
  • Working on one side at a time, tie knots using the top and bottom strips; make sure the fleece stays as flat as possible.
  • Once you’ve tied the last knot, your blanket is ready to be draped on a chair, couch, or used to keep you warm!

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If you aren’t feeling particularly crafty, no problem! Pull some of those stored blankets and throws out of that closet and adorn your furniture with them. White, green, blue and neutral colored throws, like our Black & Tan Woven Cotton Throw, work well for a wintry theme. Keep in mind that  adding a comfortable throw to furniture creates an inviting atmosphere and adds warmth to any room during the coldest days of the year.

Classic Home Furnishings for the New Year

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

A new year calls for reflection, resolutions, a crisp calendar, forgetting to remember to write the new year instead of the old, and gives you an excuse (if you need one) for redecorating and freshening up your home decor! Seating and simple furniture pieces are a great way to create a new but comfortable look for any room in your home; whether you are looking to accent some of your favorite decorative pieces or want to redo a whole room.

Dining Room Farmhouse Ladderback Chair Set
Perhaps in this room more than any other, your seating is not only functional but ornamental as well. The chairs and table must stand up to daily use, as well as impress as a standalone piece when you are entertaining guests. Our new Farmhouse Ladderback Chairs offer elegance with a tall back and tapered legs for a formal dining room, but also give off a rustic appeal with a versatile oak stain for country-styled dining rooms or smaller dining areas. Use with your current dining table or mix and match with one of ours to create a signature dining room look.

Sturbridge Exclusive Saddle Stools

Kitchen Incorporating seating into your kitchen is a great way to create an inviting atmosphere, no matter how small or large the room. Our Sturbridge Exclusive Saddle Stools feature contoured seating for ultimate comfort, and come in a variety of colors to compliment your already established kitchen decor. In addition to the 24″ counter and 30″ bar heights, we offer an 18″ Saddle Stool that can be used alongside the other heights, creating an appealing, multi-level look. If you’re looking for a more antiquated style, our Colonial Stools withColonial Stoolsrounded legs feature a sea grass seat and are offered in three primitive colors. Colonial Stools are a great option for smaller kitchen areas, but will add charm in any space you put them.

Living Room
Sturbridge Exclusive Stafford Chair & OttomanAdding furniture that is both comfortable and stylish to a living room can sometimes be a challenge. It may not always be easy to find complementary furniture pieces that fit in or fill up a room, but adding a simple chair or recliner -either in a print or solid color- can create charming contrast while offering a comfortable place to relax. Our Sturbridge Exclusive Stafford Chair is a classic choice for a cozy corner or main area in a living room, and paired with the matching Ottoman, is a luxurious resting place that can be enjoyed by you and your guests. If a recliner is more your style, our Parlor Upholstered Pushback Recliner offers the same luxurious comfort as our Stafford Chair & Ottoman
but in a single unit: just push back, curl up and relax.

Sturbridge Exclusive Stafford Chair in BurgandyParlor Upholstered Pushback ReclinerHallway/EntrywayEntryway Storage Rack & Bench
Entryways and hallways give you an excellent opportunity to introduce guests to the style and beauty of your home, although with limited space it can be difficult to effectively do so. For these small spaces, it is best to incorporate as much functions with your furniture as possible. A fixture like our Entryway Storage Rack & Bench features hooks for hanging jackets, bags or keys; while the shelf below the bench is a great for shoe or slipper storage. The cushion is a tasteful enhancement, and provides you with a comfortable resting place for taking off Sturbridge Exclusive Cubby Storage Bench in Stainor putting on shoes. If you want a simpler country look with a more out-of-sight storage solution, a piece like our Sturbridge Exclusive Cubby Storage Bench is a timeless option, and added totes allow you to neatly put your belongings out of sight while maintaining a stylish hall or entryway.

Are you incorporating new or existing chairs or other furniture pieces into your home decor this year? Let us know how you’re accomplishing the task of combining unique style and function to get the most out of your home.