Tuesday, February 28, 2012

needing a pie intervention.

I've always loved to make pies. When I was a little girl my great grandmother always had a pie on the counter. I remember her cream pies the most, with meringue piled a mile high. I watched her throw everything together, never measuring a thing. I can still see her hands on the rolling pin. She had big hands, her knuckles seemed especially large, but they moved that wooden pin like it was made of air. She was anything but delicate about it and yet they always came out stunning. I feel connected to her when I am rolling out my own dough. I think with every pie I make I am trying to make her proud. In my head I'm saying "Look at this one Nana! How'd I do?"

I've been in charge of the Thanksgiving pies for years, but in the last year I've been slowly developing this dream. It's a total Don Quixote dream, but it's fun to think about. I want to open a pie shop in New York City. I think about what I would name it...something after my Nana... Tom and I talk about what my signature pies would be...I think this part of the dream is what has made me become a pie junkie over the last few weeks - developing my signature pies. And plus, I just like making pie.

My obsession with Pinterest has only added to my pie frenzy. Not so much for the recipe's, 'cause I like to make up my own, but for creative pie crusts! I saw one where the top crust was nothing but leaves. It was gorgeous! I was going to make that, but the pie was headed for a super bowl party so Tom suggested the stars. Once all of the stars were placed I gave it an egg wash and Tom helped me sprinkle chunky sugar over it to give it a sparkle.
It was a pretty standard apple pie. I wanted to test how well that top crust would hold up over a fruit pie. I think I may have used honey instead of sugar in this one. It was yum!
This crust was another Pinterest find. It took me a minute to get the braiding down but once I did it was easy peasy!

And man, it is an impressive looking crust if I do say so myself. I've made it twice in the last month. First on this...
...Cafe au Lait pie! The idea came to me one night when Tom and I were talking about the pie shop, discussing all different kinds of pie, and I realized I had never had any kind of coffee pie. And that seemed ridiculous, so I headed straight for the kitchen! It's a tweak on a vanilla cream pie, heavy on the cream (vs. milk) and espresso powder. It turned out so well that I made a second one for my mom's bridge club.
I used the braided crust on this one too. A Spicy Mexican Chocolate Almond pie for my parents on Valentine's Day.
Then there is the savory pie! Oh how I loooooove a chicken pot pie!!!! I like making the crust for this pie a lot more rustic. We were so busy eating this deep dish yumminess that I totally forgot to take a picture of it after it came out of the oven.
I made this pie this past weekend for my dad's birthday. Cherry pie is his favorite and I had been wanting to try to make this hole-punched crust for awhile, but imagined it with blueberries for some reason. Now that I've topped a cherry pie with this beauty I've bid a happy farewell to the old standard lattice crust.
Now if I could just figure out what to do with all those left over dots...
Hot out of the oven and bubbling over, this has to be one of the prettiest pies I have ever made. So, what's next? Maybe I need to watch The Waitress again to get some inspiration? or go listen to some Patty Griffin...

"It's not far
I can walk
Down the block
To TableTalk
Close my eyes
Make the pies all day"

Friday, February 24, 2012

meet Bernadette.

Amidst all of the drama with Vincent (update on that in just a sec), we got a new foster dog. I know, the timing is ridiculous, but she has actually been a great distraction. My best friend Kim heard through the grapevine that there was a little family of homeless dogs roaming in a neighborhood in South Austin. The photo showed what looked like a couple of adult Basset mixes and a baby Basset mix. Adorable. Kim immediately began trying to figure out how to get these three into a safe environment. After an unimaginable number of emails and phone calls between she and the well meaning e-mailer, Kim was able to go pick up the dogs. Sadly the puppy was gone. We hope that someone came along thinking he was adorable and took him into their home. But after many sign postings and looking high and low, there is still no trace of him. Heartbreaking. And just one more reason to spay and neuter your pets. But I won't jump on that soap box just now.
So, long story short, I am the lucky one who ended up with momma! We are calling her Bernadette. She looks like a Bernadette. She is darling. I'm not sure if she has ever been in a house before, maybe. But I am quite sure she had never been on a couch before. Tom lifted her up and she just shook like a leaf. But after about five minutes she began to relax and then she slipped into a deep, head to tail relaxed sleep. It was the definition of why we do this. To see a dog feel comfort, real and true comfort, possibly for the first time in its life, well, it's just the best. It's been less than 24 hours and her little personality is just shining through. When she wags her tail her whole long body wags with it. The great thing is that she is only a couple of years old, so she is going to have many more good years than she had bad ones. Happy day.

