A Very Fond Farewell

Teeny Pies in Kentucky-TP-0041

photo by the incomparable Gray Kammera Photography


Friends, all of the pies are baked, all the dishes are washed, and the kitchen is quiet. The time has come for me to share the news that I’ve been keeping to myself for the past year. Teeny Pies is closing. Not simply taking our typical winter break, but closing, closing.

The last six years  have been such a joyful and exciting experiment. I have grown leaps and bounds, not only as a lady baker, but as a human. So much so, that it sometimes seems a little crazy to stop the pursuit of pie at this point. But. The time has come.

From day one, there has been a bit of magic surrounding this whole adventure. Every step, while never particularly easy and always requiring what felt like maximum bravery, was clear. One pie became two pies, one pie mentor became friends in pie, one recipe became a whole book full, and for the last six years I have loved nothing more than bringing Teeny Pies into being.

I thought the next step was opening a storefront. It seemed logical that I would work the farmer’s markets until I had enough capital, help, and experience before diving headfirst into owning and operating my very own pie shop. That was the plan. That’s always been the pie plan. And then I realized earlier this year that the pie plan didn’t thrill me the way it needed to. And if I’ve learned anything over the last six years it’s that the pursuit of a passion must be felt with your whole heart. It’s what makes the hard bits easier and the good bits triumphant.

It’s taken me the year to feel really good about making a change and to get truly excited about what could come next. After wading through a lot of sadness, guilt, and worst of all, the feeling of failure, I came to realize that it was ok to be sad but it was also ok stop the pursuit of something that no longer made me the happiest. I’m ready to take another giant leap into the unknown and find the magic that propelled me toward my pursuit of pie six years ago.

Pie pals, I have really, really enjoyed becoming your pie lady. I’m a woman of science, an inventor of flavors, and a totally stellar lady baker. I love being in the kitchen, knowing recipes by heart, crimping the perfect crust, and best of all, getting to meet so many friends in pie.  You have allowed me to be such a fun and sweet (sometimes savory) part of your lives. Teeny pies have graced baby showers, Thanksgiving dinner tables, holiday spreads, weddings, picnics, family reunions, and everyday pie breaks.

Friends, family, and even strangers have bought books, tested pies, built boxes, sold at markets, visited at markets, given pies as gifts, baked my recipes, celebrated with pie, and endlessly supported the pastry filled dreams of this lady pie baker. Not to mention all of the fruit peeling. There’s been a lot of fruit peeling over the last six years, pals. I cannot even begin to say THANK YOU. But I will try.

Thank you. 

Thank you for helping me bring Teeny Pies to life. I am so entirely grateful. 

Home is Where the Pie is


photo by the truly wonderful Gray Kammera Photography

Well, it’s certainly been a whirlwind few weeks in our household; we are officially residents of Cincinnati! The move went really smoothly because most of our stuff was still in boxes and all we had to do was pack up the truck and drive it to the city. In true Morris fashion we had nearly everything unpacked by the time we rang in the new year on New Year’s Eve. Surrounded by piles of crumpled newspaper and stacks of empty cardboard boxes we bid farewell to 2016 and clinked our recently unpacked champagne flutes full of local beer to a happy and healthy 2017.

I spent the first few weeks touring the local commercial kitchens that I could potentially work out of for the next year or so and landed in a truly lovely space just over the river in Newport, Kentucky. Our new Teeny Pies home is out of the Incubator Kitchen Collective and you should definitely check them out! I had several different (all wonderful) options but this one felt the best. I think it will be really helpful to surround myself with the Cincy food community and being in this kitchen feels like the best way to go about that. Additionally, I’ve applied for two big time farmer’s markets, filled out the forms for any and all necessary licenses, and found the nearest Restaurant Depot for all my bulk baking needs! I am well on my way to being a Cincinnati business owner, just in time for the spring markets! I would love to say we planned it this way on purpose, but I think we just got lucky.

I can’t imagine the next few weeks will be all that exciting, business wise, but I will tell you that I’m doing two fabulous things in early February!

