French Silk Pie

I’ve been burning through projects lately but none of them having anything to do with my 3o Before 30 list. The baby prep has really started to take over and she wasn’t even on the 3o Before 30! Thanksgiving presented the perfect opportunity for me to complete #16 – Bake a Pie From Scratch.

I decided to wait until my family’s Thanksgiving which is celebrated the Saturday after. I haven’t subjected my in-laws to my random baking experiments yet. I am sure they would be more than willing, but I know I will get very honest feedback from my parents, brothers, and sibling-in-laws.

With that said, I set out to make a gluten-free pie from scratch yesterday and settled on a French Silk Pie. I have never been a huge pie person, mainly because I am not a fan of the crust or baked fruit, so I figured as long as the filling turned out it should taste decent, right?

I did my research, and by research I mean I pinned a few recipes for gluten-free pie crust and then Googled French Silk Pie in the grocery store on a whim to make sure I had all the necessary ingredients. Then I just went for it and here is how it turned out.

I followed this recipe and this recipe for the crust. I used the Namaste All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, a stick of butter, five tablespoons of ice water and a small spoonful of sugar.

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Butter, Flour, and Sugar

 

I mixed everything by hand which made quite the mess, but I don’t think it would work very well otherwise. Especially since you are using cold butter. Most of the recipes I checked out recommended that I refrigerate the crust for at least an hour and many did it overnight. I didn’t have the overnight option (hello, procrastinator) so I refrigerated for just over an hour. Most recipes also recommended you take it out for about 10-15 minutes before rolling.

 

 

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Roll Out!

The rolling out was a little difficult and required a little more effort since the dough wanted to fall apart. I rolled it out more than once and then re-balled with my hands to make it feel like a more consistent product. Eventually, I made it look semi normal.

 

 

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Not Very Professional

I sprayed my glass pie pan with coconut oil just to ensure the crust didn’t bake directly to the pan. I wasn’t sure if I should have but did anyway. I also didn’t have a pie weight or any other fancy pie baking tools many of the recipes called for. I just rolled the crust on a counter top full of gluten-free flour.

Once it was baking at 350 degrees I watched it closely. I first set my timer for 10 minutes and then an additional 10 minutes. Once it appeared to be done (it wasn’t very golden brown but when I poked with a tooth pick it seemed done) I took it out and let it cool. Then I started the pie filling.

Following a Taste of Home recipe things came together quite well. Heating up the eggs and sugar turned out to be a longer process than expected, especially since I became nervous that it actually reached the recommended 160 degrees. Luckily I do have some  food thermometers and was able to confirm that it did reach 160, but I also don’t know if it exceeded it and was overdone. It probably was, but I get nervous about foodborne illnesses. 😉

In the end, it actually looked like French Silk Pie filling. I had Justin test it and he said the filling tasted great!

Ready to Refrigerate
Ready to Refrigerate

 

I put it in the fridge until we were ready to go to my parents and then left it outside (yay for MN becoming an outdoor fridge/freezer) until we were ready to eat it. I topped with Cool Whip and shaved some frozen Dove Chocolates over the top before serving.

Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat

Everyone who consumed it said it tasted great. I totally agreed with them too. Even my picky little brother who is also gluten-free liked it! And I think I saw my husband having one of the few leftover pieces for breakfast this morning!

If you are interested in trying a pie from scratch for the first time I would highly recommend you start here. Most of the ingredients I already had and it really didn’t take that much time to make but be sure to plan a little ahead. It will help. 🙂

Did anyone else try some fun recipes for the first time for Thanksgiving?

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Surviving My Commute

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me over the past year I’ve probably complained about my commute to you. Sorry, that is probably annoying. In all seriousness though, with winter approaching, my commute is only going to get longer. I’ve been trying different things to try to make it more enjoyable, and no, getting up before the rest of the world to get to work at an insanely early time is not an option.

I realized one of my biggest complaints was losing 1.5 – 2 hours a day when I could really use that time towards something more productive. Plus, I found myself getting more frustrated and distracted while driving. Flash back to car accident this fall. That is when I decided to start listening to audiobooks. I have reserved my commute time for nonfiction, professional development, or some type of book or program I can learn from. And let me tell ya, it has been a game changer.

With that said, I’d like to share a few titles I have enjoyed since starting this new commuting activity.

1. #GIRLBOSS – Written by Sohpia Amoruso, founder and CEO of NastyGal, had a refreshing perspective about being an entrepreneur and basically kicking ass in business. She often swears, tells it how it is, and overall inspires you to try harder and just go for it.

2. Lean In – This has been my favorite so far, and I will probably listen to it again in the new year. What I love about this book, written by COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, is her support for women in top leadership positions throughout all areas of business. I’ve read different articles and blog posts that go against the idea of “leaning in” but with everything you have to do what works for you. For me, I really identified with her message especially as I prepare to be a working mother. If you are interested, check out her TED Talk as well.

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3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Oh my gosh, soooo good! I was supposed to read this for book club but never got around to it. To be honest, I think reading the book could have put me to sleep, but the audio version was perfect and I actually looked forward to my commute. Written by Rebecca Skloot, she tells an often forgotten story that has greatly influenced the world of medicine.

4. The Chalene Show – This is a Podcast by fitness celebrity and motivational speaker, Chalene Johnson. I’ve always been a fan of hers and a friend kept telling me I needed to check it out. I downloaded it awhile ago, but hadn’t listened too much since I had so many good books lined up. This past week I really dove in and got to listen to quite a few episodes. She focuses on fitness and nutrition, business, motivation, and pretty much everything else you can think of that you’d want to hear about!

