Purple Hair & Electric Knee

They say you shouldn’t get your hair cut immediately following a break up, but I wonder if the same can be said of a stressful situation (regardless of the cause).

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I knew things were getting pretty crazy (stress-wise) in my life, but when I started considering doing this (see spikey hair-ness above) to my hair, it was more obvious to me than ever that things were off-kilter. I should probably clarify that I do still think this hair cut is pretty bada$$, but I’m not sure it would work on me.

When I laughingly mentioned the idea of the short look to my hair stylist, Jason, (tell them I sent you for a first-timer discount!), he told me I needed a vacation…not a short hair cut.

I do need a vacation, and I’m actually planning one (yesssssss!). In the meantime, I did NOT cut my hair short.

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Instead, I did this – a pretty dramatic trim (my hair had gotten so long – I think he took off at least 7-8 inches) and a fun (and more importantly temporary) addition of a purple streak of hair. A good look for the office? Not so much. Age-appropriate? Doubtful. Fun for Zumba class? You’re d*mn skippy. Better than a super-short hair cut that would take forever to grow out? You know it!

Anywho, all this rambling to say I’m hoping to return to regular blogging very soon. My crazy-busy work schedule is starting to let up a little. I haven’t been able to blog because the project I’ve been working on for the last three years went live two weekends ago, and I was inundated with work in the weeks approaching the go-ilve. And the weekend of go-live? I worked a regular work week up to go-live and then a little bit around 10pm on Friday, 9am/1pm/4pm/8:30pm on Saturday, and noon/4:30pm on Sunday. Phew! Things actually went pretty smoothly on my end, and I’m just helping wrap-up some post install items now. I’m almost down to 1 month left on this project, and then I go somewhere new. Where? Who knows. Time will tell.

In other news…

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I managed to (slightly) injure myself (again! grr). This time, I didn’t do anything stupid at least. I think my knee (body?) is succumbing to age, use from years of figure skating, and working out when I’m already tired…plus maybe some bad posture/alignment. Anywho, I’ve been seeing a sports doctor, who has been shooting me with electricity and laser beams. Ok, not really, but he’s been treating me and…

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…taping me up with Kineseo tape. Luckily, my injury wasn’t too bad, and I didn’t have to miss any Zumba classes! I got cleared to do low intensity Zumba sans squats, which was sort of a shame because I was just starting to actually enjoy doing squats in class. Weird, I know. Anywho, I’ve also been doing physical therapy and re-training my body to do squats and lunges properly. As a result, I’ve now become extra careful about doing squat and lunge-like moves in class, which is probably something I should have been doing anyways.

I do have some recipes queued up for you guys, and some new ideas for future recipes jotted down on random pieces of paper. Hopefully, I can bring some to life to share with you all soon.

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Bailey says Hi!

Reader question: Have you ever done something dramatic to your hair? What did you do, and did you like it?

Heart-Shaped Mini Pies & Pie Pops {2 Filling Options}

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I totally meant to post about this earlier. I mean…I made this recipe up over a week ago. Unfortunately work and exhaustion got in the way. But, better late than never, right?

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I made a new dessert recipe for Valentine’s Day – Heart-Shaped Mini Pies with strawberry and strawberry/nutella filling.

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The recipe features lots of fresh strawberries.

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Said strawberries are then stuffed into heart-shaped pieces of pie crust.

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The tough part is adding enough of the strawberry filling. I found the overall ratio of pie crust to strawberries to be a bit off, but they were definitely festive. Still, do try to stack your strawberries as high as possible to give a better strawberry flavor.

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I cut little arrows into the hearts as my vents and sprinkled sugar on top.

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And since the mini hearts are a bit labor-intensive (and I didn’t want to waste any of the dough), I decided to make a large hand-pie of sorts using the remaining pie dough and filling. I made the heart minis with just the strawberries and I added nutella to the hand pie. I wish I had added nutella to all of the pies!

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The results were pretty. I love the look of golden-baked dough.

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And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can turn your mini pies into Pie Pops!

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Just add a popsicle stick (and maybe some ribbon). I found some at Michael’s in the candy section. I think these would be really cute wrapped in plastic bags with pretty ribbon.

