Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mission 2: Raisin Pie

Yup...raisin pie. I have never had raisin pie, but I have heard my Uncle J talk about it for as long as I could remember. He is in his seventies and he will tell stories of growing up in a large but fairly poor family. They had a good time despite their hardships. He recalls raisin and mincemeat pies from his home kitchen and you can see as he takes a trip back to olden days, that they have good memories attached.

Occasionally my aunt would be able to find them at a bakery or in the frozen section at the grocery during the holidays. That has not been the case for the past several years. When hubby and I decided that we would be able to make the trip to Texas this year, my thoughts started rolling. I made the Cranberry Cherry pie for Uncle G (it is in the previous post), a Cherry Cream Cheese pie for my cousins (who actually fought over it at the gathering!), and I found a raisin pie recipe!!! I decided to practice my lattice work...Don't chuckle to hardy, it was my first try!

When presented with the pie my uncle was speechless....no small feat! He hugged me and then hid it! I don't think he had to worry about it, no one else has an affinity for raisin pie. Throughout our visit different family members would tell me how excited he had been. Uncle J said it was the best one he has had....so maybe it tasted like the ones from his childhood!

Here it is: It is fresh from the oven and you can see it is still bubbly :)

Raisin Pie

• 1 cup sugar
• 2-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1-1/2 cups cold water
• 2 cups raisins
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
• Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
In a saucepan, stir together sugar and flour. Add water and mix well. Stir in raisins, salt and cinnamon; cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour into a pastry-lined pie plate. Top with lattice crust, or cover with top crust and cut slits for steam to escape. Bake at 375° for about 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Yield: 6-8 servings

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mission 1: Cranberry Cherry Pie

This year I decided to make a special pie for my uncles to have on Christmas :)
It has been a while since we have spent the holidays together and I wanted to do something extra special. Uncle G likes cherry pie the best, but loves cranberries. So, I found a recipe to join his two favorites to make a tart but sweet treat!

Cranberry Cherry Pie

• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
• 2 cups cranberries
• Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
• Milk and additional sugar
In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in pie filling and cranberries. Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim to 1 in. beyond edge of plate. Pour filling into crust.
Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Cut slits in pastry or cut out stars with a star-shaped cookie cutter. Place pastry over filling; trim, seal and flute edges. Arrange star cutouts on pastry. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 375°for 55-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 6-8 servings

Uncle G came over last night for dinner and was presented his pie. He was shocked and very pleased! He even shared a piece with all of us!
Mission 2: Raisin Pie for Uncle J. Uncle J remembers raisin and mincemeat pies from his childhood. When I asked my aunt what his favorite was, she said raisin. She told me he often mentions the pie from his past and wonders why you can never find one now days :) Never fear I will be making one today and delivering it in Texas tomorrow!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Baker Bakes Pumpkin Bread

I love pumpkin bread. I think it mainly has to to do with the smells. So many lovely spices complimenting each other....ahhhhhhh. I love the cozy feeling you get as the smell floats from the oven and the warmth fills the house. It is just perfect!

I use a recipe from my grandmother's box. It makes 2 loaves or 1 loaf and 6 mini bundt cakes. My neighbors look forward to their goody baskets of pumpkin bread and cookies each year :) The families get a loaf and the widows across the street get the mini bundts. Everyone seems happy to have home baked goods!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Break Begins :)

Today was the first official day in the kids' Christmas break. (According to Isabella)

So, I made sugar cookie dough and the kids cut out Christmas cookies. We used colored sugar crystals to decorate.

Jaxson felt he was in charge of the rolling pin.

If you look closely at the tree on the far left, you'll notice a few branches missing! Jaxson took a bite before I could get it baked. He was too excited :)

We had a ball!! It was fantastic to be doing something like this with the kids today!

Hope your break has started out equally as fun!

Friday, December 19, 2008


There is an older gentleman who works with my husband. Hubby tells me stories of the "mumbler". Through out the day this older man will mutter and mumble at his computer and people in the hall. He likes quiet and keeps to himself. He isn't hateful or rude, just a loner. He never participates with the group in anything.
I'm thinking Scrooge.

Today the loner mumbler man met my loud 3 year old....lol

Isabella, Jaxson, and I took hubby to work. I had made a greenbean casserole for their luncheon and we decided to make a morning out of helping hubby carry it all in. (presents for the white elephant exchange too) So, we got up early and drove downtown. When we got out, Jaxson realized where we were because of the tall buildings and started clapping. He shouted, "Circus!Circus!" The last time we went downtown was for the Ringling Bros and Barnum&Bailey Circus....Never fear he wasn't bummed for long. A quick walk in the brisk wind, security badges, and an elevator ride brought us to hubby's floor. This was the first time I had met hubby's co-workers since his promotion. (I was nervous!)

Then I met Mumbles. He was dressed nicely and greeted us pleasantly. Then before I knew it, hubby let Jaxson out of the umbrella stroller he jumps in Mumbles cubicle and shouts "HEY!" followed by "Jaxson-ese" talk. Mumbles left the area. I assumed we made him nervous. After we made our rounds to several offices, I noticed he still wasn't back. I started thinking we had run him off for good!

But before we left I dropped something in Hubby's office and bumped into Mumbles. He smiled and said we had a lovely family.

Awwwww.........not so Scrooge-y....is that a word?

Who wouldn't love this face?!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas is almost here!!!!!!!!

Yikes! Where has the time gone this year?????

I have completed most of my shopping, just need stocking stuffers and a mother-in-law gift. (Any ideas?) The kids seem super excited this year! Santa is bringing Isabella a wooden Barbie House...(I always wanted one of these!!) and Jaxson is getting a Hot Wheels City Plex set....He will be in Hot Wheel Heaven!

We will be traveling to Texas for the holiday. It has been 4 years since we have spent Christmas with my side of the family. I am very excited! My aunt that lives in Texas asked me to plan the menu and coordinate the dinner. It felt very strange to be doing the job that has been handled by my mom and her sisters. (Made me feel old!)
But it has all turned out well nad should be great fun! I planned a traditional holiday dinner. mainly because it has been a while since we have been together. I asked everyone to make their "specialties" and even a few new ones. I am making pumpkin bread, green bean casserole, cherry cream cheese pie, chocolate chip cookies, cranberry sauce, a pasta salad, raisin pie, candied walnuts and cranberry pistachio bark. Whew! I get tired just looking at it. The cookies, bread and candy can be made before we travel, the rest will have to be done when I get there. I am staying at my best friends house. i know, it is corny for an almost 30 year old to say Best friend...but she has been for 15 years! We can cook and laugh together...well I will cook and she can make me laugh!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Season! I will take pics and post some of the recipes. I have been falling behind in my blogging!

Merry Christmas to all!