Anniversaries & Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pies

 

It really has been an exciting year for our family. My parents celebrated their 40th at the beginning of August! My parents (my mom will tell you it was all my dad) wanted to celebrate with friends and family at Table Rock Lake, so on August 13 we had a big party! My brother grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, the rest of the family executed the party flawlessly (between the wedding and this…I’m certain we could pull off events together). Since the party was outside, we went with finger desserts, cookies, cupcakes and these mini apple pies. They were a huge hit!

My mom and dad are loved by so many and I know that it is mostly because they have spent their lives loving people well…helping friends with little (and big) projects, welcoming neighbors who are new to the area, or cooking for friends and family who are celebrating and those who are needing some extra care. They love people. It has been such a privilege to get to watch over my lifetime…and hopefully I have learned a little along the way.

Mini Apple Pies

For the Crust:

1 stick cold butter grated then frozen (salted)

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup ice cold water by the tablespoon

For the Filling:

1 Can Prepared Apple Pie Filling  –  Cut & Diced You can use homemade and I absolutely encourage it, but for this we needed several so I went the quick route.

Egg Wash – 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water whisked together

Cinnamon & Sugar

Grate your butter into a mixing bowl and place the bowl into the freezer for 15 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour and cut it into the grated butter with a pastry cutter until you have coarse crumbs of flour coated butter. Add about 1/4 cup of ice cold water by the tablespoon to your coarse crumbs. You may not need this much, so add gradually as you mix by hand. When a dough ball is formed, gather it together and place it on a piece of parchment paper. Shape it into a round, flat disk and cover it with the parchament paper. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Roll the dough out onto a well floured surface. Using a circle shaped cutter (or the rim of a glass), cut out as many circles as you can fit. Then gather up the remaining dough and cut out the circles again. Place circles on a baking sheet. Top one half of pie crust with 2 tablespoons of the diced apple filling. Fold pie crust over and crimp edges with the tines of a fork. Cut small holes in the top of each pie.

Using a pastry brush, brush on the egg wash and sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Enjoy!

Here are a few more pics from the 40th Bash!

 

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Pineapple Whip Disney Style

Pineapple Whip We had the opportunity to go to Disney World a few weeks ago for vacation. We had a really amazing time and even got to vacation with friends. After Disney, we spent a few days at Pennsacola Beach with my parents…much needed relaxation after all of the Disney goodness. You can see a few photos from our trip below. My absolute favorite treat from our vacation was Disney’s Pineapple Whip. Before we left for the trip, I had seen a few knock off recipes pinned on Pinterest. I ended up finding one that is pretty much from scratch and will satisfy any Disney Pineapple Whip craving…at least until you can get back to Disney World.

Pineapple Whip

from Highheels & Grills Ice Cream 2 cans (20 oz. each) crushed pineapple 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 2 Tbsp lime juice 1/3 cup sugar 1-1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped.

Juice

Pineapple juice {As much or little as you want} Sugar, to taste Drain crushed pineapple and reserve 2 Tbsp. Set aside. Place pineapple, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar and reserved juice in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a gallon zipped freezer bag and store flat in freezer until it becomes a slushy consistency. About 1-1/2 hours.

In a large bowl, gently fold pineapple mixture into whipped cream until blended. Return to freezer until completely frozen. About 1 hour. For the Juice: Add enough sugar to your pineapple juice to make it sweet enough to your liking. Scoop ice cream into a cup and fill the rest of the way with your juice. Enjoy!

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One Crazy Month And A Half

 

 

 

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It has been one crazy month and a half, friends! I feel like I have spent the last week catching my breath…just before the next round of crazy hits! I also thought I would catch you up…just a little bit.

The last weekend in March I ran my first half marathon. It had been a goal of mine for a while and over the winter I just decided to start training. I loved it, possibly more than a normal person should and I made my goal time! 13.1! Yay!!!

The following weekend there was a shower for some dear friends who were expecting a baby girl, who is already here now…and absolutely adorable. Congrats Matt & Em! Easter (which seems like an eternity ago) was in there along with a solid two weeks of the Campbell family being sick (This is really the only negative part of the craziness).

Nora is now 2 you guys. I’m not sure how that is possible. We had a couple small family parties for her the weekend before her birthday. The girl LOVES Minnie, so a Minnie party is what she got.

The weekend of Nora’s actual birthday I had the opportunity to help throw a couple major events for Springhill because (long story short) we are getting a new pastor and I am getting a new boss. Flowers, decorations, desserts. I loved every minute of it…although it was slightly stressful at times, I had some amazing help! I’m really excited for what is ahead.

The weekend of Mother’s Day was so relaxing because we didn’t have much going on and I got to hang out with my littles.

Bring on the next round of crazy!!!

 

 

 

 

A Very Special 30th!

Today, my cousin and dearest friend turns 30.

It is a fate I will also face in 44 days.

With my cousin Sarah and I being so close in age, it allowed us to cultivate an amazing friendship on top of being family. I love it. Even if it has been a while since a text, call or e-mail, it is like we never have missed a beat. Since Sarah is turning the big 30 today, I thought I would celebrate with my 30 favorite memories with her.

