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Perfect Pie Crust (In my opinion)

08/16/2012 - Author: Natasha Phillips

It has taken me a while to find a pie crust that I enjoy. I tend to like the flaky, lighter crusts that really just hold the filling in place, (because we all know the filling is the best). Grandma’s recipe was okay growing up, but it had vinegar in it, which I know alot of people prefer putting in their pie crust. When one uses the same recipe for a long time it is hard to branch out and try new things. However I finally branched out and expieramented and now I have the ‘perfect’ pie crust. I took some pictures while I was making a pie the other day that I thought might be helpful or just fun to critique. You can find the recipe on my recipe page or just follow the link. I made a pie similar to this for a fund raising event here in Hermann and it was a hit. If anyone has suggestions on pie crusts or pies please feel free to leave a comment. Hope you enjoy.

1. Freeze your butter then grate into flour instead of chopping it into the flour. Make sure to use the fine side of your grater.

2. Once you add the water, stir and then knead until it forms a soft ball.

Divide ball into two sections, flatten slightly into two 6″ disks, wrap in plastic wrap and put in freezer for 10-15 minutes.

4. Take out of freezer and roll one section out for a 9″ pie crust. Put your filling into the pie crust and then roll the other piece of dough out for a lattice top. Don’t let a lattice top pie intimidate you, they are pretty easy to do.

5. Once finish bake in oven for specified time for whatever pie recipe you are following. After pie has baked about 25 minutes, remove for oven and wrap edges with foil to prevent crusts from burning.

6. Serve with ice cream and enjoy!!

No Comments - Categories: Food, Uncategorized

Moldy Bread and Stress

08/15/2012 - Author: Natasha Phillips

Today I fed my middle child moldy bread. Actually he didn’t eat it, but I gave it to him none the less. Now before you go and report me to the bad parenting authorities, just hear me out. I like to think of myself as a pretty organized, cool headed and fun mom. 🙂 At least until the last few days. Lately though one could use the polar opposite of those words to describe me, and it is all my husband’s fault. You see Matt, (my husband) and my oldest son left last week on Thursday to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They went with Dad/Grandpa and Brother/Uncle to fish for a week and a half. While I am so glad that they could go and spend this time with each other it hasn’t been a walk in the park being home without them. I hear of other wives who look forward to a ‘break’ from their husbands. I am not one of those. My husband is my best friend and my social life. I would say that is one of the hardest things to get used to now that I stay at home with the kids. Before I was always meeting people and having adult conversation during the day, now I have to wait until Matt gets home from work to have any conversation at all, (well unless I call my sister and talk for an hour!). But Matt and Boyd also bring a sense of stability into the home, Elliott lights up when they are around and is just so much easier to handle. Well Elliott started falling apart about 48 hours ago. Lots and lots of crying, from both my boys actually since the youngest is now teething. I was doing okay for a little while, trying to play and keep them entertained but while doing that the house was slowly falling apart. Dishes were stacking up, the floor wasn’t getting swept and forget about picking up the toys. My only reprieve was the computer at nap time and when they went to bed. I would get on here, play a couple games and then head to bed myself. Well about 36 hours ago my computer completely crashed. It was a miracle I was able to get it started again to get the photo’s I had accumulated over the last 4 years. (Let this be a note: back up your computers!!) The only way I was possibly going to salvage having a computer was totally rebooting the hard drive which meant I would lose everything. Frustrated doesn’t even begin to explain how I was feeling. Anyway I started the reboot early afternoon since it took literally all morning to get my photo’s off the computer. During all of this I was really trying to keep my kids happy and it just wasn’t working. Elliott ended up going down for a nap early and when he woke up he was hungry. So I put him on the couch next to me and got a piece of bread. Elliott loves plain bread so it makes a great snack when I am in a pinch. He was so excited about that piece of bread, I just watched him admire it setting on his lap before he took a bite. I could just see the anticipation in his face, it was so cute and it was all over a piece of bread. That is when I noticed the mold. Yeah, I know, I am horrible. There is a point to all of this. I know it sounds like I am complaining and I am not. I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything in this world . But sometimes staying home and listening to the crying gets hard. It is hard not knowing what to do to make your kids happy. That is okay though, it is okay to feel overwhelmed, and not in control. It is okay to have a melt down and eat an entire French Silk Pie. (Not that I would recommend that one do this, but the sugar and butter does help to smooth out the wounds of the day.) 🙂 I just want other moms to know that the next time they give their child a crayon instead of a lollipop, a hairbrush instead of a toothbrush or moldy bread instead of a yummy cookie, that you are not alone…I am out there and have already done something on that list. 🙂

