Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

pie (13 of 17)There is nothing quite like pie for the 4th of July! When thinking about what dessert I wanted to make for this year’s celebration, I quickly settled on a summer staple in the Feagan household: strawberry rhubarb pie. It is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and when homemade, it is so comforting and delicious. Served warm with vanilla ice cream and it is pure perfection. While apple pie is the typical American staple, I thought this recipe would fly for the holiday as long as I dressed it up a little for the festivities.

I hope everyone’s holiday is filled with friends and family, BBQs, parades, fireworks and sunshine. And for our non-American followers, this pie tastes good on any continent! ūüėČ

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Ingredients & Materials:

  • Two pie crusts (I like this recipe)
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 3 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 9-inch pie pan
  • vanilla ice cream (optional)

Dice your rhubarb and strawberries into approximately 1/4 inch pieces.

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Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated into the fruit juices, then set aside.

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Roll out your first pie crust on a floured surface and gently place in a greased pie pan.

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Trim the edges so that they just slightly extend past the pan edge.

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Pour your filling into the pie. Don’t worry if you don’t use all of the filling, you don’t want the pie to overflow. I always use all of the fruit but then pour in part of the liquid until the pie is full.

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Place the pie in the refrigerator to chill while you roll out the second pie crust. Use a sharp knife to cut your crust into inch-wide strips (you can use a ruler if you want to be more precise).

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Cut your butter into small chunks and evenly disperse them across the surface of your pie filling. Then use the strips to make your lattice. I like to lay half of the strips one way first.

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Then weave the remaining strips going the other direction. Trim the edges and press them down once the lattice is in place. Finish the crust by brushing whisked egg yolk over the surface and sprinkling with sugar. That will give it a nice shiny golden brown color and a sweet sugary crunch.

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Preheat the oven to 375¬ļ F and place the uncooked pie back in the fridge until your oven is fully heated. Once the oven is hot, bake your pie for approximately an hour and a half. Once the top and the edges begin to brown, cover the pie with foil so that it doesn’t burn as it continues to bake.

 

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Allow the pie to cool slightly before serving, and don’t forget the ice cream!

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Happy 4th of July!

-Kirby

Graduation Cake Pops

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Well, we did it! We finally graduated from UCLA this past weekend. Somehow it was four years ago that we met as timid young freshmen, new to the city of Los Angeles. Looking back on all the friends and memories we’ve each made during our time here, graduation feels almost surreal. It’s the end of an era!! Despite the sadness that comes with leaving behind our friends, our apartments, and our beautiful campus, we are beyond excited to begin the newest chapter in our lives.

Starting this week, we will be working on this blog together from different cities (Michelle is headed to San Francisco and Kirby will be staying in Los Angeles), but we look forward to collaborating on ideas from afar and co-writing our content. To celebrate the end of the best four years of our lives, and the last craft we’ll be making together for a while, we made these graduation cake pops. Of course we made ours blue and gold for UCLA, but they are easily customizable to any school colors. They were (almost) too cute to eat!


Materials & Ingredients:

  • Cake (no shame in a box mix!)
  • Frosting
  • Cake pop sticks
  • White candy melts
  • Chocolate fondant
  • Yellow and black/brown royal icing (you can find our recipe here)
  • Ziplock bag or piping bag
  • Sprinkles
  • Baking sheet
  • Styrofoam or cardboard box for holding the finished cake pops
  • A knife
  • Scissors

Bake your cake and allow to cool completely.

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Mix the icing in little by little until the mixture is moist enough to form a ball, but not too sticky that it will fall off of the stick — we used about 1/4 of a container. Form as many golf ball-sized cake balls and place them on the baking sheet.

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Insert your sticks into the balls. Our secret is to melt a little bit of the candy melts and dip the sticks into the melted chocolate before inserting them into the cake balls. This insures that they won’t fall off the sticks when decorating. Then place the tray in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

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While the cake pops chill, you can make the fondant graduation caps. They aren’t hard to make but take a few steps so following these pictures might help! On a powdered sugar surface, roll out your fondant to about an 8th of an inch. Cut half of the fondant into little squares and cut the other half into thin strips. Cut your strips into 1.5 inch segments. Make your royal icing. You can get away with just half or even a quarter of the recipe. Dye half of it yellow and the other half black or brown, and place each color in a piping bag or ziplock. Cut a tiny hole in the edge. Use the black/brown icing to pipe on the end of your 1.5 inch long fondant segment. Then roll it into a circle, and repeat for each segment. Then pipe the black icing onto the top of the circle and place the square fondant piece on top. Finish them up with a little yellow icing tassel on top!

