What Have You Done for Your Neighbor Lately?


Moving to Los Angeles was such a culture shock.  There was so much to do, so much to see, so much to learn.  But the people, whoa.  That was a doozy of a difference.  People were laid back, but they just weren’t as friendly as I was used to.

In Iowa, you could strike up a conversation with a total stranger just about anywhere.  In LA, strangers would look at you like you were nuts if you tried to talk to them.  People in the Midwest are just friendlier, but maybe I’m biased.

When a neighbor would move in, I would proudly bake cookies or a pie to deliver as housewarming gift.  People didn’t do that kind of thing in L.A. When we moved back to Iowa, it brought tears to my eyes when the first neighbor showed up with cookies… then the second… then…

But other than making pies for neighbors, I really didn’t venture into that form of baked goods.  I have an awesome recipe for chocolate chip pecan pie that I received from a coworker years ago… that’s pretty much the only type of pie I make.  Fruit pies. Cream pies. Meringue.  Good Lord they scare me.  Cookies aren’t supposed to be the perfect shape or size.  Brownies and fudge are just squares.  Pies – oh, so many things seem like they could go wrong…  a homemade crust, the filling, any topping.  My chocolate chip pecan pie recipe was just a frozen pie crust that was covered with a simple one-shot filling.  The only thing that could go wrong was if I overfilled it.

PillsburyThen last month, Pillsbury representatives threw out a challenge for me.  Would I be interested in baking a pie for the holidays?  Hmmm.  I was planning on being at my MIL’s house so I said “If you can ship it there, I’ll give it a shot.”  I figured we could make it a grandma/grandkid/me project and if it flopped I could blame it on the kids.  I’m serious, I would have blamed them but nobody would have believed it since I have a reputation for my cooking ‘issues’.

Anyway, the package I received from Pillsbury included two 9″ glass pie dishes, adorable Christmas cutouts, a pie server and a CD of recipes.  We browsed the recipes and found a candy bar one that sounded good.  We purchased the ingredients then went at it.

My MIL explained some of the basics – like letting the crusts get to room temperature first.  She also showed me how to make the scalloped edges around the pie before adding the filling and how to trim it back.  On a funny note, she confided that her neighbor (whom I referred to as “Pie Making Neighbor” in a post last summer) uses Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts just like these for all her pies.  Geez, I thought her pies were totally homemade.

It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be and we had a lot of fun.  The pie ended up tasting great and was rich but delicious.  I honestly couldn’t believe how easy it was and realized that this isn’t going to be my last pie.  The next time a neighbor moves in, they’ll be getting one and it won’t be my usual!  And so you know… that picture of the piece of pie at the top of my post… that’s the final product of our Pillsbury challenge!

Now I have to ask… what have you done for your neighbor lately?  Baking for a new neighbor (or even an existing one) is the ultimate guilt-free baking project.  It will brighten your day and theirs!  To encourage you to be a Midwestern neighbor no matter where you live, I’m giving you the chance to win your own pie gift package!

The Prize

One You-Can-Do-It-Too Pie Basket compliments of Pillsbury.  (They actually termed it a Holiday Gift Package but I like my name better.)

Participants –
…must provide a US mailing address.
…must provide an email in the first comment, email me directly with an email address or have email accessible from their profile. Winner has 72 hours from posting/notification to respond.  If winner cannot be contacted, I will move on to the second random selection.

Sometime on January 20, 2009, a winner will be chosen at random (using random.org) from all comments left. Winner will be posted on PRIZEYWinners.

How to enter: (CONTEST CLOSED)

227 thoughts on “What Have You Done for Your Neighbor Lately?

  1. I would love to try the Pillsbury® Pet-Ritz® Pie Crusts! I always make mine from scratch and, even if they turn out ok, I can never seem to make them look pretty :-/

    khmorgan_00 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  2. I’d like to give the refrigerated Recipe Creations dough a try. I think it would be a quick way to do a meat-filled “en croute” style recipe. My French Canadian meat pie filling would be terrific wrapped in this instead of baked in a pie shell, sort of like a sausage roll, only larger. Having the dough in a continuous sheet instead of using individual crescent roll dough and patching it together

  3. Well this may sound crazy, but I have never used a pre-bought pie crust! Never ever, but I really would like to! I suppose I should actually try it and see how it goes:) So that’s the Pillsbury product I’ve never tried but would like to. Plain old pie crust:)

  4. I told you I subscribe to your feed up above and also told you I follow you on Blogger.com, so I had to post this 2nd post since I put two entries into one. I use one6ylady as my screen name on both services.

  5. I have never tried their Blue Cheese and Red Onion Jam Crescent Thumbprints and would love to try them because they look yummy!

    treflea4 at gmail dot com

  6. I have really been wanting to try the Pillsbury Savorings Flaky Pastry Bites because they sound so delicious! I have been looking in the grocery store but they are not available yet. I just know I would love the mozzarella-pepperoni one. Thank you so much!

  7. Pillsbury Savorings Flaky Pastry Bites look yummy, I have seen them mentioned on some blog but I have not seen them at the store (I do forget to look so the store might have them)

    nor_lou at hotmail dot com

  8. I have never tried the Crescent Recipe Creations. I had no idea they made such a thing. How cool to not have to press together the seams on the crescent roll dough anymore.

    I love baking pies. Of course the problem with that is I also love eating them.

