Thursday, April 21, 2011

1 Out of a Dozen Isn't Bad!

Mini Pies!  What could be cuter?  That was the thought I had today while looking at books and blogs.  Dreams of perfectly formed crusts and tiny jars filled my head.  So I set off to make my own.  I decided to make 6 cheesecake and 6 pumpkin pie.  The cheesecake seemed to be a sure thing and the pumpkin pie a good try... it helps that those are the only two pies I eat!

I collected my materials and put on my new apron (see the fun fabric in the back of the pic) and away I went.  I started with the cheesecake because it is super easy to make.  I use a recipe that my cousins have shared: 
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 packages of cream cheese
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Bake on 450 for 10 min.  Lower temp to 250 bake 30 min.

To make the tiny cheese cakes I actually just cut the recipe in 1/3 and they filled the jars just fine.  I did put quite a bit of crust in so if you have a thin crust you might need more filling. 

I baked them on the high temp the full time and the lower temp for 8 min.

While I was waiting for them to cook I whipped up my pumpkin pies.  I used the family recipe for my pie crust and decided I need pie crust lessons!  It seemed really shortening-ing.  Undaunted I went ahead and patted it down in the cups for the crust instead of rolling it out. 

I always just use the recipe for pumpkin pie off the can so I got it all made and filled.  I had double the filling I needed. 

It was time to take out the cheesecake and put in the pumpkin pie. 

Then DISASTER struck!!
I baked my jars on a cookie sheet so they would be easy to move in and out of the oven.  I set the cookie sheet on the stove top and started to transfer them to another surface one by one.... when I took the first one off it disrupted the balance and the remaining 5 fell to the floor!

Quickly the clean up crew moved in to take care of the problem (Kip and Izzy)  I put them outside and cleaned up the mess.  Oh well I kept telling myself you will still have pumpkin pie to eat!

When the pumpkin pie was done I peaked at it.....

Epic fail! 

Oh well.  The good news is I have one cheesecake to eat and I am going to clean up the jars and try again.  My hypothesis is that the pumpkin filling was part of the problem not just my crust. 

Have you ever had an epic fail in the kitchen?  If so, let me know!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

National Library Week Craft!!

It is National Library Week and to celebrate I got to do an awesome craft/display.  This year ALA has chosen the theme to be Create your own story @ your library.  Previously, I had seen a website by SMITH all about Six Word Memoirs.  Six Word Memoirs are simply when you take six words to tell your story.  It can be a phrase, sentence or simply six discriptive words.  I thought this was the perfect activity to get our students involved and into the library. 

Step 1:  Getting students to participate. 

Students rarly come to the library without a purpose in mind so I set out to find them in their natural habitat.  To do this we set up a table next to the cafateria during lunch to catch the students.  In the first day we had about 60 students participate and about 25 the second day.

 Part 2:  Transcribeing
All the slips filled out by students were typed up and all names were taken off.  The majority of students would only participate if it was anonymous. 

 Part 3: Setting up the display
I could not come up with another way to display their answers than to put them up on the windows of the library classroom.  This is very visible from the door and actually is pretty easy to see despite all the glare.  This also has the benefit of making them walk past the librarian on duty to get to the display!

I am not sure how many students will be interested in reading the answers everyone wrote.  The ones that did participate sounded like they would make it over to check out the display.  I'll let you know. 

Please take a minute and leave your 6 Word Memoir.  They are fun to write!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's on the Telly?

Kip when his favorite show was McLeod's Daughters!

TV! I love tv and movies and books. But today it is all about tv! I just started watching Off the Map on ABC and was so excited to see an actor from my favorite Aussie show.  I realized that everyone may not have had the chance to check it out so here is my top 5 tv shows you may have missed.

1) McLeod's Daughters
    This is show is Australian and so much fun.  It chronicles the lives of the McLeod daughters along with their neighbors and hands.  I must say that this show had more twists and turns that are unexpected.  It is a must see.  All 8 seasons are available on DVD in the United States!  I started watching this show when I had just got my puppy.  I would watch a few episodes each night before bed.  When I ran out of episodes to watch I noticed that he would not calm down and go to sleep until I put on the intro music to the show! 

2) Wonderfalls
    I actually am not sure when this show aired or what station it was on.  I loved it!  The girl has inanimate objects talk to her while she works in a souvenir shop in Niagara Falls.  Sarcasm abounds in this show!  Unfortantly this show ran for only 14 episodes.  Check it out you won't be disappointed. 

3) Eureka
   This is a fun show!  It is about a town that is made up of scientists.  It is on the SyFy channel right now. If you like cheesy with a side of science fiction this is your show.

4) Doc Martin
   This is a British show that is focused on a doctor who used to be a surgeon until he could no longer stand the sight of blood.  I really like the main characters but the rest of the cast is so much fun to watch.  Definitely a great show to check out. 

5) Ballykissangel
    This is a wonderful funny British show about a pub owner and a priest.  The characters are heart warming and the stories are so hilarious. 

So here are my top 5 overlooked shows.  Let me know what ones you think I should check out and if you have any opinions on my suggestions!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cookies Galore!

Saturday I woke up wanting to make cookies!  Not just any cookies.  I had not yet tried out my new cookie press or Taste of Home Cookies cookbook both from Christmas.  So around 3:00 I got down to cookie making business.  I picked out a Pecan Spritz recipe and, after one quick run to the store when I realized I was out of butter, I was off!

 I have to admit I was surprised at how much butter was used in these cookies.  It also took a cup of crushed pecans and a lot of flour.  I used pecans off our tree outside that had already been shelled but my food processor was playing hide-and-go-seek so I resorted to crushing them with a mallet.  Apparently I did not get them all crushed up good enough and had some problems with the dough getting stopped up when I used the cookie press.  

 Finally some were done and it was time for taste testing.  Verdict:  No good.  They did not really taste like anything at all.  So the batter went in the trash and the baked cookies are going to a good home in small children's tummies.

I was so sad that my cookie experiment failed so later that night I got together with a friend and we made Sugar Cookies and Snickerdoodles.  They were amazing.  Moral of the story:  Always have sugar cookie ingredeance lying about for emergancies!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Here we go!


Thanks for dropping by!  I am so excited to start this new blog about cookies, crafts, and stuff!  I tend to have a short attention span so I bounce around from project to project!  Knitting, baking, embroidery, random facts, and genealogy are just a few of my current interests!

There is no time like the present so lets get started! 

When I was in college I got a Game Cube for Christmas and it included the Legend of Zelda games.  My roommate and I set out to beat the Ocarina of Time.  That following summer all I did in my free time was play the game. 

I absolutely love this video.  I hope you will too!

Let me know what you think!