Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy National Pie Day!

Today is a wonderful day!  It's National Pie Day!  Did you know that?  How neat is that!  I thought I'd do a little post to help celebrate.  The American Pie Council created this day to celebrate the pie.  On this day they encourage you to bake a pie (of course), eat a pie, share a pie with friends and try something new.

Here's the pie I decided to tackle, first off I made my crust using my Never Fail Crust recipe.  You can use your favorite crust or shh...a store bought one.  I like Pillsbury the best.

Then I used one of my favorite books to make cookbooks Sweetie Pies to make a Butterscotch Pie.  My husband loves Butterscotch pie.  I've never made this kind of pie before.  I usually make fruit ones.

Gather your ingredients

Miss Odella Goodlow's Butterscotch Pie

Prepare the crust ahead of time by prebaking it.

Make the filling
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the Meringue
4 large egg whites, room temp.
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a double boiler.  Pour in enough milk to make a paste.  Stir in the egg yolks.  Stir in the remainder of the milk.  Cook slowly over boiling water, stirring constantly, until filling is thick.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

Pour into pie crust.  Make the meringue, in a medium bowl using a mixer beat egg whites and cream of tartar together until foamy.  Beat in sugar 1 tbsp. at a time beating well.  Add the vanilla and beat until shiny and stiff peaks form.  Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees *Note recipe says 375 but I decided to up the temp. a little bit based on other recipes I read.  Let cool completely. 

Makes one 9 inch pie.

Other notes*  I used 1% milk and I did not have good results.  Our pie regretfully didn't set up, since then I realized a few of my mistakes and am willing to try this again.  Please make sure you follow all the steps and I'm sure you'll have better results than me.   It was still tasty!

Here is my crust dough before adding the liquid, dry crumbs.

Add your liquid, egg mixture and the dough starts to pull away from the sides and look like this

Then flatten and place in refrigerator to rest.  This is so important, don't skip this step.  My wonderful daughter helped me with the pictures and the artwork you see here.  If you aren't planning on making pie just pop this is the freezer!

Making the filling

Filling complete

Make the merigue

Here it is just out of the oven!

Here's some random thoughts about pie. 

Pie is home, no matter where you are.  Men love home. 
When men eat pie, they think somebody is taking care of them.

from The Lost Art of Pie Making by Barbara Swell  I love this little book, it has great tips about pies.
"Now you can win the praise of your family- so easy!" Aunt Jenny

My favorite, Pie fixes everything!

So gals, put on those aprons, get out that rolling pin and make a pie!  I challenge you to do something that is becoming lost in our country.  Don't worry about making it perfect, they will love you for it anyway.  I'd love to hear all about your pies, what's your favorite kind of pie?  I don't think I can pick just one but if I had to it would be the Amish Apple Pie.  A close second Coconut cream, followed by sugar cream.

Happy Pie Day!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We have a Winner!!!

Congrats to Jana,  #22 another Sugar Pie Sister!

Check out her blog here! Jana's Creations

True Random Number Generator

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Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cleaning and Organizing

It seems this time of year brings about two things.  The first one cutting down on the clutter (putting the Christmas away) and the realization that you need to deep clean after the holidays.  I know most people wait until Spring to do that deep cleaning but I find my home needs a little extra after the holiday messes.  I have talked before about the FlyLady system.  I recommend starting there if you're looking to change the way you do things.  I have modified it slightly to meet my schedule and house needs.  I've also been watching the new shows on the OWN network.  I really like Enough Already with Peter Walsh.  He talks about the negative aspect of clutter and how to see the vision for your home.

The kitchen is the first room that usually needs a little extra attention.  One thing I've learned from Flylady is don't try to do too much at once.  She says only pull out what you can clean and put back in a short time.  It never fails we get started and someone needs a ride home from school, the dog gets sick, or something else needs your immediate attention.  Recently I cleaned my pantry out.  It seems to get out of control easily.  Maybe you can relate.  The kids come in and rummage through things not putting things back correctly or closing things.  Ugh...Then you get a little lazy with something as you are hurrying up trying to get dinner on the table when you only have 20-30 minutes to get ready to eat. 

I saw this blog that inspired me to get rid of the packaging.  We were lugging 90 % of our groceries to our basement because there just wasn't room in our little closet.  Now with less space that the packaging isn't taking up you can fit more on your shelves.  I plan on visiting The Container store soon to see if I can get those can holders and some height adjusters for the backs.   I put labels on all my Ball jars using my Dyno label maker.  My husband said if the kids stood still long enough I would put it on the kids.  LOL;)  I like that the jars are clear.  I used baskets that I already had to hold the bags of snacks, spices, etc. 

1.  Clean off one shelf at a time.  Sweep and give it a wipe down.  Get rid of expired things and packaging.

2.  Group like items together.  Snacks, pasta, cereal etc.

3.  Arrange each shelf with taller items in the back.

4.  Label items.

Should have taken the before shot, would have been even more impressive!

It's not perfect but much better that's for sure.  I think it's all about maintenance too.  That's something that really helps if you take 5-10 min. to straighten every other week or right before your visit to the store.  Another rule of thumb that doesn't pertain to the kitchen is when something new comes into the house something must go out.  (Peter Walsh) I don't follow this one too well but I do try to weed out things a few times a year.  I think when you're used to the military way of life this comes a little easier.  You're pretty used to moving every few years anyway. 

Don't forget about the give away!  There's still time to enter.

See you soon,

Friday, January 14, 2011

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Hey gals, are you ready for the weekend?  I usually bake a treat on Friday afternoon or weekends now and this recipe is perfect.  I just got Southern Plate Cookbook for Christmas.  I've been making my way through the book. I don't know if you follow her blog or not but she is just as sweet as the tea she makes!  I would love to get to know her, very real and down to earth.  I just knew when I saw this recipe my family would love it.  It lived up to my expectations too.

Check out the recipe here!

Don't forget if you haven't entered my give away for this cute fellow please click here.  The give away is open until Tuesday at midnight.

Have a blessed weekend,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dreaming of a New White Laundry Room

Good morning, my husband has been working on my laundry room over the holidays and the past few weeks.  We have walls now and are working on the dry wall.  You may remember my Laundry Room Dilemma post if you've been with me awhile.  I've been back and forth on this for awhile.  There really isn't a good place to put our shoes and wet clothes, school bags etc. 

How it looks today, this is what you see when you walk into the side door, ugh!

It will be awhile before the big reveal.  Meanwhile, I have turned my attention to the decorating (the fun part) Because this will be in my basement I don't want too dark, dreary colors.  The look I'm going for is more of a mix between old, new and Fresh, Clean, and  White.  I have a few antiques that I've been saving for some time.  I have old fashioned shoes stretchers, washboards, irons, ironing board and a large washtub.  I plan on putting it on the wall facing when you come into the room.  I think that will make it more prominent like that's what I'm using to wash clothes.  Plus because of plumbing issues the other wall has to contain my modern Washer and Dryer.

Some dreamy inspirations...

Love the sawbuck white folding table in the middle!

So cheerful!

I liked the use of baskets here and the functionable hanging rack

However, all that being said it needs to have function.  My hubby plans on making me a free standing drying rack for all those sweaters that will have a built in box fan.  It will be hidden inside a cabinet.  I can't wait to see what he comes up with! I also want some type of closed storage along with a place to fold my clothes. 

What do you think?  If you could start from scratch what would be on your wishlist? What do you think makes your laundry room function well?  Is there anything that you couldn't live without?  I'd love to hear from you.

Don't forget about my give away!  You can still sign-up here!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Whoo Hoo...I've Hit 200 Followers!

Hello, This morning as I logged into my dashboard I noticed something really neat.  200 Followers!...I am so flattered that many of you read my little blog, stay with me and decided to follow me.  I know my blogging has slowed down so I'm happy you haven't abandoned all hope in me.  When I started my blog almost 2 years ago now I was in the midst of big changes ahead.  You've been there through looking for my house, many disappointments, my husband's retirement, and our adjustment to our new life. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to share with you a little glimpse into my world.  It was a big step for me.  I'm a very private person.  I've never been outgoing or the life of the party.  If you met me you were probably be very surprised.  I'm extremely quiet especially until I get to know people. 

Due to this wonderful news I have decided it's time for a long overdue give away!  I would like to open this up to any of my followers even new ones.  I would love to see my little number keep growing.  I truly do appreciate all of you and your comments.  I read every comment. 

