Chalkboard Quotes: Be the Reason Someone Smiles Today

A few years back, right after we moved into this house, my sweet mother-in-law gave us this frame. It was another color and didn’t have anything behind it. We debated between using it to hang wreaths or other stuff in it or get a large picture printed for it. But I had wanted a big chalkboard for a while, so Garen cut a piece of plywood to the right size and I painted it with chalkboard paint. I painted the frame black so it would be versatile. I finished this project right before Clara and Kate’s first birthday. Here’s the first chalkboard crafting I did:

As you can see, I did a combo of pictures hanging with pom pom string and mini clothespins. I used chalkboard paint markers on this project. Although it turned out nicely, it forever stained my chalkboard. I’m probably the only one that really looks closeup enough to see that it still says “Happy Halloween” but it still drives me a little crazy. Short drive there but still…

The slight stain doesn’t bother me enough to take it apart and repaint it. I’ve learned now that using plain ol’ chalk is easiest for writing and erasing. Plus, you can buy a box with color and white from Dollar Tree for only a dollar. Score!

On Wednesday afternoon last week I redid it for Valentines a whole day before Valentines Day. Great planning, right? However, I went ahead and changed it because I used it for decoration at the Wood Elementary Family Sweetheart Dance we had on Friday night.

It’s not my best work and you can tell that it got smeared a bit by people running into it. It is what it is…

Today, I decided to redo the message again since it got messed up in transport back to the house. I thought I’d share since I really loved the message. It’s perfect right now since we’re between seasons. St. Patty’s Day (also Anna Banana’s birthday) is next and a little far off for doing that. I happened to see this post by How Does She? On Pinterest that had 21 Great Chalkboard Quotes. I found this quote from there and changed up how it was drawn a bit to fit my style. There were 20 other great quotes to check out as well.

I love this quote: “Be the reason someone smiles today.” I feel like if we all just tried to make at least one person smile a day we’d have a much better world. And one of the best ways to do that is just by smiling yourself. After all smiling is contagious.

Happy Smiling Sunday!

Mommy Review Monday: My Little Bro

Today’s Mommy Review Monday is a little different.  It’s a review of my little brother, Alexander Van Odom, who happens to turn 30 today.

How did that happen???

Like I always say, time flies when you’re having fun.  And we’ve had lots of it over the years.

Things I LOVE about my brother:

  • He’s one of the most caring, thoughtful people I know.  Seriously, y’all.  He’d always very conscious about how something may make others feel.  In a time of verbal (and textual) vomit all over the place, this man actually thinks about what he says and thinks before he says or writes it.  And, better yet, he actually cares about how it will make you feel.  This is something I, personally, could do better at.
  • He’s soooo creative.  This guy…. He can make, craft, draw pretty much anything.  More than that though, he’s creative enough to come up with his own designs vs. just copying a great idea of someone else.  Maybe that’s why he’s an amazing architect???
  • He made me Aunt Liz to Harper Bear.  And Ottie too.  They’re both pretty great and I love lovin’ on them both when I get to see them!
  • He married Kelsey, who is pretty much the coolest and most stylish sister-in-law EVER.
  • He’s super photogenic.  Ok, so this doesn’t really matter all that much to me but it does tie in the many photos below….

What I wish I could have more of from my brother:

  • I wish he lived closer and we could spend more time together.
  • I wish for our kids to get to spend lots of fun cousin time in the coming years.
  • I wish he’d give me some more of his creativity.
  • I wish I would’ve been nicer at times when we were growing up.  Sorry about being a bossy-pants, older sister.  At least he was able to learn from my mistakes…
  • Most of all, I wish I could give him a big Birthday hug!

If you’re reading this, Alexander, AKA, Uncle Al, I love you and can’t wait to see what the next 30 years holds for you and your little family!

To the rest of you, check out how handsome this dude is….

Photo Credit to Garen Graves and Kelsey Odom.

Photo Friday: Willy P, Basketball Star

Will started playing basketball. He’s having a blast. He’s got a great coach and assistant coach and I think he enjoys playing with his teammates even though none of them go to his school.

