June 24, 2011

If At First You Do Not Succeed

Hey guys! Remember my first pie I made for Easter that did not turn out as well as I had hoped? Last Sunday my aunt, who makes an exceptional old-fashioned style crust, came with the fam for Father's Day. We worked together to make this:

Banana Coconut Creme Pie. Yum. I have never tried it before, but this pie is amazing! And since we were successful, I wanted to share the recipe and tips so you can make your own. This recipe makes three crusts with some to spare. You can combine the extras to make 2x6 inch strips with butter, cinnamon, and a sugar. brown sugar mix and bake at 375 until golden. Or you can let the kids play with it as we did.

You'll need:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. butter
1 egg
1 T apple cider vinegar
5 T cold water

1. In a large bowl, add flour and 3 sticks ( 1 1/2 c.) cool butter. Mix with your fingers until crumbly. Tip- do not just grab large clumps in your hand and squeeze together. It really is better to use your fingers and pinch it all together.
2. In a small bowl, mix 1 egg, 1 T apple cider vinegar, and 5 T ice cold water.
3. Make a crater in your flour/ butter mix and pour in liquid mix. Barely mix together and then form into 3 balls.
4. Generously sprinkle flour onto counter and roll out dough. We made ours about 1/4 in. thick. My aunt had me gently roll the ball once, flip, and then finish the rolling. Fold the crust in half, place in pie dish (no need to spray or oil) and unfold. If you get a small hole, get your fingers wet and patch with extra dough.
5. To make the edges ruffled, gently lift up the overlapping crust and pinch at the top of the pie dish.
6. Poke the entire sides and bottom all the way through with a fork.
7. Place another pie dish on top to prevent bubbling.

If baking only the crust, bake at 375 and check in 10 minutes.You might need 15 minutes to get a nice golden crust. If you need a pie top, dab the bottom crust edge with water before adding the top. Bake a complete pie at 375 for one hour or until lightly golden.

I am excited to try again on my own. Let me know how yours turns out!

June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day Dad! You are one of the best men I know. Dedicated, grounded, outgoing, adventure seeking mountain man. The world is a better place because of you.
I hope all you men out there who have been blessed with fatherhood enjoy your day. If the weather is nice we plan to hike along the Hood River and follow up with fajitas, salad, and some vanilla cake with butter cream and coconut frosting. B picked out the cake while flipping through the recipe book. Four dads = four favorite deserts. Coconut tied them all together. Nice work B.

A side note: (forgive the blurriness of this pic) can you see the resemblance to Mama? She has just discovered how to crawl and now her little legs never seem to stop.

June 14, 2011

Garden Progress

 To those of you who have been gardening for years, this may not come as a surprise, but gardening is really fun. This year has been especially exciting because we have visible results. The garden is in, the hot tub is sold, and several flowers seem to be quite happy in their new home.

 I am planning a new bed for the front yard. It seems that if you want your garden to be beautiful for three full seasons, you need to evenly disperse spring, summer and fall plants.

 So, while designing this bed space, I need to figure out  which plants do well in full sun (six hours of sun a day). I need to factor in height and how to distribute accordingly. I am determined to stick with perennials so I can save some cash, so another thing to consider is which perennials will survive in moist soil. So far my list includes Shasta Daisies, Salvia, and Echinacea for spring/ summer, and Black Eyed Susans and Mums for fall. Next year we might even get lilacs and butterfly bushes? There are several herbs I could not fit in the garden, so they might be added to this space. So fun.

 I know it takes several years for everything to be established, but I think we are off to a good start. I enjoy the planning as much as the planting. I'd say gardening is right up there with sewing in my list of fun hobbies. Yup, it's that serious. Thanks for following our progress.

June 3, 2011

You Make Me Happy When Skies Are Gray

Gardening research.
We have been getting rain the last several days, which means we have been creative indoors.

Tea Parties with Friends

A Special Door for Mouse

        On Monday these boxes were theaters. Today they are a car and sailboat. Reuse, recycle.   

 On today's agenda: SUN. Glorious Sun!