- Before you get any of your other ingredients together, get out your butter and shortening (I use Crisco). Cut four T of butter and four T of shortening into squares and put in a bowl. Put this in the freezer along with some water while you prepare the rest of the crust. It is important for the butter and water to be very cold.
- Measure out a little over one cup of all-purpose flour into a bowl. I recently received these measuring cups. Although they're adorable, The cup measure is actually closer to 1 1/4 cup. That's the one I used for my crust and it was perfect. Sprinkle in a dash of salt and 1/4 c of sugar.
- Now get the butter/shortening out of the freezer. Using your fingers (I always do this by hand), incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles rolled oats or little peas.
- Get your cold water and pour in about 2-4 T (sorry, I never measure). Incorporate (with your hands) until a soft dough is formed. Wrap in wax paper and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out between two pieces of wax paper
- Put fruit on top. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon if desired. Roll up the crust around the fruit. It won't cover all of it.
- Bake at 400 for around 30 minutes.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Those of you who know me know that I am a big tea drinker. I usually go through a pot a day. Sometimes more. Tea is already fun. There are loads of options and it comes with great accessories--tea pots and cups. But I just got one accessory that goes beyond these staples. And it makes tea even more fun. A lovely tea cup caddy is the perfect way to store and display delicate tea cups.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
My birthday began when I woke up around 9. Dad was at work, Mom was out, and my siblings were asleep. I read my Bible and did some journaling. I then decided to make some blueberry/black raspberry muffins for breakfast. Right as I was putting them, Mom walked in the door. "Hey birthday girl, how about some red raspberries and whipped cream?" Um, yes. We had a glorious tea party with the muffins, raspberries and whipped cream. I couldn't stop smiling.
Little raspberry soldiers.
That wasn't the end of my day. At the farmer's market I got fresh peas for my lunch, and basil so spicy and fragrant, I smelled it before I saw it.
The rest of my day was spent in the sunshine, and then off to Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle for Irish whiskey, beer, music and dinner. After dinner, my family presented me with an array of glorious gifts. I now have enough anthropologie to start my own kitchenware store. Or at least my own kitchen.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Although I often gravitate toward colors of this caliber, like every rule there are exceptions. Some days a soft lavender or faded gold are just what I'm looking for. I like black. And I even like gray. Love it, actually. In the winter, it's one of the colors I'm most drawn to.
But one color I've never been much for is brown. Brown has always seemed the most bland and boring color. Even its name seems unfortunate. Cream is also a boring color, but at least it sounds lovely.
Imagine my surprise when this caught my eye:
I was sweeping the floor yesterday and had to stop when I saw this, the biggest moth I have ever seen with my own eyes. The floor is brown and the moth is brown, but it still seemed rather exciting. This moth was half the size of my palm. And it just sat there. I was right next to it and it didn't fly away. I thought maybe it was dead, but when I touched it, this happened:
I know those large dots are nature's way of protecting innocent moths. They're meant to look like eyes and scare away predators. But they charmed me. I couldn't help but stare. How miraculous that something so beautiful could be hidden underneath all that brown. It strikes me now that the flower and the moth have something in common--both are accented by the same saffron-y, golden-y yellow. Which shows that when a color has a good supporting actor, it can always be a star. Even brown.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
The peas were fresh from the Sewickley Farmer's Market, and were simply delicious sauteed in butter and sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. A lovely summer dinner.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
That's my grandma up there. All took was one person to say, "Marie, get up and dance," for her to stand up, kick off her shoes, and start to move. I hope I still love life as much in sixty years.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Cabbage is a humble vegetable. Rarely does anyone raise a flag for it. Many turn up their noses at sauerkraut. Save coleslaw, few people ever eat cabbage, except maybe boiled with potatoes on St. Patrick's Day. I consider this a tragedy. I have recently decided that cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables, and lucky for me, as it's also very inexpensive. It all started when I was flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks, The Silver Palate Goodtimes Cookbook, and came across a recipe Que Sera Silk Salad. Intrigued, I skimmed the ingredients, and saw that the main one was cabbage. I started talking to myself about how I needed some, when my mom pulled a head of cabbage out of the fridge. Lucky me. This particular recipe required soaking shredded cabbage in salt water for hours so it would take on a silky consistency. It was delicious. But my favorite way to eat cabbage? Sauteed in a pan with some butter, salt, and pepper. Simple. Heavenly.
Monday, June 16, 2008
One of my favorite parts of vacation is the Oyster Roast. Everyone stands around at great wooden spools, which are piled high with fresh oysters, roasted in fire pits right there. Take a knife, crack one open, douse it with lemon and hot sauce, suck it out of the shell. Delicious. But the best part of the night is dancing and dancing and dancing with my dad to the live island band.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Of course, I can't wait to see blood oranges in the market again...
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
So what's a girl to do when she's home alone on St. Patrick's Day? Well, throw on a festive apron, and get to work! I began with lemon squares. Not exactly festive, I know, but I make them so rarely, and they're so delicious, that I thought they'd be celebratory enough. Perhaps St. Patrick liked a good ol' lemon square (nevermind the fact that he probably never had one). I made a real feast for dinner, so much that I've been munching on leftovers all today as well. To begin, Irish Soda Bread. I never actually made Irish Soda Bread before, but it turned out wonderfully. A real treat. I had some leftover boiled vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips) from the family St. Patrick celebration a few days earlier, so I jazzed them up and made a wonderful Irish vegetable soup with crumbled bacon on top. Fantastic. And it wouldn't be Irish without potatoes, so I made some scalloped potatoes with cheddar cheese and onions, that tasted even better the next day.
Raw material for the lemon squares. Beautiful.
My lovely Irish feast for one.
Pale orange and green, subtly festive.
The celebration continues with breakfast.
Of course, I know St. Patrick's Day isn't just about being Irish or Irish food or wearing green (though if someone ever wants to drink a beer in my honor, I won't stop him). St. Patrick did some great things, and he deserves to be remembered. I prayed his breastplate prayer this morning. Here's part of it:
I arise today through a mighty strength,
The invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of creation.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in very eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Ah...at last, spring is in the air. Of course, it probably won't last for long, but the fresh burst of sunshine was as refreshing and cheery as this colorful bouquet. As they say, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb...well, to spin the saying my own way, I'd like to say that the sunshine was certainly clawing and roaring its way into existence today.
In keeping with last Spring's tradition, I've decided to keep up with the sun dress photos. May the whole world know that I embraced the sun today:
And in a lemon drop bathroom, no less. Keep turning, baby.