Archive for July, 2012

So, I know we’re supposed to be on this whole international dessert tour thing, but today we’re coming home to the good ole US of A and here’s why: it’s the last day of freedom for me. Starting tomorrow I will be, for all intents and purposes, a full-time nanny to two adorable little girls. And I’m excited. I am. I swear. But the last four months have maybe been the best four months of my whole existence. Unemployed life has been really good to me. Like whoa.

Can we take a second to just reflect on what I’ve done since the end of March? I’ve read maybe seven books. All amazing. I’ve watched some of the best movies ever made for the very first time, including all three Lord of the Rings  and episodes 4, 5, and 6 of Star Wars (the reason I will be asking Santa for an ewok this Christmas.) I’ve watched an exorbitant amount of tv online. It’s shameful to admit just how much, so I won’t, but know that Hulu has become my best friend. Sad? Maybe. But I loved every minute of it. Some personal recommendations: Once Upon a Time, Smash, Downton Abbey, and Merlin. A-MAH-ZING. Oh yeah, and I ordered business cards for a makeshift business! That was a big one. I’ve reconnected with old friends that I had missed SO much. I’ve made new friends! I’ve decorated and crafted and attended game nights which are my absolute favorite thing to attend besides weddings. But most of all, I’ve baked. I’ve bared my heart and soul in my kitchen on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis and it’s reignited the fire that was so rudely put out by working 80 hours a week in a commercial kitchen.

And you know what? I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the beginning of this next chapter than to spend some quality time with my measuring spoons and mixing bowls. They love me. I love them. It’s a beautiful friendship. I also have a beautiful friendship with chocolate. The apple I’m eating as I’m typing this is totes jealous. It knows it can’t compare to what we’re about to make. S’mores brownies. That’s right, you heard me. Fudge-y, chocolate-chunky, brownies topped with toasty, golden-brown marshmallows. Do you feel the heat from the campfire? Can you smell the hotdogs? Can you see the stars and hear the rustling of leaves and sleeping bags? I can and it’s almost enough to send me and a duffel bag out to the family ranch for a night of camping. Almost. The rattle snakes stop me pretty quick. Instead I’ll just make a blanket fort in my apartment and read by flashlight with a c.d. of nature sounds playing in the background to really fool my brain into thinking I’m a legit camper. Good plan.


  • 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons strong coffee or water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 bag marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks

you thought i was joking about my blanket fort? please. i’m a nanny. we don’t joke about forts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 or 10-inch square baking pan.

Combine butter and cocoa powder in a small bowl and place over a pot of simmering water.  Make sure that the simmering water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  Add the coffee or water and stir to melt the ingredients.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs and the sugar.  Add the vanilla extract.  When the butter and chocolate have melted and come together, slowly stir the chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir to combine.  Fold in the nuts.

Pour the batter in the pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.  Bake for 18-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set the oven to broiler.  Top brownies with marshmallows (I used one big marshmallow per serving but you can also use mini ones and just sprinkle them all over.)  Once the broiler is heated, place the brownies on an upper shelf close to the broiler.  Keep the oven door slightly ajar and do.not.move. Stand there and watch them because it will only take 1-2 minutes and if you close that door and walk away I promise you your marshmallows will catch on fire. Nobody wants to deal with that. Trust me.

If you’ve chosen to use mini marshmallows instead you might need to have hot water running while you slice your brownies. Rinse your knife after each cut to ensure a clean slice.

These brownies are good. These brownies are great. I’m about to go put one more on my plate.




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Are we all babka’d out?! I know I am. After such a heavy, buttery bread I thought this week we could maybe try something that won’t clog our arteries. Let’s go to Norway! My family claims a rich and varied heritage that may or may not be accurate (including some type of Native American, Irish, and horse thieving Germans) but I think it’s safe to say that Norwegian blood accounts for at least half of what is running through my veins. Maybe it’s why I love the cold. I’m a Viking at heart. And, given the fact that it’s at least 100 degrees outside, I figured today would be a good day to crank the a.c. down to frigid, wear my favorite winter coat and scarf, and pretend that I’m hiking through the Oldenvatnet Mountains.

that’s it. me and texas are done. i’m moving to the mountains.

Hiking trips call for picnic lunches. We’ll pack sandwiches and pretzels and some really fabulous homemade granola and for an easy dessert we’ll have a traditional eplekake, of course. It’s this incredible, fabulously light cake that’s not too sweet and made almost entirely of apples. There’s not an ounce of butter to be found. I know. It’s crazy. Paula would be outraged.


