Last Updated on September 27, 2016

Throughout recent history, the apple has been the core (no pun intended) of some of the most popular quotes in the English language. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and “You are the apple of my eye” are examples that come to mind. September welcomes fall weather and apple picking season, and to celebrate the beloved fruit – we have found five mouthwatering desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth and fill your kitchen with the comforting aroma of fall.

Cinnamon Apple Cake (Makes 12 Servings)

cinnamon apple cake


  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups chopped Rome apples (about 2 large)
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes.) Add eggs (one at a time), beating well after each addition. Then set aside.
  3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Combine 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon mixture and apple in a bowl; stir apple mixture into batter. Pour batter into an 8-inch spring form pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (or until cake pulls away from the sides of the pan). Cool cake completely on a wire rack and cut using a serrated knife.

Note: You can also make this cake in a 9-inch square cake pan or a 9-inch spring form pan. Just reduce the baking time by 5 minutes.

(Recipe courtesy of MyRecipes:

Maple-Walnut Apple Crisp (Makes 9 Servings)

maple-walnut apple crisp


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup regular oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 7 cups sliced, peeled Rome apples (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and then level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, oats and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly. Stir in walnuts.
  3. Combine apple and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. Spoon apple mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish or 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

(Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light:

Apple Bread Pudding (Makes 8-10 Servings)

apple bread pudding


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large apples, such as Honeycrisp (about 1 1/2 lb.), peeled and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (16-oz.) cinnamon-raisin bread loaf, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • Apple Brandy Crème Anglaise
  • Sautéed apples


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and cook (stirring occasionally) 8 to 10 minutes or until softened and lightly browned.
  2. Whisk together cream and the next 4 ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in bread cubes. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cooked apples.
  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar into a buttered 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish. Add bread and apple mixture to dish and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until light golden and center is set. (Bread pudding will puff to top of dish and pull away slightly from sides as it bakes.) Cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm with Apple Brandy Crème Anglaise and sautéed apples.

(Recipe courtesy of Southern Living:

Apple-Oat Cookies (Makes 24 Cookies)

apple-oat cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Fuji or Gala apple, coarsely grated
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and allspice in a medium bowl. Combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and eggs in a separate bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in the grated apple and vanilla, and then stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
  2. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets at about 1 inch apart. Bake until just set around the edges for 10-12 minutes (and switch the baking sheets halfway through). Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  3. Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and milk in a bowl. Drizzle the glaze onto the cookies.

Apple Muffins (Makes 12 Servings)

apple muffins


  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup natural applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple – peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-capacity standard muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the pecans, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the cinnamon.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt.
    In a large bowl, whisk the remaining ¾ cup sugar and the oil until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.
  4. Whisk in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.

(Recipe courtesy of Food Network:

We hope these recipes have given you some culinary inspiration to try out in your home! For more information on Granite Transformations, or to schedule a free in-home consultation, please visit us at

Last Updated on September 20, 2016

September marks a turning point in the year. The summer comes to an end, the kids go back to school, and we start to feel a chill in the air. This is the perfect time to start thinking about transforming your home with touches of the season. Whether you’re a “fall fanatic” or you prefer a more understated look, we’ve found some easy and fun fall decorating ideas that will add a cozy and welcoming touch to your home.

Since the kitchen is considered the “heart of the home,” we decided to feature this room as the perfect place to start. Here are six decorating ideas that will serve as festive reminders of what’s to come:

1) Tabletop Pumpkin Topiary

Tabletop Pumpkin Topiary
(Image courtesy of:

This elegant pumpkin topiary adds a surprising pop of fall as it features white pumpkins, artichoke hearts and fresh herbs. Even more surprising is how easy it is to make. Using three graduated sized bowls, you can unleash your creativity by filling them with any combination of fall foliage, pumpkins or gourds.

2) Pumpkin Servers

Pumpkin Servers
(Image courtesy of:

You’ll be the talk of the town with this clever serving idea. Simply remove the stems from attractively-shaped pumpkins and place serving plates on top to create a unique and fun buffet setting.

3) Simple Table Settings

Fall Table Setting

Setting a beautiful fall table has never been easier. Simply gather your favorite fall foliage to design a centerpiece that you can truly call your own. Add a pop of color to the place settings by using a fall-colored napkin. And, also add some silk leaves and acorns to this look. Your guests will love the simple elegance and the extra effort you took to make them feel special.

4) All Decked Out

Fall decorated kitchen

For fall fanatics, this festive display is a great example of how to showcase your true colors. This kitchen boasts autumn in all its splendor – with a decked-out hutch, a foliage-draped ceiling fixture, a beautiful table scape, and even mini pumpkins adorning simple white china. A fall wreath on the door rounds out the look to bring the room together. Choose one or all of the fall decorating ideas in this kitchen to transform the space into cozy, autumn retreat.

5) Countertop Complements

Fall countertop complement
(Image courtesy of

This festive countertop display is an easy way to show your fall spirit and add a hint of the season to your kitchen. Simply dress up a three-tiered stand with all of your fall favorites to create a look that will last all season long.

6) Top it Off

Top of Cabinet Fall Decor

Decorating the top of your cabinets is a great way to add another layer of fun and whimsy to your kitchen. Here, a beautifully weaved basket is filled with seasonal pumpkins and gourds, and is decorated with cascading touches of greenery to create a charming fall display. Adding a fun plaque is an easy way to welcome the season and give you and your guests something to look up to.

We hope you enjoyed these fall decorating ideas to get your kitchen ready for the season. For more information on Granite Transformations, or to schedule a free in-home consultation, please visit us at

Last Updated on August 13, 2021

The “L-shaped” kitchen layout remains a popular design choice for homeowners who are looking to maximize their small-to-medium-sized kitchen space while keeping an open concept. If you have a busy lifestyle or you love to entertain, the L-shaped design is the perfect choice, as it keeps you and your guests in the same space and you don’t miss any of the action.

