Monday, February 1, 2021

Weekly Eats: Pie Squared


A weekly round up: eats, watches, and reads.  In this week's adventures, I set aside my go-to apple pie recipe and tried something new for our "double pie" Sunday dinner.  Random TV watching and books ensued.


A lot of eggy things.


Some eggy things happening here as well.  I hit up my freezer stash of breakfast potatoes and topped them with salsa and eggs.

Then I moved on to The Girl Who Ate Everything One Pan Chicken Fajita Rice although in my case it was "black bean fajita rice" since I'm in something of an anti-chicken phase.  My top secret shortcut for this one is to use a cup and a half of Trader Joe's fire roasted pepper and onion mix in place of fresh onion and bell peppers (assuming that you would like to spontaneously make this with ingredients already in your house).


Monday: leftover cleanup.  Hubs and I had leftover chili mac.  Stepson #1 had the last portion of chicken rice casserole from the freezer.  Stepson #2 had leftover pasta pepped up with a little butter and onion powder and chicken nuggets.

Tuesday: the menfolk had mac n'cheese and a rotisserie chicken.  I had the last portion of chili mac.

Wednesday: the menfolk had leftover rotisserie chicken and rice.  I had the very last portion of spinach artichoke pasta.

Thursday: report cards came out, and to not brag but we had Chipotle for dinner so I'm kind of bragging.

Friday: date night!  We got takeout from the Lebanese place

Saturday: date night 2!  We got takeout hamburgers from the Italian place.  Seriously our local Italian spot has very good burgers and as we learned that time we went there on St. Patrick's Day they have very good Irish food as well.  There is nothing that our local Italian spot can't do and wow that seems like a thousand years ago when we actually ATE at the restaurant instead of picking up food there.

Sunday: Pie Squared.  I pulled out all of the stops and made Shepherd's Pie and apple pie.

My go-to apple pie is a Hungarian apple pie with a single crust and a crumb topping, and it's wonderful BUT it was time to change things up.  In the first place, single crust pies are wonderful time and calorie savers, but we wanted to splurge on a double crust pie.  Another pie recipe had come to my attention and with a name like that we just had to try it.

Things to note:

  • I stuck with my tried and true crust recipe.  If making pie crust isn't your jam, I totally respect the use of pre-made crusts.
  • The original recipe calls for four pounds of Granny Smith apples, I used three pounds of Pink Lady apples...hear me out.  The pie that I'm used to making has just two pounds of apples so I hedged a bit.  Since this pie has a cooked filling, I knew that the apples would shrink a bit but going in that just seemed like a lot of apples.  I went Pink>Granny b/c that's what we already had in the house.  I could have fit more apples into the pie but the filing was adequate.
  • Coco cut down on the sugar and butter in the filling and I had to decide whether to copy her or follow the original recipe...I ended up splitting the difference.  I used more sugar than she did but less than the original recipe.  I followed her lead on the butter since putting in an entire stick just seemed wack.  Next time I think I will cut back on the sugar...on the one hand I firmly believe that if you're going to have dessert you should have dessert but the extra sugar isn't adding to the end product so it's an easy compromise.
  • I did not chill the pie before baking and I just baked it at 350 instead of starting at 400 and then turning the oven down (because I know that works for my pie crust).
  • I go back and forth between covering the pie edges and not.  This time I covered them which helped them not get overcooked BUT I made the mistake of pressing the foil into the pie so I messed things up a bit when I took the foil off.
  • Pshaw on letting this beauty cool down for four hours after baking like the recipe says.  We gave it two hours but only because it finished baking before dinner.
  • I liked the cooked filling just a bit more than my go-to recipe.  The real PITA of making an apple pie is peeling and chopping apples, once you've put that labor in it's not much more trouble to cook the filling.  Though next time I think I will cook the apples on the stove instead of baking them to save having to get my cookie sheets out.


Hubs and I took advantage of our kid-free weekend to watch more High Maintenance on HBO.  I talked about this a few posts back, but it was a web show that we saw a long time ago that got picked up by HBO and made it into the big time.  A few weeks ago we rewatched the web show and saw the first few episodes of the big time show, which were good but not as good as the web show.  This weekend we were just looking for anything to watch so that's why we came back and all of a sudden WOW!  The big time show got really good.

