Friday, March 30, 2012

Berry Pie in a Clay Saucer

Happy Happy Friday!

Small clay saucers are a great alternative to the mini aluminum pie tins.  I love how they are different to make a pie in and how flaky the pie crust turns out!

Since winter has apparently returned here in our neck of the woods {doesn't that sound Little House on the Prairieish?} and I have clay saucers that are not  being used for spring pots boasting beautiful flowers and herbs, I decided to bring the look, smell, and taste inside!

{Does anybody else just feel like nesting when it is stormy, cold and wet outside?}

Berry Pie in a Clay Saucer
Lisa Pearson

5 cups of berries

1 cup of sugar...these berries were super sweet.  You can taste test if you need to add more!

zest and juice from 1 lemon

2 TBSP. melted butter

1/4 cup need to flatten it down

1 store-bought box of pie dough {TRADER JOE'S is my favorite!}

4  5" clay saucers...not glazed or treated.  Be sure to wash them well.

A bit of milk or half and half and coarse sugar for embellishment {optional}


Preheat your oven to 425*

Combine berries, sugar, lemon, butter and flour into a mixing bowl.  Stir well and let it sit.

Follow directions on pie dough box.

Once pie dough is rolled out a bit, place saucer upside down and cut around the lip, allowing about an inch for your dough to sit inside of the saucer.  The more rustic looking the better.  You will be able to make four mini dough discs out of each large disc.  This will give you two bottoms and two tops.  Repeat with the next large disc.

Then, line each clay saucer with the dough for the bottoms and gently press against the bottom and the sides.

Place a generous cup of berry pie filling into each saucer.  Then put the tops on and pinch the tops and bottoms together.  Take a pastry brush and dip it into the milk and brush it on top of the pie.  Then, sprinkle the course sugar on top. You are not looking for perfectionism here.  You are looking for old-fashioned and homemade looking!

Place pies on baking sheets.  They will run over...and you will have a big ol' mess on your hands.  Trust me.

Bake at 425* for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and super dee duper bubbly.

Let cool a bit and serve with ice cream.

Keep one for date night, freeze one and share the rest.

I read this quote the other day and it is so true.

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
                         Booker T. Washington

This does not necessarily mean spending a lot of money, a lot of time, or feeling like you have to do something for someone else, but there are those times when you may feel like you are in a slump and the very best thing to do can be to do something for someone else.  Just give it a try!

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:  It is more blessed to give than to receive,"  Acts 20:35

Shared with:  at the picket fence, stone gable, comfy in the kitchen, foodie friday, thirty handmade days, Titus2sday, growing home

Monday, March 26, 2012

Peter Rabbit Veggie Soup

Later last night, our home was buzzing again.  I just had to ask the kids that were over for a visit one question.  I was wondering if other momma's would give fun names to food items and to meals in an attempt to make their children actually want to eat them.  NOPE!  Apparently, I thought everybody did that!  David's response was "we were told we had and that we HAD to eat it!".  I didn't pry.  I guess that is what a momma does when she has five boys. Not that I was a better mom by any means!  If anything, I was probably spoiling my children.  It wasn't just food was the caterpillar tuck at night, and the "uppy, uppy, little guppy!" in the mornings!!  No wonder our little doggy is so spoiled with baby talk around here!

Anyhoo, we had all kinds of things we did.  They were still expected to eat what was served, but we did try to make it a bit more tolerable!  Maybe we didn't expect for them to love asparagus and spinach as children...I guess we could have saved ourselves a lot of time trying to think up names like...Peter Rabbit soup, kitty milk, and the list goes on!

Either way...This soup is great, even though our little boy was highly disappointed that there was no rabbit in it!  :}

Peter Rabbit Veggie Soup
Lisa Pearson


1 onion, diced

2 potatoes, diced

6 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

3 garlic cloves

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. thyme

8 cups water

8 tsps. Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Soup Base

1  12oz. can tomatoes, diced or whole


*In a large stockpot, sautee veggies in oil.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Add spices and garlic.

*Add water, soup base, and tomatoes.

Add additional spices, if needed.

*Stir and allow to simmer for about 1 hour.

VARIATIONS:  This is a great soup that you can other veggies to.  Green beans, corn, SPINACH, basil etc...anything that may grow in Mr. McGregor's garden...

