Happy National Pi (3.14) Day! I was in the kitchen yesterday, to share an awesome pie recipe – but, it didn’t quite pan out the way I’d like. So, here’s an awesome round-up of the pies I’ve made so far (and loved!) instead. The geek in me loves any holiday centered around numbers and decimals – but one that involves pie? You definitely don’t have to twist my arm to celebrate this food holiday!Fresh Strawberry PieFresh Strawberry Pie – this pie is ideal when strawberries are in season locally, which I believe they are for some of my friends down south already. But, I’ve made it with strawberries from a clam-shell container in my grocery store before and it’s still wonderful. I loved making a strawberry pie from scratch – that didn’t involve a tub of that horrid red gel.

Triple Berry PieTriple Berry Pie – this is another delicious berry pie, which just so happens to be over-the-top beautiful! Filled with plump blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries – it’s sure to please any pie lover!Tomato PieTomato Pie – Who said savory pies shouldn’t have any fun? Tomato pie is pretty much my lunch for at least half of the days in the summer. I like to eat it warm, or cold – and paired with a salad? It’s the perfect meal in my eyes. I actually made one this week with hothouse tomatoes from the grocery store, I just couldn’t wait for July!

Apple {oeClassic Apple Pie – this guy needs to introduction. It’s the pie to end all pies – apple. This is a great recipe too, no overly sweet with plenty of spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side? Perfection.

Chocolate Cream PieChocolate Cream Pie – I’d say this is my favorite of the lot. Although, I’ve always been more of a cream-based pie versus a fruit-based pie – but don’t hold it against me! An Oreo crust, a creamy and rich chocolate pudding, then topped off with fluffy whipped cream. Heaven in a pie plate!

Peach PiePeach Pie – I love any dessert involving peaches, but in a buttery flaky pie crust – topped with a gorgeous lattice topping? A true thing of beauty. Also, does peach pie remind anyone else of The Peach Pie and Beverly Hills, 90210? Nat would be proud of this pie!

Macadamia Key Lime PieMacadamia Key Lime Pie – the crust is composed of rich, buttery shortbread cookies and crushed up macadamia nuts. Then filled with a traditional key lime filling that’s made with lime juice, condensed milk, and cream cheese. One of my favorite pies, without a doubt!

Blueberry PieBlueberry Pie – an all American favorite. A buttery, flaky double-layer pie crust stuffed with a sweet filling that’s composed of lots of fresh blueberries. Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Ricotta Pineapple PieRicotta Pineapple Pie – definitely not the most traditional version of a pie in this lot, it’s definitely not one to be overlooked. It’s light and refreshing, perfect for warmer weather. A rich and creamy filling, topped with sweet and refreshing pineapple. Definitely one to try!

Caprese PieCaprese Pie – similar to my tomato pie, but a little heartier since it’s layered with mozzarella cheese. Absolutely delicious, and the perfect meal in the warmer months!

Sweet Cherry PieSweet Cherry Pie – I always look forward to cherry season just so that I can make a pie with fresh cherries. This version uses sweet dark cherries, since that’s all I can ever get my hands on. It’s absolutely delicious – and worth all the work of pitting the cherries, I promise!

Irish Soda BreadI promised you more St. Patrick’s Day favorites this week, and here I am keeping good on my word. The first time I made (or tried to make is probably more appropriate) Irish Soda Bread, it was an utter disaster. This was years ago, when I was just getting my footing in the kitchen. I remember it being very disheartening – everything I read said it was such an easy quick bread! I can’t remember what recipe I used – but it came out of the oven looking completely stunning. Then, when I cut into it, it just completely crumbled to a heap or soda bread ashes.

It kind of reminded me of when Clark goes to cut Catherine’s turkey in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. That whole episode scared me away from breads for a few years – but I’m happy to report that I’m back in the saddle, lived to tell the tale, with an awesome (and different!) soda bread recipe for you guys!

I’ve been using Ina’s recipe for the past couple of years, and it always turns out fabulous. I didn’t have currants, so I substituted with raisins. Ina also doesn’t add caraway seeds – which to me, is essential in an Irish soda bread. So I brought those to the party as well. The flavors of the caraway and the orange zest, and then the chewy raisins – it’s just so wonderful. The loaf is quite large, and lasts us a couple of meals. I like to slice it thin, toast it, then add a bit of butter before enjoying. Sure to please any Leprechaun you’ll find in your neck of the woods!

Pub-Style Shepherd's PieSt. Patrick’s Day is always a much anticipated holiday in our house. We’ll take any excuse to drink a good beer of course, but I also happen to look fabulous in green! I’ve never been a corned beef & cabbage gal – I usually opt for this Pot Roast with Stout Gravy for our St. Patrick’s Day Feast. But, this Shepherd’s Pie is definitely giving it a run for it’s money…

Unlike the pot roast, this recipe is completely doable after a day at work. Sweating some veggies, browning some beef, then making a quick pan gravy with plenty of dark Irish stout. And while that’s going on, you can be boiling your potatoes to mash for the topping. I baked and served right in my cast iron skillet – I always love the rustic presentation at the table, especially for something like this dish. And one less pan to wash is always a good thing.

Not terribly long in the oven either, just enough time to get the gravy bubbling and the taters nice and browned on top. Which, is actually about the time it takes to sit down an enjoy a nip of Irish spirits, or taking a few moments to read your wee little leprechauns a tall tale. Stay tuned, because I have a few other St. Patty’s Day favorites I’m looking forward to sharing with you guys this week!

Blackberry Margaritas

Happy Friday! I don’t know if it’s just me – or, has it been an especially long week for everyone? I thought nothing would be better to close out the week than a good cocktail! And, what better way to round out this week of blackberry posts than blackberry margarita? You guys know me, I always reach for the tequila first.

Thankfully, so does Shawnda – I don’t know there there is a fruit left under the sun that she hasn’t turned into a delicious margarita. Nothing but goodness in this glass – homemade margarita mix, tequila, triple sec, and blackberry  puree. I went ahead and put it through a fine mesh strainer, but I think they’d be fun to muddle right in the glass too. A blackberry mojito may or may not be in the works already…