2 tbs milk
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup + 3 tbs all-purpose flour
3/4 cup super-fine sugar (this can be made by tossing regular sugar in a food processor and pulsing a few times)
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
3 medium-sized tart apples


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F, line an 8″ cake pan with parchment paper and grease with butter or non-stick spray.

2. Peal, core, and dice the apples and set aside.

3. In mixing bowl, combine baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, flour, and sugar.

4. In separate bowl, combine milk, egg, and vanilla. With mixer on low, slowly pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

5. Fold in chopped, toasted almonds and your diced apples. Transfer to prepared pan and spread evenly.

6. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Let cool for about 5 minutes, run knife delicately around edges to loosen cake, and invert on to cooling rack. Remove pan and parchment paper and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

the powdered sugar reminds me of the snow-capped mountains my people call home.

Let’s be honest, we don’t really need to break out the mixer for this one. But how can you resist turning on your beautiful kitchen aid when it’s been whispering to you in the night? You can’t. Give in. Share the love. In the spirit of honesty, I confess: I didn’t have any cardamom on hand, so I used just the tiniest sprinkling of ground cloves instead. It was a good idea.  And since we’re on this whole truth-kick, I gotta tell you: this is one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. Which brings me to another confession: I didn’t wait until the cake was cool to try it. Don’t judge me. It smelled too good. You know how I can’t resist a good smell. I think it’s the almonds that put it over the edge. And it’s completely saturated with apples which, in my mind, translates to healthy so that’s a nice (all-be-it delusional) plus. The little bit of cake you do get is light and moist and please make this cake immediately. You won’t be disappointed. Those Norwegians really knew what they were doing. Gorgeous mountains, delicious cake, cold weather…There’s really nothing more you need in life.

Where should we go next!?




that went quick…

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Chocolate Babka

You know, this isn’t the first time I’ve tried to get all cultural. A few years back, when my best friend and I lived in this perfectly wonderful, crap-shoot of a crayon box house in a sketchy neighborhood in east Austin (that was a lot of detail for one sentence) we tried celebrating other cultures by having parties! We started with a Mexican fiesta. And we bought all of our supplies/decorations at, where else, FIESTA! There were Mexican dresses involved, and those tall candles with pictures of saints on them, and churros. (Spoiler alert: churros will absolutely be featured here at some point in the near future.) People loved it so of course we promptly picked another culture to celebrate a few weeks later. Being that we both shared a deep, burning love of The O.C. and it’s starring family it seemed only natural that we honor them by partying down Jewish style. There would be matzo balls and strudel and yamakas and bagels and shmear for EVERYONE!

adam brody and i having dinner at the imaginary restaurant in my head. cutest couple ever.

So we made a facebook event page and invited our friends, all nine of them, thinking they would be just as excited as we were. Wrong. Our friends, all nine of them, bailed. Not one of them showed up. And a few called us racist. Come again? Racist? By wanting to learn about and celebrate a new culture? It was the event name that turned them off: “Are Jew crazy? We Are!” And maybe the picture we used for the invite, a cartoon drawing of an Hasidic Jew. Okay fine, it was a little irreverent, but it was funny! And so we sat in our living room and pretended to be Linda Richman and Barbara Streisand on the set of Coffee Talk all by our lonesome as our roommates, I’m sure, sat upstairs and tried to figure out how they got roped into living with what were arguably the weirdest girls at UT. I think they did that a lot that year. I don’t blame them.

Four years later and I’m still semi-obsessed with Yiddish. Adam and I remain good friends, but my love for him has been eclipsed by my love for Zac, who also claims a Jewish heritage. It’s true. I wikipedia’d it. I should probably clarify that I’m referring to Adam Brody and Zac Efron. We’re on a first name basis. I forget that other people aren’t. But as wonderful as Yiddish words and imaginary relationships with beautiful boys are, they pale in comparison to chocolate babka. It’s like a cinnamon roll but on steroids and with streusel. Streusel is maybe one of my top three favorite things in the whole world. It should be sprinkled liberally on  top of everything, including my grave when I die. See that my wishes are carried out, will you? This yeast bread is rich with butter and eggs, layered with a mixture of chocolate, cinnamon, and (yes, more) butter, rolled and twisted and folded, and then topped with streusel. Talk about gilding the lily. It may give you a heart attack, but I promise you’ll die happy. I can sprinkle streusel over your grave, too, if you’d like.

