March 15, 2010

On my future boyfriend.

Posted in Celebrities, Misc Musings tagged , , at 3:13 am by Dani

Just so you know, it was really hard for me to chose a picture (and also really hard for me to stop googling him).

Gerard Butler

I chose this one because he looks Irish in it

Gerard Butler. Need I say more? He established his standing as uber manly man in 300, and made women everywhere swoon every time he spoke with his Irish accent. And also, LOOK AT HIM. Perfection.

Gerard Butler Shirtless

Gerard Butler sans shirt

Don’t care for the manfolk? Fine. His Ugly Truth co-star Katherine Heigl, who I think is ridiculously gorgeous, and funny, and awesome.

Can I be her please? For like, a day?

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March 14, 2010

On pi (pie) day.

Posted in Baking, Pie, Recipe tagged , , , at 9:11 pm by Dani

Pi day = 3/14

Pi = 3.141593…..

Pie = Delicious

I’ve always been intimidated by pie. Not by eating pie–that’s easy. Rather, the prospect of making pie has always made me feel small and insignificant. Not pizza pie. I’ve been making pizza pie for years. I’m talking about Pushing Daisies, Waitress, 50’s diner pie.

My Hero

Now that you know my inspirations, get ready to hear about my process. First I do research. My love for food network (the yeast puppets are my favorite) gives me a good idea where to start. I found this great website on pie crusts, and had a few friends send me their recipes for apple pie. I youtubed to see what Alton says (I almost never make anything without consulting Alton.) The last credit must go to a lady named Mama Burndt. I do not know this woman personally, nor do I know Baby Burndt, but her recipe ended in my hands (and inbox) and she is just as responsible for this pie as I am.

And without further ado, I give you my very first attempt at pie-making

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Ingredients:

Crust

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp sugar

Pinch of salt

7 tbsp butter

4 tbsp Crisco

5 tbsp ice water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

1. Sift flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. You’re going to be banging at the bowl with a knife, so be sure it’s one you don’t mind scuffing up.

2. Chop butter into small pieces. The smaller you cut now, the easier step 3 will be.

3. Add butter and Crisco into flour mixture and, using a knife or pastry cutter, cut the butter and Crisco. Stop when the biggest pieces are pea-sized. This is good. We want little clumps of butter.

4. Pour in ice water slowly while stirring with a fork. Stop when all of the flour is moist, but not wet or sticky. You may not need all the water, or you may need extra. If you accidentally use too much water, never fear. Just add a little more flour.

5. Using your hands, roll the dough into a ball (be careful not to over-handle it), and refrigerate it until it is chilled. This is a perfect time to start the filling.

Filling

6 Granny Smith, 2 Mcintosh apples

1/4 cup sugar

Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and/or clove. As much or little as you fancy, though be wary: more than 2 tsp of total spices might kill the flavor of the apple.

1 tbsp butter

6. Slice the apples into thin pieces on a cutting board. Transfer apples to a bowl. Try to keep as much of the juice as possible.

7. Add sugar and spices. Use your hands to toss the apples until they are evenly coated. Let this sit while we get back to the crust.

8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, separate it into two pieces, and roll both out. Rolling pins work if you sprinkle flour over everything, but I hate flour. It’s messy. I prefer to lay the ball out onto wax paper, and just smoosh it flat with my hands. Once it’s as thin as I’d like, I use the rolling pin for just a second to even it out.

9. Place a 10″ circle of dough onto an 8″ pan, and put the rest of the dough back in the fridge.

10. Fill the pie with apple mixture, while evenly placing dots of butter throughout the filling.

11. There will be extra apple slices. Squeeze these over the pie, letting all the juicy goodness drip into the pie. The more the better.

12. Cover the pie with the rest of the crust, in whatever configuration you’d like. Cover the edges with foil to keep them from browning too much.

Bake 50 minutes. Tada! Enjoy.

Pie Innards

Mmmmmmmm....Pie

On my choice of a name.

Posted in Celebrities, Misc Musings, Rants tagged , at 10:06 am by Dani

I considered long and hard how to name myself on this blog. I considered using a username-style alias (waytosomewhere) or something meaningful and clever (Ms. Who). I went though all my dvds and my dvr trying to find a character I identify with. I briefly considered using my real name or my middle name. In the end I settled on Riley. Why? So glad you asked! Let me tell you:

Firstly, and most simply, I just like it. I’ve always had a thing for  androgynous names. Secondly, I heart the Olsen Twins, particularly in their television series So Little Time. And I always liked Riley soooo much better than Chloe. They use these pseudonyms in some of their movies too. One of my favorite scenes from Winning London is the one where Riley is in the air duct, and says to her designated cutie, “the name’s Riley, not ‘kiddo.'” That line has always spoken to me in a cookie-cutter-tweenie-girl movie way.

So Little Time DVD cover. Riley is the on the right.

In conclusion: Androgynous names = good. Olsen Twins = my preteen idols. Riley = the better twin.

And I leave you with this, the best cinematic scene of ALL TIME: