Baking

Peter and the Piecatcher

After watching the Tony Awards, I found myself with a desire to go to  a show and a Broadway Buddy to go with. My friend had been dying to see Christian Borle in Peter and the Starcatcher, so she suggested we try entering the lottery for tickets. We got to the theater a bit before the lottery began, entered our names, and watched as more and more people came during the half hour that sign-ups were open. I wasn’t sure how much of a chance we stood with so many entries, but we remained optimistic and didn’t even think about what we would do if we didn’t get tickets. I definitely need to keep in that mindset whenever I enter these drawings, because it seems to be working. I won tickets for Wicked last summer, and then my friend’s name got called for Peter and the Starcatcher!

Tickets in hand, we had some time to kill before the show started. We headed over to Pie Face to grab some food to go. Pie Face is an Australian chain, and their NYC location is currently the only one in the US. After this first time, I absolutely want to go back and try more of their delicious pies. Aussies certainly know how to sell pies, don’t you think? Doesn’t it just scream adorable? And it’s all so delicious, too!

I got the chunky steak pie and the mini lemon pie, and the two were the perfect amount to keep me full for the rest of the night. It’s a good thing, too, because the two together set me back about $10. Despite the price, the taste has ensured that I won’t hesitate to open my wallet for them again. I didn’t snap a picture of my steak pie because I somehow managed to get the one pie with a gigantic bubble on it, which marred the look of the pie. However, isn’t the packaging cute?

Oh my goodness, the mini lemon pie was to die for! It was a perfect blend of tart and sweet, with a bit more tart than sweet. The lemon filling towered over the little cup crust, and I was in heaven with every single bite. If only I could get the recipe to replicate at home, I would be one happy camper.

After dinner we headed back to the theater. The play was wonderfully hilarious, and Christian Borle was fantastic as the pirate  Black Stash. I think the beginning of the second act sealed the deal for my love of the show, but I won’t spoil it for anyone that wants to see it. Once the show was over, the two of us dashed over to the stage door and lined up to meet the cast and get autographs/pictures. My friend succeeded in meeting and getting a photo with Christian Borle, so her night was made. She was hyped up and going a mile a minute once we parted ways at the end of the night.

With school over, I hope I can finally get to more shows in the future. I keep forgetting how much I enjoy the whole experience. Seeing shows may or may not also serve as an excuse to hit up Pie Face again. The lemon pie is calling my name, as are the cherry and chocolate ones!

Baking

An Unexpected Twist on Classic Apple Pie

I’m known for my apple pies. My father refuses to eat anyone else’s, and that’s saying something, because he eats any sort of sweets. I usually only make one a year, so it has to be the best. However, this one pie recipe had been nagging me for a while, and I knew I needed to make it soon. Goodbye classic apple pie, hello delicious substitution!

I found this pie recipe on An Epic Change and I knew I wanted to make it sometime, I just didn’t know when. Well, last week I had a burning desire to bake an apple pie, and I knew I wanted to do it before Thanksgiving, as I would be by myself this year, with no one to share the pie with.

Anything with sweetened condensed milk has got to be a winner, right? Right! This recipe is different in every way possible from my go-to pie, but I still loved it.

I started early in the morning and made the crust from scratch. My suitemates slowly came into the kitchen as time passed, asking what on earth I was doing so early in the morning on a weekend. Making pie for us, of course, sillies!

I still can’t believe I had the patience to make a lattice crust. I have never done that before, but I have to say I like the effect. It definitely won’t be for every two-crust pie I make, but it’s nice to know I’m capable of doing it.

The pie filling was a bit runny overall, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker. If I do this again I might add a bit more cornstarch to soak up some more of the juices. Problem solved!

While there’s no picture of it, I made ice cream to accompany the pie. I’m seriously in love with how simple this ice cream process is. I’m not sure how many times I’ve made it now, but it’s in my recipe box to stay. I added an overload of vanilla extract, and I think I’ve finally found the right amount to add (a lot) so that it doesn’t just taste like sweetened condensed milk (not that that’s a bad thing).

Apple pie à la mode, good tv, and my suitemates. A wonderful end to a weekend, and a wonderful start to a three-day week! Thanksgiving’s right around the corner now!

Baking

Mini Oreo and Peanut Butter Pies

A few days ago my roommate suggested we bake these delicious mini pies. She didn’t know where she found the original recipe, but my insane baking blog following skills helped me track the recipe down on Picky Palate. I had seen them a few weeks before she suggested making them, and I’m glad she reminded me about them.

