A Story in Pictures: The Life of a Pie

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This is Violet eating some chocolate-peanut butter pie filling. Here is the illustrious recipe for Creme de la Cream Pie.

First: make a crust.

It’s real simple but you need to  obey the rules. (cold butter, don’t touch with hands, don’t add too much water.)

  1. 1 1/4 cups flour.
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/3 cup butter (not not not margarine or anything that doesn’t say “butter” on the label)
  4. 4-5 tablespoons cold water.
  5. sugar

Mix flour and salt, cut in butter with two butter knives till the butter pieces are no larger than the size of your pinky nail. sprinkle water over the top and mix gently to form a ball. roll out on countertop using sugar to keep from sticking. roll the crust thin enough to fill the entire pie pan. bake at 350 for 10ish minutes or until lightly browned.

Next, The Pie

  1. 3/4 cups sugar
  2. 1/4 cup cornstarch
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups milk
  5. 1 cup whipping cream
  6. 3 egg yolks
  7. 1 tablespoon butter
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  9. 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  10. 2-4 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter.
  11. 3/4 cup coconut lightly toasted
  12. 2 bananas
  13. 1 cup whipped whipping cream. (not coolwhip)

CUSTARD: Mix  dry ingredients in saucepan.  add milk and cream and stir till smooth. cook and stir constantly over medium heat till thick and bubbly. Add a small amount to the three beaten egg yolks and mix together. Pour egg mix to saucepan and stir quickly to mix the eggs in before they cook.  cook for 1-2 more minutes. remove from heat and add vanilla and butter.

ASSEMBLATIONISH: Immediately pour half the custard into another bowl. Pour half cup of toasted coconut into bowl, and 3/4 cup of chocolate chips into the saucepan with remaining custard. stir chocolate mix till melted. add peanut butter to taste. stir coconut mix till combined. Using an electric mixer, split the whipped cream and whip it into each pie filling until creamy and smooth and creamy.

STACKING: When pie crust is completely cool, pour the coconut cream onto the bottom and spread. cut up the bananas and place over the top of the coconut cream mix until you are satisfied with banana to creamy ratio. Next, dump the chocolate peanut butter cream on top of the bananas, and spread.

chill and garnish with coconut and banana slices. BAM!

 

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Hmmm. (it sounds better with three “m’s”)

Violet may or may not have sucked toothpaste straight from the tube today. She also may or may not have spent the evening chewing on the rubber top of her baby tylenol bottle. You may or may not have noticed that I’m not prone to freaking out over baby-related stuff.

FYI: I now want Ticket To Ride for my birthday. You know who you are.

Tonight for dinner we had pepperoni pizza–homemade. FYI, if you have the time always make your own pizzas–it builds character.

Here’s my pizza dough recipe. (it works for anything in the bread family and even some cousins, depending on how creative you are.)

Listening to kids’ conversations totally cracks me up. Today Violet and I were at the park outside my house and there were a couple middle-school aged children sitting on the picnic tables talking.  They were mostly boys and they were talking on the general subject of rocket engines and NOS, and how having access to one or both of these things would totally make them amazing motocrossers.

“Yeah, if I had my Dad’s dirt bike, I would totally get some NOS for it. I’d do all these jumps and stuff.”

“Are you kidding me? I would get a jetpack and then I could jump higher than you and do a ton of tricks.”

“Can you mix NOS with a jetpack?”

boys…

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I realize this probably doesn’t count as a blog, but…

Pearl’s Amazing and Guilt-Free Cinamon Rolls

  1. make a batch of bread dough.
  2. open a jar of apple butter
  3. roll out the bread dough into a rectangle.
  4. cover in plentiful amounts of apple butter.
  5. roll up lengthwise.
  6. cut with a sharp knife or floss.
  7. it will be very messy
  8. place in greased pan.
  9. dump remaining apple butter over the top of the rolls.
  10. bake.
  11. eat plain or with some fat-free cream cheese frosting.
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This is why you’re fat

It’s actually the name of a website. We visit it often. Here it is. Before you progress any further into this post, please click on the “here” link so you can get an idea of where I’m coming from.