We signed up through the YMCA and I have to say that I’m been pretty impressed with the organization and how the refs are out there to help the kids learn the ins and outs of the game as well. They have practices on Tuesday nights and Saturday games at a nearby Junior High, which is plenty for a 4th grader.

I am so glad Will likes it. Garen caught a few of these from one of his games. He looks like a baller, right?!? Just call him Willy P!

Happy Photo Friday!

Venison Stroganoff

Yesterday afternoon I had a nice little cat nap, which was fantastic. But then it was already time for dinner. And what was I going to make?

That never happens, right?!?

I’d already thawed some of the ground deer meat in preparation for prepping a few meals tomorrow so I threw a pound into a skillet and did a quick mental inventory of what I could make quickly with what we had in the house.

Pasta came to mind but I wasn’t in the mood for a chili mac or anything that had a tomato based sauce. I tend to always make those things with ground meat and I’m a little burned out since I’ve been working hard to use the meat in the freezer. Again, apologies to those who hate the idea of eating Bambi but we eat what Garen kills. This meal would be equally good with beef or turkey.

Stroganoff came to mind. Easy. Fast. And I had everything I needed to make.

I’m not sure I’d even call this a recipe but it must’ve been pretty good because it was a hit with even Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Here’s what I threw together:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground meat (I used venison/deer)
  • 1/2 onion, diced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Frozen green peas
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked past

Instructions:

  • Start cooking the pasta.
  • Brown the ground meat with the onions and garlic.
  • Throw in the green peas and add the beef broth. Stir up and simmer for about a minute or two until the peas thaw.
  • In a mixing cup, mix the cornstarch and water. Add to the meat and peas to thicken the sauce.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir.
  • Add the cream of mushroom soup and sour cream and stir.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • When the pasta is ready either add it to the mixture and serve or top the pasta with the Stroganoff mixture.

Like I said, it was pretty tasty. The boys and Clara both had seconds even. That’s a sure sign it’s tasty. I used penne pasta because that’s what I had but it would probably be fantastic with some egg noodles.

Plus, it’s also super easy and fast, made with stuff we almost always have on hand. Winner winner, it’s deer for dinner!

Instant Pot Veggie Soup with Venison

If you hate the idea of hunting, please don’t read any further but, please know we do shoot things to eat vs. killing just for fun. With that out of the way, I’m happy to say that Garen killed a deer this year. It had been a few years and my freezer was jonesing for some meat.

I’m one of the few people in my small circle of friends who really, really enjoy deer meat (venison to you fancy pants folks). I actually didn’t grow up eating a ton of it, despite the fact that my family grew up in a town of 3,000. I think we were always just too busy to hunt.

Whatever the reason, this year I got lucky and Garen shot one on Christmas Eve. We made a trip with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum to Muenster to have it processed at Fischers. It’s a nice little town. We picked up some great sausage and cheese for snacking, along with a nice cup of coffee and hot cocoa for the toad trip back to his Mom’s house in Henrietta.

A couple of weeks back we got the processed meat back. Lots of it. We had them make quite a bit of it into smoked sausage, summer sausage, jalapeño summer sausage, and ground meat, leaving the better pieces for steak, etc. (btw, the sausage is fantastic)

Now that our chest freezer is almost full to capacity, I’m using what we’ve got in meals I cook for the family. To any of you who don’t like deer meat, don’t worry, I won’t sneak it into a meal I cook for you! You know who you are!!!

I tried an old favorite of mine last night, Veggie Soup. Except I changed things up. I used the Instant Pot and I used some of my frozen ground deer meat. A few things I like about this recipe include:

  • You can add pretty much anything you want. Got chicken? Throw it in there. Leftover veggies? Throw those bad boys in.
  • Because of the variation of ingredients, it’s cheap. Especially when you use deer meat, depending on where and how you have it processed. Plus, it’s a great way to get rid of any leftovers you’ve got on hand or to clean out your freezer. We’re all about using what we’ve got!
  • You can spice it up for adults (use rotel instead of diced tomatoes or add jalapeños, etc) or leave it mild for the kiddos.
  • You can make it thicker or thinner, based on what you like.
  • Top it with whatever you want. I added cilantro to mine but cheese and Fritos to the girls’. To each their own.
  • It’s an easy one-dish meal. Less dishes = happy mom (or dad).

