Recipe Success! Upside Down Peach Pie

24 Jul

This weekend while visiting my dad the princess hooligan picked a bunch of peaches.  These peaches are AUH-MAY-ZING!  They have a very tender skin, a mild flavor, and are a nice small size for snacking right off the tree.    Well, we had a long car ride home and by the time we got to the house the kids had pretty much played pinata with the bag of peaches.  They started to bruise.

Aren't they cute?

Aren’t they cute?

What was I to do with all these fresh peaches?  A friend suggested cobbler but I couldn’t seem to make it.  It just wasn’t speaking to me.  What was calling me was the piece of peach pie from the Latif’s.

I had just had a piece a few days before while at the fair.  Latif’s is a small family restaurant  located in Turlock, CA- my home town.  They make the BEST pies.  It is a family tradition (if not a town tradition) to have a slice of Latif’s pie at the county fair… ala mode of course with Foster Farms vanilla ice cream.  Oh and you are supposed to have a linguica while at the fair too, but I digress.

So back to this need to make peach pie.  I bought a pre-made pie crust.  Now before you get all “What, how could you do that to those fresh peaches?”  Remember, the name of the blog site- Home Ec Reject- there was no way I was going to risk ruining those peaches with some kind of messed up crust that I made from scratch.

After doing my best internet sleuthing, I figured out a pie filling.  After peeling the peaches, they kind of smushed in my hands as I did it. I added the smushed up peaches to a pot then added a cup of sugar, a cup of water, a dash of salt, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.  I brought it to a boil.  At that point I realized that the smushed pieces were too big.  I pulled out my trusty potato masher and squished away.  I also realized that I might have added too much water.  If make it again, I will reduce the water.

Look! Peach soup.

Look! Peach soup.

Now this is the part where it starts to get weird.  I have a pie pan but I chose not to use it.  Again, I was afraid I was going to mess it up.  The idea of cooking both the top and the bottom pieces of the pie evenly is something I suck at.  The soupy filling was way too liquidy to hold to just a bottom shell, so I settled on just a top.  I poured the peach filling soup stuff into an old (like I bought it in the mid to late nineties) Pryrex bowl.  Put the pie crust on top, sugared it and called it good.

What, the crust is on top!

What, the crust is on top!

After baking it at 425 for about 20 minutes I had an finished product.

The final product

The final product

I figured I would be the only one eating this dessert which meant this would last me all week.  The hubs not only tried it, but liked it so much he ate 1/3rd of it that night.  The hubs actually had really good things to say about it too.  He is not a big peach fan but said it had a nice mild flavor.  I attribute that to the type of peaches.   After the hooligans each had a piece, and I had a piece there was only one piece left over.  I took it to work with my lunch.  I have to say, it was just as good, day old and cold, as it was right out of the oven.

Upside down pie ala mode.

Upside down pie ala mode.

Quick Office Repair… Fail or New Trend-You Decide!

27 Jun

It is supposed to get pretty darn close to 100 degrees today.  My work office has a west facing window and no real protection from the sun.  On average in the summer my office temp is around 78-80 degrees.  So yes, I tend to dress for work like I am going to a backyard barbeque.  When I got dressed this morning I noticed the hem had come out of one leg of my shorts.  Normally, I wouldn’t really care, but 1) it was really obvious- like one hem was a whole inch longer than the other and 2) it was tickling the back of my knee.  I tried to do a quick repair job and re-activate the old heat bond with my flat iron.

That worked long enough to give me confidence that it would hold all day.  By the time I got to work, the hem had “un-bonded”.  I checked my office drawer and I was out of my usual hem repair product, double stick tape.  I considered stapling the hem in place but the fabric is kind of wonky and I was afraid it would rip.  What to do, what to do!  Well, I pulled a MacGuyver and used some paper clips to hold the hem in place.

WHAT- how tacky can you be?  I used FANCY paper clips-so there!

Image

See, the blue one almost blends in!

I am hoping this catches on as an new trend in women’s work wear.  Just think, you can always be ready to collate a stack of papers.

Happy 13th to Us!

3 Jun

Today is our 13th wedding anniversary.  It’s not the most exciting of numbers like a 0 or a 5.  Not so new that it is cute or so large that it is awe inspiring.  But still, in the current world 13 years of marriage isn’t something to scoff at.  I decided that this year would be a good year to a highlights reel.  Here is my lucky list of 13 top moments & why I still love my husband!

(In no particular order)

1)      He makes me laugh.  I mean really laugh, the kind of laugh that may cause you to snort.  He manages to do this pretty much on a daily basis.  The current laugh is about a fictional person named Wiggleybottom Humperdinck.