AJ desperately wants to get something to submit to this website. I told him that if he came up with something I would make it. My mistake. Here, is his idea.

  1. First, you take 2 slices of chocolate chip banana bread
  2. then, you smear one side with marshmallow cream and the other side with Nutella
  3. Then, you sandwich these together with banana slices in the middle.
  4. After which, you dunk the whole thing in yellow cake mix batter.
  5. Next, deep fry the sandwich, taking care to keep it together.
  6. When it cools, dip the whole thing in melted milk chocolate,
  7. and roll it in toasted almonds and coconut.
  8. serve with whip cream and a cherry on top.
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bread and the mystery thereof

This is for Amanda.

The recipe for the pizza crust was pretty basic. I’m almost pretty sure I remember it. I could go downstairs and get the recipe book, but….i’m upstairs, and i’m tired, and a little lazy, so.

Mix in a ceramic or glass bowl. Never metal. don’t ask me why.

1 package yeast

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2ish cup of sugar (not too sure)

1/4 ish cup of oil. I use olive oil for a nice flavor. wheat flour has a ton of flavor, but if you decide to use all white flour then definitely use olive oil

boil water

pour 1/2 cup milk into a 1 cup measuring cup

top it off with hot water, so that the mixture equals 1 full cup and is very warm (not hot)

mix everything together with care to avoid tearing those delicate strands of gluten that are just going nuts right now.

knead for five minutesish (add more white/wheat flour if the dough is so sticky that you can’t knead it, I prefer white for kneading)

let rise in a warm place for an hour

punch down and form into pizza dough or rolls, or cinnamon rolls, or sticky buns, or a loaf, or cinnamon raisin bread, or something else delicious.

2 Things That May Or May Not Matter To You At All.

1. when using wheat flour as a substitute in a recipe, use approximately 3/4 cup instead of a whole cup. As i did with this recipe, you can vary the percentages of wheat/white flour to suit your taste. Wheat flour is typically heavier and requires a bit more care in bread making, but the flavor is worth it. I like to add a little white flour to make the bread turn out nicer without fully sacrificing the value of whole grain and flavor.

2. for grilled pizza crusts, the dough needs to be incredibly dripping in oil (olive if you have it). take a cookie sheet, put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the bottom and begin the process of rolling/hand-stretching it out. you can roll it only so much because the dough just slides around the cookie sheet. be gentle so you don’t tear the dough. grill on a medium hot grill with the oilier side down for a few minutes until it looks golden brown with nice grill marks on the bottom. flip it using tongs and an oven mitt, but first oil the second side so it won’t stick. as soon as it flips, put all your ingredients on.

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the beginning of an era

that would be the era of “Kids Eat Free.”
Seriously, we went to IHOP tonight and ordered a kiddie meal of chicken strips, fries, and apple slices FOR FREE. Violet didn’t eat a whole lot of it, but we were kind of counting on that, which is why we ordered something that sounded good to us. Just found another way to stick it to the man.

Oh, and another entry in the Great Things About Childhood category; backyard swimming pools. Tonight after IHOP, we stopped by target and got Violet a little inflatable pool for $5 so that she could have a pool to cool off in on our patio. You’ll probably see a post here in a few days about how that pool leaked water all over the patio, or how I got light-headed trying to blow it up, but whatev…

Today my sister and I made French Vanilla ice cream with white chocolate and vanilla wafer pieces. my ice cream maker chickened out when it started getting thick so it didn’t get churned too long, which makes it a little icy, but it still tastes amazing.
Tomorrow, my little cousin gets married. weird.

this is the part where i usually hit the “spell check” button, but i’m just not feelin it tonight, so if you see a typo, chalk it up to non-automatic spell check.

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not my problem

Violet just discovered that AJ has armpit hair and is very intent on investigating further.

here’s what I had for dinner…because you care.

