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Along with the ushering in of fall come so many lovely things…cooler days and nights provide a welcome relief from the heat of summer, the trees turn gorgeous shades of crimson, orange, and gold, and make for gorgeous afternoon drives through the country side, comfort foods abound, and I start to feel like the holidays are right around the corner!  Another thing for me to look forward to about fall is that along with it comes my birthday.  If you’re wondering how old I am, I’m older than some and younger than others…I think a lady should never have to reveal her age.  ;)

I realized that I haven’t done a blog giveaway yet, and I thought how better to celebrate my birthday than to give you a gift? 



A Brief Review of The Comfort Table by Katie Lee JoelWhat’s the prize?  A cookbook that’s absolutely perfect for this time of year…The Comfort Table by Katie Lee Joel.  This book is nicely organized, with each chapter devoted to a different meal, course, or type of food.  For each recipe, Katie gives a short narration or anecdote about the recipe or where it came from, which I think helps to paint a fuller picture of the recipe.  There are several classic American recipes (beef stew, meat loaf, and creamy mashed potatoes), but there’s also a good mix of recipes with a Southern flare (fried green tomatoes, layered pea salad, sausage gravy, and Grandmother Paul’s red velvet cake). 


But it doesn’t end there…Katie has quite a few dishes with international flavors that bring a lot of variety to this book.  To name a few:  Asian-influenced recipes (Asian-style tuna meatballs with mango chutney and Asian chicken noodle soup), European-inspried recipes (bistro salad and quiche with broccoli, peppers, and goat cheese), and Mexican/Tex Mex-flavored recipes (Mexican cornbread and guacamole). 


I think it can be really helpful to have a photo of what you’re making, and the recipe photos in this book are really gorgeous.  The only thing I would change about this book (and it’s really a very small thing…I’m only sharing it because I want to be 100% honest with you all!) is to have fewer pictures of Katie and more pictures of recipes.  That being said, this is still a fabulous book, and I think will make a valuable contribution to anyone’s cookbook collection!


To Participate in the Giveaway:  This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere, and you don’t need to have a blog to be eligible!  Just leave me a comment on this post telling me one of your favorite comfort foods.  You can leave one entry a day as long as your answers are different.  The contest closes on October 7th at 9PM EST.  If you want, feel free to mention the giveaway on your blog!


I wanted to make something from this book to inspire you all.  The recipes in it are all so fantastic I actually had trouble deciding what to make.  I finally decided on flat pies, which turned out to be scrumptious!  I made a few slight changes to the recipe to customize it for my own taste.  I think my next choice out of this book will be chicken and dumplings…



Mushroom & Thyme Flat Pies (Inspired by Katie Lee Joel’s The Comfort Table)


(Yield:  6 pies)


1 TB butter, plus 1 tsp to grease the baking sheet

1 TB olive oil

8 oz button or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp minced fresh thyme

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

¼ c cream

2 sheets puff pastry

4 oz Gruyère, Emmental, or Swiss cheese, shredded

1 large egg beaten with 1 TB water (for egg wash)


In a large pan, melt together the butter and olive oil; add the mushrooms and sauté on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the onions and sauté another 5 minutes, then add the garlic and thyme and sauté for 1 minute more.  Add the cream, salt, and pepper and let the mixture cook for 2 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Let the mushroom mixture cool to room temperature.


Cut each sheet of pastry into 6 equal pieces.  There’s no need to roll it out…since the pastry comes folded in thirds, I find the easiest way to cut it is to cut along the fold lines of the pastry, then cut right down the middle; you’ll end up with 6 equal pieces (see picture below).  Spoon 1/6 of the mushroom mixture onto a piece of puff pastry, leaving a border of about ½ inch all around; top the mushrooms with 1/6 of the cheese.  Brush the border with egg wash and lay a second piece of puff pastry on top (you might need to stretch the pastry a little so it fits over the filling); press lightly on the edges to seal, then crimp the edges with a fork.  Repeat this 5 times until all 6 pies are made.


Preheat the oven to 375F.  Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter, and transfer the pies to the baking sheet.  Let the pies chill on the baking sheet in the fridge for 20 minutes, then lightly brush each pie with egg wash and cut 2 1-inch vents in the top of each (be careful not to cut through the bottom layer of dough).  Bake, rotating once, about 25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.  Let the pies cool slightly on the pan before removing.







Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. I love home made beef stew!

  2. Shellie Seering says:

    I love me a creamy, gooey mac & cheese when I’m feeling the need for some comfort. Can’t wait to try the pies, they look delicious.

  3. My fave comfort food is grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato bisque. Yummmm….

    Your pies made me hungry!!! LOL

    Please enter me to win. Thanks!!

  4. Hillary F says:

    My comfort food is potato soup. Yummmmy! Thanks for the contest!

  5. Another favorite comfort food for me is fried chicken and rice. (Rice is because I ate rice with everything when growing up. :))

  6. Hope you had a great birthday!

    One of my favorite comfort foods is baked ziti.

  7. I think foods being warm has a lot to do with being comforting! One of my favorites is my Mom’s Brunswick stew with a nice hunk of homemade bread! Thanks for having such a great giveaway!

  8. Molly Capel says:

    One of my fave comfort foods is Mashed Potatoes. lol

  9. So, when is your birthday? I forgot to ask. Mine is today. Fall birthdays are the best!!!

    1. Happy Birthday Chiara!!! I hope it’s a wonderful one. Mine is tomorrow. :)

  10. Wow…love that beautiful puffs…looks yummylicious…nice to know about the book…it sounds awesome……my wishes for u r birthday….

  11. Similar to these are bourekas – typically with spinach and cheese. Those look incredible!
    My favourite food, well more of an ingredient actually, is PESTO. It goes so well with everything. Who couldn’t love something so natural, fresh, and versatile.

  12. My favorite comfort food is a yummy, gooey homemade grilled cheese sandwich. We had those all the time growing up, and although they are incredibly simple, they are soo delicious and always make you feel better on a day when the weather is yucky outside :)

  13. One of my favorite comfort foods is my homemade mac and cheese.

  14. What wonderful flavors! Really scrumptious looking and sounding!



  15. Your pies are one of the coolest recipes I’ve seen online in a long time! I wonder if they’d freeze well?

    Another comfort food is monkey bread! It was always on the Christmas morning table growing up!

  16. My favorite comfort food is cake–nothing can lift my spirits like cake—and when I’m blue I want cake.

  17. Well, its my current craving – Turkish low-fat yoghurt (or Greek yoghurt), topped with ginger jam adn loads of flaked almonds. Eat it immediately for some crunch action or let it sit overnight and have it for brekkie if you want silk on your tongue! Pure heaven

  18. I have to add creamy tomato soup to the list! I’m not talking about Campbell’s, either!! Something more in line with Amy’s tomato bisque! So comforting!

  19. One of my favorite comfort foods is biscuits and gravy.

  20. Oh that would have to be macaroni and cheese.

  21. These look delicious! I’m so going to enter each and everyday so watch out! Hahaha :) Ok my first favorite comfort meal is fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes with a dab of butter on top of the potatoes and corn on top of the potatoes. Yum!

  22. Wow! Those look great! And that cookbook sounds amazing too. My fav comfort food would have to be chicken pot pie or shepherd’s pie.

  23. How gorgeous are those pies?!! My favorite comfort foods are garlicky mashed potatoes as a savory dish and apple crisp for a sweet dish!

  24. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! i agree – a real lady never reveals her age :)

    i hope you have a spectacular birthday, and those pizza pies are soooo cute!

  25. those look gorgeous, so does the lady on the cover :p

    my fav comfort food is definitely borek. it is a turkish food my parents would always make me as a child. either than or baklava … mmm reminds me of home and childhood! so does blackberries and apple pie!

  26. comfort food for me is just any meal that I like… for example a bowl of green oat bran topped with homemade almond butter! :)

    Happy birthday! You’re so generous for hosting a giveaway on your birthday! :)

  27. Happy Happy Birthday!I would love to win that cookbook and by the way, my ultimate comfort food of all time is Soup. Any type of soup will do but Picadillo soup would be the best!

  28. Fitness Surfer says:

    I am very impressed. I’ve never attempted anything on that level. If i could buy the filo dough and then just make the filling then i may just attempt it =)

    Comfort food??? Growing up it was my mom’s chicken casserole with stuffing, celery, sour cream, and cream of chicken. I would say that now it’s…still the same. I still love it although it doesn’t always love me =)

  29. Happy Birthday!! I adore cremini mushrooms and gruyere, so I will have to give this a try. Reading cookbooks is a favorite pastime so I would love to win! Thank you so much! Oh and as far as comfort food I am going with mac and cheese.

