Saturday, October 18, 2008

Apple Pie recipe

Its that time of year. We have more apples than we know what to do with. So, I am baking and making apple everything. Here is a great apple pie recipe! I cheat and use pie crust from the dairy refrigeration section of the store. I like the Pillsbury kind. This is a recipe from "The Joy of Baking" (I think) that I like to use most often. There are simpler ones out there... but I like this one. And it always looks so good! I don't follow the rule of using certain apples. I like to use what ever is in season in our area. Crispy apples hold thier form better in a pie. Serve with some french vanilla ice cream and you are all set.

Apple Filling:
2 1/2 pounds (1.1 kg) apples (about 6 large), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups sliced) (about 900 grams sliced)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (15 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)

Make the Apple Filling: In a large bowl combine the sliced apples, sugars, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Let the apples macerate at room temperature for about two hours. Then, place the apples and their juices in a strainer that is placed over a large bowl (to capture the juices). Let the apples drain for about 15-30 minutes or until you have at least 1/2 cup (120 ml) of juice. Spray a 4 cup (960 ml) heatproof measuring cup with a nonstick vegetable spray, and then pour in the collected juices and the 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of unsalted butter. Place in the microwave and boil the liquid, on high, 6 to 7 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup and is syrupy and lightly caramelized. (Alternatively, you could place the juices and butter in a small saucepan and boil over medium high heat on the stove.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place the oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking sheet on the rack before preheating the oven. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the pan to catch any apple juices.

Transfer the drained apples slices to a large bowl and mix them with the cornstarch (corn flour). Then pour the reduced syrup over the apples and toss to combine. Pour the apples and their syrup into the chilled pie crust. Moisten the edges of the pie shell with a little water and then place the top crust over the apples. Tuck any excess pastry under the bottom crust and then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Using a sharp knife, make five 2-inch (5 cm) slits from the center of the pie out towards the edge of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill the pastry while you preheat the oven.

Set the pie on a baking pan and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the juices start to bubble through the slits and the apples feel tender (not mushy) when a toothpick or sharp knife is inserted through one of the slits. Make sure to cover the edges of the pie with a foil ring to prevent over browning after about 30 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 3-4 hours before cutting.

Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

missing: one childhood friendship

I have never been of fan of my childhood. I remember coming home from school in tears nearly everyday. Some days other kids were mean to me… but more often than not they simply ignored me. I was athletic… but I was still picked last for games in gym class or on the playground. Teachers even would pick on me or exclude me. I can’t say that there is a single reason for this. Rather, I see it as a group of things.

Back to the tears… I would cry and cry and cry alone in my room after school. I did not want my family to know that I was so sad. I can recall this beginning in the third grade. I told my sister about my feelings once… and she told me she was sure I had a friend. I am sure I did not. At least not what I thought a friend should have been like at that time. Loyal, constant, forgiving, and kind. I was desperate to find this friend. Occasionally I would experience this type of friendship from a classmate… but it was always fleeting.

When I transferred to a private school for high school I hoped and prayed I could have another chance and friendship. I was not very happy with the outcome. I did have a boyfriend or two in high school. For some reason my senior year my classmates were very mean to me. They would prank call me, I was left out of the yearbook almost entirely, excluded from social activities, and called names. Who does that??? I had friends but I can’t say they were close friends.

Well, then I was off to college. Another chance to find friendship. And I did. JI still considered myself ugly and had no confidence in my ability to do anything. But I had friendships and that was amazing to me. A few good friends whom I could talk to, hangout with, or even eat with… this was so wonderful and scary. I loved it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

This moment in time

I really enjoy reading. It is my ME time. I try to read every night. It’s almost like an addiction. My usual books are paperback non0iction books I find on sale or borrow from friends.

A few hours ago I was sitting in one of our Adirondack chairs reading a book. My son was asleep in his crib. My daughter was a few feet away playing on her swing set. She said to me “momma! Momma can you help me”? I asked her what she needed. She told me she wanted me to push her. My mind yelled “NO!” But my heart responded to her with a “sure thing kiddo.”

I pushed her for only a few minuted. She told me a few minutes into it that she loved having me push her and it made her “so very happy”.

A moment like that can never happen again. That book is still here. In addition, it will be later.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Going the Distance

I recently took a day trip to Magic Forest with my family (in-laws included). My 3 year old wanted me to ride a ride with her. Being the wonderful and loving mom I am- I rode it. My husband was so kind as to take pictures of me crammed into a small helicopter.

The next day when I transferred the pictures from the camera to the computer I saw the myself. Dreadful! I need to loose weight. I don’t want to be that mom. I don’t want to keep saying “Well, I have had two children and its ok to look like this”. In reality, I hate looking like this.

I don’t tend to look for signs, but recently it seems like a number of people I know are runners or are beginning to run for their health. So, I consider that a sign…peer pressure maybe… to get off my duff and get moving. I am not going to say that I will run a marathon. Ever. What I will say is that I am going to begin by walking and by October 1st, I would like to be running a 12 minute mile.

So, today I began my journey.
I bought some fancy running sneakers.
I downloaded a motivational podcasts.
I downloaded some iTunes walking and running compilations.
I have decided to walk at night after the kids have gone to bed.

