Archive for October 31, 2011

All Hallows Eve

Ahhh Halloween… If it weren’t for the family aspect of Christmas, this would certainly be my favourite time of the year. I love dressing up (this year I was Black Swan), eating mini chocolate bars (though I’m being good this year. grr), carving pumpkins (as seen below) and the lovely smell of jack o lanters roasting as they light the way for the little trick or treaters.

I’m hoping for a lot of trick or treaters. We’re the cool house this year giving away full sized chocolate bars and bags of candy! What kid can resist that? (This is the only time of year I will contribute to juvenile diabetes, obesity and other sugar related illnesses).

What’s your favourite part of Halloween?


Recipe: Mini Peach Pies

I love pie, especially fruit pie. Who doesn’t love a warm burst of fruit and flaky crust in their mouth? Thing is, it is far too tempting to have a larger slice than you’re supposed to. Enter – the mini pie.

I used my no sugar peach jam (see recipe here), and rather than buying a pie pan, I just used my mini cupcake tins which worked perfectly. The trick however? You need to press the dough to every edge and side of the pan to ensure your pies have a flat bottom. I didn’t do this and I had round bottomed pies (but they were still just as delicious!)

Check out this step by step guide with the pie crust recipe to follow.


Pie Crust Recipe from allrecipes.com

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening*
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Roll out dough on a floured counter. Don’t over work it. Use as directed in pie recipe above.

*Note: For a healthier version, I didn’t use the shortening but instead increased the water by about a 1/4C until I was able to get the coarse crumb consistency needed. This will create a denser pie crust rather than the flaky variety.

My jam recipe is found here. Any jam recipe will work. In fact, why don’t you try several different jams in a batch?

If you try these out let me know how they turned out!

Apple sauce and pie time

Yesterday at my parents’ house I saw all the beautiful apples still hanging off the trees (after already so many have been harvested) and got giddy at the thought of making apple sauce, pie and cider. Fun and YUM! Then I thought about peeling and coring all those apples. Not so fun. So today we went on an adventure and bought this beauty:




This fantastic old fashioned looking device cores, peels and cuts your apples with a simple crank. It truly is a simple machine that does an amazing job (really who needs electric gadgets). We also tried it tonight on potatoes and it works just as beautifully.
It seems to be solid and good quality, made from metal and wood. And the best part? We got it on sale for $15! This kitchen gadget is definitely worth more.
If you’re planning on harvesting and preparing a bunch of apples this autumn, I highly, HIGHLY recommend you pick this guy up. It’ll save you time and painful cramped hands.

Antique love photo gallery

I love the idea of having photos of our parents, grandparents, maybe even great grandparents, in love. Whether it be their wedding photos or a casual picture of them having a picnic, I love the idea of having these photos arranged in a way for everyone to see the love in our family through the years. Here are a few ways we (and you!) can display this lovely gallery:

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