Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie

[Printable Recipe]

King Arthur Flour sends me emails every so often - to try and get me to buy their products. I never do, but I do check out the recipes they have attached and this one caught my eye! It looked so good I knew it was going to be made for Thanksgiving dinner. I was super happy when my grandmother took me up on my offer to make dessert.

I have never made a pie crust before in my life - I think this turned out ok - it broke a little when I tired to put in the pie plate- but I patched it and it was good to go.

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 5 tbsp cold butter
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp ice water (maybe more)
  1. whisk together flour, salt and baking powder
  2. add shortening and let it mix throughout the dry mixture
  3. cut the butter into cubes and roughly work it into the mixture- there may be large chunks
  4. add the vinegar to the bowl and then add 3 tbsp of ICE water. Mix quickly and gently (if using a stand mixer go slow)
  5. Gather some dough in your hand and squeeze - if it sticks together then it is ready, if not add water a tsp at a time
  6. Shape it into a rough disk and put on a floured surface. Roll into a rectangle 8 by 12 inches. Fold it 3 times like a letter. (photo from
  7. turn 90 degrees and roll out into another rectangle - fold again like a letter
  8. Fold in half and cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at lest 30 mins - up to 24 hours.

  • 2 eggs room temp
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. butter melted and cooled
  • 2 tsp vanilla*
  • 1 1/3 c. semisweet chocolate chips**
  • 2/3 c. chopped pecans
* The original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp vanilla-butternut. pralines and cream or butter rum flavors - I didn't have any of these so it said to sub the vanilla
** This was SO SO SO rich - next time I will only use about 3/4 c. of choc chips.

  1. Beat eggs, sugar and salt for about 2 mins at high speed - they will be thick and light colored.
  2. Stir in four, melted butter and flavoring. Then add chocolate and pecans.
  1. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to warm up for about 15 mins.
  2. Preheat oven 375 degrees
  3. Roll dough out into a 12 to 13 inch circle
  4. Transfer to pie plate, trim edges and use to patch the dough if needed. Put a little crimp on the dough. I sucked at this but I tried.
  5. Pour the filling into the pie crust, then put pecans on top for decoration
  6. Bake for 30 mins uncovered then tent with foil and bake for another 10-15 mins until crust and top are golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool so that it can set.

This was very good, but very rich so we cut the pieces small.

** Sorry for the pictures being all over the place - I am still learning blogger and the 1 thing that I liked about wordpress was how easy it was to add images , I will figure it out soon!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I got a blog award!!!

Believe it or not - I follow 133 blogs - they range from Baking (duh) to friends blogs to money-saving strategies, running and local blogs. My reader is full of fun stuff.

One blog I follow is Janieoutofdebt - she found her self in a lot of debt - and totally kicked butt getting out of it. She offers really good advice on ways to think about money and how we spend/save it.

She was very sweet and gave my blog the Lovely Blog Award!!!

Now it is my turn to pass the award onto 15 blogs.
As it has been passed along to me, here are the rules of the "One Lovely Blog" award:
1. Accept the award
2. Post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
3. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

My 15 blogs are:
3- My Daddy (but his blog isn't lovely - it is manly :-D)
This is just a sampling from the blogs I enjoy - I personally know 4 of the 15. I can't even tell you how I found most of these blogs - but when I did find them I spent a while going back and reading them. A lot have yummy recipes or fun crafts. I hope you enjoy them too!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A work in progress

Yes - I know I have been neglecting my baking blog. Yes- this makes me very very sad. There are a few reasons why this blog is not getting the love it deserves.

1- I am working on moving my blog to - after much research - I can not make this blog pretty without 1- paying wordpress for an upgrade and 2- paying someone to help me create pretty blog materials. However blogger lets you use all sort of pretty HTML to decorate your blog - and better yet - people create amazing things for you to download and use - for FREE! I am so happy about this - however, the process for moving my blog is long - the blog posts all moved over fine - but the captions on the pics are not right and some other things  aren't right. Plus I am working on making it pretty. This makes me happier than you can ever understand. So when I do work on my blog - it is on that end.

2- I haven't baked anything new lately - I think we are in a rut dinner wise, and I am holding out for the holidays to start baking new things. I have 2 things planned for next week - and December is going to be a whirl wind of yummies flying out of my kitchen. Also- baking for the sake of baking is fun, but it is wasteful and I don't eat more than a piece of my stuff, and Matt only eats it for a day or so - and always seems to forget to take it to work (SIGH - Coworkers of Matt - nag him about this please) It also costs money - and my budget is so tight right now. Mainly for the last reason I have been neglecting this blog

3- Monday I signed up for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. It cost more than I should have paid - but running a half marathon is on my bucket list, and I have always wanted my first half to be a Disney half. So here I go. I have been running 4 days a week, and doing strength training 2 other days. After work and working out - I am pretty beat and just don't have the energy to go make something for fun. Especially since I am trying to get in better shape while training. I am very excited about the race.


