A bit about... whatever's on my mind. ;)

A bit about... whatever's on my mind.  ;)
Hello Friends, Family, and Peoples, Welcome to My Blog. :)
Now I only post when time will allow me to do so, and it's all very random. So add yourself as a follower, down and to your right. This way you wont miss a thing...


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pie and Time

Life sure has been busy lately.  And blogging.. sorry to to tell you this... really isn't on the top of my priority list.  But as you can tell, it is on the list.  : )  
This past month it has seemed like the minutes of the day have turned into seconds. Time is just ticking away...
And I can not believe that my baby has already started school! Here he is on his first day.. he was doing some kind of power kick. He was WAY excited to start school! And I'm so glad! But sad that he no longer is a baby.. He's growing up! And this Mama's all down with the baby faze.. very bitter sweet. Now though to Welcome the kid faze! And more hours in the day to take care of the little things that have been swept by for so long.. since Will was born. 
The end of the summer also meant that my nephew's went back home to my siblings.  Alex my brother Victor's son and Taden my sister Raylinn's son, came up to help Papa (my Dad) out with the farming.  I love these kids!! And really truly already miss them like crazy!! 
 So Richard's bunny, Kitty,  has way too much in common with his Master!  He has escaped yet again and is currently living in the junk pile and pasture next to our house!  I don't know how many times Richard snuck out of the house and ran down the road to my Mom's as a toddler.  I am so glad he grew out of that.  And am hoping his bunny matures a bit as well.  And stays home!! 
This little stinker has gotten too quick.  We just can't catch her.  But at least she is staying around and she does have plenty of food to nibble on.   and has made friends with the horse..  Bud (the horse) is totally not helping, rather blocks us from grabbing her.    
We have a plan though!  And just set a trap for her!  A friendly one.. just so we can catch her.  Her poor sister misses her!  All alone in her home.
I love my children!  There minds amaze me!  They have such passions for things. -well I'd really say more like Obsessions.. but passion sounds better.  
Here's Richard at the fair in front of one of these perpetual motion things... Where the balls never stops moving throughout these mazes.  He stood and watched this for a few hours!  looking it completely over.  Last year they had a different one, that he totally loved too.  I tell you what.. if I had one of these at my home.. Id never have to worry about what he was up to. -This was beyond fascination! 
Here's William with one our Perplexeses.  The kids and well every aged child that walks in our door and see this on our coffee table.. is in love!  This perplexing puzzle has been a huge hit in our home!  This too we discovered at the county fair the previous year.  And started collecting!
Josh and I also took a short but sweet weekend getaway this month to celebrate our 2 year anniversary!  And I skipped out on making pie!  But we ate some! 

We didn't get any pics of the two of us together.  Not sure how that happened.  But between the two of us, we got over a hundred pictures of waterfalls, cliffs, dear, nature and of course.. the Jeep!

As far as Pie goes, I'm a slacker! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pie #7 goes a little nuts!

My brother's boyfriend came up to meet the family.. and what a better way to get to know each other, than with Baking!  -His request, a Pecan Fig Pie!
 So I searched and searched for a good recipe.  All I found was the drinking kind.  I am not the drinking type.  But we decided to go ahead and try one, it just sounded too yummy to pass up! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pecan-Fig-Pie-with-Brandied-Whipped-Cream-105849   Instead of the Brandy we added Home made Vanilla Extract.  - Probably has the same amount of alcohol.  Since Home made Vanilla is made from Vodka.   Oh well, it all cooks out, right?

I think a Pecan pie was the perfect choice.  -Three people in the kitchen.. is a little nuts!  But the Fun kind of Nuts!

Now for some pictures to show you all our amazing cooking skills...
cutting the figs.
Fred had a great idea: We picked out the prettiest pecans and set them aside.. so we could make a beautiful top, of arranged pecans and figs.

While they worked on the filling I worked on the crust..

TaDa!  So far much better than last weeks.

Damon was very smart and poked holes all over the bottom of our crust.. so it wouldn't rise while baking in the oven.  -I really need to get some pie weights.

 : ) Aren't they Cute!
So many hands at work here!

Fred cracking an egg, for my pictures.. I thought he was being slow.. but then.. 

I missed snapping my picture when the yoke came out.  And he was trying so hard.. : (

Now there's the yoke!  - Yummyness is beginning!

melting butter.. such an art!

Pouring the sugaryness into the Pecan and fig mixture.  I guess all the extra hands came in handy!

Building our Pie by adding the first layer of our Pecans.

Now adding the very SWEET mixture.
Then we arranged the pecans and figs we set aside.. for a beautiful presentation!
Look at this GORGEOUS Pie!
However, one bite was more then enough sugar to last me a Month! : ) I suggest less sweetness!.. I am definitely going to try a recipe with less sugary ingredients next time.

