Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blueberry Pie


It seems a bit early here in the Northwest to be making berry pies, but blueberries are showing up at my local grocery stores and I couldn’t help myself. Not only is blueberry pie delicious, it’s healthy (except for the butter, shortening, and whipped cream parts), and blueberries are the easiest berries to bake with. No peeling. No slicing. No seed removal.


Aside from using fresh, sweet berries, here are a couple tips to creating the perfect blueberry pie: do not over bake it; and keep the berries slightly firm by freezing them first. Don’t completely thaw them before you place them in the pie shell. I don’t mean you should leave them as frozen as the ones shown below. You can thaw them to perfection by running some cold water over them for a minute or two. I prefer that the berries still have a bit of tooth after the pie is baked, but if you don’t, then go ahead and skip the freezing part. See the little nubbly fruit pieces peaking out? Whole berries wrapped in a buttery, flaky crust. That’s the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh.


My go-to blueberry pie recipe is very uncomplicated, as it should be.

Blueberry Pie
Freeze 4 cups fresh blueberries overnight. Rinse the frozen berries in a colander by running cold water over them until they are slightly, but not completely, thawed. In a large bowl, mix 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix well. Pour contents into a 9" prepared crust. Dot with 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Place a top crust over the filling, and cut slits in the top of the dough. Crimp the edges together. Brush the top with a beaten egg white and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar. Place into a preheated 425°F. oven for 35-40 minutes, or until juices begin to bubble through slits. Remove and place on a wire rack until cooled. Serve room temperature with ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Doggie treats

 I made these heart cookies for my 4-legged children. They love them!




Here’s how you can make them too...

Yummy Doggie Treats
Melt together: 3 generous Tablespoons bacon grease, 2 generous Tablespoons peanut butter. Add 1 cup cornmeal, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 egg, 3/4 cup chicken broth. Mix well until it forms a dough.

Gather dough together and roll out to the thickness you want. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 400°F. for about 18-20 minutes. 


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Monday, February 4, 2013


This post was written just after Thanksgiving 2012, but I just realized I failed to publish it. I figure the cold, dreary months of winter are here a while longer, so it’s still a good time to share this with you...

The word Zentangle meant nothing to me until a few weeks ago. While visiting my MIL on Thanksgiving (she hosted and cooked a fabulous meal), she shared this new-to-me art form she’s playing around with. I was intrigued. That night I was Zentangling in my dreams. In spite of the fact that the next morning was Black Friday, I knew a search for Zentangling materials was necessary. I found pens and some decent paper at my local art store, got 20% off, and two free t-shirts to boot... I was excited. I’d never participated in Black Friday before.

So what is Zentangling you ask? It’s often referred to as yoga for your brain. It’s a meditation achieved by drawing complicated looking patterns one line at a time. Simple patterns are combined in an unplanned way that grows and changes as you draw. With your mind engaged in drawing, your body can relax. Anxiety and stress melt away. Zentangle, the noun, was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. You can read more and order materials at their website here.


To begin Zentangling, you won’t need much.

Here are the few items I purchased:

Pigma Micron Archival Ink Pens in various sizes: 2-01, 1-03, 1-05 (black)
Prismacolor Brush Tip Marker: size B (black)
Pencils (I had a case full of graphite pencils, but any pencils will do)
Strathmore small sketch pads (fine tooth surface)
Strathmore Bristol (smooth surface)

These materials got my daughter and I started, but pro tanglers recommend working on paper tiles made of 100% cotton, a heavy-weight fine artist’s paper with a beautiful vellum surface finish. My local art store didn’t carry these, so I compromised. The deckled-edge tiles are tempting me now though, and I’ll be ordering some as soon as possible. You can order Zentangle tiles here.




If you do a Google search for Zentangle or Tangling you’ll hit on a multitude of information, how-to’s, patterns, books, etc.

Happy tangling!