Sally’s Baking Addiction November Challenge, Decorative Pie Crust

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This month Sally challenged us to make pretty pies. This is not my forte! This is only the second pie I have ever made, and for it to be pretty? Well, I did give it my best shot.

Sally’s challenge was to bake any pie we chose and she provided many beautiful designs to inspire us to be creative with the lattice topper.

My first pie was also a Sally challenge, from back in July, and we really liked the cherry pie recipe from her website, but cherries are no longer in season. So I chose her cranberry almond apple pie to bake for our family Thanksgiving dinner.

The first order of business was to make the crust and allow it, at least two hours, to firm up in the refrigerator. Sally’s pie crust recipe is easy to follow and does produce tender, flaky layers.

After a couple hours I rolled out the bottom dough and placed it into a 9 inch baking dish.

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The almond portion of the pie is from almond paste. Sally recommends Odense and it is rolled out and fitted into the bottom of the pie.

This went back into the refrigerator while I mixed up the filling.

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Now came the tricky part for me-how to decorate the top of the pie? I decided that I wanted to make a braided edge so I cut strips 1/4 inch thick and made three stranded braids. Not that easy it turns out, when there are small bits of butter running throughout the dough! But I eventually got it done and laid them over the circumference of the dish.

With the extra dough, I cut wider strips, and used cookie cutters to stamp out turkey and heart shapes.

The pie went into the oven until it was golden brown and the filling was bubbling.

 

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This was probably my least successful challenge to date. It was tasty, although I feel it should have baked longer, and we did enjoy it. However, I need more practice with pie dough!

What a great reason to keep practicing 🙂 Can’t wait to see what Sally has in store for us in December!

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7 Days, 7 Photos Challenge, Day 5

“Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day”.

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Today I would like to tag Arbie to take up the challenge!

7 Days, 7 Photos Challenge, Day 4

“Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day”.

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Today I would like to tag Abbeycoseattle to take up the challenge!

7 Days, 7 Photos Challenge, Day 3

“Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day”.

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Today I would like to tag SunnydaysinSeattle to take up the challenge!

7 Days, 7 Photos Challenge, day 2

“Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day”. 

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Today I would like to invite Foodzesty to participate in this challenge!

7 Days, 7 Photos Challenge

“Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day”. 

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I would like to challenge Plants and Beyond to take up the challenge!

Critters of Kauai

This is a Roda inspired post, to be sure! I was trying to keep up with her, but who can? She is so disciplined and takes such great shots of everything! We have been in Kauai for 5 days and here are a few of the local “cuties” we have come across.

Anyone who has been to one of the Hawaiian Islands knows about the chickens! They are everywhere. Parking lots, the sides of the road, squashed in the road….you get the idea. This was one the scenes at the rental car lot near the airport. There were actually around 30 chickens roaming around.

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And then we ran into them again at the parking lot near one of our hikes. They come in packs begging for food. Of course we didn’t have anything that we thought they would want to eat but my husband threw down a small piece of banana just to see what would happen. They were all over it!

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There are baby chicks everywhere as well since there are plenty of roosters to make sure the hens are occupied!

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We stayed at the Sheraton Resort which, like most Hawaiian resorts, has plenty of ponds filled with fish. Some of these get quite large and attract cranes. This is a shot from our balcony which was on the fourth floor, so it is a bit blurry, sorry!

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Here is the crane from a closer distance.

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Tourists can’t help but feed the fish and this very smart crane stakes out the area. While the fish are in a feeding frenzy, and not paying attention, it swoops in and has a sushi lunch!

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Other honorable mentions that are ubiquitous in the Islands are… the cute lizards all over the property.

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And, the small birds hoping around when anyone is eating in the area. This little fellow is  waiting for my hubby to drop his raspberry scone.

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We did see dolphins on our sunset dinner cruise but I never got a clean photo of one of those, too fast for me!

That’s all the fauna we saw, of course there was significantly more on the flora count, and I hope to incorporate those shots in future posts. Aloha for now!

One Lovely Blog Award!

