Thursday, December 24, 2009

Apple pie Williams-Sonoma style

I saw the cover of the Williams-Sonoma catalog this fall and it had an apple pie on it with the cut-outs of fall leaves embellishing the crust. I rarely, if almost never, buy something because of a photo I see on the cover of a catalog, but I was in love with the idea of making a pie crust that was actually beautiful.

So, I made Ina Garten's recipe (Barefoot Contessa) and it was delicious. And I had a ball making the fall leaves for the crust. What do you think of it?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Olive the Grand-dog

Cameron, my daughter Nicole's husband, outdid himself this Halloween. He found a Wonder Woman suit for our Grand-dog Olive. Need I say more? We laughed til our stomaches ached. Can she get any cuter?!! Olive is pictured here with her proud parents.

One of my favorite girls

John and I got to celebrate Vanessa's 28th birthday with her and her terrific hubby, Brent, in September. I made her Sinckerdoodle cupcakes (yes, they taste like the cookies!) and ate at Spiral Diner in Dallas. We have a tradition that we take a picture of our kids blowing out their birthday candles, so here you have it. Isn't she so beautiful? She looks like a Austrian beauty to me.

Pleasant Places

The last time John and I were at Pleasant Places was for Thanksgiving. And was I ever thankful for the riot of fall color that awaited us there due to the fall rains.

It took but a minute to cut the Mexican Salvia and a few branches of Crepe Myrtle. There are many kinds of Salvia, but this one blooms in the fall with long stalks and velvety purple flowers, all delicately lined up at attention to say "Look at us!". The turquoise pot sits on our dining room table with the table runner that John lovingly picked out for me when he was on a mission trip to Guatamala. Doesn't it look beautiful with the flowers?

Prickly Pears-Splendor of Autumn

The fall in the Texas Hill Country brings vivid visual treats....fall native flowers, elm trees that are golden with the snap of cooler weather, and unexpected fruits. One of my favorites is the prickly pear, which grows on the native cactus almost everywhere the eye can see.

As you can see, the "pears" have a rich, deep red/purple color, which contrasts with the cool green of the cactus pad. The pears sit atop the pads like proud megaphones, proclaiming God's glory via color, texture and flavor. One can make jam from them but I have not ventured that far, due to the prickly needles on the skins. It takes some doing to peel them, so I've chosen to simply feast on them with my eyes. I hope you will, too!