Monday, April 28, 2014

Pie! Oh my!

I don't know about you, but I just love finding new places.  I always get so excited, but my expectations are apparently, well... high.  Usually, places measure up in some areas, but fall short in others.  I guess over time, I still have high standards, but my expectations have diminished, since I've dealt with disappointment more than once.  That being the case, I cannot express how elated I was last week when I came upon a new place in my beloved downtown McKinney, TX, and it not only met, but exceeded my standards in ALL AREAS!

I went down to the square for lunch last week.  I love the square.  It kind of makes me feel like I live in Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls reference for those of you deprived of that gem), and it was one of the main reasons that Money Magazine chose McKinney as the #2 best place to live in the NATION.  I don't go down there often enough.  While we have great restaurants, it's not always easy to pop in and out due to parking issues, so it's not a place we go as often as we should.  But I do go down to get my hair cut and occasionally shop around at the cute collection of stores, and on occasion, for lunch.  Last week I went twice for hair and lunch, and I discovered a pie shop.

As soon as we saw it, it was a no brainer.  We were going for pie!  I was shocked to discover that The Emporium: Purveyor of Fine Pies,  has actually been here since November.  Apparently they just got their tables outside and signage, so that's why I had missed it every time I had driven by over the past 5 months.  The outside was very appealing...



The inside was equally cute.  I didn't take pictures inside.  I didn't want to freak them out too much, as my over enthusiasm at each element was probably freaky enough!

Every.  Single.  Element.  Was.  Perfect!

The menus you could take home...
Simply Gorgeous!

We got our pie to go...

The to-go packaging is so charming...

We got two to try...Smooth Operator and Snowball

I'm not as big of a pie nut as I am cake nut, but y'all, IT WAS GOOD PIE!

Not fancy schmancy pie, but your grandmother is a wonderful cook and this is her famous pie kind of good.

It is all made in house.  It is all natural ingredients.  It is beyond good.  

We now have a goal:  Try all the pies before they change the menu (as they do seasonally). 

If you live in the area, come try some pie.  They have very generous hours of operation, so it shouldn't be a problem.  If you aren't in the McKinney area, they also have a store in the Bishop Arts District down in Oak Cliff.  

This is not a paid advertisement.  I'm just overly enthusiastic about a quaint business, with wonderful products!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter 2014

For Easter, we went to my uncle's house in Dallas.  I made a salad, deviled eggs, and some coconut cream eggs.  We had tons of food as you can see...



My mom made the mini strawberry lemon pies from last month's Southern Living...


This year I tried a new trick for boiling the eggs for deviled eggs.  AND IT TOTALLY WORKED!  Here's the trick:  flip your eggs over in the carton so that you are storing them "upside down".  Do it like a day or two before, and then the yolk will be in the center of each instead of all wonky in at least half of them!  Seriously, you can see how perfect they were...


Pretty dining room and table too...


My cousins...

The coconut cream eggs were super good.  You could totally make them into candy balls instead of eggs, and then you don't have to wait until next Easter to make them!

Here's the recipe:


Coconut Cream Eggs

8 ounces of softened cream cheese
1 TBSP softened butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup of shredded coconut
1 TBSP shortening
2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Using a mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until blended.  Incorporate the powdered sugar, and then the coconut.

Refrigerate the mixture for one hour, or until easy to mold with your hands.  Dust your hands with powdered sugar, and mold the mixture, placing them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.

Place in freezer for 2 hours or until eggs are firm.   Melt chocolate chips and shortening in microwave* by heating for 30 seconds, then stirring, and repeating until melted and smooth.  Dip eggs in chocolate mixture until completely coated.  Place back on wax paper and refrigerate until hardened.**

*I used a double boiler and found that not to be ideal, because it was melting my eggs quickly.  So the microwave is probably best.

**I found that the kept best in the refrigerator until you were ready to eat them!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A trip to Oz

This weekend was my cousin Gracie's last middle school play, as she is going to be in high school next year.


Just a side note :  I cannot believe she is almost in high school.  Makes me feel so very old!  My only consolation is that it makes my friends feel equally old because Gracie & her sister were born during law school... Gracie in our second year, and Maddie is our Bar baby because she was born early in July when we took the Bar.  

Anyway, the final play for Miss Gracie's career at HPMS was a great one...
and she got the lead and was Dorothy!

Here's a little clip of a portion of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
(she did such a great job!)
((and would you look at that adorable little Toto dog!!))


Here she is with the munchkins & Glinda
The Lollipop Guild
Breaking the bad news (of her sister's death) to the Wicked Witch of the West...

Meeting Scarecrow
If he only had a brain!
Meeting the Tinman
and the Lion
For the theatre version, instead of a scene where they are put to sleep in a field of poppies, they encounter jitterbugs, who after dancing the jitterbug, put them all to sleep
Welcome to Oz!




I'm Melting!
This was a crazy high tech performance!  Here is Glinda flying in.  Dorothy flew during the tornado, and when the flying monkeys carried her away too!
There's no place like home.  There's no place like home
Gracie was awarded the "Drama Cloak"
This is an old theatre tradition where the cast and crew vote on the single person whom they feel exemplifies the spirit of the production
Way to go Gracie!
The Star greeting her fans back stage


Gracie and Maddie

Mark, Gracie, & Kati

Me, Gracie, & Mom

 

2009 sweet cheeky designs sweet cheeky designs

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