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Monday, December 31, 2012

Mini Apple Pies with Roasted Applesauce

The other day I made a big batch of roasted applesauce that I enhanced with a generous splash/shot of Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liquor.  Liz remarked that the finished applesauce tasted so good she'd love to have it in a pie.  Well, you know, when someone gives me an idea, and that idea incorporates PIE, apples and some booze, well, a gals gotta make this dessert wish come true!

You can use most any kind of applesauce, but a homemade variety, preferably one of the organic persuasion, would be better.  I'd recommend making my version of the roasted applesauce sauced liberally with some brandy or rum, or you could look for Momma's Homemade Apple Pie Applesauce. That stuff is addictive!

This "recipe" is a simple, step by step version.  I will admit, I did not make my own pie crust.  I know, quelle horror!  I just didn't have time nor the desire.  Frankly, even I have to take a few Sandra Lee Semi-Half Assed Home-made shortcuts.  And even more honestly, some store bought crusts aren't that bad - they taste okay.  

Mini Apple Pie with Roasted Applesauce 
(or Mini Applesauce Hand-Pies) Ingredients and Equipment:

1 Sheet Ready-Made Pie Crust - chilled but pliable
2 Cups High Quality/Organic Applesauce
4-inch diameter Biscuit Cutter or Water Glass
1-inch diameter Biscuit Cutter or equivalent sized glass
Muffin Tin (not a deep or over-sized muffin tin)
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit 

1. 1 Sheet of Pie Crust will make about 9 mini pies.  Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter or water glass, cut out the pie circles.  Gently press them with your fingers, or roll them out with a small rolling pin to make slightly larger and thinner.  Reserve the scraps and set them aside.
 2. Butter or spray the inside of the muffin tins and then gently press the pie dough circles into the muffin tins.  Carefully press the sides and bottom of the pie dough into the tins.
 3. Fill each pie crust with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of applesauce, filling each pie 3/4ths of the way to the top, leaving a bit of edge.
 4. Next, re-roll the pie dough scraps into a large ball, then roll out to form another pie crust.  Using the 1-inch biscuit cutter, cut out enough 1-inch circles to top each pie.  I used about 6 circles to cover the pies.  Topping the pies with at least 4 or 5 circles should suffice.
 5. Sprinkle each of the pies with a pinch of cinnamon and pinch of brown sugar.  Bake the pies in a pre-heated oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pie crusts are light golden brown.  Remove from oven, cool the pies in their tins.  After 5 minutes, take a thin knife and run it around the edge of each pie crust to loosen them from the tins.  Once they've cooled thoroughly, lift them out of the tins.
6. Serve warm or at room temperature!  These pies, if they last long, will hold up for 3 days refrigerated.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Call me TV Chef Denine Gorniak Please!

I'm on TV! 
During the week of Thanksgiving 2012, I had the opportunity to be on television, doing a segment on CBS 3's Talk Philly's afternoon program.  I was there to promote ExtraordinaryED, the education center in Collingswood where I teach.  I was the guest chef and my segment was all about "What to do with your Thanksgiving Leftovers." (the link to the video is here.) It was taped on Wednesday morning, the day before Thanksgiving.  The piece aired the day after, on Friday, at noon.  The whole segment took about 10 minutes to shoot, but it took me days and hours to prepare.  For real.  Days and hours!  I spent a lot of time preparing, researching and tweaking my recipes for the segment.  Then I had to do my shopping and cook almost an entire Thanksgiving feast (with a certain level of prepared food short-cuts) so that I could have enough left-overs to use for the tv spot.  
Ukie Washington and me, preparing for the Thanksgiving Left-over demonstration TV Spot
Talk Philly - not so LIVE!
People asked me if I was nervous about being on television.  I wasn't in the least bit.  There were several reasons for this. Primarily because  I have "performed on-stage" for several years when I was a cooking class instructor at Williams-Sonoma. I knew what I needed to do for the pre-show work.  It's all about being prepared, sort of scripting yourself so you can get through the run though well-rehearsed.  I needed to have one finished dish for display and/or tasting and other food items needed to be pre-set and prepped for the demonstration. Besides being so well-prepared, I knew that the segment was being prerecorded.  Any glitches I made could and would be fixed.  As it turned out, we had to stop mid-take and start again; I flubbed one of my "lines", but stumbling over what I was trying to say on camera.  

