Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Sweet Christmas Village, Little Dorrit.....and Shoofly Pie

Good evening, everyone! Hope it was a fabulous day!

I had another lovely surprise a small package from the U.K....I love ordering things, but hadn't ordered anything from there, so I was puzzled! It was a sweet gift from Joanne (Angelnorth)! A week or so ago, I had commented on a beautiful card she had made on her blog, Ambrosia & Iron, that had a beautiful little tea rose on it--I had never seen those before...Well, in the mail today was a little package of them, with a lovely handmade card!

I have been so blessed in the last couple of months with the loveliest new friends...this blogging experience has been such an amazing one! I was just commenting to another wonderful blogging friend today about that very thing. It's so amazing that with just a few strokes of a keyboard, we can reach out across the earth, experience a little of each others' lives, what we're working on, things we love, our families, etc...and once in a while, someone thoughtfully reaches out in a tangible way--that's pretty wonderful!

Joanne, thank-you for your thoughtfulness--you made my day even better today!

I have a few things for you tonight--two are semi-connected, and one is just plain old delicious!

I only finished one card today, but I'm very happy with it. I ordered some beautiful digital images a week or so ago from the lovely ladies at Every Thing Creative. They have a lovely blog and an Etsy shop where they sell their high quality, gorgeous vintage images. This was the first time I've done this, and I enjoyed them so much, I just ordered three more images tonight! Here's the first card I've finished using one of their images--

(I have to apologize for my pictures tonight--forgot to take them earlier in the natural light, so we're dealing with kitchen lights and a flash...maybe I'll fix it tomorrow...!)

Isn't that such a beautiful little village? I couldn't resist this! There was all this wonderful snow on the roofs, so of course I had to add plenty off glitter...

The ornaments are from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas Joy" stamp set--one of my favorites! I added some Snow-Tex and glitter to the top to make them look like those wonderful vintage
Christmas glass ornaments--I love those! A few SU! felt snowflakes covered with glitter and a little Swarovski crystal rhinestones in the center...those just make me happy!

This sweet image reminds me of a village out of a Dickens' novel--nothing better than a Dickens' novel! That made me think of one of my newest favorite movies..."Little Dorrit"...did you see it this last winter? Mobil Masterpiece Theatre made this beautiful version and released it on PBS in in March or so this year.

I had never read this novel before, and didn't know much about it, but let me tell you, it knocked my socks off! My daughters love it, too--just an amazing film. Part of it's allure, I suppose, is Matthew Macfayden--he's just fabulous, isn't he?!

Trust me--if you haven't seen it yet--DO! I'd love to hear what you think about it!

You'll find this out about me...I LOVE British period drama...especially from the classics--Dickens, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, etc. I watch them whenever I can, and have quite a collection of them--they just make me happy!

Last, but certainly not least---who's had Shoofly Pie before??? Oh, I just love it! A neighbor friend, when I was growing up in Ohio, would make it for us every once in a while, and it was just so delicious! Not a typical pie--no fruit, cream, etc., it's hard to describe...Kind of like a gingerbread pie, I guess! LOTS of crumbly topping...flaky, buttery crust...Oh, my!

(I shouldn't have used my deep dish pie pan for this one--makes it look like there's too much crust....wait...that's just not possible!)

I hadn't found a good recipe for it...until this summer, when I found the most delightful cookbook while on vacation--"Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters". It's just LOADED with vintage recipes, images, stories, etc.--just a joy to look through!

Shoofly pie is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch or German pie, and here's the recipe:


For Streusel:

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ginger

1/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice

For Filling:

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup water, heated to just under a boil

1. To make the streusel: Place sugar in a medium bowl. Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger on a sheet of wax paper and add to sugar. Work in butter with fingers until the texture resembles coarse sand.

2. Use your favorite single-crust pie recipe! Coat a 9-inch ovenproof glass pie pan with vegetable spray. Roll out pastry dough. Fit into bottom of pie plate and trim off excess. Chill in refrigerator.

3. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

4. Place molasses in a bowl. Dissolve baking soda in water and add to molasses, stirring with wooden spoon. Pour into prepared pie shell. Sprinkle streusel over surface of pie and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into pie comes out clean. Place pie on rack and cool completely before cutting. Store leftover pie loosely wrapped in wax paper in the refrigerator.

I just want to thank the Brass Sisters, Marilynn and Sheila, for giving me permission to share this recipe with you! Their book is just wonderful--any of you who love all things vintage would really love it!

(Reprinted from Heirloom Cooking With The Brass Sisters by permission of Black Dog & Levinthal Publishers, Inc. Copyright 2008 Marilynn and Sheila Brass).

Well, that's all for tonight--sweet dreams to all!


