Stories from a Texas mom and wife, enjoying a blessed peachy life...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Do you know there is a war coming???

I didn’t watch the MTV Music Video Awards this year. I believe the last time I watched an awards show on MTV I was in high school, possibly even before that. I’ve never cared about watching an award show. I’m not getting an award. My kids aren’t getting an award. No one I love is getting one so, eh, I’ll watch something that interests me. We all have our likes and dislikes. However, I didn’t have to watch the show to hear about the amazing dancing I missed out on. I didn’t have to watch the show to hear how classy Miley Cyrus was. I didn’t have to watch to know about the stunning vocals of Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus. How their performance left everyone with chills, a tear in the eye and utterly speechless b/c of the beautiful art they created. I was sorry I missed such a beautiful performance. I should have set up my DVR and you know I’m kicking myself for it.

Oh wait.
Wrong performance.

For the last week I’ve heard nothing but how distasteful, horrible, gross, slutty, pathetic she acted. I've heard how she is an embarrassment to herself & her family. I've heard she is an alcoholic and on drugs. I’ve heard that she is out of control. How she is no role model for young girls. (No! What? You're kidding me?) I’ve heard about the reactions from the audience. I haven't heard anything, if nothing at all about the married man, Robin Thicke, which she used to practice her “twerking” on. And ya know what; all I have to say is….

PEOPLE, ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!???? WHAT DID YOU EXPECT!? And do you even know we are on the verge of World War THREE!!!! Come on. This is MTV. This is Hollywood. This is pop culture. This is no shocker. Why do we act shocked that a half-naked girl was parading herself on stage with her tongue hanging out while thrusting her butt against a married man on TV? Why are we surprised that she used a foam finger as a sexual innuendo instead of using it for rooting for her favorite college football team? Why, people, why? Why is anyone watching MTV? Why are you letting your kids watch MTV?  Why do you allow yourself to be entertained with this garbage?

 

It should not be a shocker of what this world has come to. It should not be a shocker of what MTV has become. If you watched the performance, you saw the norm. What boggles my mind is why anyone cares and why anyone is judging. Why are we judging her for acting in a normal way that is Hollywood? THAT is what PAYS in Hollywood. That is NOTHING new in Hollywood. Is it wrong? Oh, of course. Is it sad? Absolutely. But we should not be watching the show in the first place. We shouldn’t act surprised and disgusted and then judge her and gossip about what a terrible person she has become. No one knows the real Miley. No one knows what she is going through. No one knows the pain and hurt she faces every day. She is paid to act like a moron. She is making MILLIONS to display herself in a way that gets attention! Do I want my daughter to act like her? Without a doubt- NO! But guess what, my daughter doesn’t even know who Miley is. She has no idea about Hannah Montana. She doesn’t even watch the Disney Channel. I’m not gonna show her what twerking is. And I can assure you, that if she finds out, and even thinks about doing it I will be the parent and put a stop to it. And that’s another thing…I’ve heard people say Miley is how she is b/c she didn’t have a good parent. Really? How do you know? How do you know if her mom didn’t teach her to act like a lady? How do you know if her mom and dad didn’t tell her about God? How do you know the way she was raised? I promise you that Adam and I do everything we can to guide, teach and show our children how to act. We teach them morals. We teach them character. We do what we can and pray that God blesses them and us with wisdom and clarity. Guess what, they act like hellions sometimes!!! My kids act like a FOOL at times. They can be rude, hateful, distasteful, and downright “un-Christian”. They have made some REALLY bad choices. They have disappointed me. They have made me so mad and have made me doubt that I am a fit mother. That is what being a parent does to you. It can leave you feeling hopeless and make you want to pull your hair out. But there is NO ONE who will love them more than me. Well, except God. He loves them more than I can ever comprehend. My kids are being taught everything I can teach them about life, God, love, morals and character but I’d be a fool if I thought they won’t ever go against those teachings. I’d be na├»ve to think that once they leave they’ll never do anything that Adam and I disapprove of. It doesn’t work that way. You can do everything possible to teach and train your child and they will eventually get the chance to make their own decisions. We have to release our kids to God’s care. We have to pray. Every. Single. Day. We have to trust God for their lives. I take God at his word. His word says that if I train up my children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it. Notice it doesn’t say when they are young…but old. Miley is so young. You think she’ll regret this performance when she is old. Maybe? Maybe not. I cannot judge Miley for her actions. Do you know how many stupid, ignorant things I’ve done in my life? Thank God I’m not on a stage with the world viewing me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t endorse ANYTHING about her, but I sure am not going to act shocked when she does something ridiculous. I sure the heck won’t say her parents didn’t teach her to be a lady. And I am not going to let my daughter watch her on TV.

