Archive: January 2011

This month has felt like an eternity, as January usually does, but it’s been a HUGE improvement over last January. Two snow days (spent in pajamas in these photos). Haven’t been sick. Life here is pretty good so far in 2011, and I’m thrilled to start this year off better than last. Here’s to the next great month.

Read more on One Down, 11 to Go…

I’ve been procrastinating all month on the 1st pie of my pie-a-month New Year’s resolution. I knew I was making Lemon Meringue, Adam’s special request. But it wasn’t until I had the idea yesterday to make a matching apron each month to go with the pie that I finally got motivated. I have decided this is a genius way for me to use up some fabric stash (that’s not even the only lemon fabric I own), get creative with my pie plans, and once and for all feel like Donna Reed.

So of course I spent yesterday afternoon making the apron instead of making the pie. But still. Then of course last night I had to go on a mission to buy pie weights. But I needed them if I’m going to be a serious pie baker, like Kerri Russell in Waitress (minus the bum husband). I finally got the crust baked by about midnight, left it to cool overnight, and did the rest today. In very long, drawn out stages (this is not a quick pie to make). So I didn’t actually finish the pie until after 9pm tonight. But delicious and so fun for a first pie of 2011

I used Martha’s Pate Brisee recipe for the crust (because it didn’t call for shortening), and America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book’s recipe for the filling and meringue. And I used 2 yards of lemon fabric from the Farmer’s Market collection from RJR fabrics, about 8′ of ribbon for the ties, white thread, and a length of yellow bias tape for the neck. I’ve tried to explain how I made the (completely improvised and certainly not by-the-book constructed) apron as we go along with the pie. Enjoy!

Read more on January Pie: Lemon Meringue…

If ever my dreams of turning the attic into my studio become a reality, I’m going to have to splurge on some of this Sixty-Eight wallpaper from Nama Rococo (photo from their site). Even if it’s just for a small little section of wall.

Read more on I *Big Glittery Heart* This Wallpaper…

Other reviews of Caldecott books: 2008 Caldecotts, 2009 Caldecotts, 2010 Caldecotts.

I had only read Interrupting Chicken when this year’s Caldecotts were announced, partly because the other 2 books were very difficult to find. They were on lists of contenders I was trying to read, but bookstores and public libraries didn’t seem to stock them. So after the awards were announced I finally broke down and bought my own copies.

Caldecott Medalist:

A Sick Day for Amos McGee, written by Philip C. Stead. Illustrated by Erin E. Stead.

I’ve already blogged about how much I positively adore this year’s winner, but I can keep going. This is the kind of book you can imagine reading to your kids one day, and then your grandkids, from the first page. At least it was for me. From the second I saw those bunny slippers next to quiet Amos McGee’s bed, I knew this was a keeper. The details that Erin Stead has included here are so personal, so above and beyond for such a simple story, that you can look at them repeatedly and always discover new things. I think Amos McGee is a sad-eyed widower. My mom thinks he might be developmentally challenged, warm-hearted and full of routines. But we were both thinking about who this gentle man is. And the other characters are equally fascinating and charming. The shy penguin is a particular favorite of mine. And I even love the bus driver. When you see that rabbit reading the paper on the bus, and the driver doesn’t even bat an eyelash, you know this is a good bus driver. Such a perfect, whimsical book for children. Read more on 2011 Caldecotts…

This was from the “50 Panini” booklet in a recent issue of Food Network Magazine. I added some balsamic vinegar to the recipe and used a baguette, but otherwise it’s the same. I always have some frozen baguettes and other breads from Whole Foods on hand. The baguettes are about 1′ long, perfect for 2 sandwiches. It makes it a little more time consuming, you have to heat the bread in the oven first. But so, so worth it. I made these for lunch last Saturday, easy and delicious.

I also used 1 tomato, 1 ball of fresh mozzarella (had a bit leftover), olive oil, salt and pepper, some basil and shaved parmesan, and about 6 slices of prosciutto to make 2 sandwiches. Read more on Prosciutto Caprese Panini…

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