Cream Cheese & Pumpkin Pie

I made this recipe for the first time today and I have decided it will be a keeper!


  • 1 refrigerated pie crust or you can make your own from scratch like me which you can find here
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 tablespoon of milk



Heat oven to 350°F.
Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on the package for one-crust filled pie.
Bake about 10 minutes or until light golden brown.

In a large bowl, beat sugar, flour and cream cheese with electric mixer on low speed or until smooth.


Reserve 1/2 cup in a small bowl.


Add remaining ingredients except the milk to cream cheese mixture in the large mixing bowl.


Beat on medium speed until smooth.

Stir milk into small cream cheese mixture.


Pour pumpkin mixture into the pie shell and set aside.


Slowly spoon cream cheese mixture over the pumpkin mixture. Swirl together the mixture for a marbled design.


Cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
Cool for 30 minutes and cover loosely and refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.


A classic fall favorite.


– R. Vargas

Pie-Tap Pizza Workshop + Bar

I was recently invited to Pie-Tap  for dinner and was welcomed by such a great staff who were very attentive and knowledgeable about the product and concept.


The owner of Pie-Tap is known to be an entrepreneur with big ideas who is also a major health freak.
When he thought of the concept of Pie-Tap, he wanted great pizza yet simple and clean.

The dough that is served takes 96 hours for the yeast to ferment and only contains five ingredients. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing you are not able to pronounce. The crust offered can also be gluten free.


Pie-Tap’s head chef Gio comes from Sicily and when the concept of this restaurant was created, they traveled the world for the variety of sauces to incorporate.
That being said, all pastas and bread are homemade.


Pie-Tap takes pride in working with local vendors and farmers.Some ingredients such as herbs are even pulled directly from their garden outside of their dining area.


The star(s) of the workshop are really the twin Italian ovens that were shipped directly from Italy. These were said to be a necessity.
They are the key to the operations and pizza. 


As if they didn’t offer enough already, they deliver pizza, beer and wine everyday of the week!
Choose from over 35 taps which include beer and wine.


Passion is put behind every single dish and plate. Everything is fresh, flavorful, and the pizza is unlike any kind of pizza you’ve ever had before.
The marinara sauce taste like the tomatoes were just picked from the garden and squeezed in the kitchen and placed on your plate before you. It is that fresh!


What really amazed me was that chef courses are offered to employees! Chef courses! What other company do you know that does that?
It’s obvious this company not only cares about their product and ingredients but also their employees.


The kitchen is an open concept because the transparency to see what the chefs are cooking, how they are handling the food, and what they are serving to guests is essential.


Not only was the food amazing but I truly believe the hospitality that was displayed here is everything a restaurant should be. My blog content photographer Jannet and I cannot thank Pie-Tap enough for the privilege of hosting us!
If you live in the DFW area be sure to wine & dine at one of Pie-Tap’s locations. Just make sure you reserve a table since it is a popular spot!

I’ll be heading back soon for the brunch specials, you can’t beat $3 Mimosas!


– R. Vargas

| Pie-Tap provided me with product. The opinions I have shared about the products are solely my own. | All photography credit is due to the services of Jannet Medellin Photography

Apple Pie

This was my first attempt at making an apple pie from scratch. I am very pleased with how it turned out.
You can always buy a pre-made pie shell but I made mine from scratch.

I used a simple recipe from the Food Network Website:


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
14 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 pounds baking apples like Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Mutsu
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten


You can either make the dough by hand or in a mixer like I did.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.

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Work the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like yellow corn meal mixed with bean sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before moving on.)

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Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.

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Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

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Make the filling:

Peel, halve, and core the apples.

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Cut each half into 4 wedges. Toss the apple with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and toss to combine evenly.

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In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

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Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes.

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Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes.

Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible.

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Return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

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In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices. Set aside to cool completely.

Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide.

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Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the discs of dough, and trim it so it lays about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pan.

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Put the apple filling in the pan and mound it slightly in the center.

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Brush the top edges of the dough with the whisked egg.

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Place the second disc of dough over the top. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired.

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Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

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Bake the pie on a baking sheet until the crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving. The pie keeps well at room temperature (covered) for 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

March-April 217Let me know how your pie came out!


-R. Vargas

Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

The sweetest, cheapest, and quickest dessert you’ll ever make!
Perfect dessert if you’re running short on time and you don’t even have to put it in the oven.
The prep time is about five minutes.


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk/Creamer
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Lemon Juice
  • 1 can of Cherry/Strawberry/Blueberry pie filling
  • 1 Graham Cracker (9 inch) Pie Crust

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In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, can of condensed milk, Vanilla extract, and lemon juice.

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Blend together with a mixer for about a minute until you see a smooth texture. (Make sure it doesn’t turn into a liquid while mixing together.)

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Once you notice the texture is smooth, pour batter into the pie shell.

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Cover and refrigerate for about two hours.

Once refrigerated the pie filling will have settled and should be thick.
Pour can of cherries/strawberries/blueberries on top and cover the pie and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

After being chilled for a few minutes, uncover and enjoy!

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-R. Vargas