Thursday, November 5, 2015

Eat, Drink & Be Witchy - Lisa and Carolyn - October 2015

Lisa and Carolyn threw a Witches Soiree for our October gourmet night. This darling sister duo is as fun as they are pretty and put on a meal fit for some happy WITCHES!
Everyone was going crazy over the table decor. So cute and really unique center pieces, all hand made.
The table looked awesome with the black spread and the accents of tortoise shell and gold. 
Center piece was perfection.

The two pumpkins were made out of books! Cut on a band saw and embellished and they were killer!  I was coveting them for sure!
The crow in the book bird cage on the cake stand was honestly the perfect touch. Loved it!
Place settings were gold charges with black dinnerware. A small pumpkin a top each plate with gold ware for utensils. The cups were a tortoise goblet for just the right touch.

And the name tags where glittered lined and placed with a pearl topped pin in each pumpkin. 

And as though every detail wasn't met, the little pearls had 2 black eyes to complete the ghost. Adorable.
Menus followed the design of the invite and lined out a dangerously delicious evening!
Appetizer table was decorated with Halloween houses on fun candle sticks.
Our "Broom Starters" (so cute):
Gorgonzola Truffle with Black Grapes,
Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza
and a Pumpkin Cocktail.
No joke, all divine.
Witches Brew consisted of the creamiest Squash Soup ever poured into our pumpkins no less
and a Spinach Pomegranate Salad.
The Main Corset (heaven knows we were going to need one before the night was over) was a Pork Tenderloin with Coconut Rice and Stuffed Carrots.  Look at that plate. Details, serious details. Not to mention flavor!
Magical Dessert, and it was just that, Layer Pumpkin Spice Cake and Caramel Apple Cider.
Whoever thought a shot was sufficient…well they were wrong! Seconds and mugs the size of your head were more like it.
Fun details in banners, bedazzled pumpkins and the take home table too.

Monster Munch in paint tins with home made caramel apples and the cutest bows and witches brooms to package it perfect, 
along with the recipes.
Wicked good evening in decor, flavors, friends and conversation.
Thanks again ladies!

Witches Night Out Soiree Recipes
Pumpkin Cocktail
Ice cubes,
1-2 Tab pumpkin drink mix
Fill glass ¾ way with ginger ale.
add 1-2 Tab Creamer
Gorgonzola Truffle with Black Grapes
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (4 oz.) container crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon Black pepper
½ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
Black Grapes
Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Cover tightly and chill 1 hour or until firm. Roll cheese mixture into ¾ inch round balls. Roll each ball in bacon. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve. Serve with black grapes. 
Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza
Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza
Total Time: 45 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 5 min
Yield:4 side dish servings
1 (1- pound) acorn squash
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 package fresh tortillas
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1 cup arugula
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice the squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide half moons and place in a medium bowl. Toss the squash with the syrup, olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the squash until tender and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Keep the temperature on the oven at 375 degrees F. Place 1-2 tortillas on a piece of parchment paper to a 13-inch diameter. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and the Gorgonzola on the tortilla. Bake in the oven until golden and cooked through, about 3 to 5  minutes.
Peel the skins off the squash. Top the cooked pizza with the cooked squash. Top with arugula and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Slice and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis- Original recipe done on a pizza dough.

Squash Soup
Total Time: 50 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 40 min
Yield: 4 servings
6 cups (about 2 large squash) seeded 2-inch wide chunks butternut squash
Melted butter, for brushing
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon minced ginger
4 ounces heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper. On a sheet pan lay the squash flesh side up. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is nice and soft.
Scoop the flesh from the skin into a pot and add the stock, honey, and ginger. Bring to a simmer and puree using a stick blender. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
Spinach Pomegranate Salad
Recipe By: Amy Kelley


1 head red or fancy green lettuce
1 bunch spinach
1 small red onion, sliced thin
1 cup fresh mushroom slices
1 cup Swiss Cheese or Mozzarella, shredded
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

2/3 cup cider vinegar
1 1/4  cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
green onion bottom half, cut fine, (optional)


Combine lettuce, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, cheese and bacon in salad bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in blender and mix well. Just before serving, break up small pretzels and mix with the greens. Add dressing to taste, toss and serve. Or you can serve the salad and let people pour dressing over the top to their personal taste.

You may add apple cubes, pomegranates, or Craisins for winter salads. This is a great mix around salad, I've even served it with apples, cheese, mushrooms and candied pecans - whatever sounded good together.