So be patient dear reader - I will be back with yummy goodness soon! Hopefully by Christmas my blog is all set up and you can update your bookmarks and subscriptions so you don't miss anything.  I miss blogging I really do - I won't let this blog die. Promise.

Friday, November 13, 2009

First Gift


How many people are on your list for the holidays this year? Would you consider a gift for Africa?

Every day, 4500 mothers bury their children due to contaminated water. They are forced to sustain their families with a diabolical liquid that contains both life and death. This lack of clean water is the leading cause of death in underdeveloped nations. And it just doesn't have to be!

So as we gear up to scurry through department stores and browse endless catalogs in search of new jeans, Tonka Trucks, gadgets and dolls....we are pausing. We are pausing. And today, November 13th, we are buying water. Clean, life-saving water.

$10 will provide one person in Africa clean water for 10 years. It will literally change and possibly save someone's life. A mother. A child. A brother. A grandfather.

We are rallying together for a cause. Clean water. One day. $10. Asking everyone to let this be their first gift. Let water, let life be their first gift of the season.

Click here to be directed to the secure donation site of the highly recognized, non-profit, charity: water. All donations are tax deductible, and 100% of your donation will go to clean water solutions in West Africa.


(I did not write most of that text- but I think they said it better than I could. Please consider donating to this cause and spreading the word about clean water. I promise I will post food for a while - I have some upcoming holiday stuff for you :-D Thanks for listening/reading)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Crockpot chili


My parents were coming because we were going to go on a West Wing tour (it got canceled but rescheduled) I gave my dad the option of poppy seed chicken or chili and yay he picked chili.

This was so easy. I tossed it together Friday night - and got up Sat and put it in the crockpot and forgot about it.

By some standards I cheated - I used the McCormick chili seasoning packet. I just needed quick , easy and cheap.

[Printable Recipe]


2 lbs of beef ( I actually used 2.5 lbs)

1 Package of McCormick chili seasoning

2 cans (14 oz) Diced tomatoes ( I used petite dice because I don't like whole tomato chunks)

2 cans (16 oz) kidney beans, drained ( I used one of the large cans of Dark kidney beans)

1 can (15.5 oz) tomato sauce

Onion powder

Garlic powder


Brown the meat and season with onion and garlic powder. Drain the meat and combine everything together in crockpot. I refrigerated over night and got up and put it on high for 3 hours, then I switched it to low for the next 2. If I was going to be cooking it all day I would have just put it on low for 8-10 hours. Spoon into a bowl, and eat with toppings of choice.

Brown the ground beef

combining everything

Mix well

cook for at least 4 -5 hours

hot sauce, sour cream, cheese, fritos and corn muffins - pick your toppings

This was super easy to make which is great because I had to clean the apartment- it was nice to set it and forget it. This was good for lunch on Monday and also on hotdogs for dinner the other night.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanks Jody!!!

stacks_image_154_1A year ago today a woman with a passion started a movement. I year ago today Jody Landers launched the Water 4 Christmas campaign. This looked different for everyone. Some people gave up getting presents for Christmas and requested all money that would be spent on presents for them be donated to water 4 Christmas in their name. There were bake sales to raise money and an etsy shop.  My daycare had a change jar and kids brought in money towards it. The money went to charity:water who drills wells in Africa.  So from November 3 until Christmas (or the end of the year) people donated money for clean water. There were $10 Fridays, and people donated shirts, and crafts that were sold with 100% of the proceeds going to water. That was how I supported Water 4 Christmas. I bought crafts. The bottom line was that money was raised for clean water in Africa.

I have 2 tee shirts - and I love wearing them because I get weird looks and questions and I am able to spread the word about water.


If you come to my house and get a drink you will use my water coasters. I bought a set and loved them , and had the lady make me pink and green ones too


My favorite water thing is my ornament. I can't wait to put it on my first tree. This will be the only ornament that isn't pink and that is perfectly fine with me!


Without Jody behind the water movement - many people in Africa would still be drinking dirty water. In a 2 months she helped raise 59,000 for wells. The movement continued throughout the year and is gearing up for another water for christmas campaign*.

Today Jody is flying to Liberia. Clean water became an obsession of Jody's - but she shared the obsession with a lot of people and now there are lots of people obsessing over clean water for Africa.

Thanks Jody for all your hard work and sacrifice. You rock!!

* A blog post to follow later about water for christmas 2009, I will write 1 post, put it all out there, and then let you do with it as you wish.

Lots of food to come soon!!!