1 slice wheat bread

1 slice potato bread

mayo (not…never miracle whip)

mustard

mashed avocado

tomato slices

lettuce

roast beef

bacon

salami

havarti

red onion

…compile….key word being pile.

there is no bad combination of quality meats, cheeses and vegetables on a sandwich.

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vintage treasures/old junk

why can’t thriftstores figure out that antique stores can charge a lot for something when it’s old, but thriftstore have to charge less for it because it’s old.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Mocha Shake

serves 2

3-4 bananas (if using frozen, do not add ice)

1 1/2 Cups ice

1 Tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 1/4 cup water or 1/4 cup strong coffee

2 Tablespoons peanut butter

2 Tablespoons instant cocoa mix

1+ Cup ice cream

Blend all together. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Go for a jog.

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new tooth, another celebrity look-alike, and a recipe link

in case you like surprises, don’t read the title–it gives away EVERYTHING!

So, first things first. Violet got her third tooth in last night while she slept soundly in her bed all the whole night through. I’ll take more of that, please! Last night at bathtime I checked for new teeth and there were none, but this morning over breakfast cereal, the spoon scraped against that new little top tooth. Let the biting commence.

For this next paragraph, I would like to start off by saying that I do not think Will Ferrell is funny. While I can appreciate dumb humor, I have no room in my life for infantile humor. You Elf fans out there, I do not understand you. That being said, so many people think my husband looks like him.  The resemblance is veryslight in my opinion, but I can somewhat see it when I’m thinking about it. That’s what made this afternoon’s trip to Target so funny. AJ and I were in the checkout line and after rummaging in my purse for AJ’s wallet (he doesn’t like to carry it) I looked up at the cashier to find that she was staring at the two of us with a quizzical half-smile. It was that kind of look that says, “Wait, is this for real?”

“You, um…you look like Dane Cook!”

“Huh? Never heard that before.”

We finished our transaction and left her staring after us looking as if she was waiting for the hidden camera crew to jump out and AJ to say something like, “Hey, you’re right! I am Dane cook.”

we laughed at her.

(FYI: Dane Cook is a lame actor and comedian)

Ok, so I realize that you are in need of that recipe link about now. Here it is: The Kick You In The Face Enchiladas. Make them…or at least read the post.

And now, for those of you that like surprises but read the title of this blog before you read the first sentence…

This morning I was telling AJ a story about playing with Violet the day before, but stopped when I realized that my next sentence involved the following phrase, “…and then I went up on my hind legs…”

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I hate spiders

pretty much

so, yeah….

we spent the afternoon and evening working on our patio/buying supplies for said patio, so we had a marinara chicken sandwich for dinner. Easy squeezy.

  1. cook breaded chicken tenders in oven till crispy.
  2. slice white cheddar or mozzarella onto a hamburger bun
  3. place chicken on hot bun.
  4. cover with hot marinara or spaghetti sauce.
  5. cover with top bun.
  6. eat

I know, it’s basically like eating fast food at home except they don’t pee in the pickles. 

Illegal Things I Did Today:

  • forged a signature
  • drove over the speed limit
  • used a cell phone while driving
  • ate while driving
  • dumped my extra patio dirt in the back of the park in outside my fence. when I say “dumped” i mean, “had AJ dump”

That’s me…livin’ on the edge, outta control!

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By Royal Decree

see, I can say that because I am the Queen of the Kingdom of Hurst in the goodly land of Arlington. As I was saying…

I hereby decree that there shall be formed a society for the preservation of our mother tongue: English.

This society shall endeavour to decimate all wrongs done to our beauteous language, to the glory of God and country.

Thus, words hithertofore permitted, such as LOL, LMAO, JK, BFF or any other abbreviation that is utterly unnecessary when typing on a full-size keyboard, shall hereby be stricken from the English language.

Let it be done.

This post goes out to a Amanda, lover of fine words and inventor of a recipe she named Kick-You-In-The-Face Enchiladas. How cool is that?

