Thursday, July 11, 2013

American Pie

I wanted to make something extra festive for the 4th of July.  My husband teases me and says that I hate America, mostly because I obsess over Europe, and I tend to think most Independance Day decorations are a little hokey.  Since our house is a lacking in festivity during this holiday, I decided that my holiday dessert would be screaming, "God, Bless America."  Land that I love...really, I do!  Just not Americana.  There's a difference.

So, I'd planned on making one of these babies from the Sugar Turntable

But the day before got extremely hectic and by the time I got home around 9:30, I was looking for something faster.  So, I opted for an American Pie, like this one from Woman's Day.  I already had two pie crusts and of course, sanding sugar, so I just had the hubs grab some filling.  I realize I could've made my own, but did I mention I was beat?  I'm all about semi-homemade minus the crazy that Sandra Lee offers.

So, all I did was line my pie plate, plop in the filling and place the decor on top.  I was concerned that the two fillings would bleed, but they totes didn't!  FYI, it says bake for 30 min at 425 degrees then turn the heat down and bake for another 30 min.  Don't do that.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and be done.  Unless you want a scorched pie!  Just make sure your filling is bubbly and your crust is golden brown.  Simple honest-to-goodness baking.

It turned out well and I was really glad I didn't go crazy.  My poor niece broke her leg Mutton Busting (riding a lamb.  That's how we celebrate our Independence out here in Utah!) so the festivities were called off.  Spencer and I are having a fine time eating it though!

The best part is, you have just enough left overs to make yourself a little baby pie!

Happy Birthday, America!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Father's Day Shirt and Tie Cake

I'm a Daddy's girl, and I'm not afraid to admit it.  Over the recent years, as I've moved closer to my dad's office, he comes over a few times during the week to check on me.  I look forward to our little chats and frequent chances to get those bear hugs that only dads can give.

I admire so many qualities about my dad.  One of his most admirable qualities is his totally selfless nature.  My dad doesn't have a selfish bone in his whole 6-foot-tall body.  He taught me by example to love others and pay attention to ways you might be able to serve them.  Serving others always made Dad happy, and in turn made us excited and happy to be doing so as well.  He was always the first one to volunteer when called upon, but Dad doesn't need direction.  It was never odd for him to come home after a long day at work and change into his "grubbies" and say, "I saw that Mrs. So-and-so was pulling weeds.  I think I'll go help her."  He never seeks recognition either.

Dad is a commercial real estate agent so he can schedule his own hours.  He uses this to not his advantage, but others'.  Dad is always chauffeuring me around and getting me to where I need to be, be it a job interview, a meeting, or the grocery store.  If he's not driving me around, he's taking his alzheimer-ridden mother for a drive to spend some quality time with her and jog her memory.  My other Grandma and Grandpa rely on my dad to help them with their business affairs and know he'll never let them down.  My favorite story, though, is when my boyfriend moved halfway across the country to live with his dad, my daddy decided to fly him back to Utah for my sixteenth birthday so that he could take me on my first date, to the prom.  My mom and I found the perfect prom dress, but it was $600; way out of budget.  I chose another dress, but the next day when I got home, the dream dress was laying on my bed.  I later found that my dad had sold his gun safe and all of the guns inside; just so I could have my dress.

Speaking of fashion, my dad is always clean cut and looks fresh and as nice as can be.  He wears a dress shirt and tie every day and looks so handsome.  I was inspired by Justin Timberlake ;) and decided to make him a cake for Father's Day that represented that aspect.

Of course, I marked it "Priceless," just like my dad.  The tie was the most fun.  I used an edible marker and then painted the whole thing with luster dust after running a very slightly damp towel over it.  Enjoy!  And give your dads a hug.