March 4, 2015

Butter Crisp Pie Crust + sweet & savory pies

This is the year that I'm trying out lots of pie recipes to find that perfect pie crust and the best sweet and savory pies around.  My Jordan has been requesting a homemade cherry pie forever so it made it to the top of the list.  

I found a cherry pie recipe and thought it sounded pretty good.  It's called The Best Cherry Pie could I go wrong?  The blog post with the recipe is here and the Pinterest link is here.  The pie filling did not fail.  I  did tweak it a bit to add my own special touches but the original recipe is pretty darn good.  Thick and sweet and tart.  It beats canned pie filling any day.  I started with these canned Oregon cherries.  
 I made the pie filling just as the recipe called for and it turned out beautifully.
 Now on to the pie crust.  I've tried several crusts over the past few months and just wasn't totally satisfied with them. I finally found the pie crust that my mom uses.  She makes the best pies so I was hoping this crust would be the one.  I gave it a try and filled my pie to the brim.
I even cut out a cherry shape to top my pie.
The crust baked up so nice and brown.  My mom always brushes her pies with milk and then sprinkles on sugar. This makes the pie brown nicely and it has the sweetest little crunch to it.
I'm thinking this looks pretty good and at this point we couldn't wait for the pie to cool.
Tada.  It was good, folks.  The crust was flaky but tender.  The pie filling was so thick and sweet and tart.
We all gave it two thumbs up.
I also tried the crust out in a savory pie.  This is Pioneer Woman's back and egg quiche from one of her cookbooks.  It was equally as good and the pie crust was buttery and crisp and yummy.
So I think I've found my perfect pie crust....for now anyway.  I needed about a half more of the recipe to fill my larger pie plates so I suggest doubling the recipe and keeping the leftover crust for little sugar and cinnamon roll ups, etc. I'm not sure if pie pans were smaller back in the day or what but this recipe was a little hard to get a full pie out of it. This pie crust is unlike any other recipes I've seen as it has milk in it.  I think next time I'll try the butter flavor shortening to see if that makes a difference in taste.

Here's my mama's recipe:

Butter Crisp Crust

by Michelle Wooderson

2 cups flour
2/3 shortening
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
3 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk (plus a little more for brushing the top of the pie)
Sugar for sprinkling

Mix flour, shortening and butter together until consistency of cornmeal.  Stir in the milk.  Chill dough in refrigerator for easier handling. Assemble pie and brush top with milk.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees then lower the oven temperature to 375 and add a pie crust shield to protect the outer edges of the crust from burning.  Bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the crust looks nicely browned and the juices bubble up thickly.  Remove from oven and let cool for several hours before eating.  Recipe is for a two crust pie but I suggest doubling and saving the excess for another use.

Let me know if you give it a try.  I can't wait to try more pies now!

February 24, 2015

Gossamer Blue March Sneak Peeks...

Today I'm sharing the March sneak peeks for Gossamer Blue.  Lots and lots of trendy products this month and the colors are fresh and fun..........

February 19, 2015

Project Life 2014.....Week 43 with Fall insert

Sharing Week 42 of my Project Life 2014 today.  Here's the two page spread.
I'm using February Gossamer Blue kits for my layout today. Lots of random photos from the week. 
Keeping it simple.  Photos + journaling + minimal embellishments.
Loved the stickers from the February kits.  An easy way to add simple embellishments to journaling cards.
An insert this week too.  There's about a one week time spam when the leaves on our autumn blaze maple are just stunning. 
Another week in the books.  :)

February 15, 2015

Project Life 2014....Week 42

I'm sharing Week 42 of my 2014 Project Life today.  
On the left side I used a different than my usual size page protector.  This one has four 6 x 6 slots.  I used this entire side for our 20th anniversary. We agreed to no gifts but I ended up being surprised with a pair of new diamond earrings.  I tucked the note from Eric and the wrapping paper in one slot.
This is the right page which holds random photos and stories from the week.  I used February Gossamer Blue kits for my papers and embellishments. A few Halloween treats, a photo of Josey while touring the nursing department at the college visit, Jordan and some friends gettin' fringy at a school dance, tailgating at the volleyball tournament on a gorgeous Saturday and a nice record of the Spring bulbs I planted.  I actually went looking for this photo and date to see what I planted and how many.  Project Life is great for that kind of record keeping.
Stitched on chipboard letters and stickers for the anniversary page.
A journaling card with wood veneer hearts and a little sticker label for journaling.
A giant flair button looks perfect on a simple journaling card.
More great times with the family in the album.  It was a good week.

