A Sure-Fire Cure for the UnFreshly Pressed Blues

Dear WordPress, What Am I, Chopped Liver? received  a lot of views and commentary, and for that, I’m grateful.

I think that my slighly whiny, sour grap-y, mini-chip-on-my-shoulder rant resonated with the great un-Pressed in our blogging community.

A wise and wonderful new friend who blogs at SERENDIPITY Marilyn Armstrong -Seeking Intelligent Life on Earthused her magic fingers and creative mind to design an award that I’m ecstatic to be able to share with those I deem worthy, and that’s mostly EVERYBODY.

Read her post: Not So Freshly Pressed? Help is on the Way for more details.

I’m hopeful that we can start the ball rolling until everyone — everywhere — will feel appreciated and special!

The simple beauty of this award is that you don’t have to perform any task or answer any questions; YOU ARE SPECIAL JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE, and I like that a lot!

Please pass it on and share the love but…here’s a reminder from the creator of this award:

You can accept this and you do NOT have to give it to anyone else unless you want to. You can also do it eventually, when you have time. Don’t get stressed over it.  :-)


Here ya go for my first group of deserving bloogers.
I won’t stop until everyone is a recipient and we all feel like a winner.

 

Serendipity: http://teepee12.com
The Fur Files http://thefurfiles.com
She Walks Softly  http://wp.me/pfQBz-5wF
Our Growing Paynes http://wp.me/p2GO4t-va
Michelle at Play  http://wp.me/p1UOvK-2ac
Benzeknees  http://wp.me/p21uAA-WE
The Presents of Presence
Cowboys and Crossbones  http://cowboysandcrossbones.wordpress.com
Thematticuskingdom  http://wp.me/p2DEqM-Am
sagedoyle

YOU ARE A WINNER

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Stop Wolf Hunts Now

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Ghandi

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Confessions and Clarifications

I was originally gonna post about the Pope from the perspective of a perplexed Jewish Princess, but the commentary I’ve read from yesterday’s post necessitates a change of direction!

My stream of consciousness initial thoughts about the whole surreal Pope flying away on the helicopter thing…Kiss the ring–germs on the ring–destroy the ring–all those men… I tried to do the math in my head  and wonder how many of the men surrounding the Pope as he left are pedophiles or were once molested by a priest, That, in a nutshell, is the post I planned to present to you.

HOWEVER, AHEM…

Yesterday I wrote a post of appreciation for My Life with Lucille mostly ‘cos she’s a wonderfully sweet person and she bestowed upon me (Enchanted Seashells) a nomination for the Epically Awesome Award of Awesomeness.

I posted HER answers to the questions so that you’d get to know a little bit about My Life as Lucille.

Are you following me so far? Stick with me, it’ll all begin to make sense.

SOME of my fantastic wonderful stupendous brilliant beautiful witty intelligent readers THOUGHT I was talking about myself but I was NOT.

This is most definitely an emergency post situation! It’s imperative that I set the record straight and follow through with MY award!epicallyawesomeaward

The Rules For The Epically Awesome Award Of Awesomeness:

1. Tell 10 epic and/or awesome facts about yourself.  That’s it.
2. Pass it on to 10 bloggers you think are awesome and/or epic–or both.


HERE ARE TEN FACTS (Confessions) ABOUT ME, ME, ME….
PRINCESS ROSEBUD! 

1. As much as I love my Chanel Grand Shopper Tote, I have a favorite t-shirt my son gave me about six years ago, full of holes, and I wear it ALL the time.yaleshirtholes

2. I was in the film, “Stuntman”; here’s a pic of me with Chuck Bail, a really nice guy! He’s a director and a stuntman.
Stuntman

3. If, for some reason, I don’t have a book to read, sometimes I’ll read a cookbook until I fall asleep

4. I LOVE to clean house. I really do. That doesn’t mean I want to clean YOUR house, so please don’t ask.

5. I’m five feet tall. I confess that I have a Napoleon Complex. I get lost in a crowd.

6. I have a lot of stuffed animals, but they don’t sleep with me, although they’re close by!stuffedanimalschair

7. I know NOTHING about Google Analytics. I can barely cut and paste html into WP widgets.

8. Once in a while–when my tugboat man and I are out shopping or running errands, i get really dressed up, keep my (Chanel) sunglasses on inside,  and pretend I’m a famous actress and he’s my security, and sometimes I hear people whisper, “Who’s that? Is that somebody?”  This is very, very true. 

