Rhubarb Pie

When I was younger, we went to my Grandma’s house almost every week for Sunday dinner. I spent many a Sunday afternoon running around Grandma’s backyard, and one of my favorite things to do was pick the raspberries from the bushes that lined her yard. One thing I rarely paid attention to? The rhubarb she grew in her garden every year. Grandma used it mainly for rhubarb pies – a dessert she made countless times when I was younger and that I ate a grand total of zero times. What can I say? I was a picky eater as a kid. Despite my non-consumption, I always think of Grandma whenever I see rhubarb used in a recipe.

Randomly, I started thinking about all of this a few weeks ago and, in a fit of nostalgia, decided I would try my hand at a rhubarb pie. I found this recipe on Wit & Whistle and it was so simple that I knew I had to make it. And as expected, it was a breeze to make and delicious to boot.

I read a lot of cooking blogs, and I’ve seen a bunch of strawberry rhubarb recipes floating around these days. And I suppose if you don’t like your desserts too tart, those are the recipes for you. But if you don’t mind the tartness of rhubarb, my vote is to make a straight-up rhubarb pie. Be a rhubarb purist. You know you want to.

And this is how you know I don’t write one of those slick, professional food blogs – because those bloggers would never take a picture of their pie that failed to set properly and kind of fell apart. But, you know what? Still delicious. I’m calling this recipe a win, regardless.

Grand Traverse Pie Company

I am sure I’m the only one who’s noticed, but I haven’t made much progress on my Ann Arbor Bucket List lately. The most obvious reason for the past several months has been school in general (and exams, and law review write-on, and internship searching, and several other time-consuming but boring grad student things). But, I also realized another reason for it: Ann Arbor is awesome, and there’s a lot to do here. I wrote my list after having been away for three years and before returning in the fall for law school, so there were lots of newer places I didn’t even know about. And, over the course of this last year, new places have continued to crop up. Which means: I have been exploring plenty of other places in Ann Arbor, but also neglecting my nice little list.

All this is a very long introduction to the actual topic of this post, the Grand Traverse Pie Company, which continues my glorious tradition of being distracted by non-Bucket List things. And in this case, I truly mean distracted, as I was walking to grab a meal somewhere else, saw the restaurant, and decided to stop there instead. Impulse dining at its finest.

Anyway, I liked it – it sort of reminds me of a Panera Bread, only less chain-y and more homey. Not only do they have a wide variety of pies to choose from, but they also have sandwiches and salads so you can make a whole meal of it. I ordered a chicken pesto sandwich (tasty) and a slice of chocolate peanut butter pie (even tastier). And now, I’ve found a new place to add into my rotation of places to grab a quick bite for lunch in downtown Ann Arbor. Here’s what I had:

They had tons of free samples everywhere:

My chicken pesto sandwich:

And the chocolate peanut butter pie:

The Details: Grand Traverse Pie Company | 505 E. Liberty, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 | 734.622.8134

Nestle Toll House Pie

One thing I’ve really missed this semester? Cooking. I live in the Lawyers Club, which is essentially a glorified dormitory for law students. What this means is that, while it’s literally a 60-second walk to class, I don’t get the luxury of having my own kitchen.

Now, I’m not a particularly adept cook (yet), but I’ve been learning ever so slowly these past few years, and this summer I really got into it. So, it’s been strange to not cook at all over the last few months.

While I was home for Thanksgiving, I had the chance to cook once. Now, I use the term “cook” loosely as my mom and I both worked on it because we needed to get done quickly and also because it’s basically the simplest recipe ever. Seriously, throw some ingredients in a bowl, mix, pour into a pie crust, bake, and garnish with a generous dollop (or two or three) of whipped cream. But, oh man, it’s yummy.

It was good to be back in the kitchen again, albeit briefly. I’m looking forward to cooking some more over Christmas break – and I have much grander plans for then. All I have to do is just get through my first set of law school exams first. That should be no problem, right?

Mojito pie

My lime craving continued this week, and manifested itself in my making a mojito pie. I didn’t have any rum on hand, so that got omitted from the recipe, but it was nonetheless a successful endeavor. My favorite part of the pie was its crust – I can totally see myself making pretzel-based crusts in lieu of graham cracker ones in the future; it was delicious.

Also, the recipe is from Weight Watchers (you can find it here), so you don’t have to feel too bad about indulging.

Key lime, summer time

Let me preface this by saying, quite emphatically, that I do not know how to cook. But, I enjoy cooking nonetheless, and since this is my blog, I suppose I can write about it if I feel so inclined, lack of expertise be damned. Let me also preface this by saying this is not going to be a cooking blog. It just so happens that my first entry is cooking-related, but believe me – I have neither the skill nor the motivation to delve into cooking too much.

Last week, I happened to have a craving for limes. Something about them just seems summery to me, I suppose. The next thing you know, I was asking my mom to pick up the ingredients for key lime pie.

This is the kind of recipe I love because it is impossible to mess up (yet, for a cooking novice like me, still semi-confusing – I had to ask my mom how you knew when the egg yolks were “fluffy.” I mean – what does that look like, really?). There are basically 4 ingredients, and if you buy a pie crust instead of getting fancy and making one (which, of course, is a waste of time you could be tweeting or reading celebrity gossip blogs), it will take you like 10 minutes to put the whole thing together. And it’s delicious, if I do say so myself.

Also – my favorite thing about this recipe? It’s from a refrigerator magnet. It’s literally so simple that it can be printed on a tiny magnet. And if you don’t believe me – here’s the proof:

And, in case you can’t read the refrigerator magnet, here’s the recipe:

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolks

2 teaspoons grated lime zest

1/2 cup of key lime juice

1 graham cracker pie crust

Whipped cream and lime slices

In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until pale and fluffy. Gradually add condensed milk and lime juice; whip until thick. Fold in lime zest. Pour mixture into pie crust; bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and cool completely; refrigerator for an hour. Decorate with whipped cream and sliced limes. Cut and serve!