Margarita Pie

This last weekend was marvelous.

I took 1.5 days off (the first time I’ve done that in a LOOOOOONG time), finished a few sewing projects, and baked. for. fun.

Better yet, everything I baked turned out beautifully! Better than things have in quite some time.

Because, for as much as people think baking is all scientific and precise and perfect, I find that it’s also about trusting your instincts, your gut. It’s about believing in yourself. Perhaps, if this last weekend has shown me anything, it’s that I haven’t done that in a LOOOOOONG time either.

It feels good to do that. And it tastes even better.

And this Margarita Pie tastes the best! The crust is a simple press-in of saltine crackers (inspired by Atlantic Beach Pie, something I had never heard of until a bar customer and fellow baker told me about it!). The filling is a riff off of key lime pie – with a healthy splash of tequila. The whipped cream is spiked with Grand Marnier – like a floater on top of any good quality marg. It’s special. It’s sweet. It’s even better than what I’d imagined it could be.

Margarita Pie

Active Time: 35 minutes

Inactive Time: 5 hours – overnight

Total Time: 5 hours & 35 minutes – overnight

Yields: 1 9-inch pie

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 sleeve saltine crackers

4 graham crackers

1 TBSP granulated sugar

½ tsp. salt

8 TBSP (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

3 TBSP lemon juice

14oz. sweetened condensed milk

5 egg yolks

½ tsp. salt

3 TBSP good quality tequila

For the whipped cream:

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

½ cup powdered sugar

1 TBSP Grand Marnier, or other orange liqueur

½ tsp. salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse the crackers until only fine crumbs remain. Add in sugar and salt and pulse to combine. With processor running, stream in butter until mixture resembles wet sand. Press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 7 – 9 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool slightly. While crust bakes, whisk together the ingredients for the filling until smooth. Pour into prebaked crust and return to oven. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until edges are set and center only slightly jiggles at the touch (it’ll firm up the rest of the way while cooling). Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack. Transfer to fridge to chill for four hours, or overnight.

When ready to serve, prepare the whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine all ingredients and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy and soft peaks have formed. Spread onto pie before slicing and serving.

Thursday Things

Mardis Gras beads

  1. Those beads right there? Smacked me in the face during a Mardis Gras parade. If you were following along on IG then you already knew that, and if you weren’t, then you missed out!
  2. Because I also met the Pen Pals! Ryan and I shouted “Saga!” as they went by on their float (it’s an inside thing, so you’ll have to just listen to the show). Then we ended up having a drink and chatting with them and it was truly a magical night. Only surpassed by the magic of the first live episode. This felt like a once in a lifetime experience – we were there! I’m still grinning.
  3. It’s flu season and anger season. Emotions are contagious, y’all.
  4. More social media stuff: I’ve turned off the notifications for all my apps and let me tell you – it’s been at once both liberating and illuminating. Even without notifications going off I’m still super addicted to checking my phone. Hello, time suck. I’m truly hoping to get better at that (while also still being engaged and growing my audience so that’s a fun catch 22). Does anyone else did with this? How do you combat the siren call of the screen when you’ve got work to do on these platforms?
  5. Even though Seth and I have only been married for 1 month (OMG), we’ve been bombarded with questions (and suggestions…) about when we’re having kids. This article from Julie pretty much sums up how I feel about that. Thank you, next.
  6. Finally started reading “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” and I’m in love. I haven’t been this engrossed by a book in ages.
  7. This weekend I’ll be officially moving in with Seth! About time, right? After all of the moving I’ve done in the last three years (including three moves in less than a year), I had kind of been dreading uprooting my happy home but I know that we’re going to be creating a happier home. So everything will be ok.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins (& the vet)

Seth agreed to a lot when he married me.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

He agreed to stick with me through good times and bad, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

I don’t think he realized it wasn’t just my sickness or my health. It was also Edgar’s.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Earlier last week we took Edgar to the vet to get his vaccines updated and to get a little check-up. We hadn’t been to the vet since last summer when he jumped out of a first story window…and then a second story one…and then ate an entire batch of oatmeal raisin cookies. We’d racked up enough frequent flyer miles for the year. And aside from a having a dog whisper visit the house, he hadn’t required much follow-up care.