Here’s the “recipe” although it’s more like a “guideline.”

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs of ground meat (use beef, turkey, venison)
  • 1/2 onion, diced (optional)
  • 1 large package frozen Mixed veggies
  • 1 package Frozen Okra or Lima beans
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups water or broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Brown ground meat and onions by using sauté function your Instant Pot.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and close lid.
  • Set to Manual for 5 minutes.
  • Let it natural release for 5 minutes and then quick release.
  • Open and serve. Garnish with whatever toppings you like. Fritos, crackers, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, jalapeños, etc. are all good options but use your imagination.

It made about 10 servings for us. It kind of depends on how big of bowls you use. Sorry I’m not great at measuring it out.

There you have it! It doesn’t get too much easier than that.

Well, I take that back….

I made it a little easier by cooking my ground meat in bulk (5 lbs at a time in my big skillet) on a Sunday a few weeks back and putting it into the freezer so I can whip up easy weeknight meals without the added hassle of defrosting, cooking, etc. I just took the cooked ground meat out of the freezer and threw it into the Instant Pot frozen.

There ya’ go. On a damp, windy night like it was a few nights ago, this classic soup will warm your soul. Enjoy!

Photo Friday: Lovely Louisiana

We were fortunate to have Christmas with the Odom side of our family at Emilie and Brian’s home in Alexandria, LA.  It’s a beautiful place to be.  We got to go do some hiking in a nearby national park.  Although it was cold and a little damp, we all enjoyed it and it was great to let the kids burn off some energy.

As always, Garen took his camera to get a few shots that I thought I’d share on this Photo Friday.  Yes, I do realize I’ve skipped about 20 Photo Fridays.  My excuse:  life.

Despite the length between posts, I think I’ve made up with it with these photos.  Garen certainly captured the fun in these!  Thanks so much, Auntie Em and Uncle Brian, for hosting all of the craziness that is 6 additional adults and 5 very active kiddos.  We love you guys and had a great time making these memories!

019f26f700f56f1ac44cea7fc877b634fac5ed63a90147ba205ffe76bc13a07c8967dfcebf8b8bed61960193a606f45ffe9f65f10ac29304a5f9d0908f00c001373045cbfb7050f3de87eaf1e27a39fb7df995970144ec312b8fbf9f85bcfaab4baf3caded738d535f01249e510426a5b8abff77cfebf51a1d799287430e018b1d03988c6e5b6a56ea7da2563a29f0b07c0ed101d6771991f6a224614a2af6909c835f3db09656ce0137b9f93a8740c1637349e3c0539139ce294e70f50189757f6c36a983f586dbfb526757bade99e645a801efa3dde346bf68177287d0ad96c5d5f2013f410401ab295a2a53e5239d405bcf92378d3cd1de5d21ea0185aaae0552b30d71cc899d47e89fbd18bc357e3401090f8e506db50fd60b0e2f17d2b29354920c72b601bebe6718e93fe117cee18fb993dd6a9c0113321b01f3c4dceeb85c2e3fe9320471d247f2b3c4aef48f01ab2bf81c6a0547a28f3c9e164a8d54b58ad90ab801d55fb0b28e5c1e0fe37f00977888f9d55d85b836014a77b2a6fc6bd87bed9cda189a691c5d0d98126c01aac842e979d07dc93bbdd636bd113fc1deb41d79012c17b60401b7d3894dbc90d76828e4925caa01c2010139e89da0bbf01135e5ebaf3a46d207a7d973f3013444decf19397078d3dfd87cacf3926284c06782012bc92d1a8151887560ea8cb30c61e96de62294ae018b2455574451f58999b566f71345082d4f581b370179590258908ed12e5fcb24cfb485f71a2662681b010c1043436c3fd85d2ee870d5ac77495f3217aa00

Whoooooo are you?

