1. I made pasties!

They. Are. Delicious. I mean, they better be given all the butter – but whatever, you only live once. (I’m a Millennial and no longer young and hip, so I’ll assume that YOLO is no longer a thing. But…YOLO!)

I made sourdough pasties, because, duh, it’s me. Sourdough all the way. I’m looking forward to using the crust recipe for some larger pies once my blackberries and strawberries hopefully produce this year. Stay tuned for that!

Hand pies / pasties are something that the Michiganders know a lot about, but I first learned about them from The Great British Baking Show. With the use of a food processor, these turned out to be VERY easy to make despite looking super fancy. In addition to being easy and delicious, they are also easy to handle without utensils (hence being called hand pies).



I found this very detailed and wouldn’t change a thing about the directions EXCEPT to note that you can, of course, change the size of the cut for your pasty if you want to make them bigger – just use a large bowl. For desserts I found this the perfect size. For a main course of a meal I liked making the pasty pastry (say that 5 times fast) a little bigger to allow for more filling.

TIP: Watch your food processor. I got overly confident the second time making the dough and turned away for 10 seconds while it processed, and the crust went from crumbled bits (perfect!) to a more solid mass (too much processing!). HOWEVER, it still turned out delicious. There was probably less flake and a little more butter leakage during the bake, but not enough for me to care.

As suggested in the recipe, one time I froze dough in large disks and defrosted it at a later date to use. It worked out great! Next time I hope to make the filling at the same time so I can freeze the hand pies whole and have them ready to go for days when I’m not feeling up to cooking. After all, a freezer full of my husband’s mandu (Korean dumplings) and my pasties sounds like heaven.

Other than that, I may try to reduce the butter by small increments to see if I can manage getting the same yummy effect without feeling so guilty about the butter content, but we’ll see.


I’ve done two versions of filling for pasties so far and I’d recommend both.

One filling was some leftover homemade cranberry sauce (the chunky version so it wouldn’t seep out). And – yum.

For the more meal-style version I made the following filling. It’s a great way to use those root vegetables where you’re like, “WTF are you…?”

All ingredients are cubed/chopped into small pieces so they will cook thoroughly. These are ESTIMATES for the amount of each veggie and starch – I aimed for them to be fairly equal amounts in the mixture.

Cooking time will vary based on the size of the pasties. I cooked at 350 F using the convection setting (375 F if your oven doesn’t do convection) for about 27 minutes based on the size from the crust recipe above. If you get some butter leaking out it may burn, but I wouldn’t stress too much about that.

  • ½ onion
  • 2-3 turnips / root vegetable
  • 1-2 potatoes / sweet potatoes
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • ¼ cup broth
  • Seasonings to taste (these are estimates of what I used)
    • ½ Tablespoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
    • Fresh oregano, thyme, and sage

This is actually halved from a recipe I based this on to try to prevent leftover filling. But honestly, I consider leftover filling a happy accident, because then my hubby makes us a nice stir fry and rice dish with it. (Drool.)



Whelp, here I go!

One weekday this summer I was on a walk with my husband. It was early (because it’s Central Texas and summer walks after 10am are not going to happen), but that’s my primetime. So, there I was, chatting away about my different hobbies and how much I’m enjoying them – and my other half says, “You should do a blog!”


In other words, my husband had come up with a terrible idea. This did not sound fun or interesting. It sounded like work. Why suggest adding this random thing to my plate? Besides, there are plenty of blogs out there already. Mine would end up neglected in the heap of blogs that no one really reads. So, I spent the next 15 minutes telling him he was wrong.

But let’s start at the beginning.

Rewind to Last Year

I was exhausted. Not miserable; my job was awesome, and I had friends, family, and a significant other I loved. But work was taking so much out of me that I would literally wake up, go to work, come home, sit in front of the TV where my then-fiancé would feed me dinner, and go to bed. My only creative outlet was work and it was beginning to wear on me.

A friend had started to do the workbook The Artist’s Way and was describing exactly the kind of awakening I needed. I bought a copy to try. It worked.


These days:

  • I’m baking sourdough bread, crackers, etc. (6 months BEFORE it was cool!)
  • I’m drawing and painting
  • I’m gardening (also BEFORE it was cool!)
  • I’m cooking what I grow in the garden
  • I’m crafting (stay tuned for December when you’ll see my nerdy advent calendar)
  • I’m writing
  • I’m playing music and singing
  • I’m…now annoyed that work is getting in the way of all of my hobbies. Ah well, overcorrected.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

So, what is the trick?

There are many things that helped me readjust my life. Part of this blog will be about sharing those things to help make creativity and fun be more accessible for other people. A blend of real-life experience and psychology knowledge. But I think the best place to start is with what The Artist’s Way calls synchronicity. Essentially, creativity is about opening ourselves up to the possibilities and just going for it. And, if we do, we will see that the world around us is trying to help.

If you listen closely enough, the world is whispering its secrets to you and wants you to find your creative path. In other words, it’s about saying YES when an opportunity presents itself. Not questioning our abilities or our worthiness. Just saying – Whelp, here I go!

I realized that my husband’s suggestion of the blog was about connecting the dots across my work and play. Since that realization, we decided to put the blog on the To Do List. But I still found it intimidating. Also, did you see my list of hobbies? I’m busy! I just hadn’t pulled the trigger.

What changed?

A few mornings ago I woke up and saw an opportunity to be a freelance writer focused on one of my favorite hobbies. I immediately thought back to the conversations with my husband and how my excitement had slowly grown about creating an online presence. I told him I wanted to apply. Before I even finished describing the opportunity, he told me to go for it. I started the application. It required a link to an online writing sample. Of which I have none. Whomp, whomp.

Universe, make up your mind! Is this synchronicity or is this just a “gotcha!” moment?

Part of life is how you spin it. I’m spinning this into my first step into the online writing world. It’s a win-win really. Whether I get the gig or not, I’ve made my entrance. Now it’ll just be about guilting my friends and family into reading it.

It hurts to start my blog this way, but…my husband was right. (Don’t tell him.)