Cranberry Pear Pie

Do you ever feel like you’re going to lose it? If the dog puts her head sweetly on my leg one more time and looks at me with those puppy dog eyes. If the cat utters another single meow as she begs me to toss her duck tape football toy. If one more car drives by my house TOO LOUDLY. If one more part of my body, my leg, ear, arm, anything, itches. If one more insignificant item drops to the ground, and I am forced to bend down and pick it up. I swear to God I will explode.

I may or may not be on my period.

I may or may not be perpetuating that stereotype that women go crazy on their periods.

Dudes, this does not give you the green light to throw a girl’s period/pms in her face when she’s being “weird.” This is called a double standard. It’s cool.

It’s days like this that I should not have jars of Nutella in my house. Or half of a pie. But I’m so glad I have half of a pie in my house for two reasons. One, it’s a damn good pie, and I love a damn good pie. Two, it was a result of a damn good weekend.

My trips this fall seem to be coming at just the right times, just when I need distraction the most, when I’m getting too caught up in my own weird head. This past weekend I drove up to Milwaukee with the dog to do the Lakefront Discovery 15K with my friend Heather. More on the race in a later post.

Before my arrival in Milwaukee, Heather alerted me of a pie crust she had made that was waiting for me in her freezer. We had plans to fill it with nutella (that pesky condiment again), apples, and cherries, but somewhere between the free post-race beers, the dude in pink and purple spandex, the guy painted blue, and lunch at a lovely local restaurant called Cafe Benelux we changed our minds…cranberry pear would be a much better filling.

We didn’t start the pie until around 9 p.m., and if you know a thing or two about pie making, you know a pie takes about an hour to cook, and then has to cool. Completely. Like it’ll tempt you on the counter for another hour as the filling continues to thicken. So we didn’t actually eat any until breakfast the next morning. But let me just say that when we did….mmmmm.

This pie should probably end up on your Thanksgiving table. Who wants traditional apple or pumpkin anyway? Or it could just end up on your Wednesday night table. But you should really make it ASAP while the pears are in season. And, lucky you, fresh cranberries should be appearing in groceries soon in preparation for the holidays. If they aren’t freshly around though, just check your freezer section.

This pie is sweet and fresh from the pears and perfectly tart from the cranberries with just a touch of spice from the cinnamon. It’s this perfect combination. If, however, you do not like a tart pie, you can add more sugar. I just happen to like my pies kind of slutty.

You have all sorts of crust options! It’s really exciting. You have my personal favorite, a vodka lard/butter pie crust, a non-vodka butter and crisco crust, or an all butter vodka crust. Feel free to use all butter in that non-vodka crust if that’s your thing. Just sub the crisco with the same amount of ice cold cubed butter. Heather and I made this pie with a crumble topping. It’s way yummy. You can totes make this a double crust pie if you heart desires though.

So let’s make a pie, bitches, and get out of our heads!

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A Very Merry

I just want to sneak in one last Very Merry to You, to each of you who takes the time to read my silly blog.

I hope your holiday season has been filled with sparkly lights, dear people, warm fuzzies, favorite food, hilarious and awkward and terrible (because you know the holidays are not complete without those) family moments, and thoughtful gifts (because a thoughtful gift is way more than a gift, it’s a person really knowing you). I hope that tonight, despite any and all holiday stress, you are going to sleep thinking of the one moment this holiday season that was the sweetest, and I hope you had at least one, and that you are smiling.

I know I am. I am very merry indeed.

A Very She & Him Christmas

I have a major girl crush on Zooey Deschanel. Like out of control major. She’s super cute, has a great sense of style, I love her hair (maybe, just maybe, I wanted bangs because of her.), she has a funny TV show, she thought she invented rinsing after toothbrushing, oh yeah, and she and M. Ward have this great band called She & Him. I’m pretty sure we could be best friends since we had the same American Girl dolls as kids (see above-linked video).

It’s a good thing Michael loves Zooey too, otherwise he’d probably start getting jealous.

So back to She & Him. Why do I enjoy them? The songs on their two albums are sweet and so easy to listen to. They have this great throwback retro 60s and 70s sound. M.Ward’s music has that simple quality for me, deceivingly so I think, because upon closer listen his songs are a bit more complex. And Zooey’s clear voice sounds retro and fresh at the same time.

So this October She & Him released a Christmas album. I love Christmas music, but I hate how cheesy and done up it can be. So I really appreciate the genuine holiday cheer in every song on this album. I just want to put it on a record player and decorate the crap out of  my house with little lights, homemade garlands, and candles.

Sleigh Ride is my favorite song on the album. One it features both the She and the Him on vocals. Two I’ve always loved this song. It paints such a romantic scene of winter fun. And as I listened to it today this line jumped out at me

These wonderful things are the things we’ll remember all through our lives.

Sold. That’s what the holidays are about guys. These wonderful things, these little moments that the holidays give us a chance to find ourselves in. We’re all forced to hang out with our family and our dear friends extra this time of year, because that’s just what you’re supposed to do. And while this time of year may be exhausting and expensive and stressful, and sometimes we just may want a river to skate away on (sorry, can’t help it, that song’s also one of my faves this time of year, even though it’s so not a Christmas song and is really kinda sad), we’re put into these situations that are just made to remember if we just freaking breathe. I know breathing is hard, trust a girl. So I’m gonna make this time of year A Very She & Him Christmas because these songs remind me to chill the eff out and enjoy simplicity.

Listen to it. Get into the holiday spirit. After all we’re mid-December now and up to our ears in the holidays. Do yourself a favor.

Because we’re talking holidays, I’m going to give you a second song like a gift – Silver Bells.