Category: Pie

Carrot Goat Cheese Shepherd’s Pie

I’ve made this shepherd’s pie before. For my friend Emma. We ate it. I forgot to take photos [so typical] and let’s be real — shepherd’s pie really isn’t the most photogenic thing in the world. Yet when I made it again, I wanted a photo so I could tell you about it. No one wants to hear me drone on and on about goat cheese without a photo.

It really is amazing what goat cheese can do to elevate some mashed potatoes. I’d take these over most mashed potatoes almost any day of the week. I’ve seen mashed potatoes with sour cream or creme fraiche for a tangy addition, but the goat cheese trumps it all. The carrots add a hint of sweet but it’s mostly muted but the goat cheese. The color though. That’s what the carrots do more than anything. Or I just have a tendency to have buy the boring bland carrots. Maybe both. Probably both. Making it with the mixture of pork and sirloin is worthwhile. Lamb would be lovely as well. This recipe is perfect for annoying the guys behind the meat counter by asking for small amounts of everything. It’s becoming a favorite pastime of mine. Usually I’m met with disappointment when I only pick up one thing, like a pound of pork, but I make their day for about three seconds when I ask for 1/4 pound of pork after getting the ground sirloin. It’s the little things.

Brussels sprouts are such a good addition to the pie. They’re made deliciously tender and pick up the flavors of the other ingredients. It reminds me of the bubble and squeak at Radar. I would have no shame smothering the pie with gravy. Why isn’t that a thing?

Carrot Goat Cheese Shephards Pie

Inspiration: A Cozy Kitchen


  • 1lb russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 8 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 6 brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4lb ground pork
  • 1/2lb ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3oz goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Place the potatoes and half of the carrots in a pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until they are super soft. You should be able to crush them with a fork. It should take about 15-20 minutes. Drain the pot and add the vegetables back to the pot. Add the goat cheese, butter, and whole milk and mash everything together. Taste for salt and pepper and set aside.

While the potatoes are boiling, preheat the oven to 400°. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil to medium high heat in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add in the brussels sprouts, the remaining carrots, and onion. Saute. After about five minutes, add in the garlic. Stir often to keep it from burning. Add in the pork, beef, and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stir to break up the meat. Once it’s browned and cooked through, add the flour and stir to combine. Add in the broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire, and rosemary. Bring the broth to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Simmer for 10-12 minutes so the sauce thickens.

Spread the meat mixture in a 8×8″ pan. Top with the goat cheese mash. Spread it as evenly as possible, covering the meat mixture entirely. Bake for 25 minutes. If the potatoes don’t start to brown, you can place it under a broiler to get some color. Remove from the oven and let the pan cool for 15 minutes before eating.

Coconut Custard Pie

Before I get into a weird food confession, you should check out this article about 14 important nutrient-dense foods. While I’m not doing the paleo/primal thing, I do enjoy whole foods and that whole bang-for-your-buck thing [blame the accountant in me]. I could definitely stand to increase just about everything on that list. Except the pastured eggs. I’ve got that on lock lately, slowly trading them for the usual smoothie kick.

Alright, confession time — you know those Hungry Man TV dinners? I ate them as a kid because I never had a kid sized appetite. Hungry man was totally accurate. I can could eat and eat and eat and eat [I did eat a footlong meatball sandwich with a good 10-12 meatballs last Friday…for lunch]. The Mexican Style Fiesta version was my absolute favorite. More specifically, I really liked that weird coconut pudding stuff that came with it. It was kind of like the consistency of tapioca, but a ton of coconut. It would always be warm because you cooked everything else, and it was comforting in the way custardy things are. Could you pay me to eat one now? Sure I shudder at the ingredients list…

Jennie’s custard pie kind of took me back to that magical place as a child, but in a much more real food kind of way. I would have been quite content to eat the filling, but raw eggs and all that. I took the lazy way out with the pie crust, opting to buy one in the holiday rush instead of making my own. Why do they always sell them in packs of two? That’s what I want to know. Now one sits in the freezer, laughing at me every time I get in there to get some herbs [I freeze fresh herbs because I never use them fast enough]. If you are a coconut fiend like I am, you’ll love this. Mixing custard and coconut makes me happy in a totally child-like way. I ate a slice as Christmas. I ate three slices over the course of a day or two standing at my kitchen sink, staring out the window at whatever craziness was going on at the gas station.

