THANK YOU + Pittsburgh

Well, it was a whirlwind few weeks and I just wanted to give a huge, shouty (but in a nice way), exuberant THANK YOU to everyone that voted for Teeny Pies in the FedEx Small Business Competition. I am so entirely grateful for the lovely show of support and can  only hope that my eye-roll-worthy daily reminders weren’t too overwhelming. I won’t find out if I made the top 100 until the 20th, so keep yer fingers crossed. Regardless, you all rock and I won’t soon forget it. Thanks for the pie love

In other news, our first city trip is next week and we’re headed to Pittsburgh! I’m super excited and it promises to be a pretty excellent trip. I’m especially pleased that we were able to find a dog friendly air b and b which means Ladybird gets to come along and offer her pup-opinions about our potential new city. 

We’re focusing on the Lawrenceville, East Liberty, and maybe Friendship/Garfield neighborhoods for where we would be looking to live. We’ll also check out the Strip District and Shadyside, but I’ve been told that those neighborhoods are already fairly pricey. We’re going to search out great coffee and as much spicy thai food as we can stomach in seven days as both of those things are basically no-existent in our current Kentucky-living lives. There are countless breweries to check out, sour beer flights to sip, pup-friendly tap rooms to support, and dog parks to discover. I’m also very interested in checking out the small business side of things and have set up a meeting through the local SBA and SCORE office to talk about what the Pittsburgh scene looks like and what businessy opportunities I could take advantage of if we decided to make our home there. 

As this is my very first trip to Pittsburgh, I’m relying fairly heavily on the recommendations of friends and the internets SO if you have any got-to-go-hot-spot suggestions please, PLEASE let me know in the comments section! I’ll also be accepting any and all advice on how to reconcile my heart to the thought of having to interact with Steelers fans on the regular … yikes! Stay tuned, it’s going to be a wonderful week! 

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Frame-Worthy Pie

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Monday morning, I stepped into my new office kitchen with the overwhelming desire to make a gorgeous pie. Truthfully, I think all pies are inherently pretty, particularly the teeny pies which are sometimes so adorable it hurts. I also think that over the past three years I’ve done a pretty admirable job of blending bulk baking with beauty, all the while maintaining a fierce dedication to seasonal and local ingredients. Hand-rolling and hand-crimping each and every pie crust is an unbelievable amount of work, but in the end it means each and every Teeny Pie is as beautiful as it is delicious and that is something I am very proud of. 

But, during our busy months when we make upwards of three hundred pies a week, crust crimping and crumble crumbling was just about as far as I can go toward the making of pretty pies. Any other fancy business was cast aside for being too time consuming or too difficult within the confines of our dreadfully warm communal kitchen. Sometimes I would be seized by a moment of inspiration during a slow afternoon and end up with a delightfully wacky Halloween mummy pie or a few delicately latticed fruit pies, but overall I contented myself with simple and sweet looking pies.

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Don’t get me wrong, I was contented but insanely jealous of those pie bakers working in the world who were only making a select few pies a week and able to spend their time and energy on making stunning pies. Those magnificent bakers who were able to use pastry as their canvas and from their fingers created magical, whimsical, frame-worthy pies. Like I said, INSANELY jealous. 

Which is why, when I was finally thunderstruck with the realization that I have both the time and energy to try my hand at making gorgeous pies, I wondered what had taken me so long. So, it was with great excitement and determination that I stepped into my kitchen Monday morning and set out to make my very own frame-worthy pie. I decided to keep the first attempt simple and settled on hearts after surveying my current “small cookie cutter” stash. After rolling out my bottom crust, heaping it with luscious, local rhubarb and putting on the top crust I put everything back in the fridge to cool while I rolled out leftover dough and stamped out a bunch of tiny crust hearts. I stuck my hearts on with a bit of egg wash and then realizing I didn’t have a pastry brush of any kind, I went to work spreading an even layer of egg goo over the top of my pie with the tips of my fingers. 

Once all of the tiny cracks and crevices were awash with egg I put the pie into a hot oven and waited anxiously for it to bake to a golden brown. When I pulled it out it was perfect. Not necessarily frame-worthy yet, but I’ve got six months to work on it. I have a feeling I’m going to need to stock up on my tiny, adorably shaped cookie cutters and should probably invest in a pastry brush but I would say I’m well on my way to making gorgeous pies just because I can. 

(P.S. Don’t forget to VOTE for Teeny Pies in the FedEx Small Business Grant Competition!! Here’s the LINK)

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Let the Games Begin!

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Friends in pie, the time has come! I’ve entered my first grant competition and I need your help to get to the top 100 by the 13th of June. It may seem daunting, but I know you are all up to the task AND you get to vote once a day… so getting to the top should be a pie-walk.

I’m super excited to be entered into the FedEx Small Business Grant Competition this year! There are very few grant opportunities for small business like Teeny Pies and so my plan is to take advantage of each and every one as they happen throughout the year and FedEx is up first. I happen to think that business competitions are altogether awesome. I like to imagine my teeny pies marching out on the field to fight for their right to live in a storefront. They probably fight a little dirty… slinging their delicious and decadent fillings into the eyes of their opponents while the judges have their back turned and muttering things like, “My crust is flakier than yours!” and “You call that local?!” under their fiercely competitive breaths.

My pies and I are ready to fight to the end and we’d be endlessly thrilled to have your help. I hope that since you’ve already invested time and energy into reading my blog and have hopefully enjoyed following me on my ongoing pie journey that you’re jazzed to help a lady pie baker out and get me to the top in the next two weeks! 

HERE’S HOW

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

You, as a fierce and loyal supporter of Teeny Pies, have the opportunity to vote once every single day until June 13th and never fear, I’ll make it my beeswax to remind you of your dedication to all things teeny every single day. If that sounds overwhelming, GOOD! No, just kidding, I don’t want you all to hate me by the end of this whole shebang, but I am going to be pretty persistent on the ol’ social media so get excited! 

SHARE! SHARE! SHARE! SHARE! SHARE! SHARE! SHARE! SHARE! SHARE! SHARE!

In order to be successful in this endeavor I’m going to need a little help from your friends. I’ve accumulated a fair number of friends in pie, both near and far, but my reach only extends so far. If you love Teeny Pies, please please share once you’ve voted. Talk about pie, tag us in your pie pictures, have your friends tell their friends, shout your undying love of all things teeny from the rooftops and help us get the word out that Teeny Pies is the small business of your heart. 

SAY HI! SAY HI! SAY HI! SAY HI! SAY HI! SAY HI! SAY HI! SAY HI! SAY HI! SAY HI! 

I’m about to post the heck out of this on all types of social media so if you happen to catch a glimpse of pie on facebook, instagram or twitter, leave us a little love. You know how the algorithm works, the bigger the buzz I can generate on this mysterious thing we call the internet, the more likely I am to be seen. So give us all the heart eyed emojis you can muster because we’re dreaming BIG and when we’ve reached the top together we can celebrate with pie!! 

HERE’S THE LINK TO VOTE:

http://smallbusinessgrant.fedex.com/Gallery/Detail/5cb86d43-24ee-4e41-9b7f-29a49f965fa6