***Note: The babka has been baking for approx. 40 minutes now and I’ve never, in all my baking experience, smelled something this wonderful coming from an oven. This is exciting. Get excited.


3/4 cup warm milk, between 100 – 110 degrees (just slightly warmer than body temp, for reference if you don’t own a kitchen thermometer)
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
3/4 + 1/8 cups of sugar, plus a pinch for sprinkling over yeast
2 whole large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 + 1/8 cups (which translates to 1 and 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus more for bowl and loaf pans
1 pound semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Streusel Topping

1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

*Makes 2 regular sized loaf

1. Pour warm milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and pinch of sugar over milk; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 plus 1/8 cups sugar, 1 whole egg, and egg yolk. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture, and whisk to combine.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture, and beat on low speed until almost all the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Change to the dough hook. Add 1 stick of butter piece by piece while mixer is running. Continue mixing until butter is completely incorporated and a smooth, soft dough that’s slightly sticky when squeezed is formed, about 10 minutes.

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few turns until smooth. Butter a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. I like to set the covered bowl on the bathroom counter, turn on the shower, and let it get steamy. It’s the closest thing to a proof box there is and creates the perfect environment for yeast to grow. Anywhere near a dryer or a warm oven would work too, though.

5. Place chopped chocolate, remaining sugar (1/2 cup), and cinnamon in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Using two knives or a pastry cutter (or your fingers if you’re me/uncivilized), cut in remaining  3/4 stick of butter until well combined; set filling aside.

6. Generously butter a 9-by-5-by-2 3/4-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon cream; set egg wash aside. Punch back the dough, and transfer to a clean surface. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut into 2 equal pieces. Keep 1 piece covered with plastic wrap while working with the remaining piece. On a generously floured surface, roll dough out into a 12-inch square; it should be about 1/8 inch thick.

7. Crumble a little less than half of the chocolate filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Brush the edges with egg wash. Roll dough up tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch ends together to seal. Twist 5 or 6 turns. Brush top of roll with egg wash. Carefully crumble 2 tablespoons of filling over the left half of the roll, being careful not to let mixture slide off. Fold right half of the roll over onto the coated left half. Fold ends under, and pinch to seal. Twist roll 2 turns, and fit into prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough and remaining filling.

8. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of the loaves with egg wash. Crumble streusel topping over each loaf. Loosely cover pans with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place 20 to 30 minutes.

9. Bake, rotating halfway through, until golden, about 55 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until deep golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack until cool. Remove from pans and serve. Babkas freeze well for up to 1 month.

Praise Jesus for Jewish breads. Is that going too far? No wonder nobody came to our party. Please don’t be a shmuck. Stop schlepping around and make some babka!! I know it’s a big undertaking, but I seriously cannot express how good it is. There are no words. My vocab can’t handle it. My brain can’t handle it. I promise, you’ll never make anything else for holiday mornings ever again. Now someone please come take it away immediately.



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Getting Cultural

Do you ever get sick of the cupcake thing? They’re everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I get sick of the cupcake thing and this is why: cupcakes are soooooooooo American. Don’t get me wrong. Cupcakes can be fabulous and when they’re done right they can be just as show stopping as the most elegant of plated desserts but the problem is that the majority are not. The majority are mediocre, at best, and they’re EVERYWHERE. In your face every time you turn around. It’s excessive. It’s soooooooooo American. And I’m no anarchist. I love our country. Yay, America! Home of the brave! Let freedom ring! Give me liberty or give me death! But here’s the thing. Patrick Henry and Rosie the riveter are great, yes, but I think we tend to get a little wrapped up in ourselves. We forget that there’s a whole world out there. Our dessert repertoires include what? Apple pie? Chocolate chip cookies? Red velvet cake? All of which have their place (because really, what would Thanksgiving be without a slice or four of apple pie?) planted firmly in our hearts and recipe boxes for good reason. But when we fail to venture outside of our safe little world we fail to experience the beauty of other cultures. Cultures that include things like chocolate babka. And Chinese steamed buns with red bean paste. And crepes. Mmmmmm crepes. And let’s not forget sweet Thai sticky rice! (As if we actually could…)

So in an effort to expand my international dessert know-how and to maybe actually post recipes on a regular, more-than-once-every-two-months basis I’m starting a series. A series that will take me (us, if you should choose to participate. Please choose to participate.) to all the places I can’t afford to actually physically visit. Back when I thought I was going to be the first lady president (which may or may not have been last year…) I imagined I would ignite a love of other cultures by having what I would have deemed “cultural congress” where every member had to dress up in the traditional garb of a different country. It would’ve been great. Revolutionary, really. But I don’t meet the age requirement to be pres. Totes unforts. I could definitely win. (Told ya I wasn’t an anarchist.) But one could argue, this one will argue, that exploring the rest of the world via dessert might actually be the best way to do it. Second only to cultural congress, of course.

