Over the Weekend: Beer Me!

I ended up taking Friday off of work. It was nice to spend the entire day baking and not blogging, oops! I know I have been really bad about this as of late, but I have been so busy! I’ll tell ya all about  my reasoning once plans are set into action.

I’m trying to be elusive!

Friday was for baking. Saturday was for beer. Sunday was for recovering from baking and beer (mainly the beer). If you live under a rock or hate German people, you may not have know that Oktoberfest celebrations have been and will continue to be happening all around. I am not a beer fan, really in the least, but I will drink it if the occasion presents itself. Throw in some free sausage and polka music, and I’ll have a good time.

Saturday started of on an innocent foot. Just another morning at the farmers market, followed by a sudden downpour and a few bottles of champagne. After jamming some Shannon and the Clams, we pretty much swam down the street to Fry. My poor suede booties will never be the same! Steins overflowed with fall brews, and soon enough everyone was talking in a German accent. Or maybe it sounded that way to me? Image

Oktoberfest is one of my favorite drinking holidays, coming in second to Cinco de Mayo. Although I am German and Irish, I identify more with tequila. Giving credit my San Antonio blood,  I ended my night with queso and a very large margarita.

Sunday was for recovering. I said that already. I wasn’t just sleeping off a hangover, but I was also prepping myself for the Breaking Bad finale and the start of an incredibly busy week.

Have you guys done any Oktoberfest celebrating? I wish I knew where my lederhosen was hiding!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday Wishlist 9.25

You guys! September is over with in less than a week! It seems like just yesterday I was rambling on about my birthday and the arrival of fall. In exactly one month I will be making my way up to Pittsburgh for a mini vacation. Like Texas, October is a transition month for weather, though I think Pennsylvania takes the better end of the deal.

I am in need of a jacket for this kind of weather. Actually, I could probably get by with something I have in my closet, so I am in want. The following are in-betweeners I am currently lusting over. I’d have to win the lotto before purchasing that Pendleton!

1. Pendleton’s Los Ojos CloakThis would look SHARP with my black Brixton hat and my long blonde locks! I love everything Pendleton puts out. Unfortunately all I can afford by them at the moment are their notebooks. Love ’em! Image2. Stash Co. Fringe Mala NecklaceI am obsessed with this necklace, as I am with anything involving fringe! This necklace reminds me of the suede fringe jackets I had as little girl. I was fancy and owned 2 jackets, a black and chestnut color, until my little sister threw up on one and my mom never took it to the dry cleaners. Sad but true story! (I don’t know why I just told you that.) Image

After attending the TXSC conference, I discovered the lovely, radical, cool, and TEXAN blog Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno. Sisters Brandi and Kelly can often be seen sporting the mala necklace.

3. More jackets! Surplus and parkas. Maybe I just like all colors the traditional parka comes in. Maybe I just like all the pockets. This is one jacket I plan to purchase before winter arrives. They are so versatile and perfect for layering! ImageImage

What are your favorite pieces for transitional weather?

Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday!

XOXOXO

52 Weeks of Baking: Buttermilk Buttermilk

Never had I ever eaten a slice of buttermilk pie until last summer when a coworker brought some to the office. As a huge fan of anything buttermilk, I devoured my slice and went back for seconds. Buttermilk pie is a dessert indigenous to The South and Texas. How was I just tasting it at the ripe age of 24?

My dad loves pumpkin pie. I would always bake him pies straight from the can come Thanksgiving time. I would occasionally have a slice of pecan or coconut cream pie from Bill Miller’s if my grandpa had a craving. I was never really a fan of apple pie. GASP! How un- American of me, right? Needless to say, I grew up very sheltered from the amazing types of pie out there in the world. Buttermilk was one of these!

Image

Upon opening my Hoosier Mama cookbook for the first time, I landed on page 174, pretty much the centerfold, a recipe for buttermilk pie. The rest is history! I have since adapted Paula Haney’s recipe a litter here and a little there to satiate my cravings. My two favorite versions include the addition of cocoa powder, extra lemon, and frozen berries. You wanna know what makes this pie the best things ever? This.

Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar

6 tbs butter

the zest of an entire lemon

2 large eggs, separated

3 tbs all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice

1 cup buttermilk

***for chocolate buttermilk pie: 3 tbs cocoa powder

***for berry buttermilk pie: 1 1/2 cups frozen berries, preferably black, blue, or raspberries

The Process 

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and lemon zest.ImageImage

2. Whisk together the egg yolks and add to the sugar and butter.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together four, nutmeg, salt, and *cocoa powder. Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter, combining thoroughly.

4. Slowly pour in the lemon juice, followed by the buttermilk. Mix together on low. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl, being sure to incorporate everything.

5. In another separate bowl, beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Fold 1/2 of the egg whites into the batter using your rubber spatula. Once fully combined, fold in the remaining egg whites. *If making a berry buttermilk pie, stir in the berries at this time.Image

6. Gently pour the batter into a blind baked pie shell. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Image

Let your pie cool for about 30 minutes to an hour after baking. For a little extra sweetness, I dusted the tops with powdered sugar! ImageImageImage

Buttermilk pie, and especially these variations, has wiggled its way to my top favorite desserts, coming in second to pecan pie! I can’t wait til the holidays so I can make/maybe sell some of these bad boys. Until then, they will suffice for Sunday Breaking Bad watch parties.

XOXOXO

Over the Weekend: Hello Fall!

If you follow my blog, you can probably take a wild guess and figure out how I spent my Saturday morning. If you guessed farmers market, DING DING DING, you are correct and did not win a prize! Just take heart in knowing that you have an okay memory! BUT, this trip down the street was unlike all of the others so far!

I woke up Saturday morning feeling like a kid on Christmas day! Around 7 am I checked the weather and then immediately rushed to the front porch…..57 degrees outside! So chilly and refreshing! Yeah I get pretty excited about temperature under 70. I was also excited to not spend the entire day sweating, because that gets old after 4 or so consecutive months. After stumbling upon a mini pumpkin patch, I decided to declare that Autumn had officially arrived a day early. Image

The Denton market was hustling and bustling that morning. Dentonites and I think alike when it comes to perfect weather! I will never feel the need to take Gypsy to the dog park as long as the market is going on. Dogs and children run amok. I think Gyp and Elvis really enjoyed all the attention and treats. They were definitely the belles of the ball. ImageImageImage

Oh yeah, an almost 300 pound English mastiff ate my tacos! I had to hold back the tears as it happened, but who could blame him, La Estrella is the shit!

After the market, we made our way to Quakertown Park for the 15th annual Blues Fest. The music sounded a bit more country than bluesy to my untrained ear, but any excuse to sit on a blanket and drink a bottle of champagne on the most perfect day of the year so far with some really rad people is a good excuse. Saturday was not my day for eating in public around dogs. The top bun of my chopped beef sandwich was stolen by none other than The King himself, Elvis… I’m trying to cut back on the carbs anyway…

Image

Image

Finally finally finally I made it to Fort Worth! I had been hankering to go see my friend Erin’s new places and am so glad it finally happened. Her house is perfect! The real estate gods really love this girl! Image

Saturday night was babe night. Erin threw us together the best semi homemade, 100% babemade pizzas with fresh everything. We’re talking mozzarella, basil, peppers, butternut squash, pesto, onions, the farmers market grown/Trader Joe’s sold works! There was also babemade bruschetta courtesy of Elizabeth. See, it’s a good think I didn’t indulge in all those tortillas and that bread earlier in the day! Everything happens for a reason. True that!ImageImageImageImage

The night ended with a few more ladies and bottles of wine entering the picture. Saturday really was the best day!

Unfortunately I had to make up some work time on Sunday, so those blue skies were enjoyed from the comfort of my desk. It wasn’t all that bad though. I did get free fro-yo on my way home because I forgot my wallet like an idiot and the employees felt sorry for poor little orphan Annie. I seriously cried when they called me back into the store to give my my fro-yo. It’s so comforting to know that the world is still filled with genuine and generous people. That was the cherry on top of a perfect weekend.