  1. I’m baking teeny tiny pies for a friend’s wedding in Detroit! A darling lady, who also worked at the Mt. Pleasant Farmer’s Market in D.C. when we did, became fast friends with Aaron over the last few years and she and her fiancé have put our first Cincinnati order on the books. I’m beyond pleased to be able to be such a lovely part of their big day and I can’t wait to bake their pies. True love + PIE = magic.
  2. Because I will be in Detroit, delivering wedding pies, I’ll be able to stop into an incredible pie shop, Sister Pie and, fingers crossed, shadow the lovely lady proprietor while she runs her business like a boss. This shop is totally inspiring and I’ve been in touch with the owner who has been utterly gracious and super generous with her time. I want my business to be just like hers when it grows up.

So, slowly but surely we are on our way. Barring anything truly terrible happening (which I’m not ruling out, because … trump … sigh) Cincinnati is about to get a killer pie company! The people will rejoice!! We will make pie!! Everyone will be happy!! World saved, right?

Whipped Cream Crisis

I’m not sure if you have heard, but due to a tragic nitrous oxide accident in Florida this past August there is currently a canned whipped cream crisis happening right before the holidays! That’s right, a canned whipped cream crisis!! Not quite as strange as the Norwegian butter shortage of 2011 (link here if you want a good giggle) that was caused by an inane diet fad that involved eating entire sticks of butter, but no less of a crisis when you stop to consider how many holiday treats deserved to have a delicious whipped topping.

Enter, homemade whipped cream.


Not only is it ten million times more delicious than anything you could buy in a can but it’s stunningly easy to make and I guarantee that you will be nothing short of a holiday hero if you whip up a batch for your nearest and dearest (pun entirely intended)! I’m convinced that once you experience the otherworldly, transcendent fluffiness of homemade whipped cream you’ll never go back to that silly can again. Plus if you’re by yourself in the kitchen when you’re making it you can eat it by the large spoonful … no one will ever know (not that I’ve ever eaten whipped cream by the spoonful straight out of the bowl before *cough*cough*cough* I’m a lady).

I typically use an electric mixer, but if you don’t have one, two old school methods – both involving good old elbow grease – will do the trick.


1 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Electric Mixer

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat together the cream, sugar, and vanilla on high speed until the mixture has doubled in size and become enough tot stick to the whisk, about 3 minutes. Don’t over-whip or you’ll end up with butter, but if you do go too far you can always stop, add more cream, and then continue whipping to the correct consistency.

Old-School Method #1

Hold an arm wrestling competition to determine who has superior forearm and wrist strength; they will be the whisker in this method. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them together with a wire whisk until your arm feels like it will fall off and your cream has doubled in size and soft peaks begin to form.

Old-School Method #2 

Combine all of the ingredients in a large jar, screw on the lid tightly, and shake, shake, shake until you have whipped cream. To engage everyone at your party in the game of ‘making whipped cream’ pass the jar around a large circle to distribute the shaking amongst your guests. (Recommended shaking music: TSwift – Shake it Off; KC and the Sunshine Band – Shake, Shake, Shake; Peaches and Herb – Shake Your Groove Thing; Devo – Whip It)

Variations on a Whipped Cream Theme

Lemon Zested Whipped Cream – Add 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest along with the vanilla for a hint of lemon. (yummy with pumpkin pie)

Peppermint Whipped Cream – Add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract in place of the vanilla. (perfect on top of hot chocolate or chocolate cream pie)

Not even a countrywide nitrous oxide shortage should come between you and the perfect whipped topping this year. So, bust out your mixers (or muscles) and start whipping!



Loving the process


Last week, with an evening cocktail in my hand, I sat back and watched my husband cook dinner, which, for those of you who know him will not be surprised to hear, included dancing, singing, and an overall sense of magic as he slowly built flavor upon flavor into his gumbo. With each new addition to the pot an intense and altogether new flavor would spice the air and we would all inhale deeply to try and catch the essence. Crisping chicken skin and browning sausage left Ladybird a pile of drool in the kitchen, while the addition of onion, bell pepper, and celery (the Cajun holy trinity) suffused the air with bright vegetable tones, slightly reminiscent of Chinese food. Worcestershire sauce added an appropriate and otherworldly tang and as I sniffed the air from my counter perch I read the ingredients list only to discover it contained a vast array of delicious that I love. Things like vinegar, anchovies, garlic, and molasses so whoever decided to keep all of those treasures in one bottle is my hero. Aaron’s favorite addition, however, comes at the end; fresh parsley evokes a wonderfully green, cool flavor that is able to cut through the intensely rich stew and offers a necessary balance to the dish.

