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family game night tin

Family Game Night


On family camping trips my parents always brought this old Jack Daniel’s tin that was filled with games that we would play after dinner while the sun set in the distance. Those camping trips are some of my strongest memories. So, when my sister got married I decided to make a game tin for them. Starting with a Jack Daniels tin that I found on Ebay and then filled with all of our favorite games. This has become one of our family traditions and something I hope to share with my own family someday.

SOOOO… then I thought “this would be a really great wedding or family Christmas gift”, so I put together this list so you can create your own game tin (memories not included).

I hope it gives your family as many cherished memories as it has mine. Enjoy!


#1 Jack Daniel’s Tin // #2 Dice // #3 Dice Roll Tray // #4 Bicycle Poker Cards // #5 Poker Chips // #6 Dominos // #7 UNO // #8 Banana Gram // #9 Yahtzee Score Cards

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basket of apples

Rustic Apple Pie


One of my favorite things about the holidays is baking. For Thanksgiving this year I decided to try something a little different with my apple pie.

I did a test run of this recipe last week and it was pretty amazing. I cobbled it together from 3 different recipes – crust – filling – topping.

But first let’s talk APPLES, I LOVE, love, love – mixing a tart variety with a sweet. This makes for an absolutely delicious dessert. Not too sweet. Not to tart. Just right.

Here is a list of my favorites:

Jonagold – sweet / crisp / slice thick
Braeburn – sweet / firm / slice thin
Honey Crisp – sweet / crisp / slice thick
Cameo – sweet / crisp / slice thick
McIntosh – tart / juicy / slice thick
Granny Smith – tart / firm / slice thin
Rome – tart / juicy / slice thick
Pink Lady – tart and sweet / slice med-thick

Available on Amazon: Apple Cutter (for medium and thick slices)  |  Apple Peeler (for thin slices)

Now let’s get this pie making party started. Please let me know how your Thanksgiving baking adventure turns out.

Rustic Cast Iron Apple Pie

Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12


  • 9-10 inch cast iron skillet


Apple Filling

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 4-5 Tart Apples peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 Sweet Apples peeled and sliced


  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar packed
  • ¼ cup Pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup Butter cubed and softed

Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups  all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp  Table salt
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter cubed, chilled
  • 6 tbsp  Water

Carmelize Crust

  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar packed


  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Pie Crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the cold butter and use a pastry cutter into the flour until combined and the size of peas. Drizzle 2 tbs. of ice cold water at a time and use a spatula to stir until the dough holds together. Divide and form into 2 balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thinkness. Make sure you have at least 1 inch of over hang.
  • Filling: Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place the apple slices in a large mixing bowl. Toss with the dry ingredients mixture to coat and set aside.
  • To Carmelize Crust: Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and place piecrust in skillet over brown sugar mixture. Spoon apple mixture over piecrust.
  • Topping: Mix flour, brown sugar and butter until crumbly. Add topping working from the outside inward.
  • Bake for 60-70 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly, shielding with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

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