2)      One time when we were on a car ride from San Diego to Turlock, CA in a car with no radio, he sang old cartoon theme songs from LA to Bakersfield.

3)      He makes me things.  Sometimes they are odd things.  Like these sign holders I needed for a work project.

He made these for me based on a random whim I had.

He made these for me based on a random whim I had.

4)    He cooks AND cleans.

5)      He talks to the TV.  Yes, I know there are a lot of people that do that but he does it in a special kind of way.  Like when he is watching Finding Bigfoot or Ancient Aliens and his disproves their theory with a more ridiculous theory. EX  A doll that cries is put in the woods to attract a female Bigfoot.  His comment “That will never work.  A pack of wolves will find the baby first and raise it as their own”.

6)      He taught me to drive a manual.  This is a pretty amazing fete, as my dad, grandpa, coach, and others have tried but failed in the past.

7)      Immediately after our wedding, he agreed that the best thing to do would be to take a nap and then go get hamburgers.  Not the most romantic thing, but we were both happy.

8)     He DVR’s our shows when I am out of town and then saves them until I get home.  One time, because of this  he ended up watching Twilight part 3 and texting me his commentary the whole time.  Best text highlight of the evening “I think wolf boy just peed on the baby”.

9)      He makes up some of the best games for the kids.  Including tracing their bodies on cardboard and printing our the faces of comic book villains to paste on the cutouts or creating quests based on the Deltora Quest series for the kids.

 

10)  He thinks he is being funny and changes the ringtones on my phone to be something annoying, like this one.  Little does he know that I usually keep it on vibrate unless I am at home.  In which case, he is the one that gets annoyed by it first.

11)  He has his Doctorate in Evil.

Call him Dr. Evil

12)  He secretly loves to watch Downton Abbey.

13)  He let me plan a family vacation to Dollywood, which included one of the best family photos ever, the opportunity for me to trigger the biggest water explosion ever on the Rapids ride, and the chance for him to buy the coolest belt ever-It now lives at my work as the Championship Belt of Awesomeness.

Here’s to another happy 13! and many more….

Hooligan Inspired Christmas Cards- part 2

14 Dec

My last post shared how we have done our cards in the past and our journey from cute and smiling to an more accurate portrayal of our family life.

This year we decided to plan on having a card that captured the sass and wit of our household.  I am also proud to say I made the cards myself this year too- I feel so crafty, just like my friends over at Shawna Brockmeier Styled Events and Almost Never Clever.

We found this stamp at our local crafts store.

Underpants!  What could possibly be a worse gift?

Underpants! What could possibly be a worse gift?

Both the Hubs and I started laughing and decided on the spot that this was going to be our card.  Things started to fall in place after that.  We left the store with a bunch of blank cards and envelopes, the stamp, ink, and some festive stickers to give it a little extra pop of color.

Next we staged the photo shoot.  Using the left over boxes and tissue from last Christmas, we made a giant mess in front of the fire place, had the hooligans put on their Christmas pajamas and then gave them the following direction.  “What is the worst present you think you could get for Christmas?  Now act like that is what is in the boxes.”

The best part is we got the perfect picture on the first try.

I think the boy deserves an Oscar for best acting in a Christmas card photo.  He was laughing so hard it looks like he is crying.

I think the boy deserves an Oscar for best acting in a Christmas card photo. He was laughing so hard it looks like he is crying.

I then printed the photos at our local 1 hour developing store, assembled the cards and voile- a finished card!

We have already started thinking about what we want to do for next year.  I think we have finally found the way to get a card that matches our family’s personality and that the troops are willing to pose for.

How do you do your cards?

Hooligan Inspired Christmas Cards- part 1

12 Dec

Happy Holidays to all!  The Home Ec Reject household has been getting into the spirit of the season over the past few weeks. Our family Elf on a Shelf came back to visit the day after Thanksgiving.  The tree and decorations have been up for a week or so, and there is a small pile of wrapped presents growing under the tree.  All signs that Christmas is on its way.

The earliest cue that it Christmas was approaching was the Christmas card we received from my brother and  overachieving sister-in-law Thanksgiving weekend.  It triggered me to start thinking about our Christmas card.  Since the kids were born our Christmas cards have basically been a family or kid photo.  We usually try to make it seasonally appropriate.  One year they were jumping out of large gift bags in front of the tree like they were presents -minus the gift receipt.  The photos were pretty easy and standard- look cute, stand in front of the tree, and smile.