9. I love seashells, even random piles of them on our deck.shellsondeck

10. My favorite holiday is my birthday because every seven years, Mother’s Day and my birthday fall on the same day, which makes my son’s birthday in March my equally favorite day to celebrate.

Let’s recap and clarify…yesterday’s post was all about My Life with Lucille. Today’s post was all about ME, Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of  a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

Whew! I feel better, how about you?

MY NOMINATED BLOGS, and especially UnfetteredBS

This is an eclectic group of writers, love them all and there’s only sposed to be ten or I’l add everyone!

The Epistolarians
TheFurFiles
Rarasaur
Sarahlouisek
Chewylicious
tonettejoycefoodfriendsfamily
Hello World
Cook Eat Live Vegetarian
thematticuskingdom
Little Bits of History

The Compleat Apple Pie…Deconstructed

Your apple pie tutorial.
An apple pie with attitude.

If you are one of the many boys and girls (OK, adults) who’ve never made an apple pie from scratch and you don’t want to meet the Grim Reaper without having made at least one perfect apple pie, you’ve come to the right place.

I’m right here, holding your hand, gently walking you through all the steps and twists and turns to create the best apple pie you will ever eat. Guaranteed. Fur realz. I know you can do it! Once you’ve mastered one pie start to finish, you will never be afraid of a little old piecrust again. Pinky swear.

The Apples
The apples you choose are of the utmost importance. They need to be firm and tart and able to stand up to the heat of a 425 degree oven without becoming mushy as the pie bakes. (For my Canandian friends, you’ll have to do the conversion–I’m not that smart.)

I like Granny Smith or Pippin apples for pies. Normally, that would be the green ones. Depending on the size of the apple, I like to use between 6-8 apples per pie.

apple1I enjoy making my pies the old fashioned way. I peel and slice the apples.

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Squeeze a little lemon juice over the slices for a pop of flavor and it’ll help keep the apples from turning brown.
apple3Unless I’m making apple jelly, I put the peels in the compost bin, and so should you!

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This is one time when I use white sugar and don’t feel guilty about it–about 2/3 cup or to taste. Some apples need more sweetness, some need less. The most important ingredient is cinnamon. The right amount of cinnamon elevates the apple pie to a higher level.  I use approximately 3-4 tablespoons. I do a lot of tasting, so it’s a good idea to add a little at a time and taste as you go. My family loves a LOT of cinnamon!

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When you feel that your apples and sugar and cinnamon have reached the zenith of blissful co-existence, sprinkle one tablespoon all-purpose flour over the apples and mix lightly.

stressed is dessert spelled backwardsDon’t be afraid, don’t desert me before the dessert is complete–watch and learn!

It’s not that difficult. It’s like many things in life. Once you try something new and master it, you lose the fear of the unknown.apple8

I like my mom’s favorite cookbook for old-fashioned recipes.

The Crust
It’s not rocket science. This is a tried and true basic recipe for a two-crust pie. I don’t like to use butter in this crust because I don’t want any other flavors to taint the apple+cinnamon perfection. I know you can use a food processor and it cuts the time in half but sometimes the most satisfying part of baking is to be fully immersed in the process as much as the final results!

For a nine-inch pie pan:
Mix together…
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons salt
Cut in…
2/3 cup shortening
Sprinkle with…
Four tablespoons water

What does “cut in” mean? It means you need to distribute the shortening into the flour so that the particles become the size of peas. This is what makes pastry flaky. pastry-blenderUse a pastry blender to cut shortening into flour. If you don’t have one, use two knives and this technique: holding a knife in each hand with blades almost touching, move knives back and forth in opposite directions in a parallel cutting motion. The side of a fork or a wire whisk works, too.

apple11 Mix only until all ingredients are worked in. If you overwork pastry dough, it’ll become tough. Sprinkle the water in a tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork until all the flour is moistened. Gather dough together and press into two balls for the upper and bottom crust.apple12

Flour the board or counter and the rolling pin so the dough won’t stick. There are all kinds of fancy schmancy rolling pins–I’ve been really happy with this old wooden one. Flatten the balls with your hand. Roll each ball into a sort of circle; don’t go all crazy thinking it has to be perfect at this point. If it breaks or tears, just pinch and push it back together–about 1/8 inch thick. For an apple pie, I think the bottom crust needs to be a bit more sturdy than the top crust–roll accordingly.

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Roll into a circle two inches larger than pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and sides.

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Pile high with the yummy apples.

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Redo the same steps with the other round for the top crust. Cut off the extra dough that hangs over–leaving enough to fold under.

