Happy Pie Day 2016!

I know that in most places Pie Day is considered to be on Pi Day–March 14th of every year. The National Pie Council says that January 23rd is Pie Day.  Here in Lincoln County the celebration is organized annually  by the local Extension Community Association.   Our event is held a few days later that the national date and that made TODAY the day!

{Here is a little more info from the Lincoln-Times News!}

Pie Day means big FREE plate of pie samples.  *SWOONTHUNK* as Dennis Jones would say.

2015 was my first year going to this extremely popular local holiday.  The sampling is held at the Citizen’s Center downtown and the doors open at noon.  You should really get there by 11:45 to beat the looooong line that snakes through the lobby.  For a mere 3 bucks you can get a recipe booklet that includes the secrets for every pic you’ll get to taste.

But seriously.  PIE.

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That is a PIE-l of pie!  It looks kind of gross but let me assure you it is SO.  GOOD.  I’ve got my sweet tea in the pic you see here, but I quickly switched to coffee!  Since I don’t eat meat, my plate was full of mostly sweets.  There was a broccoli cheese pie, and a roasted vegetable flat bread pie that were savory little snippets of sin!  The salted pecan pie bars required a sneaky second trip.  My favorite had to be the Tang Pie which is just what you think it might be–a whipped cream pie with orange tang.

I did not buy the dang cookbook this year (shame on me!) but I went online and found two recipes that sound about right.  Here they are: TangPie and another Tang Pie.  You’ve just got to try it!

Now that you know that it was Pie Day, I recommend you celebrate belatedly…and prepare for more Pie Parties in March!  What is YOUR favorite sweet or savory pie?

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Simple supper for a snow day

SnOMG we got some wintery weather here on the east coast.  The teevee weather folks told us the storm was heading our way and I heeded their word.  I always try to be prepared even if the precip turns out to be mostly a false alarm and just a little fart of snow.  I’m glad I did some prep work because I did end up being off work for two days. There is never a lack of crafting to be done, but you gotta have cocktails and good food to make staying in as fun as possible.

Requisite snow pictures:

The little storage shed is in my “backyard 40”.  The neighbor kid from way off in the distance was out having an absolute field day playing.  He must be about 8 or 9, and had a sled which he tried (rather unsuccessfully) to get his big ol sweet dog to pull.  It was a hoot to watch from the warmth of my bedroom window!

As you can see, we got just enough snow to cause us southerners to need to stay home. Good thing I went grocery shopping!  Last week I watched a new video on youtube from Boss of the Swamp and he made dang good looking quiche.  Check out the video–it’s a pretty good tutorial on how to make a pretty sweet egg pie.  I’m not a fan of bought crust and I wasn’t in the mood to make a big mess, so I decided to experiment making small quiches in my little non-stick pie pans…with biscuit crust.  Y’all.  They turned out really well.  Here is a picture of them.

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I was telling my friend Mona about how great the quiches were and she told me about making a similar thing that she makes.  She uses canned biscuits to make little pot pies with tuna salad.  This got my gears going for sure.  You can make little pot pies out of pretty much any kind of “salad”-chicken, tuna, vegetables-the main thing is that the ingredients are pretty much cooked before you put them in the “pie” shell.  I had some imitation crab meat and an impending snow storm so then this happened:

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Not pictured here is the big bottle of red wine, a bottle of Andre’s Extra Dry champagne, and of course, catfood.  Note the store brand canned biscuits.  There are 8 in a can for $1.50.  I’m usually a pretty food conscious/healthy eater so this is am item I wouldn’t normally have on the regular.  During second run of the recipe I realized I could split the biscuit dough in half which will make quiches a little healthier.  If a half biscuit mini quiche gets me to eat breakfast on the go then I think it’s a winner!

Here is what you need:

  • 1 can of biscuits
  • 1 c. shredded cheese of your choice
  • 3 c. “salad” of your choice*

*I made crab salad made up of chopped crab, onion, pickles, and a little Dukes mayo.

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.  You can use little pie pans like mine or you can also use a muffin tin.  As long as the pan you use is non-stick, you don’t have to worry about greasing it.  I didn’t grease mine the second time and the pies popped out just fine.

Bust open the can of biscuits and carefully peel one in half.  Pat it in your hand to stretch the dough a little bit, then pat the dough into the tin.  Sprinkle a little cheese in the bottom, put in a scoop of your salad, then sprinkle a little more cheese on top.  Pat out the other half of the biscuit and put it on top of the pie.  Crimp the edges closed.  Repeat for all the biscuits!

