Sunday, July 10, 2011

Little Things Make A Big Difference


I believe that little things can make a big difference.  It might only take a few more minutes, or a couple more dollars (or not any more $$ at all) – just a little time, creativity and intentionality, and you can greatly enhance the beauty and enjoyment of things.
For example:
>Use a pretty tablecloth or cloth napkin whenever you can (some of my favorites I got at thrift stores and antique stores).  It can add such a nice touch.

>Instead of pens rolling around in your junk drawer, why not put them in a fun jar on the table?

>On a nice evening when a friend comes by, why not light some candles outside and sit for your visit?  (It can feel magical!)

>Or keep a dish of yummy seasonal candy on your office desk to share with those who pass by.

>When you have a meeting to attend, make some cookies or muffins to take with you.

>Place a pretty napkin in a basket when serving muffins.

>Write a handwritten note of love, thanks, or well wishes to someone.

>Have a small vase of fresh flowers in the room for your spend-the-night guest.

>Sprinkle coarse sugar on top of your muffins.

>Use fresh garlic &/or herbs in place of dried when cooking.

>When hosting a gathering, make little tents out of card stock with labels of "de-caf" or "regular" on your coffee or specific titles of the foods being served.

You get my point?  All these things are little things but they can really add beauty, creativity and fun to the ordinary.  I would love to know what special little things you think make a big difference!

I was thinking about all of this as I was making Key Lime Pie this week.  As I made it, I was thinking about how much homemade graham cracker crust and whipped cream for really takes this pie up a notch. Such a small investment for a big difference!

Key Lime Pie.
It is many people's favorite summertime dessert.
The filling is so creamy and tangy and the crust is sweet and buttery.  The whip is so light and fluffy.
I love it in the summer, or when we have Mexican food, or fish or really anytime of day, with any menu.
It is such a simple, timeless recipe.

I don't know if you have made many Key Lime Pies, or have eaten many.  But making a graham cracker crust takes about 5 minutes and the result is a crumbly, buttery, golden crust that you want to just eat by itself!  Buying a Keebler crust is more expensive and just can't compare to the crunchy buttery goodness of a homemade one.  And whipping cream is super simple and it typically costs no more to buy whipping cream than to buy Cool Whip.  And it is so much better (and not filled with a long list of chemical ingredients).

Key Lime Pie
1 1/2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp. melted butter)

For a deep dish pie pan:
2 cans Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup Key Lime Juice
6 egg yolks

{OR for a standard/regular (glass or tin) pie pan}:
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Key Lime Juice
3 egg yolks
Make Graham Cracker Crust – I put graham crackers in a ziplock bag and crush them with my fist, or with a mallet.  (You can make them as fine or coarse as you like). Stir together ingredients for the crust.  Combine until well incorporated.  Press into a lightly greased pie pan – reserving one spoonful for tasting (okay, you don't have to, but I can't ever resist!) Place crust into oven and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.






In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling. Stir until consistent and smooth. (Hang on to the egg whites, as you can use them in another recipe or have them on hand for breakfast egg whites). Pour filling into crust.  Return to oven for 10 minutes (just to "kill" the raw egg).  Let sit on counter for 10 minutes to cool a bit.  Place in refrigerator for 4 hours or more – until set and cold.


whipped cream
Make whipped cream: 
Pour 1 pint of whipping cream into mixing bowl and let it go full speed for a few minutes until thickened and peaks remain when you pull out the beater. (Watch it or you will have butter in your bowl!) Add a hefty spoonful or two of sugar and voila! 

There you have it!
It doesn't get any better than this simple pleasure – it's the little things!


6 comments:

  1. I love your blog, Julie! Key lime pie is my mom's favorite, so I'll have to make this for her.

    And, I agree about the little things...it's all in the details!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So many reasons to love Julie Hunt. :) This list made me smile. Our shared love of seasonal candy still always makes me think of you. I look forward to making this yummy pie and another thing we have in common, a love for jade. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  3. kdn: I love you! And candy corn always makes me think of YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are so right. A friend brought a pie where I was last night. It had a purchased graham cracker crust. Totally a different product! Well worth the effort to make your own. Or even purchase boxed graham cracker crumbs and make your own. Or at worst case, purchase the crust, dump it in a bowl, add a little butter and a few graham crumbs, put it back in the pan, and it's almost as good. (Sorry this is so wordy!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I made this pie recently for my husband as it's his favorite kind and tonight made two, one for us and one for a new mama friend. She and her mom who were visiting were THRILLED! Thanks! I really enjoy your blog. Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh I'm so glad! I love to make two - keep one for home and take one to a friend! Makes me want to go make a couple right now! Thanks for reading!

    ReplyDelete