Sunday, October 26, 2008

Apple Pie

Just a few miles from Downtown Seattle is South 47 Farms. Their big draw on the weekend before Halloween is an offering of carving and cooking pumpkins. We went to the farm for another fall item, though - apples. From their modest apple orchard we were fortunate enough to pick to our hearts' content and gathered enough to bake one pie and then some.

Refrigerated pastry dough and apples in hand, I asked my Mother-in-law for her apple pie filling recipe. Thanks to the hard work of my husband and Father-in-law, we ate the most delicious apple pie I've ever tasted. It was so delectable, in fact, that I am sharing the filling recipe with you.

Happy baking and bon apple-tite!

Apple Pie

• About 7 cups of apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced into 1/4" pieces (enough to make a big mound in your pie tin)
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to taste
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (any more would be overpowering)
• Good pinch of salt
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice (leave this out if you use very tart apples, like Gold Rush or Northern Spy)
• 2 tablespoons of butter, cubed
• Pre-made two-piece pie crust, so you'll have a top crust (or you can make your own crust if you like. Show-off.)

• Pie tin or pie plate
• Measuring cup and measuring spoons
• Very large mixing bowl
• Baking sheet (to go on the lower rack of the oven to catch any drips from the pie)

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and put the baking sheet on the bottom rack.
• Place the sliced apples in the pie plate to check that you have enough for a good mound.
• Transfer the apples to the mixing bowl and toss them with everything except the butter and the crust.
• Arrange one of the two crust pieces into the bottom of the pie plate, starting from the center and then pressing down so that it makes it evenly to the corners.
• Pour the filling into the crust-lined pie plate.
• Sprinkle the cubed butter all over the top of the filling.
• Arrange the other crust piece on top of the filling, crimp the pastry together around the edge, and cut a bunch of little vents in the top crust.
• Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
• IMPORTANT - let cool to room temperature for 4 hours. I know. If you don't, though, all the juice will run out and the pie will fall apart. If you wait, though, the filling will reabsorb the juices, and you'll get beautiful solid slices. Your patience will be rewarded.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Product Review | Cool Mom Picks

Our latest product review comes from Cool Mom Picks Associate Editor Julie Marsh.

"Much more than mere mommy cards, these two-inch square cards incorporate custom photos along with contact information--ideal for those of us who need a visual memory cue now and then. Designer/mom Chris Guillot consults extensively with each client to lovingly custom design cards that reflect exactly what you want--you, your kids, or even your business. The result: elegant calling cards that make a fabulous impression…"

To read the full product review, please visit Cool Mom Picks.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Product Review | Superdumb Supervillain

Our latest product review comes from superdumb supervillain.

"Thumbprint Trading Cards are a great conversation starter, for sure. Chris Guillot started the company after her son was born and she realized she needed to make mom friends. Thumbprint Trading Cards are sort of like mommy cards, but they have a unique 2" x 2" square format with rounded edges and a glossy, varnished look that set them apart from traditional business cards. You personalize them with your own photo and text, so they work as calling cards, business cards, gift tags, whatever you need them to be! Chris is more than happy to work with you to create something you will be thrilled to hand out."

Read the full product review at superdumb supervillain and enter to win a free set of Playdate Appointment Cards and a Key fob Cardholder in Black.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy First Birthday, Nicholas!

On the big day, we popped into Dad's office for a birthday lunch. Nicholas' first run-in with a cupcake wasn't successful [i.e. didn't end up all over his face]. That night we attended our bi-monthly PEPS meeting and he had a grand time playing with his buddies.

Later in the week, Nicholas got his first haircut. This decision about when to have his hair cut was hotly debated between my husband and me. I won't say who won that debate but I will say that Nicholas is stylin' a new do and had fun getting his hair cut. To celebrate this milestone and my own birthday, Nicholas had a second run-in with a cupcake. On his hands, all over his face, in his mouth, in his belly, up his nose. It was pure delight.

The week ended with Nicholas' party-turned-biggest-playdate-yet at Gymboree Play and Music and, you guessed it, another cupcake. Now I've lived the sentiment: to spoil a baby rotten.

So what now? Well, every bit of cupcake he shoved into his mouth proved to me that he is capable of eating chunky food. So believe you me, his veggies, proteins, fruits and breads will be in chunks from now on. The jig is up, Bubba! You're a big boy now.