Comfort food (for kids too!):: Apple Sauce

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Apple sauce is one of those wonderful fall foods that is so simple, you can truly make it yourself. It’s a recipe that kids can also help with. Give them a masher and have them go to town mashing the sauce that they can enjoy for a snack for the next two or so weeks. It’s a great family activity for fall!

Traditional Homemade Apple Sauce
You will need:
– 3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples
– 4 strips of lemon peel – use a vegetable peeler to strip 4 lengths
– Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp
– 3 inches of cinnamon stick
– 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
– Up to 1/4 cup of white sugar
– 1 cup of water
– 1/2 teaspoon of salt


To prepare:

Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels.

Mash with a potato masher.  Place in the fridge. It should last for 2 weeks in the fridge.

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From the Archives:: French Apple Tart

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As you know, sometimes I take a deep dive into my archives and find the best recipes lingering there. This is one of them. It’s my classic french apple tart recipe, and I think you’ll love it. Nothing beats an apple dessert!

Classic French Apple Tart

For the crust, you will need:
– 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 6 tablespoons chilled butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
– 1/2 cup ice water
– pinch of salt

To prepare the crust:
In a mixer, combine flour, sugar, salt and butter. Mix on medium speed until the mixture resembles crumbs. Slowly add ice water until the mixture holds together. The dough should still feel soft, not tight. Wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge until you are ready to use.

For the filling, you will need:
– 4-5 peeled and evenly sliced apples, 1/4 inch thickness works well
– 3 tablespoons sugar or less depending on the sweetness of the apple you use
– 2 tablespoons butter cut into 1/2 pieces

To prepare:
Roll the tart dough on a floured surface, into an irregular shaped disk.
Fold the dough over the rolling pin, in half, and place the dough into a tart pan, quickly unrolling the disk into the pan. pat the dough into the pan gently. You will have an overhang on the edges of the pan. Using your rolling pin, roll over the edges in one motion. This action will cut the edges clean, and you are ready to add your apple slices.

In a pinwheel pattern, start on the outside of the tart and start adding apples in a circular pattern until you end up in the middle of the pan. You should have a pretty pattern, sprinkle sugar on top of the apples, and dot with the butter all over the top of the apples.

Place tart in a 375-degree oven and bake for 1 hour, checking regularly.
Remove from the oven, let cool and remove from the tart pan.

xx Annette

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Dispatch from Milan:: Villa Necchi Campiglio

I am Love Villa Necchi Campiglio Villa Necchi Campiglio If you have not seen Luca Guadagnino’s movie I am Love, you need to immediately…and not just because it is set in the place I call home in Italy, in Milan, and on the Riviera. It’s one of the most beautifully shot and styled movies of the 21st century.

One of the major stars of the movie is Villa Necchi Campiglio, a beautifully appointed Art Deco masterpiece that warrants it’s star status. Of course the brightest star in the movie is Tilda Swinton who plays Emma, a mother of three and wife of the wealthy Milanese industrialist.

Much like the real life of the original Milanese industrialist family that lived there, the movie mirrors their life; a life full of drama and trials and tribulations.

Villa Necchi Campiglio is in the city center of Milan. Although it’s in a residential neighborhood, it looks like it’s in the outskirts in the suburbs.

I had the great pleasure of touring the home, Villa Necchi Campigilo; it is an exquisite representation of Art Deco architecture. The doors opened to the public after a full renovation in 2008. The property was bequeathed to Italy’s national trust (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano) following the death of the heirless Gigina Necchi Campiglio in 2001. Interestingly, I overheard one of the guides telling someone that the family had long run out of money; the last heir was in her 90’s when she died, and the house was in disrepair. It’s so wonderful that the Italian trust so lovingly renovated it to it’s current glory.

It was designed by Milanese Architect Piero Portaluppi during the 1930s. In addition to designing this home, he worked on some of his most important projects in Milan including Villa Campiglio (1932-1935). Villa Necchi Campiglio was designed in 1932 for Angelo Campiglio, his wife Gigina Necchi and her sister Nedda. The Necchis were an industrialist family who manufactured sewing machines. If you look carefully ,you can see many details that are a subtle nod to that fact. Delicate roping on the ceilings and scallops as well. The house is an elegant backdrop to the beautiful family collections housed all around.

Villa Necchi Campiglio

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Villa Necchi Campiglio

One of my favorite places was on the second floor: the bathrooms and the dressing rooms were modern, functional, and so elegant. I also loved the dining room which you see many times in the movie; it’s warm and stunning with sharkskin walls and an enormous dining table. On the ceiling there is a relief of astrological signs. Villa Necchi Campiglio

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Villa Necchi Campiglio

I highly suggest you take the tour next time you’re visiting MIlan. It’s a morning or afternoon well spent. This house is one of the most elegant and pleasingly modern spaces I have visited. I loved every scrumptious morsel of it.

xx, Annette

Photos: me

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