Uncommon Designs http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com Creating Crafts and Home Decor Thu, 17 May 2018 00:37:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.3 A Few of our Favorite Summer Fun Ideas! http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/a-few-of-our-favorite-summer-fun-ideas/ http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/a-few-of-our-favorite-summer-fun-ideas/#respond Tue, 15 May 2018 12:14:57 +0000 http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/?p=24992 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PoweringAdventure #CollectiveBias Picture yourself as a kid on a warm summer night playing outside with your buddies.  Can you feel the excitement over summer fun … the independence? These moments were priceless and I think we all want our kids to feel the same way when they look

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PoweringAdventure #CollectiveBias

Picture yourself as a kid on a warm summer night playing outside with your buddies.  Can you feel the excitement over summer fun … the independence? These moments were priceless and I think we all want our kids to feel the same way when they look back on their childhood.  The thing is friends, it is so easy.  For many kids, all they need is a flashlight and some batteries to have hours of fun this summer.

The next time you entertain, set out a bowl or bucket filled with flashlights.  This will keep the kids entertained for hours once the sun goes down.  You will be thrilled to see them off of their devices and hearing their delightful giggles as they play games like flashlight tag and manhunt.  Keep reading to learn how to play those games!

I do want to give a word of warning about flashlight games. Make sure you have flashlights that work and be sure to use good batteries. Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries are a good choice when you need a battery that will deliver the fun!

The Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries are top rated for the longest lasting AA battery, they are 33% lighter than alkaline batteries and maintain peak performance.  They can perform in extreme temperatures and are constructed to be leak resistant.

I picked up Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries from my local Kroger and we are good to go for the summer! Just check the home and electronics aisle. I found these at the end of the aisle.

It really is so easy to come up with good ideas for summer fun and these ideas won’t break the bank and will give a little time off from electronics. too.

Here are a few fun flashlight games to play:

Flashlight Tag

This is just like what it sounds. The classic game with the addition of flashlights. If you have enough people you can split into groups of two, otherwise each man is for himself. Decide who will be it and they will count to a number like 100 while everyone else hides. Once “it” shines a flashlight on you, you are out and must go to a place that you decide will be jail and wait for the others. The first person to be tagged out will be “it” the next time.

Flashlight Limbo

Have someone take the flashlight and turn it on and hold it straight. Have each player take turns going under, and as the game goes on lower the beam. The winner is the person who can go the lowest. How low can you go?

Manhunt

This flashlight game is basically hide and seek in reverse.  Once person or group hides while everyone else tries to find them. Set a time limit for the fugitives to hide and then let them know you are ready to find them.  The fugitives will try to make it back to home base without being caught with the flashlight.  The last person to be caught will lead the group of seekers the next round.

Having a little summer fun with some classic flashlight games. #Summer #SummerEntertaining

What are your favorite ideas for summer fun?

For even more information about Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries visit Energizer on Facebook. 

 

 

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Our Gift that Keeps on Giving http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/our-gift-that-keeps-on-giving/ http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/our-gift-that-keeps-on-giving/#respond Mon, 26 Mar 2018 15:48:50 +0000 http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/?p=24972 THIS POST HAS BEEN COMPENSATED BY COLLECTIVE BIAS, INC. AND LITTERMAID, ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE ALONE.   #COLLECTIVEBIAS #LitterMaidWalnut #LitterMaid Meet Kitty. She walked into our family this past October. We had just lost our sweet cat and were heartbroken. Kitty came up to our front porch one evening and we instantly fell in love with her. I don’t know how she got to us, but

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THIS POST HAS BEEN COMPENSATED BY COLLECTIVE BIAS, INC. AND LITTERMAID, ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE ALONE.   #COLLECTIVEBIAS #LitterMaidWalnut #LitterMaid

Kitty

Meet Kitty. She walked into our family this past October. We had just lost our sweet cat and were heartbroken. Kitty came up to our front porch one evening and we instantly fell in love with her. I don’t know how she got to us, but our lives will never be the same. She is the most loving animal I’ve ever come across and we just knew someone had loved her well. We made calls and emailed and posted on social media and no one claimed her. We had prayed for another pet and here she was… a true gift.

About six weeks ago, Kitty wasn’t quite herself and we soon realized that she was going to have a litter of kittens. We were elated  and we prepared for their safe arrival. Between you and me, I was so nervous for her… if taking care of Kitty is any indication of how I’ll be as a grandma, my girls are going to kill me!

We would lovingly refer to Kitty as the gift that keeps on giving. Literally.

