Wednesday, March 8, 2017


via Cooking Contest Central

March 8th is National Peanut Cluster Day so I'm featuring Beth Royals' Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters recipe, $1,000,000 winner of the 2014 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off contest. 

Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips (2 cups)
1 Tbsp Crisco Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
1 Tbsp Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup salted cocktail peanuts
2/3 cup toffee bits
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with Reynolds Cut-Rite Wax Paper.
  2.  Unroll pie crust on work surface. With pizza cutter or knife, cut into 16 rows by 16 rows to make small squares. Arrange squares in single layer on large non-greased cookie sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove squares from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 5 minutes.
  3. In large microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips, shortening and peanut butter uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring once, until chips can be stirred smooth. Add pie crust squares, peanuts and toffee bits; stir gently until evenly coated. Immediately drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lined cookie sheets. (If mixture gets too thick, microwave on High 15 seconds; stir.) Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until set. Store covered.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


via Dangerously Delicious Pies D.C.

Today is National Pancake Day so I thought I'd feature the Pancake Batter Pie from Dangerously Delicious Pies in Washington D.C. According to their website, 'it tastes like syrupy pancake goodness!' You have a choice of blueberries or chocolate chips. Now you don't need to justify eating pie for breakfast. 

On a side note, they have two big bad, rootin tootin, red hot dangerous pie trucks slingin your pie favorites all over DC! A dream... mobile sweet and savory pies for sale. 

A few years ago I was filming in Detroit and made sure we ordered several pies from Rodney "The Pie Man" Henry's Dangerously Delicious Pies for the crew. The pies were absolutely out of this world! 

Don't forget that today from 7am - 7pm you can celebrate National Pancake Day at participating IHOP Restaurants with a FREE short stack of their Original Buttermilk Pancakes!

via IHOP

Friday, February 24, 2017


via Food 52 ph: james ransom

When we were kids my dad liked to stock the freezer with Banquet Pot Pies. They never seemed to cook quite fast enough in the oven but when the timer went off we all raced back to the kitchen for our individual turkey or chicken pot pies. Fresh out of the oven the pies were piping hot, too hot. I always burned my tongue on the first couple of bites, too impatient to let it cool off properly. My favorite part was cracking the crust open with a spoon to get to the rich creamy filling inside, the steam billowing out of the flaky hole. My second favorite thing was the way the creamy sauce would leave a delicious residue on the spoon you could lick off. Next, I enjoyed finding the little pieces of cubed meat, the trick was to get one in every spoonful. Pot pies are a major food nostalgia for me. They remind me of being a kid, dad fixing supper in his army uniform, and that odd time period when it was pretty much normal for families to eat frozen dinners, usually in front of the television. Every now and then I'll buy a Banquet Chicken Pot Pie from the frozen section of my grocery store. They still cost less than a buck. Now that's what I call a bargain. 

Banquet Pot Pies will do in a pinch but scratch-made pot pies are even better. Food 52 has provided a simple formula for pot pie: Chicken (or turkey) + vegetables + thick sauce + crust = pot pie. 

1. The Meat: Cook's choice. Leftovers are always great for throwing together a pot pie. You can use poultry, beef, or just roasted vegetables. If your meat needs to be cooked (not leftovers) then you can braise the meat in the sauce. The meat flavors the sauce, and the sauce gently cooks the meat. 

2. The Vegetables: The classic veggies include potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and frozen peas but there's no need to restrict yourself. Get creative, just make sure their chopped into bite-sized cubes. You can either roast the veggies separately or cook them in the sauce. 

3. The Sauce: Sauce is the glue that hold pot pie together. To guarantee a thick sauce, you'll need to make a roux (paste made from flour cooked in fat to be used as a thickener). When it's ready you slowly whisk in chicken stock and bit of milk. Let it come to a boil and simmer briefly. Once you have a thick sauce, add your meat and veggies. 

4. The Crust: You can cheat and buy puff pastry dough but if you've got time make your own then here's a pot pie dough recipe

5. Now, put it all together: You'll need an ovenproof vessel whether it's ramekins or small cast iron pots or skillets for individual pot pies or cast iron skillet, baking dish, or even pie plate for a large, family-style pot pie. Add in a mix of your cooked veggies and meat into the container, cover with the sauce leaving a 1/2-inch between the sauce and top of container. Lay the crust over the container, crimp, and brush with egg wash. Be sure to create slits for steam vents. Bake at 375º F until the crust has browned and the stew is bubbling underneath, about half an hour. Everything under the crust should already be cooked, so baking is just for the lid. 

For more detailed instructions go here

Thursday, February 23, 2017


via The Pioneer Woman

The other day I was really craving chocolate pudding and picked up a box of MY*T*FINE pudding & pie filling (sugar free chocolate). I followed the directions on the box but it was an epic fail. The pudding had this weird consistency, way too thick and with this unpalatable waxy film. This brand has been around for over 90 years so I must have made a mistake in the cooking process - overcooked?

Let's try this the old-fashioned way. The following chocolate pudding pie recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. I'm a huge fan of Ree Drummond and her no-nonsense simple cooking with step-by-step instructions. I also love her stories about her husband, family, and ranch living. Her cooking reflects her life-style - hearty recipes for hard-working folks. 

