Image Slider

St. Patrick and Pie

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.  


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.  


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.  


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.


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


Happy Pi Day everyone.  I hope you guys are having a wonderful Friday.  The Chosen One and I are debating on what kind of pies we should make today.  She is mentioning a quiché.  I am thinking about a pecan pie. Because of all this pie talk I would like to share with you my favorite pie crust recipes.

Apple Pie

Bourbon Pecan Pie

Melissa has an incredible Piecrust Recipe that uses lard and you make it in a stand mixer.  It is her Grandmother's recipe.  Her Grandmother would use a hand pastry blender but Melissa now uses her Kitchenaid hand mixer.  The Chosen One says that a recipe with lard is true down home cooking.  :)

This crust is amazing and flaky.  I do not always have lard on hand so when I make piecrust on a whim I use an all butter crust that I will share next.  But this crust will make you want to have lard in your fridge all the time.  I am actually going to go buy lard to make this crust later on today.

Melissa's Grandmother's PieCrust

Pie Crust - makes 2 crusts

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp fine salt (kosher)
3 Tbl granulated white sugar
1/4 c shortening or lard cold
12 Tbl unsalted butter, cubed and cold
1/4 c to 1/2 c ice water

In a stand mixer bowl, sift together flour, salt, and sugar. Using a flat beater attachment on low speed, begin to add the shortening, little by little spooning out of the measuring cup, work the cold shortening into the dry ingredients. Add the cold cubes of butter, one by one but quickly so the butter doesn't melt. Do not add all at once. When the dough begins to get a little crumbly, slowly add the water (start with 1/4 cup and work up). Work until the mixture become "dough", adding more water if needed.

Gather the dough and form into a ball, cut in two, flatten into two disks, and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or more as needed. On a floured surface roll out each half of dough into two 10 inch circles for pie crust and pie shell.

This piecrust will not disappoint.  I promise people will be raving about your crust.  

My favorite all butter pie crust recipe is Martha's Test-Kitchen Piecrust.  It is made in a food processor and turns out really buttery and flaky.   I always have about a pound of butter in my fridge at all times (yes I know I have a problem), so this crust his easy to do in the spur of the moment.  I also got a big beautiful food processor for Christmas (Thanks Hubby) so I am itching to make this crust with my new improved equipment.

The main thing about this piecrust is everything needs to be cold.  Martha's says your flour should be cold and butter should be really cold.  Before I make this crust I put my flour in the fridge and butter in the freezer for about an hour.   So I cut my 2 sticks of butter in small pieces and then place them in the freezer.

Martha's saying is "Make it cold and bake it hot".

I get Martha Stewart Living on my iPad and there was wonderful step by step video on this piecrust.  I searched and searched online and could not find it.  I hope the recipe is enough for your perfect pie crust.  I am more a visual person so I love videos.

Martha's Test- Kitchen  Piecrust

Makes enough dough for 1 double-crusted or 2 single-crusted 9-to-10-inch pies


2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces, divided
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup ice water


Lay out three-quarters of the butter pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and freeze until hard, at least 30 minutes. Refrigerate remaining butter.

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add refrigerated butter, and pulse to combine, about 10 times. Add frozen butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with some blueberry-size clumps.

Add ice water, and immediately pulse until water is just incorporated, about 10 times. Squeeze a small amount of dough to make sure it holds together. Pulse a few more times if needed.
Lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Empty half the dough onto each piece. Bring edges of wrap together to gather dough. Press into disks.

Roll out disks, still wrapped in plastic, to 1/2-inch-thick rounds (8 inches in diameter). Refrigerate at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days. Dough can be frozen up to 1 month.

I did find a pie crust video from Everyday Food that is close to this recipe.  I hope it helps.

Well, I hope I have  inspired you to make a pie today.  I hope you try one of these wonderful crusts and let me know what you decide to put in them.

Talk to you later,


Shoyu Ramen

I was reading my Bon Appétit magazine last month and came across a recipe for Shoyu Ramen.  I love ramen but usually just have it at asian restaurants.  I did eat a lot of ramen in college but I don't consider the $1 packages real ramen.  

I sent the recipe to The Chosen One and we debated on making it.  The problem is the recipe takes 3 days to make Shoyu Ramen.  We wondered if we were really up for that task.  

