Tuesday, November 11, 2014

If I only Had Time...

There are many things I'd love to learn to do.  Sky dive, scuba dive,  drive a race car.  But those are pipe dreams.  There are a few more that are a bit more realistic. 

I've always wanted to learn how to throw a clay pot.  Martina of Pottery Heaven on Etsy has this skill down to a science.  She make wonderful mugs, unity sets, and pendants, using her skill as a potter.  I have worked with clay only once and that was in high school.  I had a large bowl using the coil method but throwing a pot on a wheel is a dream I have.  Unfortunately, I don't have the time to learn, right now so I can only admire those who have the time and skill to do this wonderful work.

This Pillar Candle Holder is an example of her work.

Another thing I'd love to try is using alcohol inks to paint on polymer clay.  Valerie from Valeris's Stuff on Etsy does some beautiful work using this technique.  I work with polymer clay but have never tried this technique.  Her pieces are gorgeous and I'm going to have to try this out for myself, but for now I will just have to admire her wonderful pieces.

I particularly like this piece called A Stand of Trees Pendant .  I can definitely see the trees in the swirl of color.
Some day I will get around to doing all the things I'd love to learn but for now I will just admire the work of those who have mastered them and enjoy their beautiful work.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Apple Crosata: The Lazy Woman's or Man's Apple Pie

Christmas and Thanksgiving are time for holiday dinners and parties.  Nothing is more satisfying than sharing a meal with those who are near and dear to your heart, be they family or friends.  I married into a big Italian family whose idea of a small get together consists of enough food to feed a small nation.  Though she's gone now, my mother-in-law was a wonderful cook and always did the Feast  of the 7 Fishes, an  Italian Christmas Eve tradition.  Although when I asked what I could bring, she always said, just yourself and your appetite, I felt awkward if I didn't arrive with something.  I came upon this recipe for an Apple Crosata which I would make and bring to her every Christmas Eve.  It tastes wonderful and is surprisingly easy.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we always have.

Apple Crosata

Crust1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
10 T chilled butter cubed
3 T ice water

For crust:
In food processor, mix flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Add chilled butter.  Pulse until the mixture resembles course cornmeal.  Add 3 T water all at once, pulsing and blending until moist clumps form, adding more water is dough is dry.  Gather dough into a ball, flatten into a disk shape and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Chill dough for at least one hour or overnight.

For filling:
Approximately 5 medium apples, peeled and cored, 3T sugar, cinnamon, 2 tsp lemon juice, 2T butter, 

Filling:  Peel, core and slice approximately 5 medium sized apples.  (Pick your favorite.  I use whatever type is on sale.)  In a large bowl combine apples, 3T sugar, cinnamon to taste, 2 tsp lemon juice and gently toss to coat.
Roll out dough between two pieces of 18" parchment paper to a 14" round circle.  Arrange 3/4 of the apples in the center of the dough, mounding slightly.  Leave a border of at least 4" of dough around the mound of apples.  Overlap the remaining apple slice in a concentric circle atop the mounded apples.   Sprinkle 1 T of sugar over apples and dot with the 2 T of butter, thinly sliced.   Fold plain edge of crust over the apples, leaving the apples exposed in the center.  Gently fold and pinch the dough edge to seal any cracks.   Brush crust with 2T milk and sprinkle remaining 1T sugar over  the crust.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Bake until crust is golden brown.  About 40 minutes.

If you find any errors in context, please let me know.