Homemade Cherry Pie

Homemade Cherry Pie.

On a recent visit to an awesome new grocery store that opened up near us called Fresh Thyme, I discovered they carried big 2.5 lb bags of red sour pie cherries.  I was so excited!  This is something hard to find where we live.  You can find dark sweet cherries everywhere, and they are delicious for eating, but to make a good old-fashioned homemade cherry pie, you have to have the sour cherries.

I snagged a couple bags and was excited to get to make a cherry pie for hubby for Valentine’s Day last week.

If you are lucky enough to find sour cherries, here is the simple, old-fashioned recipe I use to make a classic cherry pie.

Bake a little love!

Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine cherries, sugar, tapioca, and almond extract.  Mix well, and let sit while preparing pie crust.

Prepare crust and place bottom layer in pie plate.  Fill with cherry mixture.  Top filling with dabs of butter followed by top crust, being sure to cut slits or a shape to allow bubbling and steam to escape.  Spread a small amount of milk or water on top crust, and sprinkle with an additional tablespoon of sugar if desired.

Place pie in oven.  Cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning.  Bake approximately one hour.  Remove foil and continue baking until filling bubbles out of top and crust is beautifully browned.

Allow to cool completely to set.  Serve with scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

A Beautiful Ending

Foggy, Beautiful Ending to the Day – February, 2019 – Mars, PA

A Beautiful Ending.

We may not be able to control or change
ugly things that happened to us –
especially in our childhood.

We can’t choose our beginning.

But we can decide to not be
defined or deflated or diminished by them,
and create our own beautiful life.

We can determine the ending.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips.

I’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier and make better food choices.

It’s hard.

While some people crave chocolate and sweets, I am a salty, savory girl.  I will take a crunchy pretzel or chip any day over a Hershey’s Kiss or cookie.

So when I heard about making homemade sweet potato chips, I had to try.

And HOORAY!  They totally satisfied my salty, crunchy chip-loving craving.

These are so easy to make, so delicious to eat, and healthy enough to not feel guilty!

The only tricky part is baking them long enough to get crispy without burning them.

This recipe is what works in my oven in my area.  I have an electric convection oven.  Your baking time may vary.  Just keep watching – and tasting – until you achieve your best results.

The batch pictured here is ONE sweet potato!

Here is how I made them:

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder or dry rub or your favorite seasoning (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Thinly slice sweet potato with a mandoline slicer and layer on a baking stone or cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and combine to coat well.  Sprinkle with salt and seasoning.  Re-spread evenly on the baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes.  Toss and flip slices.  Continue baking for 10 minutes.  Toss and flip slices.  Bake 10 more minutes or until edges are browned and chips become crisp.  Remove to paper towels to dry and drain off any excess oil.   Serve immediately and enjoy!

TIP:  Some type of mandoline slicer is really a must as well to get super thin, even slices.

Hope you enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S.  Do you see a familiar furry, four-legged friend in the first photo who also loves these sweet potato chips?  (Charlie says “Hi” and wants you to know how good these are!)

The Happiest Happy of All

The Happiest Happy of All

I know we live in a world
that says do what makes you happy,
and I get that…

But the happiness you get
from making someone else happy
might just be the happiest happy of all.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S.  This photo is a section of a 3-foot tall piece of art I created for a special young lady who has a few of my other abstract pieces in her home and asked me to make another to complement them.  I can’t wait to give it to her and then see how it looks in her home.  I sure hope it makes her as happy as it made me creating it for her.

Mason the Pickle-Loving Monkey

Mason the Monkey 11×14 Watercolor

Mason the Pickle-Loving Monkey.

Mason was a monkey that many considered fickle.
Instead of eating bananas, Mason loved a sour dill pickle.

He would often pay a nickel,
and sometimes even triple

for that tart, tangy prickle
of a pickle on pumpernickel.

On tasting leaves and seeds, he was truly noncommittal,
for his taste buds and his palate, they simply did not tickle.