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Once you have finished the grad caps, set up your decorating station. Lay out your sprinkles, set aside your grad caps, and prepare your cardboard box or styrofoam to hold the finished cake pops. If you use a cardboard box, poke holes in the bottom and flip it upside down to hold the individual sticks. Melt your candy melts in a deep, narrow bowl or cup.

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Dip the chilled cake pop into the melted chocolate in one fluid motion. Avoid twisting or bending the cake pop, just pull it out.

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Immediately dust the cake pop with sprinkles.

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And finally, finish it off with a graduation cap. Place the finished cake pop in the styrofoam block or cardboard box to cool and harden, and repeat the process until you have finished all of the pops.

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Go Bruins and Happy Graduation!

-Michelle and Kirby

 

Father’s Day Beer “Can”dles

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For every Father’s Day since I was a little girl, I have hand crafted gifts for my dad. I’ve made cards, pop-up books, picture frames, paintings, placemats – you name it. In fact the other day when he and I were cleaning out the storage closet, I found a leaf family I once made him. There were dried leaves with cut out lips and eyes and paper hair that matched our family’s. It was pretty funny and also really sweet to see that he still had it. I never really believed him when he said he preferred handmade gifts and always vowed to buy him nice things once I had my own money, but now that I’m older I understand where he’s coming from.

These candles incorporate a classic dad favorite: beer. You can transform your dad’s favorite beer into decorative “can”dles (ha, get it?) that will always remind him of you.

I hope all the hardworking and loving fathers out there enjoy the holiday, as well as those who have selflessly stepped up and taken on that important role for children who aren’t as lucky as I’ve been to have an awesome dad. A special thanks to my dad, who loves and supports me endlessly, always pushing me to be courageous, ¬†adventurous, curious, passionate, and kind. I’m very fortunate to have such an incredible role model.


Materials:

  • Wax
  • Empty beer cans
  • Candle wicks
  • Scissors
  • A funnel
  • Glass bowl
  • Can opener

First determine how many candles you plan to make and remove as much wax as you will need for them from the packaging. Cut the wax into smaller pieces so that it will melt easier. Place the pieces into a glass bowl and microwave on medium power for 30 second intervals until completely melted.

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While the wax melts, use a can opener to remove the top of the can. Be careful not to cut your fingers!

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The remaining lip of the can should be nice and smooth.

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Use oven mits to remove the hot wax. If you want to add a scent to your candle, go ahead and add that now. My dad isn’t a big fan of scented candles so I left mine unscented. Then dip the base of the wick into the wax and carefully position it in the bottom of the can. Allow the wax to harden for a few seconds so that the wick is secure.

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Insert the funnel so that the wick is in the middle.

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Pour the remaining hot wax into the funnel until the can is almost filled to the top.

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Leave the candle to completely cool and harden.

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Use scissors to trim the wick, and just like that, you have beer candles!

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Happy Father’s Day!

-Kirby

Lemon Flower Arrangement

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When life gives you lemons, make lemon filled vases for your flowers! The saying goes something like that… right? A flower arrangement is the easiest and most elegant way to elevate your home, but most people (like us) can’t afford fresh flower bouquets every week. So when we do buy them for celebratory occasions or when we need a little cheerer-upper, they make our homes feel extra special.

The addition of sliced lemons takes an already beautiful arrangement to the next level, just in time for the warm June weather. It’s more time consuming for sure, but the result is worth it. Our lemon flower arrangement is the perfect addition to the patio table, just in time for this week’s early¬†summer BBQs and ros√© nights with the girls.


Materials:

  • Flowers
  • Lemons (each lemon makes about 5-6 slices, so the number depends on your vase size)
  • Toothpicks
  • A vase that stands straight up (the angular ones don’t work with the lemons)
  • Scissors
  • A knife and chopping board

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Slice your lemons into even circles about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. If they are too thin, you will see the toothpicks so best to stay on the thick side just in case.

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Use toothpicks to connect strands of lemons. Each strand should be the height of your vase.

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Our vase was quite tall so we made alternating strands of 3 and 4 lemons.

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Trim your flowers and arrange them inside the vase with water. Carefully insert the strands of lemons along the circumference of the vase. We used alternating lengths of strands so that the lemons filled all of the gaps.

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After about fifteen minutes of intense fiddling, you are done and your efforts will be well worth it.

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lemon flowers (14 of 20)Happy June!

-Kirby and Michelle