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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Have a Fantastic Weekend!

Hoping you get the chance to slow down a little bit this weekend and find a way to celebrate the Easter holiday! We’re looking forward to some warmer and sunnier weather where we are. It finally feels like spring!

Here are some things that we found interesting this week…

The Milky Way over the desert as seen through the lens of photographer Royce Bair. Beautiful!

Craig Sager’s suits.

Blackfish. A documentary that I was lucky enough to see at the True/False film festival. I can’t stop thinking about it. Definitely see it if you get the chance.

The Lumineers’ catchy song “Ho Hey” gets a makeover with an all-chicken ensemble featuring Jimmy Fallon, Blake Shelton and Nick Offerman.

And…good luck in that easter egg hunt this weekend. We know you’ll dominate.

:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 13}

We were hit with a late season, sort of big, snowstorm this past Sunday, as was most of the midwest. Almost 10 inches of snow fell here, and I think it caught most everyone off guard. The roads got really nasty, and lots of things got cancelled – including the Sunday morning services at my church, which is kind of rare. So, we had a snow day.

My brother Dustin and sister-in-law Melissa live right around the corner from me. I could probably throw a rock and hit their house, they’re so close. Not that I would ever do that. It’s fun to be neighbors, especially on days like this. We bundled up and headed out into the snow for a while, and ended up walking all the way downtown and ate lunch. Then we spent the rest of the day watching basketball, of course! March Madness. LOVE this time of year. Unfortunately, our Mizzou Tigers got knocked out in the first round of the tournament. Again. (Seriously!?! Come ON you guys!!!!!) Oh well. It’s still fun to watch all the other teams battle it out.

We decided that our Sunday afternoon basketball watching marathon called for some pie. I have this cookbook in my kitchen, and I remembered that it had a recipe for Tar Heel pie, which was perfect. Are we Tar Heel fans? Nope. Absolutely not. The Tar Heels just happened to be playing our biggest rival in the whole world – those Kansas Jayhawks. We love to hate ’em, but I’m going to go ahead and say that we miss them, too. Something just wasn’t right about this basketball season. There was a hole in our schedule, and it definitely could only have been filled by a Jayhawk.

The pie was unbelievably good…but Kansas still won.

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Tar Heel Pie

Ingredients:

Pastry for a 9-inch single crust pie
1/2 cup butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 eggs, beaten well
1 tsp vanilla
 

Directions:

 
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch pie pan with the crust and crimp the edges. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, remove it from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir quickly to melt the chocolate and combine them well.
 
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, and pecans and mix them well.  Add the eggs, vanilla and the chocolate mixture. Stir everything together into a thick, rich, nutty chocolate filling. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Bake until the pie is puffy, handsomely browned, and firm in the middle. 30 to 40 minutes.

All the Buildings in New York

It seems like an impossible task, but James Gulliver Hancock is attempting to draw all the buildings in New York.

Hancock is an illustrator living in Brooklyn, and he admits to having somewhat of an obsessive interest in recording places and things. It’s an ongoing personal project that he knows might never be completed. I love his style, and his tenacity. There is definitely something to be said about setting huge goals like this and slowly working toward completing them. Usually some pretty amazing things come out of that process.

You can follow his progress on his blog, and you can see all of the work that he has done so far in his new book.

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 12}

It’s fun to get packages in the mail, don’t you think?

This week I packed up a pie, and shipped it to our buddy Ted, who lives several hours away. He’s been nice enough to help us out with a project that we are working on, and we wanted to thank him! Since this pie was going to be traveling a little distance I knew that I needed to choose one that would be sturdy enough to make the trip. I ran across this recipe for Tuscaloosa Tollhouse pie in this cookbook, and it seemed to be perfect. It’s basically a giant chocolate chip cookie baked in a buttery pie crust, with a little bit of whiskey thrown in. Just a tiny bit. It sounded good to me.

I wasn’t quite sure how to go about mailing a pie. I just made sure it was completely cool before I wrapped it all up in plastic wrap, then bubble wrap, and then put it in a box with more packing material until it was nice and snug. I sent it overnight, and it made it there the next day just fine.

This pie got rave reviews! I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to make another one, so I can taste it myself.

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Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie

Ingredients:

1 single recipe for a single crust, chilled
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
1 tbs whiskey
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll out the pastry, fit to a 9 inch pie pan, and chill in the freezer.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and sugars together. Set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl beat the eggs until foamy on high, about 3 minutes. A little at a time, add the flour mixture and beat for 2 minutes until everything is mixed together well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the butter. Beat on high until everything is combined. Scrape once more, being sure to get the bottom, and add the whiskey. Beat on high again for 1 minute. Stir in the walnuts and 3/4cups of the chocolate chips.

