I’ve been laying low from the blog lately. Mostly because I’m exhausting myself on all of my thoughts and ideas and am trying to recalibrate what this really is – a meaningful hobby. I don’t aspire to be a blogger. I’m not interested in spending my energy creating a community of empty “likes” in the blog and Facebook world. Curious, I know, because I host a blog. There are many blogs that have grown organically and have created an authentic community of followers, and I admire that. But in my attempts to be a “good blogger” and engage in the blogging community, I found that the vast majority spend a lot of time trying to rack up followers via the eye-for-an-eye method. I’ll comment on your blog, you comment on mine and we will see our statistics shoot up and be happy. Nah.
The CEO of our hospital came to talk to my department this week at work. He spent some time talking about how organizations need a north star from which to create their strategic plan and guide their decision making. At my hospital, Cleveland Clinic, our north star is “Patients First.” It’s clear, it’s simple and patients and employees alike know it. In my attempts to ground myself in what I’m doing with this blog, I am finding clarity in my north star – Fix Food. Serve Others.
I’m using this blog as a tool to ignite conversation, to cultivate relationships and to create meaningful opportunities to engage with people. I am a staunch proponent that you can do this through sharing food and that it’s a way to be in service to others always. Food heals, food gathers, food nourishes your body and your spirit – especially when shared with friends. Stick with me on this, I know there’s more to this story.
Pi Day of the Century!
When a math teacher and a pie baker live together, one must take this opportunity to recognize the Pi Day of the century – 3.14.15. Minds are blown over here. With winter winding down, pie is still a struggle because of fresh produce being out of season. But never fear! Here is a fun way to make some pie that will make any day a pie day.
Chocolate Pudding Cups
This boils down to one crust for a 9-inch pie and the best recipe for chocolate pudding ever from Smitten Kitchen. Follow the link to Chocolate Pudding Pie for the filling recipe. You can make your crust following my recipe for Best of Both Worlds Pie Crust, or go easy on yourself and buy a crust.
Preheat oven to 400
Roll out the pie crust to 1/4 inch thick as you would for a whole pie. Using a round cookie cutter or glass (about 3-4 inches), cut circles and line a muffin tin. Don’t worry about being exact – you can even just cut strips of dough and gently press and line the muffin tin.
You will need to pre-bake the crust which can be done a couple of ways. I prefer to tear off small pieces of foil and weigh the crust down with pie weights, rice or beans. This can feel a little tedious, but it’s not that bad. You can also put another muffin tin on top as long as you grease the bottom before you lay it on top of the crust. Bake crust for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes or so until crust begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool in muffin tin.
While crust is cooling, make the filling (follow the Smitten Kitchen link above). When filling is ready, remove pie cups and place them into muffin cup liners. I used silicone liners but you can also use paper. This makes for easy handling and serving.
Fill each pie cup to the top with pudding mixture. Cover each cup with a small piece of wax paper to prevent a film from forming and place in refrigerator to set. I prefer these without whipped cream, but when you are ready to serve you can top with whipped topping. Eat them like a cupcake or eat them with a spoon – they are fun to serve and so good! Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.