Valentine’s Pie Pops

It’s not too late if you’re still needing to make a few cute Valentine’s treats for tomorrow! These cuties use simple store bought ingredients and are snap to put together. Here’s how I did it.

First, I picked up some pre-made pie crusts and some jam.

Cut circles out of the pie crust using a small glass.

Next, you spread a thin layer of jam in the center of one circle.

And cut out a cute little heart out of the other side.  Too cute, huh?

Then, you put them together with a lollipop stick inserted between them. You can get the sticks at Michael’s or wherever.

And just to put the cuteness over the top, use another lollipop stick to make crimps all the way around.

Now you’re ready for mass production.

Once you’ve got them all put together, place them on a cookie sheet and brush the tops with egg whites.

Stick them in the oven at 350* for about 15 minutes – you’ll want check on them to make sure they don’t burn.  Once they are golden brown, take them out of the oven and let them cool.

I packaged mine up using a simple clear bag and a super cute label I downloaded for free – Be My Sweetie Pie!  DY-ING – too cute! I can’t wait to spread a little love tomorrow. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

P.S. This is the first non-gluten free thing I’ve posted on my blog but you could easily make a simple pie dough with the Cup4Cup flour I love so much and make these gluten-free!

Well, Hello There!

Greetings all of you Get Rich Slowly readers!   I am so honored that J.D. talked about me on his blog — I feel famous!   I’m so glad you came over to check me out, and I thought I’d make it easy to find a few things you might be interested in.

Here’s a round-up of my posts about making stuff from scratch — everything from yogurt, to vanilla extract, to granola, to chevre cheese, and so much more!

Lots of people like my version of the gluten-free guide.

And my yummy and easy (and pennywise!) go-to quiche.

I love to give gifts, but love even more to make them — here’s some things I made for the holidays, out of my yard, and just because they are yummy (can you say salted caramels!).

Here’s a simple tour of our backyard chicken coop.  Backyard hens are so fun!

Thanks for popping by – and if you’re in the Portland area and want to check out my fund-raising class J.D. talked about,  the next session actually starts in just two days on May 26th (despite what it says online when you register) and you can still sign up.

Thanks for coming – come back soon. Or better yet, add me to your reader!

Backyard Easter

Last spring, I found an abandoned robin’s nest in our backyard.  I’ve kept it all this time and decided to turn it into my Easter table centerpiece.  I love finding and using stuff from my yard to decorate in the house.  I think it turned out pretty cute — what do you think?

I also made a fresh ham for the first time.  I used a ham we had from the local farm we get our meat from once a year.  I’d only ever had the pre-cooked hams from the grocery store, so I didn’t know what to expect.   Who knew a fresh ham isn’t pink and salty at all and tastes and looks a lot like a pork loin.   It was delicious!

As good as the ham was, the hit of the dinner table was the caramelized onion and three cheese scalloped potatoes.  Yum!

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

New Gardening Tool

We’d better get a move on it.  It’s already the middle of April, and we still haven’t really cleaned up the yard and garden from last year.  It’s not that we’ve been lazy, it’s just we’ve had a few other things to tend to.  Well, namely one BIG thing.   Bet you can guess what that is by our new favorite gardening tool for 2011.

Yep, we had a baby!  Little Miss is a few months old now and we’re still figuring out how to get out in the yard with an infant around.  I think the pac n play on the patio might just do the trick!

Eating Out Gluten-Free

Before our first little peapod makes her big arrival, we’ve been trying to heed the advice of our already-parent friends to get out and about while we can sans baby.  We’ve hit two excellent, new-ish restaurants in the last month that restore my faith that having celiac disease and being gluten-free doesn’t have to be the end of eating out. 

First up, we checked out the new little Bistro Allium in our ‘hood of West Linn.   The chef is well known Pascal Chureau, formerly of Fenouil.  The ambiance is amazing; the food even better. 

I emailed Pascal about a week before we were planning to come in, and he assured me that there were many things on the menu I could eat and that he’d be more than happy to help me out when we arrived.  And boy, he didn’t disappoint.  I think the steak I had was one of the best I’ve ever had – ever.  The really cool thing about Allium, besides the yummy food and gluten-free friendly service, is their deep commitment to local, farm fresh foods. They source most of their food from local farms and host these awesome “Neighborhood Dinners” once a month that feature amazing food from local farmers. 

Up next, we went to the newly opened Irving Street Kitchen in the Pearl (downtown Portland).  I have to say the gluten-free service we received was the best I’ve ever had.  I, again, emailed the chef in advance and asked about gluten-free options.  Sarah was amazing, assurred me she knew what gluten was and that there were many options for me.   She also asked that I tell her the date and time we’d be coming in so she could be ready.  

When we got there and were seated, the server already knew — without me having to say anything — about my gluten-free needs and even told me that his son can’t eat gluten and so was well equiped to help me navigate the menu.  The food was excellent and the vibe is fun and hip.   They, too, like to source their food locally and even do a cool thing with their wines where they have some “on barrel” — kind of like beer on tap, except they have select wines in large quantities in a barrel from the winery.  Super cool!

I’ve found that eating out gluten-free in and around Portland is surprisingly easy — if you take a few key steps….

1)  email the chef or contact the restaurant in advance to check out what they know about gluten and if they can accomodate your needs

2) stick with the nicer restaurants that acutally make their food from stratch — that way they know exactly what’s in ther dishes they make.  It’s way harder for restaurants that rely on pre-packaged or frozen food to help you out (plus from scratch is always better, anyway!)

3) get to the restaurant at a non-peak time.  I try and be really realistic when it comes to eating out — preparing food for large groups of people every night is hard work and as much as people want to help, I always try and keep in mind that in a commercial kitchen, there’s a lot going on… so I try and go when it’s less busy and the chef actually might have time to pay a little extra attention to little ole me and my food.

There are lots and lots of gluten-free friendly spots in Portland, and I’m so grateful!  Happy eating, everyone.  🙂

Gifts from the Yard

We’re headed over to to a BBQ this afternoon at our friends’ place and instead of bringing a bottle of wine or a cute dish towel or one of the usual “thanks for having me over” kinda of gifts you bring when you go to someone’s house, I thought I might try to see what goodies I could bring from my yard.

Not only is it more economical (aka cheaper), it’s more personal and kinda fun — and since it’s the height of harvest season, we have lots to choose from.

I think the basket I put together turned out pretty, cute — don’t you?

We’ve got thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, broccoli, green beans and lettuce in there.  What do you bring when you go over to people’s houses?