Baking: Four Berry Pie

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(Backstory: Peach pie is my favorite. I’m an exceptional peach pie baker (if I do say so myself), and an even better peach pie eater.)

SO, the other day I was at the farmer’s market lamenting the lack of peaches, when I saw some really lovely crates of berries. I bought them, found a recipe, whipped up this Four Berry Pie, and EVERYTHING CHANGED. Peach pie shmeach pie. I’m in love. 4Berry 4Ever.

Notes: The crust is an all-butter crust, meaning it uses no vegetable shortening. I used a recipe from Gesine Bullock-Prado’s book Pie it Forward.

Filling Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
1/3 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup halved fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
 

Crust Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, cold
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes
1/2 cup ice water (don’t add the ice to the pie dough, just the water)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
 

Crust Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, salt, sugar, and butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ice water and the lemon juice. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture, pulsing, until the dough just comes together. Squeeze a small piece of dough between your thumb and index finger to make sure it holds its shape.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Gently turn over each piece of dough a few times so that any dry bits are incorporated. Form each piece into a loose disk, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

While the dough is chilling in the refrigerator, get started on your filling.

Filling Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon if desired, salt and water until smooth; add the blueberries. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside to cool slightly.

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2. Gently fold the strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and lemon juice into the blueberry mixture.

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3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

4. Take your dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out onto a floured surface. Line the pie pan with the first half of the rolled dough, and blind bake for 15 minutes (*blind baking is optional). If not blind-baking, flour the dough lightly, and then pour the berry mixture into the crust-lined pan.

5. Cover your pie with your top crust, and vent the crust however you prefer (classic vents, lattice crust, etc.). Using a pastry brush, brush an egg wash over the top crust (1 egg whisked with 2 tablespoons of water).

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and back for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

And that’s all she wrote, folks! A truly fantastic Four Berry Pie!

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Spotlight: Berta Salinas

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Before I came across Berta Salinas’ work, I would’ve described embroidery as “kitschy” or “retirement home-y.” Clearly, I was wrong! I mean, the subject of the series of embroideries above is cannibalism. Cannibalism. She’s superseded kitsch, and I love it.

Also, Berta Salinas is a badass artist from Madrid. You can see more of her work here. She sells her embroideries here.

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Spotlight: Eric Marinovich + DoNotOpen.IT

x01.jpg.pagespeed.ic.MVL7vh90-d x01.jpg.pagespeed.ic.5xEXsF4zir x01.jpg.pagespeed.ic.bVweMsDNHv x01.jpg.pagespeed.ic.DcWb3sC_FK x01.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ZGYHf_7vdVEric Marinovich, a San Francisco-based typographer, is the bee’s knees when it comes to lettering. Recently, Marinovich started DoNotOpen.IT. For $175, Marinovich will make you your very own hand-lettered mailing envelope with your name and address and send it to you (in an outer envelope, so that the piece remains clean).

I mean really, the medium, the craft, the price?! Worth every penny. Sign me up.

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Spotlight: Oliver Jeffers

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Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 5.41.58 PMOliver Jeffers, a Brooklyn-based artist, made these paintings (the series is called: “Dictators and Hair”). I think he had a fun time painting them, you know? And subsequently I’m having a fun time viewing them! Win/win.

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Think About It: Fresh Ink

InkI love subtle tattoos. The ones that you don’t notice at first glance. They’re private, and a little bit surprising.

When Benjy and I got married a couple of months ago, we decided to get matching tattoos similar to the lines in the bottom image above. The first ring we’ll get for one another, to signify our marriage. For each of our children we’ll add another band, like the rings of a tree.

Do you have any tattoos? Any tattoos you’d like to get? Share your stories in the comments section!

 
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Baking: Strawberry Raspberry Hand Pies

As you all know, I’m a bit of a pie fanatic. I love the baking just as much as the eating, and am always on the hunt for new and exciting recipes. So, when my best friend/Maid of Honor/all-around cool chick Darcy gave me Gesine Bullock-Prado’s pie cookbook Pie it Forward as a wedding gift, I began cooking (and eating) my way through. These Strawberry Raspberry Hand Pies are my favorite so far, and I couldn’t help but share the recipe with all of you.

Ingredients:
Filling:
  • 1/2 pint Fresh Strawberries
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
  • A Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1 cup Fresh Raspberries (halved)
  • Egg Wash (1 egg whisked with 2 tablespoons of water)
  • Sanding/Turbinado Sugar, for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
Crust:
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour (cold)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Shortening (frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (cut into small pieces and chilled)
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

Filling:

  1. Hull the strawberries. Cut them into small pieces, a bit larger than corn kernels. Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and rosemary in a mixing bowl and stir until the strawberries are evenly coated with sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for a few minutes until the sugar melts and the strawberry juices run freely.
  2. Drain the strawberry juice into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, then stir in the cornstarch until the mixture becomes a smooth slurry without lumps.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the strawberries, the cornstarch slurry, and the salt. Stir over medium heat until the mixture bubbles and thickens, 5-10 minutes. Allow the filling to cool completely in the refrigerator (about 20 minutes).
  4. Stir the raspberries into the strawberry mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Dough:

  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add the shortening and butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
  3. Whisk together the milk and condensed milk.
  4. With the processor running, slowly add the milk mixture and continue to pulse until the dough just comes together.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to turn the dough over a few times, until it no longer has dry bits of flour visible and is smooth. It’s important that the dough be rather smooth; otherwise, when you roll it out for your crust, the dough will crack.
  6. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before using.

