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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Everyone Loves Pie {week 4}

It’s week four! Four weeks, four pies. I have to say, so far, the best part of this whole thing is surprising people with a home-made pie. I’ve gotten some great reactions! This week I walked right across my front yard and gave a pie to my neighbors (and their brand new baby boy!) who live next door. They’re the neighbors with whom I share a driveway, as well as a love for the Mizzou Tigers. I took them a cherry pie with almond crumble. It’s a pretty simple recipe, but really, you can’t go wrong with cherry.

Cherry Pie with Almond Crumble


1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), divided, plus more for work surface
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt, divided
6 cups drained jarred sour cherries (from three 24-ounce jars)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 homemade or store-bought pie crust in a deep-dish 9-inch plate
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup almonds


Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in middle and lower thirds. In a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon flour, granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in cherries and vanilla. Brush crust with egg white and fill with cherry mixture.

In a food processor, pulse together remaining 1 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add brown sugar, butter, and almonds; pulse until large pieces form. Scatter crumble over cherry filling.

Bake on middle rack, with a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on lower rack to catch drips, until topping and crust are golden, 45 minutes. Tent pie loosely with foil; bake until juices in center are bubbling, 30 to 45 minutes more. Transfer to a rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 :: Carrie ::

Introducing Our New Hand-Painted Greeting Card Collection!

We’re off to New York City this weekend where we’ll be setting up shop at the New York International Gift Fair. We are happy to let you know that we will be debuting a whole new collection of greeting cards at NYIGF! You may remember back in November I told you that I had been working hard on a big project – well here it is! We have 48 NEW cards, for all occasions, all illustrated by hand. Here are just a few of them…

We hope you can find one to suit all of your occasions. You can see the entire collection in our shop!

Everyone Loves Pie {week 3}

This week’s pie went to my dentist. Yes, you heard that right. I had a check-up on Wednesday, and I gave a pie to my dentist.

Actually, he’s a good family friend. I’ve known him since I was real small. My brothers and I, and his four kids all grew up playing together. I have some great memories of family ski trips together, and picnics, and big group camping trips. He also makes sure my teeth are healthy, which they very much are, I’m happy to report. So, I brought him a pie – and I think he was excited about it!

German Chocolate Pecan Pie

2 large eggs
5 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) pecan halves, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sweetened flake coconut
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. In a heavy, medium saucepan, stir together the butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt with the brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat until melted and smooth. Whisk the sugar mixture into the beaten eggs. Stir in the nuts and coconut.
Spread the chocolate chips in the bottom of the pie shell. Pour in the filling and bake at 375 degrees until set, about 45 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before slicing.

:: Carrie ::

What Would we do Without Boys, Tractors, & Trucks?

It’s mid January, which means we have packed up our big huge crate with everything that makes up our trade show booth. It’s shipping out to New York City this week for the January edition of the New York International Gift Fair, and we’ll be following behind in just a few days.

We did a little maintenance to the bottom of our crate, and added some reinforcements. There’s no telling exactly what that big box goes through from the time it leaves our barn to when we are reunited with it in NYC. Then, of course, it has to make the return trip back home. Lots of picking up and moving around by guys driving fork lifts (sometimes seemingly a little out of control) who might not be as gentle with it as we are. It’s usually a little worse for wear by the time it makes it all the way back to us.

And how did we load up that big box into the back of the freight truck? With a back-hoe, of course. I mean, if it’s available, we might as well use it. One of the benefits of running a small company right in the middle of a big farming operation is the use of heavy equipment.

A friend of ours commented that “it’s nice to have boys, tractors, and trucks to help with this stuff.” Absolutely. I couldn’t have said it any better.

A BIG thank you to my dad and my brother Mike for helping us out!

:: Carrie ::

New Recipe Box!

We have just added something new and exciting to our shop. Say hello to our new recipe box! We’ve been working long and hard to bring it to you, and we are so pleased with how it turned out. It’s made 100% locally, right here in central Missouri, from american maple. It features our hand-drawn “Recipes” letterpressed on the front, and beautiful dovetail joints on each side. The lid includes a leather loop for easy off and on, and the entire box has been rubbed with a beautiful oil finish. Basically, it’s perfect.

Start gathering up your favorite recipes, because the box fits about 250 of our 4×6 recipe cards. We have seven different styles of cards to choose from, so we’re leaving it up to you to choose which ones, and how many, you’d like to come in your box.

You can find all of this, and more, in our shop!

Everyone Loves Pie {week 2}

This week’s pie went to my fantastic neighbors across the street. They’re the neighbors who leave me treats on my front porch, who keep an eye on things when I’m gone, and who come to my rescue when I come home and find that burglars have broken my kitchen window and rummaged around my house. True story. They’re pretty great to have around, and they definitely deserve a pie. A chocolate chess pie. It has a gooey brownie like filling with a crunchy crispy top, and it’s great with a scoop of ice cream.

