Powered By Blogger

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Cooking- A Pie Recipe from One Good Deed

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

I'm just finishing up a fantastic memoir by Erin McHugh, One Good Deed.  Every day for a year, Erin set about to do one good deed; it didn't have to be big, just one good deed for someone else. Her journal is inspiring, funny, moving and thought-provoking. McHugh also has a website, One Good Deed, where people can talk about their good deeds.

I love this book for many reasons- Erin is Irish (me too), raised Catholic (me too), loves to read (me too), thinks the movie Love, Actually is the best Christmas movie (a no-brainer) and we even live in the same neighborhood. It made me look at the many, many people I am surrounded by here in NYC differently.  I am more aware of them and try to be more gracious to them.

Erin's simple ideas, from donating money (however small) to good causes to picking up the trash you see around you to bringing flowers to cheer up a friend are very doable, and I'll be darned if they don't make you feel pretty good when you do them.

It also made me conscious of the good things I try to do, like sending everyone in my family a card on their birthday/anniversary and going to book signings for authors and buying their books as gifts for friends and family (two good deeds in one!).  I like thinking I'm a pretty good person, but also knowing that I can always do better.

In her book, Erin posted a family recipe for Cranberry Surprise Pie, which she always makes for Thanksgiving family dinners, and then makes an extra one to give to family friends. Erin gave me permission to post the recipe here, and I can't wait to try it this year at our family holiday table. (I love cranberries)

Cranberry Surprise Pie
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 1/2 inch pie plate. Pour the cranberries into the bottom of the pie plate and sprinkle evenly with the walnut and 1/2 cup of the sugar.
Mix the eggs with melted butter, 1 cup sugar, the vanilla, and the flour. Pour over the cranberry mixture. Bake for 50 minutes at 325 degrees F.

I can't speak highly enough of One Good Deed, and I bought four copies of the book already. I know I'll be back for more as my Christmas gift list grows. I'll post a full review next week.


  1. Think I'll go fetch some cranberries myself right now! Thank you for the kind words, Diane -- and hope all your giftees enjoy it, too!

  2. Oh THANK YOU! this sounds incrdible!

  3. of course Love Actually is the best Christmas movie ever - I like this author already! Sounds like an interesting book.

    1. You'd like it- it's got lots of Upper East Side locations that you'll recognize.

  4. I always stock my freezer with cranberries this time of year for lots of good cranberry baking over the winter. I marked that recipe too when I read Erin's book. And yes, it's a great memoir that makes you more aware of how you can always do one good deed every day.

  5. Thanks, everyone. I do believe I'm going to make a Cranberry Surprise Pie myself today before Frankenstorm arrives!

  6. Absolutely agree that Love Actually is the best Christmas movie ever. Except we put out all our Christmas movies in December last year while entertaining my brother and his new pre-made family that includes a 10 year-old stepdaughter. We told the girl to choose what movie we'd watch that night. A few minutes later she said "Why is their an R-rated movie here?" Oops.

    This sounds like a great book and I love the recipe.

  7. Ok, now I think we are sisters, separated at birth :-) The pie recipe sounds good and will fit in with Thanksgiving themes easily. The book will be going on my to-read list now for sure.
    Also, I just read about your honey chicken recipe and now need to try it as well.
    Have a great weekend.

  8. The sounds delicious. And adding the book to my list, it sounds like a wonderful read.

  9. What a great gift book suggestion! I do love the philosophy of extending kindnesses whenever possible and paying it forward. I'll have to add this to my TBR list right away. And I've never had a cranberry pie. Perfect for the holidays. Thanks!

  10. I am going to get this book. Also I have made a note to ask you to link it in to the next edition of Books You LOved (which will go live about the 9th). Have a great week.

  11. I was thinking of making some cranberry scones, but this cakey pie looks good too. And fairly easy to make. It's a creative way to use cranberries.

  12. I do love the sound of this book. I am not really connected to our neighbours and I keep more to myself. I was thinking of bringing some cupcakes to them one day, but I felt that it would be awkward. But maybe I should just do it. (I mostly never bake sweet stuff, just because we wouldn't finish it with just the 2 of us)

  13. this is a great book and a great recipe!

  14. I love the combination of cranberries and walnuts but am not crazy about quick breads, so making a pie out of them sounds fantastic! I am definitely going to try this! My pie crusts usually aren't pretty enough to make a pie that's going to leave the house, but I haven't given up on mastering pie crust one of these days.

  15. I've heard of this book before! I love the idea, as I try to be good to other living beings as well (even though I'm not Catholic ;) That pie sounds great, I may try to make a veganized version!