To Quote the Elton John Song…

After a brief respite, I’m back! I feel much more energized, inspired and yes, have still been cooking away in our kitchen. Let’s start with where I’ve been the past few weeks, and that’s with Mrs. Gwyneth Paltrow. I know she’s been getting a lot of flack due to, I believe almost unconsciously or very naively, flaunting her world of privilege while so many others are just trying to get by. Read for yourself the round up Eater.com made of their favorite quotes from her cookbook – mine is the Japanese monastery line – geez.  But, I tried four of her recipes from Bon Appetit and Self magazines and I have to say, the girl can pull a recipe together. Of course, if I were besties with Chef Mario Batali and Mark Bittman I hope I could craft an amazing recipe too. Alas, I am not so let me share with you the ones I loved. Her recipes are simple, quick, short on ingredients yet still bold and delicious in flavor. Our absolute favorites were the pasta dish and the chopped salad…amazing in every way and they are going on heavy rotation in our casa!

Corn Vichysoisse

Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Oreganta Pasta

Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce

My Ivy Chopped Salad

Gwyneth Paltrow's Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Oreganata (Photo by Matt Jones)

Now, for a completely shameless plug (who me?! :) ). The Pie Society has been approved to fund our biggest project of the year via Kickstarter.com. We have been selected as a merchant at the Austin Junior League’s 2011 A Christmas Affair – 30,000 people attending and two of us. Mmmmhmmm, yeah, can you hear my dry heaves? We can make it work but could always use support, even if it’s just spreading the news or sending us virtual hugs. Thanks y’all! Here’s the sassy “trailer” we created to quickly tell our story The Pie Society “Trailer” and to donate you can go here.

FriendsEaster

Prince Charming David Giving the FriendsEaster Toast!

Every year there is an annual event amongst the friends called FriendsEaster. A time to get together to eat great food, drink good wine and most importantly be amongst amazing friends. I experienced my first one last year at our friends Carrie and Justin’s casa. Since they just got married (congrats lambs!) holding it at their house was not very ideal so we decided to hold it at Casa Kealey instead. I have to admit I was a little nervous given that’s a three-year tradition and I wanted to ensure the entree (the hosts’ responsibility) was delicious. Thank goodness the cover of Saveur looked amazing with this simple lamb and potatoes dish or as it’s traditionally called, Cosciotto di Agnello con Patate. I couldn’t say that if my life depended on it.

Cosciotto di Agnello con Patate (Photo by Todd Coleman)

Given that we had a lot of cleaning up to do in the house, I was more than grateful that I chose a very easy lamb dish to prepare. Make the delicious, herbacious, spicy paste, schmear it on the lambs (we had two legs) peel and cut some potatoes and you are good to go for a few hours! The lamb came out perfectly cooked but I did have to roast the potatoes in the rendered fat (here’s your drool cup) for a bit longer than what the recipe called for; about 30 more minutes. I got some great reviews all around! One of our friends mentioned she was not a fan of lamb but gave this a try and she really liked it! YAY! This would be beautiful for an Easter dinner and if you’ve got four or five other dishes to make – I can guarantee it will be a stunner without a ton of work.

I also made these delectable  Dry-Cured Olives with Rosemary and Orange for a quick appetizer option. Once again, simple, delicious and quick. I’m actually eating the leftover olives right now and they are still yummy. I could see these being beautiful in a simple Salad Nicoise as well.

Dry-Cured Olives with Rosemary and Orange (Photo by Landon Nordeman)

Not surprisingly, everyone brought their A-game with the food. We had roasted asparagus; broccoli and bacon salad; roasted jalapenos stuffed with bacon and cream cheese; stuffed avocados; a delicious salmon, cream cheese and caper spread; spinach and artichoke dip; buttermilk pie – one of my favorites –  from The Pie Society and lots of great wine including my new love (it’s $14!!!!) called Gundlach Bundschu. You can get it Whole Foods Market right now. In fact you should do it now, because if I’m near there today I’m going to buy the whole lot.

Here are some pics of us from what turned out to be a lovely FriendsEaster.

The Pie Society's Buttermilk Pie

 

 

Channeling my inner Martha...

The FriendsEaster Crew

Cheers!

*Crickets*

Oh, hello there! So nice to see you! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but my cooking has kind of fallen off the map due to home renovation (we are thisclose lambs) and the launching of The Pie Society. As soon as I get my kitchen back to optimal operating standards I’ll start testing and tasting recipes again – scout’s honor.

I have had a little time to try some pretty good recipes including this Pan- Seared Strip Steak and Warm Potato Salad with Ramps and Bacon from Cooking Light; they both were amazing! Tonight I’m trying their Slow-Roasted Tomato Pasta. I can’t wait for a gentle night in with David and then back to work on cabinets, floors and more!

Hugs,

Emily

Pan-Seared Strip Steak (Photo by Charles Masters)

 

P.S. Be sure to “like” Cooking Inside the Lines on Facebook and if you dig pies, you can “like” The Pie Society too!

The Pie Society

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been working on a little project non-stop for about the past five months and now, it’s ALIVE. A little background shall we?  I received a degree in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs from SMU and naturally went on to pursue a job in PR. I had worked in many industries – cell phones, cat food, tax software you name it - but when I got into the food work I was a happy little panda.  I loved the work, my fellow colleagues, food media friends and my clients but something started to feel like it was missing. It started out as a tiny grumbly voice in the back of my head that continued to get louder and louder until one day I couldn’t take sitting behind a desk any longer or getting on one more plane ride for a business trip – something just wasn’t right.

One night I was talking to David about the situation and as you can imagine I felt rotten for feeling this way. A lot of people would kill to have a steady job and great work and here I was, miserable. So lame. We started talking about other avenues I could take which led to a discussion on current food trends. I then mentioned pie was about to get its day in the sun. I love pie. Love, love, love, love, love, love pie. I don’t seek out cake or even sweets really, but you put pie in front of me and I go bananas. I mentioned that I loved pie so much that I wished I could have multiple slices of pie without consuming my calorie and fat intake for the week in one sitting. And then, BAM.  I mentioned it would be cool to have a small tiny bite of pie that you could eat in two bites so you could eat a variety of different flavors. I’m such a fat kid, I swear. Like an itch I couldn’t scratch, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.  I told my little idea to Lindsay Leslie who was already doing her own pie blog plus she was an ex fellow PR colleague of mine so I knew she would be just as anal retentive as me. ;) I’ll never forget telling her the idea and she hit the table and goes “let’s do this!”.  Since then, there has been sweat, some tears, some burns, total recipe fails, total recipe successes and a lot of  “What the hell you mean we need fill in the blank with something extremely absurd here that too?” I know now what an LLC, DBA, EINs, blah, blah, blah means and could not be happier with what we’ve created. VOILA LAMBS!!

 

She's My Cherry Crimps

Introducing Crimps, the two-bites-and-you’re-done pie! We have six flavors, full-sized pies and dipping sauce we call Complements. I’m not going to tell you much else because I would love for you to visit www.thepiesociety.com and if you live in Austin place an order and see for yourself. Fingers crossed poodles.  We are the little pie engine that could but don’t worry, I still have to eat SOMETHING else other than pie so I’ll still be here testing and tasting recipes so you don’t have to. One final note, without my niece Alex, Lindsay my partner in crime and sounding board/counseler/pie mom, support of my amazing friends and of course my prince charming David, none of this could have happened. Thank you a million times over for everything.

Big hugs and smooches,

Emily