Hello there—my name is Karen Amarotico.

In 2011, I began a year long adventure in pie baking. This journey began as an idea in the middle of the night: that I would express my gratitude to my friends, my family, and the universe through baking a pie of one kind or another every day for a year.  Each day I chose a “pie recipient”: a friend or neighbor who I knew could use a pick-me-up or someone that I didn’t know yet but who came to my attention via this blog. Since starting Pie A Day Giveaway, I have given away almost 500 pies.

I’ve had so many amazing experiences during this journey. You can hear me speak about them on NPR’s Morning Edition, read more about my journey or learn about the 366th pie I gave away (the end of my year of daily baking and giving) in the Ashland Daily tidings, or discover why I chose this project in the Medford Mail Tribune. You can also find out more about the gluten free baking classes I have taught at the Ashland Food Co-op.

Thank you to everyone who has joined me on this adventure—it was, after all, only the beginning! If you’d like to follow along, share recipes, leave a comment, or just say hi, please do! You’re very welcome here.

Thank you for stopping by!

52 Responses to “About”

  1. Carrie Prechtel April 15, 2011 at 7:04 PM #

    This is totally different than what I expected it to be…and it’s so much better! I thought it was going to be recipes. But I am LOVING the stories that go along with all the gifts of pie. Yours is the first blog I’ve ever subscribed to. I am eagerly awaiting each day’s story. You are an amazing person and I admire what you are doing and how you do it!

  2. Reggie & Sandy (De Vore Electric and Construction) May 7, 2011 at 3:16 AM #

    Thank you so much for the fresh, hot & delicious apple pie today. We each had a piece shortly after you left! Absolutely delicious! Your thoughtfulness and kindness is so very much appreciated! I was and still am just amazed by your kindness.
    Looking forward to seeing you on Laurel St.!!
    Sandy & Reggie:)

  3. Scott Rogers May 16, 2011 at 1:05 AM #


    What a pleasant surprise . . . . thank you so much for the berry pie. I’m sharing it with Mimi’s father today. What a wonderful/thoughtful project.

    See ya in the hood, Scott

  4. Lisa Mellinger May 18, 2011 at 6:47 AM #

    Doreen sent me here via FB…haven’t had a pie from you, but went to an event you catered a few years ago and YUM!! so I know these will be fabulous treats for the recipients!

    • Doreen July 7, 2011 at 9:58 AM #

      I so happy to know that someone reads the alumni Facebook page!

      I am proud and lucky to call Karen a friend and this is such a loving thing to do.


  5. Diane Wilson May 20, 2011 at 9:57 PM #

    I had dinner w/ Sue Jaffe and her mom, Bobby last night. We had a
    wonderful dicussion about your pie adventure. I enjoyed the stories
    as well as the wonderful pictures!!!!!!!!!!! What a great thing to do!!

  6. Robert Luaders May 23, 2011 at 9:17 PM #

    “Finally someone who is more interested in growing the pie instead of controlling who gets your piece of the pie.” Fantastic idea! Will you be focusing on other pies like: “pie charts”, “pizza pies”, “Eskimo pies” or the famous Mississippi mud and Boston cream pies? 🙂 Caring from the kitchen with Karen is making the world a better place by increasing the amount of pie for all. Keep your light shinning forth illuminating the wee dark hours from within the warmth of you manifestation oven. This is truly the recipe for “prosperity pie”.

  7. wendy June 8, 2011 at 6:44 PM #

    Beautiful idea! And how wonderful of you to honor Kimberley Healey. As a collegue of Ms. Healey, I can attest to the adoration students have for her. She is passionate about opening the minds of students to life through literature and language. When students finish her class, they do not speak simply of characters or plots or themes. Rather, they discuss ways in which they now view the world and the place they have in it. Thank you for recognizing the gift that is Ms. Healey.

  8. Abigail June 29, 2011 at 11:25 AM #

    On behalf of everyone here at JPR, thank you for the pie today – Joanie’s birthday – you have made us all smile. What a special way to remember our Joanie! We miss her so. The pie is delicious and your project is truly amazing! The possibilities are endless – Joanie would have LOVED the Pie A Day Give Away!