Adam and I got pregnant with our first child at 16. My mom did everything she could to teach me about God. You think the news of my pregnancy shocked her? You better believe it did. Do you think she thought she failed? I’m sure she did. I was judged about getting pregnant at such a young age. I was told that Adam had ruined my life. I don’t understand that. I was there. Pretty sure he wasn’t alone that night. I’m sure people thought I was a slut. I’m sure people gossiped. I’m sure people thought my parents didn’t “raise me right”. Who cares what they thought. My God knows.  Robin Thicke is married yet let Miley rub all over him and we say nothing about him. We praise him for being a stud. Do you see how twisted this is? You know what a stud is? My husband. He didn’t blink an eye when his 16 year old girlfriend told him she was pregnant. He is loyal. He is Godly. He guides and leads his family. He provides an excellent lifestyle. We celebrate 19 years in October and he loves me more today and SHOWS me that love every day. You’ll never see that in the media. You’ll just hear about how cool Robin is for having a 20 year old half-naked girl throw herself at him but what a disgrace she is.

All I am saying is stop watching the filth. Stop judging what the normal behavior of what Hollywood is. They aren’t doing anything new and shocking. Be parents and teach your children. Don’t let them watch the filth either. Introduce them to people who inspire, love and give. Introduce them to real art and real music. Teach them self-respect. Teach them to love their siblings even when they hate them. Teach them your hobbies. Sign them up to play a team sport. Get them outside of themselves and their room. Introduce them to Jesus. Tell them about His stories and miracles. Release them to God so he can mold them into the people He created them to be. Don’t think you failed when they get on the stage of life and act a fool. Don’t think that all the good work you have done in them is lost when they disappoint you. Give it to God and let Him show you how to be the parent He created you to be. Take God at His word. I know it’s hard. I know it can be nearly impossible but God gives us a promise that when we keep our eyes focused on Him he can move mountains on our behalf. And please, don’t judge when you see other kids acting like they have no sense. They don’t! They’re kids! Instead of judging you could use your talents to help teach them. You could help them by lending a hand when they need it. You can help by not judging. You can help by praying for them. Prayer changes lives.

Can we move on from this now? After all, there is a war brooding. Our children are facing a very dim future in America. We are in debt we'll never get out of. Our children could possibly see the most gruesome war in history come to life. In America, we are slowly losing rights. We are turning into a Godless nation. We have poverty. We have some of the most dangerous cities. We are killing each other over petty disagreements. Yet, we are talking about a girl who is "disgusting" and "a hooch". We are talking about how much twerking she does and how far her tongue hangs out of her mouth. THAT is sad. Our nation is slowly failing its young people and instead of standing together in unity to teach them we are tearing them down even further.

I’m not a perfect parent but God is. I am leaning on Him to help me be the parent my kids need. I’m not watching what Miley does. No one should be. We should be so focused on God, our spouses and children that we don’t have time to see the next celebrity strut her butt on stage.

John 8:7 “… he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Stop throwing the stones. Wake up and learn about the important things going on around you.

Until next time,
Reb

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Jewelry Organizer

I love creative & crafty people.

I love Pinterest.

I need to organize my jewelry.

Combine creative people with Pinterest and my jewelry gets an organized space!

I have wanted to do this project for about a year now and just kept putting it off. The last few days I have been scrolling through Pinterest trying to find an idea that would sell me enough that I would get off my butt and do it. Today, I went to Home Depot and finished this in less than an hour. Gosh, why did I wait so long?

I love the way this organized space turned out. In fact, I am down right giddy about it. I've caught myself just staring at it. It's so awesome.

A few reasons why I love this so much:
1.) I have seen these sell for $90 to $100. I made this for $ 28!!!!!! That alone is enough to be stoked.

2.) I am an organizing junkie. If there is a project that let's me organize something then let me do it!

