Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tiny Pies

So...I love tiny things.  For some reason, they just make me smile.  Tiny jars, tiny sandwiches, tiny ice cream treats, tiny shoes, tiny anything really!  So when I was making pie the other day, I thought "why not make tiny pies too"! I love pie, but don't always want a whole one.  Sometimes I do, but not always.  So this is what I came up with.

Berkeley helped me make some easy pie dough, and we mixed up some fillings.  I didn't have a lot of one kind of fruit, so we did three different kinds.  We mixed the dry ingredients for the filling, and separated it into three bowls.  Then we added the fruits- blueberries, peaches, and apples.

I made small dough balls and flattened them out to about 5" circles.  Then I just put a spoonful of filling in the middle and added another circle of dough on the top.  You pinch the edges together, and kind of squish them in to make the circle a little smaller and puff up the top a little.  Cut slits in the top, or vent by cutting the top layer with a small cookie cutter.  On some of them, I brushed the top with a beaten egg to make them golden and shiny.  I sprinkled all of them with some sugar crystals before baking them.

I had some dough and filling left, but didn't want to wait for the pans to be empty, so I did some in my muffin tins too.  They were some of my favorites.  They are just so tiny and cute!  Those ones didn't need a top piece of crust, just make the circle a little bigger and then fold it over the filling.

I gave some away and froze some too so I wouldn't eat them all.  It's been hard to resist such tiny, cute little things that taste so good, but I am trying.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Adirondacks Picture Overload

We went to the Adirondack area of New York last week.  I had never been there, or even heard much about it before we were planning our trip.  What an amazing place!  It is a beautiful part of the country that has been kept mostly wilderness.  There are lakes everywhere surrounded by mountains and shear awesomeness.

The first day we were there, we rode the gondolas up to the top of Gore Mountain and went hiking.  On our way there, we saw this place called The Barking Spider, and I had to take a picture for my Dad.  It made me laugh.

Our hike on the mountain was a lot of fun.  The kids ran around the whole time.

There was a rock maze that they each did quite a few times.  Tanner tried, but just wanted to climb over the rocks.

We had a picnic on the top of the mountain on a chair lift they turned into a park bench.

Tanner enjoyed being able to roam around and explore.

Every now and then, he would stop to just enjoy the view (for about two seconds).

The other kids found boulders, bushes and puddles and declared their own lands.  They played in Stephenland most of the time.  Mostly because he claim almost the whole mountain to be his.

We hiked across the ski trails and the forest areas in between them.  Looking at the kids, you might forget and think it was winter in Arizona because this is what they would probably be wearing there, but it isn't.  Just a nice Lake George summer.

Here they are at the entrance to Stephenland.

And the Lord of Stephenland surveying his vast expanse.

Tanner made sure all the flowers were thoroughly inspected, and picked enough to keep the population under control.

Then we enjoyed some cold treats at the lodge back at the bottom.

This picture is for their cousin Hudson.  They thought it was pretty funny there was a Hudson River- you know like our cousin baby Hudson!

The place we stayed was a condo on Tripp Lake.  The subdivision has a private beach with boats, sand toys, and of course a life guard.  All the beaches in New York have life guards and are only open during certain hours.  I'm surprised the kids were allowed to have toys in the water- most places here you can't.

Most of our days there were spent playing in the sand and making new friends.

The boys found two brothers just their ages and had a great time setting traps for the Lake George Monster and planning their attack for it.

Blake did A LOT of paddling that week.

Tanner had a blast running, stomping, and splashing at the beach.

Stephen's favorite thing was the double kayak.  This picture is just him in the single with Blake.  I must not have gotten any of them in the double.

Brady loved playing frisbee.  He wanted to do it every day we were there.

Tanner thought it was pretty fun too!

Berkeley was a bit of a water baby most of the time.

There was a playground right on the beach, so that was really nice.  The kids were able to have a fun thing to do when it was too cold to be swimming, and Tanner loves swings.

