Thursday, August 26, 2010

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

My all time favorite pie is... apple pie! Yep, it even beats pumpkin.  So here's a recipe I found on pbs.org along with my own personal tips and pictures to help you through.  This pie is awesome!

Go to http://www.pbs.org/everydayfood/baking/recipes/apple_pie.html to see the whole and complete recipe.  For this post I've changed it to a recipe that makes more sense to me.

Apple Pie

Ingredients:   Basic Pie Dough (enough for two crusts)
                    4 lbs of apples, such as Granny Smith or Gala (I used Pink Lady and it was great)
                    2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
                    3/4 c. sugar
                    1/4 c. flour
                    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
                    1/2 tsp. salt
                    2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


1. Make your pie dough for the crusts.  I used my Mom's recipe.  Roll out your dough and put the first crust down in the bottom of your pie pan.  I use this trick my mom taught me for rolling out the dough.  You put the dough in between pieces of wax paper and roll it with a rolling pin.  Then you take off the top layer of paper, lay the dough side down in the pan, and peel the wax paper off.

pie crust

2.   Trim off the edges of the crust and set aside the bottom and top pie crusts for later. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

3.  Peel and core the apples.  I only used 4 large apples for my pie and it was plenty.  I learned a cool way of coring the apples when I watched a real chef make this on TV.  You use a small metal ice cream scoop to take out the center of the apple.  If you happen to have one of those ice cream scoops laying around, like I did, then you should try this.  Its kinda fun!


4.  Slice the apples into 1/4 inch thick slices and place them in a bowl.  Mix them with the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.



5. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.  Toss to combine.

6.  Get your pie pan with your bottom crust in and fill it with the apple mixture.   Gently pack the apples and mold them to the center.  Then dot with butter.



7.  Place your top crust onto the pie and crimp around the edges. Then cut slits in the top.  Now your pie is ready to bake!


8.  Place your pie on a low rack in the oven and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 375 and bake for another 50 to 60 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling.

9.  Let it cool and eat it!  With vanilla ice cream of course!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Figure drawing beauty

pencil portrait of a girl

Out of all the art forms I've tried (and I've tried a few) figure drawing and figure painting still remain my absolute favorites.  I haven't done much of it since having a baby, but I have my drawings from college to look back on and remember how much fun that all was!  The human figure is beautiful, especially the face.  There's nothing more challenging and nothing more rewarding than drawing a face.  This face is of my little sister Michelle, who has down syndrome.  She may look a little different to some, but to me she is beautiful! I'd like to think that this sketch captures a little of her amazing spirit.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Flower Bows

I made these bows at a church activity last week.  I took apart some fake flowers and layered them with others.  Then I hot glued them together and onto a metal clip.  Pretty much the easiest bows I have ever made!  Now if only I had a little girl to wear them!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Congratulations Card

Congratulations Card

Here's a new design for a card for anything that requires a congratulations.  I think I'm using this one as a wedding card.  I love the colors on this one!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Photo of the week

tree silhouette at sunset

We took a walk last evening and the sunset was pretty nice- nothing compared to Arizona sunsets, but this one was good for Utah.  I have to admit that I edited the photo a little to make it look better!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Starched Fabric Wall Decals

elephant starched fabric wall decals

Want a cute, cheap, and easy way to decorate your walls?  Well, here it is- starched fabric wall decals.  You use nothing but fabric, water, and cornstarch!  I have been wanting to try this out ever since I found the instructions on How About Orange.  So click on the link to see those instructions.  On my post here I'm adding my own personal tips and how it worked out for me.

First, I found some free animal designs at http://www.fun-with-pictures.com/animals-silhouettes.html .


I used this design as a sort- of template.  It wasn't big enough to trace, so I free- handed the image onto my fabric and cut it out.


Next comes the messy part.  Be sure to have a stack of newspaper on hand to protect your table and carpet.

I followed the directions for making the cornstarch mixture I found on How About Orange.  I altered the recipe just a little to make a smaller batch.  I boiled 1 cup of water.  Then in another bowl mixed 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 Tablespoons of cold water.  Then I mixed that in with the boiling water.  I still had some of the mixture left over, so this was plenty for me.

I used a foam brush to put the mixture on one side of the fabric, stuck it to the wall, and then covered the the front side with the cornstarch mixture.  Then I wiped off the stuff that dripped on the walls.


It is now drying on my son's bedroom wall as I write.  Supposedly this stuff will not take the paint off your walls when you take it off. That is a definite plus!

elephant starched fabric wall decals

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Watercolor Flower

orange lily watercolor painting


I have been working on this for the past week and it didn't turn out quite the way I wanted.  I'm naturally better at oil paints and since watercolors are the exact opposite of oils, it is taking me a while to get used to painting this way.  I tend to overwork the watercolors and not leave enough white space.  But, enough of the personal critique- it turned out ok anyway.  I can usually save a watercolor painting by adding some black ink in there.  I think I'll try another watercolor flower soon!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Photo of the week


We took a little trip to Wheeler Farms last week and when I walked into this scenery, I felt like I was in a movie.  I usually don't see anything this pretty in real life!
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