A Party of Pies

This post is part of the  Hearth-n-Soul blog hop. Click on the badge to see all the other participants for this week’s blog hop!

Hearth-n-Soul Blog HopWe love our pie!  We told you about the local baking contest last week, the pie trivet making yesterday and now the grande finale:  THE PIE PARTY!

Yep, one more birthday push (the last one, we promise!).  Every year Mike’s Dad (Craig) and Step-mom come to visit for our birthday – you see, it’s Grandpa Craig’s birthday the same week as ours.   This past Saturday we held our annual combined birthday party.   Last year we switched to a new theme for our party- A pie party!

We were introduced to this party by way of Mike’s sister,  Heidi.  Years ago she went to a fund raiser where it was $10 to enter a pie and $10 to judge pies.  The judges rated the pies, everyone got some pie and prizes were given.  It was good.

We wanted an inexpensive, fun party.  We loved this idea and ran with it.  We don’t charge though 😉  Come on!!  We’re not that cheap!!

Molly:  Last year was huge and a total smashing success.  This year I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Mike:  I know, what was going on?  I thought you’d triple the size of it.

Molly:  I know, I know!  I was a bit worried about the weather and as much fun as last year was having it inside was exasperating.  This year I cut the attendees in half.  The only issue was less people=less pie so some entries were the only ones in their categories.  They didn’t have anyone to compete against.

Mike: I didn’t hear anyone complaining.  Winning is winning you know.

The entire family gets into it.  I made a gluten-free coconut cream pie. It was a traditional coconut cream pie filling but I made the crust out of coconut macaroons.

Coconut Macaroon crust

This is actually just the Coconut Macaroon crust!!

Craig and Pistol joined forces to make a tasty key lime pie and Dumpling went into new territory with a delicious chocolate cream pie.  Mike was on pie burn-out and was still recovering from the local pie contest  he was in last week so he didn’t make one this year.

The judges were all people with October birthdays.  We were short a judge so our friend Stanley got to fill in since it was his 1/2 birthday.  The categories and winners were:

Best Fruit-  Bloody Red Chile Sunday Pie

Best Cream-  Brunhilde Key Lime Pie

Best Gluten-Free  Cream of Macaroon pie

Best Nut- Petulant Pecan Pie

Best Savory- Duck Shephard’s Pie

Best Overall- I say Tom-ahhh-to Tart

As people arrived we sent them off to the ‘photo booth’ to get their picture taken with their pie:


The guests started getting restless while the judges got tasting.  Once they had their nibbles and their votes were cast the masses got to dig in.  Last year Juliette came in second place overall.  Since then she’s been plotting and planning how to create the most spectacular pie ever.  Well, her planning paid off because this year she was our grand prize winner.  It was a tough competition.  The duck shepard’s pie was the savory winner and took 3 days to prepare (my mouth still waters when I think about it).  The red chili mash-up was amazing.

We upped the ante this year by awarding each category winner a homemade trivet!

finished trivet awards

Here’s Juliette’s Academy Award worthy acceptance speech:

Juliette was also generous enough to share her recipe along with her notes:

I Say Tom-aaaah-to Tart (she’s Australian, ya know)


1 quantity of Puff Pastry (store bought or homemade – I used Pepperidge Farm…because I’m BUSY!)
1 scant tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
10-12 thick slices of tomato, seeded and dried with paper towel
olive oil
fresh mozzarella (one package – you may have some left over – even better!)
Fresh Basil (handful)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
sea salt and pepper


1.    Slow roast tomatoes in a baking pan spritzed with olive oil for 30 minutes – drizzle tomatoes with a little oil too, and salt and pepper them.
2.    While tomatoes are roasting, saute shallots on a low flame in a little oil.  Stir frequently until they are lightly browned.  Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt.
3.    Roll pastry out to thinly cover your pan – I used an oblong casserole, but it could be any shape.  Oil the bottom of the pan first!
4.    Prick pastry all over with a fork, spread mustard thinly and bake at 420F (220C) for 10 minutes.
5.    Remove from oven, and let it cool a little.  Scatter with shallots, arrange tomatoes artfully on top, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper
6.    Bake for about another 10 minutes, or until  the pastry is puffed and golden.
7.    Shred the basil finely, and top the tart with fresh mozzarella slices, then the basil, then finish with a little fresh black pepper, and fancy sea salt if you have it (I used a grey salt with lemon and rosemary which came from Nappa valley….but that’s why I won!, OK you’re right, that was smug)

Pour the vinegar into a shallow pan and gently reduce it until thick and syrupy.  Do NOT leave it alone! if it burns, you’re just going to have to start again.
Drizzle over assembled tart.

Well that’s it for this year!  Do you have an inexpensive but fun way to entertain?  Let us know!

What is our plan to make money blogging?  We shared our story over at How I Make Money Blogging.  Thank you Crystal for having us as a guest blogger!

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