3.) I can SEE all my jewelry. I am ashamed to even tell you how I stored my jewelry especially after professing my love of organization. Sigh... Ziploc bags and a cheap $9 drawer thingy that I got when I was about 17. I could never find what I wanted and it was a mess. I have gotten in a habit of not even looking at my jewelry and the majority of the time, I would skip wearing anything. 

4.) When I was little my dad bought me jewelry and taught me to take care of it. He loved buying me jewelry and I have some amazing pieces thanks to him. I hope to be able to wear more of the pieces now that it is organized and easier to find.

So, here's how I made my jewelry organizer.

First, I went to Home Depot and bought a 2x4 white pegboard. I decided I wanted to paint it. I already had several colors of spray paint at home. Then, I decided I wanted to add some type of decoration. Immediately I thought of some doilies I had purchased for a craft a few months back. So, I taped them on the pegboard. I decided on using black spray paint and sprayed the board. It took ten minutes to dry.

 
 
 
I like the way this came out. I wanted a bit of contrast and I think I got that!
 
I decided on where I wanted it and hung it up with a shelf I already had (I did spray paint the shelf b/c it was a dark chocolate color.)
 
 
The shelf has small knobs on the bottom that you can't see that well. I was going to put this shelf above the board but it would not allow for me to reach it in a convenient way.  I wanted to use the knobs for head scarves and have an organized space for my nail polish and small earrings that cannot be hung up. 

After it was straight and tightly anchored into the wall the fun began. My daughter and I got all the jewelry out & organized it on the ground. We grouped it together so it would be easier to hang it all up. We went around the house & looked in my purse for any jewelry that we didn't have. We also gathered up all her jewelry from her room. This also allowed for us to declutter any old, broken or missing pieces.

It took about 20 minutes to organize it all and hang it up.

 
 
 
Done! I love it!
 
Like I mentioned before, this only cost me $28 bucks! The pegboard was $8.95. I bought a brackets set that cost $7.99. The bracket set only came with one long necklace hook so I bought 3 individual ones to give me four total. They are the brackets in the first two rows. Three of them hold necklaces while the one on the left holds dangled earrings. The individual necklace brackets (BTW- I don't know the technical term for those things.) sot $2.78 each. Then I went to the Dollar store and bought a small, black tray with dividers. You can't see it well b/c it blends in so well with the shelf, but it's there holding some random pieces needed for my watch and backs to some earrings and charms. That cost a dollar. I had the paint, doilies and shelf. 

Have I mentioned that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this project?!

Until next time,
Reb

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cook My Book 3

If you have read this blog at all you know I am part of a cooking group called Cook My Book. You can read what the group is all about here if you have missed it.

I love this group. We have a few new members. Two of them being my friends in which one of them is my very best friend. Yea!! I love that they're both able to join this round. Both are great cooks.

For my book choice: The Tex-Mex Cookbook

I am in LOVE with this book. It has awesome stories and recipes. I almost want to cook the whole thing before giving it to the group. We start too soon for me to do that so I will antcipate getting it back and see everyone's comments. Which is just as cool as the concept of the group!!!

Stay tuned b/c we have some amazing cooks and some REALLY wonderful cookbooks this round!

Until next time,
Reb

Friday, January 4, 2013

A new year is here

So, ya, it's been four months since my last post. Who's counting though, right? ;-) Sigh...

It has been a crazy four months. I literally could write a book. I won't. Hahaha...Sigh...

I'm sighing a lot lately....

Let's see. We now have a 17 year old son. We are officially in our senior year with that 17 year old. Which means I am officially feeling nostalgic. When did he grow up? When did he become taller than me? Why did time go by so fast? If there was ever a way for me to stop time it would be right now.

We also have TWO teenagers in the house at the SAME time! What were we thinking? Oh ya, we weren't. No, it isn't that bad. Really. I'm being serious. Stop laughing! I sort of like them only being four years apart. They are close enough in age to be friends, but also far enough a part in age that they also do their own things.

Then there is the girl. She is officially four. Serious to goodness. That happened WAY too fast. Sigh...

There's me sighing again....

I do not make new year resolutions. It's too....what's the word....responsible...no, restictive. Ya, it's too restictive for me. Instead, I make a to-do list. And mind you, I make it easy enough to ACTUALLY do them. I have a few things that are a little out of reach but hey, I don't want to get too....restrictive.

