Harbinger Ambrosia Pie


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A spice chess pie with a chocolate cookie crust inspired by Petty Magic, by Camille DeAngelis.

Do you ever look back on the first time you met someone important to you and sort of smile knowingly at your past self? It’s so adorably sweet that memory-me has no idea how her life is about to change now that this person has arrived. She’s usually too busy checkin’ out their butt. Similarly, I look back at the Hanna who almost didn’t buy Petty Magic (because she wasn’t sure if she could justify another book purchase) and chucklescoff. In a few short weeks she will devour this book in one sitting, on an airplane, pausing in the darkened cabin somewhere over the Atlantic while everyone else is sleeping to clutch this book to her chest and thank the universe for sending it to her. Continue reading

(He Was To Remember) Iced Banana Pie


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A banana meringue inspired by One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez. 

Usually when a book is good we say “you can’t put it down.” This is reserved for books that you miss your subway stop for, that you stay up all night reading, and that you inhale in twenty-four hours and tell all your friends to read. But on very rare occasions I have read a book so good I had to put it down; had to read it slowly, savor it, come up for air. Of those books, One Hundred Years of Solitude was the most difficult, it took me two false starts and almost a year of off-and-on reading to finally get through it. But there is a truth and vitality to it that reaches into the small, scared, vulnerable, utterly human part of you, grips you buy the soul, and drags into the vibrant depths of its emotion. Continue reading

Stay Gold, Pie


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A salty caramel pie inspired by Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

Happy Pi day! I think I get wished a happy pie day more than I get wishes a happy valentines day or a happy halloween; occupational hazard. Today’s pie is a sure-to-please salty caramel pie with lots of golden, buttery goodness throughout. It was inspired by Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” and thanks to the students of Fieldston Middle School it definitely didn’t stick around. Continue reading

Howler Pie


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A buttermilk bourbon pie with almonds inspired by Pierce Brown’s Morning Star.

When it comes to Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy (which he just announced he’ll be extending!) I’m apt to drop literally everything else I’m reading in favor of his cinematic space battles. But, at the same time, I want to savor every bloodydamn second of this book. You may remember my last Red Rising pie (with its bright colors and weird combination of icebox and blowtorch) was a pretty general, color-coded ode to the overall premise of the series. When I got my hands on a copy of the new Morning Star (which debuted at #1 on the NYT bestseller list last week!) I wondered what the inspiration was going to be this time around. I didn’t have to wait long: sack up, y’all, and get ready for a Howler pie. Continue reading

Universe Hearts Tart


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A dark chocolate ganache with pomegranate syrup and pomegranate seed garnish, inspired by “On Foot I Wandered Through the Solar Systems” by Edith Södergran.

I recently gave a talk at Fieldston Middle School in the Bronx about books, pie, my day job in publishing, and how rewarding it can be to pursue what you love. To be sure that everyone was on the same page and knew the texts we’d be sampling in pie form, I selected a couple of poems that we could read together. In an effort to diversify and branch out from the typical canon (i.e., read someone other than an old, white, American/British dude), I drew on Haley’s knowledge of obscure international poetry. The poem that she recommended, “On Foot I Wandered Through the Solar Systems,” immediately became one of my favorites for its bold feminine courage and empathy. Continue reading

Dave’s Dark Nights Playlist – Jan ’16


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This month’s playlist comes courtesy of my friend and music guru Dave, just in time for Jonas to take a swing at NYC. When he’s not making stellar snow day playlists Dave can be found creating extremely lifelike taxidermy scenes (my favorite is the one of the shrews in the tiny grocery store). He also enjoys mountain climbing, extreme ironing, and base jumping, in that order, all while wearing a tuxedo. Dave eats only brussels sprouts and swedish fish and collects rubber band balls. Dave said I could make up whatever I wanted for his bio.

Here’s what Dave has to say for himself:

Being among the lucky ones who celebrate their birthday in January, the beginning of the year in the dead of winter, three things usually stand out in my mind.

First: Boy, it gets dark out early, and it feels later than it really is. So, tonally, I wanted songs ideal for nighttime listen, whether it’s just after the 5pm sunset, or midnight, or 3:30am.
Second: Gee, I have a whole year ahead of me, and I can do everything I didn’t do last year, because it’s all in front of me, and the world is at my fingertips. So, thematically, I wanted songs reflecting the uncertainty of setting goals, accepting changes, and challenging yourself to actually get the things you didn’t last year.
Third: Golly, it’s too cold, and everybody wants to stay inside, and I am lonely. So, contextually, I wanted to pick songs that are lonely.
With that in mind, the RjD2 remix of “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” is an odd choice to kick this one off, because it’s very much a party song, for party atmospheres, for party people. It’s more about the title and the sentiment of how crazy love makes us tolerate all the things above. It’s a sentiment that I think carries through most of these songs.
Oh, and “Green Onions” is on here because it’s badass.
Thanks, Hanna!