You can either crimp the edges…piecrustedges

or use a fork. Dip fork tines in flour; press tines onto edge of dough. Poke with fork or knife all around to release steam as it bakes.apple18

I wanted to add an enchanted seashell embellishment to the final version.

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I molded leftover dough over a scallop shell, cut off the excess, and placed it on the pie.

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It will bake quicker than the pie–remember to take it out after about ten minutes and place it back on the pie before serving.

I always bake pies on a cookie sheet because they will invariably ooze and turn your oven into a burning, sticky, smoky mess that can set off a smoke alarm and that’s always annoying!apple19

Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or so until it’s bubbly and the crust is beautifully browned.

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Yummy!

apple21“Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up”
(Norma Desmond, Sunset Blvd.)

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Come on, add this to your list of goals for 2013 and let me know how it turns out!

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Winner, winner, winner! Liebster Award

One of my new besties, a very lovely lady who writes Tonettejoycefoodfriendsfamily, nominated me for the prestigious Liebster Award. This is a wonderful and unexpected honor, albeit a teensy bit sad, because it’s meant to draw attention to deserving blogs (the happy part) who have less than 200 readers (the sad face part). However, I will carry on with a smile as the glass half full kinda gal I am, and proceed with the rules.

Rules
I need to nominate 11 other under-appreciated blogs with less than 200 followers. Hey guys, I appreciate you! Please visit them and give them some love because they are very interesting to read and are authored by brilliant and creative writers. Some have a bit more than 200 but I really enjoy them so much I wanted to help others make the discovery, and I think I actually have chosen 12, but whatever, I never like to follow rules.  And since most of the time I believe the world revolves around me (well, it does around MY house!) and it’s all about me, I can mess with the rules just a bit. Next comes 11 juicy tidbits about myself, then answer 11 questions sent to me, and create 11 questions for my chosen group.

Eleven random facts about ME you really want to know!

1. My grandfather was a rabbi

2. I was in the movie “Stuntman”

3. I fell down a manhole when I was three-years-0ld

4. I once interviewed Bob Hope

5. I know someone who knows someone who went to the Skyfall premiere

6. I love animals more than 90% of all the humans on Earth

7. I’m from the midwest

8. I could probably have a big win on Jeopardy-my head is full of useless information

9. I’ve taught school

10. My husband says I use a shovel like a man (he meant it as a compliment; I was not amused)

11. I haven’t eaten meat since I was 16-years-old

I nominate:

The Fur Files 

Snipewife 

Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches 

Michelle at Play

Life on Wry

Red Dirt Kelly

Jewels for All

Better Half Weddings

Seashells by Millhill

Misifusa’s Blog

Midlife Crisis Crossover

Elyses’s Life as I Know It

These are the questions that I had to answer:

Where is the farthest you have even been from where you were born? Not sure which is further from Detroit; Germany or Greece, but I’ve been to both

Do you live now where your family lived? My mom and dad and I moved from the mid west to San Diego, and my brother lives in on the west coast but not nearby; don’t keep in touch very much with the rest of the family

Do you like to live in the city or the country? I like where I live now, near the beach with a bit of hills, and the city about 30 minutes away. I want a little bit of everything!

Do you prefer to visit the city or the country? Definitely the country– to go hiking, camping, skiing. The city is only good for shopping

In what ways do you consider yourself the most creative?(Name as many ways as you’d like.)

I think I’m a pretty creative gluer of seashells and I try to put words together like I arrange my shells and rocks and beach glass

What do you see yourself doing in 5 years? I would like to build my copy editing/proofing business and maybe have the two books I’m currently working on done and published as well as the reality show I want to pitch to ANYONE and you’ll be seeing me on all the talk shows looking very fashionista

What would you like to try that you have not done before? Ski without being petrified of going too fast and falling.

Is there any place in particular that you have never seen that you would like to visit? France

What would you change about the world if you had one quick wish? No animal or child abuse

Rank these(1,2,3,4):books, music, sports, movies You did it for me, I would keep them arranged exactly the same!

What are your 3 favorite holidays? (Whatever you celebrate) My son’s birthday, Christmas, Hannukah, wedding anniversary (I chose 4)

Here are my questions for you: 

1. How old were you when you first learned to read?

2. Name two of your favorite books.

3. What’s your favorite holiday dessert?

4. What is a Merchant Marine?

5. Who is your role model?

6. Who is your favorite movie star?

7. Do you make new year’s resolutions?

8. What’s cluttering up your life?

9. Do you drive a car or a truck?

10. Do you know how to change the battery in a smoke alarm?

11. What is your best home remedy for a sore throat?