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tooting my own horn

 

so, I made Tiramisu tonight for smallgroup with friends. It was amazing. You should try it. I got this recipe off of bhg.com but I made quite a few changes, so now it’s known as:

Pearl’s Amazing Double Chocolate Tiramisu

1.Make up a box mix of white cake mix. Only add one whole egg, 2 tablespoons of vanilla and the normal amount of oil and water. Beat until completely smooth (to make the cake a little heavier). Cook in square pan. Cook till toothpick comes out clean.

  • 1/4  cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 1  8-ounce carton mascarpone cheese (I used reduced fat cream cheese)
  • 1  cup whipping cream
  • 1/4  cup powdered sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3  cup Kahlua
  •   Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons butter (not margarine or shortening)
  • cocoa powder for topping

Directions

1. Place the white chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high till melted in 30 second spurts. As soon as it is soft enough to spread, spread it as thinly as possible on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the semi-sweet chips. Place wax paper in freezer till chocolate sets up and then peel away the wax paper and crackle the chocolate into bits and return to the freezer.

2. When the cake is cooled, cut in half-inch slices and line the bottom of an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with half of the cake, cutting to fit as necessary. Drizzle half of the espresso over the cake; set aside.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer just until stiff peaks form. Beat in the Kahlua until just combined. Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture over the cake, spreading evenly. Sprinkle half of the crackled chocolate over the mascarpone mixture. Top with another layer of cake. Layer with remaining espresso and mascarpone cheese mixture.

4.  Top with the other half of the crackled chocolate and sift cocoa powder over the top.

5. Cover and chill for 6 to 24 hours.

6. Fast for the rest of the week and train for that marathon.

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of Easter dresses, and bunnies and posers–not poseurs.

Things That Make Me Happy: unexpectedly finding a friend who has a hand-tame rabbit that I can sit next to Violet for her Easter pictures. Luckily, I also have a friend who has a daughter the same age, so that way we can help each other out with baby and bunny wrangling.

Ideas For a Cute Photo Shoot: Easter dresses on the babies. A whole carrot with the carrot greens still attached for the babies to feed the bunny. A sunny, dry day in the park would be perfect, but…this is Washington. Outdoor lighting would really be ideal though. Any ideas Ashley?

Today I made the best baking powder biscuits I have ever (ever) ever tasted.

make these as soon as you get up tomorrow morning. No “Iff’s” “ands” or “But’s”…well, maybe a bigger butt.

The Most Amazing Biscuits Ever*

2 cups all purpose flour

1 T sugar

1 t salt

3 t baking powder

1/2 cup cold butter

(optional) dash of dill/nutmeg/chipotle pepper powder/thyme/rosemary/etc. depending on what you are serving it with. I did dill and it was awesome.

3/4 cup cold water.

Heat oven to 450. Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter (no touching with hands) till butter bits are the size of bread crumbs–no bigger than a pinky fingernail. Pour cold water over the top and mix gently with fork–don’t over mix.  As soon as the dough is formed, place it on a flour-dusted counter top and roll or press till 1/2 inch thick. Use an inverted glass or a biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits and place them on a baking tray. Take the remaining dough bits and gently gently gently press them into a 1/2 inch thick round and cut out remaining biscuits. Take the leftover bits and just bake them along with the biscuits for like…7-12 minutes ish (?) I just waited till they were lightly brown on top. serve hot.

*Disclaimer: these might not actually be the best biscuits you’ve ever had, because it might be that I am just better at this whole baking thing than you are.

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Words cannot express…

how much I anticipate the arrival of the greatest film of the year, perhaps the decade…nay, the century. Here It Is. This is a must-see–for everyone.

Anyway. You should seriously watch that preview, it’s…interesting.

It’s official–AJ is sickish too now, so today I made a huge pot of chicken soup. I always make it from scratch (like a whole chicken, and no pun intended). I put olives, mayo, radishes, and brussel sprouts in a pot and just cook that sucker up! Actually no, that would be disgusting. What I actually put in my chicken soup is a little more orthodox; carrots, onion, celery, garlic, cilantro, my secret seasoning mix, and of course, chicken.

