Monday, August 23, 2010

Ryan decided to go back to school. Today was his first day. I'm so proud of him because I know he's making a sacrifice to provide a better future for our family. I'm so excited. I'm nervous too. We will have to make some changes, some sacrifices, but it will be worth it. Is it weird that the thought of him going to school makes me even more attracted to him? Because it does.

*photo by Jenn King

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Evolution of my Apple Tree

I have lived in my current home for FIVE years and it was only this spring that I realized I have an apple tree in the back yard that grows edible apples. I always thought they looked too small and too green to be edible. Apparently, I only really look at them when they're not ripe yet. One day, my friend, Stephanie, came over and said, "You have an apple tree? I'm so jealous!" She walked over to the tree, picked an apple and took a big bite. "STOP!" I told her. "I don't think those apples are edible." She told me I was crazy and that they were delicious. I must be stupid, I think, not crazy. Who's ever heard of a poisonous-tiny-green-apple tree? I have been missing out all these years!




I love having a fruit tree. Free produce that's organic and delicious and (did I mention)FREE! It makes me want to plant a garden. It also makes me feel safer knowing that my family will have fresh fruit to eat when "the big earthquake" hits and we're living back in the dark ages, living off our emergency food storage. You never know...

Heather's Favorite Apple Pie Recipe

Dough Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tps fine salt
3 tbsp granulated white sugar
12 tbsp butter (cubed, cold/frozen)
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Dough Instructions:
Freeze butter. Place mixer bowl and paddle in freezer as well.
Mix flour, salt, and sugar until mixed then add butter a little at a time. Add water 1 tbsp at a time. Stop adding water as soon as the dough comes together (it will form small, pea sized balls). Do not add too much water or your dough will be slimy. When it comes together sotp working it, otherwise the dough will get over-worked and tough. Divide the dough in half and flatten it slightly to form a disk shape. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 min (while you make the filling). On a floured surface, roll each disk out into a 10 - 11 inch circle to make a 9 inch pie.

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
6 - 8 medium tart cooking apples, pared, cored and thinly sliced
3 tbsp butter, cubed

Filling Instructions:
Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; mix with apples. Divide pastry dough in half. Roll to 1/8 inch thickness and line 9 inch pie plate. Fill with apple mixture and dot with butter. Roll out remaining dough and place on top of pie. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 F for 50 min.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Au Revoir Paris

Leaving Paris was definitely bitter sweet. I could have stayed a lot longer, but by day 4 - 5 I started missing my sweet baby girl. If Wendy was with us, I could have happily stayed all summer. I probably would have HAD to stay all summer to get all the things we did in. Lugging a toddler around and sticking to nap and bedtime schedules to prevent a terrible-two-year-old-meltdown would have slowed us down a lot.

I was worried I might get the cold shoulder for leaving her for a week. She did just the opposite. She held me tight and let me smother her for a couple days. I felt like she grew up way too much while we were gone. She amazes me everyday with the things she says and how cute she is. I love this little girl so much.

* if you want your 2 yr old to be happy throughout an entire photoshoot, stash a sucker in your purse

Wendy's current quirks:
  • She has cutest lisp ("S" and sometimes "P" becomes "th")
  • She LOVES to sing all the time (any disney princess song, wizard of oz songs, happy birthday - which becomes "hattha birthday" with the lisp, little church songs, the horribly cheesy song one of her barbies sings when you press a button, every yo gabba song ever written, ABC's, twinkle twinkle little star, etc.)
  • Like her dad, she's really good with names. I don't know how they do it.
  • Speaking of names, she likes to call us by our other names when she's being silly. She knows daddy's other name is "Ryan," but she thinks my other name is "babe," because that's what Ryan calls me. This morning she was calling for me from her crib, "BAAAAAAAAAABE! I'm awaAAAAKE! BAAAAAAABE! Where ARE you?! Get me OUT babe!"