On a cold Monday morning, Kitty delivered four adorable and healthy kittens. It was such a neat experience for the girls to see. Here she is after all four were delivered. She was in love, we were in love… our hearts were overflowing.

 

We have watched them grow into four playful little kitties and they are now a month old.

Kitty is such a good little mama. If I’m being honest, she is a bit of a helicopter mom. I wonder who she learned that from 🙂

Now we are starting the difficult process of letting go and passing on the gift of these babies to someone else.

We have families that will be taking three of these precious kittens and while we will be sad to see each of them go, we know that they will be loved and bring joy to someone else. I am so happy for these babies and the wonderful families that they will become a part of. I wanted to do a little something special for these friends and I’ve put together a welcome basket of sorts for them.

I went to Walmart last week and purchased all that I needed for the basket. I got a litter box that will serve as the basket, some fun toys like the ones they are playing with, a blanket, a scoop and a bag of LitterMaid® Premium Walnut litter. You can find everything in the cat and pet care aisle.

I have always used and trusted cat litter by LitterMaid®.

The LitterMaid® Premium Walnut litter is one of my new favorites. It is made from natural walnut shells, is fragrance free and is a strong clumping litter. It does a fabulous job with neutralizing odors and my favorite part is that it is 99% dust free. No clouds of dust when it is poured and my yoga pants don’t end up turning chalky white. We all have our needs, right?!

I am so thankful for these families that will be caring for the kittens. I wanted to do something to show them how grateful we are. I know our friends will love these babies and I’m so glad that we will be able to visit them, too!

We’ll also have this sweet girl still.

Thankfully, we have a little more time before they go… off to play with these sweet rascals and their sweet mama!

 

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Orange Marmalade Walnut Crostini http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/orange-marmalade-walnut-crostini/ http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/orange-marmalade-walnut-crostini/#respond Thu, 15 Mar 2018 19:13:47 +0000 http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/?p=24949 THIS POST WAS SPONSORED BY MARTHA STEWART LIVING, AND BOURSIN® CHEESE.  ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN. Do you need a little wow in your life? My girls always say that I’m so “extra” and to me, wow and extra go hand in hand. I always believe that you can do something average, but it only takes a teensy tiny bit more effort to really make

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THIS POST WAS SPONSORED BY MARTHA STEWART LIVING, AND BOURSIN® CHEESE.  ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN.

Do you need a little wow in your life? My girls always say that I’m so “extra” and to me, wow and extra go hand in hand. I always believe that you can do something average, but it only takes a teensy tiny bit more effort to really make give something a little wow. This applies to most areas in my life, but when it comes to entertaining… I’m all about a little wow or “extra.”  Today I want to share with you a recipe for an orange marmalade walnut crostini that takes an ordinary baguette and elevates it to a wow-worthy appetizer!

If you’ve been around Uncommon Designs for any length of time, you know that I love to entertain and if isn’t easy, it isn’t happening in my kitchen. When it comes to appetizers, I love serving up something that looks like you worked for loads of time, but actually can be thrown together in a matter of minutes.

Orange Marmalade and Walnut Crostini Recipe

In the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living, you can find all sorts of decorating tips, recipes and spring delights. It is all about uplifting your life in ways big and small. Today, I’m sharing this fabulous recipe so you can uplift and elevate every occasion and put the wow in your spring entertaining.

Orange Marmalade and Walnut Crostini Recipe

Meet my creamy and crumbly and oh-so delicious favorite Boursin® Cheese. It is the best thing around for making an ordinary appetizer fabulous! I’m telling you that every bite just gets better and better and you’ll find a wow each time you taste it. It comes in six delicious flavors and every one I’ve tried is just SO good.

If you haven’t tried Boursin® Cheese Garlic & Fine Herbs flavor, run to your local grocery store. It is fantastic to have on hand at all times. Perfect for entertaining, this flavor is also great for everyday snacking and can be spread on almost anything!

Orange Marmalade and Walnut Crostini Recipe

Today, my wow-worthy recipe consists of crostini, Boursin® Cheese, orange marmalade and candied walnuts. I used my go-to recipe for Martha’s Simple Crostini added a sweet and savory combination that is effortlessly gourmet.

Once your crostini has been prepared it is time for the fun to begin.  I used the pepper flavored Boursin® Cheese as my first topping. I chose it because it would add a little heat and a lot of perfect texture. Just spread it on… so good!

Add a dollop of orange marmalade with a spoon. I just purchased a pre-made version from my grocery store. To finish, top if off with a sprinkling of candied walnuts.

https://www.marthastewart.com/340368/simple-crostini

You will definitely want to add this to the list for your next occasion. It is over the top and just so easy! Does it get any better than “extra” tiny toasts?