One of my things to do for 2013 is to start teaching my daughter how to act like a lady. On purpose. It is a serious epidemic in our world for girls to be lazy, have no confidence, to have no manners, to have no pride in themselves. I could go on and on. It's a shame. Too many girls seek approval from their peers and not from God. Too many hate themselves because they compare themselves to the string bean on the magazine. Music. Ugh. Today's music for our girls, shoot...for anyone really, is so demeaning. Seriously, my eyes have been opened. Flashed WIDE open.

I will not stand on the side and allow my carefree, sweet, caring, funny, gorgeous girl to be knocked down by trying to conform to what the newest fad  is or to the newest Jersey Shore wanna-be. Nope. I will...excuse me...with God's help WE will not allow this perfect gift from God to be anything less than what God created her for.

Now, if you're curious about my boys. Trust me. They are confident. Um. One might say we have OVER done the job on their confidence. LOL...seriously. I need to work on the humble part with them. But that's just it...balance. We all need a healthy balance. This is my goal for all of my kids in 2013. Adam and I have started that balance as of tonight, actually. We've always had rules in our home. They have reinforced..or maybe reintroduced I should say, tonight with an idea I got off of Pinterest. I found a mom who wrote a iPhone contract for her 13 year old son. We changed it to fit our boys, but you get the idea here. Our rules are pretty simple:

1. Honor your mother and father the first time & at all times. No arguing allowed. Ephesians 6:2

2. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. This includes music and movies, or anything you’re viewing online. Eph. 4:29

3. Be respectful in speech, actions, and attitude to everyone. 1 Peter 2:17

4. Treat the people in your family better than you would anyone outside your family. Luke 6:31
 
Number four might turn a brow ...however, my kids have this amazing love for people outside of our home. They will bend over backwards for a stranger and then come home and treat each other as if they have a disease. I have actually had people comment to me about how respectful, kind, loving and how my kids manners are the best they have ever witnessed and then we walk in to our home and a brawl breaks out. What gives? So, Adam and I felt we needed to instill a love of family in them. So, what better way to instill a value than to make it a rule and force it on them, right? LOL....
 
Back to me raising a confident girl.
 
Here is the way I will be intentional with my girl.
 
1. We will read our bible everyday. This is a GREAT one. It's a devotional bible. Adam and Kaitlyn were in a bookstore reading through books and came across this book. Without her knowing we purchased the bible for her birthday. When she opened it she squealed, "Daddy!!! It's the bible we read!!!" A winner in her eyes already.
 
2. She is already involved in sports. She cheers in the fall and does gymnastics year round. This spring/summer I am going to sign her up for softball. Both of the sports (cheer and gymnastics) are already pretty girly (no offense if you're reading this and your boy is a gymnast. But Kait is in an all girl group and they all tend to be super girly. I'm sure as she gets older it won't be this way.) However, I think softball will help toughen her up just enough to be strong physically & help with different coordination.
 
3. I have been doing school with Kait since she was about two. She is very smart. I want her to be a life long learner. I will be more intentional with my lesson plans. I'm also going to widen the topics. Instead of it being a typical preschool curricula I will add things like anatomy and how our bodies work, our country and the different countries/cultures, more science experiments...what kids doesn't love to blow things up? I found an amazing resource...yes, on Pinterest. It's called Kiwi Crate. Kait LOVED the first box we recieved. So did I!!
 
4. I will teach her manners. I will teach her to set a table. I will teach her that when others laugh at someone, it's cruel. I will teach her loving new vocabulary words to help her express positive thoughts. I will teach her that beauty isn't about what you look like, but what your heart looks like. I will also teach her that in order to give God our best, we should look our best. I will teach her that when she orders her food at a restuarant to be polite and kind to the server. I will let her pay with my debit card so she understands things cost money. We will pray together everyday.
 
5. I am giong to start giving her a small allowance. She needs to learn that sometimes we do things as a family service and sometimes we do things to earn money. Things are not just given to us.
 
These are my top five. I will add to it as I discover more on how to raise her into the confident lady God created her to be.
 
Now, how to teach my boys to be humble...
 
That will be another post...
 
Hopefully it won't take another four months of life to go by to share my plan with you.

Until next time,
Reb

Monday, September 3, 2012

A year of cooking...