  30. Your pies. These are the perfect comfort food indeed!
    I love the sound of that cookbook, esp since it’s got that international flair.
    My fave comfort food is none other than a big bowl of kabocha soup, or matcha oats!

  31. I would love to make these but Ben’s allergic to mushrooms…darn!

  32. My entire family loves what we call “pocket pies”. This one looks to be no exception. As for comfort food, I go back to my youth when a soft boiled egg was cut-up in a glass with a piece of well buttered toast, salt and pepper and all mixed together…but it HAS to be in a glass! Molts anys y bons. oz

  33. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says:

    These little pies look absolutely scrumptious! My daughter would just love these, I will make them for her very soon!

  34. What a nice way to celebrate your birthday! These flat pies look fantastic, I love the mushroom filling. A great pastry for breakfast! As for my comfort food, I think Turkish Rice pudding in oven is my favorite ever!

  35. OMG I love love love her!!! Ok, actually I love love love her ex husband Billy Joel! :) I had this book in my hands the other day at the book store and was SO close to buying it!

    My favorite comfort foods are anything you’d make as a side for Thanksgiving dinner! lol Stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. I actually don’t think I’ve had turkey the last few years, I just fill my plate with everything else!

  36. I have many a comfort food, but the one that sticks out the most to me is a very simple one. Soft boiled eggs and toast “soldiers”. When I was a kid and not feeling well, Mom would always prepare this for me. The soldiers are simply pieces of toast cut into strips for dipping. I still fall back on this “meal” when I’m not well and have made it for my own kids…

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway, Faith!

  37. recently pancakes have been my number one comfort food. there’s nothing more relaxing after a stressful day than to whisk together the ingredients, cook up some fluffy little pancakes, and cover them with maple syrup! yum!

  38. Your flat pies remind me of Cornish meat pies we used to eat in northern Michigan. Everyone loved them…will copy your recipe out- it looks wonderful.

  39. Your birthday is coming? Happy Birthday, Faith! Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

    Oh yummy… I want to try to make that flat pies… good that I got the pastry dough in the freezer.

    My comfort food? It’s pizza! Not sure why, but mostly when I eat a pizza, it will bring a smile on my face :)

  40. What delicious pies these are! They look so flaky and tender. The cookbook sounds great! I had to laugh about the pictures!

  41. YUMMY PICTURES. i love hot oats or curry or cereal as comforting. =D and kabocha.

  42. Happy Birthday Faith! :D Those pies looks delectable and pastry is quite a comfort food indeed (especially the smell as it is baking). Ahh comfort food for me also has to be roast chicken with mash or really nicely cut chips. Or rice congee as that was what I was served when I was sick.

  43. Ahhh… comfort food! When I was little my grand ma used to make me “paradella”, a dish she used to make during second world war with the only things she had in occupied Italy: apples, a little flour and water. Paradella it’s kind on a pancake, only with no eggs nor milk in it, and she used to pan fry it for me and then serve with a mound of sugar in which I dredged each piece. It was delicious. Whenever I’m feeling down and I’m a t my mom’s house she still makes it for me and it still puts a smile on my face.

  44. Sorry honey…lost my mind talking about fried chicken and gravy and forgot to tell you that the flat pies look delicious and I’m looking forward to trying this!


  45. Happy Birthday sweets and how lovely that you are giving a gift for your birthday…you’re awesome.

    one of my favorite comfort foods is fried chicken with country gravy…mmmm love it and it’s something that I actually make quite well!


  46. I like the puff pastry ‘pillow’. Yum!

    Eid mubarak to you, Faith! :)

  47. Heavenly Housewife says:

    In enlgand these flat pastries are called pasties. They are so melt in the mouth. I want to make these.
    Im not that sure what my favourite comfort food is. Probably baked potatoes with lots of butter. Simple is best when you are in need of comfort i think :D

  48. The “flat pies” look so yummy. I’ve never heard that term before. From the looks of them, they remind me of Cornish pasties from England. My favorite comfort food? This is a hard one, but I guess I’d say rice pudding, made with chocolate chips. They’re mmm mmm good :)

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