For even more easy and elegant recipes, visit Boursin.

 

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Creating a “Come On In” Kind of Home http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/creating-a-come-on-in-kind-of-home/ http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/creating-a-come-on-in-kind-of-home/#respond Sat, 24 Feb 2018 01:39:48 +0000 http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/?p=24957 This post was sponsored by Chesapeake Bay Candle Company. All opinions are my own. Hey there!  Come on in! What does your home say about you? Better yet… what do you want your home to say about you? Me, I want my home to say “Come on In”.  There is something about those three words that speak volumes to me. “Come on In” says… welcome

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This post was sponsored by Chesapeake Bay Candle Company. All opinions are my own.

Hey there!  Come on in!

How to Create a "Come on In" Kind of Home

What does your home say about you? Better yet… what do you want your home to say about you? Me, I want my home to say “Come on In”.  There is something about those three words that speak volumes to me.

How to Create a "Come on In" Kind of Home

“Come on In” says… welcome to our home, our family… our life. It says you are my guest and I’m so glad you are here.

It says, have a seat and tell me how everything is going. I want hear all about it.

How to Create a "Come on In" Kind of Home

“Come on In” says… our door is always open.

How to Create a "Come on In" Kind of Home

I want our girl’s friends to know that they can come over any time they need to talk or vent or laugh.

They are always welcome to grab a blanket and get comfy. This is a safe place.

How to Create a "Come on In" Kind of Home

Our home is not perfect, it is not always clean. It is not straight from the magazines. It is a place where we work, where we create… where we come together as a family.

How to Create a "Come on In" Kind of Home

“Come on In” to a home where you can wear your yoga pants and prop your feet up.  We are mostly casual and always crazy.

How to Create a "Come on In" Kind of Home

“Come on In” to a home that is a little coastal, a little traditional and a lot comfy.

How to Create a "Come on In" Kind of Home

“Come on In” to a home that may not have gourmet dinners, but we have piping hot coffee and chocolate is always in supply.

How to Create a "Come on In" Kind of Home

“Come on In” to our home that smells divine and is waiting for you!

Right now our home smells divine from these Chesapeake Bay Candles. These large jars are part of their Spring 2018 Home Scents line.

Scents Featured in my home are:

All Home Scents fragrances are available as Medium Size Jars (11.5 oz.), Large Jars (19 oz.), and reed diffusers. These candles come in a clear glass cylinders with silver metallic lids in a  contemporary design and feature led free cotton wicks. They are made in the Chesapeake Bay Candle factory in Maryland with ingredients from around the world. There are so many choices to find the perfect fragrance for any season in any room in your home.  

The Spring 2018 line includes the following 20 scents: Bermuda Sands, California Citrus, Caramel Latte, Eucalyptus, Georgia Peach, Island Orchid, Jasmine Bouquet, Hinoki Bonsai, Mandarin Berry, Mango Sorbet, Mountain View, Oats & Honey, Paradise Flower, Pina Verbena, Sea Salt Vanilla, Snuggly Sweater, Summer Breeze, Tahitian Vanilla, Teakwood, and Waterfall.  

I hope you enjoy these fabulous fragrances and create a “Come on In” home for your family and friends.

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A Simple Bowl Game Menu http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/baked-potatoes-for-a-crowd/ http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/baked-potatoes-for-a-crowd/#comments Thu, 28 Dec 2017 16:49:51 +0000 http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/?p=24930 This shop/post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #ServeWithACoke  #BowlGames  #CollectiveBias We love football at our house, specifically college football. Since our team has done so well over the last few years, we have had so many reasons to celebrate and gather our friends together for watching our beloved team play. This week, we will

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We love football at our house, specifically college football. Since our team has done so well over the last few years, we have had so many reasons to celebrate and gather our friends together for watching our beloved team play.

This week, we will have some of our favorite fans over to watch the big game. After all of the holiday entertaining, I am ready for something simple and casual.  My go-to trick for feeding a crowd?  A baked potato bar and soft drinks! I have a few fun tricks up my sleeve to make it extra special, too!

Watching a bowl game is a family affair and we have all ages in attendance.  I love to serve soft drinks and being a Southern gal, my drink of choice is always Coca-Cola® classic. My grandparents instilled a love for this delicious beverage when I was just a little girl.  These glass bottles are just so cute and give a feel for a true celebration, too! I grabbed several six packs of the bottles and we are all just so excited to enjoy them.

Click here to learn all about Coca-Cola pairings! 

