Jan 23, 2015

Happy National Pie Day - Our Caramel Apple Pie Recipe

Mmmm...pie! Are you celebrating National Pie Day today? My hubby is known for his caramel apple pie. Seriously, he gets orders several times a year for this pie. In celebration of National Pie Day, I'm sharing our recipe with you. Special Note - if you're going to make our pie, you MUST make your own pie crust! Do not buy a pie crust already made from the store. I promise you it will be worth it to make your own! :)

Pie Crust (makes 6 single pie shells):
6 c. flour
1 lb. lard
1 T. salt
2 eggs
2 T. vinegar
6 T. water
Mix together flour, lard and salt. In a separate small bowl, mix together eggs - beaten, vinegar and water. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and roll out into pie shells.

Caramel Apple Pie
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/3 c. flour
5 c. thinly sliced apples
2/3 c. white sugar
3 T. flour
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. lemon juice
20 caramels, halved
2 T. milk
Preheat oven to 375. To make taffy, in a small bowl combine brown sugar, melter butter or margarine and 1/3 c. flour. Mix well and set aside. Filling: place apples in a large bowl. Add white sugar, 3 T. flour, cinnamon and lemon juice. Toss until all ingredients are mixed well and apples are thoroughly coated. Layer 1/2 of apples, 1/2 of caramels, 1/2 of taffy mix, repeat. Place top pastry over filling and seal well (this is very important - if edges are not sealed caramel will leak out all over). Cut steam vents and brush top crust with milk or light cream. Cover with foil and place on baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, remove foil, bake another 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Jan 16, 2015

I Dare Ya

I triple dog dare ya! We all know that line from A Christmas Story, right? You know, right before the boy puts his tongue on the flagpole and gets stuck! Some dares are like that - just to get you to do something crazy. But then there are dares that people give because they've done something that's made a huge difference in their life and they want you to experience the same thing- this dare is THAT kind of dare.

I am currently reading a book by Ann Voskamp entitled One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. If you haven't already read this book, oh, how I wish you would! This may surprise some of you, but I am not always a happy, bubbly, positive person. (SHOCK) I find myself grumbling and complaining more times than I care to admit. Can anyone else relate to that? And a lot of times it's not over substantial, awful, dreadful things - it's just the in and out, everyday happenings of life. How can I change this? How do I stop being so critical and negative?

Did you know we can change from being pessimists to optimists? We can! It's all about focus, all about what we notice, what we choose to say, what we choose to focus on. Ann talks about this in her book - how we're surrounded every day with these wonderful gifts, and yet we fail to see them, to notice them, to name them, to thank God for them. We have to renew our mind - how does that happen? It's a daily practice - the renewING of our mind - notice the ING. That means it's still happening, it's a journey, it's something we have to work on - on purpose! That's where my dare comes in. Ann's friend dared her to write a list - not a list of things to do, not a list of things to change, but a list of God's gifts - of the little things that God gives her every day. One thousand gifts. I'm taking that dare! I've started my list, and does it surprise you that I'm smiling more, that I'm noticing more of the "little" things that God gives me, that I'm a more positive person? I haven't arrived, but I'm renewING my mind. As I write items on my list, I'm renewING and it's becoming easier to notice and be thankful for the little things.

Sweet sister (and brother) loved by God, I would love to have you join me! I triple dog dare ya to get a notebook and start listing:

1. Extra hugs from my precious son this morning
2. The sun shining in our breakfast nook and warming my back as I write this
3. Spiced cider - mmm.......