The Best Cameraman ever!
I made sure he got the good left-overs!
I have a pretty good attitude about myself and the way I look.  There's not much I can do about changing these features.  The one great lesson I learned from HOW NOT TO BE LIKE MY MOTHER is that I have accepted myself for who and how I am.  I like myself, I'm mostly happy with my physical self, though I'd love to lose the 20 pounds or so I've gained in the past few years. When I knew I was going to be on television, I thought about what I should wear and what chef-like clothes would look best on camera.  Then I fussed with my hair and put on enough make-up to make me look good but natural.  My food looked good and the pater with Ukie Washington was far better than I could have wished or imagined.  The rest was up to the cameraman and the producers!
Turkey Enchiladas with Tomato and Pumpkin Sauce
Turkey Enchilada Fixin's!
I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to write more than a passing comment about the piece.  It was one of the most exciting things I've done all year.  The exposure was fabulous and the ego boost wasn't too bad either!  I guess I thought, Oh, I'll do a post about the spot tomorrow, and then other posts took precedence and time just got away from me.  Blogging is a funny past-time.  We can write about what inspires us or excites us.  We can have blog posts set for future publishing, or for when an idea is fully germinated.  And then there are blogs posts that take top priority, needing to be written in the moment before the relevance is lost.   This post, well, it just didn't fit any of my criteria.  I just wanted to chronicle it before the end of the year.  Guess what? I've got 3 days left to tell my story!
Food Styling at its best - my tablescape looks like an ad for Wegmans!
Thank goodness I had a few left over turkey pieces.
We added them to the table minutes before we started taping.
When I arrived at the studio, I had a car filled with bins and coolers of food and dishes.  As I said, I'm used to the preparation for a demonstration.  I'd rather be overly prepared and have too much stuff than be missing something crucial to the cooking lesson.  For my tv spot, I was supposed to "make" two recipes and have four prepared dishes, along with the prep for each recipe and a few turkey pieces for good measure. 

Whole wheat pancakes that I incorporated Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
These were served with Maple Syrup into which I added cranberry sauce, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
I demonstrated my turkey enchiladas with tomato and pumpkin sauce; whole wheat pancakes with sweet potato puree and cranberry sauce maple syrup.  Ukie loved those!  For display, I also had a low-fat curried turkey salad and a wild-rice blend salad with a cider Dijon vinaigrette.  It was a lot of food and a lot of cooking!
Low-Fat Curried Turkey, Apple and Vegetable Salad with Craisins 
As I said, I had enough food cooked for a real Turkey Day Feast.  I cooked enough food that there was enough for our own dinners on Monday and Tuesday nights.  I shopped on Friday night, brined the turkey on Sunday; cooked some things on Monday; I finished everything and pre-set my ingredients on Tuesday night so I would be ready on Wednesday morning.  By the time I got to the studio (an hour early!) I was more than ready for the taping.   My set up in the studio took about 45 minutes more, unloading my food and props, setting the table, fussing with the finished dishes to make them look camera ready!  The above photo is my curried turkey salad with apples and craisins.  It wasn't featured as a tv discussed recipe, and I think it may have been one recipe that wasn't posted on CBS 3's website.   I posted about it in November.  You can see that recipe here.
Wild Rice Blend with typical Thanksgiving vegetables -
carrots, celery, onions, string beans,  and broccoli,
in a home-made cider and Dijon vinaigrette.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience.  I have a video showcase of myself in action.  I have a bigger repertoire of recipes, more of which will make their way to the blog in the coming month.  The television appearance didn't do much to boost sales for my cooking classes at ExtraordinaryED, but I'm hoping that this will eventually go towards moving my teaching/writing/and food styling skills into a larger venue.  We'll see.  In the meantime, I'm being billed by ExtraordinaryED as TV Chef Denine Gorniak.  A title I sort of like!  I may not have earned it, yet, but it's not a lie.  Stay tuned for my next installment!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Roasted Apple Sauce with Caramel Apple Brandy

As a holiday gift to regular patrons of the Collingswood Farmers' Market, Schober Farms was giving away huge bags of apples to any and everyone who stopped by the Market on Saturday, December 22nd.  As we were planning to go out early to do our final Christmas grocery and gift shopping, we decided to take a wander over to the Patco parking lot to see what they were offering.  Imagine my surprise when I saw four or five kinds of apples for free, in huge 5 to 10 pound bags!  I knew immediately that I wanted to make applesauce and can it for future use.  I never did get around to making any this past fall, and it's one of my favorite things to put up for the winter season.  I took a bag of the Gala Apples and started planning my applesauce making.