He loved the pleasant pucker, and he would often stickle
over anything that was even remotely artificial.

Dilled cucumbers he claimed to be the official
absolute favorite and most nutritional.

 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Mason the Pickle-Loving Monkey is another in a series of paintings and poems I am working on for a new children’s book.  This new book will be special because it is going to feature characters that are based on the grandchildren of my best friends.  Mason is the grandson of Joyce, son of Nikole, and brother of Ella.

Prints and greeting cards of all of these paintings are available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop, where you can also order a customized painting and poem of or for someone dear to you. 

Other fun products, like pillows, canvas prints, tote bags and much more are also available at our Mx2D Society6 Shop.

I will begin putting my book together soon and let you all know about it!  If you are interested in my first children’s book of watercolor animals and silly poems, you can find it here:  Klaus the Mouse and Other Silly Animal Tales.

Cherish the Moments

Cherish the Moments.

When the day is done,
take some time to reflect on the things
that made it special.

Remember the moments
that brought you joy
or made you smile or laugh.

Close your eyes
and savor those thoughts,
knowing tomorrow will surely bring challenges,

but also realizing there will be
new moments to cherish –
even if you have to search really hard.

And tomorrow will bring another sunset
and more opportunity to reflect,
and the hope of getting to do it all again.

Cherish the moments…
for the moments
are what make up a life.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Ella the Elephant

Ella the Elephant.

Even as a baby, Ella was an exceptional elephant.
Her charm and her wisdom were immediately evident.

Not only was she stunning and delightfully elegant,
she was also most exceedingly well-spoken and eloquent.

As Ella grew she organized an annual innovator’s event
where she spoke about the things she was going to invent.

Carrying a book wherever she traveled and went,
Ella could easily recite the most informative content.

She understood the principles of what democracy meant,
and she cared very deeply about the environment.

Ella had a backbone that simply couldn’t be bent.
She clearly was destined to be the President.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Ella the Elephant is another in a series of paintings and poems I am working on for a new children’s book.  This new book will be special because it is going to feature characters that are based on the grandchildren of my best friends.  Ella is the granddaughter of Joyce and daughter of Nikole, and they are three very special ladies in my life, as are their guys.

I have one more special character to create before I begin putting this book together.  The poem for Mason the Monkey is already written, and I can’t wait to paint him.  Mason is Ella’s brother, and I’m looking forward to sharing him with you.

Prints and greeting cards of all of these paintings are available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop, where you can also order a customized painting and poem of or for someone dear to you.

Lessons from a Squirrel

Early Morning Squirrel on the Back Deck Feeder, Mars, PA – January, 2019

Lessons from a Squirrel.

It pays to be nimble.

You can get what you want if you just stretch
your body and mind a little more than you think you can.

The early bird may get the worm,
but the early squirrel gets the birdseed.

Cheers & Warm Winter Hugs,
Jodi

 

Evie the Egret

Evie the Egret.

Evie was the cutest egret
you ever will have met.

The way her big blue eyes were set
was in a way you couldn’t forget.

Evie’s fluffy feathers, even when they were wet,
created the most fantastic egret silhouette.

Evie was a part of an all-girl egret quartet
where she was featured playing the alto clarinet.

The other girls, whose names were Annette and Suzette,
played backup to the leader, a brunette named Claudette.

Evie was known to fret
and sometimes get upset

because her name wasn’t Yvette
or maybe even Paulette.

But Evie didn’t long regret
for it was silly to be upset

when you really were the cutest little egret
from the U.S. to Tibet.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Evie the Egret is another in a series of paintings and poems I am working on for a new children’s book.  This new book will be kind of special because it will feature characters that are based on the grandchildren of my best friends.  Evie is the first grandaughter of my bestie, Jill, and the second child of Jackie, my McHendy daughter, who first inspired me to start this blog.

I have two more special surprise characters to create before I begin putting this book together, so look for them in upcoming posts.

Prints and greeting cards of all of these paintings are available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop, where you can also order a customized painting and poem of or for someone dear to you.