Monday, August 18, 2014

Pear Pie with Gruyere crust

Pear Pie with Gruyere crust


6 Bartlett pears, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoon melted butter

3 tablespoon white sugar

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt


½ cup ice water

2 sticks of butter, softened

½ teaspoon brown sugar

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

½ teaspoon salt

Filling: Melt butter in pan, add sliced pears, vanilla, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Add cornstarch and turn heat off and let cool. My husband likes a crunch to his pie this is why I do not cook the filling for long. If you prefer a softer pie filling, then cook for at least 30 minutes until pears are softer.

Crust: Cut up 2 sticks of butter, and put in mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, flour, salt, and cheese. Then slowly add ice water as needed while mixing. Kneed and roll out two balls on a flour surface. Use extra flour as needed.  One ball is for the bottom crust, and one is for the top crust.

Add the bottom crust to the pie pan, then add filling. Add the top pie crust, use a fork around the sides to seam the pie up. Then cut slits on top. Cook 350 until brown, usually 35 minutes. I put a pizza pan or cookie sheet under my pie in case some of the filling pours out.

My husband loves this topped with vanilla ice cream. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Help with school lunches?

School is in full swing. What do you do when you have a picky eater? I sure would love some suggestions on what you pack for your child for lunch. Leave some comments, and I will update this post with your suggestions. Maybe we can all help each other out? 

Right now these are the items that she likes and would like to take to school (not all at once): cubed cheese, fruit slices, flour tortilla with cheese (she is not a big meat eater), crackers with cream cheese, jelly sandwich (she does not like peanut butter), boiled egg (rarely but sometimes she will eat a boiled egg), pistachios or cashews, loves Lima beans and mac n cheese (items to keep a thermos warm by lunch time?), candied carrots, yogurt, sometimes will eat chicken nuggets (again, how to keep warm?), sometimes chips, and a bagel with cream cheese.

So any ideas on food, and help to keep her thermos nice and warm by lunch?


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Beef Vegetable soup. Crockpot or Stove.

Our favorite and an easy beef vegetable soup that you can cook in crock pot or on stove. 

1 pack frozen soup vegetables with tomatoes
1 pack of cubed beef (uncooked) (Really use as much as you like. I buy a small package)
1/2 cup sliced Pepperoncini (these are not hot, but have a great taste)
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups beef broth (you can use 1 beef bouillon for 2 cups water. Knorr does not have egg if you have an allergy like me)
2 packs of Italian salad dressing seasoning mix (1 to add while cooking, and one before you serve)
4 cups water (you may need more depending on how much meat you added)
1 teaspoon Cajan seasonings (you can use seasoned salt if you do not like Cajan)

Add everything BUT one package of Italian seasoning mix. Cook in crock pot on high for 5 hours or more depending on how much meat you added. We also like to put this on low and cook all night. It is sooooooooo tender. If you are cooking on the stove, cook until meat is cooked. About 2 hours for it to be tender. 30 minutes before you serve, add the last Italian seasoning mix.

Serve with crackers or a yummy sandwich.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Epiphanie Lyric Camera Bag that I won (review)

I see giveaways online all the time for camera bags, and I started entering. Imagine my surprise when I won the giveaway by Sew Many Savings. I really had my eye on an Epiphanie Camera Bag for a long time.

I picked the Lyric in brown. I wanted brown since it would match more clothes and Fall is here. First off, I am a short gal. I am 4' 11". The last thing I need is a big bag weighing me down. Currently, I only have one lens for my DSLR, but I still carry many things with me, and I am working on saving money for more lenses. One of the reasons I picked the Lyric is because it is a slim bag at 4 inches wide, but the bag can still hold many things. Most camera bags are twice that. The exact measurements for the whole camera bag are: 13"L x 4"W x 15"H (This is from Epiphanie's website). I also still have a preschooler so I do carry around wipes and a change of clothes. (I did not factor that in when I was taking pictures, but I still have room in this bag to carry both)

Okay, now let's get to my new bag. What a wonderful surprise when the mailman brought this to my door! I was expecting another package so I did let out a thrill of joy knowing my camera bag had arrived. It really did feel like Christmas!

I opened the box and was met with this cute sticker:
Once I took the plastic off, I was met with this sturdy dustcover:
Here is what you are waiting for:
I love the feel and look of this bag.

The cutest charm EVER:
The shoulder strap is adorable as well, not to mention very soft. I did take the pad off the extra long strap that came with the bag and put it on the braided strap (I found a small tiny tear on the shoulder pad when I was putting it on, but it is not noticeable. I will watch it as I use it and see what happens. I am sure I can buy a replacement pad later if I need to either from the company or ebay)
Here is the back of the bag. My kindle fit easily with plenty of room to space. Would easily hold an ipad.
A few stickers that were in the bag waiting for me:
The inside of the bag: (These later pictures were taken with my iphone)
In these pictures you can see my Nikon with lens attached, wallet, kindle (in pink case), battery charger, two black cases that have my lens filters, lipstick, hand sanitizer and pink/white case that holds my camera accessories such as lens pen, memory card, etc. Plenty of room for more items. The bag comes with four inserts that you can move around anyway you want. I took one out as I only need three right now. The back zipper held my kindle. I used the zipper compartments on the front to hold my battery charger, lipstick and hand sanitizer. I did not even use the one inside the bag. I do not always carry such a big wallet so when I carry my smaller one, I will have even more room, and I will most likely put that in the inside zipper. I usually do not carry both filter cases. I just wanted to show how much room you have. Also, love this..... I could easily put a small jacket inside on top of all of this and zip it up!

The bag feels soft next to my body with everything in it, and it did not feel too heavy. I did carry the shoulder strap over my body, but I could have put on my shoulder and not felt too short. 

I hope this review helps. I plan on reviewing this on video soon as I could not find any online. I will post a video link once I have used this bag more.