Step 1: boil whole chicken in pot with salted water. (this time i added chipotle seasoning)

Step 2: debone chicken. Place all meat in fridge and throw away skin, bones and everything else. This of course assumes, that I threw out the nasty stuff inside in the first place like the kidneys and heart.

Step 3: Here’s hoping you haven’t thrown out the broth from step 2. Chop up all vegetables. Add them in the order of how long they need to cook: carrots, onions, potatoes, celery, garlic, cilantro. Sometimes I also add other things like spinach, parsley, uncooked winter squash, sweet potatoes or yams, summer squash, whatever. I also prefer to use a garlic press instead of dicing it up.

Step 4: Add secret seasoning mix. (Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper powder, dried red pepper seeds,dried herbs (italian seasoning, rosemary, basil) and anything else that looks interesting…chipotle seasoning, Mrs Dash, etc) Don’t make it so spicy that you can’t eat it, but enough so that your nose runs. That’s what napkins are for.

Step 4.5: Alternately, you may also add rice or pasta at this point–be careful, it gets really thick really fast.

Step 5: Add chicken to pot when vegetables are tender, not soft. Turn off heat.

I always cook everything at a boil. I know most recipes say words like “simmer” but if you stay in the kitchen and watch the pot, you dont have to worry about it boiling over. Honestly, by the time I finished putting the last vegetables in, it was almost ready. This recipe can make anywhere from 4-8 quarts of soup. This depends on several factors: the size of the chicken, how much vegetables you use, and how much water you use. This meal gets “tupperwared” and frozen for lunches, and quick dinners.

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Here’s my two cents…

recipes are for people who need boundaries. I decided this today when i was making up some squash spice muffins and hoping they would turn out. (they did).

other two cents: it might actually be profitable to look into being involved in a Nigerian phishing scam. apparently some Nigerians just made a lot of money off my parents in this manner–although to be fair, my siblings and I have done even better just asking up front for the money.

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All the world her stage…

So today Violet discovered that when she makes noises in the bathroom, they are amplified by the acoustics in the room. Yes, that means bath time is now going to be a very loud affair.

I found this the other day, and am posting it so I can find it again. Its my new favorite website

Anyway, here’s the one-million dollar question of the day:

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Random

Will someone please tell me what the big deal is with Bugles? (the chip things you can put on the ends of your fingers). I bought some today, and I am seriously not impressed.

Also, rolling chocolate chip cookies in coconut before baking is amazing.

Last but not least:  When we were at that Fiction Family concert last night, one of the songs was called something like “Please Don’t Call This Love”. At this announcement, someone from the audience shouted out “That’s what she said!” Thank you, Michael Scott.

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Ugly Food

I realized today how many of my own recipes make ugly, gross looking food that tastes amazing.  Case in point: for lunch I made Avocado Tuna Salad. Freaking amazing, but it resembles a grey-green chunky slime.

1/2 avocado mashed

1/2 tomato diced

1 can tuna drained

handful chopped cilantro

2 T lime juice

Salt and Pepper to taste

dash balsamic vinegar

2ish T. Mayo (NOT miracle whip)

Eat with corn chips.

Here’s why i don’t have a problem with eating ugly food. 1: its fun. 2. when you bring it to potlucks you get to bring it all home. Is that wrong?

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Dinner time

Here’s what’s cookin’:

“Spaghetti Spaghetti Squash”
serves 3-4
1 Spaghetti squash split in half lengthwise and the seeds scooped out.
1 can/jar of spaghetti sauce.
3 dashes of Parmesan cheese.

Cook the squash in the oven covered with foil at 350 till soft inside 1-2 hours. fluff with fork and remove from the rind into a pot.
Add 1-2 tablespoons butter while separating the “spaghetti” strands with a fork. Pour sauce over the top and heat on low on the stove top.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.

That’s what i’m making…this keeps really well too–making it ideal for dinner the night before and lunch the next day.
Serve with garlic bread and salad if you choose.

Mostly i can’t think of a whole lot to say for today’s post. Violet is learning to crawl (exciting!), she just barfed all over me, i’ve been home all day, etc.

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