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Heart-Shaped Mini Pies & Pie Pops {2 Filling Options}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
While they aren’t the quickest or easiest project, making these heart-shaped mini pies is a fun activity that you could do with your whole family. Switch up your favorite filling for a different take.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 pie crust dough (use store-bought or your favorite recipe – I enjoyed this 60-second pie crust recipe)
  • 2 cups strawberries, diced very small
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons tapoica starch (or corn starch)
  • flour (for rolling out pie crust)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • nutella, optional
  • sanding sugar (for sprinkling on top of the pies)
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar, optional
  • 1-2 teaspoons orange juice, optional
Instructions
  1. While your pie crust chills (the recipe I used suggested chilling 30 minutes), combine strawberries, sugar, and tapoica starch in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or aluminum foil with a light coat of non-stick spray)
  3. When pie crust is ready, lightly dust a large flat surface for rolling out your dough with flour. Add your pie crust. Rub flour on rolling pin. Roll pie crust out to a pretty thin level (between ¼ – ⅛ inch thick), turning dough as you go so it doesn’t stick. Use a 2½” heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out 20 heart-shaped pieces of dough. Set aside remaining dough. Note: You may have noticed I cut some to a smaller size in some photos in this post, but I found the 2½” version worked better – feel free to use whichever size you prefer.
  4. Move half of the pieces of pie dough to the prepared baking sheet. For each mini pie: Brush dough with egg wash, top with strawberry mixture (try to avoid adding liquid as you go), add about ½-1 teaspoon of nutella if using, top with another piece of dough, matching edges and pressing to seal. Press on the edges with the ends of a fork to help seal. Repeat for the rest of the mini pies.
  5. Cut small slits into the tops of each mini pie (I cut little arrows for the Valentine’s Day theme), brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
  6. While mini pies bake, prepare the hand pie. Gather the rest of the dough, bring pieces together to one ball, and roll out to about ¼ inch thick, turning dough and adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Note: I left my pie pretty free-form – I didn’t worry about making a perfect circle.
  7. Prepare another baking sheet with parchment paper (or aluminum foil with a light coat of non-stick spray). Carefully transfer the hand pie dough to the baking sheet, centering half of the dough (since you’ll be folding it in half soon). Spoon the rest of the strawberry mixture (trying to avoid adding the liquid) to half of the dough, leaving a roughly ½ inch border and the other half of the dough. Add about ¼ cup of nutella, spreading around strawberries, if using. Brush the edge with the egg wash, fold the dough in half pressing the edges to seal. Press on the edges with the ends of a fork to help seal.
  8. Cut small slits into the top of the hand pie (I cut “LOVE” for the Valentine’s Day theme), brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  9. Allow each batch (the mini pies and the hand pie) to cool before eating.
  10. Optional icing step: If you don’t use nutella, you’ll probably want to add a bit of icing. I made a quick icing using a mixture of confectioner’s sugar and orange juice, which I just whisked quickly (starting with about 1 teaspoon of the orange juice and adding more as needed) in a bowl and drizzled over the cooled mini pies.
Notes
Prep Time: 35 minutes (to make 60-second pie crust and chill the pie crust)

Bake Time: 22-26 minutes

Total Time: 53 – 57 minutes

Serves: 10 Mini Pies and 1 Hand Pie

***
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Mini pies sans icing and without popsicle sticks. These guys didn’t last long in our house.

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{LOVE-vents in the top of my hand pie}

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I’m not gonna lie…these guys were a lot of work, but I did enjoy making them. This project is better if you’re looking to get your hands dirty and enjoy the experience. Personally, I had fun zoning out and focusing on the creation of something delicious. If you want more instant (or at least faster) gratification, consider just making two hand pies. ;)

Are you guys making anything fun for Valentine’s Day?

The Steak, the Steak, the Steak Is on Fire…

The steak, the steak, the steak is on fire. We don’t need no water let the…

Have I dated myself now? Please raise your hands if you get the above reference. #holla

And for those who don’t, feel free to google “the roof is on fire” (or click the link and let me google that for you)

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Anywho, not sure if you follow me on Instagram, but I did post a photo of this meal yesterday after setting off the first alarm in my house cooking this steak. I think it really did almost catch on fire. Ok, so I didn’t see flames or anything, but cooking this bad boy in my cast iron skillet caused enough smoke that the alarm definitely went off. Oops.

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But, the good news is that the steak was delicious. At least something positive came of it, right?

What does this have to do with TCL? I guess my dinner was about as hot a mess as I feel like my life is right now. Work is stressing me out and though my current project is almost over, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the near future. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m an IT consultant. My company basically sends me on various projects, so when my current project ends, they will send me somewhere new. The trouble is…I have no idea where I’m going – not the customer’s company name…heck, not even the location. I could be in Alaska in a couple months for all I know. But anyways, I guess we can cross that bridge when we get there.

In the meantime, my last major project goes live in less than two weeks, and I’m counting down the days. And as I count down the days, I am guaranteed some long days and late nights. Unfortunately, with all the stress from work, TCL is getting a bit of the cold shoulder. Sorry, blog. I actually have a few cool recipes queued up to share with you guys. I had photos for a leftover-pot-roast-morphed-into-shepherd’s-pie recipe picked out, but I can’t find the darn piece of paper with my recipe notes. And then I have some fun dessert recipes (heart-shaped mini pies, a yellow cake with chocolate frosting Cake Mini, and emergency chocolate chip cookies for 2) in the pipeline, but lately sleep > blogging.

So, I have the recipes, I’m just short on time… *sigh* I’m hoping to post at least one of them soon. In the meantime, may I direct you to my Pinterest profile or my TCL Facebook page? Or maybe you should just check out the Pinterest popular page – I usually make some fun finds there.

Reader question: Have you ever (almost) caught anything on fire in the kitchen? What happened?

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