Thursday, February 16, 2017

Strawberry Chiffon Pie for Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day was cold and windy.  What else is new: it's February, after all!  But at least we didn't have a repeat of Valentine's Day 10 years ago, with a blizzard dropping 2 feet of snow upon our weary heads (followed by blizzards on St. Patrick's Day and Income Tax Day.  What a year).

So, for Valentine's Day, I bought the boys chocolates.  But they aren't good for my dearly beloved, so I made him a strawberry chiffon pie.  Yes, this is the taste of summer in the dead of winter, using those frozen strawberries I always have in my freezer, and lightened up in the calorie department (at least a little bit).

Pie crust, baked and cooled (store bought, or my "Best Ever")
20 ounce bag frozen whole strawberries

1/4 cup Stevia
1 envelope plain gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
3 egg whites
3/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 cup Stevia
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp strawberry extract
1/4 cup sugar
In a saucepan, stir together the gelatin and 1/4 cup sugar. Add the 2/3 cup water, and heat while whisking until the sugar dissolves and the mixture simmers. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Pour 1 cup of the strawberries into a cup, and set aside. Thaw the remaining berries somewhat (I left mine in the bag on the counter for 30 minutes). Pulse these strawberries with 1/4 cup stevia in your food processor until they are crushed but not pureed, or mash with a potato masher.

After the gelatin mixture has cooled a bit and somewhat thickened, stir it into the strawberries and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat the 3 egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff, then add 1/4 cup sugar one tablespoon at a time. In another bowl, beat the cream until it thickens; add the strawberry extract and the last 1/4 cup stevia and beat until thick.

Slice the cup of strawberries you've set aside thinly (I used my food processor, of course). Stir the mashed strawberries into the whipped cream. Fold in the egg whites. Top with the sliced strawberries. Spoon this mixture into your baked and cooled crust, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until it firms up. Fair warning: If you decide you can only wait an hour, your slices won't look pretty. Trust me.  (I actually put mine in the freezer for 2 hours, and it looked beautiful being served.)

Note: If you don't have Stevia, or don't worry about the excess calories, then use sugar instead of the Stevia.  It will taste the same either way: summer on your plate!

Everyone had a small slice of the pie for Valentine's Day, but I left the second half for my dearly beloved, and he's eating one slice per day, so it will last for 4 more days.

I hope you all had a day full of love, flowers and decadent desserts!  Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bridal Shower!

How better to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a few photos from Kellie's bridal shower?

I flew out at 6AM Friday, my driveway having been plowed of a foot of snow a good 6 hours before I left at 3:30AM, and it was bitter cold.  But the flights were on time, and everything went smooth as silk.

My other daughters and I decided upon an Alice in Wonderland theme, and they pretty much took point on the decorations.  I wield a mean credit card, and getting the room, meal and decor were all I needed worry about.  It all worked out well, though.

Cass and Shannon made all of these little Mad Tea Party hats for the guests to wear.  The one on the very top is a little white top hat, with "Bride" spelled out in scrabble tiles, and a veil with little jewels sprinkled on it.  The girls made sure I had one with a comb for attaching, so it wouldn't wreck my hair.
 A typical table.
 The groom's mother and me, before we donned our hats.
 This was the room, after we'd finished setup, before guests arrived.  The groom's mother was a whiz at tying bows in the chair sashes.
 Shannon came up with the red-dipped paintbrushes and pinwheels to be added to the flower arrangements.  Aren't they wonderful details?
 Kellie with her future sister in law.  Note the silly pouf hat on her head.  They were fun.
 That's Shannon and me with all of the in-laws.  They were charming ladies, and the little 2 year old girl is just adorable.  (Note that I brought her a little stuffed elephant, so we could be instant friends.  Nothing says fun to a little girl like a little stuffed animal, and I'll buy a friend if I want to.)
 I bought Kellie a Lenox china cake topper, and wrapped it for her celebration.  I figure she might as well have a good quality, permanent ornament for her house.
 Opening her presents, with help from the little girl (who will also be her flower girl).  It was a good day, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

Happy Tuesday, and Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  I hope you all are spoiled by someone who loves you best of all!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

"Do To Snow"

So, Ryan got a text message from his college: "Classes cancelled do to snow." Ryan told me he hopes the person responsible feels stupid, but I'm betting they don't even know what they did wrong.

Anyway, this is the reason for the cancellation:
 (That's the snow blown into a porch that's got a roof with a huge overhang, and walls on 2 of the 4 sides.  Must have been quite some wind.)

Looks like 8 to 10 inches to me, but it's blown around at a pretty good rate, so it's hard to tell for certain.  Plus, 2 of my 3 doors are snowed shut, so I'm not working my tailfeathers off to get out there, I assure you!  I do have to say that since I fly out at 6AM tomorrow, I'm glad the snow was today!

Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Drive By Posting

I'm off to see the dentist...for the third time in as many weeks.  I had a tooth break on me, so Kevin did a root canal....and all the fun that entails.  At least I'll get a temporary crown today, so I'll be better able to eat.

In other news, Shannon and I made these coasters for Kellie's bridal shower favors.  I'm leaving at 4AM Friday for the bridal shower (you have no idea of just how much fun it is to organize a shindig remotely, and then figuring out how to get your stuff there is a delight, too).  My dearly beloved is less than pleased that I'm abandoning him for 3 days, and Ryan was just wailing last night, "What about my dinner???"

Happy Wednesday, everyone.  See you next week.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Jeffrey's Birthday

So, for Jeffrey's birthday, he and Shannon came up.  Tank was sad that we didn't have snow, or so Jeff said; I thought he enjoyed the mud very much.  It was Jeff who didn't enjoy washing his dog's feet. from the celebration.
 Shannon decorated the cake, following Jeff's request that she draw Tank on his cake.  The girl has talent, no doubt about that.
 (Plus, she looks great at 5 months along, don't you think?)

 I am not standing in a hole in my floor!

It's hard to believe Jeff is now 29 years old.  I didn't think I was that old!

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Superbowl Tank!

He was worried, I'm not going to lie.

But Tank was delighted by the greatest comeback in Superbowl history. (And no doubt by the snacks, too.)

Happy Sunday, everyone!