I am feeling just like a proud Mama, watching her creations grow and make the world a much happier and a more delicious place. I have loved watching the Pie-revolution take off after the release of PIE AS ART, volume 1! My Pie fans are the BEST, most supportive people in the world! And, why shouldn't they be? Pie makes the world a happier place!!
It has been a real struggle to select a Winner for the contest, but there is one lovely lady that says, competition brings out the best in her, and she did not disappoint! She baked 3 pies out of the cookbook and her presentation was gorgeous, plus they were posed with the cookbook illustrations. See below for the 3 creations from Amy Chinnery-Valmassei, a great friend from childhood days.
A gorgeous Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake on the left snuggled up to a Peach Pan Pie cooked in a cast iron skillet. Both are beautifully crafted and look so delicious!
A Tomato, Goat Cheese and Thyme Galette baked on a pizza stone makes a beautiful presentation and was a fun way for Amy's family to use up home grown tomatoes during their peak season!
I am sure that you all agree that Amy is a successful, seasoned baker and has a lot of fun in the kitchen. I am very happy to present her with a FREE Pie as Art cookbook, autographed, as an award for her beautiful pie entries! Congratulations, Amy!
Now, I am sure that you are all curious about some of the runner's up...
A fellow pie contest judge, Curt Goodwin, resides in the central part of Kansas and is a Classic Auto Restoration Specialist, teaching at McPherson College. But, the thing is, he makes a great looking pie, and is quite prolific in the kitchen! Curt comes in at number two. I received 3 different fruit pie entries from him. See below for his beautiful pies. He's got that woven lattice top technique down!
A lovely Rhubarb Pie that is filled with rhubarb from the Goodwin's backyard garden! Rhubarb is definitely one of my favorite pies!
A perfect-looking Peach Pie with a pretty lattice top. Curt said he used Colorado peaches, which we don't see a lot of in Kansas City. I would love a chance to try them some time!
Curt shows his prowess in the kitchen, baking 2 Apple Pies, with a cut-out leaf decoration on the top crusts around the steam vents. And, looking at this picture, Apple Pie appears to be a good accompaniment to a glass of red wine!
Another runner-up goes to my sister, Lisa Hill, who bakes a mean pie, herself. Guess it runs in the genes. A resident of North Carolina, she is spreading the pie love in that part of the country. I sure hope it takes off! See her beautiful Crab Quiche entry below. She said she made it a little larger for her family by adding more crab meat, cheese and an extra egg to fill out a deep dish pan.
A lovely Crab Quiche with the illustrated pie and recipe behind.
Two of my Festival Singers friends created beautiful pies, posed with the new cookbook. First is Ross Kimbrough with the VERY FIRST pie baked out of the cookbook (besides me). Slide to see Jenni Lahasky's Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil Galette. It looks divine!
The beautiful entries into the contest just kept on coming! One of my Festival Singers sisters, Jill Holtkamp went all-out with the Peach Pan Pie! She used a glass pie pan, which worked just as well as a skillet and created this amazing collage of her pie assembly. Impressive!
White peaches make a pretty, sweet pie. I wish you could get decent peaches year round, not just in the summer-time, I love them so...
Speaking of peach pie... that yummy fruit seems to be a very accessible and popular pie filling during this pie contest! The next beauties were sent from a couple of different sorority sisters, one living in KC and one in Wichita. Both have lovely lattice tops that bear showing off. One of these days, I plan to do a little short video demonstrating the weaving lattice technique on my YouTube channel (stay tuned). My preference is to use a rotary cutter that scallops the edges and makes the pie look extra fancy!
On top is Jenny Reschke Magana's scrumptious looking Peach Pie coming in from Wichita, KS. It looks overloaded with peaches! Super yummy!
And below, another lovely Peach Pie from Michele Pease Schumacher from Leawood, KS looks so juicy and bubbling over with peach juices. My mouth is watering as I write this caption! Go Michele!
Last but not least...
One of my favorite stories from the release of the cookbook comes from my good friend, Bruce Casolari. He and his late wife, Debbie and I were chorus members together and we all became close friends over a good many years. Bruce and I chatted at each concert and he would always have a nice comment about my test bake pies, since he followed me closely on social media. Typically, the conversation ended with him offering to be a taste-tester, giving me a wink and a smile!
Bruce has been to all of my art shows and is quite a champion of pie and I love him for it!
The Casolari family is very close and he bought a PIE AS ART book for himself and one for each of his daughters to support me and my long accomplished goal. Many friends, like Bruce have been with me on the entire 11 year journey!
Celia and Faye work on assembling the top crust for a Very Berry Pie. I love this picture of the sisters working together in their Dad's kitchen. Bruce said he was performing some non-essential tasks in order to feel useful while the ladies did the 'real pie making'.
Faye Casolari Jackson, Bruce Casolari and Celia Casolari hold up their Very Berry Pie for the camera. It's a real beauty!
Their beautiful Very Berry Pie posed with the Pie as Art cookbook. The 3 spent the evening making a great dinner and reading the cookbook recipes out loud while drinking wine. Bruce said, "I never imagined that reading a cookbook together could be so much fun!"
Look at the beautiful deep purple filling in the Very Berry Pie... looks mouth-watering good, especially with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Thanks for sending me a pic of your slice Casolari family!
There are so many other beautiful pies entered into this contest, but the ones listed above impressed me the most. Thanks to all the seasoned pie bakers and novices alike. I hope you all enjoyed your slices of pie heaven as much as I loved to see and hear about them.
Pie love you all! Till the next contest!