Customer of the Week!

It's customer appreciation month at Dale's Fried Pies!  We have the most enthusiastic, kind and supportive customer we could ask for, and so it only seems appropriate to let you all know how much we care.  Each week in September, we're going to highlight some of our most die-hard pie fans.  We're also going to be offering up some fun giveaways via Facebook, Twitter and our blog, so stay tuned!  

Our featured customers this week is Ryan! Here's a little more about him: 

Name: Ryan

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Number of Years You've Lived in Knoxville: 7 months

Occupation: Bartender

Favorite Things to Do in Knoxville: Hang out at Bearden Beer Market, Farmers Market, UT Football Games

Favorite Pie Flavor: Curried Sweet Potato 

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We Love Our Customers!

It's customer appreciation month at Dale's Fried Pies!  We have the most enthusiastic, kind and supportive customer we could ask for, and so it only seems appropriate to let you all know how much we care.  Each week in September, we're going to highlight some of our most die-hard pie fans.  We're also going to be offering up some fun giveaways via Facebook, Twitter and our blog, so stay tuned!  

Our featured customers this week are the lovely Olivia and her sweet little girl Gigi. Here's a little more about them: 

Name: Olivia – Mommie to Gigi

Hometown: Knoxville

Number of Years You've Lived in Knoxville: 35

Occupation: Banker for money, Foodie for fun

Favorite Things to Do in Knoxville: Movies on Mkt Sq in the fall & attending First Apostolic Church

Favorite Pie Flavor: Curried Sweet Potato all day long! 

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TheNotWedding Atlanta

Last month we told you about the Nashville The NotWeddinga bridal show alternative in the form of a big, fake wedding.  "Wedding guests" are couples-to-be who enjoy a quick ceremony, a tasty dinner, and a dance-party reception while truly experiencing the wedding vendors in action.  

Well, this month we traveled to Atlanta to be a part of the 7th Atlanta NotWedding, and guys, we had so much fun!  We brought the pie stand inside for the first time, and it was really fun serving from the stand inside the beautiful Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, and walking around serving the pies cigar girl style.

We met some fantastic vendors- the entire event was gorgeous/delicious/fun.  However, we need to give a special props to some of our new friends:

 

Ginger+Peppercorn+Rye = Perfect Cocktail

Before I opened Dale's Fried Pies, I made cocktails fairly often.  I enjoyed tasting new and obscure liqueurs, trying out different techniques, and sharing my creations with friends and my sweetheart. I haven't been making very many cocktails recently, but found the time to whip something up this weekend for a little sipping and reading on the porch after a long week.  It's a great combination of sweet, spicy and tart.  Sip up!

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1/2 C water

1/2 C sugar

1/2 T black peppercorns

1/2 T pink peppercorns (can substitute black if pink are unavailable)

4 slices ginger

2 oz rye whiskey

1/2 lemon

sparkling water

Heat water and sugar over medium heat, stirring until sugar is totally dissolved.  Add peppercorns and ginger and simmer for two minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  Strain ginger and peppercorns. 

In a highball glass with ice, pour 1 oz syrup (above) and 2 oz rye. Add juice from 1/2 lemon, and top with sparkling water to top of glass.  Stir and enjoy!

 

The NotWedding in Nashville

We are gearing up to be a part of some fun wedding celebrations during late summer and fall.  We love parties, and we love love, so weddings are one of our favorite events to cater. So you can imagine how much fun we had at The NotWedding in Nashville this July.

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In case you're not aware, The NotWedding is a bridal show alternative in the form of a big, fake wedding.  "Wedding guests" are couples-to-be who enjoy a quick ceremony, a tasty dinner, and a dance-party reception while truly experiencing the wedding vendors in action.  It's a brilliant event that allows guests to really see how flowers will look on tables, how food will taste during an event, and how vendors perform during an actual event rather than at a bridal show that bears no resemblance to a party. Guests also have the opportunity to talk to each vendor throughout the course of the evening, much like a tradition bridal show.

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We served fried pies "cigar-girl style" at Nashville's first NotWedding event.  Our plan was to walk around the venue and offer guests a selection of apple, strawberry wedding cake, and chipotle mac & cheese fried pies, but when we walked into the venue with our pie trays, we were swarmed immediately and the pies flew off the trays.  There was very little walking around, and the pies were definitely a hit!