A few hours later, over steaming bowls of decadent gumbo, we waxed poetic about food and its cultural origins. Cajun cooking has its holy trinity, French cooking has its mirepoix of onion, celery, and carrot, Italians use the same base but call it soffritto (which translated means, to stir-fry, or sauté to gently tease out a huge wealth of flavor), and a vast number of Thai dishes begin with garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Individually these ingredients offer a very specific taste but together they pack a delicious punch. By taking your time and doing right by these ingredients it’s possible to achieve layer upon layer of sumptuous flavor. Even quick dishes that aren’t as labor intensive as something like gumbo, can be rich with depth of flavor so long as you care about the ingredients that you use.

I love watching Aaron cook. I love remembering to love the process as much as the product; something that is not always easy when you spend most of your time in a kitchen. I often forget just how magical cooking is and how large a place it has in our wellbeing as humans. It’s incredibly easy for me to forget what a gift food is and I often do. I get caught up in the annoyance of having to cook or I hate the thought of even looking at food after a particularly long day of making food and I end up cooking a meal that probably tastes fine, but that I didn’t enjoy making. Most likely that’s still going to happen because I do work in a kitchen for a living, but if I can remind myself to think about the process, constantly smell the delicious smells wafting around the kitchen, and start wearing a ‘kiss the cook’ apron I’m bound to have way more fun at the end of the day. Because when you stop to think about it food is wonderful.

So, as the holidays approach and you all start planning your menus, don’t forget that food is magic and a little shoulder dancing in the kitchen goes a long way. Love the process as much as the product and eat your hearts out.

Pie Podcast


A few weeks ago a lovely college pal reached out about being a guest on Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette and, needless to say, I was supremely flattered and excited to check out Nicole’s work. Right before leaving D.C. I had started spending an inordinate amount of time listening to podcasts in the kitchen. As I spent the majority of my time by myself in various stages of epic pie making, podcasts were the perfect solution for keeping my brain busy while I mindlessly made pies with my hands. My listening habits typically trended toward deep dives into the This American Life and and Radio Lab archives with occasional forays into Snap, Serial, and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. The ever dulcet tones of Ira Glass, Jad Abumrad, and Robert Krulwich helped me roll out hundreds and hundreds of crust each week and the oddball and interesting stories on Snap Judgement made peeling and slicing endless apples more bearable. When I wasn’t at work all of my conversations started with the sentence, “I was listening to this podcast AND…” to the point where Aaron started keeping a tally and nearly everything I said was sprinkled with facts that I had learned from the radio.

When we moved to Kentucky for the summer, the majority of my time was consumed with writing and perfecting my business plan but I’d also gotten it into my head that I should start listening to bussinessy podcasts in order to become a more businessy boss lady. I started with Start-Up, because it seemed like the right place to start (up) and I found it to be good. Not great, but good, with lots of helpful hints and surprisingly soothing horror stories about asking other people for large sums of money. However, by the second season I became a little disenchanted as I learned just how badly the business had gone in real life as opposed to the rosy picture the radio had painted. After googling ‘best small business podcats’ I tried a few different shows but none of them stuck and I think it’s because I missed hearing about other people’s real life lives. The few podcasts I listened to were smart and snappy, and I’m sure utterly business savvy, but none of them made me feel like we were in the same boat. I wanted to listen to voices that sounded more like mine; scared but also thrilled to be a small business owner, unable to comprehend how to write a good business plan but doing it anyway, working my way up to the perfect pitch so that when you ask someone for all of their money they don’t run away laughing hysterically, etc.