Serving suggestions:  serve with sparkling cider, crusty bread, and chocolate chip cookies!

This makes a super easy lunch!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lime Infused Coconut Macaroons

Happy almost Wednesday!  How does that sound?  Just a tad bit closer to FRIDAY!

Today, is my hubby's birthday...and you know that you are busy and life is full of changes when the birthday boy's birthday dinner is scheduled a few days that the whole family can have dinner together!  Another perfect excuse for the "birthday week".

Happy Spring to each of YOU!

Lime Infused Coconut Macaroons
Adapted from my friend Maria


2 egg whites

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

2 Tbsp. freshly grated lime zest

1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp. coconut extract

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2  14 oz. packages of shredded, sweetened coconut

1 cup melted semisweet chocolate chips or white chocolate {with desired coloring added}


Preheat oven to 350*.

Line perforated baking sheet with SILPAT.

In a medium bowl, combine egg whites and salt and whisk for 2 minutes.

Add milk, zest, lime juice and extracts and combine.

Fold in coconut.

Using an ice cream scoop, make mounds that are about 2.5 inches and place about 1 inch apart on SILPAT.

Bake 20 minutes or until macaroons are golden brown.

Cool completely on a cooling rack.

When macaroons are cool, dip bottoms of macaroons in melted chocolate.  {I dipped some on the bottom and others on top.}

Place on ROULPAT or on parchment paper to set. Drizzle tops with the rest of your melted chocolate or pastel-colored chocolate.


Shared with:  comfy in the kitchen

Friday, March 16, 2012

Almond Butter and Jelly Bars

One nice thing about going through old recipe binders is finding old recipes that have been long forgotten.  This is one that has been hidden...and since I have been CRAVING pb&j.  It was perfect!  But with peanut allergies, I decided to make it with almond butter and almonds instead.  GOODNESS GRACIOUS!  Don't forget your tall glass of iced milk and you and your friends will be happy little campers!

Happy Happy Friday!

{Adapted from Ina Garten}

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (18 ounces) almond butter.  I like the Trader Joe's brand.
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) raspberry jam or other jam
  • 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan.  Grease and flour the pan. {I make my own pan release}
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and almond butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the almond butter mixture. Mix just until combined. {I just threw it all in the mixer}
Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a fork. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Pour the remaining dough evenly over the jam and use the fork to press it down over the jam. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

This recipe can easily be cut into half and baked in an 8X8 pan.  Just adjust your baking time to about 35 minutes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Crockpot Beef Bourguignon

Happy Wednesday!

First, I just want to thank you for being the best bloggy readers ever!  Your e-mails and comments have been so kind.  I don't know most of you, but your encouraging words and love for our family as you celebrate with us have made our celebrations even sweeter!  

We are not huge meat eaters around here, but with lots of celebrating and entertaining going on lately...this is our go-to recipe!  Best of all, it can be made the day before and re-heated in the oven.  All you will need to do is set the table, cook the noodles, slice the bread and have your guests bring a salad!

Crockpot Beef Bourguignon

{adapted from my favorite Ina Garten!}


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 12oz. pkg. hickory smoked bacon
  • 2 lbs. chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  2 lb. pound  bag of carrots, sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced and diced {not too small} maybe I should say bite size chunks.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pressed 
  • 1 (750 ml.) bottle dry red wine...I like to use Blue Fin {$3.99} from Trader Joe's
  • 2 cups beef broth...I use Better than Bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 12oz. pkg. fresh mushrooms, sliced


Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to the crockpot.

{This is the only time bacon is allowed into the kitchen!  It is usually cooked on the bbq!}

Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the crockpot with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned...placing it into the crockpot.

Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Place all of this goodness into the crockpot. Add the bottle of wine..yes, ALL OF IT!... and the beef broth. Add the tomato paste and thyme.

Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Add  the flour to the stew. Season to taste.  You are mostly tasting for salt and pepper.  WARNING!!! It's gonna taste winey!

Cook on high for 6 hours.

Serve over hot egg noodles, mashed potatoes or rice and ENJOY!

Shared with:  comfy in the kitchen

Monday, March 12, 2012


{photo credit:  Matt Miranda}

You, my son are 18 TODAY!