We met some great folks, fabulous vendors and had such a great time, we'll be serving our pies at the next NotWedding event in Atlanta on Sunday, August 18th.  

Tickets available here. 

 

Show Your Love For Dale's Fried Pies- a contest!

Do you love Dale's Fried Pies?  Prove it!  Now through Sunday, we're having a "Show Your Love for Dale's Fried Pies Contest."

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To enter, express your love for Dale's Fried Pies any way you like-- take a picture of you wearing our shirt, or holding a pie.  Write a fried pie haiku or song.  Draw us a picture-- however you feel you can best describe your love for our fried pies.

Then, put your entry on instagram, twitter and or facebook, and tag Dale's Fried Pies!

  • Facebook: facebook.com/dalesfriedpies
  • Twitter: @dalesfriedpies
  • Instagram: DalesFriedPies

The winner will receive a punch card for five fried pies, plus some sweet fried pie schwag.

Contest ends Sunday at 11:59 pm and winner will be announced Monday morning!

 

 

Pecan Pie with Bourbon

I recently had the chance to hang out with the fine folks at Smooth Ambler Spirits in Maxwelton, WV, while producing a short video for the Southern Foodways Alliance. The folks at Smooth Ambler are not only super fun to spend time with, but they also make amazing spirits. 

I used some of their yearling bourbon whiskey (full on aged whiskey is on its way!) in my pecan fried pie this week and I love the result.  Sweet and rich, which a nice little kick from the whiskey at the end.  I'll have pecan pies all week at the farmer's markets! 

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An Interview with Dominique Ansel, Creator of the Cronut

Happy National Doughnut Day, y'all!  We at Dale's Fried Pies are certainly fans of fried dough, so it has been with great interest that I've been following the recent "cronut" craze that is taking over NYC.  Cronuts are croissant-doughnut hybrids, created by Dominique Ansel of Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho, and by all accounts, they are very very good.  Their rise to full on phenom is well documented, and as I've been following along, I've been impressed with chef Ansel's focus on quality over quantity as the demand for cronuts has become so great it's created a cronut black market, with cronuts selling for as much as $40 on Craigslist.  Mr. Ansel was kind enough to answer a few questions I had to see what I could learn from a fried dough maverick. 

Photo courtesy of Niko Triantafillou

Photo courtesy of Niko Triantafillou

Dale's Fried Pies: You trademarked the word "cronut."  Was this before or after you realized cronuts were becoming such a huge phenomenon?  And what advice to you have for small creative business owners who think they have a fantastic idea? 

Dominique Ansel: The trademark of Cronut was really more of serendipity. I was working with our lawyers on internationally trademarking my name, and my lawyer suggested some other items she thought we would be fit. We were a few days from launching the Cronut at that point. I think it is important for small business owners to protect their ideas, but at the same time, it's often hard to predict which ideas will really take off. So I would say: Don't spend too much time thinking about protecting the idea...spend more time on creating more ideas.

Dale's Fried Pies: How do you price the items in you bakery?  Why do you choose to maintain the original price of cronuts, when you could clearly charge much more? 

Dominique Ansel:  It's simple: always try to offer the best price you can for the customers while still being fair to the labor of your team and quality of ingredients. That is only way to run a genuine business.

Dale's Fried Pies:  You only make 200 cronuts each day, which is a supply much smaller than the demand for cronuts. What goes into your decision about whether or not to scale up production? 

Dominique Ansel: A lot of it is not my decision at all. Scaling up takes time, and is not an over night process. So I take it one step at a time, and make sure that I'm not compromising on my quality.

Dale's Fried Pies: Do you believe this kind of craze is beneficial to your business in the long run?  Do you mind being known as the "cronut guy?" 

Dominique Ansel: I don't think any Chef would be upset finding out that people love an item they are making. Haha...am I the Cronut guy? Well, depending on when you met me, I'm also the DKA Guy, the Cannele Guy, and the Madeleine Guy. Any of those are fine. I'll be in the kitchen making more stuff when you need me. 

Dale's Fried Pies: Do you have any general advice for small creative business owners? 

Dominique Ansel: My biggest advice is just to work hard. You'd be surprised how many people don't work half as hard for their own businesses as they should be. Hard work solves and prevents a lot of problems.

 

Knoxville Love

I was flipping through my journal yesterday, and came across this list I made a few months ago detailing things I love about Knoxville.  Unsurprisingly, it's pretty food-centric, but it made me happy so I thought I'd share it.