Figure out who you are and then do it on purpose. – Dolly Parton

Such a fantastic quote.  It is tomorrow’s quote of the day for Tuesday in my planner.  I just recently watched the popular Netflix movie, Duplin’.  It was fantastic.  I’m not going to say much more because I hate spoilers but this quote reminds me of that.  If you’ve watched it, then you understand exactly why.  If you haven’t, go watch it!  It’s a good one.

I love what this quote says to me.  Go figure out who you are.  Who am I?  I’m 35 (I think???) and it’s taken me a long time to get to a point where I know who I am and, more importantly, I LIKE who I am.  That makes the next part- the do it on purpose part of the quote – much easier.

The thing about it is that I’m not always going to be the same person.  I think we change who we are throughout our lives.  And I happen to think that’s fantastic and want to love every season of life for what it is.  The main thing is to embrace each stage of “me-ness.”  (Not to be confused with meanness)

Who are you?  And are you embracing your current “me-ness?”




PS:  I realize it’s technically supposed to be “Mommy Review Monday,” but since I’m being me, I’m also learning to give myself grace when I don’t write one every Monday… or every Month…or even for the past 6 months.  After all, current me is supposed to be getting my booty to bed for an early morning work-out.  Night, night!

Mommy Review Monday: Dyson v8 Animal Vacuum Stick

This vacuum really sucks!

Ok, ok….I’ll cut out the cheesiness for now.

But really, this vacuum has been worth every penny.  It’s so great we named it:  Mike Dyson.  I know, I know….I said that I’d cut out the cheese.  I couldn’t resist though.

Is there anything sexier than a man doing household chores?!? Ladies, my husband is the best…and not just because he vacuums the floor…although that does help!

Here’s what we both like about it:

  • It’s rechargeable.  It’s got a little bracket that you hang on the wall, clip it in, and it’s charging.
  • It picks up almost everything.  When I say almost anything- stuff smaller than penny size for the most part.
  • The brush bar easily rotates around, making it easy to get under our kitchen cabinets, corners, and around the kitchen table (where we need it most).
  • It’s got a canister vs. a bag and is very easy to dump out with what they call the “hygienic dirt ejector.”
  • The filter is washable.
  • It’s very light, so much so that the kids can easily use it all over the house.  No more excuses.  Actually, it’s one chore that they don’t mind.
  • It cleans both hard floors and vacuums.  Our living room rug is a shag.  Just imagine how much it collects with 4 kids constantly playing on it- not to mention movie nights, eating dinner on it.
  • It’s got multiple configurations- from vacuuming the floor, to the furniture, to hard-to-reach ceiling corners) thanks to the different attachments.
  • It has regular and higher power suction (we only use the max power for the shag rug).  In the max power mode it runs up to 7 minutes but up to 40 minutes in the regular suction mode.  Vacuuming more than 40 minutes honestly sounds horrible to me so it’s not an issue for me.

Here’s Mike in his handy dandy charger. We put him conveniently on the wall in the laundry room, which is right next to the kitchen, where he gets the most use.

Here’s what I think could be improved:

…..

Soooooo, I couldn’t come up with anything so I asked Garen.  He also doesn’t have anything bad to say about it either.

Now that I think about it, it is quite an investment at roughly $400.  We bought ours at Bed, Bath, and Beyond after Christmas and used a 20% off card and a few gift cards so it was actually only about $225 for us after that.  And Mike Dyson been worth every penny for the convenience he provides us.

If you’re looking for a vacuum that is lightweight, convenient to use, and works really well, this is it.  I’ve not used the many other models but I’m sure they’re all pretty good as well.  Here’s the link to Dyson, where they have all of the models of the sticks (they just came out with a v10, which runs up to 60 minutes in case you MUST vacuum an extra 20 minutes).

Happy Mommy Review Monday everyone!

