Apple Tarte Tatin

I first made an apple tart tatin when I was a senior in highschool. I didn’t have time to work but I wanted to have some money to spend so my mom paid me to do all the grocery shopping and make dinner a few nights a week. It was a great way to me to relax and de-stress after school before starting homework and allowed me to hone my cooking skills and cultivate my creativity while making a little money on the side.Apple Tarte Tatin |Glitter It Gold

One of the things I was doing at this time was cooking my way through the Cooks Illustrated magazines. Cooks Illustrated is by far the best cooking magazine out there for people who want to learn how to cook, not just how to read recipes. Each one has a full article on the technique, ingredients, or methods used and why it is important so that that knowledge can be translated to other recipes. For example, in their recipe for Ground Beef Chili they explain that baking powder helps beef retain it’s moisture and brown better. Now that I know this I frequently add baking powder to beef and let it set for about 20 minutes before browning, even if the recipe doesn’t include this step.Apple Tarte Tatin |Glitter It Gold

Anyways, I found the recipe for apple tarte tatin in cooks illustrated, and it was fall so I made it for a Thanksgiving dinner with my then boyfriend (now husband’s) family. It was a total hit. Now we have our own apple tree that is producing a ton of fruit right now so I pulled out the recipe. But to be honest, I was feeling pretty lazy so I made up a different, much easier recipe. I used puff pastry instead of making a dough. I wouldn’t dare call it authentic but it is definitely tasty.Quick Apple Tarte Tatin | Glitter It Gold

Melt 4 TBS of butter on med-low in a 12″ cast iron skillet. Add 1/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 c granulated sugar and melt until dissolved completely. When it starts to bubble add the whiskey (or brandy would be good too), and cook stirring for about a minute. Add the chopped apples and vanilla. I like to leave them all different sizes so you get a variation in the texture of the apples. I also leave the skin on. Our apples have very tender skin, but if you prefer no skin then peel them, and if you prefer an even texture then make all your apple slices the same size. Sprinkle the apples with cinnamon, ginger, and lemon juice and bake for about 10 minutes. Once the apples are softened, gently press them down with a spatula to flatten slightly. Place your trimmed puff pastry on top, tucking it down into the sides with a spatula. Cut a few slits on top to release steam and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the top is golden. Cool it for 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate. You could make some pastry flowers, or use cookie cutters to make some pretty shapes for decorating. Just bake them separately and set on top after you have inverted the tart. Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or as I did with Mascarpone Sorbet.Apple Tarte Tatin |Glitter It Gold

Apple Tarte Tatin |Glitter It Gold
Apple Tarte Tatin
Print Recipe
A gooey, caramely, sweet apple dessert that comes together in just 35 minutes. A quicker, easier version of the traditional French dessert using a puff pastry sheet instead of a pie crust.
Servings Prep Time
1 tart 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 tart 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Apple Tarte Tatin |Glitter It Gold
Apple Tarte Tatin
Print Recipe
A gooey, caramely, sweet apple dessert that comes together in just 35 minutes. A quicker, easier version of the traditional French dessert using a puff pastry sheet instead of a pie crust.
Servings Prep Time
1 tart 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 tart 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings: tart
  1. Pre-Heat oven to 400F
  2. In a 12" cast iron skillet melt the butter over med low heat. Add the sugars and stir to dissolve.
  3. Let the mixture bubble for about 1 minute then add the whiskey and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and stir.
  5. Arrange the apples in the pan with the cut sides down, layering a bit.Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and ginger.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes until the apples begin to soften. While the apples bake, trim your puff pastry into a circle to fit your skillet. You can use the excess to make pretty shapes for decorations, but bake them separately.
  7. Use a spatula to gently press down the apples to even the top. Carefully place the puff pastry over the apples and tuck the sides down into the pan with a spatula. Cut a few slits in the top for steam to escape.
  8. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
  9. Let cool for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Serve warm with Mascarpone Sorbet or with ice cream, whipped cream.
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Transforming Leftovers- Stuffed Poblano Peppers

I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. It’s a time to spend with family and extended family and friends to tell them how much you appreciate them. And in my family the food is also very (!!!) important- so much so that we actually split the day into two parts. The first part is Vietnamese style. My grandma makes Pho and egg rolls and we have that as brunch. Then for dinner we have a more traditional meal with ham and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Talk about a food coma. But man is it delicious. And the soup is light and low fat so, it’s not that bad, right? Whatever. I don’t really care. It only happens once  a year and it’s just too good to care.

Anyways. With all that food there are always a ton of leftovers. And don’t get me wrong, I love leftovers. But there are only so many times I can eat the exact same meal before I get tired of it. There are so many ways to transform your Thanksgiving leftovers- potato pancakes, turkey sandwiches with cranberry and cream cheese, green bean casserole soup…… But I came up with a new leftover mash up that is probably one of my favorites yet: poblano peppers stuffed with leftover mashed potatoes, turkey and corn and smothered in enchilada sauce and cheese. It’s so good. I’ll probably make it throughout the year with chicken instead of turkey. Yum.Stuffed Poblano Peppers | Glitter It Gold

Remove the seeds and stem of the poblano peppers and cut them in half.  Place the cut side down in a baking dish, drizzle with oil and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes until the skin starts to bubble. Then stuff them with leftover mashed potatoes, diced turkey, and frozen corn. Drizzle with enchilada sauce and cover with a handful of shredded pepper jack cheese and bake till bubbly and golden.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | Glitter It Gold

What is your favorite way to eat Thanksgiving leftovers?

