Saturday, November 28, 2009

Evil has a Cousin

So, we have very intrepid squirrels as you can see in this post. You'd think they would jump off a window ledge featuring two very large and very agitated cats, but no, they stay and swish their tails at danger.

Apple Pie Pie Pie

For Thanksgiving dinner I volunteered to bake an apple pie. I thought it was time to try my hand at a lattice top as I had bought a lovely pie crimper the week before at Cornucopia. I took the above photo as a thank you to my friend Katie - who gave me this wonderful cook book stand for my birthday.

I love visiting Penzeys Spices - a local spice shop in downtown Maplewood. When I was there last time, I saw this small container of freeze dried lemon peel. After talking to the store folks, these lemon peels just need about 15 minutes soaking in water in order to be resconstituted and used in baking. I thought I would give this a try and it worked beautifully.

It took me a while to get used to pie dough that didn't really look like dough. When it looks like sand, that's when you know that you're on the right track.
Gala apples did the trick and stayed tender without being mushy. I think I over did it on the cinnamon this's just so hard to believe that there can ever be "too much" cinnamon. Right?!

I tell you. Parchment paper is my best friend, and it makes rolling out the dough so much easier.

I was so happy that the pie crust didn't end up charred and inedible! I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Farmer's Market

We had beautiful weather in St. Louis last Saturday. So, to the Farmer's Market in Kirkwood I went. It was the frist day of their transition to an outdoor Christmas Market so I was eager to see what goodies they had on display and met up with my mother and younger sister, Leanne.

It was mostly kitschy stuff like this wooden fellow below.

While the decorations were a bit of a disapointment, the small covered market was not! I was just full of yummy treats. Like the crushed peppermint candies that would be perfect for my holiday cookies.

My sister, Leanne (home from college for the week!), had quite the time choosing between all of the homemade jams.

After lunch, my mom led me to the promised land...also known as Cornucopia. It was full of specialty baking and cooking supplies. Hello. I love you, adorable square tart pan.

Hello, ridiculously expensive cast iron enamelware - want to come home with me?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jury Duty

So, a couple of months ago, I received a letter in the mail from the St. Louis City Courts letting me know that I had been selected for jury duty and that I was to report to the court house on Nov. 18th in order to serve. I was super excited! I just think that the opportunity to serve on a jury would be the neatest thing! The night before, I had packed a bag of fun things in order to keep myself entertained - that would include the lastest issue of House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart's Cooking School and my current fiction book. Perfect!

My excitement quickly turned to dismay that morning when I discovered that I was lost downtown and couldn't seem to find the building I was supposed to report to. Thankfully, I happened to run in to my new Jury Duty Best Friend as I was getting out of my car. She was just as lost as I was and between the two of use we were able to figure out that we were to report to the Court building (picture above). I thought it looks a bit like the Ghostbusters building, right?!

After about 5 minutes, Hannah and I discovered that we had several friends in common and bonded over family blogs. We both passed the first stage of the jury selection for a huge class-action lawsuit and will be hanging out again on Nov. 30th for further interviews of potential jury members. So, overall, it was a long, boring, different, wierd day. And it was so much more fun to spend it with a new friend!

Monday, November 9, 2009

What Say You?

So, I was posting a comment on Just a Plane Ride Away (the always fabulous expat blog) about how I was considering the purchase of a new set of dishes and that I was looking at "Friendly Village" which is a set of everyday plates from Wedgewood. This whole set is on sale for $99! I know that I would have found these dishes completely atrocious just a few years why have I bookmarked the site to look at the photo? WHY? I think I love it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I hope your Halloween was a happy one! Our family decided to visit Aili and Mike's house for dinner and taking the kids out for trick or treating.

My sister is a great cook - we enjoyed some seriously fantastic chili (perfect for a cold autum night) and totally cutie pumpkin cookies!

Joseph decided that he wanted to be Cyborg, a DC comics superhero in Teen Titans. I thought he was dressed up like a character from the movie Tron! If you look closely, Mara is bundled up on the couch in the background. A few hours before we arrived she started feeling sick, so she missed out on trick or treating this year.

Miss Baby Elena, however, came to the rescue in her pink super girl outfit to save the day and get some candy for her sick older sister!!

People, I am telling you, I almost melted in to a puddle of love this little girl is so sweet, and brave and spunky and funny and just awesome. It was her first Halloween and it was great to be there for it! After the kids went to bed we enjoyed a marginally scary movie. All in all a great Halloween! Thanks Aili for a great dinner!!