    Thank you,
    Abby Kraft

  9. Sue Jaffe July 3, 2011 at 1:08 PM #

    Every layer of this project is wonderful – from start to finish! Karen – your pies are amazing, the recipients each have an amazing story, your writing is fantastic and … this morning … reading the comments from others on your blog … what an experience?! What more can I say?! Thank you – SueZ

  10. modifiedmom August 25, 2011 at 7:59 PM #

    I just LOVE this idea. What a wonderful way to make the world a better place one pie at a time. Have you heard the KCRW Good Food pie podcasts? -AnnetteS

    • pieadaygiveaway August 25, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

      No, I haven’t. Please tell me more about them… and thanks for your comment!

  11. Phyllis Trowbridge August 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM #

    Karen, I was a recipient of your pie, a delicious quiche, on day 93. I have been meaning to write you here to tell you how touched I was by your generosity. Many many thanks belatedly. And I have enjoyed reading some of your daily stories.

  12. Sunny Hernandez (@foryourpiesonly) August 28, 2011 at 3:47 PM #

    What fun! I love playing “pie fairy” around my town. I think gifting pies is good for all souls involved 🙂

  13. Tammy August 29, 2011 at 11:25 PM #

    I just read an article in the Ashland Tidings about your kind, year long pie give-away. I wanted you to know that it warms my heart that someone is so giving and in such a delicious way! Your love of baking pies and your kindness to others is to be commended.

    • pieadaygiveaway August 30, 2011 at 8:08 AM #

      Thanks Tammy! It’s fun to do and I love when I bring a smile to someone’s face – it makes everything worth it.

  14. sommerkorn August 30, 2011 at 2:40 PM #

    I LOVE this idea! I’m a HUGE, HUGE, fan of pie. Like…huge. My husband and I tease that we fell in love because of our shared love for chocolate pie. We served pie instead of cake at our wedding. We have a “Friday Pie Day” several times a month. We celebrate every 3.14. We dedicate the day before Thanksgiving to baking/eating pie with a tradition we call “Pie Night” (http://www.thesommerkorns.com/The_Sommerkorns/Blog/Entries/2010/11/30_Pie_Night_2010.html).

    I have several recipes on my old blog here:

    I have a new blog now, and I post my favorite pie recipes here:

    Hopefully some of my recipes will be useful to you!

  15. Joel September 22, 2011 at 12:15 PM #

    Hi Karen – Joel from MakeMeSomePie.com here – this comment was left on my post about you by accident so I just wanted to pass it along:

    “Dear Karen, I was thrilled to find you on the computer!
    I wondered if it is possible to purchase one of your wonderful pies for a friend who lives in Ashland? I saw that you cater as well as give. His 65th birthday is Sunday, Sept.25th and one of his favorite things in life is blueberry pie. I live in Fredericksburg, Texas and have not been able to find a way of successfully sending one to him. After reading about you and the great things that you are doing, I know he would LOVE to receive a gift that comes thru you and the lovely way you are creating. Its right up his alley! If there is any way that this would be possible, I would be so grateful. My cell phone is (830) 992-0692 and email is gjuett@gmail.com. Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you. Gwynne Juett

  16. Irene McBride September 30, 2011 at 3:59 PM #

    Dear Karen,
    Irene from Bi-Mart – just wanted to thank you for the wonderful pie and all the gracious things you said about me. You really made my day, week actually!
    Love you,
    Irene McBride

    PS My husband loved it too!

  17. Fred Grewe October 2, 2011 at 2:14 PM #

    I was the fortunate pie recipient on September 4. Of course the pie was wonderful (a luscious warm apple) but what was even more touching was the sentiment behind the gift.

    One of my favorite spiritual guides was Henri Nouwen, a Catholic priest, who taught at Notre Dame, Harvard and Yale. He left the world of academics and spent the last ten years of his life living in a community of mentally challenged folks and their caregivers. Nouwen writes,

    Small signs of friendliness can create much joy, and small disturbances between people much sadness, while the “great events” of the day often do not touch us so deeply. An unexpected note from a friend or the passing remark from a co-worker can make or break my day emotionally, while inflation and recession, war and oppression do not touch my emotions directly.

    But how little do we use this knowledge? How seldom do I do this? Still, I realize that every time someone says, “I appreciated your remark” or “You really helped” or “You really fit in here” — I feel my inner life being lifted up and the day seems brighter, the grass greener, and the snow whiter than before.

    Indeed the great mystery is that a small, often quite immaterial gesture can change my heart so much. The way to the heart always seems to be a quiet, gentle way.