What I learned from making this pie:
Three people fit in my kitchen and can work well together.. no bumping elbows!
But three people in the kitchen also means three different ideas and opinions on how to do the same thing.  : ) 

And now I ask your opinion on the main discussion of that day..

Does it matter if you follow baking recipes exactly as states?  Is it just like Chemistry?
Do I have to Measure each ingredient to the exact amount?  And only add, mix, bake, in the order stated in said recipe??? Or is it okay to dodge around steps and guess?  Is it considered the same recipe if I instead of mixing the sugar in with the butter on the stove, do it at the table? 
How close do you follow a baking recipe??

Monday, July 30, 2012

Strawberry Pie with my Bro

This past week started out with a twist of fun in my pie making!  My brother came to visit!  And had this great idea.. Strawberry Pie!  Strawberry Pie is a Favorite!  Especially with fresh berries!
So we measured, cut, mixed, and baked!

Fred pouring in ingredients!
Covering the baked crust in the better homes version of yummyness! I think they call it, glaze.  : ) 
A better look at this Strawberry Glaze!
Layering our strawberries!
This makes me hungry for it!  I'll have to make this one again!
As you can see, I had more hands this time, and was able to take more pics!  : )
All Baked!
The blurry look of Yummy Home made Whipped Cream!!  mmmm!
Home made whipped Cream is the only way to go!!  It is far less sugary  and soo SO much better!  The taste is amazing!  It is best to use a refrigerated mixing bowl and refrigerated whipper to whip this Cream into shape!  And let me tell you, Fred sure can whip it!

 Whipped Cream Recipe:
1 Cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon of my brothers home made vanilla extract (It is the best for baking)
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar 
The Finished Project!
Lesson learned:  SIFT FLOUR!!!  My pie crust was totally lame!  It was my very first baked crust.. And well I opened up a new bag of flour.. and all lazy like I told my brother to just measure it out in a plan old measuring cup and dump it in the mixing bowl.  Instead, I should have found the sifter, I had hidden inside one of these kitchen cupboards, and sifted it in the mixing bowl!  
Also I didn't poke any holes in the crust- SHOULD HAVE! It raised all up all bubbly in spots..Plus I learned I have to get some pie weights or beans to place in ten foil that I would line the crust with.  This is suppose to keep it from rising.  Oh, and I forgot to put ten foil around the ages AGAIN!  UGH! UGH! UGH! 
Well lesson learned!
Besides the crust.. it was absolutely delicious!  The home made whipped cream really topped it off!!  SOOO GOOOD! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

chicken pot PIE

I decided to sway a bit away from the fruit pies this week and try something a little less.. fruity. 
A Pot Pie!
I found a recipe I thought sounded worth trying on www.allrecipes.com, my favorite site, when it comes to cooking and baking! 
Here's the link to it, in case your interested: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-pot-pie-vi/detail.aspx 
And believe me you should be interested!  So easy to make.. Pretty much just like any pie!  Not anymore difficult than the other's I've made thus far.  Only thing is.. I had to double the baking time. besides that, I wouldn't change a thing!  This recipe is Wonderful!

Now for some pics:
Cooking my chicken in some very yummy seasoning!  I just love my Princess House cookware!
Me rolling out my pie crusts!
A look at the yummy filling, before I put the top crust on. : )
All done and ready to eat!!  - I forgot to put tinfoil around the edges while baking, so my crusts edges came out a little more brown than Id prefer.  : / oops!

Even my picky little eaters loved this one!!  Definately a winner!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Rhubarb Pie

I had herd of Rhubarb before, but I had no idea what it actually was.  I had no idea when it was in season, or what it looked like, and I had no idea what it tasted like! - So I called my Mom.  She informed me its season is usually at its end by now, but that she was on her way to the local out door Farmers Market and would see if she could find any.  -Well she found some! Yay for Moms!!  So I placed it in the fridge and procrastinated a day or two.. I was a bit nervous to bake something that I had never even tasted before! 
Here's a picture of some I found on the Internet.. I completely forgot to take pictures while baking this time!
It looks just like celery, but red.  When I finally did get it out to bake.. I thought I should probably taste it.  -Oh My Goodness is that stuff  SOUR.. not just sour but TART!  My husband should have got a picture of my sucked in face and puckered lips as I tried to swallow the dang stuff!!  
At this point, I wasn't too sure about this whole Rhubarb pie stuff!  But my husband promised me it was Delicious.. "especially with strawberries", he said. So I went and pulled out the strawberries I had bought for a smoothie the day before!  No way was I gonna eat that plan! 
Then I did the usual Baking, But this time I got a pot out and cooked my strawberry Rhubarb filling over the stove till it started to thicken up a bit.  -By then my youngest son, Richard, had found the pie crust and decided to help me make the edges prettier... (yay!- not!)  By smashing it down and rubbing his fingers all over it! ugh!  So I tried my best to quickly fix it, so it at least looked like a pie crust! 
Then tossed the filling in, sprinkled a crumb mixture over it and slid it into the oven.
I was so nervous while waiting for it to bake, I could hardly get the stuff down my throat raw! My only thought; "That rhubarb better improve while it was in that oven!"   
Well I had a very pleasant surprise!!  It was SOOO  and I mean SOOOO GOOOD!!  I could hardly believe it!  The taste was almost like war head candies all melted together.  Oh We loved it!!  The strawberries, were definitely a good idea!  And Richard must have really helped out with that crust.. it came out so fluffy and nice!! YUM! YUM!!  And the filling.. Perfect consistency!!  Not runny and not too thick!  YAY!  I think I finally figured it out!  Thank-you everyone for your advice!  I am so excited and can't wait to bake my next pie!