Disclaimer: I didn’t get paid for this and I haven’t had anyone from Dyson asking me to write a glowing review in exchange for a free vacuum but I’d probably be willing to take them up on that offer if their others work as well. Hint, hint, Dyson folks!

Adventures with Four: Family Cruise Vacation Packing- Part 2: Plan Your Days and Organize to Avoid Overpacking

If you read my first post on packing for a family cruise vacation, you’ll know that overpacking isn’t worth it. Now, we can talk about how to avoid overpacking. It all starts with planning.

Here’s a few things to consider as you start the planning process:

  • What is your schedule?
  • What kind of excursions, if any, are you doing?
  • Will you work out?
  • Will you want to dress up for dinner? Or do you prefer dining at the buffet where you can wear pretty much anything?
  • Do you plan on doing laundry?
  • How much swimming and/or sunbathing will you do?
  • Do your kids need certain toys, blankets, or other items like diapers, sippy cups, bibs, etc.?

All of these things and more will go into what you plan on packing. The next step for me is to write out our schedule and what types of outfits we need.

Here’s my sample schedule with outfit types:

  • Day 1:Embarkation: casual but cute, swimsuits and cover ups girls wore matching seersucker sundresses and I wore a navy dress (with pockets). Boys wore shorts and nice polo or button up short-sleeve shirts
    • Non-formal dinner: dresses for girls and nice shirts and slacks for the boys with dinner jackets
    • I carried these items in our family carryon. You can see more about that in part one of this series.
  • Day 2:Day at sea: casual but cute, swimsuits and coverups, workout clothes for a morning run
    • Formal Dinner: semi-formal/cocktail
  • Day 3:Cozumel- beach excursion: swimsuits and cover ups, workout clothes for a morning run, casual but cute clothes for after returning to the ship before dinner
    • Non-formal dinner: dresses for girls and nice shirts and slacks for the boys with dinner jackets
  • Day 4:Progresso- beach and shopping: swimsuits and coverups, workout clothes for a morning run, casual but cute clothes for after returning to the ship before dinner
    • Non-formal dinner: dresses for girls and nice shirts and slacks for the boys with dinner jackets
  • Day 5:Day at sea: casual but cute, swimsuits and cover ups, workout clothes for a morning run
    • Non-formal dinner: dresses for girls and nice shirts and slacks for the boys with dinner jackets
  • Day 6:Debarkation and road trip home: Casual and comfy

From here, I knew how many of each type of outfit I needed to pack.

A few additional notes:

  • For the kids, I didn’t have them wear outfits or clothing besides swimsuits, pjs, or jackets more than once. I know they’re pretty likely to get things dirty.  There were a few items I planned on wearing more than once.
  • I packed one extra outfit for each kid and three extra pairs of underwear for the bigs.
  • I didn’t plan on doing laundry for the kids.  I washed some of my workout clothes.
  • Be sure to check what I packed into carry-on packs vs. into the regular suitcases in the first post.

My next process was:

  • I went to the little girls (twin 2.5 year olds) closet first to choose their outfits because I like them to match while I still can.
  • I then coordinated Anna’s (big sister- 7 years old) outfits for dinner to match and during the day if we were doing something together.  For example, Day 1 at Sea- we all wore our Oh Ship, Family Trip shirts my Aunt Sarah made and the girls wore pink skorts with the shirts.
  • After choosing Anna and the little’s dinner outfits, I tried to coordinate or at least plan for Will’s outfits not to clash with the girls.
  • I packed the bigs’ outfits in gallon-sized ziplock pags with a notecard that labeled which type day they would wear it and for what.  This included the accessories they needed:  ties, belt, matching socks for Will, etc.  I did the same thing for the littles but only used one for both girls together.  I’ll be writing another blog on how this worked for us to coordinate everyone.  This part really, really helped us to be organized and coordinated….especially since the bigs stayed in my parents’ room and the littles’ with us.
  • I packed two swimsuits for each kid so they always had a dry one.  will also had a few additonal swimsuit shirts because he wore them on days at sea too.
  • I packed two pairs of panties and underwear for the kids so that they could have one for the morning and afternoon.

