Valentine Hand Pies


I thought I would add a little Valentine’s twist to a favorite dessert that we make at the Flat. I usually make an open apple galette (similar to this blueberry one), but this time I wanted to condense the cute into little hand pie sized treats.

I know this may raise a few eyebrows- especially from Florrie!- but I am absolutely the worst when it comes to making pie crust from scratch. I have hot little hands, and I usually over knead and over work the dough and it comes out dry and hard and sad. So I cheat. That’s right. I’m a big fat cheater and I don’t care who knows it. Pillsbury ready made pie crusts are my dirty little secret. Don’t tell anyone, ok? But I do put in extra effort to make the little pies as pretty as possible! Redemption? I hope so. Here’s what you’ll need for the filling:

2 largish Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 tsp Ground Ginger

1/8 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Allspice

dash of Ground Clove

1/4 cup Granulated Sugar

1 tbsp Brown Sugar

1 package of Pillsbury Refrigerated Dough (two crusts)

1 egg

2 tbsp milk

2 packets of Sugar in the Raw Cane Sugar


Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash, dry and zest the lemon, juice half of it. Pluck out any lemon pips and put the zest and juice in a large mixing bowl. Peel, core and slice the apples uniformly. You want them to be thin so that they cook evenly all the way through, but not paper thin or they’ll cook down into mush. I like to use my large slicer blade on my mandolin to get them really uniform.  Just watch your fingers please. Don’t be like me and slice the tip of your finger off. Ahem.

Add the apples to the mixing bowl, along with all the sugar and spices (yes you can add cinnamon- if you MUST) and mix it well. Set aside and prep your dough.

Lightly flour your surface and roll out the dough. Use a circular cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. I did two sizes, and I used the fluted side cause- cute, right?! Just make sure you cut two of the same size for each pie.

I also cut out a bunch of small circles using the fluted side, then I sliced each round like a pizza and the fluted edge made tiny little hearts for me to decorate the pies with.

Lay out the bottom half of your pies and put a heaping tablespoon of filling on each round. Try to keep it mounded in the middle, leaving a good amount of crust around the edge so you can easily seal it.

Wet your finger with a bit of water and run it along the edge of the bottom crust. Lay the top crust over the filling, matching edges, and use a fork to press the edges closed. I pressed the biscuit cutter over it once again to neaten up the fluted edges. Use a sharp knife to cut an X in the pie top. Wet one side of the tiny heart crust decorations and gently press them on top of the pies.

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and lay each pie out on it.

Beat the egg together with the milk (you can use water if you don’t eat dairy) and with a pastry brush give each pie a good brushing. Lightly sprinkle some of the cane sugar on top of each pie. I like the cane sugar because it’s got big crystals and I think it looks very pretty after baking, but you can use table sugar too. Pop them into the oven and bake between 20-25 minutes or until they are a gorgeous golden brown and the filling is bubbling.


Cool on a rack. You can serve dusted with powdered sugar, a little ice cream or chocolate shavings, cheddar cheese, whipped cream (ummm how about a maple bourbon whipped cream?)- however you love your apple pie served. If you make them we would LOVE to see your pictures. #kniteatrepeat on IG so we can see your handiwork. Enjoy!



Recipe: Super Tasty Quinoa Dinner

FullSizeRenderMy little neighborhood in Queens was buried under over two feet of snow yesterday- so I rummaged through the pantry to look for something to eat, as one does in such a situation. I like quinoa, but if it’s cooked with just water it can be pretty bland and I need some flavor in my life. Allow me show you how I like to cook it.

