Monday, July 23, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Greetings from Alaska! 
Welcome to another edition of 
Inspiration Cafe!

It's me again, Mary, from Sweet Little Bluebird...

 I'm in Anchorage visiting my sister's family. 
She is busy wife and mom to five very active, hungry boys!

My sister's favorite place to be is the kitchen.   
She is easily the best baker and cook I know!
Whenever you visit, you NEVER go hungry.
Her home runs like a Bed & Breakfast! 

While I'm here visiting, I thought I'd take advantage and 
share something she whipped up in the kitchen.

Today I'm featuring her famous 
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie! 

Before I get to the recipe, 
I wanted to share my sister's kitchen remodel done last year...
(They did not DIY)



This is such a fun kitchen to cook in!

Okay, back to the Pie...

My sister has rhubarb in her garden she picked to make the pie.  
I don't know much about rhubarb, 
but I have never seen rhubarb this HUGE in my life! 

As you can see from the photos above, things grow BIG in Alaska!
There was so much rhubarb, my sister made two pies with tons to spare!

On with the recipe...for ONE pie.

You'll want to start with the crust first.

9 Inch Pie Crust (two crust pie recipe)
Ingredients (Our grandma's recipe, perfect crust every time!)
2 C Flour
1 tsp Salt
2/3 C Shortening
6 tbsp of Ice water (very important)

Mix flour, salt and shortening with two knives, cutting into the dough until it resembles small peas/crumbs.  Add the ice water and mix gently until dough is formed.  Divide into two equal balls.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.  Roll out crusts on floured surface. 

(Once your crust is ready, set aside and start to make your pie filling)

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie 
(Adapted recipe from Joy of Cooking - 1997 edition)
2 1/2 C Strawberries, sliced
2 1/2 C Rhubarb, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 C Sugar, plus extra tsp. to decorate crust
Zest of one orange
1/4 C Quick-cooking tapioca
Dash of Salt
1 - 2 tbsp Butter (use real butter)

*For Rhubarb Pie, replace the strawberries with 2 1/2 cups of rhubarb.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

Mix the first six ingredients in bowl.  Set aside for 15 minutes. Line the pie plate with the bottom crust and fill with the rhubarb mixture.  Slice the butter and dot the pie mixture (see picture below).  Cover with top crust, fold and pinch seams together.  Brush crust lightly with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar. Cut at least four slits into top of pie to vent while baking.    

Bake at 425F for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F for an additional 30-35 minutes.  Be sure to place a cookie sheet or foil on the rack beneath the pie, the juices will likely bubble over!

Remove and cool. This pie is best served warm with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream!

This was my youngest's first time ever having rhubarb... 
She loved it so much, she had second slice!

Thanks for much for stopping by Inspiration Cafe!

Be sure to stop by next Monday!



Monday, July 16, 2012

Ocean Shell Ring

Hello Everyone and welcome to round 2 of Inspiration Cafe, we hope you have been enjoying the series as much as we have.

So...grab your cup and settle in for an easy ring tutorial..

It is super easy to make, really! Don't let all the photo's daunt you. 

You will need: a few beads of your choice , 18-20 gauge jewelry wire, 2 crimps, long nose pliers, and something to use as a measure for your finger size (ideally you would use a ring mandrel, but the lid of my nail polish bottle worked perfectly)

I have taken a picture of every step so if you follow those without even reading my instructions - you will be fine... Lets start..

Using the wire, measure your finger, gently place around the mandrel/bottle lid and wind around a few times. Remember to keep the wire tightly packed together and it should stay in shape while you are handling it

Cut the wire from the roll and work with the coils you have made. Thread a crimp on first then your beads, then another crimp.

I found it easier to keep placing my ring onto the lid to keep the coils together and to keep reshaping as I worked. When you are happy with the location of the beads, then its time to neaten the ends by folding them at the bottom, as pictured. Use the pliers to keep the wire neat and tight. Make sure you have no sharp ends sticking out.

