Category: Vegetarian Corner

Best Dark Sweet Cherry Pie

Best Dark Sweet Cherry Pie

The best dark sweet cherry pie on the planet
This recipe will knock your pie pants off!

Best Dark Sweet Cherry Pie: Perfect for ANY occasion.

This is a true story. My aunt Hope is the lead singer of a band named Mazzy Star. Recently she and her band were playing a few nights here in Los Angeles, and then on to Mexico City. I was really excited about the gigs and wanted to find a way to celebrate the concerts through food. I kicked a few ideas around in my mind before settling on The Best Dark Sweet Cherry Pie. This isn’t a name I thought of but I’ll get to that later in the story.

Inside the best dark sweet cherry pie, before the second crust got planted on top.
Inside the best dark sweet cherry pie.

The day before the show I set out to make a cherry pie with the word ‘Mazzy” cut out of the pie dough and cute little stars floating about. I assembled it, took a few photos of the pie, posted it on Instagram and baked it. Everything was perfect in my pie land.

I placed the pie on my kitchen counter to cool, thinking it would be perfect by morning and I would be able to deliver it to my Aunt as a ‘I know you’ll kick ass’ salute! I walked back into my kitchen about two hours later, and found the pie half eaten with the fork still in the pie plate. Needless to say I freaked out. There are 3 people that live in my house (myself included), and neither of the other 2 are taking responsibility for eating the pie.

I think about 10 minutes later my Aunt Hope sends me a text excited about the cherry pie. She saw it on Instagram, and couldn’t wait to dig in. To my horror I had to tell her ‘someone’ decided to take the liberty of eating it, not even fully cooled! This news didn’t settle well with her. I quickly promised I’d make her another one, but it wouldn’t be ready until the following day. I made good on my promise and made a 2nd pie. Making sure no one got to it before she did, I delivered it backstage before her show (pictured below).

Hope Sandoval backstage with her Mazzy Star Cherry Pie
Hope backstage with her Cherry Pie!

After the show we had a little party and everyone had a slice of cherry pie. So many people I had never met, found me in the crowd to say it was the best cherry pie they had ever had in their lives (that’s how it got it’s name). Wow! What a compliment…. I’ll take it. Make the recipe and try the best dark sweet cherry pie!


For 9 1/2 inch double crust:

  • 1/2 cups all purpose flour*
  • 1 1/2 cups pastry flour*
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces (frozen)
  • 1/3 cup frozen vegetable shortening, spooned into teaspoon drops
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) frozen unsalted butter, cut into tabs
  • 1/2 cup extremely cold water
  • 1 egg / 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
  • 1/8 cup sanding sugar

Cherry Filling:

  • 4 lbs dark sweet cherries (pitted
  • 1 1/2 sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoons lemon juice


For the crust:

  1.  Place the flours, sugar and salt into a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  2. Add in the cream cheese and vegetable shortening, and pulse until both fats are cut into the flour.
  3. Pulse in frozen butter into flour mixture in 3 parts. Do not over pulse. You are looking for pea sized balls of butter to remain.
  4. Slowly add in the ice water one tablespoon at a time. Give the dough one pulse between each water addition.
  5. Dump the dough onto a clean surface. Run hands under cold water for a few minutes. Dry your hands well, then quickly press the dough together to form a long log. Divide the log in half, and form each half into a disk.
  6. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night.
  7. Remove one (1) chilled dough from the fridge, and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle clean work area with flour. I like to roll my dough on a non stick baking sheet. Roll the dough out from the center and move the mat underneath to make a perfect circle. I roll it out to a 1/8 inch thickness.
  9. Make sure the dough surpasses your pie plate by a couple of inches.
  10. There are a few methods of placing the dough into the pie plate. You can roll the dough around your rolling pin then unroll it onto the plate. Or you can fold it into 4’s and unfold it onto the plate. Either method works. I like using the rolling pin method.
  11. Once you place the bottom layer of pie dough into the pie plate, allow the overlap to drape over the edge. Place in fridge while you prepare the filling.
  12. Preheat oven for 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

For The Cherry Filling:

  1. Pit the cherries.
  2. Place the cherries in a large bowl.
  3. Add sugar, vanilla extract, cornstarch, and lemon juice to the bowl and mix to combine completely.
  4. With a slotted spoon, scoop the cherry mixture into the chilled pie crust plate and leave any excess liquid in the bowl.

Top Crust:

  1. Remove the second disk of pie dough from the fridge and roll out to a 1/8 inch thickness. I cut Mazzy Star cutouts from the pie dough using a small star cookie cutter, and a small knife. Feel free to design the top however you’d like, as long as you make some sort of ventilation for the pie.
  2. Place the second piece of dough over the apple filling. Make sure the cherries are covered completely. (see step 10 to refresh how to transfer the dough)
  3. Fold the top crust over the bottom crust at the edge of the pie rim, and pinch them together to enclose the two crusts. Make a pattern with your fingers or decorate the edges with a fork pattern.
  4. In a small bowl mix egg and water to create egg wash. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush top of pie and edges with egg wash.
  5. Sprinkle top with sanding sugar.