So here's my rules.  You have to live in the Continental US, sorry overseas followers.  Also, you have to be a follower, you can start following now but I'm gonna check it out.  Then tell me what you enjoy reading about the most on my blog. What's your favorite thing on my blog?  Only one entry per person.   Make sure you leave your email so I can get in touch with the winner.  Then lastly please use this post to enter for the give away and I will select a winner next Tuesday night.

Here's what you'll be getting, because well, I just can't keep it a surprise!

Aww...he's Mr. Snowman, guaranteed to chase those winter blues away!



Friday, January 7, 2011

New England Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Happy Friday!

This recipe is something I have wanted to make for awhile.  I perused many sites and finally decided on a modification between two recipes.  My kids really enjoyed them.  My husband who hates nuts didn't even mind them too much. 

New England Jam Thumbprint Cookies


½-cup butter

½-cup sugar

1/8 tsp. of salt

1 egg yolk

1 cup flour

1 egg white

Crushed nuts (walnuts or pecans) I used the walnut because that's what I had on hand.

Jam (raspberry is my favorite, but any will do)


Cream the softened butter and sugar, then mix well. Add the egg yolk and flour. Mix well. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into balls. Roll the balls in the egg white, then in the crushed nuts. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 5 minutes at 350°F. Take the cookies out and make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill the center with jam. Put the cookies back in the oven for approximately 10 more minutes. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

Notes* In comparing recipes from websites and Martha's cookie book I decided to add a bit of salt to the original recipe.  Also, one recipe called for chilling, my dough was just fine, no chilling needed.

Have a blessed weekend!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year, Transforming Your Home for the Winter

Good morning friends! I hope the New Year is full of hope for you and your family.  I'm looking forward to getting back into our routine and schedule.  My kids seemed ready to go back to school today.  I want to share a scripture that I really thought fit my mind-set today. 

"In you O' Lord I put my trust;  Let me never be put to shame...For you are my Hope, O'Lord God; You are my trust from my youth...Let my mouth be filled with your Praise And with Your Glory all the day."   Psalm 71:1,5,8

What a great way to start your day!  I've been doing some cleaning and rearranging.  I love starting fresh with a blank slate.  Again this reminds me of how we can become clean again by asking Jesus to forgive us of our sins.  Sometimes we tend to get down and depressed this time of year.  Things get dreary with out all the twinkling lights and all our Christmas decorations taken down.  I encourage you to look around and see all the wonderful things God has in store for you and your life.  Maybe he has sent you some new friends that you met during the holiday.  He has shown you a need that you could fulfill in your church or community.  On the other hand, maybe you are feeling down about your finances after the Christmas with bills coming due.  Even in trying times it's so important to not get stuck in a rut about your thinking.  With planning, saving and balancing your budget you'll pay off those bills.  I just watched a show on the new Oprah network about how people forget about bank accounts and found extra money in those.  Pretty neat!  My husband literally found some money on the ground yesterday.  What a nice surprise!

I found these little trees on clearance at a country store in the mall, 50% off.  Score!
Paired with my black shutters, I changed out my star for the snowflake then added some pom pom garland.   I used my garland dusted with snow and some styrofoam snowballs tucked inside the grey colander... it's a snowy winter mantel.  The icing on the cake is my vintage iceskates found on etsy.  It took me awhile to find these.  I used plain old elmer's glue and snow to make these look icy and snow covered.   I cut apart some of my pom pom garland to tie these on the front of the skates. 

Here it is at night all lit up! I added my galvanized bucket on the side with my lighted twigs and silvery branches, I found at Hobby Lobby.  I couldn't fit them on top of the mantel.  LOL!  I told my hubby when we change out the mantel someday I need one that's a lot wider.

I took away some of my red/white ornaments and it's more winter. 

The top of my stove was a fleeting idea, so I had to grab it quick and assemble it all.  Couldn't be any easier!  Big white bowl, candle, white cutting board, graters + white tealights

So what have you been up to in your house, are you tackling the Christmas chaos?  How do you decorate your home after the holidays?  I'd love to hear from you.  I hope I've given you some ideas for how to create a Winter look in your home.  I've got plans for lots more posts.  I plan on posting a recipe for New England Jam Thumbprint Cookies, pantry reorganization and another sneak peek at my new laundry room.  Until then I hope that you can find some good things to celebrate in your life!  Look up and count on him.