Tag Archives: how to

Apple Pie Perfection

8 Feb

Sarah’s 18th birthday is today!!! How did the time go so quickly? I think it went quickly because she has been so much fun. She likes to bake and craft, so of course we had to make a special treat to take to school. Sarah has IB Calculus first block and it is a small class with a great teacher–not just because she let’s the girls bring in goodies, but she loves math and helps the girls love math too (it is an all girls school in case you were worried about the boys being ignored.) I linked this up over at Hollie Rogue’s Photo Friday link up party. It is a great place to see and be seen. click on over there to see what’s new.

So what should we make? One of Sarah’s favorite desserts that I make is an apple custard tart. I’ll definitely be making that for the blog sometime, but we have been seeing these adorable apple pies baked in the apple on Pinterest. We saw one at Testado, Provado e Aprovado , it looked both easy and wonderful, so I only changed it a little. Our test Pie was delicious, even though it broke open. I think we carved the inside out a little too much. Here is our version:

Pie crust: adapted from the kitchenaid manual.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening –I use coconut oil, which is solid instead of Crisco solid.
1/3 cup  cold  salted butter
5 or 6 Tbs. cold water, add a very little bit more if the dough won’t hold together.

Put all ingredients except water in bowl. With either the paddle attachment on the kitchen aid, or a pastry cutter, cut shortening into flour until it is  like crumbly pea gravel. Then slowly add water and blend until the dough just holds together. Gather it in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge to chill.

Now cut the tops off the apples, not too far down. Cut the apple top up and peel the skin off those pieces. Now leaving the apple skin intact with about 1/4″ of apple left to give it some strength. First cut out the core, throw out the core pieces, and save the rest. We sprinkled lemon mixed with a little water on the apple pieces to keep the brown down. Make sure your apple pieces are cut up into small pieces. You will have more apple than you need, so don’t worry about doing it perfectly.

Mix in a bowl, not with apple yet:–for 8 apples, obviously less for fewer more for more!

1/2 cup sugar –I like raw sugar it has more flavor.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1  tsp vanilla

In a small bowl put a heaping 1/2 cup of apple bits and 2 Tbs. of the sugar flour mix. Mix them until the apple is completely covered. Put the coated apples in one of the hollowed out apples, add some bits of butter on top about 1/2 Tbs per apple. Repeat with the other apples and set aside while you roll out the pie crust dough. Pre-heat the oven to 375*


Separate the dough into two pieces, on a floured surface roll out half the dough until it is about 1/8″+ thick. Try to roll and handle the dough as little as possible, so that it stay flaky. We used a circular plastic container that was about 5″ in diameter as a cookie cutter, cut out as many tops as you can with the first batch of dough. Add the leftover dough to the second half, and roll it out again and cut out the rest of your tops.


The tops need a small vent to let steam escape. We use a mini flower cookie cutter and then put the scrap back on the crust as decoration. Put the tops on the apples, don’t worry about pressing them in place they will naturally fold around the top as they bake.

Bake for about 40 minutes, when the crust looks golden brown in a bubbling syrup they are done. Let them cool for at least ten minutes  before serving.


Pinterest, You Got Pinned

11 Jan

Pinterest, what a wonderful new site.

Anything you like to do, other pinners like it too.

I am going to link some great Craft Ideas from Pinterest. The ones I hope to do next. If only there were more hours in the day for me to create. If you like crafts, art, sewing cooking, baking or sharing great quotes or even books there is wonderful stuff there just for you. Go to the site (Linked below), type in my name, or the name of anyone else who might be pinning and discover a whole wonderful new way to save great ideas. If you follow me, I’ll follow you. It is the best way to find great new ideas!

This is a link to a beautiful bowl made from buttons glued together. This bowl shows how an artist can take an inexpensive utilitarian object like a button and repurpose it.

Melted Crayon Art. Wow–who knew you could actually do something useful with all those broken and discarded crayons. Again, the real artists shine through. I hope my attempt–this weekend–looks even half this good!