I was utterly charmed when I started reading about Real Talk Radio and found Nicole’s previous seasons so honest and refreshing. After listening to just a few podcasts I wholeheartedly leapt at the chance of being part of the show. Nicole does an excellent job curating intelligent, funny, and gritty conversations and I think it’s because she does such a nice job of actually having a conversation with you. We talked for just over two hours and none of it felt strained or inauthentic. She has a truly lovely way of finding common ground and a real knack for creating a comfortable situation where it’s possible to talk about anything and everything. I’m pleased as pie to be included in season 8. And while it’s not a small business podcast by any means it is one of those podcasts where the voices sound a lot more familiar.

Here’s a link to my specific podcast, but don’t hesitate to listen to others too …. they’re pretty fantastic!!


Winter Pie

It’s December! I absolutely love winter. I like seeing my breath create little clouds outside, and wearing hats, and the smell of crackling wood fires in crisp air, and drinking warm things whole wearing a onesie. And snow! Snow is simply magical. It seemed entirely appropriate to make an ode to snow pie for the first day of December, as it’s likely the most ‘snow’ I’ll see until we go to Colorado for the holidays.


Speaking of holidays – Happy Thanksgiving!! I know it was last week, but if still feels appropriate to give a little grateful shout to all you pie loving people out there. I hope your Thanksgiving was full of loud family, hungry friends, and of course, PIE.

Even before pie became such a huge part of my life Thanksgiving had a special place in my heart. I love that the entire basis of the holiday is to love your friends and family, eat as much food as you can, and for at least twenty-four hours remind yourself what you have in your life to be grateful for.When I began the pursuit of pie I could never have imagined how huge and special Thanksgiving was going to feel and every year the holiday that I hold so dear has been more and more astounding. Because of pie I have been able to be a part of hundreds and hundreds of  your holiday dinners and I feel so incredibly awed and grateful for the chance to to be a delicious part of your family’s traditions. So, here’s a big ole THANK YOU FROM THE TOP OF MY LUNGS to all of you who have allowed me to be a part of your holidays.

I’m including a couple of links below because I also think that due to everyone falling into a deep, deep turkey induced coma, all too often the ‘giving’ part of Thanksgiving gets brushed aside and there are plenty of worthwhile organizations that would benefit from a generous and giving spirit.

Stand with Standing Rock – and for some historical context watch Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Planned Parenthood

American Civil Liberties Union

Happy Holidays friends in pie – and thank you again for letting me be a small part of your day of thanks and giving!!

the longest week

Last week was one of the longest weeks I’ve experienced and I know with absolute certainty that I will be one of the least affected when it all shakes out; because I am white, because I am straight, because I fall somewhere within the middle class. Do I think that the outcome of this election will have an adverse effect on my life and on my business? Absolutely. But, I could, with relative ease, put my head down, let the next four (or eight) years pass, and at the end of it I would still be a person of privilege. However, I happen to think that nothing about these next four or eight years should be easy.

Last Tuesday was a huge, and rather sickening reality check and as I watched the greatest con in my lifetime unfold in front of me I realized the depth of my complacency. At the end of the day I didn’t do enough and now we have a giant tangerine tinted turd as our president. (And believe me, if there is one thing I know to be true despite being in a bubble, it’s that Trump is a turd. Any person who bandies around hateful rhetoric, misogyny, bigotry, and racism with unparalleled ease is a turd and anyone who voted for him decided that his foul turdiness wasn’t a deal breaker.)

I’m not trying to make light of this because I do think Tuesday was a terrifying wake up call and a solid check on my own personal complacency. Which is why it’s time to step up and help focus the change that will inevitably happen over the next four (god forbid eight) years. I hope beyond hope that Trump figures out a way to actually help the working class to whom he glibly promised so much change and who upheld their half of the bargain and got him into office. However, I am also prepared to fight against the changes that I perceive as detrimental to our country. I will not normalize hate and I will not accept racism under the fancy title of white nationalism. I will however call my congressman. Constantly. I will make personal adjustments to my life to help slow climate change and stand behind those who are able to make larger changes. I will be a badass lady boss. I will be an ally. I will go to bat for a diverse and multicultural country. And I will utilize my privilege as opposed to using it as a shield.