Well, all of sudden one day The Chosen One said she was going to the asian market to get the ingredients and was going to make it.  I knew that meant I had to make it also.  She could not show me up and I love cooking with her even though she is miles away.  

That Friday night was date night so hubby and I decided we would go see a movie.  I wanted to stop by the asian market before the movie to get all my ingredients.  Well, we went to the Buford Highway Farmers Market because it has a great asian selection.  The problem was we did not know what all the ingredients were and where to find them.  It took us over 2 hours to find everything but we had a blast looking for it and now will never have a problem looking for Japanese ingredients again.  We left that market feeling very proud and enjoyed a movie together.

Supplies from the Asian Market

I would like to share with you Bon Appétit's Shoyu Ramen recipe.  I tried to take step by step pictures.  But I kept forgetting to take them since it was a 3 day process.  



2 pieces dried kombu
½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. dry sake
1 Tbsp. mirin

For the dashi, combine kombu and 4 quarts cold water in a large bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours. For the tare, combine soy sauce, sake, and mirin in a small bowl; cover and chill.

Dried kombu soaking in water


1½ lb. boneless pork shoulder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 lb. chicken necks, backs, and/or wings
1 lb. pork spareribs
2 bunches scallions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, cut into pieces
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
1 1” piece ginger, peeled, sliced
¼ cup bonito flakes

One day ahead: Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Roll up and tie with kitchen twine at 2” intervals. (This helps keep the meat intact while cooking and makes for round, compact slices.)

Pork shoulder tied with kitchen twine

Heat oil in a large heavy pot (at least 8 quarts) over medium-high heat Cook pork shoulder, turning, until brown all over, 10–12 minutes.

Pork should ready to be browned

Add chicken, spareribs, scallions, carrots, garlic, ginger, and bonito flakes. Remove kombu from dashi; discard. Add as much kombu dashi as will fit in pot once liquid is boiling (reserve remaining dashi). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, skimming the surface occasionally and adding remaining dashi as liquid reduces, until pork shoulder is tender and stock has reduced to about 2 quarts, 2½–3 hours.

Scallions, carrots, garlic, and ginger

 Chicken, spareribs, scallions, carrots, garlic, 
ginger, bonito flakes, and kombu dashi simmering

Remove pork shoulder from stock and let cool.

Pork shoulder cooling

Wrap tightly in plastic and chill until ready to use. (Chilling pork will make meat easier to slice.) Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into another large pot or a large bowl or container; discard solids (including ribs and chicken). Cover and chill.



3 large eggs
6 5-oz. packages fresh thin and wavy ramen noodles (or six 3-oz. packages dried)
½ cup menma (fermented bamboo shoots)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
3 toasted nori sheets, torn in half
Chili oil, toasted sesame oil, and shichimi togarashi (for serving)

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Carefully add eggs one at a time and boil gently for 7 minutes. (Egg yolks should be shiny yellow and almost jammy; egg white should be just set.) Drain eggs and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking; let cool. Peel; set aside.

Remove string and thinly slice pork; cover and set aside.
When ready to serve, bring stock to a simmer; it should be very hot. 

Bringing the stock to a simmer

At the same time, cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions until al dente; drain (no need to salt the water, as ramen noodles contain more salt than pasta).

Cooking the noodles

Just before serving, divide noodles among 6 deep bowls. Top with sliced pork, placing it off to one side. Add tare to hot stock and ladle over pork to warm through (stock should come up just to the level of the noodles).
Place a small pile of menma next to pork. Halve eggs and place next to menma. Place a small pile of sliced scallions next to egg. Tuck half a sheet of nori between side of bowl and noodles so it’s just poking out.
Serve ramen with chili oil, sesame oil, and shichimi togarashi.

Beautiful Shoyu Ramen!!!

We all thought it was delicious.  The Chosen One thought it was no worth 3 days of cooking.  It inspired me to find other ramen recipes to find out which one is the best.  Addison is still talking about Ramen.  He told me I should make Ramen once a week.  I think Addison is crazy but I do not mind cooking it once a month.  

I think you guys should try it and tell me what you think.  And please share any ramen recipes that you have.  

