Mommy Does
It's been FOREVER since I've been here but it's because I've had to start working so things have been super crazy. Coming up to the end of summer means gearing up for holidays. I have a lot of things I'm going to be trying so I need to share them!
To begin my bestie came over with the ingredients for *wait for it* strawberry rhubarb pie! Only she brought along a big 6 muffin sized tin to make little pies *dies of happiness*. So she sliced the rhubarb and then I took over. She likes this kind of cooking and I like not having to figure out and find the ingredients. Basically we both win.
First the final product to lure you in:
How cute is that? And completely scrumptious looking?
I used a large cookie cutter to cut out the base for these morsels of goodness. Use pre-rolled pie crust to save on time and sanity. Be sure to grease and flour your tin to ensure these delicate pies pop right out of the tin.
The pre-rolled crust comes in a package of two. One for bases and one for lattice! I used a crinkle cutter (Pampered Chef) and first quartered the dough and then cut strips. Use a flour and powdered sugar mixture to keep dough from sticking to the counter.
The crinkle just gives the lattice that little extra special something. Gently pinch the lattice strip ends to the edge of the crust.

Allow these to cool on a cooling rack. Why? When you place the tin on a flat surface the tin heats the counter and keeps the bottoms warm while the rest of the pie cools down. When you try to pop them out the bottom won't have set like the rest and will have a greater tendency to stack stuck to the bottom of the tin. That would be sad wouldn't it?

Ready for the recipe modified and simplified from
3 c. rhubarb sliced
3 c. strawberries quartered
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. all purpose flour
Dash of nutmeg
1 package pre-rolled pie crust

1. Mix rhubarb slices and strawberry quarters together with the sugar, flour, and nutmeg. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to fully combine.
2. While that is combining grease and flour tin. Use cookie cutter (or a LARGE glass) to cut out pie bases. Place pie base over well and gently press into tin (DO NOT PUSH INTO WALLS). Gently form the dough into the well.
3. Cut lattice strips but wait to pick up till pies are filled.
4. Fill pie crusts and then weave the lattice top
5. Bake at 325 for 10-15 minutes (crust will be golden and the filling will bubble).

Once they have FULLY cooled take a butter knife and run it along the edge to loosen up the pies. Then lay a cutting board over the tin and flip it over to pop the pies out. Carefully flip them over onto a platter, garnish, serve and enjoy!

See original recipe here
Mommy Does
Good question...I took a walk though Joann's and managed to convince myself to NOT buy any new projects to force myself to finish up some of the things lying around:
  • Taggie block
  • Taggie ball with crinkle panel
  • PJ pants
  • Jewelry roll
  • Various items of jewelry
  • Slippers name a few. So the name of the game is to actually finish up some of these random items. Armed with scissors, fusible and a crochet needle I am ready to start...right after I finish dinner. Sigh.
Mommy Does
My husband and I started working on trimming down on some inches for this new year and discovered (ok he discovered it and I quickly signed up after him). Part of my decision to finding a healthier way of living was to cut back to one cup of coffee a day. I know! Moi? One cup of coffee a day?! Can't be true right? But it is, and I am feeling so much better already.

I've also noticed I linger for a moment at the cupboard, deliberately choosing my mug for my one cup of delight. Here are my two favorite mugs:

This mug is so earthy and abstract and just exudes the beauty of coffee in it's abstract design. Oh it makes me happy!

Need I even explain this one?
Mommy Does

What do you do with bright bell peppers, fresh onion, aromatic cilantro, and lean steak? Make fajitas of course! We are on a lifestyle change so I kept careful track of the calories in this one, and it makes a nice sized delicious dinner!

Step one: Cut 8 oz. steak down into strips. About one hour before beginning your stir fry juice one lime over these slices. Limes contain citric acid which breaks down meat fibers to make it much more tender when cooked.

Step two: Make fajita spice to toss the strips in. I used this one: Fajita Seasoning. I cut it down in third, and omitted the chicken bouillon cubes crumbled. This seasoning mix is PERFECTION!

Step three: Slice red and orange bell peppers in thin slices - about an 1/8 of each of two colors will equal two fajita servings. Did you know that it's a myth that color indicates how long a pepper has been on the plant? Each color of pepper has a distinctive level of sweetness and grows on it's own plant!

Step four: Slice a third of an onion into rings and then cut the rings in half to make long strips. Onions are powerful vegetables and used to be left out to soak up germs in the air long before air fresheners. It used to be considered the best remedy for sickness!

Step five: Mince cilantro up - about a quarter of a bunch should do it. 9 sprigs of cilantro only contain 5 calories and pack intense flavor. Not going to use the rest of the cilantro quick enough? Not a problem - pop the leftover into a freezer bag (after patting dry) and freeze it for up to 6 months!
Step six: Toss the lime soaked steak strips with the fajita mix. If you're wondering why it contains cornstarch you'll learn in just a bit. For now it's important to let the meat sit for 10 minutes. This allows for the meat to coat thoroughly.

Step seven: Get your oil hot. For two servings you will ONLY need 3 tbs. of oil. Use canola as it's more heart friendly then vegetable. If you really want to cut then heat water and use that as your base - although you'll want closer to 4 tbs. Water has a lower evaporation point then oil (oh yeah oil evaporates alright) so you use more water cause you'll loose more in the heating process. Oil is hot enough when a drop of water sizzles on contact. Please, please resist the urge to use more oil - this is enough and using more will result in oily fajitas - not delicious fajitas.

Step eight: Toss in your steak and enjoy the aroma! Stir constantly to get the oil mixed into the mix and fully brown all sides. Since this is strips this step takes 8-10 minutes. Overcooking results in rubbery meat. Don't worry if it's not done through - it continues to cook even after being removed from heat. The secret to tender meat is to trust your cooking time. You can always cook more - you can't undo overcooking.

Step nine: The last two minutes of cooking is when you toss in those colorful veggies. Cooking a veggie down drains their nutrients. You want your veggies heated through, but not wilted. Two-three minutes opens the veggies up enough to release flavor, but keeps them from becoming mush. Continue pushing your yummy fajita mess around.

Step ten: Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes after removing from heat. Last minute thickening of the sauce will happen (remember the cornstarch? Well it mixed with the oil and created a nice glaze sauce that even coats your meat). Once it's sat and thickened, spoon into a tortilla or over a pile of rice, serve, and enjoy!

I did mention calories - for one serving you're looking at 570 calories (approximately) before rice or tortilla. It's so filling, packed with a delicious array of flavors, and ends the day on a perfect least it did here *winks*