Chocolate Chess Pie

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9″ pastry shell
Melt the butter with chocolate. In a mixing bowl, combine the chocolate and butter mixture with sugar, flour, salt, milk, eggs, and vanilla; beat with electric mixer for 5 to 6 minutes. Pour filling into prepared pastry shell; bake at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes, until set.
Make sure that you don’t overfill your pie with the filling, leave some room. As it bakes the filling will expand and rise, and if there’s too much it could drip over the edge of the crust onto the bottom of your oven. That’s never pleasant.
:: Carrie ::

The Evolution of a Print

A couple of weeks ago I finished up our new Take A Hike print, which is a little different from any other prints we have done so far. First of all, it has seven colors. That’s more than we’ve ever done on a single print before, and now that I’m done printing it I might tell you that seven is too many. That means each print went through the press seven different times. And I had to load the press with ink, and clean it up again seven different times. It was very time consuming. Also, the majority of the surface area of this print is covered with ink. Lots of solid areas of color, and not much white. I won’t go into the details, because it is hard to explain, but that makes for some difficult printing on the press that we have. Believe me.

In the end though, it turned out great! We’re really happy with it. It’s really fun for me to print new designs like this for the first time. Especially when I’ve had a vision in my head for what I wanted it to look like. Each time I add a new color to the print the picture in my head literally comes to life on the paper. Here is where the idea for this print began…

I snapped this photo back in September when I was in Oregon. Look at those colors! What you don’t know is that directly behind me when I took this photo is probably the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen. Really. But, something about this view spoke to me too, and I took one quick photo, which turned out to be the basis for a new piece of artwork.

So, after lots of sketches, some time with Beth digitizing the drawings and separating everything into seven different layers, we sent our work off to the platemaker. After the paper was cut, the press set up, and the ink mixed, it was time to really get to work. Here is how the print evolved throughout the process…

The first color to go on was light blue.

Then came the light brown layer.

Dark brown was next.

The dark gray layer, for the ground.

Light green.

Dark green.

And, finally (finally!) light gray.

You guys, it’s a labor of love!  And, you can find it in our shop, right here.

:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie

Everyone loves pie, am I right?

A couple of weeks ago I went back and looked through all of our blog posts from the past year, and started thinking about the year ahead. I was trying to think of some kind of ongoing project that we could post about on a weekly basis, and hopefully get you, our readers, involved in some way. In the past I’ve shared a few pie recipes here on the blog, which made me think of my friend Brenda. A couple of years ago Brenda made one pie a week for the whole year. A pretty great idea! I do love to make pies, and there are a lot of recipes out there that I’d love to try. So…here’s the plan…

One pie a week. Each week a new recipe. That’s 52 different pies over the course of the year, and I’ll share the recipes with you right here on the blog. Who will be eating all of these pies? Well, not me. I mean, I’ll probably taste one here and there, but there is no way I should be eating pie every week. Instead I plan on either sharing them with friends or giving them away, because, everyone loves pie!

I’m not going to make any promises that I won’t miss a week here or there, but I’m going to give it my best shot. I’ve also been making a mental list of all the people that I plan on surprising with a pie, which I think will be the best part. I have some friends who are really excited about the whole idea, mostly because they’re looking forward to eating some of this pie, which they undoubtedly will have the pleasure of doing. They’ve already declared 2013 “The Year of the Pie”!

I know a lot of you out there are great cooks and probably have some really great recipes. I have a short list of pies that I plan on making, but I need your input. If you have a favorite pie, or a family recipe that you’d be willing to share, I would love know about it. You can e-mail them to me at

Week 1 : The Perfect Apple Pie

I decided that we should start out the year with a classic, and nothing is more classic that an apple pie. We had our final family Christmas gathering this weekend and I took this along with me. Most of it was eaten, and I sent the leftover piece home with my brother Dustin because he really liked it. He actually told me that it might just be his second favorite dessert of all time – right behind Aunt Bobbie’s layered cake with chocolate icing. Woah. He also said he gives it 7 high-fives out of 7. Not exactly sure what his rating scale means, but that seems like a solid score.

I used a recipe I found in the Better Homes and Gardens NEW Cookbook, copyright 1968. I know you’ve seen it. It’s a three ring binder style book with a red and white checkered cover, and I’m pretty sure everyone’s mom has one their kitchen…

Perfect Apple Pie

6 cups tart apples, pared, cored, and thinly sliced.
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
pastry for 2 crust 9-inch pie
2 Tbs butter
If apples lack tartness, sprinkle with about 1 Tbs lemon juice. Combine sugar, flour, spices, and dash of salt; mix with apples. Line 9-inch pie plate with pastry. Fill with apple mixture; dot with butter. Adjust top crust, cutting slits for escape of steam; seal. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes, or until done.
1 down, 51 to go. Send me your recipes!
:: Carrie ::