The main reason I like to cook and bake is because it allows me to be creative. The art community has been a part of my life, all of my life, and to me cooking is just an extension of the creative culture.
So since I recently went apple picking, and now have more apples then I know what to do, I put on my artistic cap and baked two vegan pies, with different crusts, that I would like to share. One crust is store bought and the other I made. My creation is a first attempt at a lattice top pie crust. It’s cute. The overall recipe is easy but time consuming. I do recommend making the crust or filling a day in advance. It won’t be so much of an overload if you do.
Note – After peeling the apples, to keep them from turning brown, I sprinkled the fruit with a little lemon juice. Not a lot. Just a little. Important.
FOR THE CRUST:
- 2.5 c flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c vegan butter, sliced roughly into 1″ cubes
- ¼ c vegan shortening, chilled, sliced roughly into 1″ cubes
- 6 Tbsp ice water
FOR THE FILLING:
- 12 c apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼-1/8″ thick
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1 c cane sugar (make sure it is vegan)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- If you want to prepare the crust a day in advance.
- Sift together flour and salt.
- Cut in butter and shortening. Both should be room temperature.
- Sprinkle mixture with ice water one tablespoon at a time, stirring gently after each addition, until dough comes together into a ball.
- Divide dough into two equal parts.
- Shape each half into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or (preferably!) overnight.
- When you’re ready, roll out both disks and arrange one in the bottom of a 9″ pie pan.
- Refrigerate bottom and top crusts while you make the filling.
- Melt butter in a very large skillet over high heat.
- Add apples and toss to distribute butter.
- Reduce heat to medium and cover tightly.
- Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
- Stir in sugar and spices.
- Cook uncovered until the liquid reduces slightly and apples are at your desired softness. Stir often.
- Transfer apples to clean baking sheets or bowls and allow to cool fully.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Poke holes with a fork in the bottom crust.
- Fill bottom crust with apple mixture; don’t worry if the filling is taller than the crust!
- Arrange top crust as desired, making sure to seal the edges and leave slits or other openings for steam to escape.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Allow to cool completely, or until just warm, about 2-3 hours. A longer cooling time will ensure that the pie slices neatly.
Around this time of year is when I miss New York. There are loads of pick-your-own apple orchards in New York and New Jersey. In New Mexico the orchard that was most popular caught on fire and some of the other apple farms had too many rules (like; no pets or you have to make an appointment) and just didn’t offer the festive fun outdoorsy pick-your-own apple experience I like. So to soothe my craving we drove to Colorado to an orchard that came close to providing the pick-your-own apple season fun I adore.
I picked a lot of apples. Seriously. I can make a hundred pies if I want.
We were happy to have found this event.
Feeling at home at the Italian festival. #Sicily
For many years different creams designed to fade, and some totally eliminate, dark circles around the eyes were applied to my face. In the end not one product delivered its promised results. Not one! So that’s when I decided if I truly want to rid myself of the dark circles I inherited from my mom I would have cosmetic surgery to do so.
But until that BIG DAY I still need to apply coverage. When I was a few years younger concealers worked however at age 48 a concealer alone is not enough. I thought about adding a color corrector to my make-up regimen but the natural brands I used did not offer colors that matched my skin tone.
Now that Shea Moisture provides natural make-up for women of color I ordered a few products and was excited to try them. I went to target.com and selected colors I hoped was suitable for my complexion. I was very nervous about purchasing make up this way but I took a chance and bought the following:
- Color correcting concealer in Medium Dark
- Cream concealer in Tropea Almond
- Sheer foundation in Madidi Mocha
- Lip gloss in Lea
Me with no make up.
The color correcting concealer instructions suggest to start by finding the medium tone that’s closest to your natural skin tone. Then mix in the lighter and darker tones until you create your match.
The match I created.
Concealer in Tropea Almond.
At first sight I was unsure about the color.
But once blended in it seemed to match.
Sheer foundation in Madidi Mocha.
I was unsure about all of the colors.
Everything blended in.
The color corrector, concealer and foundation blended nicely. I was surprised! This is the best coverage I have had for my circles in a long time. I applied extra concealer before I left the house and later during the day.