As much as I do like for the entire family, Garen and I included, to coordinate/match for nice dinners and such, we only made this happen on Formal night when we all rocked navy, white, and gold.  Unfortunately we somehow managed to not get a single family photo.  I’m not sure how that’s even possible considering there are photographers every 10-20 feet asking you to take photos.  Maybe it was that they were intimidated by the running twin two year olds….

I digress….

I started packing my stuff next.  I started with my dinner clothes because I knew that I could wear some of these dresses during the day either casually or as cover-ups. I’m a nerd that takens pictures of my outfits so I remember what all can go with what so it’s easier for me to mix and match more pieces. Below are a few examples of how i try to keep in the same color scheme.

Here’s what I took and wore for the five day cruise:

  • Day 1:Embarkation:  Navy dress with pink, navy, and white scarf, tan sandals
    • Non-formal Dinner:  Black sleeveless dress, red flowery shrug/kimono, red sandals.  These were packed in my carry-on, along with my red swimsuit.  The black or navy dress could’ve been used as a cover-up should I have chosen to go swimming as well.
  • Day 2:Work out:  Black shorts, Duluth tank top (both of which could’ve been worn casually around the ship or with other outfits), running shoes,
    • Day at Sea:  White capris, navy Oh Ship, Family Trip shirt, and red sandals.  Navy cardigan for when it was cold inside the ship, which I ended up not needing.  Grey shorts later on when I sat in something with my white pants.
    • Formal Dinner:  Navy and gold dress, gold shoes, navy cardigan.
  • Day 3:Work out:  Grey shorts, duluth tank top (grey shorts were worn the day before and both could’ve been worn casually if I needed to), running shoes.
    • Cozumel beach excursion:  Black swimsuit, purple/pink maxi dress (dress could be worn either casually or with a black cardigan and jewlery for dinner), tan sandals
    • Non-formal Dinner:  Peach sundress and floral multi-color scarf with black wedge sandals and a black cardigan/jacket (I had planned to wear this dress as a cover-up with my black swimsuit, if necessary, as well.  It also goes well with the scarf I wore the first day and the navy cardigan with tan shoes)
  • Day 4:Skipped workout:  womp, womp
    • Progresso beach exursion and shopping:  Red sundress, red swimsuit, red flowery shrug/kimono, red sandals.  (red dress could be worn at dinner as well).  After getting the girls back onto the boat for nap, I changed into my third workout outfit of red shorts and blue Duluth tank top, running shoes for comfort.
    • Non-formal Dinner:  Black dress (worn the first night), black and metalic scarf, black wedge sandals with one of my black cardigans.
  • Day 5:Skipped workout
    • Day at Sea:  Red flowery shirt and black shorts with a black cardigan for when it got chilly.  Later wore black pants and red flats to a show with the same black cardigan.  During naptime, I wore one of my recycled workout outfits.
    • Non-formal Dinner:  Black dress with red flowers and red flats, as well as one of the black cardigans for in case I was chilly.
  • Day 6:Debarkation and roadtrip home:  Black dress, red sandals, and red/white scarf (yes, it was the third wear for that dress but it was so comfy, had pockets, wasn’t visibly dirty, and didn’t smell bad.

Amazingly, I only had two items (besides my extra underwear) that didn’t get worn- an extra work-out shirt (since I skipped two work-outs) and one extra casual black and white shirt that could’ve been worn with either pair or black shorts or my black pants.  I call that success

It was really so great not to have an over-abundance of extra un-worn clothes at the end of the trip.  What’s better is knowing that the clothes I had with me all coordinated with at least one or more other items so I could’ve made many, many more outfits if I wanted/needed to.

If I had one thing to change, I would probably have worn my pair of black sandals on Day 1 instead of the tan ones.  I feel like they might’ve been more versatile since I tend to be more likely to wear more black color-schemes than browns/tans.   Again, if that’s the only thing I’d change, I think that’s a success.

