Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Little Red Wagon #187 - Put a Cork In it

We sure do have a couple of challenging challenges coming up on Little Red Wagon over the next couple of weeks and this week is one of them.

Tammy is wanting us to use cork on our creation. So I dug out some cork and created this card:

Ok, I better admit that the frame isn't actually cork but cork patterned paper, that counts right?

So if you can, link up your cork inspired project over at Little Red Wagon, we love to see what you create!

And I followed sketch 65 at Retro Sketches so am linking my card up there too.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Little Red Wagon #186 - Make It Punny

Wednesday already!

And that means it's time for another Little Red Wagon challenge.

And a challenge it is, make it punny!  Really Jan !?

But then I remembered I had a Stamp Box stamp set designed by Karen Ellis that had yet to see ink.

And voila, here's my card:

So why don't you link up your punny projects over at Little Red Wagon, we love to see what you create.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teacups and Cloches

Marty is hosting another cloche party and I thought I'd link up these cloche vignettes I created a little while back.

I have several very pretty teacups and one day decided to bring them out of the china cabinet and display them under my cloches.

This one is in my foyer.

And these on the top of my piano.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Beautiful Long Weekend

We've had a beautiful long weekend and I accomplished all  kinds of things.

A visit to the greenhouse.

Planting all my containers as well as 3 flats of impatiens and more!

Smelling the sweet scent of lilacs.

Washing windows.

Getting ice cream, drinking a strawberry beer and a bit of wine too!

Having dinner out.

Seeing The Great Gatsby.

Having a quick visit with my sister to pick up daughter Brittany who accompanied  my sister and family on a short trip to visit to Tennesee.

Of course there was housecleaing.

And laundry too.

But chores were balanced out by the warm weather.

And pretty flowers in the garden.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Little Red Wagon # 185 - Use a Doily

Happy Wednesday before the long weekend!(for those of us in Canada!)

It's time for another Little Red Wagon challenge and this week Joanne wants us to use a doily on our card.

I dug through my wagon and found some heart shaped doilies and used one on this card:

So dig through your wagons for those doilies and link up your doily adorned card over at Little Red Wagon, we love to see what you create!

Monday, May 13, 2013

French Polynesia - Moorea

Well since it is soooo cold today I thought I'd share some photos of Moorea where it is always nice and warm!

Moorea has stunning scenery and is just a 30 minute ferry ride from Tahiti. Arthur Frommer in Frommer's travel guide says that he considers it the most beautiful island in the world. The island was formed as a volcano 1.5 to 2.5 million years ago, the result of a geologic hotspot in the mantle under the oceanic plate that formed the whole of the Society Archipelago.

Here's a great sun flare photo that Steve took.

A view of the cruiseship from the hillside on our tour of Moorea.

And we stayed in these over-water bungalows for a couple of nights.

A view of the beach set up for a romantic beach dinner.

Another bungalow view at dusk.

A sunset beach view.

All of us but Steve(the photographer) on the deck after snorkeling. The snorkeling is amazing right off the deck with water crystal clear to the bottom.

Our bungalow view.

The walkway to the bungalows.

And finally me on the deck of our bungalow.

I absolutely loved this island!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom!

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love. ~Mildred B. Vermont

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Little Red Wagon #184 - All About Mom

Time for another Little Red Wagon challenge, this week Carolyn has chosen Mom in honour of Mother's Day coming up this weekend.

I've had a cricut in my wagon that I have never really used to its fullest potential. Thanks to my friend Avril for telling me about Cricut Craft Room, I decided to hook up to the craft room and using a free template created this card:

I see my Cricut getting much more use in the future.

So please join us at Little Red Wagon with your Mother's Day project, we love to see what you create.

Friday, May 03, 2013

175 Best Mini Pie Recipes Cookbook

I'm back with another cookbook compliments of Robert Rose, this time 175 Best Mini Pies Recipes.

I picked this book at the suggestion of my family who really like pie!

I was a bit nervous about this one as my Mom is a master pastry baker who swears by her pastry recipe. And which I have been the recipient of, as she has often left prepared pastry in my freezer so all I have to do is roll it out!

