Picnic-ready mini pies!

I’m a huge fan of the muffin tin. Muffin tins rock for making appetizers in wonton cups, mini quiches, …muffins, and more recently in my life, mini-pies!

I made pumpkin cheesecake bites last winter. They were easy, and instead of making a few pies to bring to work, Brian’s family and my family, I just made a batch and a half of one recipe. It probably cut the time in half!

This summer, for a picnic at Inwood Hill Park, I  made mini mixed berry pies.

First, I found a recipe for pie filling. I used frozen berries,and it worked splendidly. Added some lemon zest, lemon juice and ginger. The ginger really kicked it up! Any pie filling would work, really.

Then I had to deal with the pie crust in muffin tins. That part was tricky. I just used a regular store-bought piecrust mix and experimented with shaping into the tin. This took some more time than I had anticipated, but I’m sure I’ll cut that down with practice. After baking at 375 for 10-15 minutes (I used this blog for guidance, and just checked starting at 10 minutes), I let them cool and slowly pulled them out of the muffin tin with a knife.

As you can see, they’re not perfect-looking. What you don’t know is how yummy they are.

I froze the left-over pie filling. Round 2 should be even better!

(I’m on Instagram: http://instagr.am/p/MM0WdqwJVn/)

Bread maker experimenting

I was so skeptical about the timer on my bread maker, but it actually worked! I filled it up the night before with a herbed French bread recipe, set the timer to start so the bread would be ready at 8am, and I woke up to beautiful fresh, warm carbs. Only after I woke up at ~5am to the extremely loud bread maker beeping, then at ~6am to MORE bread maker beeps letting me know it was about to start baking. Maybe I’ll save the time-delayed breads for when I’m at work.

Bread making 101: The only thing to keep in mind is that you must stack the ingredients so the yeast isn’t touching any of the wet stuff.

Paired this dilly loaf with an egg salad. It was pretty phenomenal.

(I’m on Instagram: http://instagr.am/p/MMmlQcwJcs/)

The Tallest Man on Earth: Take 3

Brian and I have seen The Tallest Man on Earth three years in a row now – the first was our first date. We were surprised and impressed by how popular he’s become. Look at the venue! We were on the balcony at Town Hall in midtown.

(I’m on Instagram: http://instagr.am/p/MHWkADwJVF/)

Thanks, Beacon Theater!

 

Brian won Beacon Theater’s Twitter Retweet contest to see Aziz Ansari! Totally didn’t expect to be front row and center.

(I’m on Instagram: http://instagr.am/p/L9WczewJdf/)

Spicy peanut butter

My ex-coworker Sam used to make peanut butter and Sriracha sandwiches. Our initial reaction was that he was out of his mind – until we really thought about the possibilities of spicy peanut butter. Spicy peanuts are a thing. Asian food uses them all the time! They MUST package this kind of nonsense! A quick Google search helped me find Peanut Butter & Co.’s The Heat Is On.

Admittedly, I didn’t like it as much as I thought and hoped I would. I think I need to pair it with honey to cut down on those “fiery spices.” Maybe molasses?

Any other ideas?

(I’m on Instagram: http://instagr.am/p/LvSukjwJYY/)

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Broke in the bread maker

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