cooking · food · homemaking · nutrition

Pie for Dinner

I curled up on my bed with a blanket on Saturday afternoon and read the new Bon Appetit that came in the mail.  This issue featured some great savory pie recipes…great for winter comfort.  The pretty pictures inspired me to make a homemade chicken pot pie with the chicken breasts I thawed for dinner. Is there anything better than buttery flaky pie crust with creamy gravy and warm vegetables?  
I love working with a vinegar pie crust.  The dough is so forgiving and best when it has been refrigerated overnight.
Vinegar Crust 

2 1/2 cups unsifted flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vinegar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup ice water

Combine flour and salt in a food processor and mix for just a second or two.  Add butter and pulse until mixture is crumbly with a few of the butter chunks still visible.  In a small bowl combine water and vinegar.  Pour liquid into the crumbly mixture a little at a time and pulse until all ingredients are moistened.

Form into a large ball and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for two hours.  Overnight is better.  Divide ball and roll two large pie crusts on a floured surface.  Before baking brush the crust with an egg wash.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.       

*The vinegar makes the crust tender and easy to work with by not allowing the gluten to over develop.

books · family · homemaking · seasons

Homemaking Inspiration

I was able to steal away for a couple of hours on Monday after I dropped my older girls off at drama practice.  I went to my favorite book store and bought the second Madame Chic book with my birthday money.  It is a really soft and yummy read.  I love homemaking books…and cafe lattes.

Throughout my homemaking journey so far I have discovered a few inspirational resources that I return to over and over again.  I love my home…but I have not always loved it like I should. In those times of drudgery I turn to my library.  Today I thought I might share a few favorites with you.

The Spirit of Loveliness   Emilie Barnes.  Anything by Emilie Barnes is good when it comes to homemaking.  However, this book is my favorite.

Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman  Anne Ortland.  A classic, but written in a more formal style.

Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy  Sarah Ban Breathnach.  This book is wonderful for reviving the seasons and learning to love the everyday little things.  However, I do not ascribe to much of her religious philosophy in this book.  I read it for seasonal inspiration.

My Lady of Cleves  Margaret Campbell Barnes.  I love the womanliness of Anne in this book.  She is the fourth wife of Henry VIII.  If you enjoy Tudor drama…you will love this book.  This historical fiction is well written and always seems to draw me in.  The myth of beauty is debunked in the portrayal of the woman Henry VIII called a Flanders Mare.  Anne’s beauty is what I consider true beauty, and too bad for King Henry that he did not appreciate it. She would have been a wonderful wife and queen.

 The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and “Woman’s Work”    Kathleen Norris.  This is a very introspective and spiritual look at a woman’s vocation.