Monday, June 30, 2014

Perfect Pie Crust // The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Being inspired to make some rhubarb pie, I thought what better time to use my Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook to make the pie crust. I was negligent in making a recipe last month, so I figured I needed to make a more daunting recipe for June.

Putting together the dough was really simple. It used minimal ingredients that I already had for the most part, and the only thing about it that was moderately difficult was incorporating the ingredients without the use of a pastry cutter. I just used a knife which worked fine, but it took much longer than it should have. I'll just add a pastry cutter to my list of luxury kitchen items that would make my life easier but aren't necessities.

The hard part of this pie crust process was rolling the dough out. It was an exhausting process trying to keep the dough uniform and resembling a mostly round shape, and eventually I just accepted that it was just going to be a very rustic looking pie. The dough also kept cracking and breaking apart (maybe add more water next time? Or freeze it for more or less time?), but eventually it fit for a 9-inch pie tin, the rhubarb got dumped in, and the second crust was laid on top. The crimping of the edges quickly became an imperfect science, but it definitely looked homemade and a little rustic.

And it tasted great too. The crust doesn't have any sugar in it, so it would be great for savory pies as well, and it was really buttery and flakey. Plus it complemented the rhubarb really well. Not that I had any doubt. You guys, I could eat pie everyday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

This Make Up Your Mind top is finally starting to take shape, and I've started the last panel before I start the bust and armholes. Should be quite an adventure, but I'm loving how everything is looking right now, and I'm really excited to try something new.

That's all; just a short post today. What are you working on right now?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baby Birth Announcement Cross-Stitch

If you've been reading this blog for a while and with any semblance of regularity, then you have seen a post on this cross-stitch before. The pictures really don't do the size of this cross-stitch justice, but I think how long it took me to finish should give you some idea. I started stitching this monstosity about a month after I started dating David, and more than two and a half years later, I'm finally finished with it. Granted, I did not work on this for the 2+ years straight; I took whole months off and even a whole year off at one point. All said, this birth announcement probably took me 6-9 months to complete (or at least it would have if I had worked on it on a consistent basis).

I was so thrilled to give this to my sister for her birthday this month after the birth of my sweet nephew in November :)

And now I just need to decide what cross-stitch I'm going to do next. I have some patterns on Etsy that I've been looking at, and I'd love to support someone else's small business in the process.

Friday, June 20, 2014

This Past Week

This past week has been completely crazy and absolutely flew by, and the fact that I forgot to post anything for Tuesday Tea and the Yarn Along attests to how busy I have been.

But there's a reason why I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off recently...

I got my own apartment!  My first, non-college, no-roommate apartment.  Yep, this girl is growing up. I've been living here for pretty much a week now, and it's been a really weird change, but I'm loving it. There have been some adult things that weren't very fun--like handing over that first rent check or figuring out insurance and getting all of my utilities turned on--but there have been some really awesome parts too.

Such as:
- establishing my own routine in the morning
- making tea in my shiny new tea kettle
- getting my first package (thanks, Bed, Bath, & Beyond)
- deciding where I want to put things, layout, etc.
- dedicating an entire area of my bookshelf to Jack Kerouac
- successfully vacuuming up all the bugs that lived here before me
- meeting my first set of neighbors (hi, Austin and Gretchen!)
- only having to clean up my messes (having roommates gets old quickly and is so overrated)
- having a porch that already had hooks installed for hanging plants (my parents' moving gift to me was a really pretty hanging plant with blue flowers.  I thought about naming it, but I figured I should test out my green thumb before I get too attached.  Hopefully this guy will stick around for a long time.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I mentioned this scarf a few times on the yarn along but after I finished it, I failed to show a finished product (probably because, two months later, I'm just now getting around to blocking it). But finally, here it is, the Daphne scarf in all it's glory. This really was a breeze to knit, and I learned some new stitches along the way which was nice too.

The scarf used up pretty much exactly 3 skeins of KnitPicks Shine Worsted yarn, and the color is Wisteria.

I'm really excited to gift this scarf, and I think it will be well-received. It's such a beautiful pattern--I would love to keep it for myself.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday Tea: A Cat Birthday

We're big cat people in my family. And as such, when you're big cat people, you have a tendency to celebrate events such as your cat's 10th birthday. What better way to celebrate than by baking a cake that said cat can't eat (hey, we humans deserve a celebration for taking care of her too). We gave Kacey some extra treats as a gift though, not that she really needs any fattening up, but then tonight we'll have to take up the cats' food because our other cat, Samwise Gamgee, is having kitty dental work done tomorrow and isn't allowed to eat in advance. Sammy and Kacey will suffer together though.

So happy birthday, old gal. Try to stick around for another ten.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

On My Bookshelf: June

I read some really great books last month, and there's a lot of books that I am eager to read this month too. I love being able to go to bookstores and pick books out, but there's something also really fun about ordering something online and the satisfaction of having it arrive at your door. I guess that kind of power could be bad if overused.

Paper Towns by John Green

Saying that John Green is an amazing author would be an understatement. I loved The Fault in Our Stars (okay, who didn't?), so I decided to try another one of his books. I've started this book already and I can't put it down.

An Anthology of Madness by Max Dubinsky

I first started reading Max Dubinsky's blog in college, and I liked it immediately. He is frank and has a great dry sense of humor and has fantastic life and religious speculations.

The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin

I've always been a creatively inclined person, and I've been wondering for some time if I woul have what it takes to venture out into the business world and sell some of my knitted or crocheted items in an online forum such as Etsy. This book will provide me with a foundation of getting started, and even if I ultimately decide not to sell my goods, there's a chapter about blogging that I should probably brush up on :)

What are you reading this month?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

This has been a great week so far. I can feel my creativity slowly returning, and I've made some progress on both of the crafts I'm working on right now. I'm also getting excited about some future projects, both from some Ravelry patterns and a pattern I have in my head that wants to be brought to fruition. I'm excited to finish up my WIPs and to get some new projects on the needles!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday Tea: Bookman's Corner

Last week, I set out on another Chicago adventure to a bookstore called Bookman's Corner. I knew in advance that this was going to be a chaotic bookstore, but I was going in without any books in mind and was giving myself just the opportunity to wander around and let the books find me, so to speak.

Bookman's Corner was over a mile away from David's apartment, and the day was a smige warmer than I would have liked, so I was relieved when I finally arrived. But once I walked in, I immediately liked it. The store was arranged in three aisles (I think), and every aisle looked like the picture--cluttered and narrow and overflowing with books. The aisle I spent the most time down was the one which held the fiction novels, the autobiographies, and poetry. I spent a lot of time looking through all the stacks, wanting to find a couple books that would catch my eye, but I also didn't want to settle on a few just because I walked in with the expectation of buying something. In the end though, I bought two novels for under five dollars.

On the inside of each book, a price is listed, and underneath the price there is a date which is when the store obtained the book. In one of the books that I chose, the date was about a year and a half old, so I found out when I got to the register that the book was thusly half off--quite a pleasant surprise!

Overall, I had a great experience at Bookman's Corner, and if I ever find myself in an adventurous mood and in need of a book, then I'll probably pay another visit, preferably with a cup of tea in hand :)