Bits and Bobbles

The Great Granola Bar Shipment



It’s been a crazy week. We made, hand cut, wrapped, and labeled 6,300 granola bar samples. I am ever the optimist when putting together a project, but unfortunately, I grossly miscalculated how much time it would take to put this project together. Luckily, I have some amazing friends and a fantastic husband who all pitched in to help get the job done.

As we placed the last label and packed the last box, I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. I reveled in crossing the finish line by our new fire pit with a glass of wine, caramelized onion chicken breast, sautéed kale, fingerling potatoes and Mr. PC, before allowing the flood of new tasks lining up for this current week to infiltrate my mind.


This is by far the largest order we have had, and yet when we are bogged down, we stray more to meals that are simple and fast. Usually a quick pop into a favorite restaurant or a jar of my family’s sauce that I’ve stocked up in the freezer tossed with some pasta and maybe a little protein and parm.

However, once we had finished, we turned our minds towards food. I wanted to sleep, and yet jump into my home kitchen and start making meals again. Meals I could linger over while sipping wine, nibbling on bits of veg while I chopped and tossed onto the pan for roasting.


In the interim, until I could get dinner on the table, we need something to snack on with our wine (for me) and bourbon – High West – with an ice sphere (for Mr. PC). Behold, a bulk bag of raw almonds and a garden lush with fresh rosemary. Massaged with a little olive oil, sprinkled with Maldon sea salt, and roasted till toasty. The perfect fireside snack, it is silly simple, but it was such a perfect nibble.

I love insanely thoughtful, simple, and delicious bar food, and these nuts are exactly what I want to graze on while have a leisurely drink by the fire with my hubs.


Now, all I want to do is read the box of cookbooks that arrived on my doorstep in the middle of the great granola bar shipment, while eating roasted almonds.


Salted Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Rachel Ellrich Miller


1 1/2 # Almonds, Raw & Whole
2 TBSP. Olive Oil
3 Sprigs Rosemary, Fresh
Maldon Sea Salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds on a parchment lined sheet pan. Massage olive oil and rosemary (remove the leaves from the stem by holding the top in one hand and sliding your hand down the stem with the other hand) into almonds, coating all throughly. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Roast for 10 minutes, pushing nuts around, and rotating pan. Then roast for another 5-10 minutes, until slightly darker and slightly golden inside.

Remove and cool. Pile into a bowl and serve warm with your cocktail or adult beverage of choice.


Daydream Monday, anyone?



Summers in Arizona for restaurants and bakeries or any hospitality business here is slow. Super slow. I assumed this would give me time to relax, daydream, and plan for the upcoming season. Yeah, not so much. I have been consistently busy planning and plotting with the odd job here and there, that I feel like I haven’t been able to spend much time playing with all my new ideas.

Mondays are my creative days. Well, I do office work too, but I give myself space to write recipes, test recipes, and flip through my cookbooks and mags that are piling up on my desk, and finally organize the bobs and bits around my messy office.

Daydream Mondays allow for endless cups of coffee, slices of leftover dark chocolate cake for lunch, and wine time arriving whenever the day demands and permits. Bowls of sweet plum slices for snack while catching up on emails or sorting through boxes of baking tools that will be used and abused this upcoming season. I don’t have to be anywhere or have to meet any deadlines. The day takes shape however I need it to, plus it’s alone time in my home office and kitchen to be by myself.

It’s simple and not the break I had hoped for, but the business is growing and starting to find its shape, and I am so grateful for this progress.


Thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday to Williams-Sonoma Biltmore for the Artisan Market. We love being able to do these events and spread the word about what we are doing at Pistol Whipped Pastry.

Happy Monday, friends!


Rachel Ellrich Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, hangs out with her amazing husband, Mr. PC, and drinks copious amounts of Arizona wine. You can get more information about her pastry at, or her Sugar Rush column on Phoenix New Times Chow Bella blog.

Present Christmas

When I was 6 years old, my grandparents got divorced. My grandma moved away and cut off communication with my dad (her son) and in turn, the grandkids. Four years later, my grandpa started dating a woman named, Marilyn. A widower and French teacher, originally from Vermont, she brought peanut butter popcorn, scavenger hunts and a vivacious laugh to our lives.

For the past 20 years, my siblings and I have had a grandpa and a Marilyn. While Christmas presents don’t matter as much the older you get, I always find myself waiting eagerly for the box that Marilyn sends. What’s inside the wrapping paper and boxes are not mere objects, but a representation that she cares about us, thinks about us, and knows who we are.

A few years ago at Thanksgiving, I briefly mentioned that I was interested in learning how to make Springerle cookies, because my great-grandfather used to make them every year. Come Christmas, a package arrived, and Marilyn had found me a Springerle rolling pin.

Last night, a package arrived on the doorstep. I opened the box from Marilyn to find a stunning vintage metal cake stand she found in an antique shop. It’s not about the perfect present, but the fact that someone knows you well enough to see something and think of you.

If you don’t have a grandma, I highly suggested getting yourself a Marilyn.



Bits and Bobbles


[flickr id=”5998567131″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

Slate Garden Markers from Stencil and Stone, Morrisville, Vermont


Soda Stream Love + A Little History –  (I love my Soda Stream and it’s so much cheaper than bottled soda water.)

Muddling & Mint 

Urban Garden Transformation – (Love their garden transformation. Currently daydreaming of my own version.)

You Grow Girl – (Great blog name and gardening go to site!)

A Way to Garden – (Blog and book, both are great!)

Package Free, Zero Waste Grocery Store

10 Unconventional Bookstores 

Stylish Travel Bag – (I’ve got to get shopping for a beautiful new travel bag!)

Texas Beer Regulations – (I love Texas but these regulations are lame.)

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