Thursday, June 14, 2012

puppy love: broken record

If you were a fly on my wall for the past few weeks, you might think there's a broken record around here.  I've been saying a lot of, "Good pee! Good pee! Good pee!" Immediately followed by, "No bite! No bite! No bite!" Sometimes I wonder if I'll forget how to say anything else at all.
Of course, Oliver is so cute and curious that it's hard to really care what my vocabulary becomes. I find myself growling and barking and mimicking dog sounds. I'm learning to speak dog.

He's learning how to talk too. His quiet whimpering has turned into some quite loud yelps in the last couple of days.  If I had to place bets, I wouldn't think it would be long until he can full-on bark.  It's crazy how quickly he's growing.  Tomorrow marks his 2 month birthday! Yay Oliver! Does that mean I get to have cake?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a recipe: easy-peasy apple turnovers

This weekend I pulled together some apple turnovers from kind-of-scratch.  Aka I bought the puff pastry.  I had made apple turnovers before at my restaurant job throughout high school and college, so I figured this couldn't be much different.  Plus, I had a piece of puff pastry in the freezer that was in dire need of immediate use lest it suffer from the ever-dreaded freezer burn.   

I took the puff pastry out of the freezer to thaw.  (This is my least favorite part of baking with puff pastry, because it seems to take for-ev-er.) And I promptly forgot about it.  Fast forward to me, 6 hours later, struggling to force gummy, melted puff pastry into neat little triangles.  As the picture above can attest: puff pastry: 1, Kristen: 0. 

No hydrangeas were harmed in the making of this dessert (or breakfast, if you're cool like me).

Aside from my dough struggles, this recipe is really very simple and should only take about 30 minutes (not including thaw time) from start to finish.  

Easy-Peasy Apple Turnovers

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
flour, for dusting
2 large green apples, peeled (I only peeled one, because I like the peel)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs sugar, divided
1 egg, separated, whites discarded

a baking sheet
parchment paper
mixing bowls
sharp knife

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel (if desired) and chop 1-2 large green apples in to 1/4" pieces.  Add to medium mixing bowl.  Add lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon) to bowl.  Grate zest of about 1/4 lemon and add to bowl. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and 1 tbs sugar.  Mix well.*

Once you sheet of puff pastry has thawed, lay it out flat on a lightly floured surface. Use a fork or knife to make lots of little holes in the pastry so it doesn't puff up too much in the oven. Divide pastry into 3 equal rectangles. There should already be three fold lines to guide you.  Then cut each rectangle into 3 equal squares. Add a tablespoon or two of the apple mixture to each square.  

Combine egg yolk with 1 tbs of water.  Brush egg yolk mixture around the edges of each square.  Fold over the edges and press them together to seal.  Brush the top of each pastry with more egg wash and sprinkle with remaining sugar.  Poke holes in the tops of your pastries if the original holes disappeared during the folding process.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.

*The apples will cook down and become quite soft in the oven. However, if you want a denser apple consistency, you could cook the apples in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until they resemble a chunky apple sauce and then add the apple sauce to the squares instead.

Monday, June 11, 2012

weekend living

There's nothing better than a productive weekend.  This weekend, I painted an accent wall, moved more furniture back onto the new floors, started weeding our impossibly over grown garden, and spent a lot of time playing with the puppy.  I even managed to find some quiet time to enjoy the cool morning with a cup of coffee and some grapefruit and I worked on catching up on my magazine subscriptions.  I was so surprised when I realized the magazine I was reading was from April! I guess I really have been busy!
Oh! And I finally got that awesome Angela Adams doormat that I ordered from so long ago. I'm so excited to have my very first Angela Adams rugh (indulge me and let me call it that please).  I sincerely hope it's not my last!

I snuck plenty of pictures and spent time with friends and family.  Dan's cousin, Jessie, brought me that beautiful bouquet of hydrangeas from her garden.  I love them! I think once I get all the weeds out, some hydrangeas will just have to go into the newly vacant garden beds. I had also forgotten how refreshing grapefruit can taste on a hot summer's day.  I guess it's not technically summer yet, but it certainly felt like it this weekend.

And of course little monster took up a lot of my time.  He looks so calm and pensive in this photo, and he often is adorably perplexed by most things in life.  However, he is definitely getting bigger and growing into a really rambunctious puppy, too.  He loves to nip our fingers and toes and given a minute alone really does find the one pair of shoes you can't live without to call lunch.  How do they know?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

puppy love: oh, so sleepy

Oliver loves to take naps.  I think maybe we should start a petition to change the phrase "cat nap" to "puppy nap."  He will sleep anywhere and everywhere. Now if only we could get him to sleep through the night...

In this last picture, Ollie is with his pet alligator, Aly.  We named her Aly after my best friend and roommate in Vail (and because she's an alligator, obviously).  Ollie LOVES his Aly and can most often be found snuggled up with her in his crate (or, in less angelic moments, trying his darnedest to rip her apart :).