Happy girls are the prettiest girls


Grandma Ople's apple pie

In 2010, when I was still blogging on a now defunct blog over at WordPress, I wrote a post about my favorite apple pie recipe.

A friend of mine, also named Adrienne (we spell it differently) loved the recipe so much she begged me to find it for her this year after a tech snafu that caused her to lose the link.

So, I figured I would add it to my current blog (even though I'm terrible about updating) so I could find it easier.

A lot of women can ask their mom or grandma for a trusty pie recipe, however my grandma is not really known as a cook. She can get along all right in the kitchen, but she will be the first person to let you know she isn’t very good. Instead of asking my own grandma for her apple pie recipe (because she doesn’t have one) I looked to allrecipes.com for a yummy apple pie recipe. One of the first recipes I looked at was Grandma Ople’s apple pie. It looked easy enough and had delicious ingredients, so I decided to give it a try.
I followed the recipe very closely, only adding a little cinnamon, and using trader Joe’s frozen pie crust, even making the lattice top crust. The pie was amazing. I mean melt in your mouth, buttery perfection. I have never had an apple pie that delicious. The only bad thing was it wasn’t very pretty with the lumpy lattice top.
I made the pie again for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner party I was attending, and decided to use a full crust this time. It turned out even better this time around, and I got so many wonderfully sweet comments on how yummy it was! The other day, my friend Adrienne asked for apple pie recipes, and of course I had to offer her Grandma Ople’s recipe! I don’t know who Grandma Ople is, but I just want to hug and kiss her for creating this wonderful recipe! I am giving you the recipe with my own little additions and changes so you can try it for yourself!

Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie, a la Adrian
1 pkg Trader Joe’s frozen pie crust (includes 2)
6 large (8 small) Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tbls flour
1/4 water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, cinnamon, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, remove and let cool for a few minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, pour sugar and butter mixture over apples, saving just a little of the mix for the top crust. Toss to coat, then fill pie crust with apples, mounding slightly.
4. Cover with full crust and paint with leftover sugar mixture. Pinch both crusts together, making a pattern if you want all the way around the pie.
5. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.
Remove, let cool and enjoy!! Let me know if you use this pie recipe, I want to see if you make any adjustments and what you think!


Mid-December check in

Well, well.  It looks like I'm back for my mid-month single entry check-in. It's about time I update you on the goings on in my life.

On November 30th, I finished the first draft of my novel.Cue trumpets and fire off the cupcake cannons. I was so happy to type 'the end'! Since then, I have revised, edited, chopped out entire chapters, rewritten entire sections, and stressed.

Yes, stressed.

There is a whole nother world involved in the business aspect of publishing your novel. It's not just about finishing your story and making the decision to self-publish, like I thought. I have learned about cover designers, formatters, buying ISBN numbers, copyrights, professional editors, marketing your novel so people know about it, Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, CreateSpace, printing on demand, and more. I have asked question after question to my author friends, bugging them about everything. Thank God they seem to be happy to share with a newbie like me.

Serious thanks go out to them, the people who are sharing all of their hard-earned information with me. I would still be Googling and hoping Wikipedia had the answers I was looking for, and maybe not ever finding out what the right way to do things would be. Because experience trumps Google every time.
I've also changed the working title of my novel. Bliss was already highly represented on Amazon and Goodreads with titles in so many different genres.  My second option, Talan's Bliss, just didn't cut it for me. I decided to pull a line straight from the novel and go with A Taste of Bliss instead. So far, so good. It also gives me a name for the series I hope it starts, The Taste series.

I have been just as busy creating my author alter-ego brand. I designed a website. It's simple and doesn't have much info right now, but it's working if  you want to check it out. www.AdrianRHale.com I would absolutely love it if you would connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I could use some fans, and I think it would be awesome to share more of this process with people who have supported me from the beginning.

I have a cover photo shoot set up for next week to get the image I want to use for the cover. It's pretty exciting to see my vision coming together like this. I mean, a few months back, it was just a fantasy that someday I would write a story I thought was worthy of publishing. A vision board, a story idea, and a month of writing furiously later, and here I am, hoping I'll soon have a finished product.
Outside of my writing, I have just been working and holding down the fort. I spent last weekend in California, working at my old salon, seeing family and friends. I brought home a nasty little cold, but made it out of the Bay Area before #HellaStorm hit today. Have you seen that hashtag or the coverage of the crazy rain and winds that hit the Northern California area today? Crazy.

And now I must return to my editing and leave my blog alone for another month or so. Happy holidays, merry Christmas, happy New Year, and also, happy birthday to me in a few weeks. I'm not celebrating it this year (boo, hiss, mean dirty birthdays!) but it's worth a mention now.

See you in the new year, friends!

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