Monday, October 7, 2013

It's pie season!

Tis the season for baking. And pies are probably one of the most popular fall baked goods ever. Who doesn't love pie, besides my husband? Honestly, they're awesome. You can put just about anything in a pie and it's yummy.  But you know that moment when the pie comes our of the oven and you have that sense of accomplishment? You're proud of what you made, then you look closely at the crust and it isn't as cute as you'd like? It's just crust, it's going to taste fine, but you want it to look nice too.
I, for one, am tired of the same old pinch edge. The little zigzag your mom taught you?
The Pinch!


Or the fork crimp. What IS that?! It's not pretty. It's functional, but ugly, period. Unless you dress it up. I'm not the most crafty artsy fartsy person ever, but I know food.  And I want my food to have a pleasing aesthetic appearance.



This is cute! More at Taste of Home.


I sooooo want to do this on my next pie!
Get creative with your crust! Use a spoon to scallop the edges or create a layer effect. If you want to use the fork crimp, get out some scrapbook scissors with a neat design and trim off a little of the edge to make it look cool. Sorta. I am all for making a little extra dough, and making a braid to go around the edge. There are even cute pie crust cut out!

All in all, look around your kitchen. You can make fun designs with the edges of a lot of every day items. We first eat with our eyes right? So, have fun in the kitchen and be creative!

There are also a ton of pie crust cutters out there that make a super cute edge. I love baking, but making it look as good as it tastes is hard, time consuming, and frustrating. But it pays off when you bring that pie to the table and hear people say "ooooh!" It's fulfilling.

Very cute for Valentines day or an anniversary, find it here

I use this recipe mostly because it's fast, easy, hard to mess up, and very yummy. A lot of recipes out there are too floury, too flaky (yes, that's a thing with crust), tasteless mess that don't match well with the pie filling. I found this over at Food.com, enjoy your pie baking holidays!

Never Fail Flaky Pie Crust

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
5 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon vinegar

Directions:

1 Cut together flour, shortening and salt until it resembles small peas.
2 Combine the egg, water and vinegar and gradually add to flour mixture.
3 Stir just until moistened and a soft dough forms.
4 Divide into 2 disks.
5 Wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
6 Roll out and use with your favorite pie recipe!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Homemade Granola Bars!

I came across a couple of recipes for granola bars that I had to try. Although there were things that I couldn't justifying buying just for granola, I made some substitutions and blended 3 recipes together. I will never go back to store bought granola ever, unless I get super lazy. I mean, super super lazy, cause these are a breeze.

Chewy- Chocolate, Coconut with Almond Granola Bars

1 2/3 c rolled oats
1/3 c raw honey
1/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c chocolate chips (I used mini chips to help get the chocolate distributed, cause I love chocolate.)
1/2 c slivered almonds
1/2 c sweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil (you can totally use coconut oil instead, but it makes the bars less chewy)
1/4 c brown sugar

Butter or oil a 8x8 baking pan REALLY well.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
Place mixture into your prepared pan and press down firmly, roughly 1/2 inch thick. The more packed it is, the better the result.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, cool completely before cutting. Wrap with plastic wrap!

These can stay good for up to 2 weeks, if they last that long. The possibilities of these are endless too. The basic ingredients plus whatever nuts, berries, or candies you want can create amazing results.

They may seem crumbly after mixing, but pressing them into the pan really gets them to hold together.
Resist until they cool down!
I cut them into little bars perfect for my 3 year old, who cried cause he couldn't have a second one.



Monday, May 13, 2013

My mothers day gift.

Andy gave me the perfect mother's day present today. He drew me into a hug and whispered into my ear "You are an amazing mother. I appreciate all you do for Atreyu and me. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I know I don't tell you that enough, but I want you to know how much you mean to me. You do a great job with Atreyu. I love you."

I don't think a tangible present could have portrayed a better message than that.

Atreyu gave me a big hug this morning and said "Happy mother's day. I love you." Made my heart feel full of love. Atreyu can be a terror sometimes, and I'm not always as patient with him as I should be. But he has turned into such a polite and loving child. I love those moments when he says "Thanks mom!" or "You're my favorite! I love you!" It always makes me smile to hear that from him

Andy's mom made this video for me, I absolutely love it too! I cried a little, and Atreyu came up and put his little hand on my shoulder and gave me a pat, then said "Stop crying, you're ok," giggled, and ran off. He's too cute.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Toddler surgery and a terrified mom.

I love Google. I Google everything. I think I've mentioned that before. When Atreyu's urologist told me that he needed to be circumcised, I was relieved, then worried. With some complications when Atreyu was a baby, we couldn't get him circumcised, and I was OK with that. Not my preferred choice, but I could live. But it quickly became apparent he was going to need it sooner or later. Many infections, redness, swelling, and pain for my little boy drove me crazy. I finally had enough and spoke to his pediatrician about getting it done. I was really surprised he refused to do it. All he wanted me to do was put a special cream on it, and stretch the skin. Neither worked, and stretching was soooo painful for Atreyu, I couldn't keep doing it to him. And after much research, learned stretching is not good for babies.

Once we moved to Washington and got our insurance and doctor in order, I told her about Atreyu's history. Immediately she suggested he see a urologist specialist, which I was happy for. Maybe this Dr could help Atreyu without needing surgery! Our appointment was Christmas eve, and the first thing after we arrived, the receptionist asked Atreyu to pick out a toy. His eyes lit up and headed straight for the big boxes of toys and immediately to the "Cars" truck. Armed with his new toy, we headed to the 7th floor. As soon as we hit Urology, the receptionist again, asked Atreyu to pick out a toy. This time it was a monster truck. My kid looooves any sort of vehicle. I will say this, that made Atreyu OK with being at the doctors office, and that made it way easier for me.

His doctor came in, heard my story, checked Atreyu out and immediately suggested surgery would  be the only sure fire way to correct the problem. I was relieved some one had listened to me, understood a child should not be in pain every time they pee, and had a solution. I got home and Googled  First, how to prepare a 2 year old for surgery. I got the general idea, but then I Googled  how to prepare mom for toddler surgery. Surprisingly, there is so very little on the subject. I'm terrified! What if something goes wrong? What if they cut too much, not enough, anesthesia reaction, got an infection, bleeds too much.... Endless possible problems rise in my mind. (I have OCD tendencies, and my biggest problem is to think of worst case scenarios and dwell on it, triggering, most times, an anxiety attack. Thank goodness Andy is amazing at helping me through that.)  I spoke with the hospital today about my concerns and worries and they did everything they could to arm me with the knowledge i needed to not stress. I hate not knowing everything I can about something. The more I know, the better I feel. I have made some special requests, hopefully they can fulfill them. I specifically requested that we stay with him until the last possible moment, so he wont freak, that he have a child anesthesiologist, and we are in his room before he wakes up, so he wont freak then either. I have never been afraid to ask for what i want concerning medical stuff. If you ever get the chance, ask Andy about my labor. Polite, but I knew what I wanted and let everyone know lol.

So this coming Thursday is Atreyu's procedure. It's outpatient, so he will be home soon after. I wont know what time it's going to be until the day before. Super duper nervous, but I trust his doctor and his capabilities.

Pray for Atreyu's surgery and recovery on Thursday!