Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Apple pie!

Here is tonight's dessert!  I used fresh apples and raisins with cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.  The apples made a lot of juice but the pie was still great. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pie Crust

Friends are coming for dinner!  YAY!  Fun!  My DH is gone and her DH is gone so we made a date.  I am planning: roast chicken, ratatouille, and fresh baked apple pie.  Here is my pie crust recipe.  I learned it from my mommy, who probably learned it from her mommy, and I don't know where she got it from.  Anyways, here it is....
Place in a bowl:
 2 cups white all purpose flour
2/3 cup frozen shortening.  (Tenderflake is my favourite!)
And a sprinkle of salt. 
Chop up the frozen shortening into pea sized chunks.  I like to use two butter knives but you can also use a pastry cutter.  This is what it should look like....
Get a bowl of ice water and add a splash of vinegar.  (A cereal bowl of ice water, and a shot glass of vinegar is alright.)  And have a clean bowl nearby. 
Start by making a well in the flour mixture.  Add ~ 2 tbsp. of the water mixture to the flour mixture well.  Gently stir, until you form several small clumps.  The clumps should not be bigger than a date; if they are, cut them in half and keep stirring.  The less you handle them the better.  Here are some pictures of clumps and clusters.  The consistency of these clusters is key!  They should be crumbly, however they should stick together when pressed.  Not too wet, not too dry.Now, remove the clump cluster, and place it in the clean bowl.  Keep doing this until the flour mixture is gone. 
This is what it should look like when you are done.
You can make this ahead.  To refrigerate, wrap in plastic wrap.  Remember -the less you handle the better- so be gentle.
Pie tomorrow!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On Diet and Exercise

I have been trying to establish an exercise routine for a couple of years now.  It's difficult to leave the house.  And when I find something I can do at home, it's difficult to find the time!  Here are a couple of helpful articles and websites.

First up, is Zuzana at BodyRock.  The website is free.  The workouts are effective.  They are done at home.   And they are SHORT!  (30 min. avg.)  YES!  I'm so excited.  Some equipment is necessary but this isn't true of every workout.  And there are a few free interval timer programs online. 

This article is by T NATION and is called Sexy Female Training. It is for ladies who are afraid to bulk up.  A guide to building a toned AND feminine figure.  Sweet!

Last but certainly not least is The Heart Scan Blog written by Dr. William Davis.  A wonderful resource for all your nutrition information.   

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Honourable Discharge

I've been feverishly cleaning up my basement/sewing studio.  I'm almost done!  Santa brought me a new sewing machine and serger so I had to make room.  I put my old Singer 217 and the Singer Spartan away.  Honourable discharge. 

 While I look forward to all the bells and whistles on my Husqvarna Viking Emerald 183 I will never forget my 217.  The low whooshing sound followed by a greasy muffled tik is so calming.  It's simplicity makes it easy to fix the odd time it breaks.  Here is my new sewing corner.  

I've haven't done much sewing lately; I've been so busy cleaning up and organizing.  Hopefully soon I can finish my husband's western shirt.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Years Everyone!

Hi everyone!  It's great to be back.  I had an awesome Christmas and New Years with lot's of family and relaxation.  Santa spoiled me this year and I got a brand new Husqvarna Viking sewing machine and serger.  I'll have to reorganize my sewing area before I can break them out and what a day that will be!  I also got Susan Khalje Bridal Couture on CD. 

I am making a shirt for my husband from a commercial pattern.  It's nice to simply sew for once.  Patternmaking and fitting was beginning to drive me insane. 

I've decided that I'm still not happy with my last greaser muslin and that's what I'll be sinking my teeth into just as soon as I finish Chris' shirt.