This month, Granite and TREND Transformations explores the benefits of an L-shaped kitchen and offers insight to help you decide if this popular design is the right fit for your home and lifestyle.

Open Kitchen concept with island and wood floors

Lifestyle benefits of an L-shaped kitchen

It’s hard to imagine that the layout of your kitchen could have such a positive impact on your lifestyle. Believe it or not, L-shaped kitchens can take your space from “stuffy” to “spacious.” This particular layout…

  • Opens up the space to allow traffic to flow from the kitchen to other rooms in your home
  • Creates a more efficient cooking environment
  • Gives the kitchen an inviting and casual feel because of the spaciousness
  • Makes entertaining and family gatherings more enjoyable as everyone is able to be in the same space

work triangle kitchen with brown countertops and white cabinets

Benefits of the “work triangle”

You may have heard of the “work triangle.” This sought-after design relates to in-kitchen spacing and the relationship between the refrigerator, stove, and sink (hence, the “triangle”) These key elements make up the core of the work triangle, and their specific placement within the kitchen creates an efficient, functional space that is perfect for cooking, cleaning, gathering, and conversing. The L-shaped kitchen continues to be a favorite among cooking aficionados and those who love to mix and mingle with their guests.

Kitchen Island with l-shaped kitchen concept

The layout of an L-shaped kitchen

Although most kitchen layouts incorporate some variation of the L-shaped design, the classic footprint includes the use of one or two adjacent walls. Incorporating a kitchen island is a popular trend when designing an L-shaped kitchen. Kitchen islands not only offer additional counter and storage space, but it is a great gathering and entertaining area for family and guests.

What is the best way to design an L-shaped kitchen?

The answer depends on your preference and lifestyle. Some homeowners choose to use one wall as the base of the “L” (featuring cabinets and one permanent fixture, such as a stove or sink, and the other portion of the “L” for an open counter space), while others opt for using two walls and feature cabinets on both the upper and lower parts of both walls of the “L.” Generally, you can expect an L-shaped kitchen to incorporate the stove and sink on one part of the “L,” and the refrigerator and storage on the other part. For the most part, the sink will be placed on an external wall, as plumbing will be more easily accessible.

Visualize Your Kitchen Free!

Is an L-shaped kitchen right for your home and lifestyle? We invite you to explore our beautiful selection of etherium® By E-Stone surfaces, mosaic tile and cabinets. And don’t forget to check out our cool Visualizer Tool that shows you how your favorite materials and surfaces will look in your kitchen BEFORE the renovation! Like what you see? Contact Granite and TREND Transformations for a free in-home, or virtual, design consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Last Updated on January 2, 2020

With summer coming to a close and kids going back to school, most parents are looking forward to some sense of routine. Getting the kids off to school can make mornings feel like a marathon of chaos rather than an effortless sprint.

Here are some helpful morning hacks to make getting your kids off to school a breeze:

  1. Give Clothes or Uniforms Their Own Space – Laying out clothes the night before or keeping uniforms in a designated space (such as a closet or drawer) saves time in the morning so your child knows what they are wearing and where it is.
  2. Set the Table for the Next Day – Setting the table the night before with bowls, plates and silverware reduces prep time in the morning and still allows you to maintain family time around the meal table. Recruit the kids to help after you’ve cleared the table for dinner the night before.
  3. Basic Breakfast – Plan a simple and healthy breakfast for school days and save the waffles and pancakes for the weekend.
  4. Pack Lunches Ahead of Time – This is a huge timesaver for those mornings when you’re rushing out the door. Try freezing drinks ahead of time before putting them in your child’s lunchbox. The drink will double as an ice pack to keep their food cold until lunchtime. Pack plastic bags of snacks for the whole week and store them in a bin in your pantry, so they are ready to grab when you’re making lunches. Make a whole batch of tuna or chicken salad for the week, so all you have to do is assemble the sandwich.
  5. Organize Your Pantry – Assign one shelf for school snacks and other necessities. Try using small bins or boxes to keep different snacks organized. This will make lunchbox prep a snap since you’ll know where everything is. Doing this can also help you keep an ongoing inventory to check when you’re running low.
  6. Have Backpacks Ready – Establish a nightly routine with your child to go over homework and ask if there are any papers to be signed or money to be sent in. Having their school bag packed the night before will save you time in the morning and eliminate any last minute tasks to take care of when you’re running out the door. Also, keep backpacks in a designated place in your home, so your child is never frantically searching for it in the morning.
  7. Handy Hair Organizers – Parents of young girls know all-too-well the challenge of getting your daughter’s hair brushed and styled in the middle of the morning sprint. Keeping hair brushes, hair bands, detangling spray and any other hair accessories in one place allows styling to be done quickly and stress-free. Try keeping a separate caddy with compartments handy so you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips.
  8. Two Sets of Toothbrushes – As unusual as this sounds, it’s actually a great idea. Keep an extra set of toothbrushes and toothpaste in a flatware tray in a downstairs drawer or an area other than their bathroom. This is a convenient way to make sure your child has brushed his/her teeth, and eliminates any wasted time in reminding them to do so.
  9. Homework Station – Set up a homework station in your home where your child can do their homework. Store supplies like pencils, pens, markers, crayons, erasers and sharpeners so your child has everything he/she needs to complete their assignments. Set up a reward system for completing homework in a timely fashion each night.

We hope you have found these organizational tips helpful. Looking to remodel your kitchen or bathroom? Granite Transformations can help! We can install new kitchen countertops, backsplashes and cabinets in as little as one day, so your daily routine is not interrupted.