blackberry thyme pie with belgian ale beer

i guys!  I'm super excited to share my first guest contributor today!  Muriel from Pies + Travel is here to share a delicious pie recipe which includes beer!  Beer and pie?  I'm in.  I just turned the heat on in the house for the first time since last spring and a warm pie sounds like the perfect way to commemorate the beginning of fall.  Take it away, Muriel!

I’m Muriel and I blog over at Pies + Travel. Last winter, I challenged myself to bake 50 pies in a year. Why? Because I wanted to learn the ins and outs of pie baking. Pie baking is all about chemistry, the ingredients need to be a certain temperature otherwise it turns into a giant mess! As the summer slips away and Atlanta gets a bit colder (yay!), I wanted to finish off my summer pies with a bang. We had this Belgian Ale Beer in the fridge and it served as the perfect inspiration for this pie. I used Monday Night Brewing’s Gunshow for my beer, a local brewery, but you can use any IPA or Belgian ale of your choice.

For the blackberries, make sure to taste them before starting. Sometimes they may need a day or two to sweeten up a bit. I personally love tart pies. If you have the opportunity to go pick your own, do so! It’s one of my favorite things to do. The fresh thyme in this pie makes the whole kitchen smell so good! So let’s get started.

Note: For the all butter crust, I suggest doing it the night before your actual pie making. I like letting sit in the fridge overnight so it settles and rolls out easier. Just make sure it spends at least an hour in the fridge before you roll it out.

All-Butter Pie Crust (9-inch pie) recipe via the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup ice

1. Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.

2. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula.

3. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-
size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to overblend).

4. Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl.

5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated.

6. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining.

7. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow.

Pie filling
recipe by Muriel Vega
20 oz of blackberries
1⁄2 cup of beer
3 sprigs of thyme, just the leaves
1 cup of white sugar
1⁄4 cup of cornstarch
Turbinado sugar
Egg wash (one egg yolk beaten plus 1 tablespoon of water)


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large bowl, add the blackberries, cornstarch, thyme, sugar and beer; stir carefully until combined. Let sit for about 20 minutes. If you don’t like tart pies, I would suggest adding 1⁄4 cup to the mix.

2. Roll out the crust on a floured surface with a cold rolling pin (place it in the freezer for about 5 minutes). Place the crust in the pie pan and poke a few holes on the bottom with a fork.

4. Pour the fruit mix into the pie crust and brush the crust with the egg wash mixture. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar all over the pie.

5. Place the pie on a baking sheet and place it on the middle oven rack. Cook for 60 minutes or until the crust starts to brown and the filling is bubbling.

6. Let the pie cool before serving, about an hour. Serve it with ice cream (vanilla is my favorite!) or homemade whipped cream.

photos by Diana Ascarrunz

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s I sit in front of my computer today, the weather outside is drizzly and chilly. This might be one of my favorite times of year.  It's cooled down enough so I can wear boots and cardigans, there's a cozy feeling that comes with rain and fall leaves, but it's still warm enough that I can take the dog for a walk without putting on a ton of layers and best of all, I'm not depressed by the rain yet.  These photos were taken last week, though, when we were enjoying the last summery days.  We probably still have quite a few sunny days left this year before we really get into the depths of the Pacific Northwest's rainy season, but I can tell that our warm days are gone.  We haven't turned the heat on in the house yet, but it's almost time!  I still can't bring myself to wear tights, though.  I love me some tights, but I'm not ready to give up bare legs yet!

Has it started to feel like fall in your neck of the woods?  Back home in Alaska fall is already in full swing and they usually start getting snow by mid-late October.  I remember when I first came to Tacoma in my Winne back in October of 2010 and I was surprised by how warm it still was!  I remember growing up in school we'd always have bets for which day the first snowfall would be.  It is nice to actually get an Autumn though.  Fall is pretty short up in Anchorage, but it is still crisp and gorgeous.  I like having the time to really enjoy the fall colors and season.  I was always confused, as a kid, why Thanksgiving was marked by fall decor.  For us it was always super snowy by then!  Of course, down in most of the Lower 48, Thanksgiving takes place during Fall.  I kind of like getting to celebrate Thanksgiving as a fall holiday!


dress + shades/shop ruche :: necklace/free people :: shoes/courtesy of modcloth

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bryan + rachel // engagement

I've been shooting more clients this year and I wanted to share some of my shoots here on the blog!  I've posted a few of my sessions in the past but haven't blogged most of them so in addition to sharing newer sessions I want to share a few of my favorite sessions from years past.

I'd shot some portraits of Bryan and Rachel in the past so when Bryan was planning to propose to Rachel he asked me to shoot the actual proposal!  A couple weeks after the proposal we got together again to do some more formal engagement shots downtown. We met at Anthem's downtown coffee shop, which was perfect because their first date was at the Anthem in Puyallup (and that's where Bryan proposed).  Keeping things in the Anthem family!

Their wedding was this January and they've already got a little bun in the oven set to arrive in January of 2015, so maybe some new family portraits will be in order after they add their new member to the family!



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a delightful giveaway from becky murphy

Hi guys!  I'm excited to be hosting a giveaway today from Becky Murphy for one of my favorite prints in her shop!  You guys might remember Becky from the giveaway I did last year for her book, I'd Rather Be Short (which you can still get your hands on!).  If you can't tell already, she's a rad gal and today I get to do a giveaway for her Should I Wash My Hair Today? print, which I have hanging in my own bathroom.  One lucky reader will get to take this print home, and if you want to buy any of her amazing prints I have a special 20% discount for you guys to take advantage of!  Just enter "delightfullytacky20" at checkout to get the discount.  The code expires on Oct 1. so head over and pick out your favorite print before then to get the discount!

To enter the giveaway just follow the directions below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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in with the new

esterday I got to go to CreativeLive's studio to be part of the live audience and learn from some amazing photographers.  They're doing their annual PhotoWeek, which is a week long "conference" full of seminars on all aspects of photography, and it's totally free this week, while it runs live.  I love CreativeLive's classes, so it was really fun to get to go to their studios in Seattle and get to be a part of the production!  They rebroadcast the day's classes after they wrap at 5, so if you work during the day you can still catch the action on the evening rebroadcast.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, transitional seasons always seem to transcend just the changing of the climate.  It almost always feels like a time for life changes too.  Fresh starts.  New projects.  Goals.  Fall always hits me particularly hard with this, probably because for so many years it really was the start of a new season of life with school starting.  New exciting classes, new stationary, new notebooks, pens and pencils, books, new clothes.  As sad as I am to see summer go, fall is such a great time for refocusing and settling down.  I love all the holidays, birthdays, and events that the end of the year brings, it seems like there's always something to look forward to.

dress/modcloth :: cardigan/ruche :: chevron necklace/courtesy of moorea seal
long + short necklaces/courtesy of adorn by sarah lewis :: shoes/minnetonka

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