None of this is new. I’m simply adding my voice.


a crusty portrait in honor of Hills


City of the Big Shoulders

Slow moving as it sometimes seems, we are on the precipice of a big move. We’re headed to Cincinnati in the coming months and as I stand poised on the brink with my toes to the very edge, looking toward the next grand adventure, my brain is feeling somewhat nostalgic. Perhaps the boundless excitement surrounding the World Series has something to do with it or maybe the upcoming elections have me reminiscing on where I was eight years ago, but Chicago has been beckoning me to take a trip down memory lane… so I think I shall.


Chicago was the first big dream that I had all on my own. Unlike my fellow acting and musical theatre compatriots at Ithaca College, I had no desire to move to New York City upon graduation. The lure of pounding the pavement, jumbo slices of the best pizza in the world, performing somewhere off off off, really far off Broadway, of basking in the glow of the city that never sleeps never called to me. But Chicago on the other hand… Chicago with its small theatres, adventurous improv scene, and undeniable wisdom of what actually belongs on a hot dog seemed like a place where I could envision becoming a grown up. So, several months after graduation with my last few tips from Taste of Thai in one hand and a hard earned acting degree in the other I made my way to Chicago where I promptly fell head over heels for the city of big shoulders.

When I moved into my first apartment, an incredibly small but lovely one bedroom in Lincoln Square with a funky old fashioned bathroom and a shoebox of a kitchen, I put a huge map of the city on my wall and determined that I would make Chicago mine. A few months after moving there I sold my car, bought a monthly CTA pass and a used bike and from that moment on I felt unstoppable. I rode my bike everywhere during the glorious summer and fall months and navigated the ‘L’ during the bitterly cold winter months. It was the very first time I was actually on my own and though I often worked relentlessly in the way that only someone in their twenties can, I eventually figured out my city. I definitely had my ups and downs and I vividly remember having to walk two miles in the pouring rain after an exhausting rehearsal one night, thinking “what is my life?” But I got there.

I had a favorite Thai spot, a favorite coffee shop, a favorite dive bar, AND I lived down the street from the world’s most glorious diner, Jeri’s. I knew how to get virtually anywhere in the city, I learned how to bike aggressively and only got doored once. I saw baseball games at the famed Wrigley Field and I voted for a President who also considered Chicago to be his home. I found my theatre family in Dog and Pony Theatre Company, was part of a two person comedy show, made the front page of the Chicago Tribune Arts section (for a paper puppet production of Peter Pan), played endless games of Mexican Train dominoes, and drunkenly gave myself horrible bangs in Chicago. I fell in love with my best friend while introducing him to my city and together we started thinking of a new future. When it came time to leave I dreamed and schemed my way into the next grand adventure and was only able to leave because I had lived the hell out of Chicago for five incredible years; it was the city that shaped me.

My time in Chicago was the fully realized version of that long ago, college dream and as we head into this new chapter of our lives I have big expectations. It’s time to put a new map on the wall and go about making Cincinnati home!

But also… and perhaps more importantly… GO CUBS!!!


Look at how fiercely I’m cheering for the Cubs against another nefarious Ohio baseball team!! (this is clearly during the terrible bang phase) GO CUBS GO!!

best of the best

Friends in pie, the content of this blog post is at least a year old and therefore should probably be considered old news, BUT I was diligently typing up my business plan and realized while reviewing my various accomplishments and accolades that I completely forgot about this little nugget of wonderfulness. Every year Food and Wine comes out with a Best of the Best Cookbook featuring their all time favorite cookbooks of the year and it just so happens that MY COOKBOOK, Teeny’s Tour of Pie, with it’s scrumptious pies and delightfully quirky, heartfelt stories was chosen as one of the best cookbooks of 2014!! Ridiculously old news, right? To be fair F&W’s Best of the Best didn’t come out until the following year, so it’s only slightly old and I figured any reason to shine some sparkly spotlight on my favorite cookbook, especially with the holidays coming up (*hint hint* it makes the perfect gift*), was a good reason.