Instead of making applesauce the old-fashioned and laborious way that I usually do - chopping the apples and cooking them with skins and seeds and then hand-forcing the cooked puree through a fine mesh strainer or "China Cap" aka Chinoise, I did the sensible thing and peeled and seeded the apples before hand.  It's work either way but not nearly as difficult as having to press 5 pounds of apples through a hand strainer.  The food waste is the same - or so it seems.  Peel now or press later!

Knowing that I may lose a bit of flavor and colour by peeling away the skins, I thought about how I could best add depth of flavor to this small, artisan batch of applesauce.  15 years ago, I read a recipe in Martha Stewart LIVING Magazine that was a roasted apple and bourbon applesauce.  It was and still is an amazing recipe.  Down to the wine cellar I went, to see what boozy/bourbony/warm yummy spirits I could use.  At first I thought about using a dark rum, then my eyes spotted a bottle of Southern Comfort - too strong.  Then, there it was - a bottle of Caramel Apple Brandy.  PERFECT!
I peeled and seeded and sliced the apples.  Then I sprinkled about a 1/2 cup of light brown sugar over the apples, a pinch of salt and a generous dash of cinnamon.  Next, I splashed a generous shot of Hyram Walkers Caramel Apple Brandy over the whole roasting pan of apples - about 1/2 cup total of the brandy.  The oven was set and preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
I used my largest roasting pan, and it was filled with the apples.  This was tightly covered with aluminum foil, and set into the oven to roast, covered for 45 minutes.  After I took the cover off, I stirred the apple mixture and roasted the apples for another 30 minutes, so that the apples could take on some colour and that apple juices would absorb back into the mixture, creating another layer of caramel flavor. 
The apples that I chose cooked down perfectly, not quite to mush, but they didn't retain their shape or crispness, which was exactly what I wanted.  After the apples were cooked down, the juices evaporated  and the mixture smelled like apple pie, I further smashed it with an old-fashioned hand-held potato masher, just so the mixture would be slightly chunky.  I let the applesauce cool for about a half hour before I put it into a container to refrigerate.  The batch made a lot of apple sauce.  Too much for us to eat without it spoiling.
There was so much applesauce, I put up 7 jars of it so that we could enjoy and share this in the months ahead.  Canning applesauce is easy, it's the prep work and cooking it ahead of time that takes time.  Tonight I reheated the applesauce for 15 minutes, and while it was boiling and simmering, I prepared my jars and heated my water bath.  We ate a bit of the applesauce too - it's so sweet and delicious I want to make little hand pies with it.  I can think about my next recipe for that later now that I have 7 jars put up for the winter. I feel like a real Pioneer woman.  Just call me Ma Ingels!

UPDATE September 10, 2013:  I have a link to a pdf recipe file you can access for a concise recipe for this, along with canning instructions.  It also includes a recipe for peach salsa and quick pickles, tips for canning and all the instructions you need for canning.  This applesauce tastes like apple pie, without the fat and guilt!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Cheer Infused Vodka

Out of gift giving ideas and want a totally unique, special and home-made gift?  I've got one for you, as well as for at least a dozen lucky gift recipients on my gift-giving list this year! Infused Christmas Vodka!  I bought a dozen stopper bottles from Speciality and will be filling them with my original home-infused Holiday Cheer.  The over-all expense is minimal once you divide the ingredients costs over 10 or 12 bottles.  All told, this gift expenditure may run you 30 bucks or so for everything.  Inexpensive when you look at the per unit costs.  