I can feel your excitement. You’re dying to know where we’re starting. It’s eating you alive, not knowing what international delicacy is on menu #1. And so I’ll end things here. Always leave ’em wanting more, right?

Come back tomorrow for the first real installment. Waiting’s tough but it’ll be worth it. Promise.  🙂



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You know, being a baker has it’s ups and downs. I’m pretty sure the ups outweigh the downs but just to be sure we should probably make a list of each. I’ve gotten real into list making lately. They’re super helpful in about a gazillion different ways but you have to be careful because they can also become a crazy obsession and take over your whole life. Making lists is great until you can’t find the list you’re looking for because there are about a gazillion different lists all over your apartment. Maybe I should make a pros and cons list for list-making, too. I wonder how many times is too many to say the word ‘list’ in a blog post? I’m sure I’ve exceeded it. And completely forgotten what I was trying to accomplish here in the process. Baking! Ups and downs! Lists! There it is.

Ups include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Frequent visitors looking for something sweet help make living alone not lonely.
  • Good smells. Because there’s really nothing in the world like a good smell to trigger good feelings. It’s science.
  • Good eats. This will also be included on the list of cons…
  • Cash flow (if, like me, you choose to pedal your wares.)
  • Creative outlet by which to be, well, creative. Therapeutic is another perk, but creating is my form of therapy so they’re in the same category.
  • Boredom is kept at bay with an endless number of new recipes to play with.
  • Good smells. It’s too good to just count once. It counts twice. My blog, my rules.

Downs include, and may actually be limited to, the following:

  • Baking in the summer time means it’s hot outside AND inside. There’s no escaping it. Even with all the fans on and the a.c. cranked down as far as your pocket book can stand. You either sweat or pay for your electric bill with your soul. Or in my case, both.
  • Good eats. It’s a double-edged sword. Dammit.

And there it is, the ups win by a landslide. Shocker. You know how I included good smells twice in my ups list? That’s due in part to the am-AH-zing (Happy Endings, anyone?! You should watch it. It’s totes hilar.) smell wafting through my apartment right now. It’s the smell of apple-smoked bacon and cheddar scones. Which basically means my apartment smells like bacon. Lord have mercy. I’m usually all about the sweet, but let us not forget that pastry is a wide world full of delicious savory treats, as well. Savory treats that include bacon. Lord have mercy. You should make these for breakfast tomorrow morning and then be really polite about it and put them on a lovely little plate with a pad of butter and eat them with a fork instead of shoveling them from the (extremely hot) baking sheet straight into your mouth. But if you do choose the latter, have a glass of water sitting close by because odds are you’ll burn your tongue. I’m just guessing, of course. I would never do such a thing.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 10 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3/4 – 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water


Preheat oven to 400* F. Using mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in bowl on low speed. With mixer running, gradually add in the cubes of butter until it resembles coarse meal and the flour-butter bits are pea-sized. Toss in grated cheese and mix until just incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and add in green onions, bacon, and 3/4 cup of buttermilk. Mix by hand until the ingredients are incorporated. If the dough is too dry to hold together, use the remaining buttermilk a tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a pliable ball. Stir as lightly and as little as possible. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and, using a well-floured rolling pin, flatten the dough into a circle about 10 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 10-12 equal wedges (or smaller, your choice.) Whisk together the egg and water in small bowl and brush the top of each wedge. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and no longer sticky in the middle.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
Lord have mercy

Look at those babies. Golden brown and flaky and, most importantly, loaded with bacon. Sweet, sweet bacon. There are so many things to love about bacon. Too many, really. We should make a list…



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July 1.

New month. New job. New blog. Duh.