But mini-pies are proving to be one of the most popular trends in baking today. The author shares her expertise by providing tips  and techniques for creating perfect mini-pies, recipes for a variety of crusts and pies in a fabulous array of flavours. Julie's recipes have been featured in People, O,The Oprah Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens and Food Network Magazine.

After studying the  recipes, I decided to make Streusel-Topped Pineapple Rum Galettes using an All Butter Pastry.

As I worked my way through the pastry recipe, I was sure it wouldn't turn out. I used the food processor to prepare the pastry as per the recipe and was a bit overzealous with the result that before adding the water the flour/butter mixture was more fine than it should have been.  Then when rolling the dough I don't think I rolled it quite thin enough.

But here's a photo of my galettes:

I don't think they are too far off those in the book.

And another couple of close up photos as I am kind of proud of how they turned out.

The secret to keeping the pastry  flakey is chilling the dough prior to rolling, then chilling the pies again just before baking.

I will for sure be trying many more of the recipes in this book and if you would like to try the galettes and all butter dough, here are the recipes:

Streusel-Topped Pineapple Rum Galettes

• 5-inch (12.5 cm) round cutter
• 2 baking sheets lined with parchment

3 tbsp unsalted butter
1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp dark rum
1⁄4 tsp salt
2 cups drained fresh or canned pineapple pieces
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 recipe All-Butter Pie Dough (see below)
1 large egg, mixed with 1 tbsp water
1 recipe Macadamia Nut Streusel Topping (see below)

1.In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, rum and salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add pineapple and toss to coat. Mix in flour. Set aside to cool completely.
2.On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to slightly thicker than 1⁄16 inch (2 mm). Using cutter, cut into rounds and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing apart. Reroll scraps as necessary.
3.Brush edges of rounds with egg wash. Place 2 tbsp (30 mL) filling in center of each round. Fold edges over filling so they overlap slightly but center is still exposed. Press firmly to seal. Press about 11⁄2 tbsp (22 mL) streusel onto exposed center. Brush top of dough with egg wash.
4.Place galettes in freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
5.Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through, until crust and streusel are golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let cool on baking sheets on wire racks for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Tips: When purchasing fresh pineapple, look for firm fruit with green leaves and a fresh scent. Using a sharp knife, trim the pineapple and remove the outer rind. Slice the fruit into 1⁄2-inch (1 cm) rings and remove the core from each ring. Discard cores, then chop the flesh into 1⁄2?inch (1 cm) pieces.
The pies can be fully assembled (Steps 1 through 3) and frozen for up to three days. Freeze for at least 30 minutes on trays, then place in a single layer in zip?top bags. Bake from frozen, as directed.

Makes 16 galettes

All-Butter Pie Dough

Makes about 13⁄4 lbs dough
Enough for 12 to 24 pies, depending on size

• Food processor

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1⁄2 tsp salt
9 oz cold unsalted butter, cubed
3⁄4 cup ice water
2 tsp cider vinegar

1. In food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse flour, sugar and salt to combine.
2. Scatter butter over flour mixture and pulse several times, until butter is the size of peas. Transfer to a bowl.
3. In a small bowl, stir together ice water and vinegar.
4. Add half of the water mixture to flour mixture, stirring with a fork to combine. Add more of the water mixture 1 tbsp at a time, just until dough begins to hold together in moist clumps (you might not need all the mixture).
5. Shape dough into a ball, then transfer to a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Macadamia Nut Streusel Topping

2⁄3 cup packed light brown sugar
2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour, almonds, cinnamon and salt. Using your fingers, rub in butter until clumps form.
2. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 week.

Excerpted from 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes by Julie Anne Hession © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Little Red Wagon # 183- Pick or Stick!

Time for another Little Red Wagon challenge and this week Jayne wants us to use a toothpick or lollipop stick on our creation.

I decided to link up this layout I created a little while back that features a pennant flag on a toothpick-like stick.

Then I remembered that I had a pinwheel die in my wagon that hadn't seen a lot of use so I dug it out to create this card.

I like the way the sticks are glued so that they are coming out through the top of the jar, it took me 3 tries after I had glued them to get that right......sigh.....

Anyway, please join us over at Little Red Wagon with your pick or stick adorned project, we love to see what you create!