SCW Interiors

Life of Shaz Life Hacks

Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey of SCW Interiors, an Alexandria, Virginia based interior design firm, provides simple solutions to creating a beautiful home and life.


Blog Pie Pic 8.jpg

Summer is here!  For me, one of my favorite aspects of summer is outdoor entertaining.  There’s something so relaxing and fun about having over a group of people to casually hang out in your backyard.  What’s not relaxing?…. slaving in the kitchen.  No need to slave, this is a life hack right?  Today I am sharing one of my favorite and easiest recipes for tomato pie that goes in the oven right before you hop in the shower and is party ready by the time you are heading out the door.  So flip flop out the door and impress your friends or hostess and let them think you went out of the way for this crowd pleaser.   

Tomato Pie

  • 3 Ripe Tomatoes

  • 1 Bunch Fresh Basil

  • Fresh Lemon Juice

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese @ room temperature

  • 2 cups Sharp Cheddar (Grated)

  • 1 – Marie Callender’s Frozen Pie Crust @ room temperature

  • Tabasco

  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

  • Kosher Salt

  • White Pepper

  • Dried Oregano

  1. Preheat oven to bake @ 375.

  2. Using a nonstick tart pan, place the frozen pie dough in the bottom of the tart pan (this is to make you look fancy and you can skip it if you don’t mind aluminum pans). Do not worry if the crust overlaps as seen in my demo picture. 

  3. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Tabasco (2 dashes is usually good), lemon juice from one half lemon and mayonnaise. Using a rubber spatula, combine until smooth.

  4. Add the chopped basil, salt, white pepper and gently fold so as not to bruise the basil.

  5. Using a spatula, spread the mixture into the crust (it should not be runny but more like cookie dough). 

  6. Top the pie with thinly sliced tomatoes.  Sprinkle with oregano and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.   

  7. Allow the pie to partially cool before slicing. Garnish with fresh basil and a smile.

Blog Pie Pic 4.jpg

When hosting, I always like to make a mocktail for those who don’t like to indulge. In the summer, I love keeping fruit juice cubes in the freezer to add to sparkling water and, honestly, just to make drinks look prettier. One of my favorite summer mocktails is lime-on-aid.   This is about as basic as it gets but the ice cubes really take it to the next level. You can buy the square silicone ice trays at Tar-jay now so you know it’s legit.

Blog Ice Pic 4.jpg

Homemade “Lime-on-aid” and Ice Cubes

  • 1 – Can Frozen Minute Maid Lime-aid

  • 34 oz Lime Flavored Sparkling Water

  • Fresh Mint

  • Splash of Lime Juice

  • Limes

Poland Springs lime flavored sparkling water is my favorite to combine with frozen limeade mix.

Poland Springs lime flavored sparkling water is my favorite to combine with frozen limeade mix.

To make the lime-on-aid, let Minute Maid Lime-aid thaw in fridge.  Mix together 1 bottle of sparkling water and lime-aid mix.  Serve over your ice cubes and garnish with fresh mint and a slice of lime.

For the cubes, I do make them in advance and they keep up to 3 weeks in my freezer. These are made from a simple syrup infused with fresh mint and a splash of the bottled lime juice. If you are like me, limes can be frustrating ingredients as I can never get enough juice out of them to meet my affinity for tart. Line each square with fresh mint and limes and freeze. When you drop them into the bubbly lime-on-aid they slowly melt adding the perfect garnish.

In the event you are not into mocktailing, adding a splash of white rum to the mix is also a happy place.

Jena drinking homemade Lime-on-aid cooking a baby boy due in August!

Jena drinking homemade Lime-on-aid cooking a baby boy due in August!