Wednesday, May 19, 2010


When I’m cooking or baking for myself, I do it for stress relief and the sheer joy of the process. But really, there is nothing that makes me happier than when I’m in the kitchen preparing treats for someone else. Regardless if it's for a friend or a significant other, the best way I can show my love is through the gift of food. My fondest memories are the times I spent hosting and preparing dinner parties for friends and loved ones.

A few months ago I attended the “Doing What You Love” panel at the 92nd Street YMCA. Panelist Tom Colicchio said, "There's nothing better than being able to serve someone a plate and seeing them smile." Amen to that. I haven’t baked for someone other than myself in such a long time that I almost forgot how nice it is to hear someone blissfully exclaim, “Who made this? It’s so good!”

I forgot, that is, until I made pumpkin mini muffins for Chris’s surprise birthday brunch. The kiddie-themed rooftop party included pin-the-head-on-the-dinosaur, spider man themed skeet ball, and bubbles. As the sun beat down on the partygoers and melted the ice cream and cupcake icing, my decision to make muffins proved a wise choice. Some might think pumpkin should be relegated to the fall season but I’m of the opinion that anything pumpkin related is always enticing!

Like most cooks, sometimes I have to bake things I don’t really care for. The birthday boy loves pie more than a fat kid loves cake. I’m not much for fruit pies so I compromised with an avocado pie. I had never made avocado pie before but I figured now was as good a time as any to give it a shot. Surprisingly avocado pie tastes like an extremely rich key lime pie. The richness of the pie is mostly due to the use of evaporated milk. Three easy ingredients to make a sinfully delicious pie? It never ceases to amaze me when simple recipes result in such scrumptious fare.

My omelet was being guarded by ninjas while I prepared pancakes for the group

Avocado pie on a sophisticated dinosaur plate

Omelet bar options

Brunch is not complete without bacon...lots of it.

Happy birthday, Chris!


  1. It's a weird obsession of mine, but I love food pictures...thank you!

  2. Helen can you forward me the recipe for the avocado pie and the muffin?? Looks delicious!

  3. wow I've never heard of Avocado pie, but would you mind forwarding that recipe to me, too? it looks too creamy to be true! what a lucky guy to be surrounded by fun friends & such deeeeeeelicious food on his special day :)

  4. @EBoogie: the avocado pie is so easy. Just blend two avocados, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 lemons and pour it into a graham cracker crust. You're done! Let me know how it tastes if you end up making it!