Tuesday, November 27, 2012

V and Co: how to make a pretty apple pie

welcome to part two of the apple pie saga. 

okay so now that you have all this apple pie filling in your pantry. lets make an actual apple pie out it shall we?
now if you are looking for a homemade pie crust...keep looking cause that's not what i'm doing here. all we're doing here is taking pre-made stuff and creating a very pretty lattice pie crust.
oh i've tried to make my own crust...and i don't have the touch yet. i'll keep trying and someday i'll get it right and then i'll rejoice.
but now is not that time. :)
okay what you need:
-one deep dish frozen pie crust
-one package of unrolled pie crust (you will only use one)
-one mason jar of apple pie filling
-pizza cutter
-1/4 cup of milk
-1/4 cup of sugar

-pour one mason jar full of apple pie into the crust.
-unroll one pie crust
-with the pizza cutter make strips from the pie crust
-notice that my pie crust was a little munched on one side, it's okay we will use it for the leafs so i placed it aside.
-you will need to leave just a little for the leaves.
-start by placing strips of the dough across the top of the pie...

- cut off the excess and add it to the extra you placed it aside.
-now to make the lattice part of the crust.
-you are going to interweave the strips of the dough the other way now
-continue to interweave the dough strips.
-press down the ends when you get all the lattice done.
-roll out the extra dough
-with a knife cut out leaf shapes, and draw lightly on the leaf (not going through all the way)

-pull back the extra dough from your cut out leaves.
-place the leaves on top of the lattice you just created
-get your milk and your sugar and if you have a pastry brush it will be helpful.
-brush some milk on top of the leaves and lattice.

-after you have brushed milk all over the top of the crust, sprinkle sugar on top of the crust.

-preheat your oven to 375 degrees
-while waiting for the oven to preheat get a square piece of foil paper and fold in 4.
-cut the foil to create a circle
-place the foil on top of your pie (this will save your edges from browning too much)
-cook for 30 minutes
-remove the tin foil
-continue to cook for 30 minutes or until you see the juice boil.
now you have a pretty pretty pie.
and it should taste really good.

we wouldn't know because:

while we weren't looking the dog decided to get on his hind legs and grab and drag the pretty pretty pie onto the floor and proceed to eat the WHOLE  *breathe vanessa breathe* whole pie.

it happened on thanksgiving morning of all days. so when i saw the pie tin empty on the floor. i screamed "NO WAY!no nononononoooooooo.!" the whole family came running and then they all stopped short and no one said a word because i wasn't saying anything anymore but i was flapping my arms up and down...not saying a word. the husband kindly and quietly suggested we just buy a pie.
i gave him "the stare" he quickly backed away.
and then we went to try to find a pie.
oh yeah did you know that EVERYONE and their DOG buy pies BEFORE thanksgving morning??
we even asked the lady at the bakery in walmart if they had any apple pies left.
she gave me the look as "moron, everyone bought pies yesterday."
k fine so we bought a frozen pie.
and you know what?
thanksgiving was fine.
but i can't wait to finally eat my apple pie. maybe this weekend. i mean i have 6 more quarts. :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

V and Co: how to make: canned apple pie filling

i don't love to cook.
and when i cook it never really ever looks awesome.
but for some reason that is not the case for my apple pie.
yeah, i dare say that my apple pies look as good as they taste.
too bad it doesn't look as pretty on your butt and thighs as it does in pie form but you know what? choose your battles right?

so here it is. how to make: 1st the canned apple pie filling and then in a 2nd post how to create the pretty apple pie from the canned apple pie filling.

okay lets give it a go.

 this recipe will provide 6 to 7 quarts of canned apple pie. i usually make a lot of this to give away to teachers and friends for christmas. or if your family really loves apple pie keep it all to yourself. the canning part will make it so that you can keep this stuff in your pantry for a looooong time (yup, years if it makes it that long)

here's what you are going to need to actually CAN your apple pie filling:

the method i use is called the COLD PACK method of canning. the reason this is called a cold pack even though we are boiling our jars is because the fruit is not cooked before it is placed in the jars. :)

you will need:

first things first you will need this Water-Bath Canner with Rack (or something like it)
it's essential to all canning so if you are looking to do this often or are looking to continue onto canning more things this is a necessity.

then you will need  Quart Mason Jars
i normally use the "regular mouth jars" but wide mouth are good too. there are a couple of companies that make these mason jars i use both Kerr and Ball both are good products.

if your jars dont come with the lids then you will need:
 Regular Mouth Jar Storage Caps 
i normally have people that give back the quarts i gift them or we use our quarts over and over so these lids are necessary.

