The past 6 months

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Paper and Pi is back! I have been so busy this summer that I did not have enough time to blog. I hope everyone that does read my blog has been following my adventures on Instagram.

In April we headed down to Florida for Spring Break.  Our first stop was the Kennedy Space Center.  JT had not been their since he was a little boy and it was a great experience to share with Addison.  Our little nerd does not want to be an astronaut but he does want to be a mechanical engineer.  











Our next stop was to spend at least a day at the Indialantic Beach since we were down there. I thought the water was too cold but JT and Addison enjoyed it for a little while.






We were finally over  Florida and went where our real destination was KEY WEST!  It was amazing and we already debating if we should go every year for Spring Break. We stayed with my best friend Eric, who I have not seen for 10 years. Eric is wedding specialist and while we were there I was able to help him with a wedding. I loved helping him out and wanted to stay and work with him everyday. Eric is amazing!  He has to most incredible eye.  All his wedding look flawless.  I so want to renew my vows and have him plan it.  If anyone is engaged and looking for a place to get married, I would say Key West and having Eric plan your wedding is the perfect fit.  Check out Eric's website.  His work is breathtaking! 









See I told you. It is all in the details and Eric sees details like no other.  While we were down at Key West we of course went to the Ernest Hemingway house.  We had to give Addison some culture while we were down there.  :)   The Chosen One tried to convince me to steal her a 6 toe cat.  There was a really friendly one that almost went home with us. 
 






And of course we want to Dry Tortugas.  This was the most amazing experience.  It takes over an hour boat trip to get there.  The water is crystal blue and Fort Jefferson is astounding.










Key West will always have a place in our heart. If we can, I would love to go every year.  Maybe we can retire there one day.  :)

 



May, June, and July, was all about diving.  Addison started with a new diving team who practice 2 hours a day 4 days a week.  He started 2 weeks before school ended so we had to get adjusted with everyday practices and then summer started which means summer swimming also.  Our summer was wonderful but was extremely busy and went by too fast.  Addison went to dive camp for a week.  Then we ended the summer with hosting the AAU National Dive Meet at GA Tech with our new dive team.  It was an exciting, wonderful, exhausting week.  Addison placed 8th in the nation for his age group.


Now we know what it takes to run a national meet and we have a a big understanding of diving.

August, Addison has started his first year in high school.  Can you believe it?  I remember freaking out that he was starting middle school.  He is realizing high school is a lot harder and more work but he is doing well and enjoying it.  This will also be the first year Addison will get to dive for his high school.  We are really excited about it and will promise to let everyone know how he does.

Well, I think that wraps up our life since March.  Of course I have been cooking, baking, and crafting away.

I have created more pinwheels for my Etsy store.






I have created some new baby bibs and am finally starting to put them on my Etsy shop for purchase.






I have created this hoop art for Mother's Day.


So I guess you know how busy my 6 months have been.  For the past 2 weeks I have been planning JT and Melissa's birthday party.  My next blog entry will be all about that.  It is going to be an exciting one.  The party had everything I love; crafting, baking, cooking, great friends, and a incredible time.  You don't want to miss it.

Talk to yo soon,
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St. Patrick and Pie

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day.  What did you do?  Did you go out and drink green beer?  In our household we of course crafted and cooked something delicious.

I made Addison's teachers 4 leaf clover pins so they would have good luck and not get pinched.  Hubby helped me because he is excellent at making the covered buttons.  This is the last year I will make Addison's teachers pins and school is almost over.  It is a little bittersweet.



For dinner, I wanted to do something different.  I usually make corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day but I remembered a great Martha Stewart recipe, a Braised Short Rib, Stout, and Potato Potpie.  We all know how much I love to braise meat and this recipe calls for braising it in Guinness.  I thought this would be a perfect St. Patrick's meal.



This recipe can be made for 8 individual mini pie plates or a 12-inch gratin dish.   I decided to make on big pie.  I totally want to go shopping for mini pie plates for the next time.  Oh what about mini gratin ones?  I have totally had my eye on these for a year:


Oh mini Cocottes so everyone could have their own potpie or individual mac n cheese.  What about individual cobblers?  Wait a minute I was talking about our St Patrick's day meal!  I get sidetracked easily when it comes to shopping.  :)

Oh I tried to take step by step pictures, but taking pictures of ingredients cooking in a dark Dutch Oven is not very pretty.  

Filling:

4 pounds boneless short ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bottles (12 ounces) stout, preferably Guinness (3 cups)
2 rosemary sprigs
1 pound cipollini onions, peeled



Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Dredge short ribs in flour, coating all sides. Transfer to a large plate.


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Working in batches, brown short ribs, about 1 minute per side.



Transfer browned meat to a plate.


Add yellow onions and cook until golden, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. 





Return meat to the Dutch oven with onions and garlic.  Also add rosemary and Guinness. Bring to a simmer and then cover place in oven.  Cook for about 2 1/2 hours.


Remove Dutch oven from oven and cipollini onions.  Cook for an additional 30 more minters, the meat should be tender and the onions should be cooked through.  




Shred meat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put filling in pie plate or individual mini Couettes.  


Topping

6 medium russet potatoes (3 1/2 pounds)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper



Raise the oven to 375.  Slice potatoes very thinly.  I used my Christmas Food Processor.  Have I mentioned how much I love it?  Arrange potatoes over meat to form tight concentric circles, working around the edge and overlapping each potato by three-quarters.


Brush the potatoes with oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.   Put pie or pies in oven and bake for about an hour. 



Isn't it beautiful?  I had so much fun with the potatoes.  Addison said it looked like a flower.  Here is the recipe with out the pictures.  

Filling:

4 pounds boneless short ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bottles (12 ounces) stout, preferably Guinness (3 cups)
2 rosemary sprigs
1 pound cipollini onions, peeled


Make the filling: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Dredge short ribs in flour, coating all sides. Transfer to a large plate. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Working in batches, brown short ribs, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a large plate using kitchen tongs.
Reduce heat to medium. Add yellow onion to Dutch oven, and cook until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Return meat to Dutch oven. Add stout and rosemary. Bring to a simmer. Cover, and transfer to oven. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.
Remove Dutch oven from oven, and add cipollini onions. Braise until meat is tender and onions are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Shred meat using 2 forks. Season with salt and pepper. Divide filling among eight mini (1-cup) pie plates, or transfer to a 12-inch (8-cup) gratin dish.

Topping

6 medium russet potatoes (3 1/2 pounds)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


Make the topping: Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees. Peel potatoes, and very thinly slice each (preferably on a mandoline). Arrange potatoes over meat to form tight concentric circles, working around the edge and overlapping each potato by three-quarters. Brush with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until topping is golden and filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes for mini potpies (1 hour for large potpie).



And there is our delicious St. Patrick's Potpie.  It was amazing.  Hubby did not complain because it his 3 favorite things; beer, potatoes, and meat.  

I almost forgot to mention The Chosen One had never heard of cipollini onions.  I think it is great when I teach her something new since she is a genius and an excellent cook.  So Gold medal for me.  :)

I have a lot of projects that I need to finish.  I can't wait to show them to you all.  I have been crafting like a mad woman.   Well, I hope the rest of your week and weekend is wonderful.  

Talk to you soon,Signature