Karen Shanley


Best Pie Crust Recipe

Apropos of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share my secret pie crust recipe. There are a bazillion pie crust recipes out there. So why is this perhaps the best? Because it uses science to help get the best flake and the best taste.


2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 stick cold unsalted butter
8 oz shortening
1/4 cup ice water
2 tablespoons vodka
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt


For best crust, use CAKE flour, not all-purpose flour. Place flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Continue reading


Compliment from God

Just another ordinary text exchange between me and Cait…


All joking aside, and even though this kid is probably born-again, that was a pretty great thing for one human being to say to another. Would that we might all take the time to recognize the good in each other and comment on it…

Life is, ah, interesting…

dung beetles I’m beginning to think the world has officially gone mad. Take your pick–the latest in France, the Middle East, the weather, politics, and whatever personal challenges each of us face.

I can’t just sit by and shake my head anymore, so I do what I always do when the  crazy winds blow. I write.  More on my latest book at another time.

For today, I’d like to leave you with these two posts that reflect two completely different views on beetles and dung.

Stick THAT in Your Happy Box and When Life Dumps a Truckload of Manure in Your Driveway

How to Opt Out of Verizon’s Super Cookie Tracking

I have a real problem with the loss of privacy and the escalation of personal tracking to serve us ever more advertising. Verizon is about as bad as any company gets, in my book. Read the following Gizmodo article for yourself. And then take the precautions listed below.

Be Afraid: Verizon’s Supercookies to Merge With AOL’s Ad-Tracking Network

If you’re a Verizon customer, here’s how you can Opt Out:

-Login to your Verizon account https://www.verizon.com/myverizon/

-Go to this URL: http://vzw.com/myprivacy

-Opt out of all 3 options, particularly the 3rd.

From Our Boo Crew to You


Goblins, witches, ghosts take flight
In the shadows of the night.
Children flock from house to house
Greeted by a pumpkin mouse.


Sharing an Experience

I was speaking with a long-time mentoring student who’s found himself working very hard not to become embroiled in verbal battles of late. His question to me was:

 Is there a way that we can sanely engage in intelligent conversation
that can include differing views, without resorting to hostility?

Great question, don’t you think? Is it possible to discuss politics or religion, or anything we feel passionately about, without getting locked into stalemated arguments? Which usually results in the predictable outcome of two (or more) angry people more certain than ever that they are right and that the other person is a complete idiot.

Here’s the challenge as I see it. It’s folly to think that we can engage in a discussion with angry people or people who are so certain in their beliefs, there’s no room for “other” information, and not become angry ourselves. Especially since anger is a fairly contagious emotion…

So, then when do we engage people and when do we not? Continue reading

In a Million Years–I Never Would Have Guessed!

I’d talked about getting Graidy’s DNA test done. Well, the results have come back and, in a million years, I never would have guessed American Eskimo Dog!  I can absolutely see the Border Collie and some kind of spaniel mix–though not English Springer Spaniel. My best guess was Border Collie/ Brittany Spaniel.  The mystery is finally over.

Mars DNA Test results

How to Select Garlic Cloves for Planting

garlic clovesIt’s that time of year again.  Around the 1st or 2nd week of October, I plant my garlic. But how do you know which bulbs you should save for your seed cloves? And then how do you know which cloves from those bulbs to plant? It’s easy, once you know what to look for.

Let’s get started!

What you’re looking for are your largest, firmest, roundest bulbs. Sure, save a few to give away as gifts, if you have some garlic-loving friends. But make sure you keep enough for yourself to get your seed cloves.

Now, gently break your bulbs apart to protect  the clove wrapper. Then, here’s what you’re looking for, for seed cloves: Continue reading

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