Bite Sized Mini Pie's 3 easy Recipes For Your Party

Miniature Bite Sized Pies are note only fun for parties they are easy to make ahead of time and everyone loves them!

If you are in planning mode for a party where you will need multiple appetizer's and you want to find things you can do yourself AND don't cost a fortune, then these three little pie bites are just for you! Each Pie bite has only 2 or 3 ingredients each, which makes filling them a snap! Chocolate Nutter Butter, Strawberries & Cream, and Chicken Pot Pie Bites. (The bite sized Chicken Pot Pie bites are my fav!)

The price of those pre-made tart shells or puff pastry shells can be expensive, especially if you need to purchase a lot of them.  It is easy and inexpensive to make your own by using pre-made rolls of frozen pie crust. (You can always make pie crust from scratch if you want!),  I have 3 quick ways to fill them, that will take no time at all.

The beauty of these little pie bites is you can pre-bake the pie shells and store them in your freezer till the day of the event and just fill them with these quick and easy fillings.  The fillings themselves can be made the day before and you can assemble and serve.

To make the pie shells:
Unroll a thawed pie crust  and cut it out in 2 inch circles. I used the lid of a spice jar and it worked perfect.  I got about 24 circles out of one pie crust.

Jan's Tip: Make quick work and a ton of shells by stacking up to 3 thawed, unrolled pie crusts on top of each other and cutting through them with at the same time.

Place a pie crust circle into each well of a mini muffin pan and press along sides and around bottom to form shell.
Pierce each shell at least 4 times with a fork

 Don't forget to pierce the sides too, or they'll get puffy  when they bake, like mine did:
Bake shells at 375 degree's for 5-7 minutes till baked, but not overly baked. Let cool and store in air tight containers or freezer bags. Store in refrigerator overnight or longer in the freezer. Thaw before filling.

Pie Bite Fillings:

1) Chocolate Nutter Butter Bites

This one is the easiest of all! Just fill shells with Nutella (Hazelnut butter that has cocoa in it) and then top with a small dollop of whipped cream! Delish and fast

2) Strawberry Cream Pie Bites

4 oz. (half a brick) of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup seedless strawberry (or raspberry) jam
Beat at high speed 1 to 2 minutes till mixture is creamy and smooth.
Fill pie shells and top with a dollop of whipped cream. refrigerate till serving.

3) Chicken Pot Pie Bites

5 oz. can chicken, drained
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1 carrot diced and cooked to tender.

Mix all ingredients together. Pop pie shells back into mini muffin pans and fill shells with pot pie filling. Heat in oven at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes just to warm them up.  I don't recommend the microwave, the cream cheese tends to pop and explode, so ....

Thrifty Gardening: Fall Soil Preparation For Spring Success

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine. This was originally written on my website Tip Garden, and reshared here. 
How to Prepare Garden Soil

Many Gardeners don't realize that taking a small amount of time in the fall to amend and prepare their soil will give them a huge jump start in the spring.
 The spring and summer growing season has stripped your soil of alot of it's nutrients. By adding a few items to your soil now, over the winter it will give it a chance to replenish the nutrients and be much more prepared to grow your summer garden.
 I live in the south, on the east coast, where the soil is a hard, red, packed clay.  NOT good for growing a garden. It is a constant fight to turn that hard clay into fertile soil.  The question then is to how/what to do to prepare your soil.

Fall Soil Preparation
1) remove all weeds and large plant material from your garden beds
2) Work in to the soil large amounts of organic material.  Organic material benefits the soils in the following ways:
     A)Increases the water capacity of soil
     B) Improves drainage
     C) Increases the oxygen
     D) Provides nutrients and encourages microbial activity
What kinds of organic matter can you work into the soil?
First, let me share my new secret weapon.  Miracle Grows Expand & Grow.
This product is amazing! It expands to 3 times its volume with water. It's made from coconuts! What I love about it is that I can turn it in to my garden beds and water it, and it will break up that hard clay. It  adds the nutrients, oxygen, water retention, and drainage that my soil needs, and is quick and easy to use.
Other types of organic matter that I mix into my soil include shredded leaves and grass clippings. Do not mix in pine needles or other barks, as they are too hard to break down over the winter.
3) Top it off. Top off your beds in one of two ways:
     A) Growing a cover crop that will grow all winter and can be turned into the soil in the spring to add some additional spring nutrients as well as prevent winter erosion from storms and winds.  Suggestions include: Winter Rye,or  Austrian Winter Peas.
     B) Add a  thick layer of leaves. Adding several inches of leaves to the top of your bed will alsoprovide additional protection and nutrients that can be turned over into the soil in the spring.
Need some more tips?  I encourage you to visit the Gardenieres and the Miracle-Gro Facebook page to assist you in finding solutions to your own gardening issues. They are a fantastic resource!

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