These were certainly a team effort, as myself, my roommate, and one of our suitemates sat around the kitchen table in a little assembly line. I cut out the pie crust, my suitemate put together the peanut butter Oreos, and my roommate did the lattice-work.

These mini pies turned out so yummy. I think adding a bit more peanut butter couldn’t have hurt, though, but I don’t have any complaints about the pies we all literally inhaled. The 12 we made barely lasted 24 hours, but that’s to be expected with four college girls and late-night sweet cravings. I was lucky to have this one left to photograph this morning.

Baking

A Forced “Little Miss Semi-Homemade” Holiday

Those last few days of school nearly killed me. I can’t believe I survived, but I didn’t get through it entirely unscathed. I was dying with my lack of food supplies, and so I couldn’t relieve my building stress through baking. Note to self for next semester: NEVER run out of eggs or milk during finals–it only results in frustration and sadness. I couldn’t make ANYTHING I wanted to make, and so my stress levels just built up and I eventually just shut down and avoided the looming papers and exams for a while.

But now I’m back home and there’s a blizzard outside. . . . Oh yeah, snow just make everything better *sarcasm*. At least I got to avoid snow for the first few days back. One of the first things that greeted me when I stepped in the door was my list of desserts my father was *letting* me make for our Christmas parties. Yes, that’s right, the desserts he was *letting* me make. Needless to say, I was not thrilled with that. I was even less thrilled when my mother then said that I has to be “Little Miss Semi-Homemade” this year. I was even less happy with that restriction.

So on my list of “approved desserts” I had chocolate chip cookies, a Jell-o cake, and a chocolate pudding pie. I had nothing against the cookies, but the cake was from a box and the pie was with a store-bought graham cracker crust and instant pudding mix. Again, I have nothing against people who use these, but I don’t enjoy using them anymore. Now that I have the resources and ability to make things entirely from scratch, I want to keep exploring and seeing what else I’m capable of baking well. Doing it my way does not take much longer, nor is it much messier, than making things from a box, but my parents just don’t understand that. They’re fully content with suppressing my creativity and encouraging a manner of baking that no longer gives me any enjoyment whatsoever. If anything, being told what to make and how to make it just irritates me beyond belief and makes me not want to do it. Is this my teenage rebellion belatedly manifesting itself in my baking?

In any event, I made their desserts and still got yelled by my mother for making a mess. I just can’t win with her. I made her desserts as directed and still got yelled at.

For some reason no one even touched the pudding pie. Not even my mother, the person I made it FOR. I could have made it a mousse pie. Thanks a lot, mom.

At least I got to make whipped cream, even if no one but me enjoyed it. They were certainly missing out by not eating it, though.

While my parents were out at the store in the afternoon, I managed to sneak in one scratch yellow cupcake batch with chocolate buttercream frosting. I had to put my foot down on the frosting front, even though my parents got home before the cupcakes were done or frosted, and so I made the buttercream right under their noses. Look how well they went over. I started the events with twelve cupcakes and two bundts, and all that remained was one cupcake and one bundt. Homemade for the win!

Even as I was baking, my father didn’t think there would be enough, so he wanted to add a pecan pie and another chocolate pudding pie (which would have thankfully been from scratch). I was going to make the pecan pie during the break between our two family parties, but that never happened, and it wasn’t even needed. My father’s side of the family is large-ish, and so there were about 18 people here (and 4 people were actually missing), and my father expected there to not be nearly enough food or dessert, but he was definitely wrong about that. There were meatballs, kielbasa in this strange grape jelly/chili sauce sauce, Velveeta mac and cheese, a spiral ham, shrimp, chips and veggies and dip, my aunt’s beans, another aunt’s “crabbies” and her yummy mini chicken salad sandwiches, another aunt’s teryaki chicken wings and such, scallops wrapped in bacon, a quiche, and probably something else I’m forgetting. Then there were a few of my remaining cupcakes and cookies, my pudding pie, my Jell-o cake, and some store-bought cupcakes my cousin brought because he didn’t know what to bring.

There was just so much food on Christmas Eve because in the afternoon we had hosted my mother’s side of the family (just 9 of us total). So much food, so much sugar, way too much family, and entirely too many leftovers. A cupcake and a mini Bundt, more than half the Jell-o cake, the entire pudding pie and it’s accompanying whipped cream, and more than half my cousin’s cupcakes remained after everyone left. Needless to say, the eating will continue for a few more days than expected.

In other news, I think Fishy rather enjoyed his first Christmas and his first Christmas present.