Here are some pictures of the steps:

Cook at 350F for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.  Now you’re ready to chow down!  These keep well in the fridge for several days…if you can keep from eating them all at once!

I like these so much that I’ll definitely make them as part of my supper repertoire. There are so many different ways to mix the recipe up, and it’s pretty affordable.  What are some of your favorite winter time comfort foods?

 

On pinning & pining

 

I love Pinterest.  I mean, I really do love it.  The compulsive delight of finding beautiful/delicious/weird/inspiring things and getting to neatly categorize them in easy to admire groups is beyond satisfying.  Over the years I’ve been surprised by naysayers–or rather people who feel like Pinterest causes depression and unrealistic expectations in life.  Like anything, the website is a medium that is only as good as what you put in to it, and I find it incredibly inspiring.  It also helps to understand that your whole life doesn’t get to be like a pin board.  An element here and there is plenty.

Let me show you some pin-spiration success:

The dress (below on the left) was put in a post by Vintage Africa and someone pinned it on Pinterest.  I found it via my MO pal Elaine and I fell in love.  This is the dress that inspired me to make “The Nacho Dress”.  Even though I am a quilter you have to know that I had never made a dress in my life.  I’d never made anything wearable.  Ever. Okay, there was that one hideous hippie crop top thing I made in high school, but seriously.  I poked around online and came up with the pattern on the right.  Subtract a solid 8 inches off the bottom and the dress is pretty dang similar.  Then I saw the nacho fabric at MaryJo’s and the magic began.  All thanks to a pin.

Below, on the left is Patti Smith laying on the practice dress.  On the right is my lap of the nacho dress with a crazy naughty pull-apart donut hole thing from Quik-Trip.  The picture is from me tailgating the annual MaryJo’s birthday celebration from 2015.

Another note on dream boards: I probably couldn’t have afforded that beautiful original dress.  And, any dress or shirt with buttons up the front causes problems with my bust busting out.  By finding a pattern, I was able to customize my size (even as a beginner!) AND I can keep making the dress with different fabrics.  I paid about $7 for the pattern and it needs about 3 yards of fabric.  The green fabric was only $5.99 a yard, so it was affordable.  Similar dresses retail for over 200 dollars.  I pin the things I pine for, but I think hard to come up with ways to get what I want!  And I try things that seems daunting–if you don’t try you’ll never know if you *could* succeed!

{INSERT TACKY INSPIRATIONAL PHOTOGRAPH AND QUOTE HERE}–just kidding.

Here are some fashion pins I am thinking about trying:

Manga Tights          Pom Pom Necklace          Witchy Shoes

Stay tuned and I’ll let you know the degree to which I am successful!  Woohoo! ❤

What crazy pins are you itching to try?  Do you love or hate Pinterest?

 

2016 “To-Do” List

Resolutions are weird.

And kind of hard to keep up.

Why don’t we call it a to-do list instead?

Let’s start a new tradition this year and make to-do lists NOT resolutions.  There is still plenty of time to make YOUR 2016 list!  I love making lists and checking things off of them.  I pretty much always have a little notebook going with grocery store needs, crafty ideas, letters to write, and adulting to be done.

I’m pretty motivated to get stuff done, but somehow it helps me get bigger and/or intimidating things accomplished when I write them down.  When I was in high school and college I made these lists at the beginning of fall semester.  These days I do them at the year change, although I’ve also though about making another list on my birthdays.  Maybe that will be another new tradition we can start!

Without further a-do:

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{NOTE: The honey-bun was just a snack delivered by some pals, and not meant as a to-do, per se, but dang I do love naughty treats.}

