Tag Archives: pie

Martha Stewart Apple Raspberry Slab Pie @ Costco

I don’t know what’s cooler, the fact that Martha Stewart is now making frozen pies, or, better yet, that she is selling them at Costco for $10.99! Yep, Costco, the place with the crazy-good roasted chickens and all the free samples.

Of course the old ladies in the white hats weren’t sampling this delicious Apple Raspberry Slab Pie when we were there, but after hearing Martha talk it up on her show for the last couple of weeks, Christine and I bought one anyway.

Martha Stewart Apple Raspberry Slab Pie #1

Martha Stewart Apple Raspberry Slab Pie #2

And let me tell ya, this pie is amazing! Seriously, it tasted like Martha cooked it in our kitchen that night. It was totally fresh, the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and had this incredible crust that left us dreaming about it for days. Or maybe that’s just us. Either way, I defy anyone to find a store-bought frozen pie crust this good…it will totally blow your mind.

And best of all, the pie itself is freaking gigantic. I’m talking like casserole-dish-big. I’m not complaining, mind you, but, wow, we had leftovers for days. We ate ours fresh out of the oven with vanilla ice cream, and Laura tried hers with whipped cream, which was also very good. But even cold, days later, that pie was positively drooltastic.

So, if you’re looking for something a little different for this year’s Thanksgiving feast, I’d say Martha has the pie for you, amigos. And if you really wanna be sneaky, chuck the box and the cool recycled paper tin it cooks in and tell your guests you made it yourself.

But make sure and leave some time for baking, because this tasty slab pie takes one hour to cook and another whopping hour to cool before serving. You don’t know how tempted we were to cut into thing at the forty-five minute mark, but hey, if Martha says to wait an hour…we listen.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Kojak’s House of Ribs, Tampa

Christine and I returned from our trip to Tampa and St. Petersburg almost two whole months ago, so this post is a little late in coming, but trust me, Kojak’s House of Ribs is worth the wait!

Nestled under a thicket of giant live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, Kojak’s is housed in a converted Southern bungalow-style home just a few blocks from the beach in South Tampa. And while I had read a review of the restaurant in one of my guide books before flying out to Florida, I actually stumbled upon Kojak’s House of Ribs quite accidentally.

Christine was busy at her MSA Conference that day and my Mom and Courtney weren’t due to arrive till later that night, so, with ribs on my mind, I set off in my rental car to find some sweet Southern BBQ. And since the picking were decidedly slim near our hotel downtown, I ended up crossing the bridge into South Tampa.

After cruising down the shoreline dotted with beautiful older homes and groovy 70’s-era condo towers, I took a random right turn at the end of the road and ended up literally smack dab in front of Kojak’s. Yeah, for once my mapless wandering pays off!

It was kind of late in the afternoon when I pulled up and there were only three other diners there — which usually worries me a bit — but the place was so damn cute (there are ceiling fans on the veranda!) I knew the minute I saw it that I was gonna eat me some Kojak’s.

In case you were wondering — I know I was! — the name Kojak’s comes from co-founder Bill J.W. Forney’s nickname. Forney was the Chief of Detectives in Midwest City, Oklahoma for years and even when he left the force to open his first BBQ joint in the early 1970’s, the “Kojak” moniker stuck. So when Bill’s brother Bud Forney decided to open his own BBQ shingle in Tampa a few years later, he took the family BBQ sauce recipe and the name Kojak’s with him. And thirty years later, this South Tampa institution is still going strong!

Parking out front, I headed inside and ordered the rib dinner pictured above. This mouth-wateringly good combo platter consists of a generous portion of Kojak’s spare ribs and two sides. I got the parsley potatoes and the baked beans, and though the beans were just alright, those potatoes were so buttery and delicious I kinda wanted to marry them. Amazing!

And the ribs…holy smoke, were they good! Dipped in the spicier of the two Kojak’s BBQ sauce choices on the table, that meat was fall-off-the-bone spectacular! Just incredible…

But the highlight of the meal was the Key Lime pie. I don’t know if it’s the proximity to the Florida Keys, the fact that they make the pie fresh daily in the Kojak’s kitchen, or those sweet almonds baked into the crust, but that was one of the best pieces of pie I have ever had anywhere! I’m not kidding, man, that almond crust alone will haunt your dreams!

In fact, the pie was so good, I knew I had to share it with Christine, so I ordered a second piece to go. And even though she ended up eating it with a spoon from a Jerk Chicken Shack downtown — in my pie haze, I forget to ask my waiter at Kojak’s for a fork! — Christine too kind of wanted to marry that Key Lime pie!

And according to the Kojak’s website, the pie isn’t even their most popular desert! Something called “Mama’s World Famous Chocolate Cake” holds that title. So, if nothing else, it gives me one more reason to head back to Tampa in a few years and try it out…yum!

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Blueberry Birthday Pie

Hey guys, Farmer’s Daughter Bean here again with a new post for our blog’s often neglected “Make” category. Enjoy…

Heat the blueberry filling! (March 2008)
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I should start by telling you that ever since Tom and I saw the movie “Waitress”, we have been obsessing over fresh-baked pie. And though The House of Pies in Los Feliz comes pretty close, we have yet to find the perfect slice in Los Angeles — though Tom is inexplicably fond of the banana cream pie at the nasty Marie Calender’s by our house, which I will never understand.

So a few months back, I bought a pie cookbook from my store, “Killer Pies: Delicious Recipes from North America’s Favorite Restaurants” by Stephanie Anderson. And although I have looked through it many times, I was still a little hesitant to take the pie-making plunge.

Finish the filling, remove from heat! (March 2008)
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I love to bake, but pie crust seemed very daunting for some reason. So when Tom requested a pie for his birthday instead of a cake, I decided to give it a go. He picked out his favorite pies and gave me the top three: Banana Cream (stop with that already!), Lemon Merinque and Wild Blueberry Pie.

Fortunately, I was able to talk him into a “seasonal” fruit pie, so he settled on the delicious sounding Wild Blueberry Pie recipe from a restaurant called Westville in Manhattan’s West Village.

Preparing the crust! (March 2008)
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Molding the crust for the filling! (March 2008)
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Even before I bought the ingredients, I was worried about the crust (this was my first solo pie venture, remember) and called my mom to get her expert opinion. She was very helpful and patient (thanks, mom!) especially when I was trying to describe the consistency of the crust over the phone!

And although I was sweating it the whole time, Tom and the rest of our guests thought the pie came out great. The crust was flakey and the filling, which consisted of half fresh berries, half frozen and some lemon juice and zest, had a wonderful tartness that kept it from being too sweet. Overall I’d say it was a pretty decent first pie. So, happy Birthday, Tom!

The finished Birthday Pie! (March 2008)
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Next on my pie making list…the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from The Ham Shoppe in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. This one’s all for me though…no occasion necessary!

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