Happy Birthday!

Oh where to begin?  At this point, I feel as though there are no tears left to cry. 
Dad and I are so very proud of the young man you have become.  Although you are no longer a little boy, there will always be parts of you that will remind me of “little you”. 

From the second I saw you, it was a blur as the tears streamed down my cheeks. It was pure joy that I had YOU in my arms! 
At close to a month early, you were STRONG, alert, and full of life.

Our first conversation was me, your momma, holding you close to my lips and me whispering into your itty bitty ear…”no matter what happens, I will always LOVE you.”  You had no idea what your momma was saying, but it was a promise I gave to you right from the start.  I had no idea why I said that, but as I reflect on the last 18 years, I am pretty sure God put those words on my heart to gift to you.

As Dad and I are sitting here reflecting back, there are some things that just make us laugh!!

*For Halloween one year, you wanted to be a cowboy mouse.  Your sis had you loving a mouse movie...and you loved anything to do with cowboys.  Needless to say there were no costumes that matched your criteria.  So, you made your own!  One momma came up to me and thought we couldn't afford a costume and felt so sorry for us...but I was the happiest, most proud momma at the costume parade, because I knew that I had one determined, creative boy who was not ashamed to be himself!

Let’s see…shortly after moving into our home, I had gone to the back restroom and honestly, I was only gone for minutes, but you had managed to open the garage door and wander down to the intersection at the end of our street in your cloth diapers and cowboy boots!  Imagine how horrified I was when the neighbor, whom we had not even met, rang the doorbell to bring you home!  Aside from having no idea how you had figured that out…I was so afraid they were going to call the cops!

*Stacking wood for hours and hours before Daddy  got home from work.  YEP, at three you  dubbed yourself “the workin’ man”…because you wanted to be just like your Daddy and like Poppi.

*Climbing the tree about 30 feet up before yelling, “hey, dad, look up HERE!”

*Roasting marshmallows with your best friend over the candle in the bathroom…and not finding out about it until his momma called.  NOT OKAY! 
And then deciding next time, it would be a better idea to just go ahead and have a fire pit in the bedroom instead!  NOT!!

*My Wednesday date days with you…both of us in our camo gear treading the creeks and wetlands and sitting in musty, muddy forts.  I am so thankful you invited me into “your world”.

*Once your fort was finally complete…and it took a whole extra year because you financed it on your own…all the way down to the last box of nails, we celebrated by you fixing it all up comfy and cozy for the whole family to enjoy.  I think you had every pillow, blanket and dog toy jammed into every last bit of space you could find.  We popped popcorn and pretended it was the best spot in town until the wee hours of the morning…when we were achy, hot and still AWAKE!

*Believe it or not, digging in dirt, moving all the rocks from the rock bed, pulling junipers, clam digging, cleaning fish, and seeing the skinned squirrel and trying to save baby birds have endeared me to who YOU are...and I know without a shadow of doubt, who to call when in need!

*I think my favorite time with you was close to Christmas and you so badly wanted me to come out to the fort to see the Christmas lights from the loft.  It was freezing out and your big blue eyes looked so disappointed as I tried to come up with as many excuses as possible…one being it was past your bedtime.  You decided to heat a rice bag for me and make me HOT Ovaltine…if I would venture out with you.  How could I refuse?  So, up we climbed into the loft with our hot drinks, blankets and the battery operated radio.  It is one of my most cherished memories.  We chatted and spied out of the window and listened to stories and Christmas music.  SIMPLY DELIGHTFUL!

*Knocking on neighbors doors to sell painted rocks in order to raise money for the homeless shelter.  Again, we had no idea until a neighbor brought down a check made out to us for FOOD!  But it was your tender heart that so badly wanted to help in a very real way.  As far as you were concerned, it was YOUR job!

*Rodeo camp, summer camps, hunting, basketball, baseball, soccer, a broken arm, a broken wrist, a broken rib, a fractured skull, monkey bites, and a jelly fish sting...all things that may put a damper on life, but you took every situation in stride and didn't complain ONCE!  I complained and cried for YOU!

