Friday, April 24, 2015

cherry hand pies

pies have been a big part of shaun's college years. as i'm sure i've mentioned, while they are not my first choice in desserts shaun loves them so we have celebrated the first day of each school quarter with a pie. it was very fitting that we had pies at his graduation party and i worked to improve my recipes for his favorite, cherry! 

i'm happy to report they were a big hit! i even won over some non-pie lovers like myself. here are the recipes:

crust recipe:
(adapted just slightly from camille styles)
-2 cups flour
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
-1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

blend flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. add butter and pulse until mixture resembles course sand. add 1/4 cup of ice water and pulse again until mixture comes together as dough. add rest of water if necessary and pulse again. separate dough into 2 equal portions and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

filling recipe:
-6 cups thawed frozen black cherries (cut into halves or quarters)
-1 cup of sugar
-5 tablespoons of cornstarch
-juice from a large lemon
-1 cup of black cherry juice, divided

mix 1/2 cup black cherry juice with cornstarch and set aside. mix cherries with sugar, 1/2 cup cherry juice and lemon juice. cook cherries until bubbling, stirring constantly. add juice & cornstarch mixture, be careful it will bubble. cook until desired thickness is reached, about 1 to 3 minutes more. cool at room temperature and use with crust.

i prefer making hand pies but i also tried making those cute little mason jar lid pies that are all over pinterest for the party and they were so cute & fun. and if you just want a regular old pie, this filling recipe would probably be enough for 2 9" pies.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

in an effort to work towards one of my crafty goals for the year, making & sending more cards, i thought i needed to get more organized. 

i started with a simple wooden box, some acrylic paint, a foam brush and a label holder.
i ended up getting rid of the lid, who needs it! then i painted the rest of the box, inside and out, a really pretty shade of gold. i added the label holder with brads onto the front with a little label. and i filled the box with the cards i've been making, envelopes, stamps and my address book. 

i feel crafty and organized!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

wood veneer thank you


things have felt extra busy around here lately. shaun finished his last quarter of school ever and graduated, yay! we had a big party with friends & family to celebrate. and it's been so nice to get to spend more time with him since he isn't always busy doing homework and studying for tests.

after the party we had bunches and bunches of thank you notes to send and shaun requested that i didn't create anything "too girly". here is what i came up with:

i was totally inspired by this card from the amazing and talented julie ebersole. i love the woodgrain and the inlaid effect so i recreated it with the savvy thanks script die and cracked pistachio distress ink. 

first i cut the wood veneer paper to cover my card front. then i die cut the thanks right where i wanted it. i removed the thanks word and inked it with cracked pistachio using the ink blending tool. i adhered the larger rectangle of wood veneer to my card and adhered the inked thanks word back where it was cut from. a glue pen works great for this. underneath i added the "so very much" message from the mama elephant happy everything stamp set in versafine onyx black ink. ta-da! all of my supplies are from my favorite place to shop, ellen hutson and you can find them below.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

a veggie adventure

so we're sorta vegetarians now and would you believe it's homework? shaun's homework not mine but as the meal planner and primary cook, i couldn't really let shaun do it alone. shall i explain? shaun had to choose a social issue for one of his classes and he felt drawn to animal rights. after studying it further in class and having to watch some pretty graphic documentaries, he was more than willing to give up meat as the topic for his class project.  

and how's it going? well after 4 weeks i'm feeling good. i have more energy and i'm not really missing meat. and i'm cooking a lot! here are some of our new favs:

- black bean avocado enchiladas from the garden grazer
- one-pot pasta primavera from oh my veggies
- baked pinto bean taquitos with the best salsa maybe ever (and it is) from dream a little bigger
- pasta with spinach & beans from cooking light (we use parmesan instead of feta)

we have 4 weeks to go in the school quarter and then we are going talk about what we might want to add back in. 


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

crafty projects for 2015

2015 is my 3rd year creating a crafty project list for the year and while i've yet to successful complete a list, it has proved a very fun way to focus my creative energies and goals. here's my new list:

-DIY beauty products: i've been working really hard to go "green" with my cosmetics (more on that later) and all my free time spent on pinterest has encouraged me to just make some things myself.
from great oak circle

-english muffins: as a baker bread feels challenging so i just tackle one recipe at a time. now that i'm pretty happy with my cinnamon roll recipe, i ready to move on to something else. and i've sampled homemade english muffins so i know they are worth the effort!
from king arthur flour

-ricotta: another kitchen project i've been meaning to tackle is trying my hand at making my own fresh ricotta cheese.
from framed cooks

-cute throw pillows: i think this might have been on the list 2 years ago but now i have some cute ideas and i might actually get them done.
from style me pretty

-scrapbooking: last year it was my goal to scrapbook more, i did and it was wonderful so i want to do it even more! this year i hope to do it at least once a month to document all of changes coming our way!

-cardmaking: my scrapbooking style is pretty streamlined but cardmaking is where i test new products and techniques. and it's so fun to send mail to the ones you love! so i think mondays should be mail day mondays!

what's on your list?


Thursday, January 1, 2015

hello again

it's been a long, long time! i suspect most of you have given up on me and now it's just my father-in-law reading this (hi mark, thanks for checking in on me). 

but if you are still here, thank you. i never meant to quit blogging, i just needed a break last year after my grandpa passed away. first i left my blog and then i kinda took a break from the internet in general. well except from pinterest. and instagram...because you know i have those apps on my phone (hee, hee). then there were a few silly projects that kept me occupied but i'll tell you about those later...

and now 2015 is here and so much is going to happen. shaun is so close to finishing school which will precipitate so much change in our lives. i've personally been living in a happy little holding pattern for the last 3+ years, i'm kinda freaking out. but i think i'm formulating a plan for my future happiness. so you might see big changes here on the blog as i puzzle it out or they might turn out to be small ones (i'm fickle like that so who knows) but at least you know i'm blogging again.

so happy new year! 2015 is going to be the best yet!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

for the love of red velvet!

there are lots of things about me that just don't make sense like how i wouldn't dream of frying food at home because it's so unhealthy but i LOVE (and still eat) mcdonald's fries and hamburgers. now we don't have time to tackle all (or any really) of the thousands of other things about me that don't make sense, and i really only brought it up so we could chat about red velvet. i love red velvet anything which is so weird because i never add food coloring to anything. coloring usually seems unnecessary and sometimes even a little unhealthy but red velvet is of course the huge exception.

and with valentine's day just a little more than 2 weeks away, i had to try this recipe for red velvet crinkles from cooking classy.

they are beautiful cookies and would make great valentine's treats for your sweeties. be careful not to over bake, and i would definitely recommend substituting the extra cocoa powder for the flour as she suggests at the bottom of the recipe for a little more flavor. and if you're not a huge fan of white chocolate chips, try chocolate ones. these cookies do need the extra bit of flavor but they are really fun.

and looking for even more red velvet? try this recipe for red velvet chocolate chip cookies from baking serendipity. these are great cookies as well and have become a favorite at my house!