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5. Required Texts for School – I have also found that some of the required books for grad school can be downloaded in audio version. Talk about a time saver!!! My most recent Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. I’ll be honest, when I first started to listen I was bored, but then all of a sudden it became applicable to everyday life as he explained his studies in behavioral economics. I look forward to seeing what else I can listen to for school.

If you have any suggestions for me please let me know. I have all the time in the world, literally, for about 1.5 – 2 hours per day.

Operation Don’t Ruin The Nursery

I’ve often heard that parents want their children to have the best, and many will do whatever it takes, within reason, to make sure that happens. There were many times this weekend I stopped and thought, “Hmm, that must come after the baby is born, because if I really wanted Baby B to have the best I would have hired someone to do this.” In all seriousness, this weekend was a major nursery weekend. Since Justin was out-of-town deer hunting I decided to enlist the help of my parents and gets some stuff done.

I had originally set a goal to have the spare bedroom, which was to become the nursery, all cleaned out by our 20 week ultrasound. I missed that goal by weeks, but had the motivation to finish it before we had our carpets cleaned last weekend. This is what it looked liked before.

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Catch-all Room

 

I seriously went through about 15 years worth of stuff and donated about 10 bags full of clothes from my late teens and early twenties. Whoa, I wore a ton of halter tops.

I’ve been scouring Pinterest to find ideas for our nursery and came across a project I wanted to attempt that required me painting something on a wall. I am not all that creative or artistic so I went in to this project with the wall paint re-shook just in case it turned out to be a disaster. My parents came over to assist with moving furniture, painting it and hanging up shelving. Selby also tried to help but wasn’t very effective.

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The Happy Helpers.

We decided to use my old bedroom set for the nursery furniture to not only save money, but I have had the set since I was a kid, and it was my Mom’s grandmothers so it has been around a long time and was still in fairly good condition. We sanded it, repainted it white and then I repainted the trim. When I was growing up the trim was pink. Since pink has always been a favorite color of mine, but I figure we will be gifted lots of it, I decided to accent Baby B’s room with purple.

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Before & After
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Before & After.

We painted a tall dresser, a desk and a nightstand. The trim was absolutely dreadful to do and will require some touching up. For now, don’t get too close or you will see I do not have a future in furniture painting. The desk will be turned into a changing table once we get all the needed accessories for it, but we should have plenty of storage for diapers, wipes, and all the other necessary baby changing items.

And now you are probably wondering how my Pinterest project turned out. Well, I have to be honest, I am super excited and happy with how it turned out. And if I am being really honest, I am pretty proud of myself!!! 🙂

Pinterest Photo...Not Mine.
Pinterest Photo…Not Mine.
My Finished Product!
My Finished Product!

The Pinterest one looks way more professional and more like a tree than mine does but that is ok. It is better Baby B learn now that her mother isn’t perfect. 😉 Overall, I’d still say I nailed it.

It has been a labor of love this weekend trying to get the nursery started and I am definitely feeling it today. Getting out of bed required a lot of limping as my lower back feels like it fused together. Oy! Where did my core strength go? So on that note, I am relaxing for the rest of the night with some laundry and plan to do some stretching before bed. This Mama is exhausted!

 

 

 

Favorite Things – Pregnancy Edition

Things have been busy since our 20 week ultrasound! I immediately felt like it was go time since we are over halfway until baby time! If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you already know that we are having a GIRL!

 

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From my previous post, you know Justin thought it was girl, while I was leaning towards boy. I had a name picked out and a nursery theme ready to go for a baby boy so that figures! Although we don’t have a name for our little girl yet or a definite nursery theme, there are some things I am for sure loving during my pregnancy so I thought I’d share. Drum roll please…

1. Green Tea Pomegranate – This baby is not 100% caffeine free. With that said, I’ve always been sensitive to caffeine so I typically have just one cup of this green tea in the morning (unless I am cashing in my once a week treat for a decaf latte). It helps get me going and clear the fog of baby brain, a little. I also think it tastes amazing and sometimes green teas taste like earth.

2. Coconut Oil – Did you know you could use this stuff for just about everything? There are many items on the market for belly balm, body lotion, stretch mark reducers and erasers, etc. This stuff works just as well, is natural and is not nearly as oily as it sounds. I am loving it! I won’t claim it reduces stretch marks either. I am pretty sure that all depends on your genetic makeup, not the type of expensive cream you might be lathering on, but it helps with the itchiness of dry and stretched skin.

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3. Leggings – I actually never wore leggings prior to pregnancy, but I am now obsessed. Maternity pants just don’t always fit right or want to stay up if your belly isn’t quite big enough yet. Leggings, however, seem to do the trick and are cute with a long tunic style shirt or sweater. Not to mention they are totally comfy. IMG_1897

4. Taking Walks – This is obviously an activity versus an item, but it is something that I have really tried to keep up with. Working out was not super appealing the first trimester due to exhaustion, and I think I am overly cautious about my movements now so I don’t accidentally overdo it. Walking has been a great way to get me exercise, get Selby out of the house, and an opportunity to catch up and connect with Justin. Hopefully the weather continues to be somewhat pleasant so we can stay outdoors as long as possible.

5. Cheese – Last, but certainly not least, I am loving cheese. Mini Babybels have been a preferred snack choice of mine, and I don’t see that ending any time soon. I try to limit the total quantity of cheese consumed within a day for various reasons, but I typically have my cheese snack by 9am. I even paired it with a decaf latte the other morning. Kind of strange, but how can two great things together be something bad? Hopefully my current love for cheese is helping Baby Bradshaw build some strong bones.

Do you have any favorites that you want to share that you have experienced or seen others love during pregnancy?