Spinach and Feta Hand Pies Plus Friday Faves

by heidi on March 8, 2013

This Sunday marks the end of winter. Well, not officially by way of the calendar and moon, but our governing officials have deemed it the end of winter whites with the setting forward of clocks across the land thanks to Daylight Savings Time. In every state except Arizona, that is. What’s up with Arizona’s special treatment anyway?

Spinach Feta Hand Pie || FoodieCrush-006

Springing forward means much to many: spring bulbs bursting from crusty patches of dirt as kids bound about searching for Easter eggs; a sense of anxiety knowing that swimsuit wearing is just around the corner; and afternoons of lazily cat napping in a lounge chair as the sun warms your 4-months-previously-frozen-apendages.

However, Daylight Savings means something entirely different if you’re a food blogger. It means there will be light. Light! LIGHT I TELL YOU! Light to photograph dishes a bit later than normal, to make our days that much more productive. Or at least to compensate for the procrastination that nap in the lounge chair took out of the schedule. Eeeh. Who cares about schedules when you have spring fever?

This little greek inspired appetizer of Spinach and Feta Pies is a great welcome to spring. Light but savory, these phyllo wrapped tastees are great as an appetizer, or pair a few with a side dish of Laurie’s Lemon Orzo Pasta and you have a simple meatless meal. Can you say Monday with me? One of the things I like best about these beauties is they’re equally as tasty warm from the oven or cooled at room temperature so they’re perfect for entertaining too.

Spinach and Feta Hand Pies Plus Friday Faves

Yield: makes 10 hand pies


1 (8-ounce) sleeve frozen phyllo dough, thawed at room temperature
1 pound fresh spinach leaves
2 tablespoons plus ½ cup butter, divided
zest and juice of one lemon
1 shallot, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup panko bread crumbs
1 ½ cups Feta cheese, cubed (I prefer it in ½-inch cubes for maximum Feta flavor)
1 cup pine nuts, toasted
sea salt flakes


  1. In a large fry pan with high sides, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add spinach in 3 batches. Add lemon juice and season with salt as you go. Cook until spinach has wilted, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander and gently squeeze excess water from leaves. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan and saute shallots for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add to spinach mixture with lemon zest, eggs, panko bread crumbs, Feta and pine nuts. Stir gently to combine.
  3. In the microwave or in a small pan, melt remaining ½ cup of butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough flat on counter and brush lightly with butter. Repeat process 3 more times, brushing each layer with butter and carefully positioning the phyllo on top of one another. Cut phyllo in half lengthwise. Place ¼ cup of filling in the bottom corner of the dough strip and fold from corner to corner, diagonally, like a flag. Fold again over flat end, then on the diagonal again, continuing folding to top of sheet. Brush edge of corner with butter to seal. Brush top of hand pie with butter and flakes of sea salt. Continue folding hand pies in same manner until filling is gone.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

And now how about a few Friday Faves?


1. Averie’s homemade chocolate peanut butter has me dreaming of using it for dipped frozen bananas with chopped peanuts on top. Heaven on a nana. 2. Now THIS is a springtime deal and I hope you have a Whole Foods Market near you to take advantage of it because today they’re having a one day sale of 3 ten-stem tulip bunches for just $10. I think I’ll grab a sushi roll while I’m there.


Carrian, moi, Kristy, Vinjay, Becky, Stephanie, Annalise & Maria

3. Vijay from Nosh On It was visiting SLC this weekend for a bachelor party (que the calls for the excedrin and a greasy breakfast) and treated some Utah bloggers for lunch at one of SLC’s most popular Mexican restaurants, Frida Bistro. And may I just say my fish tacos were killer by the way. If you haven’t made your way over to Nosh On It yet, what are you waiting for? They’re building a great community of food bloggers you may or may not have discovered yet.