Snow – December Playlist 2015


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Hannah (with an h at the end) has been my best friend and neighbor for about 15 years now! She’s an amazing jazz vocalist and as such I thought she might be able to provide an alternate view of of this time of year when the same songs play over and over and over again. Now that it’s after christmas, even though there’s no snow, the real winter begins.

From Hannah:

This is a strange playlist, for a strange time of year. With its short days, grey skies, and dreadfully cold toilet seats, winter is harsh and unforgiving. It also, however, brings a quiet calm, stunningly beautiful snow-scapes, and plentiful opportunity to celebrate and be physically close with friends and family. Even if the weather does get us down, as the months drag on and our vitamin D levels sink to dangerous lows, winter gives comfort to our sadness, the snow like a warm blanket you can curl up in and just. be. sad. It feels OK to be sad in the winter, feels poignant and appropriate.

I picked songs that bring falling snow to life, songs for curling up in front of fires, and songs that, hopefully, fortify your spirits as you’re waiting for your damn car to warm up in the morning. Winter is a time between death and rebirth, when we draw ourselves inwards and hunker down to wait for spring. In the meantime, if we’re lucky, there are loved ones to cuddle with, good books to read, and lots of pie to eat.

Givin’ Thankz – November ’15 Playlist


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A hip hop and pop playlist for the holiday from my very own sister! Well… one of them.

Like herding actual cats, it only took me the majority of this month to corner my sister Kat into writing this description for her thankfulness-themed seasonal playlist. (Bossy older sister moment, not rare for me.) Yogi, vegetarian, avid hiker and bio/botany enthusiast, Kat is far and away the most gracious, positive, and real take-no-bullshit person I know. She’s been inspiring me to seize the day since she was an intrepid little toddler… well, when she wasn’t totally wrecking my Harry Potter Lego castle. Yeah, sorry Kat, still haven’t let that go. For this high holiday of pie and family there was only one person I could rely on to produce an apropos playlist, and (of course) she didn’t disappoint.

Take it away, sister Kat:

I made this playlist for two reasons. 1. Because a specific piebrarian asked me to and 2. because ’tis the season to be thankful! I like to think that being thankful is a lot of different emotions rolled up into one action. In order to be truly thankful for the wonderful things in our lives we have to celebrate the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. I chose these songs because they represent family, friends, and self love. All great things that are worth being thankful for this holiday season. So there you go. Now stick this playlist on repeat and let your new found thankfulness for J-Biebs blossom into a full on love affair. Happy Thanksgiving.
– Kat

Shepherd’s (Crown) Pie


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A lamb, squash, broccoli, and root vegetable shepherd’s pie inspired by The Shepherd’s Crown a Tiffany Aching novel by Terry Pratchett.

Someone first recommended A Hat Full of Sky, the second novel in Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series (the YA spinoff of his long-running Discworld series), when I was a preteen myself. Even though I am aging faster than she is (she now seventeen and I twenty-five), I have grown up with Tiffany.

This was not only Terry Pratchett’s last Tiffany Aching book, but the final book in the Discworld series written before his death earlier this year. The witches of the Disc are some of my favorite characters in literature, and with that in mind I wanted to pay tribute to this most excellent author who has affected me so profoundly. Continue reading

New Gods Tart (American Gods Pie, Part 2)


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Neil Gaiman American Gods New Gods Tart The Piebrary

An ice cream tart with a potato chip, pretzel, and cracker crust inspired by Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, part two (tart two!) of a two-pie special!

You can read about my old gods pie, a beet and pork pasty, over here.

When my sister was in high school she used to make these outrageous baked goods, lining glassware baking pans with store bought cookie dough, plopping a layer of Oreos on top, and then covering it in brownie batter. Her junk food Frankenstein monsters were a huge hit at pep rallies and bake sales, but there was always an element of fear and awe, the quiet knowledge that these things were probably killing you softly. For the second half of my American Gods pie I followed her lead and created something I’ve been casually referring to as “Trash Tart” for the past few weeks. Continue reading


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