 

Let’s dive in to find out how to make baked potatoes for a crowd…

First, we are going to clean a few dozen baked potatoes in the dishwasher. You heard me right!  I loathe scrubbing baked potatoes and the thought of scrubbing an entire bag just is not an option. If you place the potatoes in the top rack of your dishwasher and do a rinse with no soap, this does the trick every time! This can be such a time saver and sanity saver, too.

After they are washed, I brush on olive oil and a little salt, wrap them in foil and bake them on 350 degrees until they are soft.

After they are cooked, I transfer them to a cooler where they will be kept.  They stay warm for hours this way and I can even cook them a few hours before my guests arrive.

You guys know that this party gal can’t just let a gathering go without a fun touch.  For this game, I will be piping on sour cream laces to make baked potato footballs.

Aren’t they so fun?  Just fill a plastic baggie with sour cream, clip the corner and pipe away. You can even let the kids get in on the fun if you’d like!

For the toppings for my baked potatoes, I always use my favorite ceramic divided tray.  I put cheese, bacon, roast beef and sour cream, but you can put your own spin on the toppings.

Here are some great baked potato topping ideas:

  • cheese
  • bacon
  • roast beef
  • turkey
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • use your imagination!

Making baked potatoes for a crowd is so simple and pairing it with Coca-Cola in glass bottles is just so fun. Invite your favorite fans over and watch the big game together

!Click here to learn all about Coca-Cola pairings! 

I hope your favorite team wins!

 

 

 

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Mini Chocolate Cherry Cheesecakes http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/mini-chocolate-cherry-cheesecakes/ http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/mini-chocolate-cherry-cheesecakes/#comments Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:33:29 +0000 http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/?p=24911 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ServingUpTheSeason #CollectiveBias Mini Chocolate Cherry Chee secakes for Holiday Delight. This time of year has me ready to enjoy the company of friends and family. My house is finally clean and decorated and I can’t wait to have guests over for all sorts of occasions. I don’t like

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ServingUpTheSeason #CollectiveBias

Mini Chocolate Cherry Chee

secakes for Holiday Delight.

This time of year has me ready to enjoy the company of friends and family. My house is finally clean and decorated and I can’t wait to have guests over for all sorts of occasions.

I don’t like to fix elaborate meals when we entertain, but I do like for my guests to enjoy a good meal. Today I’m sharing a simple recipe that you can throw together in no time for a sweet dessert.

These mini chocolate cherry cheesecakes are so cute and yummy and you won’t have to spend all day in the kitchen. You can prep them ahead of time, throw them in the fridge and then add a little Reddi Whip when you are ready to serve. Really so simple, but these jars will be a crowd pleaser.

I visited my local Kroger to get all of my supplies. I picked up a frozen Marie Callender’s® Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake and a can of Reddi-Wip® Real Whipped Cream from the refrigerator case. (Be sure to click on the items for a savings coupon)

Here is a full list of ingredients needed:

  • Marie Callender’s® Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
  • Reddi-Wip® Real Whipped Cream (6.5 oz.)
  • Premade Cheesecake Filling
  • Can of Cherry Pie Filling
  • Chocolate Sauce for Garnish

This Marie Callender’s® Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake is a winner in my house every single time. It tastes just like homemade, but no one would ever know. All you need to do is remove it from the packaging and place in a pre-heated oven. Follow the directions in the package. No need to thaw it out before, it is moist and delicious and on the table in less than 30 minutes. I love that it is packed with wholesome ingredients and you can taste that, too!

You know me, I also love that there are no pots and pans to clean up, either!

Once the cake cooled for a few minutes, I added a slice to each mini mason jar. I then topped it with ready made cheesecake filling and a heaping spoonful of cherry pie filling.

At this point you can put the top on the dessert and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve, add Reddi-Wip® Real Whipped Cream to the top and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

I love using Reddi-Wip because it is made with real cream, tastes amazing and I don’t feel guilty. It only has 15 calories per serving.

Such a beautiful and tasty dessert. I hope you get a chance to try it out this holiday season!

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Bringing Back Sunday Supper http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/bringing-back-sunday-dinner/ http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/bringing-back-sunday-dinner/#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:17:37 +0000 http://www.uncommondesignsonline.com/?p=24767 THIS POST WAS SPONSORED BY MARTHA STEWART LIVING, Barilla® Collezione and Reynolds Kitchens™.  ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN. Sunday suppers are back! No, I’m not starting a weekly blog post, but I am beginning a weekly tradition with my family. If you’re like me, your life is filled with after school practice, homework, meetings, and a never-ending to-do list. The weeks just fly by,

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THIS POST WAS SPONSORED BY MARTHA STEWART LIVING, Barilla® Collezione and Reynolds Kitchens™.  ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN.

