Monday, October 24, 2011

Chartruese and Co

This weekend I was finally able to make it up to Frederick, MD, to Chartreuse & Co.  Chartreuse & Co is a really awesome barn stuffed to the gills with awesome farmhouse, industrial, chic antique finds.  It is only open one weekend a month, and I have been meaning to go there for almost 6 months.  I was not disappointed!!

 This is "the one that got away."  You know, that item that see and you hem and haw over, decide not to get it, and then can't stop thinking about it for days on end?   Yupp - this is her. 

Some of the cool things I picked up:  a ball jar soap dispenser, an old shoe form, some old maps of Rome and London, and an old market basket. 

And this I had to add because it was so freaking cool!  These are not real windows - they are PAINTED on the side of a building in old town Frederick.  They look so REAL!

(I have to say THANK YOU to my friend ((and blog reader)) Deborah, who went with us to Frederick AND treated us to an amazing dinner at Volt!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kinda Cool or Totally Tacky?

I came across something in a little antique store that I knew I wanted to buy as soon as I saw them, but wasn't sure if I would be bold enough to display in my house - brothel tokens.

Yes, you heard read that right - brothel tokens.  These are tokens that many many years ago were given to cowboys after they paid their admission to get into the brothel.  The cowboys would then give the token to the lady of their choice, so the lady knew that the customer had already paid.  I was intrigued!!!

After I wiped them down (they ARE brothel tokens, after all!) I attached them each to a ribbon, added a skeleton key, and hung them on the hooks of the hotel numbers that I put on the bedroom doors. 

So give me your opinion - is having brothel tokens hanging on your bedroom doors kinda cool, or totally tacky?????

Each brothel token is different.  They are from brothels in Virginia City, Tombstone Arizona, and Yuma in the Arizona Territory.  On the back, some are more risque than others.  (Above, I only showed the back of the most PG rated token :)  )

If I get uncomfortable having these up ... and begin to feel like it is more on tacky than cool, I could always take them down.  Particularly depending on the company coming over.  I wouldn't want my mom to get the wrong impression!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The "I Heart Apple Pie" pie

I recently went apple picking, and picked a LITTLE too many apples (about 4 dozen too many!!).   So there have been many apple recipes tried, and many apples given away to coworkers.

Here is a recipe for one of the easiest and best apple pies I have ever made.  I made it similar to my blueberry pie, where I used cookie cutters to make the top of the pie crust because I horribly fail every time I try to make a traditional crust.


5-6 large apples, peeled and sliced (they don't have to be picked by you, but that sure does make it more fun!!)
Pre-made double crust pie dough (I said it was an EASY pie, didn't I?)
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
3 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon (watch for seeds!!)
2 tbsp of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg beaten


Preheat the over to 400*F.  I put the upper oven rack in the middle, and on the lower over rack I place a large cookie sheet to catch any bits of apple that MAY drip over.  (If it cuts down on my cleaning later, it is worth it!)

Place half of the pie dough on the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate and use your fingers or a fork to crimp the edges.  Put this in the freezer while you prepare the rest of your pie.  (Pie dough should never get below 60*F, so keep it in the freezer to compensate for the ingredients you will be pouring into it later).

In a large mixing bowl combine the apples, sugars, flour, spices and lemon juice.  Toss it well, and don't forget to taste it as you go to make sure it is seasoned well (yes, this is very scientific and is required of this recipe, often :)  )

Take the bottom crust out of the freezer and pour the appley-sugary mixture and its yummy apple-y juices into the bottom pie crust.   Try to arrange the top layer of apples so they are flat.  Place the pieces of cold butter on top of the apples.

Roll out the remaining pie dough.  Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes in the dough to cover the top of the pie.  You will likely have to regroup and re-roll out the dough for there to be enough to cover the pie.  Have fun with it!  For this pie I used a heart shaped cookie cutter (hence the name, "I Heart Apple Pie" - get it? get it?)  No matter what shape you use, all of the cut outs should overlap. 

Brush the top and edges of the crust with the egg.  I also sprinkled granulated sugar and cinnamon on top (although the cinnamon gave it a burned look that I didn't like - but tasted fantastic nonetheless.)

Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil to protect it from getting burned.   Bake the pie for 45 minutes, remove the foil, then bake it for an additional 10-15 minutes until it is golden brown and bubbly.

Remove the pie and let it cool on a wire rack for about half an hour.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and thank me later :)

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