    Sorry, you are not having the warmth from people you are accustomed to. I know when I first moved to Oklahoma and people said

  9. I would like to try their Pillsbury Savorings Flaky Pastry Bites . I have looked for them at my local grocery store but have not been able to find them yet.

  10. i love to try there savorings pastry to see what thay are like and well please enter me in for this as to why i love to give the savorings out ? just to see what thay are like no real reason thanks

  11. I have never tried thier pie crusts (idiot that I am, I keep trying to make my own and fail miserably) and really should! I am also curious about the Crescent Recipe Creations. I use thier crescent rolls for a favorite recipe, but I wonder if this would make that recipe easier..hmm, I may have to try them.

  12. I haven’t tried their Golden Layers refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, and would love to make the jalapeno poppers recipe with them! Yum.
    laurachilton {at} hotmail.com

  13. I would love to try the Crescent Receipe Creations. I haven’t recently tried a receipe that needed them but I always hated making something like veggie pizza and trying to connect all the crescents at the seams. This would be a real time saver!

  14. One product I have never tried but what like to is Grands! Frozen Biscuits. What I like about them is that I can have them on hand in the freezer and take and bake however many I want.

  15. I haven't tried the Pillsbury Brownie Batter. Spread & bake sounds super easy. It would be a nice base to a brownie sundae!
    cbeargie at yahoo dot com

  16. Buttermilk –frozen pancakes— Would like to try them…never have and sure wish I had some right now with my morning coffee! They look good.

  17. I would love to try the Grands frozen biscuits. I love biscuits but never seem to get them right. (Think hockey puck.) It would be great to be able to just pop a couple of frozen biscuits in the oven and a few minutes later have tasty fluffy biscuits like my mother used to make.

    nunnelleyc (at) yahoo.com

  18. I have not yet tried their Grands Jr. Biscuits. Sound great for portion control in the new year!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  19. I want to try the spread and bake brownie batter and see if it’s any good for cheesecake marbled brownies. I haven’t had the time to test it out!


  20. I’ve never tried the Crescent Recipe Creations and would like to because I use regular crescent rolls for different recipes…but it’s hard to keep the seams together sometimes.
    give_me_a_latte at yahoo

  21. I wonder if the “Pillsbury® Savorings Pastry Bites” taste as good as if I were to home make them?? I’ve yet to see them in my area, but they HAVE caught my interest alot lately.

    mariannakeough at hotmail.com

  22. I have never tried their rerigerated breadsticks, but if they taste anything like the rolls and biscuits, I bet they are flaky and delicious-thanks!
    linjenals at yahoo dot com

  23. this is sweet.
    i have been wondering about the spread and bake brownie batter. seems so simple. i bet its yummy. thanks for this giveaway. oh, check out my latest blog “want to die” and see what i do for my neighbors all the time

  24. I would love to try the Pillsbury Savorings Flaky Pastry Bites. They look so good, and “out of the ordinary” for me.

    joyfulnoise4him at yahoo dot com

  25. I would like to try the Country Italian Bread. I think it would be handy to have to round out a meal. My family loves breads.
    slrdowney at hotmail dot com

  26. I haven’t yet tried the Pillsbury Savorings Flaky Pastry Bites and they look so YUMMY! But they are on my list of snacks to buy for our Super Bowl party. I can’t wait to taste them!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    proudyaya04 {at} yahoo {dot} com

  27. I’m wanting to try the Recipe Creations. I’ve used Crescent Rolls for years, and think I’d really like the Recipe Creations. Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. I’ve been watching for the Pillsbury Savorings Flaky Pastry Bites but haven’t found them yet. I see they are getting great reviews so hopefully they’ll make it to Maine soon! Thanks!

  29. I have never used the Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts. I have a great recipe for crusts, but sometime I am in just too big of a hurry to make a crust, so I would like to check out the convenience! Thanks for the giveaway!


  30. I really want to try some of their Savorings Pastry Bites in Spinach and Cheese. I haven’t tried them yet and they look so good!

    A friend of mine once told me that in Texas you can strike up a conversation in line at the grocery store with a stranger and end up with an invitation to their house for a barbeque. That’s just the way it is here LOL.

  31. I never heard or have seen the Toaster Scrambles Frozen Pastries. I wonder if they sell them here since I have never noticed them in my local grocery store. I would love to try them. I work away from home and am to busy to try and cook a huge breakfast in the morning and this would be a great option to choose instead of toast or dry cereal. Thanks for sharing.

  32. I would love to try the Pillsbury® Savorings Pastry Bites because they shound easy and delicious! 😀


  33. i’d love to try their pie crust! i do mine from scratch, but because of the work don’t make them very often. my husband really likes pies, and this would make my job of pie-making easier!! 🙂

    rsmile2u (at) dejazzd (dot) com

  34. I love to cook and bake from scratch. But, I like to have products on hand when I want something tasty and quick to prepare. So, I would choose the Pillsbury Oven Baked Dinner Rolls. I have not tried those yet.

  35. I haven’t tried the new Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations. I saw some interesting recipes using the Crescent Recipe creations product. The Enchillada Casserole looked really good. Everyome in my family like Mexican food. Thanks!

    skstigger (at) hotmail.com

  36. I found your giveaway on Hondaray6 blog site followed it to you and was excited at your basket

    All the items on the pillsbury site are interesting but i really like the pizza rolls for my grandkids


  37. I would love to try the Spread and Bake Brownie Batter. With 2 boys things are always nuts around here and this looks so fast and easy to make for them!


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