How to Make a Rainbow & Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey

Peanut Butter Pie via Sweetapolita

umbrella + rain + love + sunshine = how to make a Rainbow

It’s almost midnight here. I sit in my cozy bed with a warm laptop on my legs, a loyal cat on my feet, and a strong, loving man asleep beside me. And, oh . . . wait a minute — make that a strong, loving man and a beautiful but displaced four-year-old who should likely be in her own bed, asleep beside  me. I won’t lie, though — I don’t really want her to go back to her bed, even though between the two of them, I’m left with little room to type. Our little almost-two-year-old sleeps peacefully in her crib just across the hall, and it’s a typical night here. Sometimes I forget how much I love typical. I forget how lucky I am to have another typical day with family. See, sometimes, or well, often, when life gets too busy, or too stressful, or even too typical, I take this all for granted–my family, my health, and life in general.

Today, though, was different. Well, I should say this entire week was different, because I have reached a place that immerses me in feelings of gratitude, love, and appreciation for those close to me . . . and what an amazing place that is. Did I mention this wonderful place of love and gratitude has pie?

This past Sunday, fellow food-blogger, Jennie Perillo’s typical came to a heartbreaking halt when, in a sudden and unexpected moment, her husband and father of their two little girls, Mikey, died of a heart attack, leaving no time for goodbyes. When I saw Jennie’s tweet on Sunday evening that said “He’s gone. And my heart is shattered in a million pieces”, I instantly felt numb, but I hoped maybe I misunderstood. I knew she was happily married, but I thought that it couldn’t possibly be her husband she was referring to, or maybe he left her, which seemed so hard to believe. I wasn’t sure, and, to be honest, the gripping worry and concern surprised even me, because I really don’t know Jennie that well. But I was concerned; I couldn’t stop thinking about her, up until the very moment I fell asleep that night, and then some. When I woke up Monday morning and checked into twitter looking for any bit of reassurance that everything was okay with her, I went straight to her profile to see if she’d written. I then saw a tweet she posted linking to a video clip she calls one last dance. When I watched the video of Mikey and their young daughter dancing, I still didn’t know anything for sure, but I cried. Maybe it was because it reminded me so much of Grant dancing with our little girls, but I cried instantly with grief. Once I read the flurry of tweets that followed from her many devastated friends, stating that Mikey had indeed passed away, I cried even more and every time I think about it, I cry again. You truly just never know.

Because the food community is a remarkably tight-knit one, and through the wonders of twitter are able to connect on a pretty intimate level every single day, there is a camaraderie and connection that I simply wouldn’t believe possible if I wasn’t part of it all. Perhaps this is why the entire community is so affected by Jennie’s loss and her recent request in a blog post she calls For Mikey:

As I spend Friday reflecting on the love and life that was gone in an instant, I’d like to invite all of you to celebrate his life too. Mikey loved peanut butter cream pie.  I haven’t made it in a while, and I’ve had it on my to-do list for a while now.
I kept telling myself I would make it for him tomorrow. Time has suddenly stood still, though, and I’m waiting to wake up and learn to live a new kind of normal. For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.

So, I did exactly what she asked, and I made her incredible pie and shared it with the loves of my life, in honour of Mikey, and to celebrate that we have each other…today.

Sweetapolita

I gave the girls the decadent and delicious Peanut Butter Pie in bed, in their pjs. They both loved it, and watching Neve savour each and every bite with so much focus and appreciation made me realize, I could stand to learn a thing or two about that. Their matching pajamas say umbrella + rain + love + sunshine = how to make a rainbow, and I couldn’t agree more. For some, it’s as rainy as it can be right now.

Sweetapolita
But, thank goodness for umbrellas . . .

Sweetapolita

 And love . . .

Sweetapolita

 And a bit more love . . .

Sweetapolita

And, of course, sunshine . . .

We wish Jennie & her girls, along with anyone else who may have rainy days right now, the brightest of rainbows as they heal.

umbrella + rain + love + sunshine = how to make a Rainbow

We all loved this pie for both what it meant and how simply delicious it is. Thank you, Jennie.

Making and sharing this pie is truly just an amazing reminder of what’s important in life: taking the time to show your loved ones how much you care for them, and in this case, through the nurturing and nourishment of food made with love.

If you’d like to see more Peanut Butter Pie posts from other bloggers, in honour of Mikey Perillo, here is an extensive and constantly updated list of links from Food Network.

