Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Pi day Pie

Having a Math Nerd for a husband (and many Math Nerds as friends) means that there are little things my family may do differently than your average family.  Take for example Pi Day (3/14)…a whole day devoted to a number…or for me, a whole day of eating pie!

making the pie

I was really happy to finally use up the cherries that I canned over the summer.  I didn’t have enough of either sour or sweet cherries for a full pie, so I decided to  put them together to make one Super-Cherry Pie.  It made for interesting flavors.  I also, of course, made the vent in the shape of the Pi symbol, on Mike’s request.  It may be my very favorite part of the pie!

Slice of Cherry Pie

My friend Stephanie made a very delicious strawberry pie, which was beautiful, and tasted even better than it looked…I went back for seconds!

Stephanie's Strawberry Pie

Stephanie's Strawberry pie, detail

The second pie that I made (which of course I didn’t take pictures of….sorry!!) was a chicken/tomato/parmesan hand pie.  I know you can’t see what it looked like, but it was delicious!

Chicken Parmesan Hand Pies

  • 2 chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 batches of Pate Brisee (omit the sugar)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
  • ice water
  1. Heat a medium pan over medium-high heat.  Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of the pan.  Saute garlic and onions until the onions are transluscent.  Add tomatoes, oregano, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes, bring to a boil.
  2. Place chicken breasts in sauce and cover pan with a lid.  Adjust heat to bring sauce to a simmer.  Simmer the chicken breasts in sauce until they are fully cooked.  Turn the chicken once or twice while cooking to coat in sauce.
  3. Remove chicken from pan and allow to cool on a plate.  Cool the sauce as well.  Cut chicken in thin strips against the grain of the meat.
  4. Roll the dough out to 1/8″ thickness and cut into 4″ circles (work in batches if needed).  Place the circles of dough in the frige for 30 minutes.
  5. Place dough circles on baking sheets.  Fill each piece of dough with a couple strips of chicken, a tablespoon or two of sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella and parmesan. 
  6. Dab ice water around the edges of the circles, fold one half of the circle over to the other side, and pinch closed with a fork or your fingers.  Make a small slit in the top or stab it a couple of times with a fork.  Refrigerate hand pies for another 30 minutes.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Place pies in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden (May take more or less time depending on your oven.  Go by the color, not the time!).
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before enjoying!

 Have you ever celebrated Pi Day?  or Pie Day??


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This year I participated in Sew Liberated’s Holiday Traditions Exchange.  I know that my partner recieved her package, so I can post about this ornament that I made.  It is inspired by an ornament that I loved growing up.  I think I liked it so much because it was so delicate and detailed, which I tried to duplicate with some success.

To make the butterfly, I started with some plain red fabric and embroidered it with many colors of thread.  I then cut around the embroidery in the shape of a butterfly, and cut a second piece of the red fabric to go on the back.  I stitched the two sides together with some orange embroidery floss, and stuffed the ornament with some bamboo stuffing.  I made the little tassle on the bottom with some more embroidery floss.  Finally, I attached a gold thread to outline the butterfly.  It is stitched on with orange embroidery floss as well.

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In keeping with my desire to form some family holiday traditions, Mike and I are following Advent this year.  Each week, for four weeks before Christmas, we light a candle.  Each candle reminds us of a different, important aspect of the holiday…Hope, Love, Joy, Peace .  There is a fifth candle that goes in the middle of the wreath that we light on Christmas Eve and burn through Christmas day.  The Advent Wreath helps us reflect on why we celebrate Christmas, especially as Christians.  It is a chance to take a break from the stress that the holiday can create and spend time together in peace.

The wreath is made of a styrofoam ring.  I carved out four holes at equal distances for the candles to fit in, and wrapped the wreath in colorful fabric and ribbon.  I hope that Advent will become a tradition we do each year when the little one is born.

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Weekend Fun

Hi everyone, I hope you had a great holiday weekend, if you celebrate Thanksgiving, or just a great weekend if you don’t!  We had family visiting from California last week, and we definately enjoyed the festivities.  And can you believe it is now less than a month to Christmas??  This is one of my favorite times of year.

This weekend we travelled into the mountains to choose the perfect Christmas tree.  This is my family’s first time doing this, and we had a blast.  The sun was out, the view was beautiful, and there was only a minimal amount of snow covering the ground.

We finished decorating our tree last night, and it looks great.  I love having a fresh tree to look at and enjoy in our living room…it makes the whole house smell delicious!  To celebrate our accomplishment, Mike and I had a glass of eggnog, some peppermint candy, and watched Elf.