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1.5 c of leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 c frozen sweet corn
  • 1.5 c diced turkey (or chicken)
  • 1 10 oz can of green enchilada sauce
  • 1 c shredded pepper jack cheese


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400f
  2. Remove the seeds and stem of the poblano peppers and cut them in half
  3. Place the cut side down in a baking dish, drizzle with oil and bake for about 10 minutes until the skin starts to bubble. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute. Reduce temperature to 350
  4. While poblanos cool mix the turkey, mashed potatoes and corn together in a bowl.
  5. Spoon the potato mixture evenly into the pepper halves. Drizzle enchilada sauce over the peppers, pour any extra into the bottom of the baking dish.
  6. Top with shredded pepper jack cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese starts to bubble and brown.

How To Rock The Holiday Season On A Budget- Volume 1

November and December are two of my favorite months of the year as they each have one of my two favorite holidays- Thanksgiving and Christmas. The decorations, the food, the parties, dressing up, decorating the tree, baking, the smells, the colors, I love ALL of it. But, let’s face it, the holidays can be pretty hard on us financially. All the things we love about the holidays can add up to a pretty hefty bill by the end of the year, and there is nothing worse to dampen the holiday spirit than to be worried about how to pay for it all. That’s why I have put together this special series on how to get through the holidays without breaking the bank.

First let’s talk about decorations. If you are anything like me you imagine that the Pottery Barn catalog should just come to life in my living room and every single thing in the house would be themed for whatever holiday you are currently celebrating. However beautiful that would be, it is also extremely unrealistic unless you have $10,000 to spend on holiday decorations this year. My budget, for Thanksgiving and Christmas combined is about $300. Here are some tips and ideas I will be using this Holiday season to decorate our house along with photos of how it came out.

  1. Utilize items found in your own backyard (or outdoors in general)
    1. Frame Pressed Leaves
    2. Make a vase with twigs and an empty can or jar
    3. Collect fallen pine cones and make a guilded pine cone garland, this would also work with leaves and you could easily just use glitter or paint instead of gold leaf.
    4. Add fall or Christmas themed items to a large vase, lantern, or hurricane bowl such as mini pumpkins, pine cones, leaves, twigs, cinnamon sticks, etc around a candle.
  2. Get to couponing
    1. Download the Michael’s app for daily and weekly coupons such as 40% off any one regular priced item. Sign up for their mailing list and get a coupon for 20% off your entire purchase including already discounted items.
    2. Go to and buy a Michael’s gift card at a discount (Some are up to 20% off). Once it comes in the mail, print our your coupons and you have some major savings. I was able to add a lot of extra detail to my wedding using this method. For example, I bought a $200 gift card for $160. I then used the 20% entire purchase including sale items. This made my $160 go a very long way towards decorations.
  3. Things will go on sale after the holiday is over, so even though it won’t help you this season, it will be a huge help for next year- especially if you use the methods above for extra savings.
  4. Buy items that can be used for multiple seasons. For example I chose mixed metallics as my color theme for decorating because items such as vases, deer statues, the guilded pine cones above, charger plates and platters, and candle holders can easily be used for both fall and Christmas decor. Some of those silver items can even be used for Easter in the spring. A change of ribbon from burnt orange to red is all that is needed to take your wreath from fall to winter.
  5. Think of ways to creatively use everyday items you already own.
    1. Use your cake stand and some candles to create this center piece
    2. Place pine cones and leaves in an upside down wine glass and put a candle on top, swap the leaves for ornaments for Christmas
    3. Wrap a ribbon and tie a bow around your vase to transform it.
    4. Make a garland out of paper snowflakes, cover them in white glitter to really make a statement.
  6. Lay out all the things you already have first, see where you can fill in with small make shift items like I’ve mentioned above and try to save your money to use on bigger attention grabbing statement pieces like a Christmas tree or lights, a large wreath, or a Santa Claus.

We hosted the annual Friendsgiving dinner this year and I really wanted to make our place look festive and nice for when everyone came over. This is easier said than done though when you have a budget of $100 and you don’t even have all the furniture you want in the house yet. But I made it work, and not only did it turn out awesome, but I can also use several of the items for Christmas too like the deer pillows and the fur pillow, the pinecones and deer antler, and the ivy can be placed in a different pot. The fall “flowers” that I got were all dried so if I am gentle with them and store them right I may be able to use them again next year. I went ahead and bought real instead of fake because I hated how fake the fake ones looked. Duh, right? I just got a bundle of wheat, a bundle of cattails, and a bundle of oak leaves and made my own arrangement. The centerpiece is a wooden box, a candle, and cuttings from my olive tree, plum and some flowering bush in the backyard- that’s utilizing what you already have and bringing the outdoors in (along with a little spider that tried to join us for dessert, oops). Check out my decorating skills on a budget below. Full list of purchased items: 2 deer pillows, 1 fur pillow, fall flowers, a pumpkin, an acorn squash, silver deer antlers, 1 bronze colored fake pumpkin, and 10 silver charger plates. Total on decorations (excluding the edible items). $112.67. A little over budget but I am totally okay with that because the pillows, the antler, and the charger plates can be used for Christmas too. IMG_7830

IMG_7827 IMG_7828 IMG_7829IMG_7826 Fall Flowers

If you have any ideas or tips you have tried comment below so I can share with others.