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Mini Apple Pies

Apple Pie

I’m always on the hunt for easy little desserts to please those at my table.  Recently, my Dad had a big birthday and I wanted to find something  I knew he would love.  My Dad loves pies and cobblers and so when I came across these tasty morsels, I knew they’d be a hit!  And…they were!

A word of caution, try to keep the sugar you sprinkle on the little pies…I may or may not have set off my smoke alarm by allowing myself to haphazardly sprinkle sugar all over my baking sheet causing it to burn.  Just sayin’…

Ingredients:

1 refrigerated pie crust

2 medium Granny Smith apples

2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 tbsp butter cut into 8 pieces

1 egg lightly beaten

1-2 tbsp granulated sugar

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425

2. Set refrigerated pie crust out for 10 minutes letting is warm to room temperature.

3.  Peel, core, and dice the apples into small chunks.

4.  Place apples in a bowl and toss with lemon juice.

5.  Mix in brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

6.  Roll the pastry dough into a 16 x 8 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface.

7.  Cut the dough into eight 4-inch squares.

8.  Spoon 2 scant tablesppos of the apple mixture onto the center of each square of dough.

9.  Top the filling of each pie with a piece of butter.

10.  Brush the edges of the dough some of the beaten egg.

11.  Fold the corners of the dough to the middle to make a little pocket, covering the dough, pinch the seams to close.

12.  Place the filled pockets on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.

13.  Brush the tops of the pies with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.

14.  Bake until lightly browned, 10 – 12 minutes.

15.  Cool the pies on the baking sheet for 2 minutes.

16.  Serve warm with a scoop of your favorite ice cream! I used vanilla.

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Speakeasy: Green Russell – Denver, Colorado

The Green Russell.  I linked the name to the restaurant’s website – but WAIT!  Dont bother. You won’t be able to see a menu or much else; just a link to reservations via Opentable.  The menu does not exist online.  How mysterious…or not.

We’ve been trying to “get in” to this place for a couple months now.  Never mind that we live in Denver and the whole concept of “getting in” in this town is ridiculous.   Not long ago, faux speakeasys started popping up as the cool “new thing”.    In case you didn’t know, speakeasy, as defined by wikipedia is: an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the United States during the period known as Prohibition (1920–1933, longer in some states). During this time, the sale, manufacture, and transportation (bootlegging) of alcoholic beverages was illegal throughout the United States.

Green Russell’s rules/mottos (as also printed in the menu that eludes you):

My review of Green Russell is set forth in a “the hype” vs. “the reality” below:

The Hype:

- a secret entrance via a pie shop

- great food

- interesting drinks

- exclusivity

- a speakeasy environment (dress of staff, secrecy, etc)

The Reality

- Prohibition is over, folks.  No need for the secrecy.  You can own a bar.
Hiding your bar (or in this case, pretending to hide your bar, isn’t really that cool)

- We had multiple servers which was weird.

- The servers were dressed in period clothes – kinda cool

- the bar was unique in decor – that was nice and different

-  the caramel apple pie was cold – what!?!?  This was not a circumstance where a pie should be served cold.

- In order to keep the volume down (secret speakeasy and all), the bartenders crushed ice, in an insulated bag, against the wall, with a mallet.  Okaaay.

- The location was not secret; not even close.  Anytime, you display a blinking light with a giant arrow pointing at a door, you’ve lost your “secrecy”

- the menu only contained apps.  They were okay, but we were hoping to have dinner options (especially because they tout themselves – via their website – as a restaurant). I would say it is more of a bar with bar food.  We had crab cakes, bread and cheese, and duck sliders.

- it was ridiculously expensive for what it was.  Anytime you have apps and couple of cocktails, your bill should not be over $100 (again, this is Denver).

- the tables were on top of each other, at least where we were sitting.

- the cocktails were good. They were also unique.  Essentially, you could choose between standard wine and beer.  Then, specialty cocktails were offered - unique creations as well as an extensive scotch list.  I had a “good and good for you” martini. It contained ginger beer, honey, mint, and auchentoshan three wood scotch.  Not too shabby.

- bottom line? Save your money.  I’d like to try Williams & Graham – the “other” speakeasy.  Maybe I’ll change my tune on this new concept.

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