Archive for pie

Spanakopita (Spinach & Feta Pie)

Posted in Appetizers, Greek with tags , , , on November 7, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

This dish has two of my favorite ingredients: spinach and feta!  I can never get enough. Super easy to make, just make sure you fully thaw the phyllo sheets (for about 2 hours!). I was not patient enough, coincidentally, many of my phyllo sheets tore. But no big deal, I used the leftover torn sheets to make yummy baklava!

Spanakopita Ingredients: (Bake at 350 for 30 minutes)

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 packages frozen spinach, thawed and moisture free
  • 1/2 package cream cheese
  • 1 4 oz package feta cheese
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 8 Phyllo pastry sheets, thawed
  • Olive oil (to brush on pastry sheets)


  1. Saute onion in pan. Add garlic and spinach (without the excess water). Place in bowl and add cream cheese and feta. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  2. In a greased pie pan, place 1 sheet of oiled phyllo dough. Over lap with 3 more oiled sheets for a total of 4. Place spinach filling inside and top with 4 more oiled phyllo sheets. Tuck the edges in and cut into desired servings. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Salmon, Crab and Veggie Puffs

Posted in Seafood with tags , , , , , on September 26, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Mark loved the veggie sweet potato pot pie so much that after he finished his giant sized bowl, he asked if there were leftovers.  I asked if he was still hungry, but he went on to explain that although he was extremely full, he was already looking forward to eating the leftovers for tomorrow….WHAT?? This was extremely surprising since Mark HATES leftovers, unless they are cookies or Dominos pizza.  So when he asked if I could make this again the next day I thought I would blow his mind with something even better.  Take something delicious and pair it with something that’s awesome. Awesomely delicious is what this is.  I added 3 of his favorite ingredients: salmon, crab, and bacon.  It was originally just going to be Salmon, but added crab because it was on sale and his face lit up as soon as he saw it at the grocery store…couldn’t say no to that face. And the bacon…well it had been in the fridge for a while from BLT sandwiches so it needed to be used up. But I have heard seafood + bacon is a big hit, so I went with it. And a big hit it was.

I hope you guys make this soon, cause it is SO good, I promise!

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • Veggie concoction (click here)
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed and slightly rolled out)
  • 1 lb salmon
  • Crab
  • Bacon


  1. Slightly roll out puff pastry out.  Take something round (like margarita glass) and press it down on the pastry to make a round cut out (4 times).  Now take a smaller circle (like a regular glass) and make a smaller circle in the middle, without actually cutting it out.
  2. With pastry brush, apply egg wash on top
  3. Bake at 425 for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown
  4. When ready, cut out top and fill inside with veggie concoction, crab, and salmon.
  5. Sprinkle with bits of bacon.


  • On med/high heat with a bit of olive oil, add room temperature salmon seasoned with salt and pepper.  Cook about 1.5 minutes on each side, then transfer to aluminum foil teepee for about 5 minutes.  The steam will continue to cook the fish, resulting in a med/rare filet.  If you like it more well done, then increase the the cooking time a minute or so.

After Mark had 2 puff pastry cups, I could see he was still hungry.  Then I remembered I still had a little bit of pastry dough left so I made a mini pot pie for him as well. Third one’s a charm, and this one finally hit the spot.

For the pastry dough recipe, click here.


Spicy Sweet Potato Pot Pie

Posted in American with tags , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

If there was a time where I wish you could taste pictures, this would be it.  Mainly because you can’t see what’s underneath that flaky pastry, but also because it very very tasty, and according to Mark, “one of my top 5 this month”. Hmm, I will take that as a compliment considering Mark hates soups and pot pies. But not this one!  This pot pie was made with the nutritional all star sweet potato, fresh corn, juicy mushrooms, and chipotles! The melody of flavors explodes in your mouth, with excitement and a little bit of hatred, wondering why other pot pies taste like bland old people food. But not this one I’m telling you!

I usually don’t like telling Mark what I’m making for dinner. Mostly because it’s veggie this…or lentil and veggie that. And when I say that I know his heart sinks a little, and he wants to take a sneaky trip up to Taco Bell.  So most of the time I keep it a surprise so he doesn’t have time to think about it. And 98% of the time he absolutely loves the meat-less meals I prepare. This time, however, it slipped out that I was making veggie pot pie, and I felt his eyes roll…not physically but mentally (really!). He is usually excited for dinner, and I felt zero motivation from him.  When he saw the individual bowls with his own flaky buttery crust, there was a glimmer of hope. He took his first bite, said nothing, but started eating a little more enthusiastically. When he was 1/4 way into he bursted out saying it was “soo good”. When he finished off the entire bowl, he raved…about pot pie! As soon as I realized he was being serious I hurried and wrote down the recipe before I forgot. It’s the little things that make me happy, like having Mark enjoy something he would have otherwise hated. Successful night.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • Olive oil, to coat pan
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 fennel
  • 2 sweet potatoes (or regular), chopped
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 2 corn cobs
  • Salt + pepper
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 can chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2-1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp chipotle sauce
  • 2 tsp Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp fresh fennel leaves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 package mushrooms, cut in 4ths
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese


  • Cut all veggies
  • Saute onions in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add fennel, garlic and potatoes and cook on med/high for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add carrots, celery, and corn, cook for a few minutes and season.
  • Spread flour over veggies and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add broth and milk, chipotle sauce, hot sauce, paprika, dill and fennel leaves. Taste and adjust salt.
  • Let vegetables simmer for about 10 mites.
  • For the last few minutes add mushrooms. Turn off heat and add parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Pastry Dough Ingredients:

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 c. cold butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a few tbsp cold water, add slowly until dough comes together
  • Egg wash for brushing on top of pastry before baking

Directions: Combine dry ingredients.  Incorporate butter, and mix cold water slowly until dough comes together.  Divide dough in 4 pieces (if making individual pies). Place dough in freezer for 10 mutes. Quickly roll out dough, place on top of veggie bowl (or casserole), and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Cherry Berry Croissant Galette

Posted in Dessert with tags , , , , , , on July 29, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

I love making galettes, which is french for a flat pastry. I prefer making galettes to traditional pies due to it’s rustic simplicity.  Start out with making a traditional pie dough. Roll it out into a circle, add fruit to the middle, and fold all around. No need to grease a pie mold. No need to make it look pretty; this comes naturally to galettes. Simple rustic elegance.

This version is even simpler. I had some Pillsbury Croissant dough in my fridge which I used as my dough. Just roll out to a circle, add a mixture of cream cheese, top with fruit, jam, and bake.


  • Croissant dough
  • Cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • lime zest
  • vanilla
  • berries
  • Jam
  • Egg wash
  • Optional: top with whipped cream or ice cream


  1. Use 2 croissant triangles per Galette
  2. Roll into a ball, then roll out into a circle
  3. Combine cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, and lime zest.
  4. Spread cream cheese mixture to middle of dough circle
  5. Top with your choice of either fresh, canned or frozen fruit
  6. Add some jam to the top
  7. Fold sides of dough towards the center
  8. Brush egg wash to top of dough to form a golden crust.
  9. Bake at 375 for about 10-15 minutes.