Island Pork Tenderloin
Serves 6-8
2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 pork tenderloins (2 ¼- 2 ½ lb total)
2 TBS olive oil
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 TBS finely chopped garlic
1 TBS Tabasco (It's spicy so if you don't like kick go easy on the Tabasco!)
Preheat oven to 350.  Stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon, then coat pork with spice rub.  Heat oil in oven proof 12 inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until just beginning to smoke, then brown pork, turning, about 4 minutes total.  Leave pork in skillet.  Stir together brown sugar, garlic and Tabasco and pat on the top of each tenderloin.  Roast in middle of oven until thermometer inserted diagonally in center of each tenderloin registers 140 degrees, about 25 minutes.  Let pork stand at room temperature 10 minutes.  (temperature will rise to about 155 degrees while standing.) Slice in 1-2" pieces and serve with sauce. To make sauce pour the drippings in the pan through a strainer and then serve.
***For non-pork lovers, I have made this with chicken too and it turns out just as great. Very Yummy!
Coconut Rice
Serves 6

1 1/2 c Jasmine Rice
2 c milk
1 c water
1 tsp coconut extract
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp garlic diced
3/4 tsp salt

First rinse the rice with cold water until the water is clear and not white. Put the rinsed rice in a medium pan and combine with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then turn to low. Cover and cook for 25-35 minutes. Stir rice every 10 minutes. Rice is done when liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat and let cool. Serve and enjoy!

Stuffed Carrots

10 carrots peeled
½ cup seasoned bread stuffing mix
¼ cup white cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp fresh parsley chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (can use additional as garnish)
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp onion powder

In a medium saucepan, cover carrots with water and cook over medium heat until tender, but still firm, approx. 20 min. Let cool. Cut a wedge out of carrot to put stuffing in.  In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Stuff carrots with bread mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until carrots are hot to the touch and stuffing is golden brown, approx. 15 minutes. Garnish with thyme if desired.

Layer Pumpkin Spice Cake
Heat oven to 350°F.
  • 1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans
  • Beat cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs and 1 tsp. spice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round pans.
  • Bake 28 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 10 min. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely.
  • Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar, remaining pumpkin and spice; mix well. Gently stir in COOL WHIP. Cut each cake layer horizontally in half with serrated knife; stack on serving plate, spreading cream cheese filling between layers. (Do not frost top layer.) Drizzle with caramel topping just before serving; top with nuts. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Caramel Apple Cider
¼ 1 Cup. Cream
¼ 2-4 TBS Brown Sugar
Mix together in pot and begin to boil.
3 Cups Apple Juice, or apple Cider
½ cups water
Heat until steamy
Serve topped with whipping cream:  made with brown sugar.

Homemade Caramel Apples
Makes 30 large apples and 36 medium apples
Use a 1/2 batch for a dozen.
Granny Smith apples are best.
Wash and dry apples and remove stem. Refrigerate apples.

Mix and boil
8 cups sugar
2 cups butter
4 cups light corn syrup
Slowly add without stopping boil:
4 cans evaporated milk
After removing from heat add:
2 teaspoons vanilla.

In a heavy sauce pan (pressure cooker or like) combine sugar, syrup, and butter over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil Add milk a little at a time so mixture never stops boiling. Cook at a lower temperature, stirring every few minutes--do not scrape the bottom when stirring. Cook to firm ball stage 230 degrees) You can test the caramel in a bowl of cold water by dropping a small amount of caramel into water and letting it cool. Caramel should make a fairly firm ball when removed from water. Remove from heat and add vanilla. (This portion does take a while. This is an all day activity, but VERY worth it.)  I use a laser thermometer and is works better than a candy thermometer.

Pour caramel into a crock pot on medium-low setting--do not scrape the bottom of the caramel pan. When ready to dip, insert an apple stick into top of each dry apple. Try to keep stick as straight as possible. (Trick--If the apple is not flat, you can turn it upside down and put the stick in the bottom) Make sure there is no juice next to the stick Take one apple at a time and dip into caramel Make sure to cover the apple completely. Do not let it sit in the caramel too long or the apples will weep at the stick end.

Let caramel drip off and use a knife to scrape excess caramel off the bottom of the apple. Set apples on a sheet pan you have sprayed with Pam or have lined with silicone mats. When tray is full, put it in the refrigerator so caramel will cool. Dip all apples and let cool. As the caramel cools some bubbles might appear. This is okay.