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Why I love Knoxville:

  • how easy it is to meet people
  • the rosemary in the dry rub on the wings at Flats & Taps
  • the way Johnny comes over to chat on his break from running karaoke at Toot's
  • scooping bulk herbs from the bins at Three River's Market
  • the way the mountains rise behind downtown as I drive to work in the morning
  • the way the vendors greet one another in the mornings at the Market Square Farmer's Market
  • Dave's perfected pitch as he sells his salsa, the brightness with which the Cruze Farm girls take my order, the fresh spiciness of the brussels sprouts from Tootsie Truck and the perfect not-too-sweetness of the Savory and Sweet Truck's apricot iced tea
  • Meg's tattoos at Java, which is tied in with how much I love their iced coffee

Mint Green Gadgets

I have to say, I love kitchen gadgets, and I especially love adorable kitchen gadgets. I recently acquired two lovely little mint accessories that I'm loving, so I thought I'd share them with y'all!

This retro timer is pretty darn good looking, and it helps me be more consistent with frying times for the pies without needing any batteries.  It also has a magnet back so I can stick it on any magnetic surface I like!
This retro timer is pretty darn good looking, and it helps me be more consistent with frying times for the pies without needing any batteries.  It also has a magnet back so I can stick it on any magnetic surface I like!
This little magnet sticks onto your dishwasher, and a little slot lets you change the display from "CLEAN" to "DIRTY" so you can keep track of what's going on in there. 

This little magnet sticks onto your dishwasher, and a little slot lets you change the display from "CLEAN" to "DIRTY" so you can keep track of what's going on in there. 

This little magnet sticks onto your dishwasher, and a little slot lets you change the display from "CLEAN" to "DIRTY" so you can keep track of what's going on in there. 

This little magnet sticks onto your dishwasher, and a little slot lets you change the display from "CLEAN" to "DIRTY" so you can keep track of what's going on in there. 


Strawberry Season

We're so happy that it's strawberry season, because there's nothing tastier than a strawberry fried pie on a summer day, if you ask us.  We've been using strawberries from Mountain Meadows Farm here in Tennessee, and we just love them.

If you're not already convinced that local foods taste better than those that are shipped from halfway across the country (or world), check out our comparison between the pale, enlarged grocery store strawberries on the left, and the rich and beautiful local ones on the right. 

left: Kroger  right: Mountain Meadows Farm

left: Kroger

right: Mountain Meadows Farm

These are a few of my favorite things.

A friend of mine recently asked about my favorite kitchen items, and I thought in addition to sharing them with her, I'd share them all with you.  Here are some of my favorite pie friendly gadgets!


Picnic Time Metro Insulated Basket, Tan
I use this insulated basket for delivering pies, but it also makes a pretty sweet picnic basket.

Zyliss 11370 Classic Rotary-Style Cheese Grater
I used to use an good ol' elbow-grease-powered cheese grater, but I love how easy it is to grate cheese with this rotary style grater. I use it for my mac & cheese fried pies.

Anna Maria Horner Adult Half Square Dance Apron, Blue/Yellow
If you know me, you know I'm a big fan of aprons. Aside from some beloved vintage finds, this is my absolute favorite apron ever. It's super functional, but also pretty dang cute.

Zeroll Ussentials 8870BG Stainless Steel Locking Tongs, Bubble Gum
These tongs have been worth their weight in stainless steel and silicone. They're super great for high-heat cooking like frying pies, but could be used for all kinds of food prep and service, from barbequing to serving salad.

Chiquilin Smoked Paprika Tin 2.64oz
Have you ever tried smoked paprika? If not, I implore you to stop reading this, and get yourself to your local grocery or preferred online store and get you some. This paprika bears little resemblance to the to to bland afterthought of a spice we most often use. It's delicious mix of smokey and spicy that you can use in pretty much anything. I use it in our green chile chicken pies.

Prepara Oil Mister, White
This little device lets you use your own oil to create an oil spray similar to Pam or other oil sprays. This is good because it doesn't use aerosol and you have control over what you're putting into your food. I use it to coat pans when sauteeing incredients for pies. You can use it any time you'd use a spray oil, but it's also awesome to use for infusing your oil and spraying it on salads, meat or whatever you choose!