Here is Jennie’s recipe for Mikey’s favourite Creamy Peanut Butter Pie:

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

*courtesy of In Jennie’s Kitchen

Serves 10 to 12

8 ounces chocolate cookies

4 tablespoons butter, melted

4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup creamy-style peanut butter

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar. Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream). Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.

Enjoy & serve with love.

Love, Rosie xo

Signature

Signature
Share the Sweetness!

Comments

  1. says

    A beautiful and moving tribute to an amazing food blogger and her husband. I watched the Last Dance video just this afternoon and instantly started to weep.

  2. says

    Everytime I think about it, I remember when 9 years ago my father had a traffic accident, and 1 year and 14 days later, he died… I came suddenly that empty feeling you get when someone beloved dies, a feeling that can not be explained, only understood by someone who has lost a loved one. And when I read Jenny’s story, that feeling came to me again, and I felt very sorry for him, but also for his wife, little girls,family and friends… It is a very nice idea baking his favorite pie to remember him, and I will pray for his family to be strong to go on with life.
    Rosie, you have a wonderful children, and as I can imaging after reading your blog for months… you are a lovely woman, very sensitive,that loves your job and put all your heart in everything that you bake. congratulacions for being such an exemplary person.
    Kisses from Barcelona,
    Miriam

  3. Yasmin says

    This has brought me to tears. We forget so easily to appreciate what we have.
    “Sometimes I forget how much I love typical” – what a beautiful way to put it into perspective.

    God bless.

  4. says

    This is the first time this week that I’m crying tears of joy… this post is absolutely beautiful and inspiring. It reminds us to live each day like it’s the last, to hold onto the people we love, not knowing what each day will bring. Thank you for this.

  5. says

    You are such a talented baker, but also a talented writer. Thank you for the reminder to appreciate the typical days :) I love the food blogging community, because form the bottom of everyone’s heart, they truly care about each other.

  6. says

    Rosie, thank you for sharing your moving and inspirational thoughts of love and affection for Jennie and her family and of your own beautiful family. Jennie’s simple request to bake a pie for Mickey has reminded us that we all need to not only count are blessings, but hold them everyday and show them that we love them beyond measure.

  7. says

    It is interesting that we had the same reaction when we read Jennie’s post on twitter; i was not sure is her husband had died or left, or maybe someone else in her family died. But next morning I saw all the twitter comments from fellow bloggers and it was heartbreaking. I spent all day thinking about Jennie and her girls. I dont know them personally but this really struck a cord with me, especially because on the same weekend as the death of those Seals in Afghanistan and being in the military that is always hard. So, I sent my fiance an email telling him how much I love him and how happy he made me. Suddenly I felt an urgency to tell those I love how I do love them.

    Your post is beautiful and your girls are just adorable. I just want to hug them! :)

  8. says

    Could we have ever imagined this community 5 years ago? what it’s done to our lives? how we are SO connected to strangers, how strangers can impact our lives so much. I’m SO thankful to be apart of it.

    Such a beautiful post Rosie. We enjoyed our pie yesterday as well. This week has been so mixed with tears, pain and love, as I have another {foodie} friend who lost her brother this morning.

    Your girls are adorable.

  9. says

    Beautiful! Although I am fairly new to the foodie community I am so touched and moved by the love and support shown by everyone. It’s amazing how, as Tidy Mom put it, “we are so connected to strangers…” It has been such a blessing to witness.

  10. anna richards says

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been reading the Mikey posts all over and they are all so touching! On another note – Your daughters are absolutely stunning! So sweet! I love the kisses one!

  11. linda says

    i, too, have been reading (& crying) all day & all over about jennie’s loss…
    your post was beautifully written, so heartfelt & such a wonderful tribute to mikey as well as jennie & her children.
    a shout out to the food blogging community for their sensitivity, their support & the incredible way they have embraced jennie & her wishes. you are a remarkable community of upstanding & caring people…kudos!

  12. Becca H. says

    What a wonderful, beautiful, amazing post. Rosie, that made me sob nearly as much as learning of Mikey’s passing. You have a gift with words, photos… and love!