Talk to you soon,


Throwback Thursday

So I was reading through old posts and I found this 2 year old post.  I find it hilarious because I was sad that Addison was going to Jekyll Island for a week with his class.  This week Addison is at Walt Disney World with his orchestra class.  He is in a different state without me!!!  I said in the 2 year old post that he was growing up too fast and will one day go to Disney without me.

He's growing up so fast.  This is the start of sleep away camp when
 he's gone for a month.  And going to Washington DC
 or Disney World with out me. I guess I have to realize
 if he's going to compete in diving and swimming
 there will be out of state meets.  So this is the
 beginning of his independence.  I think I better start working
g on having another baby.  :)  Maybe a girl this time so she
 will really never leave me.  Wait!!!  Slap me please, I am not
 ready to have another screaming new born baby.
  And definitely not ready to be pregnant again.  UGH!!

LOL!!!  I was right! I wonder what I will be saying in 2 years.  Will he be in Washington DC with his high school class?  Well, I have 4 more years with him so they better go by slow.  :)

While my baby is away, I have just been cleaning and reorganizing the house.  Everyone is like go out, have fun, go wild.  I think everyone is forgetting that I am 40 now and fun for me is a great movie and an awesome dinner party.

I am just going to plan a dinner party for Saturday and go see the movie Pompeii.  That's crazy enough for me.

I would like to mention my Favorite Things this week that make me smile while little man is having a blast.

1. JCrew Jewelry

Hubby got this for me for Valentine's Day and I can't wait to wear it.  I just need to figure out what to wear with it.

They also have a matching bracelet.

 I wonder how good I have to be to get this also.  :)

2. Anthropologie Maxi Dress

We all know I am a sucker for a great maxi.  

3.  Anthropologie Tops

Can you tell I am ready for Spring?  It is cold and rainy here in Atlanta.  At least we have not been having crazy snow like last month.  I was starting to feel like we lived up North for a second.  

Well, JT is going to pick up sushi and we are going to watch TV.  My life is so exciting.  :)

Talk to you soon, 

Camp Addison

Sorry everyone. I have been so busy crafting for special little one's 1st birthday party that I have not had time to blog. I also celebrated my 40th birthday in January. These two months have been extremely busy. I am not complaining about being busy but I am ready for some relaxing time in the next weeks.

Since I am in the birthday mood, I thought I would tell you about Addison's birthday party we had at the farm in October. I can't believe I did not tell you sooner. Where does the time go?

Addison decdied last minute to have some friends go down to the cabin last minute and camp out over the weekend for his birthday. Well, the crafter in me wanted to make it a special event even though he did not give me any notice. So I create some camp inspired paper decorations for the occasion. I made 2 banners, popcorn boxes, labels for the water bottles, labels for the smores and trail mix bags, and cupcakes toppers.

Addison invited 6 boys and I needed to decide how to entertain them and keep them feed. If they were anything like Addison I knew they would need games and a lot of food.

We decided Saturday when everyone got there, we would set up tents, and then have them go geocaching. The night before JT and I placed little prizes in 6 ammunition boxes around the property.

We gave the boys each a piece of paper with the coordinates, a GPS and had them look for the boxes. This was great because it also gave us time cook dinner and set up the campfire. The boys didn't find all the boxes but I think they had fun looking for them. Well, until they had to find one in the field of briers. City kids are so weak. :)

After geocaching, we ate dinner and started a bonfire. We all roasted marshmallows and made smores. I will say one thing about The Hubby, he knows how to make a huge fire. It is the Eagle Scout in him.

After dinner and dessert we let the boys settle in for the night. Hubby and I had planned to wait until the boys fell asleep and light fireworks around. Addison and Mason came up to cabin right before we went down so they were able to join us in scaring the boys.

We snuck down to the tent. Lit the fireworks and the boys came out of the tent screaming. It was hilarious. Then we let them light some sparklers and we had a little light show.

The next morning the kids played while we cooked breakfast, we relaxed and then set up the firing range.

We let the boys shoot zombie targets to prepare them for a zombie apocalypse. :)

Everyone had a great time. Even Emmy Lou and Luna. Addison said it was the best birthday party he ever had. Not to bad for last minute planning.

I enjoyed making everything for Addison. I am already thinking of other themes I can make. I will share Vitoria's 1st birthday party soon. It was an animal and bunting theme.

Talk to you soon,