A few days ago, I was downstairs and heard a loud thud during nap time and then a crying, frightened Isaac. He took a nosedive out of his crib since he has been into climbing a lot. He fell out of his bed about a year ago and hadn't done it since then until Saturday. Hopefully he will remember that it hurts to crash down into the floor and not keep doing it.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
My most favorite pie in the world is pecan pie. Recently I treated myself to a new set of these mini tart pans and want to share how easy these completely irresistible petite versions are of this family favorite recipe that I got from my sister, Tracy, that came from our Grandma Jackson.
The set of six mini tart pans from The Pampered Chef each has a removable bottom, which is perfect for removing the dessert without any problems. I used one Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, and rolled it out to make an oblong piece of dough, to be able to fit all six pans. As you can see, I sprinkled a little bit of flour onto the counter top to prevent the dough from sticking.
I cut the dough into six sections using a tiny paring knife, then one by one, placed dough inside a tart pan, and gently pressed it down into the bottom, to fit closely around the fluted edges, then used my fingers to press down and cut off any excess dough from along the top edges. I discarded the remaining dough.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Here's the mixture that you will stir together into a bowl, then divide among the six crusts. Okay, be warned that the measurements for these five simple ingredients are going to be really awkward and nontraditional because I have used two- thirds of our family pecan pie recipe (except with the pecans).
- 2 eggs
- .44 cups of sugar (use a 2/3 measuring cup, then fill it 2/3 full)
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/6 cup melted butter (2.67 tablespoons)
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup (Karo brand)
The shells will seem full, but should still be able to accommodate the pecans. Add the pecans next.
- 1 1/3 cups pecan pieces
After you put the pecans inside each cup, you can carefully dip them down into the mixture to let them get covered somewhat, and they'll rise back to the top while baking.
As you can see, I bake mine on a perforated baking sheet. Use a cookies sheet if you don't have one of these. I'm assuming that a cookie sheet will have similar results and need the same baking time.
I baked these for 30 minutes, but oven temperatures vary greatly. You may need to add or subtract a few minutes to get yours just right.
After they cool down a little while, the mini pecan tartlets should lift right out from the bottoms just by pushing the center rim upward. You may need to gently slide a thin knife or spreader along the bottom to release the crust from the non-stick surface.
Most of them should come out easily and you will be so excited the first time you remove it from the tart pan and see the gorgeous fluted edge. It's hard to resist sinking your teeth into one right then and there.
You'll be delighted at their cuteness, how they are slightly bigger than a cookie.
When you look at it like that, you might as well take a bite. Besides, there are still five more left. My husband detests pecans, so unless I want eat the whole thing, it's easy to package these little goodies up to give to a friend. I used a clear cellophane bag and pitched the boring, unattractive twist tie, and used some pretty ribbon to close it off.
Finally, you can attach a small 3" x 3" little love note with festive washitape to finish the gift and make someone's day.
Alternate crust option: If you prefer to make your own pie crust, add 1 1/4 cup flour, then with a pastry blender, mix in 1/3 cup Crisco shortening, and a little bit of cold water to form a ball.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Toasted homemade canape bread that I baked in a metal flower-shaped tube accents a mini crab salad for an individual serving. I bought the adorable mini flare dish in a set of 24, which includes twelve flares and twelve petite tasting spoons, from Pier 1 Imports. Love them!
Here it is served as a dip, served with store-bought bagel crisps to scoop it up.
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small bell pepper, chopped
- 1 handful of fresh (rinsed and patted dry) parsley, chopped
- 8 ounces imitation crab meat, chopped
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- juice from 1/2 of a large lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, diced
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Isaac has been adding many new words to his charming little 21-month-old vocabulary and seems to be delighted that he has figured out ways to verbally express his wishes to us. He loves being able to tell us what he wants, then get the reaction that he expects, simply by saying a word or a combination of words that he has learned. For several months he has been able to understand much of what is going on, and we are all so excited when we hear something new that he clearly utters.
Back to the prayer, I reminded him to close his eyes and I started him off by saying, "Dear Heavenly Father, we are thankful for all of our blessings. Thank you for everything," then I told him to say "thank you." And as he was snuggled up next to me, in the sweetest voice, said "thank you," which actually sounded more like a "teh-tu," but it seemed so genuine and pure to me, and for a moment I couldn't speak, because I was so happy that my little baby boy was learning to express his gratitude to our Father in Heaven through prayer. The brief silence where I was trying to pull myself together before commencing to help Isaac with the remainder of the prayer, had the rest of the family unsure of what was going on, but Isaac knew what he was doing. He then confidently declared, "Amen." So we all joined in and made his amen the official one. It was a tender moment to hear my son say his very first prayer. I know it was extremely basic, but I will count it as that. It warmed my heart and I am thankful for his intelligence and his sweet little spirit and the joy that he adds to our home.
Monday, January 06, 2014
- 3 pounds ground beef
- 2 medium onions, chopped in food processor
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped in food chopper
Brown the beef with the chopped onions and bell pepper in a large pot. Using a colander, drain excess oil from cooked meat mixture. Return to pot.
- 3 cups water
- 2 cans (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 2 cans (15 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups noodles (mostaccioli, penne, elbow macaroni, etc.)
Saturday, December 28, 2013
We met up with my friends Holly and Michele and each of their husbands and kids this afternoon at the new Austin aquarium, then went out for ice cream after that at Amy's, where the little kids could play on the playground while we socialized.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Lemon Poppyseed Waffles and crispy bacon, in honor of Lindsey, who discovered the recipe before leaving on her mission, so we always think of her when I make them.
Isaac loved the excitement of all the presents and liked his new toys. Hannah got her very first ever violin, and Christopher got some computer parts and is learning how to build his own computer from his technical wizard dad.
We loved talking on the telephone last night to Lindsey, when it was Christmas Eve in Texas and fourteen hours ahead, Christmas in Hong Kong. After our traditional Christmas naps, since we always stay up too late wrapping presents, etc., I prepared dinner for the family and we enjoyed the company of the three missionaries in our ward, Elders McKinley, Toone, and Anderson, plus two other families from church, Melanie and Ryan and their sons, Jordan and Luke, and Heather and her husband, Clayton, and their son, Glenn.
After dinner, we played Bingo, sang some Christmas carols while Kelly accompanied, and then had a brief Christ centered message from the sweet missionaries. It was a fun day, and our home was filled with love and peace.