Sauteing your peppers and onion first to get them caramelized, as well as using tomatoes with jalapenos adds a lot of flavor. Feel free to use plain tomatoes if you don’t enjoy a little heat, but you should try it, it’s really quite mild and adds a little zing! On the flip side- if you want to intensify the bite add in a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne to the onion mix when you add the garlic. Yum!157c4d87-b21d-437f-af5b-519d8117dd55

Directions- Makes approximately 5 cups

1 tsp olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

1 small bell pepper, seeded and diced (red, yellow or orange)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (14.5oz) Del Monte Petite Cut Tomato with Jalapeno

vegetable/chicken stock or water

1 cup quinoa

salt pepper to taste


3 cups fresh spinach, rinsed, trimmed and roughly chopped


In a medium sized saucepan add the olive oil, red pepper and onion. Cover and sweat the onions for two or three minutes until the onions are translucent. Uncover and saute until veggies start to get a little bit of color, approx. five minutes. If it starts to get too dark, too quickly, turn down the heat and splash in a little stock to de-glaze the pan.

While that cooks- drain the canned tomatoes, reserving the tomato liquid in a measuring jug. Top off the liquid to 1.5 cups with stock or water.

**Add the minced garlic to your pan and saute for a minute more to cook the garlic slightly.

Add the liquid and tomatoes to the pan, bring to a simmer. Add the quinoa, lower heat, cover and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Turn off the heat. At this point you can add the optional spinach (I didn’t have any this weekend, and I’m not going to tromp through three foot snowdrifts to get some 🙂 so there aren’t any in my pictures, but I normally would add it) add the spinach to the pot and put the lid back on for two or three minutes minutes to wilt the spinach. Fluff with a fork.

FullSizeRender-1     FullSizeRender-2

Salt and pepper to taste, chop up a bit of cilantro to garnish if you’re into that sort of thing- which I am. This is one of my favorite sides with a nice grilled fish or chicken, and it’s hearty enough to have as a vegetarian main on it’s own or with the addition of some grilled tofu.

**note- the reason that I don’t add the garlic at the beginning is because I like to caramelize the onion and pepper to get the fullest flavor possible and minced garlic would burn and taste bitter well before any browning would happen.

2015 in review

This always makes me smile every year. Thank you to everyone who pops by our little blog. We’ll be seeing much more of you in the new year! The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 99,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Holiday Round Up 2015

Fire1I was feeling the holiday spirit tonight and scrolling through our FloMa media library. I was reminded of so many of our past holiday posts. It’s easy to forget that we’ve been blogging here for this many years already and I couldn’t help but feel proud of all the things we’ve done in that time. I decided to do a little round up and put some of my favorites here.


Candy Cane Centerpiece… so easy- but sooo elegant!



Snowball Wreath- A FREE FloMa pattern!



Double Knit Party Chain- $5 on Ravelry.  Customize the colors for whatever event you want to festoon with wooly goodness.

Double knit chain


I-cord gift wrap! 



Hope you’re having a happy December!

Free Pattern: Gradient Granny Scarf


New free crochet pattern!

Granny stripes look sophisticated  on a small scale in a luxury wool, and the beautiful Fiber Optic Kashmir Paintbox make it even prettier.

Download on Ravelry!



Pattern: Delicious Mitts

Squashy garter stitch interplays with smooth stockinette in this textured fingerless mitt and hat duo. The garter stitch gathers gently and creates a really pretty fabric that hugs curves and makes for a comfortable fit on most sizes. Warm, wooly deliciousness!

Pattern is available for $6 in our Ravelry Shop


Video tutorial on hat decreases on our YouTube channel

How To: Double Decrease video


How To: Three Needle Bind Off video

k – knit
p – purl
ms – make stitch
pm – place marker
p2sso – pass two slipped stitches over rm – remove marker
s – slip stitch knitwise
sm – slip marker
yo – yarn over

Notions for Mitts
US#3 needle (set of double pointed or small 9” 23cm circular)
US#2 set of double pointed needles
2 or 5 stitch markers see notes on stitch markers
scrap of wool for holding thumb stitches

Notions for Hat
US#3 needle (set of double pointed or small 16” 40.5cm circular)
US#2 set of double pointed needles
darning needle for finishing work
5 stitch markers

6 stitches and 9 rows per inch on US#3 needles

Suggested Yarn
Anzula Cricket
80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon 115g skein, 250 yd / 228m
DK weight, colorway shown: Red Shoe
For hat approx: 122 yards
finished weight hat: 56g
For mitts approx: 109 yards
finished weight mitts: 50g