Day 20 Advent: Crowd Pleasin’ Pie Recipes


Sure, cherry pies get all the glory at summer BBQs, but the undisputed Pie Season is winter. (In fact, we’re part of a formal petition to officially change the name of Winter to “Pie Season”, but that’s neither here nor there.) We love Pie Season because there’s no limit to what you can do – savory, sweet, 24 blackbirds, maybe it doesn’t even have a pie crust at all! The choice is yours. For Day 20 of our 25 Days of Toad Advent Calendar, here are just a few of our favorite recipes for Pie Season.


From Bon Appetit, Gentl & Hyers
From Bon Appetit, Gentl & Hyers

Cock-a-Leekie Pie

Think of this as Thanksgiving dinner in pie form. Bacon, leeks, chicken, thyme, prune and butter. Lots and lots of butter. Aren’t you hungry just thinking about it? Get the recipe here.

Frito Pie

Some people will tell you that a Frito Pie isn’t a real pie. Well those people are missing out on one of the BEST pies around. Just image you’re eating a pie straight from a pie tin and then it all makes sense. Crack open a pack of Frito lays, then dump in cheddar cheese, homemade chili, more cheese and serve. What it lacks in formalities in makes up for in pure tailgate bliss. Your inner 10 year old will thank you.

Cornbread and Beef Skillet Pie

Again, traditionalists will balk at the skillet pie, but true aficionados will embrace the inverted pie. With the meat and potatoes (literally) baked on the bottom, the cornbread “crust” bakes on the top, soaking in all the delicious flavors. The best part about this recipe? Fry up an egg and serve some breakfast pie in the morning.

Lobster Shepherd Pies

Since we’ve got roots in Freeport, ME, we’d be remiss if we skipped out on the Lobster Shepard Pies. Just ask Ponch, our flagship store manager for the last 15 years, there’s nothing better than potatoey, buttery lobster. Who needs pie crust when you have this?

Wild Mushroom Pie

Equal parts mushroom and more mushroom, this pie brings it home with a parmesan crust. Yes, a cheesy, perfect, flaky joyous parm crust. This recipe also features a handy guide for egg washes. Wanna make your pie shiny with soft crust? Brush with an egg and milk. Want more of a deep color? Just milk. Check it out here.

Mile High Apple Pie 

And for the true pie purists, go big or go home. This recipe for apple pie puts all other apple pies to shame. Ok, maybe not shame, but when this pie intimidates even the eagerest of pie eaters (that would be our marketing manager, Steve), you can bet that it’s doing something right. Featuring 6 pounds of apples and as much butter as you can stomach, the Mile High Apple Pie is a real crowd pleaser.

The Holiday Starter Pack


Well folks, it’s November. Tis the season for comfort food and flannels, lounging around, facing the elements, and knockin’ a few back with old friends. However you holiday, it’s time to belly up. We’re just here to get ya started. Here’s what you need to get your holiday season off to a running start.

Slow Cookin’ Tunes
It all starts with good food. But good food starts with a swingin’ kitchen. Keep the kitchen crew groovin’ with our Slow Cookin Tunes playlist – consider it food for the soul (without the dishes part). Add these to your holiday playlist:

Build Me Up, Buttercup – The Foundations
Mess Around – Ray Charles
Mashed Potato Love – Chubby Checker
Carolina Peach – The California Honeydrops
Country Pie –  Bob Dylan
Green Onions – Booker T. & The MG’s
Sweet Potato Pie – James Taylor
Spoonful – Etta james
All that Meat and No Potatoes – Louis Armstrong
Mack the Knife – Frank Sinatra
Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
Tequila – The Champs


Crowd Pleasing Recipes 
With the aforementioned tunes cranking, it’s hight time you got to perfecting that one recipe that you’ll come to be synonymous with. You can never go wrong with Baked Brie, Roasted Brussel Sprout Dip, or Ricotta Stuffed Figs. But if you’re feeling ambitious, do as Grandma would do and break out Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Pick one of Julia Child’s 524 recipes and get to chopping. Just make sure you have enough butter on hand.

Festive Flannels
Where there’s smoke, there’s flannel. Spend your nights by the fire wrapped in buttery soft flannel (we like the Flannagan and the Lightfoot) or face the elements with double-ply flannel – equally suited for the rigors of the trail or the tavern. Gentleman, you can’t go wrong with the Watchdog, known for it’s killer warmth-to-weight ratio. And for the ladies, the double layer Mojacette is known for it’s warmth-to-cute ratio. Pair with boots and a flask for tailgate parties or dinner at the in-laws.

DIY Thank You Notes
The holidays are all about giving thanks – thanks for the invite, thanks for the gift, thanks for your unwavering friendship over all these years. So give thanks in your own way with homemade Thank You notes. Get a fun stamp and go to town on some colored paper, or buy local post cards and scribble down a note of thanks. It’s a tradition you’ll grow to appreciate when you’re on the receiving end. So spread the joy, the old-school way.

Hot-to-Trot Cocoa
The right kind of cocoa will put some hair on your chest. Some involve booze (lookin at you, El Dorado Hot Chocolate), some involve ancho chiles (thank you Mexican Hot Chocolate), and some involve a flask of peppermint schnapps and a to-go cup of Nestlé. And if you like your cocoa with a side of bourbon and bacon, well we’ll raise a glass to that.


The Ultiamte Homemade Shotski
There are few things we love more than a great ski weekend – fresh pow, cozy nights, meaningful time with friends, and the hazy memories of the great shotski. And if you build it, they will come. Because friends don’t let friends shotski alone. Invest in a shotski now and it’ll serve you well  from first run of the season to the last run of spring. Here’s our tried and true guide on How To Build the Perfect Shotski.

“I’ll Have Seconds” Leggings 
The holidays are a marathon, not a sprint. So keep your joints limber and your spirits bright with stretchy, comfortable (yet still totally socially acceptable) leggings that are ready for morning yoga and family dinner. Here’s how we see our perfect holiday day: Wake up, lounge around, grab coffee with a friend, get in a walk or quick run, back to the house to whip up a side-dish, off to the family’s house for dinner, then spend the evening reminiscing about holidays past and present. One pair of leggings, endless possibilities.


Deck O’ Cards
You know the uncle who always has a good joke and a fresh pack of cards? You could be that uncle. Brush up on a few knock-knock jokes and get yourself familiar with the basics – Rummy, Crazy Eights, Bridge, and Presidents. Bring some chips and watch grandma school the young’uns in a game of Texas Hold’em. Just remember the golden rule: The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket!

The Old Pigskin
Red nose, chapped lips, and the unbridled right to tackle your cousins are what holiday dreams are made of. Keep it civil, but by all means hash out family feuds with a rousing game of down home, Americana football. Keep your elbows in, keep your whits about you, and don’t forget to pass. Here’s a quick refresher on the rules so you don’t get too rowdy before dinner.