Tie-dye with Sharpie markers–Okay this is for a t-shirt–how about sewing a silk scarf and then tie-dye decorating it?

I hope you will try one of these crafts. Let me know What you think, and other ones I should try!

Happy Pinning–Pictures to Follow–as soon as I figure out why the image uploader doesn’t like the URLs I’m putting in–oh well, another day another lesson from my Tech associate. It is always something really easy, and I feel silly for not knowing it!

Also, I now have a twitter account, but I don’t know how to get to it the name is TTTCGM and whatever makes it twitter. Hopefully, My techie in residence will show me about that too.

You Too Can Chan Luu: How to Make a Beaded Leather Bracelet

8 Jan

These beaded leather bracelets are all the rage, while they take time to make—about an hour per row of beads. It is not that complicated. If you follow the step by step instructions below, you can make one this week.

You need 2 pieces of leather or ultra-suede lacing, each approximately 30” long. (2mm diameter leather)

Onto a metal button thread one of the lengths of leather, slide the button up until it is in the middle of the leather.

Secure this on your board with a clip and or straight pin.

Place the other length—also folded in half—behind and just below the button, secure with a straight pin.

You now have four 15” long strands of leather cord. You will braid these just over an inch.

Cross the left outside leather over the strand just to the inside.

Now cross the right outside strand over the next 2 inside strands. Repeat these steps, approximately, 5 times. Until you have braided about 1 inch. Secure with a straight pin.

Make sure your needle and thread fits easily through your chosen beads TWICE. There are a number of different threads and silk beading cords you can use,* NOTE—many stone beads have very small openings. There are also many needle options, there are even wire needles whose eye will collapse as it passes through the bead. You need a couple of needles. It is not uncommon to break a needle. Also, pliers can help you pull a needle through a tight bead hole.


There are 2 main methods I use.

If you are using a 2mm round leather cord, you will be wrapping your thread or Beading cord around the leather cord. For this method a thicker silk cord gives the most professional look.  (I have used the blue ultra-suede because it is easier to see than black or dark brown leather)

Secure your thread/cord with a knot around the middle 2 leather cords. Keep the knot on the back side of your bracelet. Add a small dot of glue to secure it.


The pattern is to come up from the bottom, around the outside of the far left leather cord.  Sew through your bead, under the next leather cord, around the outside and back up then through the same bead a second time, ending with the cord below the outside leather. This forms a figure eight with the leather cords inside either loop and the bead around the middle. Repeat until you have about 4” of beads. Then repeat between the next 2nd and 3rd strands, and then, the 3rd and 4th strands.

                                                  The picture below is to show you the path the string will take, making figure eights between the leather cords         with the bead where they cross in the middle

Braid your ends 2 times using the same method you used for the beginning of the bracelet. Tie off with this knot—take one of your leather strands, wrap it 360*(degrees) around the other leather, tuck the end through from the top and pull tight. This will have all three strands pointing down. Place your finger between the strands, 2 above and 2 below, knot again with the same knot used above, repeat with a second knot using a different strand. Add a dot of glue before pulling the knot tight.

If you are using a flat ultra-suede cord, you will be sewing through the cording. A thinner thread and sharper needle will be better for this. Also, pliers can help you pull a needle through many layers of ultra-suede.

Knot the end of your thread. Sew up through the middle 2 strands at the end of the braid.

Now your needle is on the far left. Add a bead and start your first row. You will have one bead between each strand of leather, plus beads on the outside row if you choose. Press the needle barely through the first strand, add a bead. Press it barely through the next strand, add the middle bead. Press it barely through the next strand and add the last interior bead for that row. Press it through the far right outside strand and add another bead. Stitch down to start the next row.

This will create rows of beads instead of columns as the method above does. You also will have—if you choose—beads on the outside edges of bracelet. You are only sewing through each bead once with this method. So it is a little faster; it is not quite as strong.  

To tie off, use the same method as above.

You’re done!

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