Apple crisp and comfort foods

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 perfect apple crisp

Perfect Apple Crisp

If ever there was a perfect time for our family to gorge ourselves on comfort foods, that time would be now. As a child my mom would give me cinnamon toast to “make the boo-boo go away”. I could  use that cinnamon toast now but in its place I suppose I have my apple crisp recipe and I have apples.

I use Granny Smith apples which gives this crisp just enough sweetness, but any baking apple will do. It is one of our favorite fall desserts. I hope you like it too!

Mary’s Apple Crisp Recipe

Filling:
24 ounces granny smith slices (I like mine pretty thin)
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1/8 cup plus 2 tsp. white sugar
5/8 tsp. cinnamon (I like Saigon)
2 tbsp. flour for thickening

Mix filling ingredients and place in a buttered 8 or 9 inch glass baking dish and cover with topping below: 

Topping:
3/8 cup flour
3/8 cup quick oats (not instant)
1/4 cup butter (I prefer this to margarine but margarine would do)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Blend the flour and butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Add the remaining ingredients mixing well. Place on filling and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly toasted on top.

Note: At times I’ve added some dried cranberries which is a great tart addition!

If only I knew how to make my camera freeze all of the bubbling because the crisp was bubbling along nicely when I snapped this shot. Maybe next time I’ll do a video!

Meglacicle, gigantic icicle

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Giant Icicle, Mary Williams Designs

Megacicle

I really should get back to posting pictures of jewelry and lampwork beads but I just couldn’t resist this. It may not look like it but that icicle is 54 inches long (and growing!) and 7 inches across at the top! Taken with my phone from inside the house kneeling down to get the whole thing in the shot. Love how the bottom is three separate points.

Franktown Creek Waterfall Toiyabe Forest

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Franktown Creek Washoe Valley Waterfall

Franktown Creek Waterfall

When you mention Nevada and its terrain, most people think of hot, dry, flat land with desert-like plants. Well, that picture above is a couple miles from my house in Washoe Valley near the Toiyabe Forest. Almost in my backyard. 

My son and I made the trek to it the first spring I lived here. Not a bad hike, but unfortunately not one I’ve been able to repeat since my hip was injured. It is a beautiful area with several types of wildflowers. Not a dry, dusty patch of ground anywhere!

Even though the trek to the waterfall is out of my reach I can still enjoy breathtaking views (and not a single casino!) in Northern Nevada:

Toiyabe Forest Washoe Valley Rainbow

Washoe Valley Rainbow

Industrial look jewelry and more.

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industrial look jewelryA combination of snow and a resolution to spend more time in the studio experimenting with some old techniques has me working on hammering out (no pun intended!) some samples for a new metal jewelry line I hope to launch this year.

Since my lampwork ventilation system literally goes outside, grabs the extreme cold air and blows it directly at my head, neck, and back by virtue of my make-up air, I am more than a little reluctant to light my big torch and melt glass. While the front of me would be toasty warm it would be difficult to tell the difference between my back and, well, a big ice cube, and I’m pretty sure my brain would freeze from the back to the front. For now I am more than happy keeping warm torching, bending, and hammering metal. It is good for my soul (and my body temp)!

The samples above are two I am working on combining techniques. So far I like the direction my experiments are taking me. I am not much of a “frilly” person and tend to gravitate toward a combination of earthy and industrial in my jewelry, maybe with a little Viking warlord thrown in.  For someone who wears jeans and boots pretty much 365 days a year, this style works for me!