Elf on the Shelf 2015: Installment Two

This month is just flying by and Iroh is keeping busy!

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Iroh dug into the kids bookshelf and built himself a little tower of books to make sure he had a good view of the living room. It’s a great way to keep an eye on the situation!

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Iroh brought in supplies for this one. He brought a bag of sticky bows and decorated around the tv screen. Chiara loved this one, actually borrowing some of the bows to decorate in her room.

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This was a quick and lazy night for Iroh. He apparently was playing around with our nutcrackers. He was really enjoying the view from the tv side of the room. Three nights in a row!

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I think this was my personal favorite! Chiara started dance class this year and Iroh had to show off his own moves. This involved a Monster High stand, coffee filter and a tiny hair tie. Nothing like a pretty ballerina!

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This one stumped the kids for a little bit. They looked everywhere before seeing him on our family picture wall. Our clocks are a little small for this one, but it was still funny!

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The cat kennel was brought upstairs to deal with our new kitten, he was being overly feisty, and apparently Iroh got himself stuck overnight. Silly Iroh!

Keep a lookout, more from Iroh coming soon!

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

As previously stated, I have never baked a successful pie. I’m slowly building my baking and cooking chops due to my Pinterest obsession and it is working. I felt confident enough to try again for this last Thanksgiving. I recently discovered that my husband loves pumpkin pie. Seven years married and I just found this out. That just goes to show you that you never stop learning about your spouse!

My last post was about the making of the crust and that went really well. Surprisingly easy actually and you can get those directions here: https://superstevied.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/a-no-fail-pie-crust-recipe/

The pie that I put in the crust was just as simple and absolutely delicious! Tony has eaten most of the pie himself! The kids and I haven’t been slouches either. Even Chiara ate her entire piece of pie. New foods usually throw her off, but she couldn’t resist the yummy-ness.

You start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. While that’s going on, you mix together 3/4 cups of brown sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg together. Once the spices are well combined, you add in 2 beaten eggs and 1 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree. I used my real pumpkin, not from a can. There was a different measurement used for the in-a-can stuff, so be sure to refer to the original website for those measurements. Once the pumpkin mixture is ready, pour it into the crust.
before baking
Bake at the 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes or until you inset a knife in and it comes out clean.
I’ve never made a pumpkin pie, nor have I been involved in the baking of one. I could not figure out why it kept jiggling. The recipe said until the knife was clean, so I pulled it out when the knife was clean.
fresh out of the oven
Sadly, I had to work on Thanksgiving day, so we had Thanksgiving lunch instead of dinner. This lead to a nap before work and no time for pie. Luckily, my husband loves me enough that he didn’t dig in without me. Of course this meant that we had our pie on Saturday! I also had no idea that pumpkin pie settles over time, so the longer it sits, the more the middle sinks in. It still tasted delicious, and the last slice is waiting for me as I write, but next time we’ll aim for more immediate ‘digging in’. Don’t forget the Ready Whip!
time to dig in

Original pin links to http://premeditatedleftovers.com/recipes-cooking-tips/always-in-season-pumpkin-pie/#_a5y_p=1037397

A No-Fail Pie Crust Recipe

I have only tried making a pie once before. It was a cream cheese pie and they were a staple for family holidays while growing up. Sadly, my one attempt at this ended with a gooey mess in a graham cracker crust. That attempt was shortly after I got married and I have never attempted again. We carved a lot of pumpkins this year and I had a lot of pumpkin guts in my freezer. I asked Tony how he felt about pumpkin pie, and he informed me that he loved pumpkin pie……. Nice to know after seven years of marriage!

I wanted to try my hand at a pie for Thanksgiving and I figured if I was going to do this, I was going to go with the motto: Go big or go home! Crust made from scratch too. My mom was impressed with my daring. Pinterest is my friend and I found the “Never Fail Pie Crust” recipe. The recipe creates four pie crusts, the dough can be frozen and thawed to use later, so I have some more to use for other recipes towards Christmas.

You start by mixing 4 cups of flour, 1 tbsp. sugar and 1 tbsp. salt. After it’s all mixed up, cut in 1 3/4 cups shortening. In a separate bowl mix together 1 tbsp. vinegar, 1 egg and a 1/2 cup of water. Once the egg mixture is well mixed, all it to your flour mixture. Stir until you can form four equal balls with your hands.

When you are ready to use it, be sure your surface is well floured to avoid sticking later. Here is where a rolling pin comes in handy. I, sadly, do not have one, so I had to use a wine bottle to roll my dough flat. Tony kept laughing at me, but whatever works! My first attempt kept tearing and, after adding too much flour, I had to scrap that dough and try again with the next ball! Finally I was able to get my dough into my pretty Longaberger pie plate. I did have some holes, but was able to press the dough together and make it work. The edges weren’t as artistic as I had hoped, but it was my first attempt!

I do have some other Pinterest tips to attempt to make it prettier next time! The pie I made, more on that later, was delicious, and the crust itself was light and flaky, a definite hit!

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For the original site where this recipe came from, visit http://www.danamadeit.com/2011/12/day-3-never-fail-pie-crust.html

Next up, I’ll tell you all about the delicious pumpkin pie I put in the crust!

Cute little doo-dad

Cute little doo-dad

This was a nifty little picture I came across while surfing Pinterest one night a while back. It looked a little complicated, but I simplified it a little and it ended up being a lot of fun!
My husband drinks beer so securing the beer caps was the easiest part of this! I have lots of pictures of my children floating around the house so I decided to do a Valentine’s Day theme since I had some cute wallet size portraits left from Chiara’s first Valentine’s pictures.
Mod Podge is just a good thing to have around the house if you enjoy Pinterest. I’ve done several projects involving it so I started buying the big containers! I cut the pictures down to size so my kids faces fit inside the cap and then you put a thin layer down over the pictures. I kind of swirled it around my fingers to make sure it would stick good and proper and that it would be evenly covered. I always manage to forget how white this is when you first lay it down. It did take a while to dry, but as you can see by the finished picture, it turned out great.
The original picture of this project had the caps attached with little metal links and a ribbon tied with a bell at the bottom. Obviously I adjusted to use ribbon and I am very happy how it turned out. This is a quick and easy project and I’m already thinking about making a more Christmas appropriate one to hang on the Christmas tree!
Original picture for idea found here