Oh it’s been one of those weeks. I’m not sure if it’s the change in season, the stormy weather or if I’m coming down with a little something. I just seem to be running in circles, not accomplishing what I’ve set out to do. Do you know what I mean?

One thing I have going for me is this Bourbon Pecan Pie. Finally, something worked! But before we talk pie, I’ve got a few pics to share with y’all from our California trip.

Rob and I headed out to California late last month, for a bit of birthday celebration and get-a-way. First to San Fran to say a quick hello to the gorgeous bridge and environs and to meet Kelly at the famed Tartine Bakery. Have you been? It was such a delight to meet Kelly, who’s blog I discovered last year, for the first time. We sipped wine and champagne over some outrageous hot pressed sandwiches, I’m determined to recreate for y’all because I know you love sandwiches, and chatted for as long as possible, but not long enough.

That evening we drove to Pacific Grove where we stayed in a little AirBnB that was cozy and comfortable. This was our jumping off point for days of birding, hiking, picnicking and ocean gazing. We didn’t even make it to a winery!

Rob and I haul our binoculars with us everywhere and keep lists of birds we spot. We study their behavior and listen for them by ear. One spectacular sighting was a California Condor, the largest bird in North America with a wing span of nearly 10′. Their numbers had plummeted to a mere 23 individuals in the early 1980s. To avert extinction, a captive breeding program was started and brought their numbers back to around 400 individuals. This is nowhere near their historic numbers, but an improvement nevertheless.


  • 1, 9 1/2" Blind Baked Pie Crust (use the leftovers for decorations)*
  • 1 C Brown Rice Syrup 344g
  • 2/3 C Light Brown Sugar 136g
  • 2 Tbs Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • 1 Tbs Molasses
  • 1/4 C Bourbon 52g
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract
  • 1 1/2 C Pecan Halves 184g
  • 3 Eggs room temperature, beaten


  1. In a small sauce-pot on medium low heat mix the brown rice syrup and sugar. As the mixture starts to bubble around the edges, whisk so that the sugar dissolves. Do not let this mixture come to a boil. Remove from heat and add the butter, molasses, bourbon and vanilla. Whisk to mix. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F (163C). Toast the pecan halves for about 10-12 minutes until lightly toasted. They'll toast further as the pie bakes.
  3. ........................................

for full instruction please see : vanillaandbean.com

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