I think this year will be defined as a year of cooking. I began the year by joining a cooking group on Facebook. It's called Cook My Book II. (two b/c this is the groups second year in existence). I was so very fortunate to be invited by the group's creator. Basically the premise of the group is for each member to pick one cookbook. Then we mail in a certain rotation that allows all of the members to get every cookbook for about 3 weeks. We write in the cookbook. I know. Some of you book lovers will cringe at writing in a book. I did until I actually saw how cool it was! We write on the recipes we made. What we liked, didn't like, if we changed things up a bit or a tip/trick we think that'll make the recipe better. It's sort of like a yearbook but the people in the group are from all over the US. We started in February and will end around October just before the holidays kick in.

I am now in two cooking groups. The other group is called 37 Cooks.

I still think it's funny that lil' ol' ME is in a cooking group, let alone two. I was never the one who was known for my recipes, cooking, or the time I spent in the kitchen. I mean I do love to cook. I love being in my kitchen. It's the very first kitchen that belongs to me. I love to make food that people can enjoy, but I never thrived in the kitchen. I never had a meal, other than Thanksgiving, that my family begged me to make. I was ok with that. It didn't hurt my feelings and I just made meals to feed my family. I didn't give much thought to my menu before CMBII & 37Cooks. I had a very boring, easy rotation of menus that kept us all in a rut. I like easy. Easy isn't always fun and delicious though.

I was invited to CMBII at the perfect time. I had tried to spice things up a bit in the kitchen. I had started to feel like I wanted to do more in the kitchen. I felt like the meals I was preparing for my family could be better and could actually mean something. I didn't want to just make meals for my family, but I wanted the meals to be an extension of my heart. I wanted my family to know that I took the time to plan the menu with them in mind. I didn't just pull out an already written menu from my files, but that I took the time to think about each and everyones likes and dislikes. I thought about their health. I thought about what would make them smile with excitment. I thought about what smells would make their tummy rumble. I thought about meals that would make them BEG for more. I thought about meals that when they think of them, they think of me and the love I put into it. I wanted them to have very fond memories of me in the kitchen.

Now, reality has sunk in. Don't worry, I'm not livng in a Julia Child's fairytale. I have had many failures in the kitchen this year. But to me, that is also succeeding. I know what NOT to do now. Plus, having Chinese take out on speed dial can be the fastest recovery for any cook.

If there is one thing I have gained this year it would be to relax. Relax in the kitchen. Take your time. Don't rush and don't set yourself up to be in a hurry. Planning is still crucial for me. But that's just who I am as a person. My husband balances me by being the spontaneous one. I do everything with a plan in my mind. Well, if I'm telling the truth it's written down b/c my memory stinks.

Another thing I have learned: read the entire recipe first. I had a pork loin I wanted to make only to find out I needed to have it marinate overnight before roasting it. How do you tell a hungry family that instead of dinner being ready in an hour; we're having a bowl of cereal instead? There is only so many times in a week you can call for the Chinese take out before they recognize you. And to be called by my name....oh the shame.

These are two important lessons one should learn to be a bit closer at succeeding in the kitchen.

My favorite thing that has happened out of all of this cooking is that my daughter cooks almost every single meal with me. She is learning so much. The other day she said something that made me realize how much she is paying attention. The sad part is I forgot what she said. I hate that. I remember it was cute and she was right, but cannot remember what it was about. I just remember thinking, "Wow. She has learned a lot!" I'm going to go put a spiral notebook in the kitchen so I don't forget these times.

Another favorite: I made new friends!!! And we're like our own little gang. These people are THE best people to learn from. I have enjoyed each of them in their own unique ways. I have a genuine love for them although I haven't met them in person. Well, I've known the creator, Sandra, for years through homeschooling in TX together. This group has so much fun via FB that if we met in person the cops might be called. Bow, what a story that would be. I gaurantee you that the people in this group would befriend and cook something delicious for their cell mates.

Another favorite: my family is asking for certain recipes and meals now. I made a cake last night. My son sat down beside me and told me why he loved it. He went into detail about why he generally doesn't like cake, but LOVED this one. He said that he felt like the cake (bread) part is usually dry. He generally eats more icing on the cake b/c it takes away from the dry cake. And he's not a big icing person anyway so cake hasn't always been a favorite. He told me that last nights cake was very moist, but the best part was that it tasted good. He went on to say he has eaten a moist cake with no flavor. Who knew he thought about this with such detail? Anyway, he continued by saying the icing was also perfect. I made a homemade whipped topping/icing. Neither of my boys like sweets that much. Store bought icing has always been detested by them. So much so that they would scrape off icing and eat the cake part at birthday parties so not to offend the birthday person. This whipped topping I made last night was airy, not too sweet and just about melted in your mouth. This cake is even better the next day when it's been refrigerated overnight. The topping caramelizes with the cake and is out of this world. I very much enjoyed listening to my son tell me why he loved this cake. I loved his thought process and I loved that he appreciated the effort I put into making it. He thanked me more than a few times. That is happiness to me.