Backwards: New Album by Awesome Girl Graham Marema

Dale's Fried Pies' Awesome Girl Squad is an effort by Dale's Fried Pies to promote awesomeness in and beyond Knoxville, particularly the creative projects of awesome girls. Three times a year, we'll donate one day of profits from Dale's Fried Pies mobile pie stand to an awesome girl applicant to help her follow through with a creative project. 

Our first Awesome Girl inductee was 17 year old Graham Marema, who proposed using an Awesome Girl grant to help produce her first album as a budding singer/songwriter.  Now, less than a year after receiving her grant, Graham has released her debut album, Backwards.

As I think about how to describe this album, my inclination is to highlight Marema's youth-- "Can you believe she did this, and she's only 17?!"  And her youth does come through-- in her sweetly cherubic voice, in writing about young love and characters from Harry Potter, in the the album's whimsical cover art. But this album succeeds not in spite of Marema's rookie status, but because she incorporates her youthful sound and outlook into the album in a way that makes it accessible to music lovers of all ages.

The title track, "Backwards Ballad" follows a couple from the end of their relationship to the very beginning. Its opening line "I wrote our story backwards and in it you were happy" exemplifies the elegant foreshadowing which is the central conceit of the song.  In describing the rewound version of her first glimpse at her love, Marema sings "I looked away in that instant before we met." The song is clever, but Marema employs a measured subtlety that keeps the song from being purely a schtick.  The song ends with Marema singing "And I felt nothing in the dark."  While she may feel nothing at the end of this song, I feel both hopeful and heartbroken in equal measure. 

Perhaps my favorite song on the album is "The Fish," which is alternately pulls at your heart with the way Marema sings "Oh oh oh boy, don't you see what's happening to me?" and makes you chuckle with lines like "sat down and told the fish, that they should come with us, but they couldn't see him because they were fish." While Graham's soulful voice and clever lyrics give the album cohesion, she alternates between sincere, cheeky, slow & measured, and light & boppy. And I swear she's channeling my longtime favorite singer/songwriter Leona Naess on the track "Underwater."  The themes of feeling underwater, being in darkness and the adventures of love are certainly applicable to the life of a teenager, but I'd say they're also ones to which we can all relate.

Graham Marema's album Backwards is available on iTunes for just $8.91.

Whitestone Country Inn

The Whitestone Country Inn is a 600-acre bed and breakfast near Knoxville, TN.  The property resembles a village complete with farmhouse, cottage and Victorian-style lodging.  In addition to a plethora of activities like tennis, boating and hiking, the Inn offers the space and staff for events ranging from corporate retreats to elegant weddings.

I was lucky enough to participate in their bridal show this month, and stayed over the night before for some much needed R & R.  The Whitestone Inn calls itself a "sanctuary for the soul," and as soon as I pulled onto the property through their big red entrance barn, I could see why.  I felt myself relax a little as soon as I laid eyes on the lovely landscape overlooking Lake Loundon, horse-filled pastures and lovely buildings spotting the rolling hills.

Upon walking into my room, things got even better.  A big plush couch in front of a cozy fireplace greeted me warmly, but even more welcoming was the big jacuzzi tub, where I knew I'd be spending a good portion of the evening.  I took a walk around the grounds and kept finding more and more that made me want to come back-- a putting green, a boat dock with kayaks and canoes, wooded trails that overlooked the water.  Upon returning to my room, I had the chance to sit on the porch as the sun began to set before heading to the Inn's restaurant for dinner.

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I dined alone, since my husband was also out of town working, and while I was slightly nervous before dinner that it would be awkward, I had a great time.  The staff was attentive and welcoming, and the owner Paul came to each table and chatted with the guests, making sure they were enjoying themselves and that they had everything they needed.  We talked about fried pies for a bit, and I promised to share one with him the next day at the bridal show.  I ordered their salmon, which was topped with gorgonzola, bacon and spinach with parmesan risotto.  It was delicious, and I enjoyed it while hearing snippets of conversations from the various other diners.  Most were couples, and many were celebrating anniversaries or other milestones, though some were just spending a weekend of rejuvenation.  I was stuffed from cleaning my plate, but most of the other diners ordered dessert and took it back to their rooms.  Though I was mostly so delighted and relaxed, it was the point in the evening where I did miss having someone to share a dessert with in front of the fire.

