THE MOUNTAINS ARE A SANCTUARY, as we quickly learned after spending the weekend in Big Bear just outside LA earlier this year.

Claire Thomas, LA creative and the voice behind The Kitchy Kitchen, would readily agree, as she was our consummate host in her beautifully re-designed A-frame, The Kitchy Cabin.

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We can’t get enough of her gorgeous aesthetic, and wanted more behind-the-scenes of her lifestyle while away, so—lucky for us—she’s sharing how she starts her day off right...

My alarm is set for: Off. At the cabin I try to let the morning light wake me up…so about 7:30/8:00.

I can’t start my morning without: A big pot of coffee.

Breakfast is normally: Pancakes. Being on the mountain demands cinnamon crumb pancakes from Teddy Bear’s Cafe.

Favorite morning beverage is: Coffee with plenty of cream.

Daily uniform this spring: My sister got me cashmere sweatpants, which are just so cozy. If I’m going outside I throw on my Aether Madison Jacket for some structure.

My favorite moment in the morning is: Waking up James, my two-year-old son. He’s taken to sleeping in, so I quietly walk into his room, open his drapes, and give him a little back scratch to wake him up. His hair is always a mess and so cute.

On the best mornings I: Try to read for 20 minutes. If I try to read at night I’ll fall asleep immediately, so morning is my chance to fit it in.

I start working by: Cringing as I hit the refresh on my Gmail.

Morning are normally filled with: Emails. So many emails.

I get my creative juices flowing by: Reading and when I can swing it, travel. I love learning, whether it’s through books, people, or experiencing new things.

Healthiest daily habit: Definitely reading.

I’m most obsessed with, currently: Medieval history, art nouveau interior design, and cozy cozy sweaters.

I’m usually listening to: Silence. Life is so noisy, I try to maintain quiet throughout the day.

My favorite morning distraction: Astrology twitter.

Always thinking about lunch at: Breakfast.

My current mantra: Do less.

The recipe I’m making: A new pie shop opened in Big Bear and I’m obsessed! It’s called Pickle’s Pies and so darling. I love making homemade apple pie, and one of my favorite recipes is below.

Claire’s Favorite Apple Pie
Makes 1 pie


For the double pie crust:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
3 Tbsp granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp kosher salt
2 sticks (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

For the apple filling:
6 tart apples (Pink Ladies, ideally), peeled, cored and sliced 3/8-inch thick (about 8 cups)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves

For the egg wash:
1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 large egg
vanilla ice cream, for serving


For the double pie crust: In a food processor or quickly using your fingertips, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter until the chunks of butter are broken down to the size of peas and the flour feels like wet sand. Add the first 1/4 cup of water and mix until the dough comes together easily. It’s too dry if it immediately clumps apart. Add 2 more tablespoons of water at a time; you can always add more water but not more flour, so careful not to add too much!

Gather the dough into two balls and plop them on top of 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Loosely wrap up each ball and press down, smooshing the ball into a disc about an inch thick.

Pop them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes while you busy yourself with the other stuff.

For the apple filling: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the apples, sugars, flour, cream, lemon, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and cloves in a bowl until everything is lightly coated.

Let the dough sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough as well as the surface you’re rolling on. Roll out each disc to a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, like a spool, and place onto a 9-inch pie dish, lining up with the center of the pan. Gently unroll and press down to line the pie dish with the dough. Fill with the apple slices, mounding a bit in the middle, and cover with the other layer of dough. Cut off the excess dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the dish. Pinch the edges to flute together (or press with a fork if that’s easier) and cut three small vents into the pie.

For the egg wash: Whisk together the cream and egg in a small bowl. Brush over the top of the pie. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake on the center rack until golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. (If the edges brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.)

Let the apple pie cool until it’s just warm before cutting. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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