Once the ends have been neatened off, then tighten the crimps on either side of the beads.
To add strength to the ring and to help keep its shape - I added extra wire to the sides (optional) just by winding a piece around andending off as I did before. Give the outer coils a little pull so they frame the beads and voila!!

Now its time to show off your new ring, wear it and take photo's of it...

Easy right? Sooooo easy!!!

We thought it would be fun to match the ring with the Beach Inspired Bracelet from round one. Worked perfectly don't you think?

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Remember to let us know if you make any of our creations, we would love to see them.

Don't forget to like us on Facebook so you can get more updates as we create, and visit again next week to see what Mary from Sweet Little Bluebird has in store for us.

Have a great Monday and take care



Friday, July 13, 2012

Round One Wrap Up

Hey Everyone,

I know it's Friday and we post the Inspiration Cafe on Mondays, but we've each posted for round one and before we begin round two, we wanted to thank you for coming and make sure you didn't miss any of the fun!  We hope you're enjoying the Cafe and we certainly hope you are inspired by something you find here.  

We're also interested in a little feedback, so if there is anything that particularly inspired you, or if there is something you'd like to see more of (or less of) or maybe even added to the Cafe, please let us know by leaving a comment. We're tough, we can take it....good or bad!  We really do want this to be something you can benefit from!

Here's a wrap up just in case you missed anything:

from Natalie at Northshore Days

from Mary at Sweet Little Bluebird

from Heather at The Beating Hearth

from Danni at Silo Hill Farm

Round Two of the Cafe begins next Monday and we're excited, so come back then, order something tall and cool.....relax and stay awhile!  Remember, we're open late!

 Have a happy Friday 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beautiful Wall Hanging

I'm Danni from Silo Hill Farm and this is my first post for the Inspiration Cafe!  I'm excited and a little nervous, because the ladies who posted prior to me have set the bar so high!  

I really do live on a farm.  We grow corn and pumpkins.  Lots of pumpkins!  Every fall we open our farm to the public for a Fall Festival, complete with Corn Mazes, Pick Your Own Pumpkins, Horse-drawn Hayrides and tons of activities for kids.  

But when I'm not busy farming, I'm a crafter and that's what I'm here to do today!
This Wall Banner is a really quick and inexpensive project that can be made in under an hour and can be easily adjusted to suit any decor style. (This just happens to be mine...for this room.)

One of the biggest problems I have with being a crafter is I tend to save things I don't really use anymore because I think I can make something out of them.  This project is just such an example.  I found a single placemat underneath my towels in my linen closet.  I hadn't used these placemats in years, and I didn't save the whole set...just this one.  (I guess I can show some restraint, since I didn't save them all!)  Although I don't remember even saving it, as soon as I "found" it, I knew what I wanted to do with it.  
Here's the story morning glory:
I grabbed some craft paint, some buttons, a small dowel rod, a foam stamp and a make-up wedge/sponge/thing, which is great for putting craft paint on a foam stamp.  I have no idea how it is for putting makeup on.

I laid everything out on the placemat the way I thought I might like it to look and then I stamped the center. 

I sewed the buttons on the sides.  (You could glue them on, but every now and then I think I should sew a little something so I don't lose that barely acquired skill.)

For the dowel rod in the back, I took the easy route, as I so often do. 

I just made 3 pairs of slits in just one layer of the fabric on the back side and slid the tiny dowel rod through.  Then I tied a ribbon on to both ends of it.
 Now you could skip the whole dowel rod thing and just sew or glue the ribbon on.  I just had it in my head that the mini dowel rod would help it lay flat and straight.  By the way, that mini dowel rod came from Hobby Lobby a long time ago, and isn't much bigger than one of those little bamboo skewers, which would also work.

 There ya go!  A cute little piece of wall art made out of something that might have been thrown away.......and still can be, when I'm tired of it.  (But, I'll take the buttons off first, in case I want to use them for something else, some other day.)
If you enjoyed this post, it's simplicity, renewability, and it's versatility, please check out some of my other posts on my blog, because most of them fall into these categories.
Thanks for coming to the Inspiration Cafe today!
Don't forget to come back next Monday and see who's bringing their fabulous talent to the Cafe next!