Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Maple Pecan Pie Recipe

Here is the ultra delcious pecan pie recipe I used this Thanksgiving, curtesy of Bon App├ętit magazine:

Maple Pecan Pie

3 large eggs
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 (heaping) cups pecans halves
1 Pie Crust (use your favorite recipe!)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk eggs and brown sugar in medium bowl until well blended.

Whisk in maple syrup,corn syrup, melted butter, and salt.

Stir in pecans.

Pour filling into an unbaked crust.

Bake pie until filling is slightly puffed and set, about 40 minutes (my oven required 50 minutes).

Transfer to rack and cool.

Eat and enjoy!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Please, enjoy a yummy slice of virtual Pecan Pie on me!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

Since it is the time for giving thanks, I would like to share with you, my dear readers, those precious things for which I am thankful for this year.

Always, I am thankful for Andrew. He is warm and kindhearted, he brings joy and laughter into my life each sweet day.

I am thankful for my mother, who over the years has become more than a parent but my best friend.

I am thankful for my grandmother who gives my family strength and love us all wholeheartedly.

I am thankful for my father who reaches out across the miles to connect with me.

I am thankful for my in laws, who have made me feel welcomed in their family.

I am thankful to my friends and family, for being such wonderful people in all their many ways.

I am thankful for having a job I love and working with people who are more than just co-workers, but friends.

I am thankful for my sweet little cats who provide love and comfort every day.

I am thankful for all the little things in life that pass by each day, almost without notice: the comfort of my house on a cool fall day, the endless stacks of books waiting to be read, the sound of the rain falling on leafs outside, the beauty of a blue cloudless sky, the delicious scent of pies baking, and so much more that passes by day by day.

And I am thankful to you, my dear readers, for taking time out of your day to share some time with me.

Take care, and have a joyous holiday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Whisper of the Heart

I recently had the pleasure of watching a delightful movie called Whisper of the Heart by animation genius Hayao Miyazaki, head of the animation group powerhouse Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki is probably best known in the United States for his Oscar winning film Spirited Away, his environmental masterpiece Princess Mononoke, the delightful Howl's Moving Castle, and the timeless classic My Neighbor Totoro. He creates wonderful films that fills viewers with a sense of wonder and enchantment. Whisper of the Heart is no exception.

This is a gentle and quiet film, full of life's small wonders and delights. The movie revolves around Shizuku, a young girl with a love of books and a sense of adventure. Shizuku has spent her summer reading book after book from her local library, eager to meet her goal of reading 200 books before school begins again. She thrills to delve into a new stories that whisk her away from her ordinary life in Tokyo. Shizuku also has a delightful sense of fun and whimsy that leads her to one day follow the trail of a strange cat she found riding on the train. What she finds send her on her own adventure, a quest to find herself, with the aid of a new friend Seiji Amasaw, using her love of books and stories, combined with her love of adventure.

This is simply a delightful movie, with sweet little twists and turns. Miyazaki has the unique ability to capture the pure innocence of youth, how delight can be found in even the most ordinary of things- a garden, a puddle, clouds in the sky, a statue, and even a cat. His animation style is both striking and captivating, focusing on small details and using images from Japanese folklore, creating an experience not soon forgotten.

Whisper of the Heart is a lovely slice-of-life film, a glimpse into a young girl's mind as she embraces who she is and her potential in life, and one I highly recommend. It combines the best of all worlds: books, , libraries, and cats, with a sweet romance thrown in as well! Oh, and did I forget to mention that the music of John Denver plays a significant role in the film? If you have the time, I am sure your local library has the film in its collection. For Shizuku's sake, you should check it out!