  13. says

    I am speechless. I can’t imagine how awful that must be, and with two little boys I don’t even want to imagine it. What a beautiful post. (also your kids are just adorable)

  14. says

    Just beautiful, Sweetapolita!! Your post definetly sums up the sweet life:) I love love that you served the pie to your girls in bed! Your girls are beautiful…so happy enjoying mommy’s treats…and so happy wih each other:)

  15. Sheila says

    I only discovered your blog a month or so ago, I have been an avid follower! You truly have a way not only with baking, but with words. You are truly gifted. Thank you for reminding me today that “typical” is okay! To cherish it and be thankful for it. So as I type this I’m thinkng I’m going to put the computer away and enjoy a “typical” afternoon with my two loves, my husband, and our son and cherish them!! Thank you. Blessings…;)

  16. Cory says

    Aww! This is the second time I have read about Mikey today. How heartbreaking. It is so neat to see so many “food bloggers” doing the peanut butter pie. The loss of this man is not in vain… through him I am reminded to slow down and enjoy my sweet family a little more.

  17. says

    A beautiful family and an incredible story. Your daughters are beyond adorable and those pj’s and shirts are the cutest. And they say all the right things. Love this post, Rosie. And the pie. Always the pie.

  18. says

    What a lovely moving post. It’s amazing how our little food community comes together when hard times strike one of our own. You’re daughters are beautiful! Thank you for sharing them and your life with us.

  19. says

    heartbreaking, just heartbreaking. I am in the chills & tears stage, and I didn’t know her. Yours words are soooooo beautiful, I have to go hug lovee now.

    Your girls, your pie, your photos, breathtaking, as is your norm!!! Loooove you Rosie!!

  20. says

    Lovley post, in all it´s sadness. We keep saying to eachother to celebrate every day we have togheter, you never know when life will surprise and make a sudden change.

    The Pie is a sweeta and lovely way to celebrate the memory of Mikey and all lost and loved once.

    //Louise

  21. Rosie says

    Oh wow…I’m a ‘softie’—so, I can’t type a long message cuz my eyes are blurred. My prayers are with Jennie.

  22. says

    Rosie, absolutely beautiful post. I’ve seen so much of this pie, yet, I am not tired of reading the posts because each and every pie thus far has been unique and filled with love. I absolutely adore our community.

  23. says

    oh rosie, i read about jennie’s sudden loss and also watched that video and burst into tears, and hugged my husband tightly. my heart goes out to her and her girls. your peanut butter pie post is beautiful and made with love. it’s amazing how the internet can allow us to make friends through blogging and supporting each other. it’s blogs like yours, personal, beautiful photography and baking full of vitality and creativity, that fuels the online community. xo

  24. says

    As always a very beautiful and thoughtful post. You are correct about ‘typical’ and most times we take that forgranted. Unforutnately the wake-up calls and reminders can be so very, very harsh. My thoughts are with her family and yes – sometimes we just need to ‘Eat Dessert First In Bed’ because that is what is called living! Bless you Rosie and your sweet family. I always remember a saying…’I am grateful for the mess and dishes from last nights party – that means I had friends and family over and we had wonderful food, drink and laughs!’ Amen – try to see the good in everything – even the messes in life…it means we are living life freely!

  25. says

    Wow…what an amazing post. I think this is one of my all-time favorites ever! I seriously just felt every emotion, I cried, laughed, and choked a little. I feel awful for Jennie, but I hope she reads this because it will certainly make her feel better! Thank you for posting this, you wrote it beautifully, and your girls are adorable!

  26. Mary Lou Kinsella says

    So sorry to hear, Rosie, of such a loss. What a heartfelt tribute. Very proud of you!
    Beautiful girls and words.

  27. says

    I cried that whole week .. and felt so proud to see how peanut butter pie filled the blogging world. And even now when read these posts I cry. This post made me smile and cry a little a lil bit. I truly hope jenne feels better

  28. Kelly says

    Beautifully written. I had tears running down my cheeks. I am a Friday late but I will be making a Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey this Friday, for my friends.

  29. says

    Your post had me stop dead in my tracks…and just want to give my parents, siblings, two daughters, and 3 grandchildren a HUGE hug (yes, 4 generations still all in touch, such a blessing)!!! As you wrote, you never know. Praying for many, many more “typical” years for you and your beautiful family, too!

  30. Jess Jo says

    Heart-wrenching post. The loss of someone so sudden gives no time for grief to start.

    Your girls are just gorgeous. Treasure each moment with them. xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>