There you have it- how I packed clothes for our family of 6 (besides Garen) to make sure we didn’t overpack.  Check out my first blogs about why not to overpack on a family cruise vacation.

Blueberry Crumble Pie with Shortbread Crust

I love blueberries….any way you fix them.

Growing up, my Grammy made a lot of blueberry muffins, blueberry cobblers, and, occasionally, a blueberry pie. For quite a few summers in a row, one of my Uncle Mo’s good friends provided a steady supply of fresh blueberries.  Grammy always froze them and we had (almost) fresh blueberry baked goods all year round.  I can still easily bring to mind the smell of freshly baked blueberry goodies, no matter how they were baked.

I like to take advantage of getting them fresh, while they’re in season during the summer.  Garen brought home a few boxes of blueberries from our new Kroger (which I’m currently loving) on Friday.  I had initially bought them to make muffins but didn’t get to it Saturday morning so I decided to bake a pie for us instead.

As a side note, I use a lot of frozen blueberries throughout the year for baked goods and they work well too but fresh blueberries are easier than thawing out frozen ones.  I’m letting my lazy-mama features shine brightly, right?!?

This Blueberry Crumble Pie with Shortbread Crust is an modified version of a recipe from Williams-Sonoma and you can find that recipe here.  Below is my adapted version, which includes a fantastic shortbread crust.  I honestly can’t remember exactly where the crust comes from- I think a combination of Pinterest and blog posts, plus a little bit of trial and error.  Wherever it came from, it’s the one I like to use- I’m too much of a perfectionist to even attempt making a regular homemade pie crust since they always turn out looking terrible for me and it drives me bananas! If you don’t like thick crusts, this one is not for you.

This pie crust is perfectly sized for my favorite pie dish. (I’ll have to share the recipe on another post- again, lazy-mom) One of these days I’m going to splurge and get the red pie dish. I started with the white version since I’m such a matchy-matchy person and white is easier to match with other dishes if you’re taking a pie somewhere.  I digress….

Here’s my version of a Blueberry Crumble Pie with Shortbread Crust with a few pictures:

Ingredients

  • Shortbread Crust
  • 1-1/2 C plus 4 Tbsp. All-purpose flour
  • 1 C firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cplus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 16 tbsp (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 5 cups blueberries

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Make the shortbread crust and transfer to a 9-inch or 10-inch deep pie dish. Press into the pan.  If you have another recipe for a pie crust or a store-bought one, you can use it if its big enough as well.
  • In a large bowl, mix the 1-1/2 cup flour, 2/3 cup of the brown sugar, the 2/3 cup granulated sugar, and 2 tsp. of the cinnamon. Put the butter pieces on top and toss with a fork or your fingers to coat with the flour mixture. Using your fingertips (or, if you’re fancy, a pastry blender), work the ingredients together until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of large peas. Set the topping aside.
  • In another large bowl, combine the 5 cups of blueberries, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 4 Tbsp of the flour. Gently stir to evenly coat the blueberries.
  • Sprinkle 1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp granulated sugar over the bottom of the shortbread crust. Pour the filling onto the crust, spreading it evenly.
  • Sprinkle the topping evenly over the blueberry filling.  (You may have extra left, depending on whether you use a 9-inch or 10-inch pie dish.  This makes great topping for muffins as well and can be refrigerated for a few days.)
  • Bake the pie until the crust and topping is golden brown and the blueberry filling just begins to bubble, 45 to 55 minutes.
  • Serve at room temperature, warm, or cold. Garen and I both like it cold better.
  • It goes perfectly with ice cream, whipped cream, or cool whip.

Speaking of cool whip…

To add a little more sweetness to our night and go along with the pie theme, we played the Pie Face Showdown. I had forgotten how much fun this is for the kids.

The mess was worth the fun….plus, we did this right before bathtub. Easy as pie! (Pun intended).

I hope everyone’s Saturday (and Sunday) were as sweet as ours!

Disclaimer- I’m not being compensated for any of this content and I’ve not been given these products that I’ve linked too.