4. I am such a sucker for smart typography and killer packaging. Give me a pretty label and you have a customer in me. Add wine and I’m gushing. Which is just gives me another reason to love trolling the wine racks. Wine labels have evolved over the past few years from old school scripts and woodcut photos of grapes to some dynamically hip looks. You won’t find the old guard sporting copy like, “Winemaker and Water Witch Extraordinaire.” Marc Mondavi’s Divining Rod is a new favorite. And for around $13.99, it tastes darn good too.


5. Speaking of cool packaging, this graphic and totally differently engineered box of wonderfully curated goodies were delivered to me from a*pour toi. It’s a great gift idea for any foodie you’re aiming to please, especially if they have an eye for design and a penchant for sweets. BTW, the cute bag has been commandeered by Smudge as her new lunch bag. See? Smart and delicious.


6. I’ve had a simple won ton wrapper lasagna recipe like this in mind for a while. Looks like Elaine has done all of my work for me. Thank you. Thank you. avenue_maintain 7. I need a spring pick me up and Essie’s new hue Avenue Maintain just might be my ticket to blue skies. Let’s see if I can pull this color off as a styling mama or an aged bag lady with too many scarves and crazy painted fingers.

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 10.35.35 PM

8. My good old trusty “nifty 50” died a while back. I dropped it and that plastic casing exploded. I’ve since been waffling on which lens to replace it with. Keep with the inexpensive Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II camera lens or go for the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM lens? Debating, debating. I need it mostly for portraits etc. Any opinions out there? And as if on que, Russell gives a lens pic-torial on the differences between the two. Why isn’t he a teacher?

9. What a sweet ode to her beloved grandmother. This 18 year old’s random acts of kindness should inspire us all to break out of our self absorbed bubbles. via @dishofdailylife

10. Aaaannnd. Just when I ended my drama with finding juuuuuuust the right email application as of last week’s post, Mailbox shows up. Yes, I signed up for a reservation. I’m a glutton for punishment. Pin to Win a KitchenAid Mixer || foodiecrush.com #springintosavings Bonus: And finally, here’s something to perk up your weekend. I met Amee with Madame Deals when I spoke at Mixed Conference. We felt like you guys deserve a little spring in your step so she’s inviting YOU to enter to win a KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer. Ah sure, why not? Let’s whisk those winter blues away.

Here’s how to enterStep 1: Click here and follow all of our hosts

Step 2: Create a board on Pinterest and name it #SpringIntoSavings

Step 3: Visit our Contest Pinboard and re-pin at least 3 of your favorites from this board.

Step 4: Add your own additional favorite money saving pins and recipes pins (make sure to label ALL pins with the hashtag #SpringIntoSavings) .

Step 5: When your board is done, CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY. If you’re new to this style of Pinterest contest, here’s a post to answer any of your submission entry questions.

Giveaway starts March 8, 2013 at 12:01 am EST. All entries must be entered no later than March 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST to be eligible to win. Contest is open to US only residents. The winning board will be picked via Random.org and winner will be emailed. Winner must reply to confirm within 48 hours or a new winner will be drawn. The winner’s name will be posted on this post.

Thanks for reading and please keep in touch by subscribing to FoodieCrush and follow me on TwitterFacebookPinterestThis post includes affiliate shopping links of which I receive a small percentage of sales to allow me to create new and special content like this for my readers, so thank you for your support. All opinions are my own.


Posted in: appetizers and small bites,friday faves,recipes,vegetables and fruits

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Averie Cooks March 8, 2013 at 2:05 am

Wow so much here! First, thanks for the linkup and I’m so glad you like my PB recipe! I wish I could give you some. Trust me, I have about 20 jars of homemade peanut butter on hand from various experiments :)

The spinach recipe – just so happens I have a ton of phyllo dough of all things. I need to use it. Perfect idea!