While we were there, we asked the vet to examine what we thought to be a hernia. I was told the little nickel-sized protrusion on the center of his ribs was just that when I adopted Edgar. “Happens all the time. Lots of dogs get them. If it doesn’t grow and doesn’t get hard, don’t worry about it.” For two years, it neither grew nor hardened. All was well with his undercarriage.

Then, while Seth and I were away on our mini-moon and my mom watched Edgar, it got a little bigger and a little darker. Not too much cause for concern, but if we were going to be at the vet, we may as well get it checked out. So, she drew fluid. And informed us it wasn’t a hernia but, was in fact a xiphoid cyst. And still absolutely nothing to worry about. It was simply bigger and darker because he’d bruised it. Ok, cool.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Or so we thought.

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Thursday Things

Vintage Inspired Wedding Dress

  1. Last week I smashed my finger. This week I cut the tip off the same finger in an unfortunate cilantro incident. My nail will grow back…eventually. The things I do for guacamole.
  2. The Carhartt leggings were everything I’d hoped they’d be! And more!
  3. Tomorrow I fly to Houston with my friend Ryan to have a weekend in Tuxas. (That’s an inside joke for any Pennie or Paller that may be reading.) We’ll be attending the first live episode of Pen Pals on Sunday afternoon and I. Cannot. Wait!
  4. I know I’ve mentioned it before (and I’ll be sure to mention it again) but I’m making YouTube videos now! For a local grocery store! Watch and subscribe here!
  5. This woman pretending to put dry shampoo on her dog is too cute!
  6. Late to the party on this one but I adore Kacey Musgraves! We had “Butterflies” on our wedding playlist and I can’t stop listening to her album. Or scrolling her gorgeous IG feed.
  7. Brussels Sprouts Toast!!!
  8. We’re only 44 days out from the final season premiere of GoT. Here’s a handy countdown for you to keep track!
  9. Collagen Peptides. They’re in my coffee now. So, that’s a thing I’m doing.

Thursday Things

Edgar James

  1. I jammed my finger killing a spider yesterday. It’s all puffy and bruised. I haven’t done that since I played basketball in middle school. Oy.
  2. My friend Kristen and I booked a room on the Golden Girls Cruise for next year! I can’t believe in just 368 days we’ll be setting sail from Miami in our finest silk nightgowns.
  3. I finally bit the bullet and put Edgar on anti-anxiety medication. Of course, the day after I did that he wound up in the emergency vet on an un-related issue. He’s just gotta be difficult. (And is doing just fine now, thankfully.)
  4. As my wedding bouquet finally and completely gives out, I’m aching for the smell of fresh lilacs in spring. Anyone else?
  5. And right after typing that, I clicked on this post from Jessica. The first pic? Lilacs! Omg. Spooky. Her words were also so necessary for me to read.
  6. Elise got me this pin for Galentine’s Day and it’s perfection. Duke’s or death.
  7. Podcast things: MFM will never get old. FTCF (if you know, you know). The PenPals read my letter a few episodes ago! Go listen! It’s under the title “Midwestern Grandma.” And Jason Mantzoukas may be my very favorite guest on any show I listen to.
  8. Carhartt makes leggings now! Mine should be arriving today and I cannot wait to try them on!

Breakfast Quesadillas (& a new job)

Aside from the very exciting announcement last week, it’s been quiet over here for the past two months. Some of that was due to planning a wedding in eight weeks instead of the remaining eight months, and some of that was because I’ve started a new job.

Breakfast Quesadilla Recipe

Kind of.

I’m still slinging beer and mopping floors, but now. NOW! Now I’m creating recipes, posts, and videos for Webster’s Marketplace, a local grocery store that pretty much feeds the entire town!

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