Monday, July 28, 2014

Blueberry Pie with Mom's Pie Crust & Whim of the Moment Memories!

Happy day to you!

This is another post that is not craft related, the Rebel Blogger in me comes through again!

I love when something happens at the whim of the moment and turns out to be an awesome memory in it self! 
But even more precious is when 'the rewards' of that spur of the moment decision also creates lasting, precious memories for me!! 

The story goes like this...
Tom and I were traveling on the same ole country road we always use that takes us to our favorite fishing hole.

In front of an Amish-Mennonite home was a brand new sign...with big, bold, simple writing ~ Blueberries Pick Your Own.

We drove past it a short distance, looked at each other and both said at the same time "wanna pick some blueberries?"

So on a whim, that warm and sunny afternoon, we picked blueberries for about an hour or so.

As Tom & I picked blueberries to our hearts content, we watched the amish children play with their dog while the clean, crisp clothes that hung on the line blew in the breeze. 

My only regret was not having my camera along.

That was {Memory #1 from the whim of the moment decision}!

A couple of days after picking them,  I reserved a whole day to bake blueberry pies. 

In my opinion, with the abundance of summertime pies, blueberry is right up there at top!
You haven't tasted a blueberry pie until you've eaten one homemade with fresh, local fruit and the pie crust from scratch is a must!

I love my mother's pie crust recipe, it is so easy to work with and is so crisp and flakey!

A good blueberry pie should be packed to the brim with plump, juicy berries, the flaky and buttery crust barely able to contain the jewel-like bounty

For a fresh blueberry pie, I think it's worth it to buy blueberries from the farmers market or even better yet - pick your own. 
The flavor is so much better then either frozen berries or berries shipped across the country.

Well, back to my story...
On the day of my baking, Tom left to meet some of his family members at a local restaurant for their monthly get-together. 

It was about 3 in the afternoon, I had just one more pie to bake, when I got this whim of a notion to invite his family (6 people) over for blueberry pie!

What in the world was I thinking...
The kitchen and myself was a total disaster! 
I was up to my ears with flour here, flour there, every ounce of counter space and the kitchen table was covered with baking stuff!
My colorful apron was even white with flour! 

Needless to say, it all worked out.
I had the kitchen all cleaned and took a shower in record time to receive my guests! 

Topped with Edy's Vanilla Bean ice cream that Tom picked up on his way home, my blueberry pies were well received and a huge hit!

My 2nd spur of the moment idea created some well deserved time spent with family in my home and was a precious gift to me!

That was {Memory #2 of the 'rewards' from the spur of the moment decision to pick blueberries}! 

Okay, so here is my recipe for a classic, old fashioned, blueberry pie - no frills, no secret ingredients, just blueberries in all their summary glory!

Filling: {makes one 9 inch pie}
4 cups blueberries
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
{Use more sugars if your berries are very tart}
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
{Use more cornstarch if your berries seem very juicy or you prefer a more firm pie filling}
1 1/4 tablespoons chilled butter - cut into pieces
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest from 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, gently mix blueberries, sugars, corn starch, lemon juice and zest, cinnamon and vanilla. 
Then add the cut up chunks of butter into the mixture. 
Let the berries sit on the counter while making pie crust.

Mom's Pie Crust Recipe: {makes 4 pies!}
4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups chilled shortening {I use butter flavored Crisco sticks}
1 tablespoon sugar 
2 teaspoons salt

Combine above ingredients in a large bowl with a pastry blender, only until crumbly. Mixing to much will make the crust tough. It's okay to have chunks of shortening!

In a small bowl mix together with a fork:
1/2 cup ice water
1 egg
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Then add to the flour and shortening mixture, cut in with the pastry blender just until combined. 
Like I said, it's okay to have clumps of shortening!
Form it into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for about 30 minutes.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees...
Roll out chilled dough on heavily floured surface with floured rolling pin to 1/4 - 1/3 inch thick. 
Spray pie pan with cooking spray. 
Place pie pan upside down onto dough then carefully flip both right side up. Gently shape dough into pan and cut away extra dough around edge with butter knife.

Now it's time to add the blueberry mixture.

Roll out some more pie dough and cut into strips for the lattice on top of the pie. 

Place the pie onto a baking sheet {to catch any drips} and bake for about 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling. 

Remove from oven, let cool for a least 4 hours before serving.

Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped topping and enjoy.

I love those last few spoonfuls of sweet berry juice, especially if they are mixed with a little melted ice cream!

Till next time,

x's & o's
aka The Rebel Blogger

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Easy Peasy Paper Bag Mini

Happy day to you!

I have a shameful confession to make. 

> > > I have never created a scrapbook album of any kind in all of my paper crafting years till just recently!
Believe it or not, this is so true.
I know that is a bit too much to swallow and I am almost too ashamed to admit it!