February 9, 2015

Project Life 2014....Week 41 (using October Afternoon paper for journaling cards)

I'm sharing Week 41 of my 2014 Project Life today.  This two page spread started out with the three 6 x 6 inserts which are collages of my Fall porch decor.  I wanted to keep the pages simple so I could plow through on my 2014 remaining weeks.  I ended up just placing a 6 x 6 square of patterned paper in the remaining slot on the right page. 
On the right side, I didn't really have any journaling cards from my February Gossamer Blue kits that coordinated so I just made my own.  I used remaining scraps from the October Afternoon 12 x 12 sheet.  The two pages coordinate nicely and I didn't do much other embellishing.
Since the February kits weren't really Fall themed since I'm kind of working out of season, I was happy to find this paper from the kits and just roll with it.
I did end up using a 4 x 6 journaling card with a paper strip and wood veneer letters from other GB kits.
I loved the package of Simple Stories labels so much this month.  I used them on a 4 x 6 card as date markers then just hand wrote the rest of my journaling.
A few stickers here and there and I was done with this week.
I'm trucking along. Took a little break from working on pages so that I could have fun with some family stuff, organize the house a bit and enjoy the fantastic weather we had yesterday.  I'll be back to share more pages yet this week.  Have a great week everyone.

February 2, 2015

Project Life 2015.....Week 3 with inserts

Hi friends.  Hope your week is off to a good start.  The February Gossamer Blue Kits are now up for sale + there is a big sale on some previous kits.  I'll be sharing my February projects on my blog this month and you can see all of them in the Gossamer Blue now.  

This is Week 2 of my 2015 Project Life.  I have a two page spread with inserts and I'm so pleased with how easily they came together.  I used the Life Pages Kit for all of my journaling cards and embellishments.  This is the two page spread shown with a 10 x 12 insert. 
Turning the page you see the back of the 10 x 12 insert (page protector from Project Life) and the front of an 8.5 x 11 horizontal insert.
Here's the two page spread by itself.  I love how the colors coordinated so well with this week's photos.
The left page. Lots of crafty work this week.
The right page.  Just a mix of photos from the week.
I loved this colorful plaid 4 x 6 card from the Life Pages Kit.  I used my watercolors to create a subtle green wash in the speech bubble.  A paper file tab and chipboard file tab were used to note the week #.
I'm loving white journaling cards with a design on them.  They freshen up a page lickety split.
Here a lot of my 3 x4 cards with hand journaling.  I loved the wood veneer pieces in the Life Pages Kit.  They're becoming a favorite.  I also watercolored that camera with the same green paint on my week number card.
This is my 8 x 10 insert and I love how it turned out.  The floral cards from the Life Pages Kit were made for this page, I think. They match my vintage bowls just perfectly.  
I added in some journaling cards, embellishments and stamps from Ali Edwards' Story Kits and Stamps for this insert.  The theme was Gathering this month so I chose to create this page from a blog post I wrote recently about a thrifting trip.
This large plastic word is  also from Ali's Gathering Story Kit. Brad is from Gossamer Blue kits.
The back side of the insert is about our pancake mornings.  The February GB kits are full of October Afternoon goodies and pancakes were a popular theme.  Perfect for my photos in this insert. 
The striped journaling card was from my stash.  The gray journaling card is from Ali's Gathering Kit.  I love that egg flair button and the fork sticker from October Afternoon.
This is a funny little drawing that Jordan did when she was five.  She found it and pointed out that she drew a little something special for Dad.  We never noticed it til just now.
I used embellishments from the February kits for journaling.  Surprise!!  I cut out a square in my page protector so the little flip up swimming trunks could reveal Dad's *ahem* details. That's my girl.
So so happy with how my 2015 pages are coming along.  I've kept things simple and easy but am able to add in just the right amount of embellishments.  I'm also catching up on 2014.  Just 7 more weeks to go.  I'll be sharing those pages soon too.  Thanks for stopping by!

January 30, 2015

Gathering.....thoughts on thrifting

I've been enjoying the new Ali Edwards Story stamps and kits.  This month's theme is Gatherings and I've really been embracing the words and trying to tell some stories that pertain to the theme.  So here goes.

Thrifting. Gathering. I come by it honestly.  My mom was and still is the biggest garage saler you will ever meet.  My siblings also love antiques, auctions and picking.  For me, I love a good thrift store or flea market. There's no pressure and you can wander around and linger as long as you like.  I can spend several hours in just one store.  Case in point last Friday.  It had been a long week of helping out with a school event and I was around a lot of people.  I'm so used to being by myself every day just hanging out with Charlie in my home.  It gets to me.  Not that I don't like to be around people but home is best.  It's quiet and I can be one with my thoughts.  

About once a month I do get the itch to go junkin'.  Part of it is the thrill of finding something good.  Something old, something that calls my name, something that evokes a memory, something that connects me to my past.  These red, white and blue bowls were speaking to me today.  I guess I have an old kindred soul because they instantly made me picture a farm wife in her little white house, mixing up a dinner or putting a ball of bread dough on the window sill to rise.  
I love the peacefulness I get when I look at old junk.  It reminds me of all the stories my dad tells me and makes me wish I could go back to those times too.  Maybe a time when things were simpler.  When there weren't so many distractions in the world.  When things weren't plastic.
So I left that thrift store with these pretty bowls.  I also left with a clear head and a feeling that life had slowed down a little.  You can bet that there will be a ball of bread dough rising in one of these bowls soon.  On my window sill with a vintage tea towel over it.  Life is good today.
Oh, I'll be back little thrift store.....
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