The make-up is a bit oily and I have oily skin so it doesn’t last all day not even a half a day. I must add concealer to keep my dark circles covered and blot during the day.
In the winter when everything is extra dry in New Mexico this make-up may be more beneficial and lasting. The lip gloss is Lea.
Overall, I like the products I purchased and will continue to wear them.
Apparently the Hubs and I can’t get enough of camping this summer. It is a wonderful adventure if you are the outdoorsy type. I always wanted to camp and finally I have someone to go camping with and share those exciting experiences.
There was lots of wild life at this camp site. We saw seven deer and heard coyotes yelping, right across the road, during the middle of the night. They were very close and loud. Bears and bob cats also live there but we didn’t see or hear those animals – thank goodness.
Check out our Labor Day weekend pictures at El Vado Lake in New Mexico.
Anything cooked on an open fire tastes so good!
A visit to the town’s old railroad station.
Half moon. Open sky
I ordered every item Shea Moisture offered in their Jamaican Black Castor Oil line. My hair likes castor oil so I couldn’t wait to use it, and now, I am excited about sharing my experience.
The shampoo is clarifying. The summary says it is gentle enough to use every day, and based on my results, I believe it. the product smelled like sweet warm vanilla that sort of reminded me of freshly baked goods from my childhood. My hair carried a weeks worth of heavy product build-up and I couldn’t wait to get rid off it.
I used two medium sized dollops to get a lather during the first wash and the same amount one time for the second shampoo. During and after the wash my hair felt clean, soft and moist. I was very pleased with the moisture experience especially since this is a clarifying product. After shampooing I was able to easily part and detangle my hair.
The Treatment Masque offered more sweetness. The Hubs said it smelled like vanilla pudding or newly baked donuts. To make sure this product saturated my hair I made 11 sections and put a generous sized dollop on each piece. Once the Treatment Masque was on I felt a slight warm penetration that was soothing.
I placed a plastic cap on my hair and then a heating cap. I left the heating cap on for 45 minutes. My hair was super soft and moist. After rinsing my little afro appeared to be a little stretched. I loved it.
I went to sleep and woke up the next morning with completely dry hair. My hair still possessed that sweetness. It was wonderful. My curls were dry but still had moisture. So to enhance the texture with moisture and shine, I added the hair serum to my scalp and blended it onto my hair. Use just enough or not enough. This product will run down your face. I had shine, softness, moisture and sweetness. It was great!
The leave-in conditioner’s texture is rich. The styling lotion is thick and creamy. I added both products to each two-strand twist I made.
My hair was bone dry so detangling was necessary and made simple with the use of the two products.
I made Bantu Knots from each twist and let my hair dry naturally.
The Edge Treatment is similar to thick jelly. It provides moisture and prevents flyaway strands. In addition, if you like to smooth your edges down this will be perfect. For me it is beneficial because it’s thick and moist and can stand on its own in New Mexico’s dry climate.
My Bantu knot-out was more like a curly afro. My curls were tight and moist and I really liked the results. The photo above is day 1. When I went to sleep that night I tied a silk scarf around my hair and fell out. I did not even try to sleep pretty.
The next morning on day 2 I still had well defined curls. No products were added – not even water.
My curly afro lasted all week. I didn’t have to re-twist my hair not one night. A little styling lotion and serum was added on day 4 to maintain shine and moisture.
Out of 1 to 5 curls Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil collection gets 5 curls hands down. I just love this stuff!
I just wanted to share my new batch of vegan donuts. This is my second batch this week. The first dozen didn’t stand a chance once The Hubs saw them. I used this recipe about a year ago but this time I didn’t make the frosting. Powdered sugar was sprinkled on the donuts instead!
I received my order of Jamaican Black Castor Oil by Shea Moisture. I ordered all six items in the line and am more than excited about them!
These products, in particular, interest me because my hair likes castor oil. Plus this line promises to strengthen, grow and restore and those are three things I am always trying to do, so I figured, why not give it a try.
I will write a post reviewing each product and how my hair responds.
I am super antsy and the package smelled really good.
Today I’m just a happy girl! #BlackHair #TeamNatural #SunnyDay #FeelingGood