Here's one more picture.. I just could not resist sharing! Meet our newest additions to the family!  Are they not adorable!! I am completely in love!!  The Bunny on the left is named Pretty (by William) and the one on the right is named Kitty (by Richard).  Aren't they Pretty kitties!  ; )

Saturday, July 7, 2012

4th of July Pie (#3)

For the 4th Of July I decided to do something a bit patriotic and fun. I had seen a flag pie on Pinterest and was just living to try it!
So, I pitted some more cherries and bought some blueberries! I was all out of butter so I used margarine- big mistake.. it worked, but butter tastes soo much better!
I made one bowl of cherry filling and one bowl of blueberry filling. Then I spooned them onto the crust to look like the flag we all know and love..

The Blueberries are snuggled up against one corner and Cherries spread through out the rest.
Next, I cut out stars and stripes for the top crust.
Here I am Putting my Stars and Stripes on.
Then Wallah!:
A Pie Flag!
Now this time I used Tapioca to help my filling out a bit.  If you read my past blog you know I was having problems getting my fresh fruit fillings to set up.  My fillings were always coming out watery.  Well, I didn't like how the tapioca turned out.  Although it did set up much nicer with the Tapioca.. its texture was much to tapioca-ey for me.  And although I do love Tapioca pudding.. I found out I totally do not like Tapioca pie!   - I was looking for an easy way out.. yeah,.. never a good idea.  Now I know, I am definitely cooking my fillings half way on the stove top, before putting them in my crusts.
If you look close you can see the Tapioca.
  My Mother and Father were having a little Independence Day get together, so I brought over my pie. And although it didn't have butter in it and was tapioca-ey, I got tons of compliments and had two pieces myself. mmm good! - I really need to make time for exercise now that I've taken on this Pie Challenge. lol 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Gettin' my pie on!

Well what an awesome day to make a pie!   Josh (my Man) has been gone a couple days for biz.  Today he got home!  And he got to come home to a home made, very yummy pie!  He had been begging for a cherry one!  And I thought that sounded pretty good for this week!  So before he left, he went and picked up a couple bags of fresh and very yummy Cherries!  mmm-mmm good!
For a pie you need pitted cherries however... you don't want to bite into a bunch of hard pits!
 Have you ever pitted cherries??  I never had till this week.  I was thinking it was going to be just plan awful!  But turns out its not too bad of a chore.  I didn't have a cherry pitter.  So I used a paper clip!  I pulled out the stems, then stuck in the round part of the un-bent paper clip.  I could feel it hit the pit, then I would twist, pull and pop it out!  Easy!

 But my fingers did turn a pit purple from that yummy syrup that they tend to leak out all over! Kind of a messy job.  However is makes for finger-licken goodness!!  I wouldn't wear a white shirt while doing this though.  Or put it on anything that you don't want stained in a lovely shade of pinkish purplish!  -I did mine on my table, and wiped it clean as soon as I was done.. no stains!  Yay!!
I needed 5 1/2 cups of them and this does take a bit of time. But thanks to my nephew Taden, who just happened to pop in, it only took a few minutes!

The pie its self, was extremely easy to make!  Cutting out cute little shapes in the pie crust and then moving it over to the filling.. Was not!  my cut out star shapes, I'm afraid to say, don't look anything like little stars.  But, I was able to place the cut out pieces of stars on top.. kinda making it acceptable.. cute enough anyways.
Very patriotic of me, don't you think so?  : )
 If anyone has any advice for me on doing cut outs.. please comment!  I need Help!!
My honey came home and made some whipped cream!  Very Yummy!!
But I have run into another problem.  So, when ever I have made a pie with fresh fruit- it comes out all runny, watery even.  I just finished google-ing it and came up with either cooking the filling half way, and then adding it in or putting in tapioca starch.  Any insight on this would be very much appreciated!  As I really want to become a Master Pie Baker!  : )

Well, now that I have baked a couple of pies, I must say, I am just loving it! I look forward to it! And I can't wait to bake my next one!  -My family and friends can't wait too ...I have some group baking in my future!  Got a good sized list of pies to make and looks to be a very fun filled summer, all thanks to Pies!!