Sunday suppers are back!

No, I’m not starting a weekly blog post, but I am beginning a weekly tradition with my family.

If you’re like me, your life is filled with after school practice, homework, meetings, and a never-ending to-do list. The weeks just fly by, and before you know it, you turn around and notice your children look a whole year older! It’s a hectic time of life.  That’s why we’ve decided to be intentional about our weekend recovery time with family. Though Saturdays offer a much-needed change of pace, I find that Sunday dinner is our true connection time. It’s the one time when everyone is at home, in one place for one event, and tuned in to one another. Everyone loves to gather around a table, and nothing says comfort like warm dinner rolls and happy tummies! It’s a wonderful time without the constraint of schedules. We get to focus on one another before the busy week kicks off. Dinner can be as simple or elegant as you wish. Involve everyone in the prep and clean-up. It’s a great way to work as a team, play in the soap bubbles, and chase each other with dish towels.  Have fun! Take time to sit down to Sunday dinner and focus on what truly matters – each other.

Today I’m sharing some creative recipe ideas to get you started.

The November edition of Martha Stewart Living is full of ideas to get your family prepared for the holiday season, as well as traditions that you can begin in your home. Can you guess what we are bringing back?  That is right… Sunday Supper!

This past Sunday I whipped up a new recipe for our family… Bucatini Pasta Carbonara with Sausage and an Apple Cinnamon Galette. They were both incredible!

Here is how I made the pasta dish…

Bucatini Pasta Carbonara with Sausage

Have you tried Barilla® Collezione Pasta? I did not know what I was missing with this delicious pasta. I used the Bucatini, which is a thick spaghetti-like pasta that has a hole running through it. It was the absolute perfect choice for this dish. There are several other varieties of pasta in the Barilla® Collezione line such as Casarecce, Orecchiette, Penne, 

Rigatoni, Spaghetti, Cheese & Spinach Tortellini and a Three Cheese Tortellini. Barilla® Collezione is special because of the Italian bronze plates that are used. The pasta has a bit of a rough surface which makes it taste like it is straight from the restaurant and the

 sauce just sticks right to it. It feels and tastes amazing in your mouth!

My family was very impressed with this dish and I was pretty proud of myself, too!

Bucatini Pasta Carbonara with Sausage

12 oz. Barilla® Collezione Bucatini Pasta

3 large eggs

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese

1 package of bacon

2 cloves of minced garlic

coarse black pepper

1/2 pound Italian Sausage

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and then stir in the grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese.

Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Drain and chop the bacon. Use the skillet to cook the Italian sausage and drain. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente, approximately 7 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.

Drain the bucatini and mix it with the egg and cheese mixture. Add the bacon, sausage and garlic mixture. Toss everything together well.

If your pasta looks dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water. I did not need any additional water.

Serve on a plate and top with black pepper.

Now for dessert!

I am going to get extra fancy on you now… I made a galette. I don’t even know if I pronounce it correctly, but it tastes oh-so good! I was inspired by Martha’s own Pear Galette, but I put my own spin on it.

Since it is fall and I haven’t made the first apple anything, I decided to try my hand at an apple cinnamon galette.

Apple Cinnamon Galette

1 package refrigerated pie crust

3 large apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

pinch of salt

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Reynolds Kitchens™ Parchment Paper with SmartGrid®

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out a sheet of parchment paper to line a baking sheet. I love using Reynolds Kitchens® Parchment Paper because it has the lines. They call it SmartGrid® and it is so smart and makes baking so much easier. Y’all know it has to be easy for me to make it!

I also used the Reynolds Kitchens® Parchment Paper for a clean space for rolling out my pie crust. Just make sure to lightly flour the surface and roll out the dough into a circle shape around 10 inches in diameter. Put the pan in the refrigerator and chill uncovered while you prepare the filling.

In a bowl, toss thinly sliced apples with lemon juice and vanilla extract until they are combined.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, brown sugar, salt, flour and cinnamon together with a whisk. Then add the apples to this bowl and toss to coat.

Take the pie crust out of the refrigerator and place the apples in the center. Leave about one inch uncovered and fold up the edge of the crust.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the water to combine. Lightly brush the egg wash around the edge of the crust. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar around the edge of the crust.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Yum!

Everything was absolutely delicious and we enjoyed our time together. This is just the beginning of our Sunday suppers. There will be countless more to follow and I can’t wait!

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