Where have I been?

Hi friends! Hard to believe it’s been a few months since posting, but I wanted to tell you that I’m here! In fact, I didn’t really go anywhere, I’m still out and about! Keeping busy with work, preparing for a great summer filled with tons of backyard bbqs and cocktail hours, and some upcoming travel to Hawaii, Peru, Dubai and the South Pacific. Whew!

But I think we should really stay in touch.

If you’re a snapchat user, please feel free to add me and I shall do the same! I’ve had a great time snapping some spontaneous moments, including tons of behind the scenes images from my work as a photographer. You can take a photo of this within snapchat and add me!



I am sure you are on Instagram, yes? I’m loving it and will be posting tons and tons of  upcoming travel shots. Check it out! My instagram: mattarmendariz




And of course, I’m still here and on twitter @mattarmendariz so please stop on over and say hello!

Guacamole Video

Hi friends! Happy 2015! I almost forgot to share this quick video I made with my bff Gaby! I’ve been dabbling with video lately, there are a few things I’m excited to share when I can, but in the meantime this should be a tasty kick off for Superbowl, yes? As always, you can find some deliciously brilliant recipes at What’s Gaby Cooking, and three words: Parmesan Pretzel Knots. Yes, please.


Gaby Guacamole Master 15 seconds final from Matt Armendariz on Vimeo.

31 Days Of Pie, Day 31: Gaby’s S’more Pudding Pie

31-days-opening-100pxDay 31 of 31 Days of Pie is Gaby’s S’more Pudding Pie, via Joy.

Well here we are at the last day of our 31 Days Of Pie. I won’t bother with a count, but I’m sure there were dozens of eggs, pounds and pounds of butter, endless calories, and tons of wonderfully sweet moments throughout the month. I don’t know about you, but I’m beyond excited to ring in 2015 and see all the wonderful things it will bring. I saved this pie for last because I think it’s one of the most beautiful pies I’ve ever seen thanks to Adam, and it comes from the world’s-best-friend-anyone-could-ever-hope-to-have Gaby by way of Joy, another fantastic friend of mine. It has a little bit of everyone in it, and it sums things up about how I feel about pie: they bring people together. And thank you for reading and commenting about this pie thang, it’s been so much fun!


Gaby’s S’more Pudding Pie

So Gaby says she took a few recipes from Joy’s latest book and crafted her own creation. This pie is the result. And it is FANTASTIC. Thank you, Gaby! Thank you, Joy!

For the Graham Cracker Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Chocolate Pudding Filling
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
4 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Marshmallow Meringue
5 egg whites
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 ¾ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

For the Graham Cracker Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine the crumbs, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until evenly combined.
3. Dump the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie dish and press evenly along the bottom and up the sides to form the crust.
4. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
5. Remove the crust from the oven and let cool completely.

For the Chocolate Pudding Filling
6. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the milk and continue to whisk. Place over medium low heat and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, bring the mixture to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low, and cook for 2 minutes while whisking until very thick. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Stir to combine. Transfer pudding to the cooled pie shell and refrigerate for 2 hours.

For the Marshmallow Meringue
7. In a heatproof bowl, whisk everything together except vanilla. Put bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk for 5 minutes until sugar dissolves. Transfer to a stand mixer and mix on high for 5 minutes until stiff peaks. Add vanilla and fold to combine. Carefully pile the meringue on top of the cooled pie. Using a kitchen blow torch, torch the outside of the meringue until toasty and brown. Serve as needed.

Wishing you the most enjoyable 2015 filled with peace and love! And food!

31 Days Of Pie, Day 30: Key Lime Pie

31-days-opening-100pxDay 30 of 31 Days Of Pie is a lovely Key Lime Pie from America’s Test Kitchen.

Our 31 Days Of Pie is drawing to a close, and yes, I am sad to see it go! Will we stop making pies? Never. Will we take a quick break from them? Most likely, but I’m sure it won’t be long. Today’s pie comes from America’s Test Kitchen, and happened rather last minute as we looked at the calendar and realized we made 30 pies, not 31, over the course of the month. We were at home enjoying down time and not at the studio, so this pie was whipped up quickly at home and photographed in the backyard. A quick sidenote: I’m always trying to keep myself busy creatively and realized “hey! I have the afternoon off! hey! it’s sunny! hey! I want to photograph a little backyard vignette!” I’ve included that photo and it also explains why this luscious key lime pie doesn’t match the series all that much. But no biggie, right? As with all things America’s Test Kitchen, it works and is delicious. Whenever you crave that zippy zing of citrus I hope you’ll think of this.