After apples have cooled, you can start dipping in chocolate. Use a high quality white dipping chocolate--it can't be molding chocolate (Gutard Vanilla Wafers or "White Glacier" work great.) I use about 5 lbs of chocolate per batch of caramel. Chop the white chocolate into small pieces so they can melt easily. You can then melt in a double boiler or in the microwave--1 minute at a time. Stirring every minute and adding more chocolate until smooth and creamy. Do not let the chocolate get above 118 degrees. (if it does, just retemper by cooling completely and starting again) Take apple and dip it into chocolate about 2/3-3/4 of the way on the apple so that the caramel still shows at the top. Let the chocolate drip and then scrape excess off the bottom. Set the apple in a cinnamon sugar mixture and sprinkle chocolate sides with mixture or candy. Set apple back on the tray lined with parchment paper. When tray is full return tray to the refrigerator.  
Once chocolate is set, you can wrap the apple in a cellophane bag and tie the top.
Monster Munch
(by Our Best Bites)
1 package Almond Bark (1 lb)—I used Gutard Ribbons from Orson N Gygi
12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels or 2 bags of microwave popcorn)
1 C candy corn
1 C dry roasted, salted peanuts
1/2 C Reeces Pieces
Pop popcorn and place in a large bowl. Much larger than you think you need. The largest you have. It will make mixing easier! Pour peanuts, candy corn, and reeces pieces on top.
Take a large knife and break up almond bark. Melt according to package directions. I just chop it up a little and microwave it in intervals until smooth and melted. Pour over popcorn mixture.
Stir until everything is well coated and then spread out onto waxed paper, parchment, or foil. Let sit until completely dry and then break up into clumps

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pie Night - Judith and Kristy - September 2015

Judith and Kristy kicked off our 2015-2016 season with Pie Night! They hosted at Kristy's model home in Woodland Hills. It was awesome. A fun modern home in a gorgeous mountain like setting. 
The evening was gorgeous and the weather was perfect. 

The table setting was so fun with the wood, red and silver pie tins. We all loved the red chairs for a fun flair of color!

 Simple clean white vases of white daises to dress the center of the table but not take away from it all.

 I loved the place settings.  Such a fun idea that is so simple. And the accent of the pic scoop was a great idea! 

The menus matched the style of their invitations and as we browsed over them we quickly realized it was going to be an evening of "all things PIE". Didn't have to twist my arm!
We dished up or plates of appetizers and headed down to the patio to eat poolside and soak in the gorgeous scenery and weather.
 Margarita Pizza Pie,

 Mini Macaroni Pie
 and Apple Pie Punch were first up and they were all tasty for sure! 

As it started to cool off we headed inside to warm up with our soup course.
Chicken Potpie soup.  
 Next they served a "refresher" course. Um, Creamy Key Lie Pie?! Hello, pie for 3rd course. yes please!
Main was a Shepherds Pie. I was so impressed by their creativity with everything pie. It was really a fun idea for sure. 

As if we weren't stuffed to the brim, there were still 3 pies for dessert AND homemade ice cream!
Strawberry-pecan pie, Simply Peach pie and banana cream pie. Wowza! All so good.
We paused to send a birthday picture to Lisa, wishing her a Happy Birthday letting her know we all had pie to celebrate!
 Such a fun night in a different setting, plus we welcomed three new gals to the group! So fun getting to meet Stephanie, Lindsay and Jenny. Can't wait to get to know them better.
As they rolled us out the door, we took in hand our recipes and the fun pie scoop as our take homes.
I fail for not getting a picture of our fabulous hosts that evening, but they did a great job!

Creamy Key Lime Pie
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 10 2x4in crackers)
2 Tlb sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
8 Tlb butter, melted
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter, and vanilla in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto the bottom of a spring form pan.
Bake crust in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes and cool.

Make filling:
6 oz. Lime Jell-O (1 big box)
4 containers key lime pie Yoplait yogurt
16 oz cool whip
½ cup boiling water
Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water.  Stir in yogurt with wire whisk.  Fold in cool whip.  Spoon into crust.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Garnish with fresh limes.

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tlb pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed or whisk to combine the milk, sugar, and salt until the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.  Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours or overnight.
Turn on ice cream maker; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.  The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture.  If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.  Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving

Pie Crust: (makes 2 pies)
2.5 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 egg beaten
¼ cup cold water
1 Tlb vinegar
Mix flour and salt together.  Cut shortening into flour until size of peas.  Mix eggs, water, and vinegar together and add to flour mixture.  Roll and put into pie tins with filling.  Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Simply Peach Pie

5 cups fresh peaches, sliced
1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tlb butter
2 Tlb sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Stir together flour, 1 cup sugar, and cinnamon and set aside.
Wash, peel, and slice fresh peaches.
Mix together peaches with the combined dry ingredients.
Turn into pastry-lined pan and dot with butter
Cover with top crust, cut slits in it, seal the edges.
Brush top with milk and Sprinkle top with 2 Tlb sugar
Bake 35-45 minutes or until crust in brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits in the crust.