If you have HBO, the "green man" is the big time show and the "collage of people" is the web series.  Start with the web series since (1) it's really good, (2) it's not a long watch, and (3) it introduces characters who show up later in the big time show.  You can get away with watching the web series with children in the house but egads we personally will not be watching the big time show when the kids are here.  Full wang and that's the least of it.

P.S. If you are curious, I have never ever not once in my life tried the wacky tobaccy...I just appreciate pot humor.  And it's a good show.

For my solo viewing, I'm still cranking away at season 5 of Outlander on the treadmill (at this point the boys are old enough that there aren't too many shows that we won't watch with them around.  High Maintenance and Outlander are about the only exceptions that I can think of)

For my couch viewing, I turned to Hoopla (free from the library) and ended up with Mystery Road, a nice quirky Australian mystery that should keep me busy for a few weeks.


P.S. if you like quirky Australian TV my recommendations are Glitch, Wanted (both on Netflix) and A Place to Call Home (the first four seasons are on Hoopla for free, otherwise you're looking at Acorn).


I finished One by One, which ended up being...OK.  I'd steer you towards any other of Ruth Ware's books first.  Currently: The Talented Miss Farwell by Emily Gray Tedrowe and so far so very, very good.


  1. Oh my goodness, you made Coco's PITA apple pie!! Way to go, Birchie!
    And it looks delicious, too.
    And the fact that you combined it with shepherd's pie makes me want to come to your house and eat all the leftovers (were there any?)

    I started Outlander and it's really good. You are right, there are quite a few violent bits and I fast-forward through them. Thanks for the tip!

    1. Coco knows what she is talking about!

      Enjoy Outlander! Though heads up that you will be fast forwarding the entire last episode of the first season but there's nothing that awful after that.

  2. Yes to all the PITA apple work! On Christmas morning, I got the "great" idea to make apple crisp (because the cherry pie just wasn't enough LOL). OMG, I don't have one of those handy-dandy peeler/corer/slicer doo-dads, so it was a good hour of peeling, coring, and slicing all on my own. It was worth the work, but still.

    1. But still is right! There was a brief period when the boys were really into cooking and I had child labor for tasks like this. Those days have passed and now it's all me.

  3. Okay, let's talk about those pies! That PITA (ha ha) pie looks incredible. BUT, I have the dough for one pie crust sitting in my freezer. I actually can't even remember why- apparently sometime in the fall I made a single crust pie and froze the other half of the dough. So your Hungarian apple pie recipe is calling my name! I might make it this weekend. Thanks for the post- weekly round-ups like this are fun.

    1. That's a good idea, I should make some extra pie crusts for the freezer! I started writing the weekly eats post to try to get better at meal planning, and the irony is that I've just gotten worse so some weeks my recaps are "hi, we ate mac n'cheese for dinner all week...bye" But it is a lot fun.

  4. Wow! Your apple pie looks soooo good! I always make my own crust because I am too cheap to buy pre-made crusts. Our local pizza place has really good hamburgers too. I hear this from my grandson. They serve the hamburger in a homemade roll that is like a small hoagie roll. It does look really good.

  5. Wow on the pie! I'm not a big perfectionist when it comes to the way a pie looks--it's all about the inside, right? I'm glad you agree that no judgment with premade pie crust.

    We're catching up on our Apple+ series--finished Ted Lasso (amazing) and Morning Show (amazing). How can I go on?

    1. I'm taking notes on good shows! The hubs and I are talking about dumping Hulu and Netflix so that makes more room to try out the other services.

  6. That pie is gorgeous. I haven't made a double crust pie probably since last century. Ha! I do make one with an oatmeal crumb top that's pretty divine. I do believe the recipe is somewhere on the blog. I need to make things more searchable vs the current mess. We just finished the first season of Blown Away. It's a glass blowing competition. Fascinating. I'm going to check out your recommendations.