Here's a few of the recipes I have made this year:


Balsamic Grilled Bruschetta Chicken
 
 

Chinese Chicken Salad
 
 

Grilled Orange Chicken Drumsticks

Onion, Tomato & Basil Mayonaise Sandwiches
 
 

Peppered Porkchops with Balsamic Sage
 
 

Pineapple Planter's Punch


Shanghainese Mini-Meatballs, Five Spice Potatoes with Sweet-soy sauced broccoli
 

Texas Tortilla Soup
 


My friend, Willie, his creation: Frito Pie Burger


My latest CMB book is Mexican. I had not even opened the book before my husband looked it over & said we needed to buy it. Another fave: my husband loves this cooking group and year of cooking just as much as I do.

Until next time,
Reb

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Apple Pie in a Bag

My step mother-in-law and sister-in-law visited us a while back. They are from Mexico. They wanted to tour parts of the east coast before school started back. They were here for 4 days so we wanted to get in as much sight seeing as possible. On the first day we went to the Georgia Aquarium. It's the world's largest aqaurium so of course we had to take them there.

 
Jellyfish are so cool!
 
 
They look like they're dancing!
 
 
We chatted about what all they wanted to see in the small time they had here. We decided on a history museum and one quiet night at the house. The museum would have been really neat, had we went on a day they were open. Doh! So, we were able to have TWO quiet nights at home.
 
One night we sat on the back patio and roasted smores, listened to music, the kids played frisbee and the grown-ups chatted. Very nice & relaxing evening. 

 
 
The next night I wanted to cook a really good meal and dessert. I asked my MIL about apple pie. And that was it. I mean, you come to the USA in summer you need to have apple pie, right? So, that's what I made for dessert.  Immediately I got on my laptop to find the best apple pie recipe. I asked my cooking group and after about an hour of looking and talking to some people, I came across Beau's Dutch Apple Pie on Pinterest.
 
This isn't just some apple pie though. This is baked in a brown paper sack. In the oven. Uh-huh, the pie is baked in the sack in the oven. Yes, I'm serious. Nope, the house didn't catch fire-- not even a hint of smoke. And you know what? It's the BEST apple pie I have ever eaten in my life. I will NEVER deter from this recipe or try a different one. Don't fix what's not broken, right?
 
 
photo credit: Beau's Dutch Apple Pie


I am a bit sad that I didn't take pictures of the process. I was entertaining guests and I didn't even think of it, but when I make this again I will make sure I take pictures. The process is cool. It's easy. It's fun and the clean-up is a cinch!
 
So, on to the pie....
 
Ingredients
 
For the Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and pat into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. (Don't roll the dough out.)
For the Apple Filling:
  • 5-6 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • Combine all ingredients except the apples in a bowl. Mix well, then toss the apples in the mixture. Put the apple filling into the unbaked pie crust.
For the Crumb Topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
Instructions
  • Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the four and sugar, mix until crumbly. Cover the apple filling with the crumb topping.
  • Yes, you really do put the pie inside a brown paper bag. Once the pie is inside, roll up the the top of the bag and close it together with either staples or large paper clips. Place the bag on the lowest shelf in the oven. Bake at 350 for 90 minutes. Don't open the bag until the time is up and you have let it cool outside the oven for about 5 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. So good!
 
 
This is what mine looked like after I took it out of the bag.
 


 
 And then when I plated it with a scoop of Blue Bell Vanilla.
 
 
 
Seriously, it's amazingly AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! My mouth is watering.
 
You should stop what you're doing now and make this. You will thank yourself. Your family will thank you. America will thank you.
 
