Saturday, November 28, 2009

At Least The Filling Was Good

This is the smooth, rich, yummy pumpkin filling that I used for my pies.  In light of the pie crust fiasco instigated by the Pie Gremlin, you may want to find your own crust recipe.  If you have an awesome one, I'd love to try it!

1 c sugar
3 T flour
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves
3 eggs
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree

insert pie crust ingredients here
1.  Bake your pie crust, show off.
2.  Heat oven to 375° F.
3.  In large bowl, beat sugar, flour and cream cheese with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. 
4.  Add remaining ingredients to mixture.   Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl constantly, until smooth. Pour into pre-baked crust.
5.  Cover edge of crust with foil to prevent excessive browning.
6.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
7.  Cool completely before serving.   Store in refrigerator.


Click on image below to print out your very own recipe card!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pie Carumba!

So, here's how it all went down...

Wednesday, I decided to make a few pies. Just a couple. No big whoop. The pie fillings are awesome. I've used them plenty of times before. But, I don't have a go-to recipe for pie crust. That's where it all went south. I blame the Pie Gremlin. He hangs out with that other punk, the Great Pumpkin.

I wanted to make my pumpkin pie all fancy-like, so I rolled out some dough and used the little leaf cutters that I bought with Christy at Sur La Table.  Because I was going to add them just before the pies were done baking, I decided to place the little leaves in the fridge. I didn't have any cellophane, so I pulled out some heavy duty foil.  While laying a piece of it out on the counter, I got a giant aluminum paper cut. Fantastic.

Even More Thankful!

This year's place setting was very similar to last year. I just added an orange clove pomander. They smell yummy. Of course, my dad being my dad, pulled all the cloves out and ate the mandarin orange, peel and all. He's crazy like that. You know, most of the vitamins are in the peel!

I made the paper "thankful leaves" bigger this year because our blessings are more and more every year!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Now, I have to pull out the Christmas decorations! Angel Party is a week away!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gingerbread House

Once upon a time, I made a gingerbread house for a contest only to find out that Wilton decided not to host a gingerbread house contest that year! Pooh! Anyway, contest or no, I still have an awesome gingerbread house and love to show it to friends.

Well, imagine my delight when I found out that Martha wants to see our gingerbread houses and she's having a contest for the best one. So, of course I uploaded my photos to her site and am hoping she'll love them.

Everything on the house is edible, only in theory, and all the decorations are made of fondant. They are pretty much rock hard now and the house weighs a ton!

Update: Not sure whatever became of the Martha contest, but my little house was featured on the Food Network Canada blog!  Awesome, eh?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Picture is Worth...

...A Thousand Swan Rides

Remember my sorority sister, Candy, who had the SMU Homecoming engagement last year? Well, her sister is a phenomenally talented and well known wedding photographer in Dallas. She took Candy and Tom's engagement photos at the State Fair and they are so AMAZING that I just had to share. Stacy is also shooting Candy's wedding in May. I can not wait!

Another note: If you are in the mood for your own leisurely swan ride, head on over to Fair Park. They're available year-round, not just during the State Fair, for just a few bills. Ahhhhh!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Another video of my favorite little pixie, Georgia Grace at the Oregon Garden and at the home of her little buddy, Lukas. Music: 'The Bird and the Worm' by Owl City. Enjoy!

I told her dad that he needed to send it to the Owl City fan page. It would make the best music video!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cute as a Button

Hi, chickadees! Have you noticed that I have a fun new button to share? It's over there on the right sidebar. Feel free to grab it and when you do, please let me know so I can visit your blog, too! And I can't wait to add your botton to my blog faves!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Mexican Masquerade

I know it's way past Halloween, but I wanted to share some pics of the masks I made for the Museum of Cultural Arts Houston Masquerade Ball. We dressed as a Dia de los Muertos couple. I made the masks out of papier mache and embellished mine with silk flowers and Swarovski crystals. I made the little skulls out of polymer clay. Michael's mask got just a touch of fine black glitter on the cross. I love the way they turned out. They are going to be awesome Halloween decorations next year!

I love this shot because it's so dark and spooky and the background reminds me of The Shining. At the time, we thought the picture wasn't any good because we took it with an iPhone and it didn't have a flash, but I think it's awesome. Very film noir.

I also made these wicked awesome masks for the founders of MOCAH, Rhonda and Reginald Adams. Don't they look great? Reg is verrrrry tall and Rhonda is teeny tiny. I hit at right about his nose! Leave it to me to make a foot-tall mask that made him even taller!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Good Chocolate

Brought to you by my daily indulgence of Dove Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Promises.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grade School Charm

I love charm bracelets. There's just something about being able to wear your milestones and hobbies and favorite doodads on your wrist. When I was little, I loved playing with my mom's chunky gold bracelet with the state charms she collected while travelling with her youth choir. I thought it was just beautimous. Whenever I see someone wearing a charm bracelet, I am instantly drawn to it. But, only if I know the person wearing it. I've had strangers accost my arm in the mall and it's just plain weird.

In grade school, THE gift for girls' birthdays was a James Avery charm. The bracelet you just HAD to wear it on was the plain one with the hook clasp, so all the charms clumped together in one bunch at the bottom. Fantastic. It really hurt when you were writing and I used to get in trouble if I wore it to my piano lesson. When I took it off, I had little dents all over my wrist from all the clumpage. The unicorn was the worst; it always speared me with its magical horn. Darn you, fantastical creature! Once, one of my friends lost a bunch of charms on the field when her bracelet clasp unhooked. The whole class was out there searching for the rest of recess for little ballet slippers. I'm surprised they weren't banned from school!

I bought my hook clasp bracelet and my first charm in 3rd grade. The charm was an itty bitty cowboy hat to represent riding horses with my cousins at their farm in Teneha, Texas. My best friend who has since passed away, gave me a 3d piano charm which was MUCH cooler than the flat one. The little ichthus was actually a dangle ring (another must have accessory) that one of my mom's best friends gave me for confirmation. The ring must have been size 0, it was so tiny. It had to be cut off from my pinky finger! After that, it soon found a spot on my bracelet. There's a little megaphone for my jr. high cheerleading days and a roller skate to remind me of all the awesome Friday night skating at the roller rink...couples skate! (I was never "going" with anyone to do that.) See that monkey next to the music note? It was a Girl Scout cookie selling prize. I peddled those cookies like nobody's business to win that!

After 5th grade, I put away my James Avery bracelet. It hung around waiting patiently for many years. Then, after college, I gently coaxed it out of the James Avery signature blue felt bag. The bracelet no longer fit and I couldn't bear to lose any charms, so I bought a silver link bracelet and had them soldered on.

I've added a few charms to my original bracelet since its rebirth, including the Noah's ark from my mother-in-law and the little girls from one of my sorority house roommates. But for the most part, I've managed to keep it suspended in grade school. Do you have a charm bracelet? I'd love to hear its story.