Strawberry-Pecan Pie

1.5 cups sugar
¼ cup flour
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup chopped pecans
2 Tlb butter

Combine sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Add strawberries and pecans; toss gently
On a lightly floured surface, roll one half of the dough to 1/8 in thick circle; transfer to a 9 in pie plate.  Trim pastry to ½ in beyond rim of plate
Add filling
Dot with butter
Roll remaining dough to a 1/8 in thick circle; cut into ½ in wide strips.  Arrange over filling in a lattice pattern. 
Trim and seal strips to edge of bottom pastry; flute edge.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Apple Pie Punch

1 apple, chopped or sliced
1 quart apple cider
2 cups pear nectar (or juice)
24 ounces ginger ale

Combine apple cider, pear nectar, and ginger ale. Stir well. Place apple slices inside pitcher.
Pour over ice and serve. If you’re wanting to serve it warm, heat all of the liquid ingredients in a pot over a stove on low heat. Simmer for a few minutes until warm, place apple slices in the pot, and serve in mugs.

Shepherd’s Pie
·       For the potatoes:
·       1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
·       1/4 cup half-and-half
·       2 ounces unsalted butter
·       3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
·       1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·       1 egg yolk
·       For the meat filling:
·       2 tablespoons canola oil
·       1 cup chopped onion
·       2 carrots, peeled and diced small
·       2 cloves garlic, minced
·       1 1/2 pounds shredded beef
·       1 teaspoon kosher salt
·       1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·       2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
·       2 teaspoons tomato paste
·       1 cup chicken broth
·       1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
·       2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
·       1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
·       1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
·       1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Prepare shredded beef (crockpot on low for 4-6 hrs.) Place the canola oil into a 12-inch sauté pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato pastechicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
Add the corn and peas to the beef mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Mini Macaroni Pies

* 1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers (about 35)
* 2 cups grated Cheddar, divided
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces uncooked), drained and kept hot
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 8 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan.

In a bowl, combine the crackers, 1 cup of the Cheddar and the melted butter. Divide the mixture among the prepared muffin cups and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides.

In a large bowl, mix the macaroni with 1/2 cup of the Cheddar. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, cold butter pieces, and salt. Stir the milk mixture into the macaroni.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the macaroni mixture into each cracker crust and top with the remaining Cheddar. Bake until the cheese is browned and slightly crispy, about 25 minutes. Allow the pies to cool slightly before unmolding and serving warm.

Classic Margherita Pizza

homemade pizza crust
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves roasted garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup of your favorite pizza or tomato sauce
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, slices into 1/2 inch thick pieces
2 plum tomatoes, slices
handful of fresh basil
fresh ground pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 475 degrees 
Mix the olive oil and chopped garlic together in a small dish. Spread olive oil/garlic mixture on top of crust. Top with Pizza sauce, then the mozzarella cheese slices, then the tomato slices.
Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is bubbling. 
Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil and pepper. Slice pizza and serve immediately.

Banana Cream Pie

Nabisco Nilla Pie Crust

* 1/4 cup cold water
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 bananas, peeled and cut into slices 1/2 inch thick

1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar

The make the filling, pour the cold water into a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let sit until the gelatin softens and swells, 5-10 minutes. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until hot to the touch, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Add the cornstarch and salt, beating until smooth. Add the hot milk to the yolk mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the softened gelatin and mix well. Return to the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble, 8-9 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. 

Lay 2/3 of the banana slices in a single layer in the bottom of the baked pie shell. Stir the remaining slices into the custard and spoon it evenly over the bananas. Cover with plastic wrap. Prick a few holes in the plastic. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

To make the topping, in a large bowl, combine the cream, vanilla, and sugar. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cooled pie. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Chicken Potpie Soup

* 1 disk refrigerated pie dough
freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp plus a pinch of poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
1  10-ounce package frozen mixed peas and carrots


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll the pie dough onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with pepper and a pinch of poultry seasoning; cut into quarters. Bake until puffed and golden, about 10 minutes

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes, then cook, stirring, 1 more minute. Transfer to a bowl. 

Add the celery, onion, flour, 1/2 tsp salt and the remaining 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning to the pot and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups water, the broth, half-and-half and potatoes; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes. Add the peas and carrots and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and simmer until cooked through, about 1 minute. Divide among bowls and top with the crust.