Then last year happened-  everything that could go wrong did.  Both of the hooligans became more disheveled as as snapped the pics.  If one was looking at the camera the other was not, if one was smiling the other was sticking their tongue out, and so on and so on.  This went on for a good 30+ photos until I got this one.

Is he thinking about the meaning of life or did he just smell a fart?

Is he thinking about the meaning of life or did he just smell a fart?

What is one to do when they have a collection of photos that are more funny than cute?  I decided to take some inspiration from on of my favorite comic strips and went with an homage to Calvin and Hobbes.   2o of the worst photos I could find bordering  our message of peace and love here on Earth.

Next time I will share the story behind this year’s Christmas card.

 

Thanksgiving- Reject Style!

21 Nov

I  enjoy Thanksgiving.  While most of my friends treat this festive day like the Opening Ceremony for Foodie Olympics. Making fancy dishes, cooking for three days, caramelizing onions and whatnot.   I have to say, my most favorite part of the holiday is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Why- because I really LOVE Christmas and at the end of the parade the Man in Red appears- squeal!  Yes, I realize I may have watched Miracle on 34nd Street a few times too many.

I could wax philosophically about being thankful every day and not just one day out of the year, or go on some plight of the turkey rant (trivia: I was a vegetarian for 10+ years) but really I think my reason has more to do with most of our family gatherings resembling SNL skits- like this one!  Okay maybe it wasn’t really that bad but we had some doozies.

When the Hubs and I bought our first house we decided to use the extended weekend to tackle one of the big home improvement projects we had on our list-baseboards.  Since that year, home improvement projects have become part of our Thanksgiving ritual.  Baseboards, fireplace mantle, stair railings, and so on were happily improved upon during our break.   A few years back we moved into a house that wasn’t in as much need of improvement.  We didn’t know what to do.  Since then we have hosted people at our house, gone on vacation, even gone to our relatives house for turkey and pie.  It just didn’t feel right.  There was no paint, no liquid nails, no last minute trips to Home Depot on Wednesday night.

This year we are returning to our roots.  We are painting our master bedroom.  As of the night before T-day we have cleaned out the room, taped off the edges, and have one coat on the ceiling.  Woohoo! We are on schedule!   It feels good to be spending the weekend in grubbies with a paint brush versus Sunday best and a fork.

Now don’t fret.  We will still have a traditional meal.  Well, a traditional meal- Home Ec Reject style. We have the agenda set and know what time to put the turkey in the oven.  This is what is on the menu at the Reject establishment:  turkey, Stove Top Stuffing, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy (because I didn’t get to Trader Joe’s to pick up the frozen mashed potatoes), broccoli hidden under a cheese sauce, and a Jell-O pumpkin pudding pie and popcorn- because we seem to be having popcorn with every meal as it is the Ninja’s new favorite thing.  It is a nice mix of homemade and not-so home made but it works for us.

So to wrap up:  I am thankful for a family that has a great sense of humor and and loves me and my need to do things a bit differently, a home, a husband who is okay with having a purple bedroom, and my two hooligans- one who insists on having pumpkin pie (a testament to how much I love her because I hate pumpkin pie) and the other one that loves popcorn!

What are you thankful for?

Why my Kids are Like Pirates

4 Nov

A quick online search brings up the definition of a pirate as some who attacks and robs ships at sea, robs and plunders and many colorful synonyms.  After an exhausting week and coming home to a house that looked like it had been looted, I come to the conclusion… my kids are pirates.

  • They ransacked my closet to find the “right” shoes for a game of dress up.
  • They pillaged my bathroom drawer to use my good perfume like air freshener- yep, can you say $75 Lysol!
  • They hide their secret treasures- half eaten lollipops, underpants, Happy Meal toys- in the cushions of the couch.
  • The robbed me of my extra hour of sleep this morning by getting up 30 minutes before they would have typically gotten up.
  • They plundered my purse for my personal items and then hid them in their toy kitchen, then walk around the house gloating and saying things like “Can’t find your keys, can you?” or “Mommy lost her sunglasses AGAIN!” followed by an evil laugh.
  • Watch out because the little guy has started flicking booger bombs (according to him this is a better choice than eating them- I reminded him that tissues are the best choice).
  • They prefer to eat food that has been impaled on a stick of some kind- tooth pick, chopstick, Popsicle stick, etc.
  • You can’t understand half the things the little one says.
  • They stink.

Well, that’s it.  Time to try and dig the rest of the treasures out of the couch and find a new hiding spot for my perfume.  What thinks have your loved one’s done lately that make you question your sanity?

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