The streusel topping is inspired by my son Andy’s favorite dessert—Apple Crisp. And to be honest, I always buy pre-made crusts, but if you’re a pastry chef, just use whatever pie crust recipe you like. Need a shortcut?—buy a package of Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie mix and cut in a stick of softened butter or margarine to make the topping. To make this more festive, feel free to add half a cup or so of dried cherries or cranberries in with the sliced apples. To make it more decadent, top it with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle over some warmed up caramel or butterscotch topping.
For topping: 1 cup oatmeal (quick oatmeal works just as well as old-fashioned)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 stick softened butter or margarine
Mix together dry ingredients and cut in stick of butter until you have crumbly mix.
Pie shell—one unbaked pie shell.
3 cups peeled and sliced tart apples.
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. lemon juice
Toss sliced apples with lemon juice to prevent discoloring, then mix apples with dry ingredients. Place filling in unbaked pie shell, top with streusel topping, patting down lightly to get topping to stick to apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until topping is browned.
RENT ONE OF MKA’s COTTAGES
The Breeze Inn
Did you know that MKA’s own beach cottages—that she has lovingly restored with her own hands and decorated with her own junking treasures—are available for rent?! You and yours can chillax in beautiful beach cottage comfort in the very spot where MKA pens her bestselling novels. Smaller group? Choose The Breeze Inn which MKA took from ramshackle to the pages of BH&G in a year’s time back in 2009. For larger groups, check out MKA’s new treasure, Ebbtide, which she fixed up in her own signature style. Call Diane at Mermaid Cottages and book yourself in for the full MKA experience! If MKA’s places are not available, Diane has 50 one-of-a-kind cottages sprinkled around the island, all just a short ride on a beach cruiser away from each other. Get yourself on “Tybee time” and discover the magic of slowing down.
While much of the rest of the country has been under one kind of winter storm watch or another recently, I’ve been down in Florida soaking up the sunshine. Do I feel guilty? Not much. I was holed up in a tiny rented cottage in Cedar Key, pounding away at my new book, BEACH TOWN, which releases May 19th!
If you’re in the Atlanta area over the holidays, I do have two signing events (details here) lined up for my Christmas novel, CHRISTMAS BLISS. I love to give signed books for gifts, don’t you? Calorie-free, easy to wrap—and always just the right size.
Because I seem to have some strange need for chaos, back in June, the week before I left on the massive SAVE THE DATE book tour, we decided to buy a new house and sell our old one. We stayed in our same, beloved Atlanta in-town neighborhood, moving only a few blocks to a restored 1926 cottage, but it was insane, nonetheless.
Yikes! Christmas is looming large on the calendar, but even larger is my deadline. That said, I’m trying to keep calm and keep typing. I did take the time to test a new recipe for you—an apple streusel pie that uses Boomerang Boy’s favorite apple crisp topping in a pie crust. Yum!
In between pounding out chapters, I’ve haunted estate sales, junk shops and Craigslist, in search of the perfect finishing touches for our new home. I’ve already furnished our big covered back porch with Restoration Hardware sofas and chairs scored at an estate sale, a coffee table made from a cut-down farm table from another sale, and my fave piece, a distressed wood console hand-crafted and painted for me by the amazingly talented Mr. MKA from plans we found on Pinterest! Love me some Pinterest, don’t you? Did you know you can follow me there? Yup, and on Instagram too.
Spring is already lining up to be just as busy as fall. You can check my personal appearance schedule on my website here. I’m thrilled to tell you that the paperback of SAVE THE DATE will be out May 5th. And here’s another nice surprise—St. Martin’s Press is publishing SUMMER RENTAL in mass market paperback, for the first time, also on May 5th.
Just because I’m feeling especially thankful this year to have friends and family close by during the holiday, we are putting together a fun group giveaway of Christmas books by some of my favorite authors we are calling “A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS.” The winner of the drawing will also receive an extra prezzie—each author is including one of her personal favorite gifts to give. My gift is one of my beloved Red Currant aromatherapy candles. I love to burn these for inspiration while I’m writing. Stay tuned to my Facebook page for details.
Speaking of writing, I’m going back to that . . . right now!
Wishing you all my best,
Do you have a book club? If your club is reading one of my books, I would love to call in and join your discussion. You never know, I may even be able to drop by in person if it works out right. E-mail us with your request and we’ll see what we can do! Be sure to include a snail mail address and info about the size of your club.