Onto the nitty gritty.  I decided that while I would love to make limoncello or other citrus infused vodka, a Noel version was more apropos.  Thinking about what would work in a week's infusing time, I remembered a cranberry flavored vodka I made a dozen or more years ago, using a Martha Stewart recipe.  I wanted something a bit more festive and seasonal.  I had on hand a bag of cranberries, cinnamon sticks, clovers, candied ginger and lots of oranges.  All sounded wonderfully festive and seasonal.

If you are short on time, this is a great idea to throw together now or within the next 2 days, to be ready in time for Christmas or even New Year's gift giving.  100 Proof Spirits will infuse faster than 80 Proof, so if you can find a bottle of 100 proof vodka, buy it.  I won't say you should cross state lines to buy your booze, but let me tell you that another great thing about living in the Garden State is that the liquor stores sell alcohol at reasonable prices.  This is not the time to buy an expensive vodka that's been distilled over diamonds and quartz.  Buy an inexpensive brand, like Smirnoff.  You'll be flavoring it, so whatever super brand on which you spend you money won't be appreciated.  I happened to use 2 kinds of vodka - one I bought at Wegmans for about $10, the other was the remains of a bottle of Grey Goose that we had in the house. Yes, it's a premium mixed with a no-name brand, but I hadn't intended to mix them.  It turned out that I needed a bit more vodka for my jar!
Christmas Cheer Vodka Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 Litre of Neutral Distilled Grain Sprits - Vodka is preferred (inexpensive!)
  • 1 Bag of Cranberries - washed, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Whole Cloves
  • Pinch of Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 Large Piece Whole Candied Ginger
  • Peels of 3 Oranges - Preferably organic oranges, washed/rinsed and peeled
  • 1 large glass jar (about a 1/2 gallon size is ideal) - washed and rinsed
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Decorative Decanting Bottles with Stoppers


  1. Wash the fruit.
  2. Into a clean glass jar, add in the cranberries, cinnamon sticks, candied ginger, cloves and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.  
  3. Peel the oranges using a vegetable peeler.  Be careful not to peel any of the white pith.  Add the orange peels to the jar.
  4. Pour in a litre or more of vodka, I used about a litre and a half to fill my jar.  Close the jar and allow to steep for at least 5 days.  After 2 days, remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves and discard them.  Allow the vodka to steep for 3 more days, or up to a week total. If time permits, you can infuse the vodka for up to month.  This will result in a gorgeous ruby colored vodka.
  5. When ready to decant, make sure the decanting bottles have been thoroughly washed and dried. 
  6. Make a simple syrup mixture, dissolving 1 cup of sugar into 1 cup of water.  Heat the sugar and water mixture in a small sauce pan, over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.  Cool.
  7. Strain the infused vodka 2 or three times to remove any cranberry seeds, grated nutmeg and other infused fruit and spices. Discard the fruit and spices.
  8. In a large clean glass or non-reactive metal bowl, mix together the strained/infused vodka and the simple syrup mixture.  Carefully blend it together. 
  9. Next, pour the flavored vodka into your glass bottles; seal them, label them and give as gifts!
  10. Use within 2 months for best tasting results!

Fancy bottles can be locally found at Fantes in South Philadelphia, or online at Specialty  You'll want to make sure that the bottles you use have seal-tight stoppers, otherwise your spirits will leak, leaving you sad and with less cheer to share!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A bowl full of Mush and an Old Lady Whispering Hush...

Consider this a gift that will keep on giving.  I'm calling this entry, along with others to come, my 12 Days of Christmas Home-Made or Found Foods Gift Giving Guide.  Gift Idea #1 - Home-made Hot Breakfast Cereal Blend.  This one was given to me by my bicycle buddy, Susan Hill.  She's a very crafty, creative and clever woman, who often makes her holiday gifts.  She's shared with me many great recipes and ideas over the past 8 years.  This gift and its recipe deserves it's own special posting as I loved it so much that I'm thinking I may have to make batches of the mush to give as gifts.  I have a bunch of things that I"m making this year for gifts; jams, salsas, spice blends, infused oils and spirits, salt and sugar scrubs.  I'll be posting those ideas in the coming days.  