  1. Divide the dough evenly into 12 pieces, and roll out using a cold rolling pin. Using a round cookie cutter, cut each piece into a 4-inch round and place the rounds on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  2. With a pastry brush, brush egg wash around the outer edge of the dough rounds. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling onto the middle of each round. Fold the dough over, creating a half moon, and seal the pastries by pressing gently along the edge of each with the tines of a fork. Brush the outsides of the pastries with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding/turbinado sugar (*note: I used Sugar in the Raw and it worked nicely).
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the hand pies to cool completely.
  4. Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and milk. With a clean pastry brush, brush each hand pie evenly with the glaze.

And voila! Perfect little hand pies for any occasion.

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Lessons Learned from My Wedding

On our wedding day, our wedding planner (the goddess Paige of Bash, Please) told a very anxious about-to-walk-down-the-aisle me to “just do what feels natural.” She told me to go with the flow, to be myself, and most importantly, to relax. So when my heels started sinking into the grass, I ditched my shoes. And by “ditched my shoes” I mean I literally took them off just before I was going to say my vows. In front of everyone. Because it felt like the right thing to do. I knew that if I didn’t take them off I’d be focused on my shoes and not on my vows. And you know what? It was totally fine. It got a few chuckles from the front row, and I read my vows with sincerity and focus.

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Focus on the big things first. When we got engaged, we dove right into the planning process. As much as I wanted to focus on the details (like the papergoods, decor, etc.) I knew I’d be better off going from macro first to micro later. Almost immediately we booked our wedding planners (Bash, Please), our venue (The Ojai Valley Inn), and bought the dress (from Monique Lhullier). Once the big things were done, I was able to focus on the smaller things, and even more importantly, I was able to envision how each detail would fit into the larger picture.

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Our wedding party was a collection of our oldest, nearest, and dearest friends. I chose my bridesmaids based on who I thought would be in my life forever. I took it very seriously, and felt honored and blessed to have such wonderful people standing up there with us as we said our vows.

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Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things will go wrong. I took off my shoes, my bustle ripped on the dance floor, the band mixed up the mother/son & father/daughter dance songs. But those moments add character. The mix-ups remind us that this is real life, this is happening. Don’t sweat it, because at a wedding full of love and happiness, nobody really notices the bumpy bits anyway.

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Party like it’s 1999. My wedding was, without a doubt, the most fun night of my entire life. I felt so loved, so honored, so full-to-the-brim. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Photography: Paige Jones Dress: Monique Lhullier Venue: Ojai Valley Inn Wedding Planning: Bash, Please Florals: Twig + Twine Papergoods: Page Stationery

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Travel: Staying Healthy

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I don’t know about you, but for me the holidays mean a lot of plane travel. Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about how to avoid sickness, skin irritation, and overall travel fatigue.

Step One: Supplements

About a week before a flight I power down on what I like to call my “potion”. I take Zinc and Echinacea a couple of times a day with a large glass of water. In addition to the supplements, I drink as much tea as possible. I’m a pretty standard Earl Grey/English Breakfast kind of girl, but sometimes I switch it up for something lovely and floral. No matter the type of tea, I always add a generous dollop of honey (which is not only sweet, but also a highly beneficial antioxidant).

Step Two: Beauty

I maintain a very consistent beauty routine (the oil cleansing method, which I wrote about here). But in the days leading up to a flight I take it up a notch. Before bed (and with a clean, makeup-free face) I’ll apply the Origins Active Charcoal Mask. The charcoal in the mask lifts all of the impurities out of your skin (really, you’ll feel it tingling, it’s fantastic), and leaves your skin feeling deeply cleaned. After rinsing off the mask, I generously apply Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream before getting into bed. On the day of the flight, I wear a generous layer of face lotion and minimal makeup. Throughout the flight I’ll spritz my face with C.O. Bigelow’s Vitamin Boost Toner as often as possible. You can spray it on right over your makeup, and it’ll leave your skin feeling refreshed. Wash your face as soon as you’ve arrived at your destination, reapply lotion, and you’ll be good to go!

Do you have any surefire travel wellness techniques? I’d love to hear about them!

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Beauty: Getting the Snips

I don’t know about you, but occasionally I need to switch it up. I’ve had long hair forever, and honestly, sometimes it drives me nuts. It’s just all up in my grill, you know? So, yesterday I cut it off. A solid 10 inches to be exact.

I went from this:

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To this:

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I’m a whole new woman!

Have you ever cut all of your hair off? I want to hear about it! (The good, the bad, and the ugly, all stories are welcome!)

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Spotlight: What My Daughter Wore

 

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Brooklyn artist Jennifer Williams documents the daily outfit choices of her daughters and their friends for her blog What My Daughter Wore.

Let’s get real here: Williams is one hell of an illustrator, and her kids are too cool for school. I mean, a Madonna tee with a fur coat on top? Ray Ban specs and a floral crown? Get outta town! Let’s all be friends.

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