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The lovely and talented Sophie from “Foodzesty” kindly nominated me for this award. This is the first time I have been nominated for this one, so thank you Sophie! If you have not made it to her blog yet then you are in for a treat! Sophie is a wonderful cook and has shared a number of delicious recipes-go now and plan your dinner!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

  1. Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them and link their blog in their post.
  2. They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image.
  3. Must add 7 facts about themselves.
  4. Nominate 15 people to do the award

 

Hmmm, 7 facts about me…

  1. I am the mother of two young adults, and am very proud of them!

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2. You can see from this picture that we like to rock climb as a family

3. I turned 50 last February and got a tattoo to mark the occasion. This is my one and only!

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4 & 5. My husband and I like to run half marathons and travel as much as possible.

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6. I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology and taught at the college level for 25+ years.

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my daughter and I at my graduation from USC

7. A few years ago, I went to culinary school because I enjoy baking and cooking and needed to get better at both!

 

Now for my nominees! Please do not feel pressure to respond to this award, my intention is to recognize how much I appreciate your blog and your talents!

Recipes by chefkreso

The Austrian Dish

ONCE UPON A HOT FLASH

juliecares

Marcia Strykowski

Arbie Krae

Simply Seppos

Everyone Else has the best titles

Rhapsody Boheme

Growing self blog

Food to glow

abbeyco

indianeskitchen

wakinguponthewrongsideof50

thisismytruthnow

 

Thank you all for your friendship, advice and your positivity 🙂

 

Half Marathon Training, September Update

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It’s October! We are running the TMC Get Moving Tucson Half Marathon in about 4 Weeks! We chose this run because we just bought a second home in Tucson and thought it made sense to run in our new community, and it would be a new challenge to run in the desert environment. It does make sense, but we really underestimated how much of a challenge it would be to run in the heat, at elevation (Tucson in 2200 ft) and the hills! Oh my, the hills! But I am getting ahead of myself, let’s take the month in order!

This was the plan for September.

September 2017
Monday Tuesday Wed Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 2 3
Run 8
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Run 5 Run 4 Run 9
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Run 5 Run 4 Run 9 10k fun run
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Run 6 Run5 Run10
25 26 27 28 29 30
Run 6 Run5 Run10

The first part of September went as scheduled, we ran our 8, 5, 4 and 9 miles here in Washington and they went quite well.

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The weather was mild and the temperatures were perfect in Seattle.

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After this 9 mile run we flew to Tucson to start setting up the house and train in the new environment. What a culture shock! 98F, hills, less oxygen at elevation and this:

 

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Running was hard. We had to start right at sunrise to avoid the high temps, which was gorgeous, and still 70F!

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We signed up for a local 10K to get a feel for what it would be like to run a race in Tucson. Bottom line: It was tough! 80F at the 7am start, and 400 feet of elevation gain! I was happy just to survive! Here is my Instagram post that day.

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I ran another 6 and 5 miles and my hubby did what he could, as he was working remotely during the whole trip in Tucson, and then we flew back to Washington for the 10 mile runs on 9/23 and 9/30. This gave me a total of 89.33 miles for the month.

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Now we are heading into the home stretch and our schedule for October.

October 2017

 

Monday Tuesday Wed Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Run 4 Run 5 Run 11
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Run 5 Run 4 Run 12
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Run5 Run4 Run6
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Run 4-5 Run 4-5 Carb load 13.1
30 31

The tricky part here will be running while we are in Kauai from 10/6 to 10/11. We are not sure how many times or how far we will be able to run while away, but we will try to be ready for the half marathon on the 29th. Again, the goal will be to survive! No PR or crazy goals with this one!

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Roda’s “Critter Connection” Challenge, Day 12

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I know, I know.. I missed day 11! How did that happen you ask? Well, my husband came home last night (Friday night) and said “let’s go out”! My response: “YES”! I thought I would be fine to come home and do my post, but no! I came home and pretty much passed out. If you saw my Instagram last night then you know how amazing the drinks and dinner looked, did I mention the drinks!

But don’t worry, I was punished this morning as we had a 10 mile training run and I felt awful during the last 3 miles! Honestly, what was I thinking? I am not 25, not by a long shot! I should have stayed home last night, ate a sensible dinner and posted my little critter!

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So cute!

Head over to my Instagram to see how I really felt about this run!