Friday, September 21, 2012

On our way!

Our vacation starts today, 5 days in sunny, perfectly 75 degree San Diego! A little light reading on our flight, "The Birth That's Right For You". I'm planning to write a review when I'm finished.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Apple Custard Pie with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Crust

My new Saturday morning routine is hitting the gym for a strength training class at 8am, then Trader Joe's and the the North Union Farmers Market...all within walking distance of each other at Crocker Park.  We love supporting local businesses and great food so shopping at the farmers market is a win-win.  Fall produce is starting to arrive and I couldn't resist buying some Courtland apples and baking over the weekend.  I don't make pie very often (1. two people do not need a whole pie and 2. I don't make pie crust enough to be really good at it), but when I asked Chris what he wanted me to make with the apples, "pie with vanilla ice cream" was his answer.  I perused my cookbook collection and came up with this recipe from Janice Cole's Chicken and Egg cookbook: Brown Sugar-Apple Custard Pie (with a few adaptations, of course). I received this book from Brittany for my birthday one year and every recipe that I've tried has been delicious.  Now, on to the pie!

Fresh out of the oven pie

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
2 T packed light brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
dash of sea salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3-6 T ice water

Pie Filling
6 cups baking apples, sliced and peeled-I used Cortland
1 T lemon or lime juice
2 T flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
dash of salt

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg

1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt with the paddle attachment.  Add the butter and beat until butter is in pea sized pieces.  Add the water, a tablespoon at a time until dough sticks together.  
2. Gather dough together and divide into two halves.  Press into disks and wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm.  I stuck mine in the freezer for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 375. 
4. Roll out dough disks on a lightly floured surface until it's a 12 inch round.  Roll out second disk.  Place one of the rounds in a 9 inch pie plate and press into place.  Loosely place the other round on top and refrigerate until ready to use.  

1. Toss apples in a large bowl with lemon juice, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  
2. Pile into pie shell, mounding in the center.

1. Whisk together egg and cream in a small bowl.
2. Pour, gently, over the apples.

Finishing the pie:
1. Place the 2nd 12 inch pie crust round over the top of the pie.  Crimp the edges to seal.  Cut vents in the top.
2. Lightly brush with egg wash or cream and dust with granulated sugar.
3. Cover edges with a pie shield or foil so they don't get too brown.
4. Bake pie for 25 minutes and then remove pie sheild/foil.  Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.
5. Cool before slicing.
6. Serve with ice cream (if you are like my husband) and enjoy! 
View of the inside so you can see the custard filling
Chris and I both enjoyed this pie.  It reminded me of the Cream Cheese Apple Pie that I made last fall but a lot lighter.  The custard is very light but a nice touch.  The crust is lightly flavored with just a hit of cinnamon and sugar but it does give it something special.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Menu planning

We've got a short week here as we leave for San Diego on Friday (so excited!) but here's what's on the menu:

Monday: chicken and veggie fried rice-I made too much last time so chicken, veggies and rice are already prepped and in the freezer.
Tuesday: steak and roasted Brussels sprouts
Wednesday: left overs/clean out the fridge before we leave
Thursday: ditto

What's in your menu for the week?

My Quilting Assistant

A couple of weeks ago, I was working on this quilt (for a baby shower so I can't reveal it yet...) and Max decided to help me out.  He loves my craft room because it's the only carpeted room in the house.  Here he is sitting directly on my project! 

My Quilting Assistant

Weekend at Home

After much deliberation, Chris and I spent the weekend at home.  We had planned on going to Washington DC to visit C's sister but we are headed to San Diego this week for a pre-baby get-away and were in DC in April.  Two back-to-back weekends of traveling seemed like too much and we need to get ready for our trip!  

On Saturday, we went to the Brooklyn/Parma area of town to check out cars.  Currently, we are a two (small) car family and we need something a little more family friendly before February.  We are at the very beginning of our car search but we think we've narrowed it down to an SUV of some sort, small to mid-sized.  We were able to check out the Arhaus Outlet (Yay for outlet shopping!) because it was just down the street from the dealership and I found color inspiration for our living room.  I was able to buy both of these beautiful embroidered pillow shams for about $20.  We are going to keep the walls the original blue and go with a blue/brown color theme.         