Chocolate Pie
1 whole Pie Crust, Baked and Cooled (or can use Oreo or Graham Cracker crust)
1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3 c whole milk
4 whole egg folks
6 1/2 ounces, Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped finely
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp butter
Whipped Cream, for serving
  1. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir or whisk together.
  2. Pour in milk and egg yolks, and whisk together. 
  3. Stir over medium heat until the mixture just barely comes to a boil and becomes thick, about 6-8 minutes (maybe less, maybe more; just watch it!) The second it starts to bubble and thicken (note: it should be thick like pudding!) remove it from the heat. Add the chocolate, vanilla, and butter, and stir until everything is beautifully combined.
  4. Pour the pudding into the pie crust (if there is extra, spoon it into small dishes) and place in the fridge to chill for 4 hours uncovered. Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


via food network

Hola! And happy National Margarita Day! The day wouldn't be complete without a slice of Margarita Pie, a creamy pie that tastes just like the beverage. Don't skip the salted lime wedge garnish! Recipe courtesy of the Food Network Kitchen. 

What I wouldn't do to be sitting on a beach somewhere in Mexico sipping on margaritas and eating fish tacos. I had the best margarita of my life at Chamico's, a secret no-frills beachside cantina so secluded and laid back that it's a little slice of paradise. This fish shack is nothing fancy -- we're talking rickety plastic tables and chairs under a thicket of palm trees but the food is good, the margaritas are superb, and the staff super-friendly. Chamico's menu options are limited to ceviche and whatever caught that morning is cooking on the outdoor barbie. After you feast on succulent fresh seafood washed down with icy-cold cervezas and margaritas, be sure to take a hour in the shaded hammock enjoying the cool breeze and stellar ocean view. There are only two rules: cash only and don't tell your friends. The locals like to keep Chamico's as their little secret. 

No phone, website or address
end of Soliman Bay Road
Tulum, Mexico
open 9am-5pm

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


LA pie story ph: s winesett

Blueberry Slump (or grunt or cobbler) is a classic New England dessert in which sticky biscuit dough is dropped onto blueberries. A slump is like a cobbler, only instead of being baked in the oven, it's made on the stovetop. Gina Homolka of skinnytaste took it a step farther and figured out a way to make it in a slow cooker in her cookbook, skinnytaste Fast and Slow. According to her, 'It has a cake-like topping over the warm gooey berries, and it slumps onto your plate when you serve it. Simple and unfussy, it's a true comfort food.'

Slow Cooker Blueberry Slump
(serves 8)
cooking spray
5 cups (26 ounces) blueberries
1/3 c raw sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp grated lemon zest

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 c raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
pinch of kosher salt
2 Tbsp cold whipped butter
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. For the fruit: Coat a 5- or 6- quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest in the slow cooker.
  2. For the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. Add it to the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until combined. Spoon the topping over the blueberries and spread it out evenly. 
  4. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, until the blueberries are bubbling and the topping is set. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. 
Per serving (not including whipped cream): 1/2 cup, calories: 185, fat: 2.5g, saturated fat: 1.5g, carbs: 40g, fiber: 2.5g, protein: 3g, sugars, 26g, sodium: 131mg

I cut the recipe in half for 4 servings as I own a mini-slow cooker, and swapped fresh blueberries for frozen wild blueberries. I also had left over pastry dough from a previous pie so used that instead of making a fresh batch. I have to say, topped with fresh whipped cream the Blueberry Slump was incredibly scrumptious. I had to really struggle not to go for seconds! 

Monday, February 20, 2017


LA pie story ph:s winesett

Happy National Cherry Pie Day! I filched this recipe for Cherry Chiffon Pie from Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook, a vintage find I picked up in an East Village shop called Bonnie Slotnick's Cookbooks. If you haven't stopped by this rare gem of a bookstore you're truly missing out. The shelves are brimming over with rare and out-of-print cookbooks, and with over 5000 to choose from there's sure to be one to titillate the tastebuds of even the most discerning gourmet. And with vintage kitchenware and other doohickeys garnishing the shop, you literally feel as if you've stepped back in time. I've spent hours digging through old pie cookbooks, perusing the dusty pages in search of that one recipe I haven't come across before. 

This Cherry Chiffon Pie was listed under the section, Refrigerator and Ice Cream Pies, with the notation, 'Pink and pretty - uses canned cherries'. Chiffon pies are a light fluffy confection in which meringue and/or whipped cream is folded into a fruit-flavored curd thickened with unflavored gelatin. The filling is then put into a pre-baked pie shell of the baker's choice and chilled until ready to serve. 

Cherry Chiffon Pie
Baked 9" pie shell*
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 Tbsp cold water
1 (1 lb 4 oz) can tart cherries
4 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
Whipped Cream (optional)
  1. Soften gelatin in water. Drain cherries, reserving juice. eat egg yolks and add juice from cherries (3/4 cup), salt and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in softened gelatin and stir until it is dissolved. Cool slightly and add lemon peel and drained cherries (1 1/2 cups). 
  2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form when beater is lifted. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar- 2 Tbsp at a time - beating thoroughly after each addition. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into gelatin mixture. Pile lightly in pie shell and chill until firm. 
  3. When ready to serve, garnish each serving with whipped cream. 

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks
28 East Second Street, New York City
212.989.8962 tel