I didn't dwell on it for long, though.  I headed back to the room for a fire and a bubble bath before drifting off to sleep, excited for the bridal show the next day.  I perused their menu of spa offerings-- massages, facials, manicures, and wish I had another day to spend relaxing.

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After setting up my display in the morning, I was able to grab a bite to eat at the breakfast buffet to fuel up for a day of meeting and greeting. I'm a sucker for egg scrambles, and was delighted than in addition to traditional scrambled eggs, the buffet offered a scramble with green chiles, big ol chunks of ham off the bone, and other tasty treats.  Also offered: continental offerings like fruit and bagels, plus french toast, bacon, sausage, and of course, biscuits with gravy.  I just had dinner, but I'm actually getting hungry just typing this.

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The bridal show was lovely!  I was really impressed with all the vendors there, and felt proud to be included in a group that had obviously been selected with care.  I loved giving pie samples to excited bride and grooms-to be, along with their parents and friends.  The Whitestone staff served samples of some of their catering options, and I was touched that they shared them with the vendors as well.  I tried so many things, I left stuffed, but my favorites were the fried brie-stuffed olives and the mini soup shots of corn chowder with bacon.  Again, I'm making myself hungry.  As promised, the owner Paul came over to try my fried pies and gave me his stamp of approval.  So I not only left stuffed and relaxed, but also proud of my pies.

If you're planning an event, or just want a relaxing weekend, I can't recommend the Whitestone Inn highly enough.  These folks know what they're doing, and they do it so warmly and enthusiastically.  I'm planning another trip back there already.  And I suppose this time I'll even bring my husband.

Chocolate Orange Pie with Mascarpone Cream from nothing-in-the-house

We're taking a break from incessantly posting about our Kickstarter Campaign to bring  you a salivary-gland-stimulating (non-fried) pie recipe from nothing-in-the-house, a blog by the talented and sassy Emily Hilliard, who makes and shares her fantastic pies across Washington, DC.  She's also the author of PIE: A Hand-Drawn Almanac, which is beautifully illustrated by Elizabeth Graeber.  I own a copy and cherish it. 

Says Emily:

My friend Margaret and I started Nothing-in-the-House in 2005, right after we graduated college. We'd spent the whole summer picking berries and baking pies in our college town of Ann Arbor, and when I moved to Vermont that fall, Margaret suggested we start a blog to keep in touch through the pies we made. The name comes from a variety of "Nothing-in-the-House" pies, also called “desperation pies,”  that were popular during the Great Depression. They were made from a few inexpensive ingredients, or whatever you had in the cupboard.
Since 2005, the blog has evolved--though friends often contribute, I now do most of the writing and photographs. In my posts and baking, I try to bring in a little of my folklore background, incorporating historical context with personal narrative (mine and other's), celebrating both home and professional bakers and investigating this humble dessert's presence in popular and traditional culture.  

yes, please!

yes, please!

And now the recipe...

Chocolate Orange Pie with Mascarpone Cream
Adapted from Serious Eats

Ingredients

Nothing-in-the-House pie crust, halved
2 c. (16 oz.) whole milk
3 Tblsp. orange zest (from about 3 oranges), plus additional for garnish
13 oz. 65% chocolate, chopped
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 c. (4 oz.) mascarpone cheese
6 oz. heavy whipping cream
2 Tblsp. confectioner's sugar

Directions

For crust:

1. Prepare half of the Nothing-in-the-House pie crust as per the directions. Chill dough at least 1 hour before rolling out and fitting into a greased and floured 9-inch pie pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Using a fork, prick chilled crust all over the bottom. Line crust with parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove weights, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes more. Let crust cool completely.

For filling:

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk milk and orange zest. Place pan over medium heat and bring milk just to a boil, then remove from heat and let sit about 20 minutes. Pour the milk mixture through a sieve and  return milk to the cleaned saucepan. 

2. Combine the chopped chocolate and salt in a large heat-proof bowl. Bring milk just to a boil and pour over the chocolate mixture, letting it sit, covered, for 2 minutes, then stirring until chocolate is melted. 

3. Return mixture back to the saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously for about 8 minutes (make sure to keep stirring so chocolate does not burn on the bottom of the pan). The mixture will thicken and begin to bubble. Continue stirring until it becomes the consistency of a thick ganache. Remove from heat and pour into the pie shell. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the chocolate and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight, if possible. When ready, the chocolate will be set up like a thick chocolate mousse.