  1. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet, and then place in the oven.
  2. Bake for 25 minutes with rack 1/3 from bottom of the oven.
  3. Remove pie from oven and place an aluminum foil tent around the edge of the crust only. This will keep the edge from burning but allow the center to continue to brown.
  4. Place the pie back in the oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and continue baking for 50 minutes.
  5. Allow the pie to cool for a minimum of 4 to 5 hours, but overnight is ideal.
  6. Enjoy!
Mazzy Star Cherry Pie
Mazzy Star Cherry Pie!

Wanna try my apple pie instead? Click here!

Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas

Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #40DaysOfFlavor

Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas made with Clamato

Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas are perfect for lent or any other meatless day!

Celebrating with Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas:

A few years ago my family lost my Grandfather. He was the rock of our family and instilled so many of his beliefs and traditions in us, we soaked in his words and continue to possess them as our own. I think back to the stories of him telling us his first memories of stepping foot in Los Angeles as a young boy. He and his family had arrived by freight train and thought LA would be a good place to jump off. Only a few English words existed in his mostly Spanish vocabulary at the time, and he described the experience as ‘convivir’ the initial blending of his two worlds. He prospered here in Los Angeles, worked hard, bought a house and became a father of 8. Never forgetting his beautiful Mexican culture and wholeheartedly embracing his American life. This is how he raised his family, and I am forever grateful for my upbringing under his guidance.

He taught us that the mountains on a crisp clear day looked “Hermosa.” He taught us the pride of being Latino and how gorgeous we were not only for our traditional food, but for the kindness of our people. He taught us that family was priceless and the biggest joy of life was when we were together. He taught us not to be intimidated by anyone, and to share a smile with everyone. He taught us to sing, partake in the arts, and never turn down a good Clamato® Michelada or a plate of cheese enchiladas. He taught us to give and share with others who may be in need. He taught us to whistle or hum when angry, it would restore peace. He taught us to go meatless during lent, and to make family-time a priority on Fridays. We may have lost my grandfather a few years ago but we will never lose what he taught us.

Still to this day I observe Lent gathered with my family. Which means we all gather at my house or at my Tia’s house for a large vegetarian feast on Fridays. We are fortunate that Walmart makes it easy to pick up any and all the ingredients I need to feed my beloved tribe. Sometimes traditional Mexican food is served, and other times a convivir Latin twist on an American or International favorite dish, depending on the mood. One thing is certain, doesn’t matter what I am making, Clamato (it was Grandpa’s favorite) will be on the Walmart grocery list. Clamato is an authentic tomato cocktail juice that has reserved it’s spot at many of our family gatherings. It’s brought lots of sabor to our meals and cocktails – from a perfect Michelada to a delicious spicy pizza sauce base. I buy the 64 oz bottle to make sure everyone gets some, as Grandpa would say “what’s the point if you can’t share?”

Ingredients from Walmart for Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas

If you’re looking for something delicious to make and invite the family over to observe lent together, try my Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas. I make the pizza sauce with Clamato Tomato Cocktail and it elevates the pizza experience to a new level of nirvana. Be sure to buy a bottle or two next time you’re at Walmart, then you’ll be stocked and ready for the family to come by.

Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas made with Clamato is perfect meal for lent.

You’ll need a pizza baking stone and a scale.

Ingredients for Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas:

  • Pizza dough ( 6 pounds – 2700 grams)
  • olive oil
  • Clamato pizza sauce (recipe below)
  • melty cheese of your choice (Mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan)
  • black olives (sliced)
  • green onion (chopped)
  • basil leaves
  • red onion (sliced thin)
  • red, yellow and orange bell pepper (sliced)
  • mushrooms (sliced)
  • jalapeno (sliced)
  • pineapple (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • white cornmeal
Sliced up Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizza made with Clamato and all ingredients bought at Walmart


