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The air is crisp this time of year. You can’t help but curl up under a blanket with a hot drink and a candle flickering on the side table. Coziness can be experienced through wool socks and a lit fireplace, but in order for your entire body to relax into the idleness of Fall, your environment must stimulate all five senses: taste, sight, smell, sound, and touch.

Of all the senses, our favorite is taste. Not just because we love food, but because it is such an important part of our work. As builders, we are often asked to remodel kitchens. The kitchen is a vital part of the home, and the way it is laid out, designed, and stocked reflects the personal style and taste of the owner. You enter a kitchen with a mix of ingredients and emerge with a full meal, ready to share.

We enjoy designing homes. We know it can be overwhelming trying to incorporate all of the things you love into your space. There are so many options and choices, and coordinating it all to make sense can sometimes be daunting. Everyone possesses their own taste in design, they just need help tapping into it.

When refining your personal taste, consider the following:

  • Taste is learned. It is perfected through experience and exposure. When designing a space with us, you will be taken on field trips to view and discuss patterns, textures, and colors with our interior design team.

  • Look to your closet for inspiration. What you wear says a lot about what your taste is, and that can easily be translated into the design of your home.

  • You do not need to conform to mainstream trends! Your home should reflect your personality and taste. When you feel at home in your own space, your guests will also feel at home there.

Kirsty's Apple Pie

Ingredients: Crust 2 1/2 C. Unbleached, all-purpose flour 1 tsp. Table salt 2 Tbsp. Sugar 12 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4-inch slices 1/2 C. Butter-flavored Crisco vegetable shortening, cold and cut into pieces 1/4 C. Vodka, cold 1/4 C. Water, cold

Filling 10 C. Fuji apples, peeled and sliced 1/2 C. Flour 1/2 C. Sugar 1/2 tsp. Salt 1 tsp. Cinnamon Pinch of Nutmeg 1/2 tsp. Allspice 1 Tbsp. Artisan style cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice 1 Tbsp. Apple liqueur 1 to 2 Tbsp. Butter, cubed 1 Egg white 2 Tbsp. Water


To make the crust, process 1 1/2 C. flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening, and process until homogeneous dough starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape the bowl and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup of flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into a medium bowl. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until it is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide into two even balls and flatten into 4-inch disks. Wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes, up to 2 days.

For the pie filling, slice apples into 1/2 inch slices. In a large mixing bowl, put all the filling ingredients together except for the butter, egg white, and water. Mix until the apples are covered. Pour into unbaked pie crust, mounding high and dot with butter. Roll out second crust and place over filling. Crimp the edges with a fork. Cut vent holes in the top crust. Combine egg white and water, and paint over pie. Sprinkle extra sugar evenly over pie. Preheat oven to 425º and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375º and bake for 40 more minutes. Allow to for 1 hour before serving.

Mountaineer, golfer, hunter, snowmobiler, ski instructor, volunteer firefighter, and member of multiple community boards. This impressive résumé belongs to Wren & Willow's very own Tom Motland. Tom is our Project Development manager with over 30 years of construction experience. Tom has a wealth of knowledge and is always willing to share it with our team. However, if he's delayed in responding to your email, it is probably because he is on vacation.

Tom and his wife, Donna, enjoying some of their vacations.

To learn more about Tom, click here.

Settle into the spirit of Fall with this month's taste inspired giveaway. Indulge in the flavors of pumpkin, maple, pecan, mulled spices, apple, and more while you are snuggled up in a beautiful throw. Your tastebuds will thank you.

This giveaway has now ended. Subscribe to our newsletter to be updated on future giveaways.

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