Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pie Fail...

So I have been a "Mrs. Landin" for almost two years now - and let's just say as any other Mrs. Landin knows, culinary skill runs in the name! Usually I have no problem trying new recipes and cooking/baking ideas. However....

Enter, the dreaded pie. Why on earth this is the most difficult thing for me - I have no idea. I have successfully made pies in the past - in fact, I'm happy to report that my strawberry/apple pie resulted in good reviews at my best friend's engagement party. But I have zero consistency with this baked wonder, and today is PROOF that Grandma Landin will always wear the Pie-Making Crown.

Dan has been away in Pennsylvania off and on for the last two weeks and needless to say, I've really missed him! So today as he traveled back home, I was excited and wanted to make him a special treat: Peach berry pie.

Grandma Landin's pie (as said before) is simply amazing. And the good news is: I have her pie crust recipe! The bad news: I still can't make it like her! I followed the recipe exactly, and there was no way that I could roll it out without it crumbling in my hands. Sadly, I threw out the batch... (Pie fail part 1)

So I found an identical recipe that adds more water and an egg white. Success! I was able to get a consistency that allowed me to roll it out and make a smooth crust. Another fun thing I wanted to try: my new King Arthur Flour pie making stuff!
We've gotten a lot of stuff in the mail recently. Shown here, along with a tiny blender and tent seam sealer, are the things I ordered for pie-making! Crust protector shields and a lattice pie top cutter.
Well, I used the lattice pie top cutter, which didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped (the tiny pieces of pie crust didn't cut all the way through and I had to knife them out!) and I forgot completely to use the crust shield. Here's the end result:
Looks like it has potential, right???

Wrong. It burnt on the outside, drooped in the middle, and was completely soupy and doughy on the inside...

How disappointing...

For some reason, Dan still liked it...

... and cleaned his bowl.
Sigh. I suppose I am my own worst judge. But really???? Soupy pie? Not happy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Be a blogger!

I know this blog isn’t extremely interesting – it’s basically just a collection of my thoughts and some blurry pictures of our recent adventures – but it has provided me with a sort of journaling outlet. Even if no one enjoyed reading what I write, I would still do it simply because by getting my thoughts into writing, somehow I feel that I have taken things off of my shoulders and can move on to what’s next. I have also recently been journaling as I do my devotions in the mornings. I have found that writing down my prayers and thoughts about the passages I am reading helps me to better organize my thinking and make sense of what God is telling me (and make sense of what I want to express to him!). Bottom line: journaling is something that I have grown to like and maybe even love. And blogging got me started.

I know a few people have mentioned to me that they like reading my blog and are wondering “how do you do that?!” so I am here to show you how we can be blogging buddies! I suppose in the process of me telling you how to get started, I’ll update the look of my own blog. (o:

1. First things first: what do you want to write about??? Give it some good thought before you start. Or don’t, and just make your blog a fun hodge-podge of things like mine is. What will you call your blog? I know mine is called Good Lookin Cookin because I had intentions to turn it into some fabulous culinary site with photos of delicious meals and baked goods, but it has evolved into more of a what’s-happening-with-the-Landin's page for friends and family. Perhaps I’ll re-title my blog today. (o:

2. If you don’t already have a Gmail email account, you should create one to use for signing in. It’s easy and, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to use it! I have 5 different email addresses, but that doesn’t mean I use them all - most of them are where I send all my junk emails.

3. Once you have your email account and you have your ideas together, go to this site, ( click on “Get started” under the text “Don’t have a Google Account?” and from there it is quite self-explanatory.

There are other blog providers out there, but I haven’t really wanted to try them since Blogger is so easy for me to use and because it allows me to connect with other family members and friends who have blogs.

With a blog of your own you can enjoy journaling like I have – plus you can easily share with family and friends. AND if you do become a blogger, make sure you tell me and we can leave each other comments! How fun!

Here are some example blogs that I stumbled upon to show you what kinds of things people blog about:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Lovin - I'm Lovin Summer!