Stephen and Brady made their own "canoes" out of boogie board and pool noodles.  They paddled them around the swimming area over and over.

Tanner walked up and down the lounge chairs for a long time.

He would rest a bit, then start over.

He absolutely loved being outside so much!

He did not, however, love it when I left him to go on the boats with the other kids.

Berkeley really wanted a picture of her and her water lily she picked on our kayak ride.

Eventually, Tanner wore himself out and couldn't play any more, so we went home.  Well, we were leaving anyway.  

We had such a great time! Everything was so fun and low key.  I think it might be one of my favorite vacations we have gone on since we had kids.  We liked it so much that we might stick around New York after graduation for a month or so next summer so we can go again!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fun Summer...So Far

It's finally starting to feel like summer here in Buffalo, which means we only have a few weeks left to enjoy it.  So far it has been a pretty fun one.  We went camping at Darien Lake State Park with some friends and had a great time!

We had a campfire and roasted marshmallows to make s'mores, and they were delicious.  There was a little path by our campsite that went down to a stream.  The kids all had fun splashing and wading, and of course, eventually they all fell -one by one- into the water.  By the end, they were all soaked, but had a great time!

For the Fourth of July, we had a barbecue with our neighborhood buddies and got good and wet again.  The boys and Berkeley had fun in the sandbox and in the sprinkler.

Tanner made a great pile of rocks and practiced throwing them.  Usually they fell  behind him while he was winding up though.

We went to the fireworks afterward and everyone had a fun time watching them and playing in the grass.

This doesn't really have anything to do with our summer, but I made some of my Granner's pizza dough and made the pizzas in cookie sheets like we used to do at family gatherings at her house.  I even cut them with my kitchen shears like she used to do.

Stephen heard about lemonade stands and really wanted to have one of his own.  So he picked some things to sell at his stand, and went to work.  I think he made a grand total of $8.50 before Mom fees.  He was pretty stoked about his success.

It has been a pretty fun July so far, and it's not quite over yet.  I can't wait to get outside while it's still warm and see what else we get to do!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

End of the School Year...Finally

In Western New York, some of the schools are out, and some are going to the end of the week.  Our's is out!  Coming from the west, it feels like school should have been out weeks ago, but I'm just glad it's finally here.  I always have a hard time coming up with a cute idea for teacher gifts at the end of the year.  

Maybe all my good ideas are gone by then.  Maybe I just don't have the energy left to actually make the gift, or even think of one.  Maybe there's too many cute things on Pintrest that it's impossible to narrow it down.  Whatever the reason, I found myself two days before school was out with...nothin.

Last year my friend Jenny made super cute aprons for her kid's teachers for end of year gifts  It seemed like a great idea-I totally copied it.  I made my son's teacher this apron.  I had Stephen help sew it with me; he did the ruffle.  It turned out really cute.  I kind of wanted to keep it, but I didn't.

He wanted to take something for each of his aids, helpers, nurses, specials teachers, office workers, etc.  So we made a bunch of cupcakes too.  We mostly made regular cupcakes, but did a few in jars too.  He didn't want the bus driver's cupcake getting mushed in the bus.

We made some little toothpick toppers for them that just said thanks for a great year, and had his name on the back.

We did chocolate cupcakes with some vanilla frosting and some blackberry frosting, and a raspberry or blackberry candy on top.

We took some with us to eat after we went out for lunch; they only had a half day.  They turned out pretty good.  There weren't many crumbs left over.

For Father's Day, we made the same cupcakes in jars, but with cookies and cream frosting with mini Oreos on top.  Little jars just make everything cuter huh?

Our boy scout troop had a dessert auction to earn money for scout camp and high adventure camp.  We made a bunch of s'mores cupcakes in jars for it.

I also made some of these cute rainbow cupcakes that I saw here that were adorable.  Mine didn't turn out quite as cute as hers, but I only used four colors instead of six.  They all turned out great, and looked really cute in little baskets together.