Look at that full page pie lady pic taken by the stunningly talented Katie Parra

I share the cookbook stage with some stellar company including The Kitchn Cookbook, My Paris Kitchen (by David Lebovitz!!), Plenty More, and Prune (by Gabrielle Hamilton whose memoir I just read and loved).  The Teeny Pies section covers bourbon bacon pecan, strawberry rhubarb custard, coconut cream, espresso french silk with blackberry compote, and a new, never before revealed, roasted corn and tomato tarts! How lovely is that?

So, this post has been a long time coming but somehow still pretty exhilarating. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact that I actually wrote a cookbook … one of the best cookbooks, apparently … and I’ll always be endlessly proud to show it off every once in a while. If you’re looking for gifty ideas for the upcoming holidays may I suggest a combo cookbook deal (Best of the Best and Teeny’s Tour of Pie) + pie pan? In the meantime, let’s just swoon over the fact that Food & Wine sent me mail!!



Pie from a Pumpkin


[ A Fall Haiku ] Pumpkin in a patch, You thought you’d be a lantern, Now you are a pie.

Six years ago I peered into a CSA veggie box from Irv and Shelly in Chicago, Illinois and as I caught sight of a tiny pie pumpkin my life was unalterably turned toward a future of lady baking. Aaron and I took one look at that orange orb of destiny and knew the only thing to do was to make a pie. We paired our roasted pumpkin with copious amounts of cream, honey, cinnamon and a hint of ginger, whisked our ingredients into a dreamy swirl of fall flavors, and together we baked our very first pumpkin pie.

It’s October which means all sorts of pumpkin varieties are storming the the grocery store shelves and farmer’s market stalls. Pumpkin patches and orchards everywhere are irresistible with promise of hot apple cider, decadent donuts sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and  miles upon miles of bakeable, carvable, decorate-able pumpkins. Fairytale pumpkins are alluring with their orangish blue hue and their idyllic Cinderella carriage shape; they are sweet to the point of almost not needing sugar and they are one of the few pumpkins that don’t become stringy after baking. Peanut pumpkins are fun with their skin looking as though they’ve been decorated with empty peanut shells, which, in actuality, are sugar deposits making for another naturally sweet baking option. And then there are the sugar pie pumpkins; tiny, sweet pumpkins promising just the right amount of pumpkin puree for a single pie.

Don’t ignore the call. Get yourself a pumpkin and start roasting. Munch on pumpkin seeds while your house fills with the unbelievably delicious smell of fall. Eat slices of pie with your morning coffee or after dinner with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. Fall is is here to stay, so start making perfect pies.

Teeny Pies Pumpkin Pie:

1 small pie pumpkin                                                                                                                                         3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon                                                                                                                  1/4 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                                           1/2 teaspoon ground ginger                                                                                                                           4 large eggs                                                                                                                                                         1 cup honey (local if you have it)                                                                                                                   1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream                                                                                                                    pie dough for one bottom crust

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle position.

2. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds with a metal spoon (and save them for roasting, duh), lightly doil the cut surface, and place the halves cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the pumpkin until it’s tender and easily pierced by a fork, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes.

3. Using your fingers remove the pumpkin peel, which will have pulled away from the flesh and should be very easy to take off. Place the roasted pumpkin in a food processor and puree until smooth.

4. Place 2 cups of the pumpkin puree in a large bowl, add the cinnamon, salt, and ginger, and stir until everything is combined.

5. Add the honey and the cream to the mixture and whisk gently until everything is incorporated. Add the eggs and whisk until everything is combined and the pumpkin mixture is smooth.

6. Prepare the crust: Place the dough disk on a floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin roll it into a rough 11-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Lay the crust into a 9-inch pie dish, gently press it in, and trim any excess dough from the edge with a paring knife, being sure to leave a 3/4 inch overhang. Tuck the overhanging dough under itself and crimp.

7. Set the crust on a rimmed baking sheet before giving the filling one final stir and pouring it into the crust. Bake until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean, 45-55 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.