dinner dates

Truth be told, I spent a decent portion of my free time being a hermit and talking to my cats. Every now and then, I break out the Mrs. Meyer’s basil, put on a dress, warp into hostess mode with a big party, or more recently, smaller dinner parties, or frankly, pie circles (hello, test kitchen) and tell my friends to simply show up hungry. The belated Hidden Gems wrap-up is truly coming next; things like life and my jobs and commitments and pie making, simply, and pleasantly, have gotten in the way. That’s all I can handle of this ‘me, myself & my blog’ discussion, so with a deep breath, let’s move on to the photos.

Here’s what I’ve been up to, culinary wise, recently:

Berry Balsamic Pie with Olive Oil Lattice Crust. From the PPK Test Kitchen. With each crust, I get a little more confident.
Coconut Lime Cream Pie with Rad Whip (test 2). From the PPK Test Kitchen.
Grasshopper Pie and the Berry Balsamic, for a recent impromptu dinner party with friends, including my dear Vegan Moxie.
Santander salad, a test run for this weekends Spanish-themed Heartichoke dinner. Im in awe of my BFFs plating and design here.
More of this past weekends Heartichoke-orientated spread, including smoked balsamic shiitakes, vibrant saffron pickled cauliflower and carrots, grapefruit marinated olives and the third and final test batch of the smoked potato cheese in the rear- we have a winner!
Rewind a couple weeks ago - I put together a soy & gluten free vegan spread for a dinner date with a friend.
Caribbean kidney bean curry, smoked balsamic mushrooms (love.these.), my first fried plantains with coarse salt, cheesy shallot rice fritters.
For dessert: dark chocolate, agave & crushed macadamia nut pudding.
Lastly - bring on the seasonal produce! Heres my haul from this past weekends farmers market: microgreens, cornmeal, spinach, collard raab, chives, rangpur limes, tulips & purple carrots. Cause little known fact: theres a purple carrot on my foot.

And hey, if you see me around town lately, there’s probably a piece of pie in my bag, just waiting for you to inquire.


  1. Wow! I want to come to your parties! The balsamic pie looks so good I can almost taste it. The lattice on top looks like the berries are behind bars..captured by a wicked vegan berry stalker! The plantains look like they might have been little golden discs of heaven! I LOVE plantains. Are all recipes from PPK? I guess I need to purchase my self a copy!

    1. hey india-leigh! you should come sometime!
      just to clarify: the pie recipes are from the PPK, aka the Post Punk Kitchen. the authors behind it (Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Romero) have put out a number of books, both together and independently, and the pie recipes are from the test kitchen for their upcoming pie cookbook. : )

  2. Okay…my mouth started watering with the pies and then heavily continued as I scrolled down and saw the asparagus then the rest of the food. Hungryyyyyyyyy!

    Could you post the recipe for those smoked balsamic mushrooms. My friend called me the other day asking for a marinated mushroom recipe. Do you know of one along with this recipe? Thanks!

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