Friday, August 15, 2014

Photo Friday: Finding Happy


This kid. Ninety percent of the time he is the happiest little boy around, but man was he having a rough couple of weeks. Nothing serious, mostly teething and a touch of sickness, but enough to really throw him off his happy-go-lucky attitude. I had no idea that the pot of water I was using to soak corn in would make him so happy, but it did and it was so nice to see a smile on his face again.

Happy weekend all. Here's to finding your pot of water!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hello, Hand Pies



Oh, the hand pie. Swoon. I have found a new dessert love. It is everything that is great about pie, but (dare I say) better. More crust, the perfect filling to crust ratio, portable, and you don't have to share. That's a win-win-win-win.

These little pockets of deliciousness are filled with roza peaches we picked just the day before from a local orchard.



While I still have some work to do on making a perfect looking hand pie, these passed all the flavor tests with flying colors. Let me warn you though, these little pies are dangerous. While I think they are best still warm from the oven, they are nearly just as good the next day and are maybe a little too easy to "grab and go". I literally had to stop myself from grabbing one on my way out the door today for a snack.

As a person who turns all food into "hand" food, Owen is also appreciating their portability.


For the crust I used the Cook's Illustrated Foolproof Pie Crust Recipe, which is my absolute favorite ever and go-to pie crust recipe. It's ridiculously easy, it's quick, and it comes out great every time. Even when I'm sure I've over-handled the dough, or done something wrong I still get a beautiful crust; great flavor and perfectly flaky. I don't feel right republishing the recipe here without their consent, but a quick search will turn up the recipe from several sites.

Peach Hand Pies

Makes 10-20 depending on cutter size. I used a 5.5" circle and made ten pies.

For the dough:
Double recipe of Cook's Illustrated Foolproof Pie Crust

For the filling:
1 to 1.5 pounds of peaches, peeled, chopped and cut into small pieces (about 1/2-inch)
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
One egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash
Raw sugar or sanding sugar

1. Prepare dough as instructed in the recipe. After it has chilled roll dough to somewhere between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cutter, or in my case one of the kids' plastic bowls, cut circles out of the rolled dough and transfer to a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the circles another 30 minutes.

2. To make the filling: combine the peaches, flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla.

3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling onto each circle. Moisten the edge of the dough with cold water and fold the dough over the filling and press together to seal the pie. Make a decorative edge by pressing around the outside edge with the back of a fork. With the hand pie on the baking sheet, return it to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes (or if you are impatient like me about 15).

4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the hand pies from the refrigerator and cut a small slit in the top of each. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle (generously) with sugar. Place pies in the oven to bake until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven and let cool slightly. Enjoy!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Photo Friday: Sibling Love


These two. They melt me. Oh how I love watching their relationship grow. Audrey can be a little rough at times and Owen isn't great at sharing, but most of the time it is a lot of hugs, kisses and giggles. I hope it always stays that way.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Color

The beds around our back porch are full of color this summer, which is such a nice change from the pile of dirt that was our backyard last year at this time. Despite the ridiculously hot weather we have been having lately everything seems to be thriving. 


  





Saturday, August 2, 2014

Disneyland!

Last week we had to have some extensive work done on our cabinets (a long story) which meant we needed to be out of the house for the whole week. We had known about this since June, but had not totally committed to where we would go for the week. We tossed a few ideas around but for one reason or another none stuck. So on a total whim four days before we needed to be gone we booked a trip to Disneyland, breaking all of our own Disneyland rules (I swore I would never change a diaper in Disneyland).

We didn't tell Audrey until the morning we left. She was SO SURPRISED!

Needless to say we had an amazing time.


Audrey just reached the 42" mark so she was able to join the adults on the "big kid" rides. She's a brave little girl and was game to give them all a try.


Owen was fascinated by all the excitement. He spent a lot of time watching the boats and feeding the ducks.


And the flowers, oh my! Disney definitely knows how to plan and plant beautiful gardens.


I took way too many pictures of all the flowers as "research" as we plan our front and side yard landscaping.


Unfortunately we came home to a lot of unfinished work that left us "homeless" for yet another week. We are just now back in our house and trying to get the aftermath of the work cleaned up. Disneyland was a lot of fun, but it sure is nice to be home. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nursery Inspiration

If you've been around for awhile you know that it took me over a year to decorate Audrey's nursery, well true to form Owen's room is seriously lacking any sort of decor, and he's 15 months old. It seems like maybe it's time. I've been looking for a bit of inspiration and found these beautiful rooms.

Credit: Ten June Blog

Credit: Project Nursery
Credit: Project Nursery
Credit: Mandy Busby Creative

I love the neutral, vintage look to them all and I am obsessed with the last one from Mandy Busby Creative, she could come decorate my whole house and it would be fine by me. I still have a long way to go in Owen's room, but did get a little bit done this weekend. His walls are now sporting a beautiful gray/blue paint by Miller Paint called "Ocean's Crest".


After the first wall was done I wasn't so sure about the color, but with two coats I am in love with it. It is so light and fresh. Now to finish the rest of the room. Hopefully I'll have some "after" pictures very soon.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Almond Butter Granola


Over the years I've used several different granola recipes. They've all been good, but none have stood the test of time and I have always eventually moved on to find a different/better recipe, until now. This is hands down the best granola recipe I've ever tried and we LOVE the results. I always make a big batch and we eat through it too quickly. I even crave it when we run out.


This is a pretty no frills recipe, but I like it that way so you can add whatever suits you. Bryce enjoys it best as is with a little milk. Although Owen and my favorite way to eat it is with a little yogurt, toasted coconut and fresh fruit. And Audrey always likes to add some sort of dried fruit to hers. However you eat it though, it is delicious.



Almond Butter Granola

6 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup ground flax seed
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup honey
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Spread out onto two bakings sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, then continue to bake another 5 to 10 minutes checking and flipping often until golden. Let cool and enjoy!