How Do I Like My Mother’s Day? With Two Pies.

It is Mother’s Day today, and along with sleeping in and French Toast and Bacon made by the Husband for brunch, we tried two different pies for dinner. Julian Pie Company‘s Chicken Pot Pie and Claim Jumper’s Peach Pie. I can’t think of a better gift for me the mom than to cook for me and make an easy bake, easy clean-up dinner.

Julian Pie Co. Chicken Pot Pie-  pure yum.
Julian Pie Co. Chicken Pot Pie- pure yum.

The pot pie was FABULOUS. All four of us decided that every time we go past the Julian Pie Company and pick up an apple pie, that the dinner pie WILL be bought, too. The whole family liked this dinner- the crust was super tender and flakey, the vegetable to meat to gravy ratios were all in great balance, and the flavor of the whole pie was delicious.

Better than "Meh"
Better than “Meh”

The Claim Jumper Lattice Peach Pie was just what you would expect from a frozen pie, but on the better side of average. I had no expectations from this freezer section selection, but honestly? The crust was flaky and crisp and even though the filling was really sweet, it wasn’t bad- not a home made fresh peach pie by a long shot, but not the usual sub-standard grocery store ilk.

So, there you have it. Cook for your moms, clean up your dishes, and the next time you want a really good but still ready made pie for dessert for Mother’s Day, get to the store before they sell out of all the Julian Pie Company Apple Pies.

Whine Free Wildflower Photography!

Very grumpy children. She is totally faking that smile and was as miserable as he was that day.
Very grumpy children, 2011. She is totally faking that smile and was as miserable as he was to go hiking that day.

Today The Husband and I did something we have never done. We went on a long drive to go hiking in the Anza Borrego State Park lands in the desert… without the teenagers. They asked to stay home, finish homework, and generally relax. We had a grand time eating pie, seeing wildflowers, stopping on a whim for tacos, all without anyone complaining about being too hot, too cold, bored, hungry or ready to go home.

The Amma (my mom) after being tricked into hiking up the Borrego Palm Canyon trail
The Amma (my mom) after hiking  Borrego Palm Canyon trail

All four of us have had a ball tromping through state parks, but rarely are all four people happy at one time. You want to see that old phrase “madder than a wet hen” in action? Add my mom to the mix. I have tricked her into hiking on short trails and have been surprised she was speaking to me by the end.

*Click on any of the photos for larger versions, the flowers are really pretty*

Julian Pie for a second breakfast!
Julian Pie for a second breakfast!
IMG_5719
More pie pics. Because, pie. That’s why.

For this day trip, we stopped in Santa Ysabel for apple pie à la mode at the Julian Pie Company. We carpool school trips to this area and I always try to bring my car load of middle schoolers to this shop for a snack. If you have the chance to visit, don’t miss it! Seriously, pie is my favorite dessert, and I prefer my own pie usually. This is the only pie I buy. I think they only hire the nicest people. Must be part of their hiring tactics.

I call this photo "Cholla Blooms, One Week Too Early"
I call this photo “Cholla Blooms, One Week Too Early”
Wildflowers of Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Wildflowers of Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Next on the agenda- hunt down some wildflowers. We’ve had enough rain to ensure a good year for desert flowers in all their beauty. Looks like it’s Yellow Flower Season to me. And can you see the citrus groves in the distance in the photo on the right? The groves were in full bloom and words cannot begin to describe their perfume that filled the air.

What's left of lunch from El Borrego.
What’s left of lunch from El Borrego.

We finished the day with a snack from El Borrego. This little taco shop had a great menu, but we went for the basics- tacos and a carnitas burrito. The Husband declared that he will be stopping at El Borrego every future trip to the desert. You’ll have to use your imagination to decide if the lunches looked as good as they tasted… they did, and I for got to snap a pic. I love a good, hard fried shredded beef taco, and they know how to make them here.

While I missed my kids, I’m glad they had a quiet day at home instead of being dragged out to the desert on a 92 degree day (but it’s a DRY heat!). If you are looking for a nice day trip, I love the Anza Borrego desert this time of year. Don’t forget the State Park Visitor’s Center, the day hikes, buy a bag of oranges and enjoy the fresh air if you come out.

More flowers, that's why we came...
More flowers, that’s why we came…
Ocotillo in bloom, Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Ocotillo in bloom, Anza Borrego Desert