Key Lime Pie from America’s Test Kitchen

Lime Filling
4 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup lime juice from 3 to 4 limes
4 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Graham Cracker Crust
11 graham crackers, processed to fine crumbs (1 1/4 cups)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Whipped Cream Topping
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 lime, sliced paper thin and dipped in sugar (optional)


1. For the Filling: Whisk zest and yolks in medium bowl until tinted light green, about 2 minutes. Beat in milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken.

2. For the Crust: Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter; stir with fork until well blended. Pour mixture into 9-inch pie pan; press crumbs over bottom and up sides of pan to form even crust. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

3. Pour lime filling into crust; bake until center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. (Can be covered with lightly oiled or oil-sprayed plastic wrap laid directly on filling and refrigerated up to 1 day.)

4. For the Whipped Cream: Up to 2 hours before serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks. Adding confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue whipping to just-stiff peaks. Decoratively pipe whipped cream over filling or spread evenly with rubber spatula. Garnish with optional sugared lime slices and serve.

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen

31 Days Of Pie, Day 29: Lemon Meringue Pie

31-days-opening-100pxDay 29 of 31 Days Of Pie is Lemon Meringue Pie from Kate McDermott, Art Of The Pie.

I refused to let our 31 Days Of Pie go by without one Lemon Meringue. Of course, it’s not just any Lemon Meringue, but a Lemon Meringue from Kate McDermott’s grandmother Geeg. It’s a perfectly balanced pie which earned her the title The Queen Of Lemon Meringue. It’s certainly majestic and for me I’ll never need any other recipe for a lemon meringue. Thank you so much Kate for being you! And to Geeg, too!


Lemon Meringue Pie from Kate McDermott, Art Of The Pie

1 pre-baked single pie crust

For the Filling
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
½ cup lemon juice
1-1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon butter
3 egg yolks, fork beaten
zest of 1 large lemon

For the Meringue
5 egg whites
⅓ cup sugar
pinch of salt


For the Filling
1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt.

2. Add the water and constantly stirring with a whisk, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 more minutes while continuing to whisk. Don’t be afraid to whisk vigorously as it gets thicker.

3. Take ¼ cup of the hot mixture and stir it into the fork beaten egg yolks. Return to this to the saucepan and cook for 2 more minutes or until the mixture is thick.

4. Stir in the butter, lemon juice, and zest and cook for another minute.

5. Immediately pour into the pre-baked pie crust.

For the Meringue

1. In a clean and cold bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric handheld beater or a stand mixer.

2. Add the pinch of salt, and the sugar while you mix.

3. Lift the beaters out when you can see soft peaks in thick foamy waves. That’s when it’s done.

4. Put the meringue on the hot lemon filling starting at the edges first. Make sure the meringue reaches all the way to the edge of the crust so there are no gaps.

5. Then add the rest of the meringue in the middle so that the filling is completely covered.

6. With the handle of a spoon or the blade of a knife, pull up some soft peaks.

7. Place in a preheated 375F oven for 6 minutes.

8. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.

Recipe from Kate McDermott, Art Of the Pie


31 Days Of Pie, Day 28: Deep Dish Pumpkin Meringue Pie

31-days-opening-100pxDay 28 of 31 Days Of Pie is a Deep Dish Pumpkin Meringue Pie from Martha Stewart

Let’s call this pie what it really is: A Majestic Pie. It combines a few favorites (pumpkin! meringue!) into a towering holiday beauty. And even after photographing a month of pies I did manage to oooh! and aaaah! a few times over this.  It’s as beautiful as it is flavorful, and this baby is going into our standard pie rotation.


Deep Dish Pumpkin Meringue Pie from Martha Stewart

For the Crust
1 small disk Pate Brisee
All-purpose flour, for surface

For the Filling
3 large eggs
1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the Meringue
2 cups granulated sugar
8 large egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the crust: Roll out pate brisee to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Trim edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang; fold edges under and crimp as desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Line crust with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges just start to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment. Bake until crust is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Whisk together eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the nutmeg in a large bowl.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until center is set but still slightly wobbly, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pie plate set on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).

