Thanks for letting me share the details of a party I hosted and styled this week -- a patriotic tribute to one of the trendiest treats of the moment: the all-American pie. The event showcased some fresh and clever interpretations of this “classic-turned-trendy” dessert. No doubt HWTM readers are familiar with the old adage, “as American as apple pie,” and pie definitely seemed the natural choice when I began planning this patriotic celebration. True confession: I’ve had a love-affair with pie (and the concept for this party) ever since I watched the movie “Waitress,” drooling over each and every luscious pie concocted by Keri Russell behind the counter of her pie diner (Sidenote: I’ve been waiting ever since for someone to publish a cookbook of the pies featured in the film -- including her recipe for Falling In Love Chocolate Mousse Pie -- but alas, no such cookbook has materialized to date). The porch of my historic 1910 American Foursquare home in suburban Washington, D.C. provided an ideal setting for this tribute to a humble dessert which dates back to our founding fathers. I incorporated vintage touches throughout the décor (an assortment of vintage cake stands / antique mason jars / wooden crates; handmade paper pinwheels and cupcake-liner paper flowers; colorful fabric runners and flag banners stitched by my talented neighbor; an antique hutch rescued from the trash heap and spiffed up with a new coat of paint; even a vintage bicycle loaned to me by another neighbor, which arrived at the shoot sporting a woven Nantucket bike basket). I admittedly took a bit of liberal license with the traditional patriotic palette, using red, white and aqua as the main colors, and sprinkling “Modern Vintage” fabrics by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics and aqua-striped sip straws throughout the display for added charm. Other fun (and eco-friendly) details on the buffet included tin pie plates (purchased from the dollar store and dressed up with fabric and wax paper liners) and half-pint milk bottles and mason jars adorned with custom printables by Anders Ruff in lieu of plastic disposables. As the proprietor of Freshly Baked Confections + Petite Sweets, I am often asked to create extravagant mini-dessert buffets for my clients’ parties and events. I decided to take this celebration’s “mini-buffet” up a notch or two by creating an “all-American pie buffet,” inspired by the delicious recipes and gorgeous presentation of the pies featured in Dani Cone’s book, Cutie Pies. I developed a menu to include both savory and sweet pies, turning to trusted partner, Windows Catering, to tackle the savory recipes, while Freshly Baked handled the sweet stuff. Together, we prepared a smorgasbord of pies in all shapes, crusts and sizes, including blackberry pie pops; apple, cheddar, rosemary pie jars; lobster mac ‘n cheese cutie pies; shrimp and crab salad tartlettes; ham and gruyere hand pies; “pie” cake pops; and even deconstructed versions like “mudslide pie dessert shots” and “blueberry pie milkshakes”. By keeping serving sizes petite, guests felt comfortable sampling all the different pie varieties on the buffet – and there were plenty of choices to satisfy every palette! No matter how you slice it, this party was a heap of fun without being fussy. While the theme worked especially well for the 4th of July, some minor tweaks for a baby shower, afternoon tea or even a casual wedding reception would be … well … as “easy as pie!"