Your lens. I have a nifty fifty and I also have a 50 mm 1.2 There is just no, no, no comparison. Even the 50 1.4 just isn’t really even in the league. I love my 50 mm 1.2

I *almost* got the nice 85mm but in the end, didn’t – and am glad. I bought the cheaper 85mm but I don’t use it often b/c you have to stand so far back from the food and I like to get right up in it’s business :) I also use my 24-70mm when I want to get really close. The only 2 lenses I use for food are the 50mm 1.2 and the 24-70 and love them both. But I am clearly not telling you anything you don’t know – but just chiming in with what I have and my thoughts on it. It’s a very expensive little experiment what you’d about to do…keep me posted what you choose!


heidi March 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

That is all great info Averie, thanks so much for sharing! It looks like I should invest in the 50mm, I’m sure it will change my life. Thx for always being such a thoughtful commenter :)


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar March 8, 2013 at 5:26 am

Crazy how fast time flies!! These hand pie look unreal. Awesome idea!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 8, 2013 at 5:35 am

Heidi, your Friday Faves are one of my favourite things to eat breakfast with on Friday mornings! I’m salivating over Averie’s nut butter – her photos are always SO gorgeous! And that Essie nail polish – I am totally running out to buy that after work today if I can find it because it’s beautiful! And yes, you can pull it off. I’m so pumped that spring is (hopefully) near. I think every food blogger is dying to enjoy longer days of shooting with real light!


heidi March 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

HI Angela, lets see how many pics we can get of our new blue fingernails in each shot!


Natasha March 8, 2013 at 6:59 am

These Friday Faves have quickly become one of my favorite posts of the week! And yes, the light!! I can’t wait for more light!


heidi March 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

HI Natasha, that is so sweet of you to say. I’m glad readers enjoy them. I love sharing my little discoveries. :)


Bev @ Bev Cooks March 8, 2013 at 7:05 am

LIGHT, yessss! Seriously.

And um, everything looks incredible. I want that feta pie, rawt ner.


Gerry @ Foodness Gracious March 8, 2013 at 7:41 am

Great choices but that lasagna looks dahmazing!!


Rachel @ Baked by Rachel March 8, 2013 at 7:59 am

Yes… there will be light! That made me laugh and it’s SO true and I’m so over the moon excited about it. Except for the loss of sleep that night. Oy…


Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom March 8, 2013 at 8:53 am

you can totally pull off the blue polish! and love that your daughter took that cute bag for her lunch bag! smart girl! :)


Jen @ Savory Simple March 8, 2013 at 9:21 am

These spinach and feta hand pies are just gorgeous!


Rachel Cooks March 8, 2013 at 9:36 am

As always, love the Friday Faves! The hand pies look amazing, the lasagna looks phenomenal (I have wonton wrappers in the fridge right now!), and I just love Vijay and all he is doing with Nosh.On.It. And I love Averie too!


Vijay @ NoshOnIt March 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Thanks so much Rachel! Hopefully we can do a meetup next time I’m out your way =)


Amanda @ High Heels to Hot Wheels March 8, 2013 at 9:46 am

I’m so excited for more daylight!!!!! I love your Friday faves!!!! I’m so making the lasagna!! I’m also excited to check out some new blogs.


heidi March 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

Hi Amanda, thanks so much for the high fives for the FFaves. I’m so ready for that lasagna too :)


Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

Love the spinach and feta hand pies!


Emily March 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm

I’d like a gallon of that chocolate peanut butter, please. NOW.


Giulia March 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Love the light – miss the light! Most of the time I use my 50mm/1.4 lens for my shots and the 60mm to get really close. I like to get close to my food ;) Have a great weekend.


Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen March 8, 2013 at 1:55 pm

I look forward to Friday Faves every week!!


carrian March 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Cannot wait for the light!!! Especially in my dark house. I swear we have the worst lighting. Bah humbug


Sharla March 8, 2013 at 7:43 pm

My mom and I discovered these little spanakopita bites at Sam’s a few years ago that we LOVE, but I’ve been too intimidated to try them myself These little pies don’t seem so overwhelming and look amazing!

I got blue at my manicure today and am loving it :)


Kathryn March 9, 2013 at 8:59 am

I love spinach and feta anything.


fish store March 11, 2013 at 7:23 am

Everything looks so so tempting and relishing !!

Fish Store


Donna March 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm

If you are Greek and want to make some Green Cuisine for St Patty’s – this is your recipe!


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