Just before serving, make the meringue: Combine granulated sugar and egg whites in the heatproof bowl of a mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer, and whisk on medium speed for 3 minutes. Raise speed to high, and whisk until stiff glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes more. Dollop meringue onto pie, and spread using a swirling motion.

Hold a small handheld kitchen torch at a 90-degree angle 3 to 4 inches from surface of meringue. Move flame back and forth until meringue starts to brown.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

31 Days Of Pie, Day 27: Steak & Stilton Pies

31-days-opening-100pxDay 27 of 31 Days Of Pie is a Steak & Stilton Pie

I’m pretty close to admitting that all I ever need out of life is a savory pie.  I’m also a wee bit upset that as Americans we don’t enjoy them more. Hey my British, Indian, Latin and Australian friends, could you knock some sense into our heads pretty please? These British versions feature stilton and stout, and if the mention of those words don’t put a smile on your face I don’t know what will. Enjoy a beer with these things and you’ll be in heaven. I know I was!


Steak & Stilton Pie from Saveur

1/4 cup olive oil
11/4 lb. beef chuck, cut into 1″ cubes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large yellow onions, sliced
2 ribs celery, thickly sliced
2 small carrots, thickly sliced
2 tbsp. minced rosemary
1 (12-oz.) bottle stout beer
1/4 cup flour
2 cups beef stock
2 tsp. mustard powder
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
10 oz. mushrooms, quartered
6 oz. English Stilton, crumbled
1 (10-oz.) package frozen peas
1 (14-oz.) package puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Heat oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, 10–12 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Add garlic, onions, celery, carrots, and rosemary to pan; cook until soft, 10–12 minutes. Add beer; cook until almost dry, 18–20 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, untilsmooth. Return beef to pan along with stock, mustard, and bay leaf; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, covered partially, until beef is barely tender, about 11/2 hours; set aside. Heat butter in a 10″ skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until browned all over, about 8 minutes; stir into beef mixture along with cheese and peas.

2. Heat oven to 375°. Divide beef mixture among four 6″ pie tins (12 oz. each). Roll pastry into a 14″ square; cut out four 6″ circles. Brush tin edges with egg; place 1 circle over each; press to seal. Cut slits into pastry; brush with egg. Bake until browned, about 40 minutes.

 Recipe from Saveur

31 Days Of Pie, Day 26: Macadamia Nut Pie

31-days-opening-100pxDay 26 of 31 Days Of Pie is a Macadamia Nut Pie

If you’ve noticed a theme here (other than pies), you’ll notice a love for the nuts+pie combo. Perhaps it’s a contrasting textural thang, or maybe it’s a way of rationalizing eating so many pies (i.e. nuts are healthy, right?) At any rate, this pie is a tropical breeze in a pie shell, using macadamias for crunch on top of sweet vanilla pie filling. It’s a good one from Epicurious. Enjoy!



Macadamia Nut Pie

3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 frozen 9-inch deep-dish pie crust
2 cups roasted unsalted macadamia nuts
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk sugar, corn syrup, eggs, butter and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Fill pie crust with nuts. Pour sugar mixture over nuts in pie crust. Bake pie until center puffs slightly, about 55 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving.) Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Recipe from Epicurious

31 Days Of Pie, Day 25: Grasshopper Pie

31-days-opening-100pxDay 25 of 31 Days of Pie is a Grasshopper Pie

Ok, so maybe a mincemeat pie would be the quintessential Christmas Pie, but I had to veer off course with this, a happy and kitchy green Grasshopper Pie. To me it makes sense, and I hope it does to you too. It’s easy, it’s minty, and seems very appropriate. And however you’re celebrating today (us: a morning movie and then dinner with family), we wish you the merriest of holidays with plenty of love and comfort. Xoxoxo! — matt and adam


Grasshopper Pie

25 chocolate sandwich cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups marshmallow creme
1/4 cup creme de menthe liquor
2 cups whipping cream

1. Crush cookies and set aside 1/4 cup of crumbs. Place remaining crumbs in a medium bowl and mix in melted butter. Press mixture firmly into bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whip together marshmallow creme and creme de menthe until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form, then fold into marshmallow mixture. Pour mixture into pan and sprinkle reserved cookie crumbs on top. Freeze at least 2 hours, until firm. Remove from freezer 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly.

Recipe from All Recipes