    Karen thanks so much for the pie, the bold initiative, and the reminder of how simple it is to make someone feel special.


    Chaplain Fred

    • pieadaygiveaway October 2, 2011 at 6:22 PM #

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful message. I really appreciate it. It brings to mind these words from Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you
      did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
      I want every pie recipient to know that they have made a difference in my life and that I appreciate them. It seems that sometimes people question my motive… asking “Why are you giving me a pie?” Other times I have felt that the person did not know what to say. My hope is that this project will be akin to planting seeds of kindness. My intention is not to harvest the seeds… but to allow them to sprout wherever they may.
      Maya Angelou quotes (American Poet, b.1928)

  18. Niki Huck November 21, 2011 at 4:40 PM #

    My name is Niki and I work for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County. Today at work, I received one of your beautiful Pecan Pies. I just wanted to let you know how much I truly appreciate it! I also wanted to let you know that your actions are inspiring. You are showing all of those around you a kindness long forgotten in yesteryear. May God bless you and your family and thank you so much for your time, energy, and thoughtful actions in a time when so much devastation is engulfing us.

    • pieadaygiveaway November 21, 2011 at 6:37 PM #

      You are very welcome. Mary spoke so highly of you that there was no doubt in my mind that you should receive a pie. She truly appreciates your dedication and professionalism. Thank YOU for the job that you do and my best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving,

  19. Luigi Bufalini November 26, 2011 at 11:17 AM #

    Cara Signora Amarotoco, Thank you for fulfilling my one baking quest which I have pursued for the past 60 years: to taste and eat the perfect Pecan Pie. I first became
    aware of your pies through some mutual friends. You had just gifted them one of
    your extraordinary pies. To my delight it was PECAN and they gave me a third of
    the pie to take home to enjoy. Upon arriving home I placed the pie in the kitchen
    and was delighted just from the sight and aroma of the pie. I could not resist the
    temptation so I tasted just a forkful and was ecstatic to know that this was what
    I was seeking all these years. It was late in the evening and I decided that I
    would wait until the next day when I could sit down and enjoy this pie with a
    cup of coffee and give it the attention and time it deserved. This pie was made
    with a great deal of love and care and I wanted to savor it with the same amount of
    devotion. All of the previous pecan pies I had eaten were excessively sweet or the
    gelatin was not the right consistency along with a crust that did not meet my
    expectations. The lingering taste of that small forkful stayed with me. I was in for
    a treat. The activity of the next morning prevented me from quietly sitting down
    to the anticipated delight of eating Karen’s pie. Before I left my home our maid
    came in for her weekly visit and I casually suggested to her that she might have
    a taste of the pecan pie with her lunch. Birdie, our maid is such a darling woman
    who is always bringing small gifts of food so I wanted to share my amazing find
    with her. We returned home about 3pm in the afternoon and I was looking
    forward to eating my pecan pie. The maid had left and I searched the kitchen
    and all the cupboards and refrigerators but could not find a trace of the pie
    or its container. Was it possible she ate the whole pie!!! I couldn’t find it
    anywhere. Rather than call her and embarrass her I kept looking for the
    pie, exclaiming all the while I CAN”T BELIEVE SHE ATE THE WHOLE THING!!!
    I kept saying that for seven days until she returned the next Wednesday. I
    casually mentioned the pie and she sheepishly admitted that she ate the
    whole piece of pie. She apologized and explained how it happened. She
    cut off a small slice and tasted and ate it but it was so delicious that she
    continued slicing and eating before she realized it was practically all gone.
    It was so good that SHE ATE THE WHOLE THING!!!
    And that sums it up The Pecan Pie is extraordinary!! Just ask our maid!!!
    Yesterday I received Karen’s Whole Pecan Pie and I am not sharing it
    with anyone.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful baking talents with us.

  20. Ted Mularz December 4, 2011 at 9:30 AM #

    Our neighbor, Jeannie Stallman, called me on Saturday morning and said “I have a strange question for you. Do you eat bacon?” I said yes and she told me I would find out why she asked later. I forgot all about it and then on Saturday afternoon the doorbell rang and lo and behold there was an angel outside with a big pie in hand. It was Karen with a hot quiche that we enjoyed later that day with some left over for another meal. It is out of sight delicious and much appreciated at this time. My wife Ruth has Alzheimer’s and has very limited mobility so it’s really nice to get a break from meal preparation once in a while. I love to cook and love my cooking, as does Ruth, but it’s nice to have a taste of Karen’s gourmet.

