Birthday PIE!!!

[This, my friends, is the meaning of pie. Ford (6) and not pictured here, Lily (8), and my husband, Pitts…and each of you, too.]

Happy Birthday to PIE! It is hard to believe that I launched this little project a year ago today. Now, here we are 138 posts later, and I’m still hungry. I was a little bit worried that I might be thoroughly sick of food by now.

I thought you might be curious to know how the year panned out. I can see statistics on the “back side” of the blog so that I know what posts are popular and which ones die on the vine, so to speak. For those of you who have been with me since PIE’s birth, you will be familiar with these posts. For any newcomers, these are posts you might want to check out.

PIE’s Top 10 Posts (in order in terms of numbers of page views)

1)   Donna’s Good Luck Potatoes
2)   Mustard Tarragon Salmon
3)   Fried Pickles…Spicy pickles and Shiner Bock
4)   Croque Madame
5)   Baked Chicken Spaghetti
6)   Whipping Cream Cake
7)   Green Chile Breakfast Casserole
8)   Tortellini Salad
9)   Goat Cheese and Artichoke Dip
10)  Lemonade Cupcakes

I love all of the ten listed. And, while they are all great, sometimes my favorite posts to write do not necessarily become popular. I’ve learned that the only sure thing about blogging for me is that I will never fully understand it. So, I’m also going to list some of my personal favorite posts. There are two in particular that come to mind as having been completely gratifying to write and photograph, and because I enjoyed the people and the process altogether.

1)   Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream: This was at my mom’s house which is, I am humbled and thankful to say, still standing at Possum Kingdom Lake after the recent fires. Making homemade ice cream with my mom and her husband, Bob, and the kids is always a treat. The process is part of the magic. And, hand cranked ice cream is wonderful sights and sounds and tastes all mixed up together. The first cold taste off the dasher is a child’s, and an adult child’s enduring summer memory.
2)   The Quintessential American Apple Pie: This post was the product of a phone lesson I received from Jon Rowley. He also sent me a box of precious heirloom apples from Washington State to make the pie. The post is about the pie, yes, but it is also about Jon, and pie making, and old friends and all of the new friends I made in Galveston at the Foodways Texas Symposium (another favorite post).

Then there are the posts that I actually return to over and over again. These are the ones I pull up on my iPad and use in the kitchen. These are the recipes that I most hope you have tried because they bring me so much joy personally.

1)   Chocolate Chip Cookies: These are the only cookies…in fact this is the only dessert…that Pitts, my husband, actually asks me to make. This is our ritual cookie. We sit on the sofa after a long day and eat hot cookies right out of the oven. The kids haven’t figured out that we do this all the time, as there is no evidence of it in the morning.
2)   Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake: This is my favorite. This is what I am making for myself today for my own birthday cake, because this is what I WANT on my birthday and I can’t get it anywhere else. Pitts will grill a steak for me. And we will all eat warm chocolate sheet cake with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. That is my comfort food.
3)   No-Knead Bread: I had never made this before PIE and now I make it weekly. If I haven’t convinced you to try making homemade bread, let me try again. This is easy. And, it is so very good. Try.

So, that is a small recap of the year. Every post has been fun for me. I’ve learned a million new things in the past year, not the least of which are how to operate WordPress and Photoshop. Today, not only is PIE turning one, but I am turning 40. I have never been so happy about a birthday in my life because it seems that if you decide that you are never too old to do something new or risky then you are simply never old. When I showed up at law school at The University of Texas in the 90’s, I thought I was just about the smartest, most interesting, and most self actualized person on the planet. In the span of about 10 minutes I found out that I was not even close to being the smartest or most interesting person on the planet, and that I hadn’t even begun to learn about life. That was the most profound 10 minutes of my life because in learning how much I didn’t know…I was instantly aware of the vast and wonderful troves of information that I still had the privilege to learn.

Cooking is just one of those bookshelves in the library of life. I will continue to stroll down the aisle and pick up cookbooks and put them down to grab yet another. I will continue to cook. I will continue to learn. And, I will continue to tell you about it. So please do keep coming back. I’m rather enjoying myself. Now, I’m going to go bake my birthday cake…just the way that I like it.

Oh, and one more thing…this is happy work, but it is work. You can help me a great deal if you share PIE with a friend. Help me grow this, and I will be able to (and want to) do it longer. If you like a post, share it on your Facebook page, Tweet it, or share it on StumbleUpon. All you have to do is hit one of the little buttons right under this post (or any other) and PIE will do the work for you.

Our time is our most expensive ingredient. My mom taught me that. I appreciate every moment you have spent with me. And, I hope you return often. And, speak up…make comments. I love hearing what is on your minds.

Love and thanks,





  1. Phyllis Carlisle says

    Happy Birthday Kelly & Pie. I love seeing your emails in my inbox. I made the Whipping Cream Cake yesterday. It is great. I am taking it to a church potluck today. So easy & so good. Thanks for all your work to share recipes.

  2. says

    Happy Birthday to Pie and Happy Birthday to Kelly, my good friend, today too!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t discuss numbers but she’s lived a long time! And just for the record, the Peanut Butter (no flour) cookies were the best EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope the next year for Pie is the best.