1 Comment - Categories: Family Stories and Reflection

Scrabble Extreme

08/11/2012 - Author: Natasha Phillips

When my husband and I met I didn’t have syndicated television, we still don’t, so often our date nights were spent playing board games. Now keep in mind that the extent of games I had on hand at that time were, Candy Land, Connect Four, Chutes and Ladders and various card games suitable for a 4 year old. My husband on the other hand was very intellectual and didn’t really care for the games I had on hand, so he taught me the art of scrabble. When I began playing it I was just awful. I was lucky if I broke 135 for my score while Matt would sit back and easily kill with 300+ points. I have a fairly competitive attitude and just couldn’t handle being beat. So we just kept playing. Our dates consisted of a nice bottle of red wine and a scrabble board. We usually played once every week or two. I was slowly getting better. Shortly after we got married, about three years ago,  I scored my highest game at that time, over 400 points. Since then I think we have played maybe 5 games, he doesn’t like to lose. 🙂 We are now trying to teach Boyd the fine are of the game and he is picking it up nicely. I know that this makes me seem like a little bit of a nerd, but that is okay. I have been thinking today about the time we spend with our family, how it is so different these days than it must have been just 50 years ago. Our lives are so inundated with technology that we don’t often take the time for a game that takes an hour or two to play. I am just thankful for the time that we have right now with our boys to play these ‘small’ games and watch them grow. How blessed I am.

No Comments - Categories: Family Stories and Reflection

Fun With Home-made Play-dough

- Author: Natasha Phillips

Growing up my mom would make us play-dough from scratch and I always thought she was crazy, until the other day. Elliott was just being a handful and I was running out of ideas to keep him busy. Suddenly the idea of play-dough popped into my head. I didn’t have any on hand but I did have flour, food coloring, salt, and water on hand. About 10 minutes later a fresh batch of play-dough was on Elliott’s tray and he was busy!! I was always jealous of other kids that had the the ‘real’ play-dough because of the way it felt, but I think that was just my childhood mind. The play-dough I made for Elliott was a little softer than the product from the store but really not much difference and it cost about 20 cents to make!! Elliott had so much fun with his new toy he played with it for over and hour that morning and a hour after his nap. Since then both he and Boyd have played with it every day. I now know why mom would make it as often as she did. You can find the play-dough recipe on my ‘recipe’ page or click on the play-dough recipe link and it will direct you right to the recipe. I hope that your family enjoys it as much as mine is and has.

No Comments - Categories: Crafts

Early Morning Fatigue

08/10/2012 - Author: Natasha Phillips

So it is very early, 1:00am, and I am exhausted. It has taken about three weeks to get this site to a place where I felt like I could write a post. I am a very intelligent person, yet creating this blog was extremely challenging for me! Anyway, I should be in bed, Matt and Boyd are beginning their fishing trip, both the little boys are asleep and I actually have a chance to get some rest. It is just that I don’t ever get anything done during the day so I have to use the night hours to complete the challenging tasks like creating this blog. When I went from working full time to staying home I had envisioned being able to complete a long list of tasks during the day, I realize how off I was now. Goodnight to all, and I will write more tomorrow.

No Comments - Categories: Just Because