    So, many thanks for your thoughtfulness and what you do for our community.


    • pieadaygiveaway December 4, 2011 at 10:23 AM #

      You are most welcome. It was very good to see you again and I am pleased to have met your wife, Ruth. Thank you for your kind words… they brought tears to my eyes.

  21. Kirsten Kenning Smith December 12, 2011 at 6:19 AM #

    Sweet Karen. This is a wonderful gift to yourself and others and I think it is SO NEAT! It looks like you are having fun! … Carry on. I miss you! Kisses! Kirsten

  22. Karyn Usselman December 21, 2011 at 1:07 PM #

    Karen, thank you for your quiche today. I’ve been in the doldrums and I apologize for not being more friendly when you brought it in for Rhonda today – she gave it to me since she does not eat meat.

    This quiche will be devoured tonight, along with a salad. I did not feel like cooking tonight and did not know what I was going to do until I received your wonderful quiche.

    Did you find your cellphone? I hope you did. Merry Christmas Karen, you are a true inspiration and Ashland is very lucky to have you.


  23. Robert December 31, 2011 at 12:21 PM #

    Hi Karen!

    What a lovely idea this is! Sending you happy thoughts from all your friends at Sanctuary One. If you’re ever in the mood to bake a pie for rescued animals, we know a bunch of them that really really love pumpkin pie.

    Here’s an example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/SanctuaryOne/6421505367/in/photostream

    Happy New year!


    • pieadaygiveaway December 31, 2011 at 12:33 PM #

      Thanks for the happy thoughts… and I would love to bake a pie for Sanctuary One… I will contact you via your website for a good day and perhaps a photo op. Thanks again, and Happy New Year to you and all the happy, safe animals in your care.

  24. Aimee Gorham January 11, 2012 at 9:09 AM #

    Hi Karen, my name is Aimee and I work at Kelly’s Automotive and curiosity has led me to your blog. I have to say I have never subscribed to a blog before but I absolutely love yours! Your stories are inspiring and heartfelt. Bless you for the joy you bring unto others!

  25. elysia gabaldon January 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM #

    I heard you on the radio this week. You are so inspiring to be giving so much of your self every day! I am a member of the rogue snowmobiles. February 27, 2012 we will be hosting a pie auction to raise money for the candle lighters. All of the money raised goes to help children undergoing cancer treatment have fun experiences and to help out their families. We raise near $2000. We would love to share your story and auction off a pie from you to give to candlelighters.

    • pieadaygiveaway January 14, 2012 at 7:46 AM #

      I would love to help with your fundraiser. You can definitely count me in for a pie and please email me at Kamarotico@aol.com with further details about how you would like me to share my story. Thanks for the opportunity to help!

  26. Mckenzie Rupp February 12, 2012 at 11:15 PM #

    My grandparents are 83 and 86. They are the sweetest most caring couple I have ever seen. And I don’t just say that because they are my family. Every morning they sit and pray for every single person they know and they are always going about their day worrying about each other and their family and friends rather than themselves. I know that they would find it a blessing to receive a pie from you and it would just make my grandpas day! They love a lemon type pie basically anything lemon. If you would do that email me back and I can give you more details. Thank you.

  27. Don February 16, 2012 at 10:42 AM #

    Dear Karen, I have been following your blog daily ever since Adam Walker Cleaveland introduced me to you. Your daily posts are a delight. They have become a part of my daily “devotions” so to speak. I have a cousin who has lived in Ashland for many years. She retired from a position at the college there. She cares for her husband who has chronic back pain and for one week a month drives to Carmel Valley to be with her 95 year old mother, my beloved aunt. I was with them yesterday and told about your amazing pie ministry. If you would consider delivering a pie to my cousin and her husband I could give you more information. Blessings, Don

  28. Toni DiLeo February 25, 2012 at 12:19 PM #

    Hi Karen…I love following your work here on your blog. What a lucky community to have you here. I have a suggestion for a recipient for a pie. Perhaps you have already gifted them and I don’t know it. How can I get you their name and story?