I will be a fit momma for my children’s sake, for my husband’s appreciation and for my own health.
Check back for an update!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Jesus loves her more than he loves me?

I have a MySpace account. A number of my MySpace friends are people I actually know! Imagine that! Most of them I would say are my friends. A few (very few) are people I knew in high school or college and may not have actually socialized with. But who really cares. Its just a social networking site. I post things, they post things. If I want to read it or look at their pics I can. Its fun and a great way to loose a few hours of your life.

I made a "friend request" once of two sisters I played soccer with in High school. I was not shopping buddies with them. I didn’t not like them however. We just didn’t hang in the same social circle. They did not accept my invitations. Ok, fine. I always thought they were snotty MK’s anyhow (MK = missionary kid). Oh I know-Sounds like I am jealous, or was at one point. But I wasn’t. I just didn’t ‘get’ why everyone thought they were the big cheese. Frankly I thought they were kinda snotty AND self-righteous. ;)

I did notice however that one of them had a headline of “Jesus loves me more than you” Ummm… he does? I didn’t know that. Where in the bible pray tell does it say that Jesus, the son of God, the personification of God our Father, loves us differently? Did I miss something in my years of church? All the Sunday mornings I say in Mrs. Sprankle’s Sunday school class at Gates Assembly of God Church, the 4 years at Northstar Christian Academy, and then 4 ½ (I changed majors a lot) years at Houghton College I never heard anyone tell me God will love some one more than he loves you.

God our Father. We are told our parents won’t love us more or less than a sibling. OK, fine. Since God is our Heavenly Father shouldn’t that hold true for him as well?

But maybe missionary kids are loved more??? I mean, they have to spend years in 3rd world countries, wearing not exactly the coolest of fashions, not having access to all the lasted pop culture items, and having to be Godly examples for the locals 24/7. Oh man! I guess maybe that he could love them more than he loves me.

But in reality… I doubt it. I can’t find the God loves someone more than he loves me verse in the Bible. He loves everyone. EVERYONE! The MK, the PK (Pastor’s Kid), the meth addict, the whore, the average Joe sitting in the third pew every Sunday, the guy who stole your parking spot at the mall, and me… he loves us all just the same.
What is my headline? “Body Piercing Saved My Life.” Go ahead and ask me what that means!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stay-At-Home-mom income=$0.00

I don't make any money. Not a single dime. Some days the whole "Weeds" TV show looks like a good diea. But I don't even know how to buy drugs...where would I get them to sell them???? Plus the whole going to jail part if really not to high on my agenda these days.

I am looking into USBORNE books as an option to make some extra income for my family. But I wonder how well that will do.
Pro: Only one person in the area is doing it. All the other at-home-business ideas seem swamped with people. There is potential for growth!
Con: The economy- will people be willing to spend $ on books for their kids?
Pro: Reading to kids is important
Con: $100.00 to start up.

What do you suggest????

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sex offenders in your neighborhood

I am the first to admit that I am obsessed with knowing if a sex offender lives near me. I check the New York state registry often. Sometimes daily!

I always thought sex offenders, especially pedophiles, were messed up in the head. But now that I have a son and daughter I find myself getting angry. Beyond angry really…I can feel the anger grow inside of me. My blood boils!

While I never let my children out of my sight, I still think it is important to know who lives near you. Knowing what the person looks like, what they drive and where they live can give you the tools to protect your neighbors. You never know what you may be witness to.

The following is the NY state level 3 Sex Offender. Do a search for other lists. Some provide you with maps.

Vermont had its first Amber Alert recently. Brooke Benett was 12 years old when her her uncle a known sex offender kidnapped her. His probation had run out…possibly earlier than it should have. That is being investigated. He kidnapped her in an effort to initiate her into a sex ring he was operating. Another member of his family, a 14-year-old girl, was already a “member” of this group with her boyfriend. On top of all that her ex step father was involved in the sex ring. He resides in Texas. When all of this happened, he had his roommate throw out a safe and laptop that contained images of sex acts with minors.

There are so many questions. Why hadn’t her mother, grandparents, other relatives or family friends made it clear to her what type of man this uncle was? If my own brother was ever assigned sex offender status, neither of my children would ever be permitted to be around him…even in my presence. Easier said than done? Not hardly. My children are under my care for 18 years by law. It is my God given responsibility to protect them.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"I want a fun mom"

It was hot outside today. No duh, right? Its JULY lady!
I filled the kiddie pool for my 3 year old. She loves water and insists on making puddles in the backyard. Once the pool was finally full. I turned off the hose when she decided to make a lake next to the pool. Needless to say, she threw a fit. She's 3...what can I expect for ruining her fun.

The kicker was she told me a few minutes after her meltdown that she was going to have a new mommy who was fun. I don't react to those comments anymore. Frankly, I am too tired to react. A few moments later my husband came outside. Our calm daughter told him she was getting a new mom. A fun mommy. He asked her if she was getting a new daddy. She said no, she would keep him. He said he went with mommy. She said "Oh...well, I guess I'll get a new daddy too". Strangely enough she would like keep her little brother. He doesn't crawl yet (he is 4 mos old). Ask me in a few months how she feels about keeping him!