I am so excited to see what Fall has in store! Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

XOXOXO

Passion Project with Kristiane Webb Photography

When my friend Kristiane asked if she could feature me on her blog’s new Passion Project series, I was more than thrilled!  Earlier this month, I got to spend a Saturday morning with this lovely and very talented lady. We talked about the old Denton days while I rolled out pie dough and she took photographs. I even sent her home with the final product- my very first, all from scratch, chocolate buttermilk pie!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from our time together with you all. You can see and read more out my interview here. Enjoy!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Please check Kristiane’s website! If you are looking for a photographer in the DFW area, I highly recommend this lady!

Thank you for the wonderful time!

XOXOXO

Friday Favorites 9.20

I love everything about the end of September, and the entirety of October and November. Ugh ok, even December. I’ve mentioned many times before how the “-er” months are my favorite. Sunday marks the first official day of the autumn season, therefore I think it is completely appropriate to jump the gun and talk about how excited I am for this season!

Image

There is a running joke on the internetz that white girls love fall because it means, especially for 2013, a new iPhone, #PSL popularity, and UGG boots all the time. I totally laughed when I saw this because I love my iPhone but can’t afford the new model, let alone a 5; I have yet to have a PSL…and I tend to patronize local coffee digs (Starbucks is far from me); I wear UGG boots as house shoes because I am not 17 anymore. But I guess you could say I do like the aforementioned things. The following are things I like a little bit more:

1. An autumn color palette. I told myself earlier this week that once October hits I am going to only wear camel, olive, black, and flannel. Box me up and ship me to Portland where I can wear flannel every day! I am hoping that the Yinzers appreciate it as much as I do! I hear it can get pretty cole-daht-dare in the winnertime! <<-Pittsburghese. ImageImage

Image

2. The PSL, and other warm drinks. I have started drinking warm beverages in the morning with the hope of bringing cool weather juju to Denton. It is supposed to be 57 degrees for the low tomorrow morning! I’d like to think I helped out with this, but most credit is probably due to a hurricane in the gulf, jet streams, and upper weather lows. I made all of that up. Earlier this week, the lovely and creative A Beautiful Mess girls posted a recipe for homemade pumpkin spice syrup! My day was made! I can have PSL’s all the time now and made from the comfort of my own kitchen!!

Image

3. Seasonal produce. Speaking of pumpkins, I have already begun to seen signs of autumn in my CSA shares! Yesterday I received butternut squash and sweet potatoes! While I am going to miss summer squash and okra, I am very excited to cook more fall tempered dishes! Maybe I will even attempt a sweet potato pie FROM SCRATCH!

4. Layering. One of my favorite things about the turn of the season is layering! I’m not just talking about clothing, though that is my favorite! Once the temperature drops it’s time to turn off the AC, open the windows, and bust out the extra blankets! Who doesn’t love a cozy bed with flannel sheets and multiple quilts?! I really wish my life were an LL Bean catalog sometimes. I also like layering flavors with my fall cooking! Sweet and savory and sugar and spice. These all make for everything nice! Let’s not forget about fashion, especially when you involve the fall color pallet. Layering shades and textures is something I am really looking forward to! Image

I am so excited to share more with you as the leaves begin to change colors. I am planning some really big things, and will hopefully be more frequent with my posting. These weeks have been so busy!

Hope you all have a lovely Friday!

XOXOXO

Over the Weekend: A Happy Routine

Since moving into my new place, I have begun every weekend spent in town the same way. Saturday morning I wake up around 8:30 AM, sometimes with an alarm and sometimes without, and take Gypsy on a long walk. Shortly after we get back home, Elizabeth and her English coon hound, Elvis, swing by and we make our way to the Denton market. As soon as we walk up, the older ladies who sell homemade dog treats immediately greet us and our pets with a smile and complimentary snacks. We are now regular patrons. I’ve never been a regular for anything in my life, so the feeling of community is a bit overwhelming. In a good way.