  29. Dave Kanner March 13, 2012 at 8:29 PM #

    Karen – Thank you SO much for the quiche. It is WONDERFUL and very much appreciated, given that I really don’t have the time or inclination to cook for myself after staying late at the office or attending nighttime meetings. (I went to the Planning Commission tonight just to say hello then came home and had a piece of your incredible quiche for dinner.) Talk about spreading good karma. This is a wonderful thing you’re doing and have done. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


    • pieadaygiveaway March 13, 2012 at 9:34 PM #

      I am so glad to welcome you to our city. Thank you for the kind words… I am glad to have had a chance to meet you and share my pie project with you.

  30. Marya Jansen-Gruber March 16, 2012 at 5:05 PM #

    I was amazed when I stumbled across this blog. What a wonderful idea! I live in Ashland and review children’s books. The book that I chose to spotlight in the latest edition of my online journal is called “Pie” and I think you would love it. Every chapter includes a pie recipe, and the story is about a woman who makes her world a better place by giving the people around her pies and love. You can read my review of the book on my website http://lookingglassreview.com/books/current/editors-choice

    • pieadaygiveaway March 17, 2012 at 6:00 AM #

      Thanks for telling me about the book “Pie.” I read the book review that you wrote and it is indeed like what I am doing… but I have not set up a shop to give away the pies… I just make them at home… but the idea is the same, “every pie is made with love.”
      I have spoken with White Cloud Press about the possibility of creating a book… mostly because this year has been such a wonderful journey… and I think there are journeys waiting for others willing to give of themselves in their own ways.
      Thanks again!

  31. Daniel Salisbury March 20, 2012 at 11:55 PM #

    What a serendipitous meeting we had recently, after so many years. I’m appreciating that you shared your project with me. It is really sweet what you are doing!, pun aside. What a generous gesture you are making! Not only for your community and family, but the universe, too, is bound to notice. Beyond the sharing of pies, it is really cool all of the stories you have shared… it grows the whole picture and vibe, tho its a bit overwhelming to read now, having just begun to look at it all on day 348! Thanks for embodying such a colorful example of the power of gratitude, which is palpable to me, through your lovely writing.
    Best wishes to you, your family and loved ones,
    May you reap what you have sown, tenfold.

    • pieadaygiveaway March 22, 2012 at 6:43 AM #

      Thank you so much for your message. I very much appreciate your looking at my blog. And thank you for your good wishes.

  32. Julie Hashimoto-McCreery April 5, 2012 at 7:37 PM #

    I just found your blog after reading your article in the local paper, although I’d heard about your pie-a-day project through my mother in law months ago. There are some great looking pies here and the stories that go with each are inspiring.

  33. Special K April 17, 2012 at 10:13 AM #

    Hello Karen!! It was such a treat seeing you and the FAM! Following is the article I told you about: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/allyoucaneat/2017940375_finding_a_new_life_through_pie.html


  34. Elaine Koester April 21, 2012 at 9:16 AM #

    I read about you and your pies in the Eugene Register-Guard,while babysitting with my grandkids. I love the idea of your pie a day life!

    • pieadaygiveaway April 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM #

      Thank you so much! I didn’t know they carried Joy Magazine… that’s cool!

  35. Makenzie Marineau August 3, 2012 at 11:24 AM #

    Hi Karen,
    I heard you on NPR a few weeks ago and had to get in touch. I\’m a writer for http://idealist.org and I\’m very interested in featuring you in a series I\’m currently writing. The series focuses on people who\’ve had an idea (social good related) and the obstacles they overcame to turn it into a reality. Let me know if you\’re interested in chatting with me more about the article. My email is makenzie (at) idealist (dot) org.

    Love to hear from you!

  36. makenziedawnmarineau August 3, 2012 at 11:27 AM #

    Hi Karen,
    I heard you on NPR a few weeks ago and had to get in touch. I\’m a writer for http://idealist.org and I’m very interested in featuring you in a series I\’m currently writing. The series focuses on people who\’ve had an idea (social good related) and the obstacles they overcame to turn it into a reality. Let me know if you\’re interested in chatting with me more about the article. My email is makenzie (at) idealist (dot) org.

    Love to hear from you!

    PS. Sorry if by accident I’ve posted more than one comment. I’m having trouble posting a comment!

    • pieadaygiveaway August 3, 2012 at 1:32 PM #

      I’d like to hear more about what you’re doing. Thanks for writing… I will contact your email.

  37. Tonie Bouyer October 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM #

    Hello my friend! Love your blog…and the pies looked really great but you are wonderful at what you do!


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