It's Rustic

A family that cooks together, stays together.  This private group was such a treat!  They chose my "Comforts Best" menu from last fall: Autumn Sangria, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Dunks, and Deep Dish Salted Caramel Apple Pie.  And the best part?  The ladies were able to sit back and relax while the men helped in the kitchen!

First things first -- Sangria was in order!  I shared my favorite fruit and mix-ins for a super smooth Sangria.  Serve over ice and enjoy!

The featured appetizer was a Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  But...I had a little surprise! Baking this dip in a carved out pretzel roll puts it over the top.

Next up to bat...the Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Dunks.  I shared my secrets for the perfect homemade chicken broth as well as my love for Gruyere cheese.  The French know what they are doing!

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Then for a little "TV magic" -- the Deep Dish Salted Caramel Apple Pie.  It was important to me to teach my students a simple, homemade pie crust.  I like to use a food processor with this recipe but you can easily do it by hand with a pastry blender and metal bowl.  The men stepped up once again and learned to roll the perfect homemade pie crust.  They did FABULOUS!  Is there really anything better than a man rolling a pie crust?  I think not...

I prefer Gingergold and Granny Smith Apples in this pie.  You could whip up your own caramel sauce from scratch but it burns so easily.  Why not give yourself a break and start with pre-made caramels?  You guys.  This pie is so divine!

And a special birthday to Ethan!  Thank you for celebrating your birthday with Crème de la Crème.  It was a pleasure having your family in my kitchen.  I can't wait to see pictures of your apple pies!  Cheers! XOXO Paula