July 17, 2014

What I've Been Reading: GIRLBOSS

Yes, this book entirely deserves its own post. If you are a small business owner and have any sense of humor, you must read this book... no, you must devour this book. If you aren't interested, watch this video.


Interested now? Yeah, I thought so. Sofia Amuroso opens her life and details how she went from a "crust-punk freegan" to the CEO of a multi-million dollar fashion company. This is not quite the traditional business how-to or the classic Cinderella story. Sofia's advice feels like your big sister teaching you how to curl your eyelashes, effortless and low key, but always honest. Though she didn't always know her shit, she figured it out and is eager to share her learning process. I cannot recommend this book enough. It gives great advice on subjects from dealing with your customers to writing a resume and holding down a job. From the first page she whips you int #GIRLBOSS shape with her wit and divine sense of herself. Furthermore, you do not complete the book with an idea of her as a heroine, you leave with a "how-to" of how to become your own hero.

July 1, 2014

Treat Yo-Self Tuesday: Rose Shaped Apple Pie

Happy July, everyone! For the first reinstatement of Treat-yo-self Tuesday, I decided to switch it up a bit. I've seen these gorgeous rose petal pies all over websites like pinterest and tumblr, but always thought "I so do not have the patience to make one of those" but as summer started to set in, I began to miss all of my favorite winter foods; pie being one of them. Though nothing is more "fourth of July" than Apple pie, I hate eating anything that is overly bread-like during the summer, and crust on crust definitely falls into that category. This pie takes half the crust out of the equation, thus making it more tart like (and y'all know how much I love tarts).  I pictured this as a lighter version of the pie I wanted to revisit from the winter months.
If I were to make this pie again, I think I would use a mix of apples and pears for the petals. I wanted to make this a bit more savory with the spices I used (see below), but I think the pears would help achieve that perfect flavor goal. Not to mention the contrast of colors would be gorgeous, even after baking.

The Crust
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Butter
1 tsp Salt
2 tbs Cold Water

Isn't this the cutest baking dish? It's vintage with a full apple pie recipe on the inside! 
1. I used a very simple crust so not to overshadow the flavor of the baked apples. Start by combining the flour and the salt.

2. Soften the butter and work into the flour mixture with a fork. 
3. Add the cold water and mix until an even ball of dough is formed. 
4. Dust a flat surface with flour (and your rolling pin too, for that matter) and roll the dough until it is 1/8th inch thick. I have heard this thickness compared to that of a banana peel. If this helps you judge depth, more power to you. 

5. Roll the dough into a hotdog to transport it to your baking dish (which I forgot grease- it turned out fine, actually.) Unroll and lightly press into place. Trim the sides and perforate with a fork for even baking. I had some crust left over so I decided to make a mini version of this pie in a ramekin! 

The Filling
7-8 Apples
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
2 tbs Cinnamon
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 Pinch Nutmeg
1 tsp pure Vanilla Extract

1. Cut the apples into thin slices using either a vegetable peeler, a mandoline, or your trusty knife. 
2. Place them in a medium sized bowl and coat them in the sugar, cinnamon, garam masala, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. 
3. Let them sit until they become slightly more pliable. 

The Rose
1. Place six pats of butter scattered around the inside of the unbaked pie crust. Scatter another few table spoons of sugar and cinnamon overtop the butter. 
2. When you can bend the apples easily, pick one that is especially easily maneuvered and roll that as tight as you can. This will be the center of your rose. From there, build outward until your rose is about the size of your palm. Place this in the center of the pie crust. I find it easier to use the stronger pieces to shape the general structure of the rose (post placing it into the crust), and then fill in with the more bendable pieces. In the end you should get something looking like the photograph below. 

3. Bake on 400 for 20-25 minutes until golden all the way through, and slightly bubbling between the petals.