We are all set and ready for our big adventures this summer! Most of those adventures will involve camping - and we are excited to say that our brand new tent is on its way! This is what we got:
This tent is the Coleman WeatherMaster Screened Tent for 4 (which means that it probably fits us two and everything that we're bringing!) and includes an attached screened-in room! We got it from, so it really wasn't too expensive, especially after using $35 worth of free Swagbucks gift cards and a $50 gift card from our Chase Ultimate Rewards. Always gotta be thrifty, right?!
Walmart supplied us with everything else: an awesome 5-day cooler, sleeping bags, an air mattress and pump, and of course - a cooking fork! (o: Can't wait for those campfires!

We are planning to spend fourth of July week with family at my parents' church's family camp. Great speakers, great music and worship, and a wonderful family environment - with a side of waterskiing and a golf tournament for garnish. (o:

Ahh!!! My power just went out! Good thing this computer is using its battery! I'm currently typing this blog without internet access though, so we'll see if I can save it in a Word document. Hmm... I wonder what happened- the weather is nice so it can't be related to wind or stormy weather. Guess I can kick it like the Amish for a little while (as I sit here with my laptop).

Other than our family camp trip this summer, we plan to also spend a few nights in the Adirondack mountains with another couple that we went to school with. Our goal: to climb at least one mountain! We also would like to see if we can do a short camping trip to Niagara falls for our 2nd anniversary, but we'll see how the timing and the finances work out.

Speaking of finances - my car has done it once again! Yesterday I hopped in the car to head to work and the car wouldn't start (it's famous for this). So I twisted the key in the ignition a few times (Dan did this the other day) and it worked - it started! However, it was making a really terrible squealing sound that kinda freaked me out, so I wanted to turn it back off. Well, I turned the key to "off" and.... the car kept making noises - it was still on and sounded like it wanted to start again! I even took the key out of the ignition and stepped out of the car and it was still trying to start!! Needless to say, I was becoming a little more than freaked out and I had no idea what to do. While this is all going on, my landlord is gone and my husband is gone for a few days, so I am all alone with a car that won't shut off! Thankfully, my dad answered his phone and helped me to stop bawling and do something about the car. I managed to drive it with my blinkers on going almost 20 mph down the road about a mile to our car shop. It was squealing and it smelled bad, but I didn't have any other choice! I was about 200 feet away from the shop when the hood started to pour out smoke. I had my windows down, so the smoke started coming into the car and I actually started coughing and couldn't see. Luckily, I made it into the parking lot just in time and thank goodness the car shut off when I turned the key this time!

Scariest. thing. ever.

And I missed my shift at work. And now we need to figure out how to pay for my car. Again.

Hopefully when the guy at the shop calls me, he'll say that he'll pay for it! Seeing how this car has been there multiple times already and he's never mentioned anything being wrong with the starter before.... Oh life.

And my power still isn't on, and I'm hearing sirens outside, so (hopefully not, but) maybe someone ran into a power line pole? Hmmm... well at any rate, I can't wash my dishes without electric so... I'll go for a nice walk! I'm lovin the summertime and lovin that I can just pick up and go outside on a warm sunshiny day like today.

Power's back on! Life is good. (o:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

All in a day's work...

My delicious macaroni salad that I made today when I needed a break from cleaning. This is going to my graduation party this Saturday - so excited!  

Woke up at 6:00 to the sound of my alarm...

Woke up at 7:00 to the sound of my alarm (hey... it's only an hour later than I had thought I wanted to wake up)...

Dan woke me up again at 7:30.... and THEN I began my busy day!

I had already steam cleaned the livingroom, used easy-off on my oven (that stuff is miraculous!), and had gotten that half of the house cleaned up earlier in the week. Today we attacked the bedroom, bathroom, our dressers, my desk, and the stairs! I am proud to say that I can now see my desktop, my bedroom floor can be walked on without having to make sure you don't step on something, and the bathroom is spic and span.

With time to spare! Today we also enjoyed throwing a football in the backyard and going to some friends' new apartment for dinner (yummy blueberry waffles- thanks guys, it was great!). I finished my macaroni salad for this Saturday and made a fruity jello for our dinner tomorrow night with friends. Seems like we realllllly like having dinner with friends this week! (o: [Really, we love hanging out with people any time!!!] The weather was perfect, and our time together and with friends was fabulous! It really was a Wonderful Wednesday.

Life. Is. Good.