When I saw Maymay make this mini album look so easy peasy, I knew I could create one too!
Check out her awesome tutorial ~ Easy Peasy Paper Bag Mini from Maymay Made It.

Easy Peasy Bag Mini Album by
The paper collection is Dear Lizzy~Neapolitan by American Crafts

I must admit, I had fun creating this mini! 

Dear Lizzy~Neapolitan has been around since 2012 but I love the cheery, feminine, diffused water color effect of this paper collection. 
It takes you back into a daydream of hand-drawn mason jars, ice cream cones and the good ole summertime!!

Don't forget to take time to create your life!

x's & o's

aka The Rebel Blogger

Friday, July 18, 2014

Mixed Media Wall Art ~ Be An Individual

Hello folks!

My 13 year old granddaughter was accepted to a performing arts school starting this fall. 
Her papa and I could not be more proud of her than we are now!

I decided to create a mixed media wall art in her favorite color-purple. 
Also incorporating some encouraging words that will hopefully help her to... 
Be An Individual! mixed media wall art
The perfectly written cling rubber stamp is from none other than   
Love, love, love it!!

The large purple flower is from Prima. 
The tiny leaf die is from Memory Box - Fabulous Phlox.
The acrylic heart with the music notes is made by Heidi Swapp .

I added wire to the Heidi Swapp chipboard mistable butterfly.

The flower die cut here and border die cuts are Spellbinders Shapeabilities Parisian Accents.

The resin flower has been in my stash for years.

        When individuals base their feelings, opinions, choices, or decisions only on what others believe to be true, normal, good, right or wrong, without giving any critical thought to their real value, then they themselves forfeit much of their own individuality and in turn join the ranks of mediocrity.
        Even though people may think of themselves as individuals making unique decisions when they simply adopt certain behavior demonstrated by their peers, in reality each becomes just another small fish in a big sea of insignificance.
        You cannot really realize your full potential as an individual until you can truly say to yourself that what you believe, who you are, and what you will become is directly related to what is deep within your soul. This is where true individuality is born.
        Anyone wanting to accomplish this must first be true to themselves. For those who live this idea, outside influences become only minor distractions and one’s potential and ability to flourish become limitless.
Kirk Mango
Becoming a True Champion  (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012)

Papa and I have always instilled in her to be herself, and to move forward in life with confidence. 
Most of all, to never stop learning!

Have an awesome weekend!


x's & o's

aka The Rebel Blogger

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Always Face The Sun ~ Watercoloring with Distress Markers

Hi guys and gals!

I am very fortunate to be able to spend my summer days outside. 

Where I can enjoy our beautiful flowers. 
And those that come to visit our bird feeder...the neighbor's chickens, lots and lots of birds, the squirrels, also the occasional turkey and deer! 
Who all seem just as excited for summertime as I am! 

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you 
~ Maori Proverb

I think this quote is a great one. 
It encourages us to focus on the positive and reminds us that, in doing so, negativity will be a thing of the past (in the shadows). 

For me, this is most clear when dealing with my cancer

I try to remain positive and the sunshine filled days of summer is a huge blessing for me. 

This card I created for a friend made me think of that proverb...

Handmade card Always Face The Sun by

I colored the Wendy Vecchi Garden Art stamp with Distress Markers on Ranger Watercolor paper. 

The sentiment stamp is Sky's the Limit from MME.

The die cut above that is Spellbinders Lattice Accents cut in half and adorned with natural twine.

I used a punch around the page Vintage Doily by Martha Stewart for accent on the top and bottom of the card.

What it comes down to is this: I have a choice and I have a choice on how to react to it.

I choose to accentuate the positive and face the sun!

Remember to take time to create your life!

x's & o's
aka The Rebel Bogger  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Barbecue King

The unexplainable allure of an open, smoking pulls you in and engulfs you, the aroma penetrating every pore!

Who doesn't love delicious food cooking on the grill... 
Now, that's what I'm talking about!!

Anyone who is serious about BBQing demonstrates an unbelievable passion and expertise.
They are a breed of dedicated people that simply enjoy it for the love and pride of a perfect barbecue.

Just like those in the paper crafting world, some BBQer's dedicate their whole lives to the mastery of their craft. 

Which brings me to share this birthday card I created for my brother.
He is always ready to grill something fabulous for his lucky visitors.
Glenn might not be a master BBQer, but he can create some pretty awesome meals on the grill!

Handmade birthday card by Cindy's Paper Creation, Barbeque King
All the patterned paper and cut out is from DCWV The Guy Stack.
Burlap fringe is Canvas Corp Brands .
The self adhesive Chocolate Delight Pearls are from Queen & Co.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!


x's & o's
aka The Rebel Blogger

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