In light of the new future addition to our family, Mike and I are trying to get some family traditions in place so that we can continue them when we have the little one.  I am really interested in hearing your holiday traditions!

Are you enjoying the holidays yet?  Do you have any family traditions that make the holidays special?

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With the holidays approaching I am feeling more and more pressure to finish up this little apartment of ours.  Family and friends will be coming to visit us over the next few weeks, and I would love to have a finished livingroom for all of us to sit in!  Mike promised to paint the place this past weekend (he’s so awesome!), if I could decide on a paint color by then.  After a near breakdown at the hardware store, we finally settled on three colors…Bright White (for the doors and trim), Profession (a light grey/tan color), and Chicken Wire (a greyish, greenish, blue).  There was much amusement had over the names of the colors.  The painting was all finished in one day, thanks to the help of some great friends.

And, you will never ever believe this, but I finally bought some fabric for curtains!  I’ll be making those this weekend, so look for pictures next monday!

When I think about the week to come, I can’t help but mentally back away in dread.  So much to do, so little time!!  Besides the usual (or not so usual, if you are me) laundry, groceries, dinners, and dusting, I want to make sure everything is organized and clean for when my family arrives next monday.  And yes, that means tackling the dreaded craft room, which I have not talked about here due to embarrassment.  I also want to hang some pictures around the house so that the newly painted walls have a chance to shine!  I am also hoping that over the next few days I can take some time to relax with Mike and enjoy the season before it passes us by.  It only comes around once a year, after all.

How are you preparing for the holidays?  Are you remembering to take some time to relax?

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I know that it is still early in the season, but the Holidays are getting closer and closer.  Its time to start thinking about gifts for friends and family.  If you are thinking about making a gift for someone, I have put together a list of all my tutorials as a place for you to get started.

Stormy T-shirt Make or buy a simple t-shirt and spruce it up with this applique and embroidery

Paper Flower Mobile Craft this simple flower mobile for some beautiful home decor or to be used as a wand for an imaginative little girl…experiment with different colors of paper and sizes

Magnolia Shirt Detail Make this neckline detail for an otherwise boring store-bought tank

Grill Tool Carrier Summer may seem far away, but it will be back before you know it!

Reversible Water Bottle Holder Put together this handy water bottle holder for fitness and outdoor gurus

Gardening Apron By Christmas time, spring will be just around the corner…Make a cute apron for a gardener you know.  This apron could also be used as a traditional kitchen apron.

Flower Headband This headband is super quick and easy, and is so cute!

Chunky Necklace This necklace is very inexpensive and simple to put together, but it looks like a million bucks!

Lei Neckline Dress up a simple top by adding this feminine neckline

Bread Linen/Cloth Napkins Monogram some beautiful linen to wrap around fresh-baked bread for the home baker, or use these as napkins for your eco-conscious friend

Corsage Neckline Add detail to a store-bought top

Scrap Tote Sew this simple tote to be used at the market

Emboridered Bookmark A bookmark is the perfect gift for a book addict

Baby Blanket If you have extra time, try your hand at printing on fabric and sew up this beautiful blanket for a baby or expectant parents

Eyeglass Holder Upcycle some old sweaters and make this eyeglass holder, very easy on the pocket-book

Binding Tape Make some patchy binding tape for a sewer, and pair it with some other sewing goodies, like buttons, ribbons, and other trims

Messenger Bag Make this messenger bag for anyone who needs to tote around a lot of stuff…this project is fairly time-intensive, but the results are worth it

Hair Pins This is a quick project that any girl will love

Yo-yo Table Runner This project will take care of all those little fabric scraps you have hanging around.  Make one in Christmas colors, or to match the recipients home decor

Knit Cuff If you don’t have much experience knitting, this is a great project for you…it takes very little time, and very little yarn

Simple Jersey Dress This is a great dress to make because it takes very little time, and it will fit almost any woman, add to that the elegant silhouette and you’ve got yourself a perfect gift

Wrapped Gift Cards If you don’t have time to make anything and find yourself last-minute scrambling to find a gift, get a couple giftcards and wrap them in this unique way to make the gift more special

I hope this list inspires you!

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At the Pumpkin Patch



With the lights out

These are all photos from this weekend.  Mike and I had a bunch of friends over to carve pumpkins for Halloween.  For some reason, I always have a really hard time coming up with a design for my carving each year.  This time was no exception…I finally chose to to an owl, which came out fairly well.  You will notice that a bunch of us decided to carve animals this year…we have a spider, a cat, an owl, and a snake.  Another friend carved the words from the One Ring (Lord of the Rings), and it looked really awesome. 

Do you have any Halloween traditions?

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