Sometimes, as parents, we just want everybody to know the child  WE know.  The child who is tender-hearted and who is deeply concerned for others.  The child who snuggles and who still hugs and loves his big sister like no other!  The child who comes to check on his dad…and who IS the man of the house when Dad is gone!  The child who is willing to do things that most others are not willing to do.  A child who still knows Grammy better than the rest of us... We are blessed to have YOU, dear Caleb.

We are so very proud of you!  You are truly a blessing to all those who know and who love you and to those you have yet to meet!

…and even though you enjoy relaxation and adventure...

You will always be our "workin man"!

We LOVE you to the moon and back and back AGAIN!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Oatmeal Bar

Celebrations are upon us!  Easter, bridal and baby showers, graduations and everything in between!

Although a dump dump quiche is great and crepes and waffles are divine, there are times that you need something even simpler.

Oatmeal is nutritious, yummy and best of all requires no fridge space, no cheese shredding, or veggie dicing OR baking!!

A couple of days ahead of time, line up your containers on the kitchen counter.

Place 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats into each container.

Sprinkle a couple shakes of sea salt onto the oatmeal.

Top with 1 Tbsp. brown sugar.

Mark each seam with a sharpie about a thumb's width from the lip of the container.

Place lids back on top and store.

You can leave them plain or add some fun touches...only if time allows!

Place directions into a frame and that is it!

The containers may be placed onto a tray or in a basket along with fresh cream and dried cranberries, raisins, walnuts, coconut, dried pineapple, etc.!

OOOPS!  Don't forget the boiling water in a large carafe or tea kettle!!

ANNNND, if you are not planning on hosting...they are fun to pack up for on-the -go mornings, spring picnics or to take to a friend for breakfast!

When time is short and I have wanted to take a meal to a new momma, I have taken this on several occasions.  I think it was almost liked better than the chicken pot pie meal!  :}

Okay.  I think that is about it!  The ideas are endless.  Just keep it simple!

Have a lovely DAY!

Shared with:  comfy in the kitchen, at the picket fence, stone gable, pink saturday

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fridge Photo Organization {and a 40/40 update!}

Hello from beautiful, sunny Portland!!

The air is fresh and springy and I am nesting like it is nobody's business, and I am not even having a BABY!

Is that what happens when your son is graduating and your daughter is getting married?

It feels like a motor is revving and there is no time to slow down...

I am emotionally and physically exhausted, but feel like there is so much to do!

Since I started the "40 bags of stuff in 40 days" and have not been blogging much about it, I thought I would just bunch it altogether with what has been gone through so far.

One of the things I have refused to get rid of is the pictures of friends on our fridge.  I know it is a clutter party going on...but I love having the pictures out where they can be enjoyed.  It is also a fun topic of conversation, especially when guests recognize that you have friends in common! I just LOVE that!

However, there is no reason not to have it neat and tidy.  It has only taken me 20 plus years to tackle this project!

I had a leftover piece of wood with fabric on it I had saved.  There was no way I was putting the nasty, dusty board on the fridge, so, I cleaned it off, removed old staples and fuzz balls and covered it with leftover fabric from my kitchen curtains.  YAY!...a free project!!!

I pressed the white fabric.
Then, I laid it over the green fabric.

I wanted the seam to stay put, so, I used the trusty glue gun to make sure it would not sag with the photos attached to it.

Then, I turned it over and trimmed the fabric down just a that it would lay flat against the fridge and not be bulky.

Last, but NOT least...was using the staple gun to attach the fabric to the board.

That is it!  I am sure there are fancy schmancy ways of doing this, but there were more bags to fill!
There were two holes in each corner, so once the board was done, I used the pointy end of my scissors to poke through the fabric so that I could hang it with twine!

ONE of my favorite hooks to use is the 3M COMMAND strips.  They are strong wire hooks that do not do damage to the surface and you can move them if you want.  

SO much better, don't you think?

Here is the before pic...

and I had already started pulling everything off before I grabbed the camera!

here are some more 40/40 projects:

I got rid of so many shoes.  I have had the shelves labeled, but they were migrating to the wrong spots!  That is one way to know that less is MORE.  How many shoes do we really need?  

Hope your 40/40 is going well.  I have enjoyed the e-mails and the pictures!!  :}

Happy Wednesday!