After buying my normal dozen of farm fresh eggs and pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes, I let little kids pet Gypsy and talk to a local farmer about volunteer opportunities. Before saying goodbye to my dog’s new fan club, I stop by the Earthwise booth to say hello to the owners and chit chat about the produce I really enjoyed from this week’s CSA share. Once I am home, I make breakfast for my self and the pup. Image

Most Saturdays I make up for early rising with a nice siesta. This Saturday I did just that. I needed to prep myself for the extensive pie prepping process! After waking up, I made dough for 4 pies! that’s a whole lot of deliciousness! Like most of my weekends, half of the time was dedicated to baking.

Image

Saturday night I did something that I feel like I haven’t done in quite some time: GO OUT! I finally checked out a new bar in Denton, the East Side Social Club. Similar to my favorite bar, East Side has a legit patio. I feel almost obligated to drink every last drop of Ruby Redbird before summer ends. Image

Saturday was the perfect night out with my babes. I also discovered that almost everyone looks good in a Brixton hat. Image

After sleeping in, I spent Sunday baking pies and mentally preparing myself for Breaking Bad.

My weekend routine is something I have settled into organically. As much as I like having those spontaneous adventures, having a routine keeps me emotionally grounded. It’s nice that I always have something to look forward to. Having a routine keeps me happy!

Friday Favorites 9.13

Oh man. So I have jumped on the uninspired bandwagon, and have really been looking for a drop off point. I want to blame it on my newer, more busy schedule…..BUT I know the real reason is just laziness. On top of all of that, today has been such a weird day! This, I am just going to blame on Friday the 13th.

Image

So in light of all things spooky and ghoulish, I’m going to begin the premature dialogue of Halloween. Mid September is still a bit early to start taking on holiday season discussion topics, but I don’t really care. I am super stoked for Halloween this year as it marks the real beginning of fall. Yeah yeah yeah, I know the autumnal equinox is next weekend, but ya just don’t feel it in the air in Texas until late October!

My costume this year has been inspired by a dress I found on H&M’s website and an invitation to read tarot cards at an Urban Outfitter’s hosted Halloween party! I am going to be a fortune telling film star from the Silent Era! After doing some research on the internet, I have found a few films that feature this exact character! Check out my inspiration board on Pinterest! Mainly I am just excited for the hair & makeup, stockings, and tarot talk all night long!

Image

Do you think it’s too early to start putting together your Halloween costumes?

Happy Friday the 13th, y’all!

Wednesday Wishlist 9.11

Before I delve into another blog post about all the things I currently want but do not have, let me start out by mentioning how thankful I am for the things I have already been blessed with. I am not just saying this because this day, September 11th, has a history, but because I really do appreciate you all- my friends, my family, my loyal readers, and even the passersby. Y’all keep me going!

There is only one thing I am currently lusting over at the moment. So I will keep this post short and simple and to the point.

A butcher’s block! I love working with various types of dough on a wooden surface. My wooden IKEA table however does not work the same as my wooden cutting board. My cutting board is actually too small for many of the baking journeys I embark on. Boo hoo. At the moment, I have my eye on a block by Michigan Maple. 24 by 18 inches is big enough, right?

Image

I really do hope you all have a great Wednesday. I love and appreciate you all!

XOXOXO

The Best Pie Dough for the Best Pie Crust

Until recently I used to pretend like I was Martha Stewart when working away in the kitchen. These days, I find myself relating more and more to Paula Haney. While she may not be the queen of arts & crafts, the woman sure as hell knows how to make a pie! I bought Haney’s cookbook as an early birthday gift to myself and have since gone pie crazy. Off the deep end into a wonderful land of butter, butter, and more butter, plus some flour. And don’t you dare let your brain start along the path of Paula Deen.

