She's Here!

My daughter Amelia was born on Sunday!  We are adjusting well to having her home, and I think I will be wanting to start some holiday projects pretty soon.  I am also excited to start on the pennant banner of her name for above her crib in the nursery.

I am starting to get really excited for the Christmas season!  I saw this project on Studio 5 today about decorating with branches, and I'm starting to feel the spirit of the holidays.  I'll have to be on the lookout for some great branches to glitz up.

My husband surprised me with an early birthday present last week: a new laptop!

Wahoo!  Now I can blog while my husband does his homework.  I haven't put my project to-do list up lately, and I've finished some more things, so here's the current list:

Make fabric boxes for the new changing table
•Finish fall wreath
•Paint birdcage cream or light yellow
•Find a buffet to paint for the dining area
•Get chairs for the front porch
•Get potted plants for the driveway
•Build shelves on either side of the washer and dryer
•Take door off coat closet, paint, and put cubbies inside
New couch pillows
•Install wall shelf in main bathroom
•Refinish piano
•Make some green frames to match green stained table
•Fix leg on green table
•Get or build a picnic table for the backyard
Sew kitchen curtain
•Sew changing pad covers
•Make flower hairclips
•Turn craft room into nursery
•Laundry room makeover


Homemade Apple Pie

I learned how to make homemade pie this week at one of my mom's ward's Relief Society activities.  This was my first pie from scratch, and I was pleasantly surprised at how (relatively) easy it was!  Here's the recipe we used for the crust:

Pie Crust
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. Butter-flavored Crisco
1/4 c. cold water

First, combine the flour and salt.  Then, cut in the shortening with either your hands or a pastry blender.  I found that using my hands was much faster and easier.  Once all the flour is mixed in and the shortening is in tiny balls, slowly add the water and stir in with a fork.  Don't mix it too much or the crust will get chewy.  Divide the dough evenly into two balls. 

The crust is ready to roll out!  Try to keep the edges from splitting too much by continually pressing the cracks back together.  Put the rolled out crust into the bottom of your pie pan.  Be very gentle and make sure not to stretch the crust out.  Trim the edges by running a knife around the edge of the pie pan.  Now you are ready for the filling!

The filling was also easier than I expected.  Here's what you need:

Apple Pie Filling
Cored, sliced, and peeled apples (We used tart apples)

The whole thing was pretty inexact.  We just filled the bottom pie crust with apples and sprinkled a bit of each of the other ingredients on top.  You don't need a ton of cinnamon, flour, or sugar.  Make sure you put more apples than you think in, because they will shrink when you bake the pie.

Now, roll out the other dough ball for the top crust.  Lay it over the top, trim the edges, pinch the edges together, and cut some vent holes into the top.  You can get creative with this bit.  I did a star pattern.  You can also use the extra pieces of crust to make little shapes for the top.  My mom did a berry and leaf pattern.

For the final touch, brush the top of the pie with milk and sprinkle raw cane sugar all over.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until you can see the filling bubbling and the crust is brown.
We ate ours with some vanilla bean ice cream, and it was really tasty!


Pumpkin Carving

We did some pumpkin carving on Saturday.  It was a nice diversion from being extremely pregnant.  My husband did the mummy from a pattern, and I did the "welcome" and Jack Skellington ones freehand.  Here's how they looked all lit up:
We have three leftover pumpkins that we are going to carve for Thanksgiving, just for the fun of it.  We had a blast trick-or-treating and partying over the weekend.

Hope you had a great Halloween!