Chicken Pot Pie

Pairs with "Dreaming in Chocolate"

Chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food — and getting lost in a good book is comfort for the soul. So tuck in and cozy up.


1 package pre-made, rolled pie dough
4-6 slices thick-cut bacon
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons corn starch
(increase incrementally as needed)

2-3 cups unsalted chicken broth
(if preferred, can replace ½ cup with white wine)
Pinch of salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste (3-4 turns)
2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables

Preheat oven to 425°.

Unroll one sleeve of pie dough and press into pan. Set aside.

Pan fry the bacon, then set on paper towel to remove some of the grease. Leave drippings in the pan.

Brown the chicken in the bacon drippings. Remove from pan once cooked. Brown butter in the hot pan and whisk in cornstarch to make a rue. Once thickened, slowly pour the chicken broth into the rue, whisking constantly, until it lightly coats the back of the spoon. Add salt and pepper.

Add the bacon, chicken and garlic into the sauce. Mix in the cheese, stirring constantly. Once the cheese is incorporated, add in the vegetables.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan and top with second crust. Trim crust to fit and crimp edges. Then cut steam slits in the top of the pie.

Bake for 45 minutes. Cover edges of crust after 15 minutes to avoid burning. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Twice the Spice Brownies

Pairs with "Dreaming in Chocolate"

Note: These are not “hot” brownies. The cayenne and ancho peppers provide just a hint of spicy flavor.


1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
½ cup butter (1 stick)
4 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon espresso powder
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground ancho pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil, wrapping the ends of the foil over the sides of the pan. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle the cocoa powder on the bottom and sides of the pan.

In a microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate, butter, and coconut oil. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove and stir the mixture until smooth.

Stir in the sugar and let cool for a few moments. Then add the eggs and vanilla into the chocolate. (You can mix a few spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture into the beaten eggs first to make sure they don’t scramble when combined.)

Add ground cinnamon, espresso powder, ground cayenne pepper, ground ancho pepper, and flour. Mix thoroughly.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. You want them to be fudgey when they come out of the oven. (Use a toothpick to test consistency.)

Once completely cooled, lift the foil edges to remove the brownies from the pan. Place them on a cutting board and cut to the desired size. You can drizzle with melted dark chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.

Blackberry Tartlets

Pairs with "The Blackbird Season"

These tarts are perfect for a quiet night with your favorite book or to share as an awe inspiring dessert! You can also make multiple small tartlets or make this into a ‘full-sized’ tart.


For Tart Dough
3 ounces butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
1 cup all-purpose flour

For Garnish
1 pint blackberries, cut in half lengthwise

For Blackberry Cream
3 eggs
4 egg yolks
10 tablespoons butter
¾ cup sugar
1 pint blackberries, pureed
½ cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a large ovenproof bowl, combine butter, oil, salt, and water for your tart. Bake in 400° oven until everything has melted. Once melted, carefully remove the bowl (it will be hot!) and add your flour, mixing to combine immediately.

Turn your oven down to 350°.

Press dough into your tart pan/pans and prick the bottom of each with a fork.

Bake tart shells for 12 minutes, remove and let cool.

In a medium sized saucepan, combine eggs, egg yolks, butter, sugar, blackberries, and lemon juice over medium heat.

Stir until the butter is melted in the liquid and then whisk until the mixture sticks to the back of your spoon. Add vanilla and mix well.

Pour directly into the tart shell or tart shells.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the curd is set.

Arrange the halved blackberries on the top of the tart or tartlets.

Blackberry Sangria

Pairs with "The Blackbird Season"


1 cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup halved strawberries
1 cup Brandy
1 cup Triple Sec

3 cups orange or grape juice
1 bottle of Diamond Collection Red Blend
1 bottle of Blackberry or Black Raspberry seltzer water

Soak fruit in Brandy and Triple Sec overnight in a large glass pitcher.

The next day, add juice and 1 bottle of Diamond Collection Red Blend.

To serve: Add ice to glass, fill ¾ with Blackberry Sangria, top with blackberry or black raspberry seltzer.