In the Kitchen with

Monica ~

Images ~ Stefanie Knowlton 

I’m so excited to share

the night

of Petite Pies

 at our house.

The little

pies, are a modern take, on the

old fashioned, all American classic,

Apple pie,

 a la mode. And here’s my little twist,

 I like to make

  apple pie bites,

served with

a side of homemade, salted

caramel sauce.

 But before this evening of baking 

 unfolds, a heartfelt thank you to

Cindy, of Haley’s Cottage, for

 nudging me to do this and 

organizing the guest list!

 Another big round of thanks to my

sister Linda for making the evening run

 smoothly, my very talented niece

Stefanie, ‘behind the lens’ and last but not

least, to the really cool women who spent an evening

IN, baking with me.

 Now, let the night of

Petite Pies,

begin. Bring

on the ladies.

As you can see, a gorgeous group of gals

gathered around

our kitchen island,

one big communal

table, for a little pre-function. 

We sipped on ‘bubbly’

and nibbled on my


Gorgonzola cheesecakes

and cups of my

signature, crab bisque.

A girl’s gotta eat.

You can’t bake on an empty


 Sated, it was time, to roll up our sleeves

and get


I shared my recipe for a delicious,

 orange and vanilla bean sweet pie dough and

apple filling.  Like many of you, I’m a

‘home cook,’ informally trained, by my

Italian-born grandmother, Nettie,

Cherished old photo

who was amazing

in the kitchen. Growing up,

my brother and sisters

and I, enjoyed

the stories about

how she made dough for

bread, pasta and pizza, baking it, in the

communal ovens of

her Italian village.

As we worked our dough,

the ladies and I

reminisced about

baking our first pies as kids,

 guided by the loving

hands of our

mothers and grandmothers.

So cool. 

But this isn’t my


kitchen. For starters,

I’m pretty sure she

didn’t cook,

in heels.

No this is a modern version,

born of my childhood experience.

 The ladies put their baking experience

to work, deftly

rolling out the little

pies. In no time at all…we turned

out dozens of

plump pillows of

apple goodness,

dusted with

pretty sugar crystals and

ready for the oven. 

 As the pies baked away,

we enjoyed

a few spoonfuls

of my raspberry


sorbet. Then,

it was time…


to plate, the warm,

oozing little

apple pillows

with a side of salted

caramel sauce.

 There was a small cheer

as the platter emerged and

we gathered

off the living room to

admire and enjoy our tasty

work in kitchen.

 The sweet aroma of

apple, orange and cinnamon 

continued to

swirl in the air,

as our night wound down.


What a fun evening

of old school,


A few pies,

in pretty glassine

bags for the

ride home…and my first,

‘Night in the Kitchen with Monica,’ was a


  Thank you all, so much for coming over to our

house for an evening of baking. I loved it. Hope you

did too. It’s funny; everything seems to lead me back to

our kitchen.

Maybe it’s grandma…

  I’m working on a night of  

chocolate, just in time for

Valentine’s Day.

I think she

would approve.

Here’s Le Petite Pie recipe ~