  1. Make and use a pin-hole camera.   My buddy Anna Roe has made and used these over the years and I have loved seeing the results she gets.  I’m not terribly interested in photography in general, there is something about the truly DIY nature of the pin-hole camera that piques my interest.
  2. Write a new zine.  Zines were a pretty major part of my life for a few years but they’ve sort of fallen off my radar since I moved back to North Carolina.  Making them is so cathartic and such a full expression of creativity that I really want to make another one this year.  (If you’re interested in back issues that I still have copies of, check out my etsy shop here.)
  3. Go to an eye doctor.  My eyesight isn’t terrible but the time I spend in front of a computer and doing tiny needle work takes a toll on my eyes.  I’m in need of a new prescription I’m sure.  The upside is new frames!  I’m thinking of something like these!
  4. Go to a dentist.  Ugh.  I haven’t been in a few years.  Enough said.
  5. Set-up/load pictures to a cloud.  I’m terrified of losing all the pictures I’ve taken over the years but I really don’t have an organized system in which to keep them.   I have some on my laptop, some saved in emails, some in albums on Facebook.  After seeing my friend Lori’s system on the cloud I decided it was time to at least put it on the to-do list.  If you have any advice please post it in the comments–I’m clueless.
  6. Grow a garden. I’ve had many gardens over the years with varying degrees of success.  Check out this picture of me as a pup in the garden with my dad.
  7. It’s been a while since I had much of a garden, but I’ve done some preliminary mulching and composting over the past year that I hope will help this garden spot to be better than my last one.  I’ve been reading about raised deep mulch beds.  Have any of y’all had experience with this?  I’m looking forward to the cherry tomatoes that I know I can grow, and I’m also looking forward to trying my luck with some leafy greens and lettuces this go round.  Do you have a garden plan in the works?
  8. Finish secret quilt. It’s top secret so I can’t tell you! (teehee)
  9. Deal with vintage etsy stock.  There was a period of time during my short lived grad school stint that I sold vintage clothes on etsy.  It was a good business but I ended up having so much other work to do that I couldn’t keep up with it so I phased it out of my shop.  I still have quite a bit stored and I need to sort through it and maybe try selling stuff again.  At least until I get rid of what I have!  {Below are 2 of my favorite items that I sold once upon a time!}

  10. Finish tee shirt quilt.  A few years back I decided to finally stop wearing some of my oldest and most favorite tee shirts.  They were so worn, and oh-so-perfect, but the fact was that they didn’t really look good on me anymore.  They were way too important to me sentimentally to just get rid of them so I went ahead and cut them up for a quilt.  Most of the patches are cut and ready to sew, but this year (by April for my guild’s quilt show) I want to finish it.  Here is a sneak peek of the quilt layout.
  11. Build doll house.  Yes I am a thirtysomething and yes I still play with dolls.  I’m a huge Monster High and Blythe doll fan (and also other weird and/or ball jointed dolls).  I’ve actually got a pretty good lead on a used doll house that I think I’m going to trade some stuff for.   If you want to see some of the dolls I and accessories I really like check out my pin board here.
  12. Purge and re-vamp wardrobe.  There is stuff that needs to GO to make room for fun stuff!  Don’t we all?

{Another note: The jelly spirit band around the bottom of the book says “GLITTER CRITTER”. Yep.  Pretty much winning.}

OKAY!  Now you tell me what you’re going to get up to this year!  Here’s to 2016 being full of checking things off the to-do list!

What did you read in 2015?

*edit: I accidentally deleted the book log pics and had to recreate them so now you get a sneak peek in to what I’ve read so far in 2016!

Here is the somewhat pitiful list of books I read this past year!  I honestly think I forgot to write a few of them down because it really seems like there should be more here.  There is even a gap in the list where I must have meant to go back and record a few more but never did.  This year I’ve spent so much time knitting that it has taken a toll on my reading.  I’d never attempted to read and knit at the same time until this December.  I was so hooked on Ready Player One that I actually figured out a way to prop up the book on the arm of the couch so I could knit and read at once!

I started keeping a reading log back when I was in the 7th grade.  My best friend, told me about her grandfather, Charles Yelton–he had VOLUMES of books filled with lists of what he had read over his life time.  It was an amazing thing to get to look back on, and I decided to start keeping a log like him.  When I was in college I lived through a dorm fire that burned up the log I’d kept for nearly ten years (among other things).   I managed to keep another log for 8 years or so when I accidentally returned it with some library books and it got thrown away (despite the fact that I had all my current contact information in it).  The moral of this story is that maybe I should also keep a digital copy of my dang book list from here on out!

The last book I started reading in 2015 was The Tale of HillTop Farm.  I am still eating it up!  It is the first book in a series of not-so-scary mysteries based on the characters of Beatrix Potter.  As a kid I LOVED her stories, especially the Tale of Two Bad Mice (which is especially funny given my current affinity for dolls!) I still have about 30 pages left and I look forward to reading the whole series.  Other than those, my current reading is this stack of gardening books!

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What was your favorite book of 2015?  What are you looking forward to reading this year?  Do you keep a book log?  Comment and let me know!