Susan called her cereal blend, CROWDY SUPAWN, which is a mash up of synonyms for Mush, Porridge, Farina.  It's a blend of oats, wheat flakes, yellow corn grits, couscous, soy nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and slivered almonds.  I love hot cereals and I especially love to mix grains and nuts.  I'll often toast my oatmeal before cooking it so that it's a dark nutty brown, deepening the flavors. I love to make cous cous as a hot cereal.  I've even made quinoa as a porridge and did a guest post about it on's Blog last year.  It's safe to say that I'm a huge fan of breakfast cereals. 

This isn't a recipe per se, it's the start of ingredients for the recipe.  Buy your ingredients in the bulk aisle at supermarkets such as Wegman's or Wholefoods.  Trader Joe's also has these ingredients available, pre-packaged, but at reasonably good prices.  Spice shops, like Penzey's, Spice Corner or other spice shops in Philadelphia; Coops, like Weaver's Way or a natural foods store like Essene, all will have oats, wheat flakes, flax seed or flax meal, in addition to the other ingredients.  You'll spend a bit on all the ingredients, but you'll be able to make pounds of the mixture, enabling you to make a lot of gifts.  For a container, Susan re-purposed a coffee can and wrapped it in a bit of cloth.  She made an ingredient and directions label and taped it to the outside of the container.  If you want to jazz up this gift a bit more, add in a pretty bowl and spoon; some fancy sweetener, sugars or cinnamon.  If you can't find all of the ingredients I'm listing, improvise.  Add in other nuts and seeds.  It's essential to include the oatmeal flakes, the rest can be changed.

Crowdy Supawn Ingredients/Directions - to Make 4 to 6 12 ounce containers (give or take!):

  • 1 Pound of Rolled Oats (not quick cook)
  • 1 Cup Yellow or White Corn Grits
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat or Regular Cous Cous
  • 1 Cup Roasted and UNSALTED Soy Nuts
  • 1 Cup Roasted and UNSALTED Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Cup Roasted/Toasted UNSALTED Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Cup UNSALTED Slivered or Sliced Almonds


  1. Use  large mixing bowl and blend together all the ingredients.  
  2. Package into clean containers and label.

To cook: Serves 1

  1. 1/3 cup of the mixture to 1 cup of water or milk.
  2. Add the cereal to a sauce pot and pour in the water or milk and a pinch of salt.
  3. Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, cover pot and let sit for 5 minutes more.
  5. Stir, serve and add sweetener and milk and or butter of choice.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Food Finds: Mag Pie South Street in Philadelphia

Back in October, which feels sooooo long ago, Nate and I visited with my good friend, Leanne of Tinsel and Tine - Reel and Dine food and film blog.  We went to Mag Pie Artisan pie shop located at 1622 South Street in Philadelphia.  Leanne and I hadn't seen each other in months, and we had both been eager to check out this new comer to the West Side of South Street's new Restaurant Renaissance.  In case you are new to my blog and don't know, I LOVE PIE.  It's in my top 5 favorite food groups, the foods for which I will crawl on hands and knees to have: Pie; Donuts; Hamburgers; Hot Dogs and Pizza

Leanne and I both took a while to get our blog posts up about this fine shop.  You need to read her review of it.  She's an excellent writer and she has an interesting and unique point of view when it comes to food and film.  She's a far better reviewer than I am, with more discerning tastes and expectations.  I'm happy to get out, delighted if we can take Nate and have him sit still long enough for us to scarf down a meal! Leanne, she's the real deal writer!

Nate, belly up to the counter, waiting for a treat
 Finding a good pie in Philadelphia is as difficult to locate as the proverbial needle in a haystack, until now.  Mag Pie Artisan has saved us from a pie wasteland.  I've been to the shop twice now, and over these 2 visits, I have tasted more than a fair sampling of their fine pies. On the first visit, with Leanne, we had 5 pies between the 2 of us and Nate.  Nate didn't eat much else other than whipped cream and ice cream, so it's not fair to say he helped us eat our way through Mag Pie's menu.  We took care of that all by ourselves.

Autumn Decor
Hip, Urban, Funky Country Feel
I love the decor of the shop.  It's a smart, urban mix of country chic, crossed with some touches of industrial but warmed up by a hip city vibe.  Think pie safes with cool steel mesh, warm wood, metal stools at the counter as designed by Pottery Barn and Southern Living at Home.  It's comfortable and inviting w/out being hokey and false. 
Pies of the Day!