A year ago (almost to the day) I started a new job in a new town with new people. 365 days later I find myself in a shockingly similar boat but miles from where I started and going in a very different direction. Here is an abridged list of the things I’ve learned over the last year:

1. Oatmeal pecan cookies will help you get a job.Just make sure they’re really good oatmeal pecan cookies. These should do the trick.

also helpful when looking for a raise

2.  Some battles aren’t worth fighting, but some definitely are. It’s good to stand up for what you believe to be true, to expose injustice and hatred and bigotry for what they are. Just be ready for the fall-out and don’t waver. Stick to your guns. In the same vein, there are also people in our lives who are worth fighting for and people we need to let go of. It’s the ones who support us, who love us unconditionally, and who are willing to stand up for us as much as we are for them that we need to cling to. You can’t make people love you and in the end it’s their loss. Learning that one stung a little.

3.  As much as I’d like to be, I am just not a club-hopping-high-heel-wearing-down-town-sixth-street kinda girl. I’ve given it the ol’ college try more times than I can count now. It’s just not in the cards for me. And that’s okay.

4. Happiness is a choice. A good one. The right one.

5. Eating healthy is hard, but it’s worth it. This is one of those lessons that I’m still learning. I usually fail miserably, but I’m working on it.

you try turning your nose up at these lemon bars. it can’t be done.

6. Never live next to a pool. If you do, chances are there will be drunk strangers making lots of noise at all hours of the night. You’ll ask them to keep it down. They won’t. You’ll inevitably be forced into the role of “that girl.” You know, the one that calls the cops. All the time.

7. Always garnish your glass of champagne with a strawberry. It’ll make you feel fancy even when you’re not. And it’s delicious.

8. I can finally sleep with all the lights off again. I’m not even sure when it happened, but at some point this year I began turning off all the lights at night, instead of turning them on. It might take six years, but scars really do heal.

9. Comparison is a tool used by the enemy. It will rob you of your joy. When you’re tempted to compare your situation to that of someone else, don’t. Tell comparison to suck it.

10. You can chase your dreams, even if you’re not really sure how to. You can go back to school to be a nurse. You can move across the country on a whim. You can order business cards for a virtually non-existent business. Why not? I’d rather live big than just dream big.

And sometimes, when you’ve had a bad day or your friends are coming over and expect delicious treats because you’re a baker or even when your mind is all jumbled and the only way to make sense of it all is to put on your old chef’s coat and bake your thoughts into submission, the answer is a strawberry pie. With fresh whipped cream, of course. And don’t even think about using a store-bought crust. I won’t forgive you.


  • For the filling

    • 7 cups strawberries, coarsely chopped
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • For the crust (Pate Brisee)

    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • Salt
    • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1/3 to 2/3 cup ice water


  1. Pulse flour, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Drizzle 1/3 cup ice water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture holds together when pressed between 2 fingers (dough should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse.
  2. Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the filling: Mix together rhubarb, strawberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, zest and juice, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Make the crust: Roll out 1 disk pate brisee to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Pour in filling; dot top with butter. Refrigerate while making top crust.
  5. Roll remaining disk pate brisee to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into at least 15 1/2-inch-wide strips using a fluted pastry cutter.
  6. Lay 8 strips across pie. Fold back every other strip, and lay a horizontal strip across the center of the pie. Unfold folded strips, then fold back remaining strips. Lay another horizontal strip across pie. Repeat folding and unfolding strips to weave a lattice pattern. Repeat on remaining side. (Here is a detailed how-to. Because I love Martha.)
  7. Alternately, you can use a full top crust (like me) and just punch a few cute polka-dots on top with round cutters for ventilation purposes.
  8. Trim bottom and top crusts to a 1-inch overhang using kitchen shears, and press together to seal around edges. Fold edges under, and crimp as desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  9. Brush crust with egg wash, and sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Bake pie on middle rack, with a foil-lined baking sheet on bottom rack to catch juices, until vigorously bubbling in center and bottom crust is golden, about 1 1/2 hours. (Loosely tent with foil after 1 hour if crust is browning too quickly.) Transfer pie to a wire rack, and let cool for at least 2 hours (preferably longer) before serving

be still my heart

Over the last year I’ve gained about 13 new friends. Not just acquaintances, but real honest-to-god-couldn’t-live-without-them friends. That’s gotta be a record. I’ve designed a dessert menu. I’ve moved. Twice. I finally got a web-cam and had my first skype session! Hello twenty-first century, it is SO nice to meet you. I’ve been heart sick and crazy happy and everything in between. I am nowhere near where I thought I would be or should be and that, my friends, is a huge blessing.

For a full year of photos featuring delicious treats, feel free to visit my new fb page:




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