then i also bought the  Utensil Set which helps with the pouring in the apple filling into the jars and it helps with pulling out hot jars when you do the canning part.

okay now for the apple pie filling supplies:

you will need:
-6 lbs of granny smith apples (i buy the 2 lb bags of apples)
-4 1/2 cups of white sugar
-10 cups of water
-1 cup corn starch
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
and to make your life easy in the peeling and coring area you will need this baby:

i use this great apple corer from pampered chef. if you don't have a pampered chef one no worries, amazon has great ones like this one  and reasonably priced.

okay now lets get started!
okay first things first:
get your mason jars into the dishwasher, this will sterilize your jars.

now you are going to peel and core all your apples

the apple corer will create a "springy" curly Q apple. this will make cutting it up so much easier

-once your apples are all peeled and cored, cut the apples in half, and if you want smaller pieces cut in half again.

-in a large pot combine:
sugar, cornstartch, cinnamon, nutmeg, 10 cups of water and lemon juice.

-cook mixture to a boiling point, then lower the heat to medium. continue to mix till the liquid becomes "clear" (it's not really clear it just becomes a little transparent.) you will notice that it will will start to become thicker and bubbly.

-remove from heat.

-add all your apples into the mixture and mix a few times.

we already got the jars done but we need to sterilize the lids:
-in a small pot boil your lids for a few minutes.

-while you are sterilizing your lids go ahead and start to fill up your mason jars with the apple pie filling. i always fill mine up to right where the mouth of the jar starts (where you screw your lid on) this way there's less chance of the filling oozing out when we boil our jars in the canning process.

-okay now grab your sterilized lids and place them on each of your jars.
-screw the band on as well.

-place your filled mason jars into the water bath canner pot (try saying that 5 times fast) i can fit 6 around and one in the center of the wire basket, so i do mine all at once.
-fill the pot with water so that it just covers and submerges the mason jars and lids.
-bring to a boil and boil for 25 minutes.
**if you are in higher altitudes you will need to add a little bit of time
altitude of:
up to 3000ft- 5 extra minutes
3000ft- 6000ft- 10 extra minutes
6000ft- 8000ft- 15 extra minutes
8000ft and higher- 20 extra minutes.

to know that you have properly canned your pie filling you will have to listen for the "pop" sound of the lid sealing.
sometimes this will happen within minutes and sometimes it takes up to an hour.

and now your apple pie filling is ready to be placed in your pantry for later use or to give to friends, teachers, and neighbors, for the holidays!

okay now tomorrow we are going to make these bad boys into this pretty pie.

see you tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

V and Co: giving thanks

free downloadable pdf click on the source to get it.

it's that time of the year where we give thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives.

*i am so thankful for a loving spouse who is really and truly my best friend.
*i'm thankful for my children. they have taught me to be a better person. without them i would be a very selfish human being unable to roll with the punches. (that's all code wording for "i'm thankful for all the trials and gray hairs they have given me because i've learned to just let go of the small stuff")
*i'm thankful for the roof over my head, the food in my fridge, the clothes on my body, and all the hard work my husband and i do to provide such necessities.
*i'm thankful that the jersey shore will no longer be on TV. i dont need to explain myself on that one.
*i'm thankful for a healthy working body.
*i'm thankful for great friends, family, and neighbors who tolerate my sarcastic self.
*i'm thankful for honey boo-boo, for she and her family are a great reminder that "at least we're not that."
*i'm thankful for running water, a warm bed, and someone to share it with.
*i'm thankful for all the hard time's in my life, i feel like i've walked away a little bruised and battered...but better.
*i'm thankful that i don't have satellite or Cable TV, i think we are a better family because of the lack of it.
*i'm thankful to be in a country where there is freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to choose who you are.
*i'm thankful i choose to be a God fearing individual, and i'm thankful for that right.
*i'm thankful that there are amazing families out there who serve for our military so that i can sit on my butt writing this on my computer as they are fighting to keep me safe...always.
*i'm thankful for my belief in faith and prayer.
*i'm thankful for the cottage cheese on my butt. nope, still not thankful for that.
*i'm thankful for my blog, the comments left (or not left) the friendships that have been created though it, and the business that was started by it.
*i'm thankful for all the modern technology, it is truly an amazing thing to have connections with family and friends from all over the world at a touch of a screen or click of a mouse.
*i'm thankful for my life. it truly is beautiful...the highs the lows, and all the in-betweens.

okay so now back to working on this:

yup, recipe with pictures coming soon. possibly friday. :)

have a wonderful day of giving thanks!
we'll talk soon!