Image

I love this cookbook because it tells Haney’s story. Almost every recipe is accompanied by an anecdote about either her family way way back or something that happened in the shop. It’s very personal, and that Midwestern hospitality (it’s a real thing, y’all) is evident in her writing. The recipes are also very easy to follow, which is good for professional and novice bakers alike. She begins her recipes for pie dough with a warning: making good pie dough is hard. I made a perfectly poached egg on the first try. I was up for the challenge.

The Hoosier Mama’s All-Butter Pie Dough

To start things off on a good note, I absolutely loved making this dough. Honestly, I love making all kinds of dough, and the process for this crust was actually fairly similar to the one I used for my empanadas. (Would ya look at how much my blog has improved!!!) The key here is keeping things “chill”. My kitchen does not come equipped with a food processor, but fortunately for me, I have what they call pie maker hands! This means that my hands are cold. Actually, honestly, my hands are not cold during the summer months (June-September for Texas) so this is a half truth. Anyway. I had to mix the dough by hand for this recipe because I lack a food processor. I am totally alright with this though. My grandma and her mother and even her grandmother did not use a food processor, and pie has a long long history. What the hell, a dough blender and 10 fingers work just the same!

Image

Before I begin relaying the recipe to you, please note that a good pie crust takes time. The dough must rest in order to be its best! The same goes for me!

Ingredients

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, divided

1 tbs red wine vinegar

1/2 cup very cold water

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tbs granulated sugar

The Process

1. After cutting into cubes, freeze 5 tbs of your butter for any amount of time between 20 minutes and overnight. I went with an hour. Chill the remaining 1 1/8 sticks until ready to use.

Image

2. Stir the red wine vinegar and water together and set aside as well.

3. In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients.

4. After your declared amount of freeze time, add the CHILLED butter to the dry mixture first. Work the butter into the flour with either your hands or a dough blender (or both!) until it resembles a coarse meal. Image

5. Next, add the frozen butter. Cut into the dough until the frozen pieces are pea sized. These pieces will eventually turn into butter pockets, making the crust ever so flaky, delicious, and, well, buttery!

6. Add 6 tbs of the chilled vinegar water to the dough and mix together with your hands. If the dough holds together in your hand after squeezing a small amount, you are good to go. If not, add more vinegar water to the mixture, little by little.

Image

Image

7. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough together until smooth. Divide the dough into two equal parts and roll each into a ball. You can then lightly flatten them and wrap in plastic wrap. From here they must rest in the refrigerator, preferable overnight.

Image

Image

Image

Image

8. After an extended period of time in the refrigerator, your dough will be ready to work with. Dust your work surface and a rolling pin liberally with flour.

9. Place your chilled dough onto your surface and partially flatten with the heel of your hand. To get the dough even flatter, beat with a rolling pin. This was a fun process! Image

10. Now you can begin rolling out your dough. Dust your pin and even part the dough with flour and make long strokes out from the center making sure the dough does not stick to the surface along the way. The final product should be about 1/8 inch thick. Image

11. Cut a 14 inch wide circle out of the dough. I guestimated with a dinner plate! Image

Image

12. Softly settle the dough circle into a greased and floured 9 inch pie plate. You may have to tap the plate ever so gently on the table until it settles. Then, lightly press the dough into the corners of the pie plate.

13. If you are continuing on to make a single crust pie, begin the crimp process by folding the dough edges under. Work the edges in opposite directions, squeezing little points on the outer top of the pie plate. This did take a while to get the hang of. My later pies looked much better, and they all tasted equally amazing! ImageImageImageImageImage

As you can see, I have definitely gotten better with practice!

Since purchasing this book, I have made 6 pies. Some were recipes straight from the Hoosier Mama, while others mere varieties. Each one has tasted delicious. I documented the process for a buttermilk pie (along with chocolate and berry variations) that will knock your socks off. Expect many recipes in the coming days, weeks, and months!

With a different work schedule and school back in session, life is a bit more hectic. But, I can always make time for pie! And so begins a new love affair!

XOXOXO