So, Vincent. We spent an agonizing five and half hours waiting for the call from the surgeon. We knew he was third on the surgery list, but it still was an excruciating wait. She called around 5:30 and I felt my heart shoot into my throat. But about 10 seconds in Tom gave me a thumbs up. I swear I felt like my body went limp. Relief literally flooded my body. Everything went really well. She did say that it was the largest gallbladder she had ever seen. And considering that she told us she does about 1-2 of these a week, that says a lot! But it went well. He is in recovery. He has to stay for a couple of days, but we get to visit him this afternoon. I'm so happy. So what if the plans to reupholster my Aunt Millie's two chairs went down the drain with the gallbladder, my boy is gonna be ok.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

good thoughts for my donut

It seems like not that long ago that I was asking for good thoughts, but I need them again. Just yesterday I took Vincent in to the vet because he'd been throwing up, now, just 24 hours later and he's heading into emergency surgery to have his gallbladder removed. In the vet's words "it's ginormous" and it will likely rupture if we don't take it out now. Apparently in dogs the gallbladder is nestled right next to two major arteries, so it's a fairly dangerous surgery. Of course I am scared to bits. So even though I may have worn out my requests for good thoughts, I'm asking again. I need my sweet donut to be okay.

Monday, February 20, 2012

re-visiting old photos

This morning I was poking around on the www and ran across some photos from a Metalsgirl photo shoot with the uber talented Casey Woods. She's got a couple of them on her website. I immediately went to my stash to look through them again. I had forgotten how much great stuff there is here...

Man, I am ready to do this again! Girls, who's in?

Friday, February 17, 2012

who loves you baby?

Tom asks me that question all the time. To which I answer (obviously), "Telly Savalas". And he says "yes, and me." This Valentine's Day our schtick was in text form. But it got me thinking, who loves me baby? who do I love baby? And since I love a list...

my baby brother. even tho he's 20 years old now, he will always be my baby brother.

my family. the family I was born to and the family I inherited, they mean everything to me.

my friends. I have THE best friends in the entire world. I will argue that point to the death.

my Nana. she has been gone from me for 26 years but I think about her and miss her and love her every single day.

my dogs. no need to elaborate.

the love of my life.

Damn. I am one lucky girl.

Monday, February 6, 2012

dog cowls, the next big thing?

How hilarious is this? A couple of nights ago Tom took off the cowl I made him and hung it around Seven's neck. It looked freakin' adorable! We both assumed that she would immediately start trying to tug it off, but she didn't seem to mind it at all. In fact, she has left it on for three days now! Have I just stumbled on to the next big thing? Dog cowls!
Okay, I'm kidding, but seriously, she looks sooooooo cute! And it is better than a dog in an unnecessary sweater, right? I can barely stand it she looks so cute!! I'm taking orders...

Friday, February 3, 2012

a horror movie, chinese, and candy hearts.

Our version of Valentine's Day. Rent a movie, take out Chinese, cinnamon candy hearts. This year we're doing some kind of horror movie - I heard recently that Valentine's Day actually has something to do with some beheading...now, I heard that on a sitcom so I don't know how true it is, but Tom and I are running with it and renting some sort of scary, turn off all the lights, and prepare to be spooked, movie. What are your Valentine's plans?
I look forward to our non-traditional heart day plans every year. It might be a cheesy, made-up holiday, but I like it. Any excuse to tell people you love them is good by me. And maybe the whole "heart" thing is over done, but I won't give it up. Once January hits and the Christmas crazies are over I got into full on heart-making mode!! This year I have a few new Valentine's Day goodies in my Metalsgirl repertoire. Like these square brass bangles...

And of course, the perfect stand by, charms in red, fuchsia, purple, white...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

time suckage and stuff I want

Do you ever have an irrational want for some thing? And you want it really, really, really bad? I'm having that right now. It's for the above sugar canister. I know, you were probably thinking shoes or a car or something more, um, more normal to pine after. Nope, mine's a sugar canister. And that sucker would be mine right now, but for the fact that it's $89.99. Vintage McKee. Drat.

Which brings me to my new time-sucking-obsession. Pinterest. I am late to the game, I know. It's been around for ever and I am just now getting into it. Story of my life. Late to Facebook, late to the iphone, still have a hotmail account so I guess I'm reeeeal late to gmail. Anyway, I discovered Pinterest and it's a colossal disaster because I do not need one more thing to occupy the time I do not have. But it's beckoning, right this minute, "quit blogging. come waste away the evening pinning. you will love it." I am trying to figure out the reason I should be Pinterest-ing so that I can justify this new waster of my time. Anyone?