  1. Divide the dough into 9 (should each weigh 300 grams) parts.
  2. Position a rack to the middle of the oven. Place the pizza baking stone on the rack. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Take one of your pizza dough balls (should weigh between 300 to 400 grams) and place on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a disk, and press 1/2 inch from the edge all around to create a rim.  Then continue to pull out into the desired size of your pizza by draping it over the back of your hands, and continue to rotate dough with the back of your hands in a clockwise motion with the aid of your thumbs. Or roll it out with a rolling pin and pinch the edges of the pizza dough to form crust. Whichever method works best for you.
  4. Take a flat baking sheet or pizza peel and sprinkle it with a generous amount of cornmeal then place pizza dough directly on top. This will keep the pizza from sticking and will slide easily onto the pizza stone. If the dough rips, just pinch the dough back together.
  5. Once the dough is ready.  Place a tablespoon of olive oil on the inside of the dough and then spread it around the inside circle avoiding the rim.
  6. Pour 1/3 cup of Clamato pizza sauce and spread on inside of dough.
  7. Top with 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese,  1/4 cup cheddar cheese, or any cheese of your choice.
  8. Top cheese with olives, red onion, red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, green onion, mushrooms, basil, jalapeno, and pineapple.
  9. Shake the baking sheet or pizza peel to make sure pizza is not stuck to it. Then open your oven and carefully slide the pizza onto the pizza baking stone.
  10. Bake in oven for 13 minutes or until crust is golden depending on your oven heat! Remove from oven with pizza peel or a large spatula. Cook each pizza one at a time.
  11. Cut into any shape you want!
  12. Enjoy
Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas in the making.

Ingredients for Clamato pizza sauce:

  • 50 oz. can diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 6 chile de arbol (stems removed)
  • 64 oz. Clamato Tomato Cocktail
  • 1/4 – teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 – teaspoon salt

How to make the pizza sauce:

In a large bowl add drained diced tomatoes. Then break chile de arbol pods in half and allow chile seeds to fall over diced tomatoes. If you enjoy extra spice break up the chile de arbol pods and crush them into the tomatoes. Pour Clamato over tomatoes and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding Chile de arbol to crushed tomatoes and Clamato. I was able to buy all my ingredients at Walmart!
Pouring Clamato over tomatoes
Spicy Peppery Vegetable Pizzas made with Clamato. Perfect for Lent

For more Clamato Lent Friendly recipes click here!

You can find Clamato at your local Walmart.

Find Clamato at your local Walmart


Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Cream of roasted cauliflower leek soup with empanadas

Keeping warm with a bowl of Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup has been the trend in my house lately. With all these record breaking temperature lows this decadent soup will definitely sizzle up your belly in the most pleasant way.

Cinnamon Roll Hearts Of Love

Cinnamon Roll Hearts Of Love

Cherry Pistachio Orange Cinnamon Hearts in a cherry glaze
Make Cinnamon Roll Hearts for the one you love.

I’ve been dying to make a cinnamon rolls since Christmas time, but that thing called ‘life’ hasn’t allowed me the time to get the yeast rising. I decided Valentine’s would be the little space of time I’d sock away to enjoy the craft of making Cinnamon Roll Hearts, as a gift to myself and the ones I love.

Breakfast Waffle Fruit Salad

Breakfast Waffle Fruit Salad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BetterWithEggo #LeggoYourEggo #CollectiveBias

Eggo Nutri-Grain Blueberry Waffle topped with delicious breakfast fruit salad (bionico).
Kellogg’s® Eggo Nutri-Grain Blueberry Waffle topped with delicious breakfast fruit salad.

Breakfast Waffle Fruit Salad:

Did you kickoff 2019 with a New Year’s resolution? Technically we are still at the very start of the 12 month period and resolutions are very much stable and rooted in our daily routines. But can we sustain them? My New Year’s Resolution was simple this year, eat outside more and incorporate more fruit into my diet.

Mexican Beer Oaxaca Cheese Dip And Football Pretzels

Mexican Beer Oaxaca Cheese Dip And Football Pretzels

Football shaped pretzels served with a Mexican Beer Oaxaca Cheese Dip. Absolutely delicious combination of my american culture and my ever present Mexican culture.
Football shaped pretzels served with a delicious Mexican Beer Oaxaca Cheese Dip!

Like most people, the first thing I think about when hosting or being invited to a game day party is the food. To be honest, I don’t even know the rules of football or who plays on what team. I don’t care about half time, especially this year, and only a portion of the multi million famed commercials grab my attention. All I care about are the snacks.

Cheesy Manchego Quince On A Stick

Cheesy Manchego Quince On A Stick

Cheesy Manchego Quince on a stick drizzled in honey.

Manchego Quince On A Stick:

Oh my GAWD!!!! I think I just died and went to cheese heaven. For the first time in my life I had Manchego Quince on a stick. It’s the first time because I’ve never seen them anywhere else in my time on earth. I was sitting home getting ready for the football game and wanted a batch of mozzarella sticks, but then thought it boring. “The same ol cheese sticks again?” is exactly what ran through my mind. Instead I jumped into action and paired my beloved manchego cheese with quince fruit paste, a flavor combination typically intertwined in Spain. Quince fruit paste goes by the Spanish name Membrillo, and is becoming very easy to find in bigger supermarkets and Mexican boutique markets. Once I settled on the flavor, I breaded the manchego quince stacks and fried them to a golden crisp. (more…)