Monday, November 19, 2012

V and Co: 2 new patterns

 well, i finally get to introduce to you my newest pattern: Barn Dance Quilt.
there's a story behind this quilt and the inspiration that went to create it.
now that we live in iowa, i get to see a lot of barns on our trips to places. and on our trips i get to see a lot of barns that have quilt blocks on the side of them. the story behind the quilt block on barns usually represent something about the family or what they do.
i kind of love the whole idea of having a quilt block on the side of my house to represent our crazy...but i don't have a barn of my own nor do i really think i'll get one soon, so i guess maybe i'll just keep looking at all the pretty blocks on other peoples barns.
i started thinking of barns and then that led to barn dances...yeah i know leaping all over the place.

 and i thought of how in dances usually everyone is a wall flower or kind of shy to start dancing till the first few couples get out on the dance floor. as the first blocks fall into place then the rest of the people or blocks come and fall into place on the dance floor.
if you look at the quilt you can see where the "dance" has been happening for a while, and where the "dance" has just started to get on its way.

this quilt was created and pieced by me.
quilted by angela walters.
and the fabric line used was simply color by V and Co.
finished quilt shown measures:
69" x 75"
this pattern also includes the baby version:
and the baby barn dance size is 42" by 42"

this quilt was created and pieced by me
quilted by Felicia Graves.
and the fabric line used was Simply Color by V and Co.

you can purchase this barn dance throw and baby quilt PDF pattern here.

second pattern i have new now is the go anywhere bag.

this bag is a great hands free bag and a great size. finished this bag measures: 11 1/2" x 13" and has a liner with pockets. the pattern includes the petal template and has diagramed and written instructions
the fabric for the liner and flowers is Simply Color by V and Co.
you can buy the PDF pattern here
and ahem i should mention that these projects were made on the 780 series sewing machine for bernina. cause you know bernina's rock. :)

okay so that's it for me now. i have to get my pie making going on over here before i put my hands in the turkey's butt to stuff it for thanksgiving!
we'll talk soon!!! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

V and Co: back at work

sorry so silent over here!
yes yes! we have a winner i'll announce her at the end of this post. :)
my mother left earlier this week and i had a few things i had to get done.

i've been hard at work over here.
for months now i've my little graph pad next to me at all times. i have had a couple of quilt designs come to life on paper and it is quite exciting. i am now ready to start testing the designs with real life fabric...it makes it just that much more wonderfully exciting. i hope they look as great in real life as they did in my head. usually they come out better. sometimes i have a flop but that's just a learning experience. :)

i love the creative process.
it truly is a wonderful experience and i am grateful for my love of it. :)

i have been also working on a few holiday projects, and working on finishing up the final tweaks on two new patterns that i'll release later this week. (ahem, yeah i know that means today or tomorrow or the next day, so look for it soon!)

it's taken me a little bit of time to figure out working from home.
but i'm getting the hang of it. i think.

again, it's all about scheduling out time to do certain things on certain days.
just like the chores around the house, work from home, i believe, needs to be broken down and scheduled out each week. only difference with work is that it needs to constantly be looked at to see what deadlines and things need to be done. and adjust accordingly the tasks that go with it.
sadly blogging got swept aside with all the catching up needed to be done.

a schedule does help me with the overwhelming feelings of running around and not getting any one thing done. :) so for now it works.
i've gotten emails to see my schedule. sure. okay if you wanna see it i'll post it in the near future, but like i said it's still being tweaked so that i get my grove just right...i bet i'll get it just right, right before school ends for the summer time. :) cause that's how life is.
husband photo bombing

these last two weeks  has been great to have my mom here. and no we didn't do any pandevonos (colombian cheesy bread) because we drove all over eastern iowa looking for a hispanic grocery store that would carry the ingredients we needed and couldnt find them. bummer. my kids were so SO bummed.
husband looking in the back ground like he has his tail between his legs after i scolded him for prior photo bombing

we had a blast with granny, she made my life easier with helping to keep up with laundry and getting my almost completely organized in my basement storage area. soooo close i am!
but mainly her love of my kids was much appreciated, and now i have to detox my children of all the granny spoiling...but i hear that's the job of a granny.

okay! so are you ready for the winner of sunday quilts?
thank you for all your suggestions of turning back the clock. laughter. seems to be the most popular suggestion. yup, i think we have that one nailed. :)
there was a whole slew of vitamins, and exercise and positive thinking. yup, i'm working on it. :) thanks ladies it was nice reading all the fun stuff you wrote!
okay, OKAY i'll give you the winner:

VickiT said...
I posted to Amanda Jean's blog. I've been a follower of her blog for quite awhile. And yes, I have had her book on my wish list since she first released it. I just love the cover quilt.
vicki has already been contacted through email. thank you all for playing. 
okay now i'm going back to work cause i've got some new patterns to show you! :)
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