Pour the filling into the frozen pie shell and spread evenly. It will be really thick, so be gentle. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Bake for 25 minutes, then cover the edges of the crust loosely with aluminium foil and continue to bake for another 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If there are clumps of batter sticking to the knife, it is not done yet. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

:: Carrie ::

Studio Progress

How about a little update on our new studio? A few weeks ago I told you that we are expanding our workspace up into the loft of our old barn. It’s a big project, and that’s why we have hired a really great contractor and top notch carpenters to make it happen for us.

Here’s what has been going on so far…

First of all, they actually had to take out some of the old cross beams and raise them up a couple of feet so that we don’t hit our heads on them every time we walk under. They also framed a couple of interior walls, and put in all of the electrical wiring.

One of the biggest changes so far are the two big windows under the peak on both the north and south ends of the barn. We also put in four smaller windows on the west wall. Letting in all that light immediately changed the whole feel of the space. We LOVE it.

New meets old. We are keeping the original framework of the barn exposed because we like the old post and beam construction. Check out the wooden pegs holding it all together. And, some of the posts still have the bark from the tree that they were cut from over 100 years ago!

Last week the insulation guys came and did their job. We decided to go with the foam insulation that gets sprayed in and immediately expands and hardens. There are so many gaps and holes in the walls that it was obviously the best choice to keep this old building warm. Let me tell you, it gets WINDY out on the prairie, and we don’t want any of that cold air getting in.

We had some really nasty winter weather for a while that held things up for a bit, but things seem to be moving a lot faster now! By the end of the week we should have a new staircase so we can actually get to the loft without climbing a ladder. We thought that would be a nice touch.

It’s so much fun to watch it all change and start to become what we’ve been imagining. Slow and steady. We’ll be moving in before you know it.

:: Carrie ::

 

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 11}

Aren’t pies with lattice tops the best looking? I think so.

This week I made an apple and pear pie for my friend and workout buddy, Erica. She’s been waiting so patiently. Erica and I have been sweating it out side by side at our Crossfit gym for the past couple of years. Push ups, power cleans, dead lifts, pull ups, box jumps – the list goes on and on. It’s fun, but yeah, it’s hard. It would be even harder without friends to push through the pain with. We love it, and we’re stronger for it. Would our nutrition-conscious crossfit coaches approve of this pie. Nope, probably not. If I baked them a pie would they eat it? Yeah, they probably would – beause everyone loves pie!

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Apple and Pear Pie

2 (9”) prepared pie dough, unbaked
2 ½ cups granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
2 cups pears, peeled and sliced
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbl. flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 Tbl. lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbl. butter, small diced

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the filling ingredients until the apples and pears are completely coated. Pour into the pie shell. The filling should mound above the top of the shell. Dot the top of the filling with the diced butter. Cut the second sheet of dough into evenly sized strips. Gently weave a basket pattern across the top. Brush the top with an egg wash and sprinkle the top with sugar for extra texture.

Bake the pie at 375 degrees for 40 – 50 minutes or until the filling is completely cooked. Depending on how your oven bakes, you might need to cover the top crust with foil to prevent over browning.

:: Carrie ::

Shovels and Rope

I’ve been spending a lot of time painting, drawing, and designing new things the past couple of weeks, and these guys have been part of my soundtrack. They’re an American folk duo from Charleston, South Carolina that “sound like a punkabilly June and Johnny Cash mixed with New Orleans horns, sixties-era harmonies, and honking organ solos.”

Shovels and Rope.

Required listening for your Wednesday.

:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 10}

If there’s anything I’ve learned so far in the first 10 weeks of this year, it’s that I’ve had no trouble finding a weekly occasion to spend a little extra time making a home made pie for someone. Birthdays, new babies, community gatherings, family dinners, or just to make someone’s day a little sweeter. This week’s occasion fell on the bittersweet side. On Thursday night I whipped up a chocolate pecan pie for some friends who lost someone very very near and dear to their hearts earlier in the week. Saying goodbye to a loved one has got to be one of the most difficult things we have to do. My hope is that they found just a little bit of warmth in a pie made with love.

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

Ingredients

1 single pie crust, rolled and fit into a 9 inch pie plate
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Melt the chocolate in the microwave until smooth. Set aside. 
 
In a medium bowl, stir together (do not whisk) eggs, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stirring constantly, gradually add melted chocolate. Pour filling into prepared crust; place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange pecans in one even layer over filling.
 
Bake just until set (filling should jiggle slightly when pie plate is tapped), 50 to 60 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool completely on a wire rack, at least 4 hours (or up to overnight) before serving.
 

:: Carrie ::

Things that Inspire :: David A. Smith

A friend shared this today, and I was awestruck. I always love to watch artists and craftsmen at work, and get a little peek behind the scenes. This is a short movie about David A. Smith, who is a traditional sign-painter/designer. He creates high-quality ornamental hand-crafted reverse glass signs and gilded mirrors. Smith recently worked with John Mayer in creating the cover for his most recent album. Pretty amazing.