The ever-changing pie menu, featuring sweet and savory
The menu changes seasonally, with several savory offerings and many sweet pies, tarts, and pie fries - which are the pie crust extras dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with sides of "dips".
Are you old enough to remember these pie tins? Mrs. Smith Specials

Butternut Squash and Smoked Gouda Pie

Blackbean Pie with Fritos
On my first visit, Leanne and I "shared" the butternut squash with smoked Gouda and spinach pie and the black bean and chorizo pie with Fritos and Jalapenos.  OMG! Outrageously good.  The butternut was cut into thin layers.  The smoked Gouda blended magically with the spinach and squash, taming the sweet of the butternut but not overwhelming the pie with its decidedly strong taste.  The pie topping was a crispy, corn-flakey savory streusel. 
Unctuous but not over-whelming

Black bean pie ready to be consumed
The black bean pie, which I had again, on my second visit, is served in a blind-baked mini pie shell.  It's much like a chili pie combined with a Texas Frito Pie.  Topped with delicious and bad for your arteries Fritos, sour cream and jalapenos, it could be the new Philly Southwest twist on this Texas perennial dish.
Three Sweet Pies and Nate digging into the whipped cream

The whipped cream gets Nate's seal of approval

As addictive as Crack - the Bourbon Carmel Butterscotch Pie
During visit number 1, which was a quite, rainy Sunday late morning, early afternoon, we tried 3 of the sweet pies.  The butterscotch bourbon wins out as one of the best pies I've ever had.  Screw Momofuko's CRACK PIE and it's cult-like following and over-priced pie plate.  Mag Pie will see crack pie and match it bite for bite! Smooth. Rich. Sultry.  It's heaven.
Buttery Apple Pie - more like a cross between Strudel and a Pie
The Buttery Caramel Apple Pie is a hearty heaping rectangle slice of pie.  Flaky but firm crust, buttery rich apples that retain their crunch but give way to hints of warm cinnamon and nutmeg sugars.  We had it served with a scoop of Basset's vanilla ice cream.  Pure Philadelphia indulgences.

We also tried the chocolate peanut silk pie, which was good, but I'm not a huge fan of mousse or silk pies.  During my 2nd visit, with friend, Barbara from Zeroto60andBeyond blog, I had the black bean pie, and a slice of the pecan pie.  My second taste of the black bean pie was as good as my first.  As for the pecan pie, it was good, but not the best I've ever had.  I've had bad pecan pie - and man, when it's not made well, it's a goopy, gelatinous mess.  Mag Pie's Chocolate Cinnamon Coffee Pecan pie was missing the notes of chocolate, cinnamon and coffee.  Plus, I though the crust was too firm and not flaky enough.  It was the only miss of all the pies I've tasted so far.  I'll probably give it a try again though, it held inviting hints of what's to come when they find their stride here.
Pecan Pie with Cinnamon, Chocolate and Coffee
After 2 visits, I've more than just tasted 8 of their rotating pies.  I brought home a slice of Pumpkin Pie for Liz and we deemed it one of the best we've ever had.  It's not for the diet conscientious, and won't make my list of pies I'll be eating and or making on a regular basis.  Hell, I shouldn't be eating any pie on a regular basis.  It's bad enough I'm far from my ideal weight and shape of 3 years ago. It's a good thing I still have some will-power, tight fitting clothes that I don't want to replace, and a tight wallet! I'd be at Mag Pies more often than would be healthy for me! 

Another reason to return to this comfortable and inviting shop, the staff!  On both visits, we were served by Courtney.  She was so kind and attentive to us, as well as to my son, Nate.  He regaled her with his "stories" telling her all about his upcoming trip to The Please Touch Museum.  She stood and talked with him, never got upset with his running through the shop and even allowed him to climb across the entire counter of bar stools.  It was a good thing the shop wasn't crowded, I would have never been able to reign in Nate and keep him from causing controlled mayhem.  Aside from the excellent pies and coffee, their customer service was one of the best reason to come to this shop again and again.
Go! Have lunch and coffee.  Order a whole pie for your next event.  Mag Pie Artisan Pie Shop feels comfortable and inviting, like a visit with your favorite, slightly exotic and artist Aunty Mame-type Aunt!  Always changing and always surprising. You won't be disappointed.