Until next time,
Reb

Monday, August 27, 2012

Grandma's Chocolate Pie

My husband and I were in a bookstore looking at the next cookbook we'd like to use for a cooking group we belong to. We came across many awesome books, but I came across a book that touched my heart. The Homesick Texan. In case you haven't read my tagline or the "About Us" section on this blog, or even the name of my blog, I am a Texan living in Georgia. I'm always homesick. Always. I miss Texas. I miss the air. I miss the bluebonnets. I miss the "home" feel you get when you KNOW you're in Texas. You don't know that feeling unless you're from there. I love the people. I love the crazy weather. I love the food.

I swear Texas is in a seperate category for food. There is NOTHING like Texas food. Chicken Fried Steak with cream gravy....never had a better one outside of the state. Tex-Mex ... now I was raised on real Mexican food, but when you can't get the real stuff, Tex-Mex is a close second. The recipe for the Chalupas in this book....oh. my. word. I seriously could eat those everyday.

A staple for any Texan & my dad....Pecan Pie...and if you say "puh-can" you're saying it wrong. It's "pea-can". Ask any Texan. My dad taught me how to say it correctly. I love hearing him say, "pea-can". He stretched that one syllable into about 4. Peach Cobbler...serve hot with Blue Bell Vanilla. I have VERY fond memories of all five of us kids literally licking the pan the cobbler was baked in. When cold of course. We had it on rare occasions and it was another favorite of dads. Chocolate Pie...rich chocolate with a buttery crust and a cool, fluffy meringue. Again, my dad loves chocolate pie. Yes, he has a bad sweet tooth. Sopapillas. Now there is a recipe in the book for these, but I cannot bring myself to make them. My granpa Tony & Aunt Helen made the absolute best sopapillas EVER. There was no imitating their recipe. They've both passed and I miss them terribly. Maybe one day I can get my granma to tell me the recipe. Somehow, I doubt there was ever a recipe. I never saw either with a written recipe.

So back to The Homesick Texan cookbook. I walked out of the door that day not buying a single book. I was a little sad going home without the book. A few days went by and I made a comment about the book to a friend. She had the book. Well, it is her husband's cookbook. He got it for a Father's Day gift. She lives 45 minutes away so she put it in the mail and I had it the next day. I was giddy!! I immediately knew the recipes I wanted to try. I had mentally taken notes of some of the recipes while I was at the bookstore.

I have eaten most if not all of these recipes in some varied version at one time or another in my life. It's the reason I love this cookbook so much. It makes me feel like I'm home. Certain recipes remind me of people or a time or a tradition. It helps relieve that homesick feeling just for a moment, one sweet or savory bite at a time.

So, which recipe is this post about: Grandma's Chocolate Pie. There are two pies my dad loves. Pecan pie & a Chocolate Pie. I miss my dad. I made this pie to remind me of the great man he is and how much he would love a slice of it.



Grandma's Pie Crust
Ingredients:
For the crust (Makes enough for two. Cut the dough in half. Freeze the half for up to 6 months)
2 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk

Method:
Mix flour and salt. Mix oil and milk. Pour oil and milk into flour and salt and stir until combined into a dough. Can add more milk if dry. Separate into two balls (save one ball for another pie). Roll crust out between two sheets of wax paper, line a buttered pie pan with crust.

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie
Filling ingredients:
4 tablespoons of cocoa or 1 1/2 squares of baking chocolate
3/4 cups of sugar
5 tablespoons of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
1 tablespoon of butter

Meringue ingredients:
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of sugar

Method:
Mix your sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, eggs and milk (all except vanilla and butter) with a whisk.
Cook while stirring on medium until it bubbles and thickens, about five to 10 minutes. If it becomes lumpy, just beat out the lumps. (It will not get any thicker in the oven so cook until it's as thick as you want it.)

Remove from heat and stir in your vanilla and butter. Meanwhile, poke holes in your pie crust with a fork and bake it at 350 until it’s brown, about 20 minutes.

 


Beat your egg whites with salt and when they start to get fluffy add the sugar. Pour the chocolate custard into the baked pie shell and top with the beaten egg whites. Bake it until it the peaks on the meringue are lightly browned, about 10 - 15 minutes.

Grandma says: “It’s real good hot, wonderful cold and you can even eat it frozen—then it’s like a popsicle!”

Note: All that's happening in the oven is the browning of the meringue. So be sure and keep cooking the custard in the pan until it's your desired consistency.
 
 
 
My dad would love this pie. Since I can't send him a slice, I'll eat it in his honor. Love you, dad!
 
 
Until next time,
Reb