Featured Food Blog: Pies and Plots

Name: Laura Dembowski
Blog: Pies and Plots
Twitter: @piesandplots
Location: Michigan

Describe your culinary style.
My culinary style is anything and everything homemade.  If I can make it, I would rather do so than buying an ingredient.  I haven’t opened a can of anything in years.  I recently made almond paste rather than buying it and was shocked at how easy and delicious it was.  Beyond that my culinary styles diverge when it comes to savory versus sweet food.  With savory food, I’m all about simple.  To me there’s no better dinner than a roasted unseasoned piece of wild salmon or halibut.  Salt is something I use very sparingly, preferring to let the flavors of the primary ingredients shine.  Sweets, where my passion in the kitchen lies, are a whole different story.  Nothing makes me happier than spending the whole day in the kitchen making a complicated layer cake and then enjoying the result of my hard work.  Different flavor combinations and unique treats are what keep me going.

Click photo for recipe

For someone new to your blog, which recipe do you recommend they try first?
I love each and every recipe on my blog and have eaten more than my fair share of all of them. I like to have recipes that vary greatly in difficulty. I would definitely recommend the Cinnamon Biscoff Puppy Chow and Microwave Biscoff Fudge. They are easy to make, use one of my favorite ingredients – Biscoff! – and everyone loves them. My absolute favorite recipes are the Caramel Blondies and Peach Blackberry Layer Cake. They are much more complicated and labor intensive with multiple steps, but they are my original creations and turned out better than I ever could have imagined. I crave them all the time. I think of the Blondies in particular as quite unique and perhaps my signature dessert.

Click photo for recipe

What is the main source of inspiration for your recipes?
My inspiration comes from all kinds of places.  From restaurant dishes to TV shows to the things I buy at the grocery store to my favorite flavor combinations, both new and old.  Inspiration strikes all the time.  The real key is taking that inspiration and translating it into a delicious dish, a task that is sometimes easier than others.  It is so rewarding when inspiration creates something amazing because I have watched the process evolve from just an idea to a wonderful end product that my family, friends, and I can enjoy.

If you could have one food while stranded on a desert island, what would it be? 
I’d say bananas because that’s the only food I eat everyday, but they’d probably grow on the island.  So, I think I’d pick peaches.  They won’t grow on a desert island and are one of my favorite foods.  I love eating them as is, as well as baking with them and even occasionally using them in savory applications.  I can’t imagine a world without peaches.

What is your ultimate guilty food pleasure? 
I don’t have guilt over eating dessert ever. After a day full of exercise, fruit, vegetables, and wild caught fish, a heaping helping of dessert is my reward. I rarely eat dinner out at restaurants, but when I do, I always order french fries. They are my ultimate guilty pleasure food that I eat no more than once a month. Even if a restaurant doesn’t have them on the menu, I ask them to make some because they are a rare treat to which I always look forward. It is on my bucket list to make my own one day.

Define Yummly.
Yummly is food that looks, smells, and absolutely tastes amazing.  It is about making things from scratch, using the best ingredients possible, and enjoying indulging in fabulous food.  But mostly, Yummly is the experience of making and eating food.  For me, spending time in the kitchen baking and cooking with my mom is the best part about food.  It’s our bonding time and our team work makes everything taste better.  The experience of eating with my parents and friends is also an important part of Yummly, as it is nearly impossible for foods to be Yummly when always made and eaten alone.