Saturday, July 16, 2011

Preparing for the House Warming Party!

I am having my first dinner party at my new home tomorrow for a group of some very special people!  In preparation, the last few days have been spent cleaning, hanging pictures, moving furniture, moving furniture again, and then moving furniture back to where it originally was.

The menu is going to be pretty straight forward; mostly grill-type of foods and the typical side dishes.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, shish kabobs, baked beans, pasta salad, corn on the cob, etc.   The fun part was preparing for some of that today!

I went to the Silver Spring Farmer's Market for the veggies and flowers for the party.  It was the first time I was able to check out the farmer's market since I moved here a few weeks ago.  It was great!  It was much bigger than the farmer's market I went to every Saturday where I use to live.

There were so many local farmer's there, and so many different types of fruits and vegetables.

(I didn't like how the picture I took turned out, so I borrowed this one from the interwebs.  ;) )

There were also fruits and veggies that you don't typically see in a grocery store.  For example, for the first time today I had a ground cherry.  It has a paper thin shell that you take off to reveal a small yellowish cherry.  When you bite into it, it has a tropical, almost pineapple-ey taste.   It was delicious!

Everything was so fresh!  I bought a bunch of corn-on-the-cob that was picked the day before.  I can't wait to try it!

I got vegetables for the shish kabobs.  On the kabobs I put chicken, beef, pineapple, cherry tomatoes, and red, orange, and yellow peppers.  Sometimes I also put mushrooms and onions, but I left those off this time.  I am marinating the kabobs overnight in pineapple juice and a ginger-teriyaki marinade.  Lets hope they turn out as good as they look!!

I am not a baker.  Its just never been my thing.  I can make box brownies and cupcakes,  and once I was sorta-kinda able to make my mom's famous cheesecake, but that has been the extent of my successful baking career. 

When it comes to my attempts at pie baking,  they never LOOK right.  I can never get the crust to look plump and luxurious.  Also, the filling always bleeds through the top crust and looks like something that should be in a gory scene in a horror movie.  But blueberries were REALLLLY cheap, and I could not resist the urge to buy a ton of them.  What to do with all these blueberries??  Well, I guess I have to make a pie!  I thought of, what I considered, a "fool proof" way to make a pretty pie.....

I know, I know.  The pie crust ALREADY looks bad.  Que sera sera.

But these blueberries (mixed with sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, a pinch of cinnamon and a dab of vanilla) looked and smelled SOOO good!

Here is where I differed from the norm on the pie crust.  I rolled out the dough, and instead of laying it on top or trying to do a lattice, I used a small star-shaped cookie cutter and cut stars out of the dough. 

Then, working from the outside in, I laid the stars on top of the pie, each slightly overlapping another. 

I filled in some of the blanks with smaller stars from fondant cut outs that I had.  

An hour later at 350*  and ... wah-lah!  OK, so its not a Martha Stewart pie.  But it is a Melissa pie.  And that is OK with me :)


  1. Your Melissa pie looks so yummy and adorable :) Love the stars!

    Fancy Frugal Life

  2. And it was a most excellent party!!!!