  1. Well, the pictures may be a little dark, but the card is a flippin'MASTERPIECE!!! Gorgeous, Julie!!!

  2. I agree with Carla, a masterpiece, it's just gorgeous, off to have a shufty at these digital images. Beautiful work. Never heard of Shoofly pie here in UK, but will try it. Just love the recipes you share with us, thanks. xx

  3. Oh gosh so many things I love here this morning Julie, where do I begin??? I love the beautiful Christmas card you have made. It's just gorgeous! I also loved watching Little Dorrit when it was on the telly on the BBC over here. I just adore period pieces, well anything historical really. Did you see the latest Wuthering Heights? It was fabulous! Oh, and now there is another cookbook I just have to have! Thanks!!! I know how you feel about blogging. Each visit I make to one of my beloved blog pages is like a little visit with a good friend. I suppose because of my work life, I am not able to get out and about much in "real" life and so most of my friends are now invisible ones, but no less important than the "real life" ones, and in fact many are even more cherished than the tangible ones, if that makes sense! I love you loads! xxoo

  4. You are very welcome - enjoy! Love what you did with the digi, those ornaments are perfect with it! You forgot to say why Shoofly pie has its name ;o) I guess anyone who's used molasses and sugar in a warm room can probably guess though!

  5. Shoofly is a staple around here, and also red velvet. I live not far from Lancaster PA which is pennsylvania dutch country. the town I live in has a farmers market set up on saturdays where the Amish come in and sell their produce, free range chickens, and baked goods. yum!

    Love the ETC card, too!

  6. I just love starting my day at your blog!! Another wonderful posting! Isn't Joanne just the most talented, sweetest person ever!! Your little village creation is awesome and I was just dreuling over the ornaments when I read that they are CS and thought ... OH, I have that set ... wow, mine don't turn out like that!! Thanks once again for inspiration and joy!! Happy Day my friend!!

  7. Ooo, forgot to tell you ... my Farm Chicks in the Kitchen cookbook came in the mail yesterday ... the other 2 should be here today! Thanks again for being an enabler ... my daughter's going to love these books for Christmas!

  8. Another stunning card, Julie! What an amazing image! I love the lace and the frosty ornaments, so nostalgic!

    I love me some shoofly pie! I think I'll make one a bit later on. My neighbors love pie, and they just dropped off some pumpkin fudge. So I think I'll return the favor with some shoofly. You're always so inspiring, Julie! Thanks!

  9. JUlie,
    Gathering ingredients to make that yummy banana cake. In the instructions it calls for egg yolks but you don't mention them in the ingredients many egg yolks do we need? Thanks I can't wait to bake it!
    Mama Holli

  10. Good Morning Julie!
    Thanks for the ingredient update! I will fix on my post as well! O.K. seriously need to check out these blogs with vintage graphics! They are right up your vintage alley!!! Copy graphics from my post or go directly to these sites!
    Darling reto and victorian graphics free for the taking! Have fun and see ya later gator! Mama Holli

  11. Julie!!! This recipe looks wonderful...thanks so much for the great photos too. AND I LOVE your vintage-look Christmas card. It's an absolute BEAUTY! The colors are so soft and lovely and the background so musical and bright with happiness! You did a great job on all of these items! Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. What a beautiful card. It reminds me of the cards and decorations that were about when I was a little girl, so made me feel very nostalgic - thank you. x

  13. May I just say...Yum! That applies to the recipe AND the card!

    I love everything about this has a certain softness and the ornament is just darling!

  14. What a beautiful digital image! I've ordered some before and I love them. I wish I had a printer that printed that well!

    I printed out Alton's Shoo Fly pie recipe a while back but haven't tried it before. I may need to make both now and see which I like better!

    Have a great weekend!

  15. Digital image huh? Well you certainly worked your magic again. I like the unusual mix of colors and of course all the ribbons and glitter.
    Never had shoefly pie...looks delightful. Who is eating all these wonderful baked could start a bakery on the side......I think they even have edible glitter LOL!

  16. Hi Julie: I love your blog!! you make really beautiful cards.... my daughter makes cards and scrapbook pages too. Thanks for visiting me at my blog, and I am your newest follower... I love this blogging thing!! I am "meeting" so many creative wonderful women. Talk to you soon!! Hugs~Chris

  17. Each of your cards is a true masterpiece, I adore your style and deeply creative pieces.

    You know, upon pondering it, I don't think I've ever had shoofly pie. I simply must give it a go one of these days - and will bookmark this recipe to try as my first shoofly experience :)

    Thank you deeply for each of your wonderful comments, sweet dear, it is always a joy when you stop by for a visit.

    Huge hugs & blissful weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

  18. Beautiful card Julie and thanks for the recipe!!
    Glad you like what I do over on my blog and thanks for becoming a follower!

  19. wow, what a beautiful card and the pie looks so very yummy.....hhmmm, makes me hungry..hehehe....have a wonderful weekend!

    enjoy *~*

  20. Oh, Julie that card is beautiful! And that pie! Oh, my! Your blog is so inspirational full of lovely images!

    Michelle :)

  21. You know it would have been if you had mentioned rec'ving my blog give away on your blog.

  22. I just found your blog and love your combination of art and food! I see so many recipes I want to try!

    Little Dorrit was fabulous. I looked forward to it every week and it drives my family bonkers!

    I live in the UK now (outside of Boston in Lincolnshire), but when I lived back in Arkansas, Sunday nights and Masterpiece Theatre was something I looked forward to. The kids hated it, so it was a way to get them out of the living room and get a bit of time to myself!