Merry Christmas! Will You Be as Busy as Me in the Kitchen This Weekend?

Merry Christmas everyone. Another Christmas is in the books and by now, everyone has opened gifts, eaten a hearty breakfast and are either comatose in deep sleep, out enjoying the day or busily engaged with their gifts. So, What did everyone get? Me? Well, since baking has become my second life, it was a ‘baking-esque’ type Christmas!

Gifts from the Wife…

pie schoolThe wife came pretty strong with a number of items that will no doubt only fuel my pie addictions. First item – Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter! A book that I had already had on my radar, having bookmarked it on my wishlist some time ago. So glad I hadn’t already purchased this, although I more than likely would of kept both copies had I did, keeping one in the kitchen and one on my person!

Besides the standard compliment of fruity and very delicious looking pies, all fruit and dessert dishes, the book features a very cool ‘The Art and Science of Pies’ chapter which for me was one of the main draws of this book. With topics such as How to choose your best tools; how to make a Galette; how to be fruitful; how to be a pie roller; how to weave a classic lattice and several others, this book will undoubtedly help me understand some of the more intricate yet foundational skills necessary to become the pie connoisseur I one day hope to be!

mini piesThe other book my wife gave to me had a little more background to it, that I will reluctantly share with you now. I like to bake AND eat pie. Problem is, besides my Blackberry and Apple Pie dish, any other pie I have made and baked, I have eaten (OVER TIME and not in one sitting…) on my own, because no one else in the family had liked those particular dishes. This has had the ‘expected’ result at adding a few pounds to the midsection, despite working out on a regular basis. So this next pie book – The Magic of Mini Pies: Sweet and Savory Miniature Pies and Tarts, was not only to help bolster my skill and knowledge in making mini pies, but also a ‘message’ that I cut back on trying to devour entire 9-inch pie dishes on my own. Point taken wifey!

Mini pies may suit me better and not just to help me watch my weight, but also to allow me to better be able to TEST out new recipes without committing so much in time, ingredients and waistline! Along with that, The Magic of Mini Pies also has recipes for savory pies like chicken pot pies, cornish pastries, spinach mushroom quiches and more. ALL definitely on my baking road-map in the very near future!

Lastly, to go along with my ‘The Magic of Mini Pies’ book I also got a set of mini pie dishes all ready and primed for this weekend’s baking extravaganza – as well as a pie server and dry measuring cup.

What did Mom Get Me?

Mom is also a heavy supporter of my cooking ventures and bestowed upon me the complete DVD set to Top Chef University. Eight DVDs taking me through a crash course apparently in becoming as great a Chef as I can be in the home kitchen. I sooooooooo look forward to digging through these…hungrily!!

I see a busy weekend ahead in the kitchen and I can’t wait. How about you? What surprises were nestled beneath your tree this wintry morning?