Oh, and grate your own nutmeg. I hadn’t ever tried this before, but I don’t think I can go back to the dried stuff in a jar.

Inspiration: In Jennie’s Kitchen


  • 1 pie crust for a 9″ pie pan
  • 4 large eggs
  • 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut


Preheat the oven to 450F and roll the pie crust out of if necessary so you can fit it in your pie pan.

Add the eggs to a mixing bowl, and beat them. Add the both milks [trying not to bathe in the sweetened condensed], vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Whisk on medium high until well mixed. Stir in the coconut. Pour the filling into the prepared pie pan.

Bake for 10 minutes, before reducing the oven temperature to 325F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes; the filling should be set and the pie crust nice and browned.

Place the pie on a wire rack and let cool before serving. I covered it and stored it in the fridge until the next day, and reheated pieces as I felt like eating them.

Apricots with Goat Cheese and Almonds

Welcome to 2013!

The foundations for the southeast Asia trip have been started, I finally upgraded my phone, and I made and eaten a whole lot of awesome today. I. Am. Pumped. Oh, and it was sunny. It didn’t get above freezing, but that is absolutely beside the point. To see sun on the first of January, it’s a beautiful thing. Vitamin D is a total commodity at this point.

So these are goodies I brought to Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve was just low-maintenance sandwich, cheese, crackers, and dips/chips kinds of stuff. That way no one has to slave over the stove two days in a row. I love it. It’s why I brought the salad and these apricots. We’ve turned Christmas day into a Mexican feast instead of Thanksgiving – Part II. Cue the coconut custard pie [which I’ll post soon!]. It’s like flan, but y’know, not. I can’t help but bring something new to the table most years while everyone else brings the usual goods. It’s an excuse to make new things. Speaking of, things I didn’t get to make but wanted to: Superfood Haute Chocolate, Chocolate Dipped Spicy Gingersnaps, Coconut Chai Coffee Cake, and Roasted Red Pepper & Bacon Goat Cheese Truffles. Someday. There is seriously too much food, so little time [which is exactly how I feel about travel].

So about these apricots — they’re supposed to be made with marcona almonds, which are a softer, sweeter, Spanish variety than the ones you’re used to seeing/eating, but they were out of them at both stores I went to. I substituted regular ones, and while good, I would highly suggest going out of your way for marcona. I can only imagine how absolutely perfect they would be with the creamy tang of goat cheese, and the sweetness of the apricot and honey. Regular almonds are pretty dang crunchy. I’m pretty sure I ate most of them that night, but that’s nothing new. It’s why I bring things like this to parties. I eat them like it is my job. Because it is. Sorta.

Inspiration: Shutterbean


  • dried apricots
  • marcona almonds
  • 4oz goat cheese, room temperature so it’s easily spreadable
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • raw honey to drizzle


Make sure you have enough apricots as you do almonds. I had 30. Tracy at Shutterbean had 40. There is more than enough goat cheese for these amounts. Mix the basil into the goat cheese. Pipe little balls of the cheese onto the apricots with an icing bag [or make one!]. Top each with an almond. Make a mess Drizzle with the honey within an hour of serving.

Chicken Hand Pie

So I was planning on blasting you with a Tuesday Things post yesterday, but that clearly didn’t happen. Between dinner [a grilled turkey burger with cheddar, fried egg, and BBQ sauce on a kaiser roll], absolutely maiming a batch of pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and working out [thanks, Katie!], I just didn’t have it in me.

Here’s how sick and twisted I am–I realized after the first rise time on the cinnamon roll dough that I definitely, without a doubt likely killed the yeast. It didn’t rise. At all. I had used this jar of yeast in some pizza dough, but that doesn’t rise so I can’t tell if I bought a faulty jar of yeast or not. I’d say odds point to me killing the yeast. I was pouring it in some melted butter/almond milk, and I remember distinctly thinking as I poured in the yeast, “I think this might be too hot.” Instead of starting over, oh no, I plowed ahead. Joke is on me. I continued on with my dough because I’m insane. It rolled out nice. I spread out the cinnamon filling, and proceeded to have the hardest time ever rolling it up. I was making a mess. It wasn’t rolling uniformly. It was beaten with the ugly stick more times than I could count. The smart person would have scrapped it at this point, but nope, I continued on. I tried letting it rise the second time, this time in a warmer location. Nope. Not even a budge.

