Michelle Jones, Founder

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Blessings for Life was founded in 2000, after the birth of our 4th child. In 2001, we began another amazing journey at Better Budgeting, helping families around the world, of all faiths, save money and live a better life. 

In 2006, my mother was set to take over as editor for Blessings for Life to help with my crazy schedule. God had other plans. Within just a few short months she got a promotion.

No more tears, no more suffering. 

We could not have done this without her help and endless encouragement. And, we must carry on.

Never Give Up...

God Always Has a Plan!



Perfect Pecan Pie and Easy Homemade Crust
by Michelle Jones

If you've never had pecan pie (I actually met someone a year ago that hadn't either, so you're not alone), you are missing a real treat! Pecan pie is a favorite among people everywhere, but it is also a Southern tradition because pecan trees grow in the South. 

When we lived in Alabama we had the pleasure of living near several pecan orchards, they were beautiful. The pecan trees are huge like oak trees, and their trunks are massive. Rows and rows of them are all lined up for easy harvesting. Unfortunately, we suffered a hurricane the year before we left and the high winds pulled the trees, roots and all, right up out of the ground, dumping them over like sticks. It was very sad to see, and if the price of pecans has been higher lately, this could be why.

It's been a few years since I made a pecan pie, though it is one of our favorites. If you've read anything about my life you know we've been rather busy for the last 2 years, and we've also spent every holiday either sick or out of town visiting relatives. But normally pecan pie is the perfect holiday dessert. We are sure to be serving one every Christmas and Thanksgiving, alongside a second choice of pumpkin for those who may be allergic to nuts… and for those who might like a little slice of both! ;o)

I read someone recently say their grandmother always had two pies in the house, at all times. Can you imagine? Some of you may have the same memories, and if so consider yourself very lucky. Many women show their love by cooking and baking for the family… and that's the way it is with Southern women too.

You cannot use a store bought crust with pecan pie, I don't know why, you just can't. It would still be good, but it wouldn't be perfect. First I will show you how to make that an easy crust that tastes great, and then we'll get to the pie filling.

Perfect Pie Crust
(can be doubled to make two pie crusts)

1 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. shortening (minus just a little bit)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBS. Water (cold!)

Mix the ingredients together, right in the pie plate. BUT… mix them gently with your hands until they are just blended together enough to press into the bottom and up the sides. The less you work the dough, the flakier the crust will be.

Pecan Pie Filling

1 c. sugar (fine granulated)
1 c. light Karo corn syrup (not the store brand)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten (make sure they're fresh)
2 TBS. real butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract (not the imitation flavor)
1 ½ c. pecan halves (fresh and not broken)
1 perfect pie crust

Mix the first 5 ingredients together with a large spoon or whisk, just until blended. Stir the pecans into filling mixture and pour into pie crust. Now, for additional perfection… gently turn each of the pecan halves right side up. I hope I am not the only one who does this, but it does make a beautiful pie!

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes, depending on how hot your oven runs. You don't want to burn the edges, but you DO want the filling to set well. If it still jiggles when you check on it, it's not done. Once it seems to be set, check the area between the center and edges of the pie with a knife, if it comes out pretty clean, it's done. If it comes out gooey, it's not done. The pie I cooked this weekend needed 55 minutes. Let the pie cool for several hours, in fact overnight would be fine. Store at room temperature, and serve with a dollop of whipping cream if desired.




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