  3. Laurie says

    Happy Birthday! I stumbled across your blog 3 or 4 months ago and have enjoyed every post since! Keep it up!
    PS – I made the Mushrooms in Cream on Toast as a late dinner the other night when my husband was traveling and babies were already asleep… so incredibly yummy! I’ve found myself randomly asking people “Do you like mushrooms? Because you have to try this!” all week.

  4. Dani Harri says


    I’m pretty sure I have been here with you since the beginning of PIE. Bob knew that I loved to cook, so he shrared PIE with me. It’s always a treat to receive your email in my inbox with another fabulous receipe. Thank you for working so hard. PIE has helped me spread joy to others by cooking with your wonderful ideas.

  5. Lola Pitzer says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my crazy fun friends. I don’t see nearly enough of you, but you still have a place in my heart. I am very proud of you and PIE. We love tarragon salmon!!!

  6. M says

    HaPPy BiRThDaY PIE!!! I love visiting your site, the stories are fabulously written, the photos are luscious and every recipe that I have tried, or tasted that others have made have thrilled me. The CC cookies are to die for.



  7. Colleen says

    Happy Birthday to you, (dare I?… I do!) Kelly-Pie!!

    Thank you for such a wonderful blog of delicious recipes & gorgeous photos. I get excited every time I see the email notification, wondering what you’ll have to offer this time. Stay hungry!

    All the best to you,

  8. Annkgunn says

    How quickly the year has passed! Congratulations on your continued success. I especially enjoy your posts that include pictures of your family…such a blessing to us all. Keep up the good work!
    With love,

  9. Barbi Norton says

    Happy Birthday Kelly! And Happy Birthday to PIE! I’m so glad RD (Bob) told me about your blog and I look forward to reading your new recipes and posts. Thanks for sharing with us all and please keep it up!

    :-) Barbi

  10. Elizabeth Alexander Cumbie says

    Happy birthday to you and PIE! I enjoy every post and find myself going to your site every time I need a dinner idea. Keep up the good work! So proud to call you my friend.
    Love, Elizabeth
    PS. You are right. The Texas chocolate sheet cake is the best. :-)

  11. Lynette says

    the Quintessential American Apple Pie was one of my favorites of your postings. You got so “into” it and then I enjoyed your meeting Jon in Galveston. Your blog is also a trip through cooking times and a composite of so many others’ cooking experiences which you so beautifully share with all of us.
    Thank you and Happy Birthday!
    Will you celebrate with pie or cake? a la mode, of course!

  12. Courtney says

    Happy Birthday to you and PIE! I have greatly enjoyed your posts and recipes this last year. I just made your chocolate and vanilla sheet cakes. They are my all time favorite cakes. Best wishes for continued success!
    Have an amazing day,

  13. Kelly says

    Courtney…I just took a TX chocolate sheet cake out of the oven. I miss you guys…start a recipe pile for me. You can re-stock my arsenal when we are in MO this summer.

  14. Kelly says

    Thank you Lynette. I’m having TX Chocolate Sheet cake, which I consider to be an honorary member of the pie family…for all of its warmth and comfort, and homemade down home goodness. And, yes, a la mode…of course!

  15. Kelly says

    Barbi…your consistent and warm support and encouragement has been very much appreciated. I’m so glad RD told you too!

  16. says

    Happy Birthday Pie and Kelly!! I love your recipes and the wonderful stories told. One of my favorites was the American Apple Pie–what a wonderful story. I also loved the fried pickles and have ordered the pickles to sell in our store. Thank you also for the amazing pictures. Keep up the great job!! Kelli

  17. Kelly says

    I need to order some pecans! I ran in to Karen (In A Pickle) the other day at Celebration Farmers Market and she told me that you two had connected. I’m so glad. I LOVE those pickles. Thanks, Kelli.

  18. Lael says

    Hi Kelly, and Happy Birthday! I love your’s the only one I read faithfully, and your photography is outstanding. Have you ever thought about making a cookbook??

  19. billi jo says

    Happy Birthday Kelly & PIE!! I too have enjoyed all your posts. I know everyone I have shared your blog with is in love with it and quite possibly you, too. Congratulations for a very successful PIE!

  20. Kelly says

    Hi Lael, thanks for your kindness. I love the idea of a cookbook. I keep it in the back of my mind. But I think it is a project for a future date. My problem is that every time I have a good food idea, I blab it to the world. I’d have to start holding a few things back and I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut.

  21. Susan Burns says

    Happy Birthday Pie! I look forward to opening every time I see PIE in my Inbox! Good for you, Kelly – you’re great.

  22. Nancy says

    Happy Birthday! This is truly a unique food/recipe blog. The recipes are wonderful and your comments/stories are “chuckle worthy” even at 6 a.m. when I read my email! Thank you!

  23. says

    Your fun and creative posts are my favorite emails….thank you for enlightening us “in a rut cooks”,,,and thank you Melanie for putting me on your list!! Happy Birthday

  24. says

    I can see why the good luck potatoes are your favorite! Yum!
    Happy Birthday to PIE!!
    I’m looking forward to another amazing year of recipes!

  25. says

    Happy Birthday PIE!! I love love love your blog. I hope I will have the chance to meet you someday. I can’t wait for more…xoxo

  26. Kelly says

    Thanks, Kim. Well, let’s have lunch and meet. Aren’t you in FW. I love FW. I’d come over there for lunch anytime.

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