So I baked them anyway.

Yeah, I’m that weird. It was like half baked cinnamon dough. They were tiny, too. They actually reminded me of the cores of most cinnamon rolls. I ate two last night, and have had at least four today. I’m too stubborn to throw them away since they’re still edible. Bizarre. But edible.

Also edible? These chicken hand pies. They were spawned from a bunch of leftovers. I had leftover dough from the garlic knots in the freezer that I had forgotten about. I had a frozen chicken thigh I could use. There was half a zucchini, red onion, and some mushrooms. If that doesn’t scream hand pie, I don’t know what does.

You could use any pizza dough, really. I totally plan on doing this again with the 15 minute pizza dough. Calzones are not a bummer. They reheat the next day, which is perfect for lunch at the office. Coworkers will wonder why you always have awesome smells coming from your office/cube.

Inspiration: Sophistimom


  • 1/2 batch pizza dough of choice
  • 1 chicken thigh, cubed
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • Handful of dried mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour [I used whole wheat pastry]
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • melted butter for spreading on the top of the pies


  1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Add the zucchini and onion, stirring every few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  3. Add the butter and allow to melt.
  4. Once melted, add the flour, mixing thoroughly until the flour is soaked through.
  5. Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper.
  6. Add the chicken.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked and the broth is a thick consistency, you’re ready to prep the pies.
  8. Preheat the oven to 425° and line a baking pan with a silpat [or parchment].
  9. Divide the dough in half, rolling one half out on a floured surface. You want it to be the size of a tortilla or dinner plate.
  10. Place the rolled out dough onto the baking pan.
  11. Spoon half the chicken mixture onto half of the rolled out dough.
  12. Fold the top half over and crimp together with your fingers or a fork [or both].
  13. Repeat for the other half of the dough.
  14. Make 2-3 diagonal slits across the tops of the pie.
  15. Brush with melted butter.
  16. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the outside is golden brown.
  17. Allow to cool before serving because that filling is HOT!
  18. Avoid killing your yeast if you plan on making cinnamon rolls afterward.


Peanut Butter Pie

I almost didn’t post this.

I seriously felt a little bit guilty because I don’t know Jennie. Do you know Jennie? I had never ever been to her blog before. But even if you don’t know her, like me, you’ve probably noticed that peanut butter pie took the world by storm over the past couple days. And then you took the time to find out why the world was making peanut butter pie the thing.

You see, in one sad, swift moment, Jennie’s husband was taken from this world. It broke my heart to hear about it. It’s broken many hearts. In honor of her husband Mikey, she asked that anyone make his favorite pie and to share it with a loved one. And while I don’t know Jennie, I could definitely make this pie. So with the help of Mama Pea, I made a vegan version that I could enjoy in honor of Mikey. And anyone who has lost anyone lately, like my friend Cheryl. It’s a really good pie, and yet, I can’t help but eat every piece in silence. It feels like the right thing to do.

Inspiration: Mama Pea @ Peas and Thank You


  • chocolate cookie pie crust (I bought one instead of making it)
  • 2 oz chocolate
  • handful roasted peanuts
  • 12oz silken tofu (firm)
  • 2/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (almond)
  • ground chocolate, chocolate shavings, peanuts, whipped cream for garnish


  1. Make your pie crust if you’re ambitious. I wasn’t.
  2. In your preferred method, (microwave for me!) melt the chocolate.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate on the bottom of the pie crust.
  4. Sprinkle the roasted peanuts along the bottom.
  5. In a food processor (or blender), blend the tofu, peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
  6. Try not to eat it all. It’s creamy peanut butter goodness.
  7. Pour into the prepared pie crust.
  8. Garnish with chocolate, peanuts, or whipped cream.
  9. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but the more the merrier.
  10. Good luck cutting it because the chocolate hardens and fortifies it. It’s delicious.
  11. Enjoy with a loved one or three.