For mascarpone cream:

1. In the bowl of a stand or hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream and confectioner's sugar together until the cream is thickened but does not yet hold soft peaks. Add the mascarpone and whip until the mixture holds medium peaks.

2. Mound the cream on the center of the pie and decorate with orange zest curls or candied orange zest, if desired. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy! And you don't even have to "whack and unwrap."

Support Dale's Fried Pies on Kickstarter!

Well, dear ones, the time has come!  We've launched a Kickstarter campaign to help us finish our mobile kitchen, and we'd love your support!  Head over to our page to find out more.  If you're able and inclined to give, you will have our eternal gratitude.  We'd also love for you to spread the word any way you like- Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, faxes, carrier pigeons-- however you choose!  Just grab the link below and share away, if you please! 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1568021555/dales-fried-pies-mobile-kitchen

Celebrate Pi(e) Day and Help Dale's Fried Pies!

Dale's Fried Pies is gearing up for an exciting season filled festivals, farmer's markets and other fun events, and we're so excited we thought we'd throw a party!

Date and Time: Friday, March 15th from 6-9 pm

Place: Preservation Pub Annex (THIS IS NOT THE PRESERVATION PUB. It is a small space that shares the patio with Preservation Pub. If you are looking at the pub, it is two doors down to the left).

RSVP HERE.

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Reasons:

1) March 14th is Pi(e) Day-- let's celebrate one day late!

2) Graham Marema, our first Awesome Girl, has come out with her first CD with the help of her Awesome Girl Squad grant!

3) We are launching a Kickstarter Campaign to help with the retrofitting of our mobile kitchen and we want to get y'all pumped for it!

The party, which will include a PHOTO BOOTH by Shawn Poynter Photography (dress yer best!) and MUSIC by Awesome Girl Graham Marema (playing songs from the CD she was able to produce with a grant from Dale's Fried Pies) will be held on Friday, March 15th from 6-9 pm. Come listen to some great music, get your picture taken and buy a drink or two ( Pres Pub is donating 20% of all sales to the Dale's Fried Pie's Awesome Girls Fund)! Come hungry and thirsty!

GUESTS WILL GET A FRIED PIE ON THEIR WAY OUT JUST FOR COMING!

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Dale's Fried Pies

We're all for celebrating love at Dale's Fried Pies, but we're not big fans of needing reservations weeks in advance, busy restaurants and "special" Valentine's Day menus that serve only to charge you more for the same thing you'd normally get. If you're like us and want to avoid the fuss, join us at the Bearden Beer Market, where we'll be set up along with the fabulous Tootsie Truck folks to meet all your sweet, savory and beery needs!  Stop by and grab some food to go along with a growler for a sweet night in, or come and hang out in the Yazoo room for a low-key Valentine's date.  Either way, we'd love to see you!

I'll be at the Beer Market on Thursday, February 14th from 5:30-8:30 pm!

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We're featuring strawberry nutella, chipotle mac & cheese and some fun heart-shaped cherry cheese pies!  Same price as always, no reservations needed!  If you want to make sure to get some heart-shaped pies for your sweetie, shoot us an email at dalesfriedpies@gmail.com to arrange for delivery or pick-up at the Beer Market!

Cherry Cheese Pies!

Cherry Cheese Pies!

Fried Pie Pattern from Vicki Designer

Since we started, Dale's Fried Pies has relied on social media to spread the word about what we offer, where we'll be selling and how to get in touch with us.  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been our only forms of advertisement, and these tools have been extremely useful in helping us communicate with our awesome customers and peers.  

Even so, there are still times that I get quite disenchanted with social media and it's capacity to bore, polarize, distance and alienate us.  Since opening Dale's Fried Pies, I've used these social media platforms primarily as business tools.  However, once in awhile I'll make a connection that reminds me that these tools can also inspire creativity and collaboration and can be truly social.

I'm not sure how I started following Vicki Designer on Instagram, but last week, when I saw she was working towards designing a pattern for each week in 2013, I was excited to watch this creative challenge unfold.  I wrote that she should consider creating a pattern with fried pies and/or rolling pins, and she did!  It was a fun connection to make and I absolutely love the cute-as-pie pattern she created. 

You can read more about her process, download a freebie pie pattern and buy an entire pie collection here.  Thanks Vicki!