Happy 30th Sarah! Here is to many more memories together, including when we are old and wet our pants together!

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4th of July, 1989. We were pretty cute. Sarah & Jen 30(Sorry for the crazy bangs in this picture…it is inevitable after shooting two weddings.)

30. The Zack Attack shirt you bought me for my birthday…probably in 1996. I have fond memories of Zach Morris and you when I think of it.

29. That one time you dressed up like an old lady for Halloween.

28. Trip to Laura Ingalls Wilder with your mom.

27. The Paper Angel tradition.

26. Sharing high school dance dresses.

25. Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken. Enough said.

24. Mixed Cd’s.

23. Cheez Its and Neopolitan Ice Cream.

22. Family Hay Rides. Specifically the one where a certain great-aunt peed in the hay,

21. Our love of butter mints.

19. Cratepaper balls. I’m sure you could find those on Pinterest now.

18. Lisa Frank.

17. Pretend Ghosts at Grandma and Grandpa’s.

16. 925,600 Minutes.

15. Our shared love of New Girl.

14. That one time you were Valedictorian and homecoming queen.

13. Grandpa’s 71st Birthday song. Guessing by your career, you probably wrote that entire thing.

12. Soji Tabuchi’s Bathroom.

11. Playing church. Thanks Mike & Dan. You got us every time.

10. Thanksgiving 19 something something. – The year we put water on the front porch in hopes of it freezing as the weather turned bad so you could spend the night. So glad it worked.

9. Offices parties at 2502.

8. Watching you perform at the Skinny! So so proud!

7. Opening your ‘Post Card’ design at Christmas.

6. The excitement I still feel when I know you are going to be at a family thing. I guess that never goes away.

5. Driving past Crazy Horse with Grandma. ‘Oh, I just love horses.’

4. Our awkward middle school stages…they were so so awkward but at least we had each other.

3. Getting to graduate college together! Go Drury!

2. Running the Turkey Trot together. It is a Thanksgiving tradition.

1. Halloween 2011 – ‘Who are you? Willy Nelson?’

Sunshine & Lemonade

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Little Miss had her first birthday party on Sunday! The original plan was for Saturday, but for some odd reason there was snow on the ground…in May. Since her party theme was sunshine and lemonade and not snowflakes and hot chocolate, we decided to push it back a day.

A couple months ago Matt & I came across this cute lemonade stand from Girl Inspired. It kind of created the party theme. Matt built and painted the lemonade stand. Amazing job husband! We repurposed one of the fences from Ean’s 2nd birthday party to help cut the cost and reuse wood. Everything from the invites to the food to the decorations were DIY.

Here is what was on the menu: 

Little Sandwiches 

Chips

Fruit Kabobs

Lemon Macarons

Pink Lemonade Fudge

Lemon Cookies

Pink Lemonade Cake Pops (more on these soon)

Ribbon Cake

The candy: Lemon drops, strawberry marshmallows & Strawberry whoppers

To Drink: Lemonade of course….but I may have forgot to take a picture of that.

A big thank you to our families for celebrating with us…and to my brother-in-law Josh for helping with the pics of Miss Nora!

Happy Birthday Nora!

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Nora4Happy Birthday to our sweet little Nora!

I can’t believe a year ago today we were at the hospital holding this little girl for the first time. I remember being so worried about how she would fit into our family and how E would react to her. I had nothing to worry about, she made our family complete from the moment she was born. Little Miss is so stinking sweet and easy going. She likes to play with her big brother’s toys…I think because she knows it irritates him.

We are so so thankful for her and we can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for Nora Ilene!

 

 

 

Blurry Goodness

This past month has been a blur. We have been INSANELY busy. It seems this week we were able to catch our breath just a little. Here is a quick look at the past few weeks via Instagram:

 

Ruth

About a month ago, we had two of our friends from Uganda come and stay with us. I can not tell you how precious this was. Ruth & Innocent live on the Islands of Lake Victoria in Uganda. This was their first time out of Africa and this happened to be Ruth’s first time trying pizza. She loved it. I can not begin to tell you how different life in America is from that in Uganda. We had so much fun together, but I also found myself asking a lot of hard questions. Embarrassment doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt as I brought them to my home, where my kids have rooms filled with toys and where I have every kitchen gadget ever created.

I am so selfish. But I am thankful for the time with my friends and I am thankful that God is using their stay to change me.

I learned something else about my sweet friend. She bakes all of the cakes for birthdays and celebrations on the islands. So we did a little baking together. Ruth tasted and made her first cupcake while she was here too. She will be heading back to Uganda with some new cake decorating supplies, which she is thrilled about.

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Easter Love.

dessertEaster Dessert. Carrot cake with a cheesecake layer in the center. Not the best picture ever…however it is the only picture.

It got good reviews from my favorite critics.

The first half got eaten, the second made a huge mess on the way home.

Uganda Run

Last weekend was the 3rd Annual Uganda Living Water Run. This is one of my largest events of the year. This year (thanks to an amazing anonymous donor and our wonderful community) we raised over $4,000.  We have funded one well for Uganda and are on our way to our second.