Living Room Inspiration
 Here are a few other elements that we've added to the house since we moved in:

Curtains (from the Master Bedroom in our
last house)
New Couch (and Lila)
I just had to share this photo from Saturday night.  Apparently Lila and Max wanted the exact same spot next to Chris on the couch, resulting in a double-decker dachshund pile!

Lastly, on Friday after my doctor's appointment, we stopped at Melt on the way home.  Melt is a local restaurant that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches.  This is a photo of C's sandwich, the Kindergarten (your basic grilled cheese sandwich, with fries and coleslaw) which he dipped in a side of their homemade tomato soup.  I ordered a chicken Quesadilla because I wanted more protein in my dinner.  The food was pretty tasty and the grilled cheese was really good but service was slow.  Luckily, we were there early (5pm) so we didn't have to wait for a table.

Week 19

This week, we hit 19 weeks pregnant and were scheduled for our 2nd trimester ultrasound.  The main purpose of the ultrasound is an anatomy check, making sure the heart, brain, kidneys and limbs are all forming correctly.  Everything appears to be forming correctly and my due date is still on track.  It's also the ultrasound that will reveal the gender, if you choose to find out and we did NOT.  Yep, we've stuck by our decision not to find out if we are having a boy or a girl so now we just wait for the big day in February!

Baby, 19 weeks
Baby, Sucking Thumb

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fall is in the air (and on the menu)

It's cooled down here and I'm loving it!  It's finally cool enough to not dread turning on the oven.  I spent some time this weekend at the farmers market, making bread and roasting and pureeing butternut squash for future risotto.

Sunday-Chicken Parmesan with homemade sauce
Monday-Chris is traveling for work, I won't be cooking
Tuesday-Potato and Leak Soup and fresh bread
Wednesday-Meatloaf (something I can stick in the oven so I can make it to a class at the gym at 5:30),  sauteed green beans
Thursday-Baked Cod and sweet potatoes

Week 18-Belly Photos

Here are a few photos of my 18 week baby belly.  As my Facebook friends have told me, doesn't look like much (apparently a black shirt was the wrong choice) but I assure you, there is something there!  I've already boxed up a fair number of my skirts and pants for work that no longer fit.  
Close up!

17 Weeks

Exactly at week 17, I felt the little one move!  While in yoga class, laying on my tummy I felt a rolling cool.  I've felt the baby one other day too, also while at the gym.  Apparently our little one likes the activity (or the music)!

Oktoberfest Cleveland and Labor Day weekend

Last weekend, my parents came into town and we explored cleveland! On Friday night, we met then at their campground and enjoyed some buffalo chicken pizza Chris and I brought and some s'mores, first and last of the season :).

Saturday, we rode our bikes around Rocky River and then hit Oktoberfest, carbs were everywhere! We started by watching the wiener dog races (Lila would have done great) and then enjoyed some great food and beer...for everyone else. Here are a few photos of our night:

Wiener Dog Races!
Perogies and Potato Pancakes
Bier Tent!

On Sunday, we met them at Crocker Park for lunch at BSpot. Mom and I shared a burger (New Jack City) and a chocolate, banana, roasted marshmallow milkshake...yummy!

By Monday, I was ready for some couch time! We recently subscribed to cable, for the first time in 3+ years so we started watching Game of Thrones on good! Chris really wanted to watch football so we are going to keep the cable for 6 months and then get rid of it (or so he tells me!)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Meal and fittness planning

Hope you are enjoying this holiday weekend, I know we are!  We've had a great weekend exploring Cleveland (Octoberfest, Rocky River Reservation, Crocker Park).

Our meal planning for the week:
Sunday-late lunch so it was a light dinner, cereal and fruit!
Monday-quesadilla with left over chicken
Tuesday-butternut squash risotto with shrimp
Wednesday-chicken Parmesan
Thursday-Roast chicken (so much that can be done with this, more to come)

Fitness plan:
Monday-Urban Iron at the gym
Wednesday-rest day
Friday-rest day
Saturday-Urban Iron at the gym