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    Let's Eat Pie on Pi Day

    Happy Pi Day! If you're unfamiliar with Pi Day, it falls on March 14, or 3/14. In mathematics it's the rounded value of pi, 3.14. To celebrate we collected some yummy pie recipes that you can make at home in a snap.

    Easy Pumpkin Pie
    As far as pie recipes go, anyone can put this together, easy is right in the name!

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, mix together 3/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, one 15 oz. can of pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix stuff, just real pumpkin), 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk, and 2 beaten eggs.

    Pour the mixture into a frozen, deep-dish pie crust. You can use a pre-made crust or your favorite homemade version. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving. Don't forget the whipped cream!

    Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie
    This pie recipe has everything: fluffy cream, sweet bananas and a layer of rich chocolate.

    To start, assemble one 4-serving sized box of your favorite vanilla pudding and pie filling mix per the box's instructions. Make sure it's not instant. You'll likely need 2 cups of milk for the mix. Cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

    While the pudding is cooling, preheat an oven to 450 degrees F. Bake a 9-inch pre-made pie crust, or put together a homemade version. A graham cracker crust will work well for this recipe, as it does for most pie recipes. Let the crust cool for at least ten minutes.

    When the crust is cool, spread 2/3 cup hot fudge topping on the bottom. Layer 2 cups of sliced ripe banana (from about two bananas), then spread on the pudding. Cover the entire pie with about a cup of whipped cream (we won't tell if you use more though). Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Garnish with chocolate curls before serving.

    Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie
    We like pie recipes that balance flavors well, and this one nails the salty-sweet profile. This refreshing icebox pie combines salty pretzels with sweet strawberries that hits the spot just right.

    For the crust, preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together 2 cups of finely crushed pretzel sticks, 3/4 cup melted butter, and 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and sides of a greased 10-inch pie dish. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool while you assemble the pie filling.

    In a food processor, finely chop 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, you may need to scrape down the sides a few times. In another large bowl, beat until smooth: one 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, 8 oz. softened cream cheese, and 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of strawberry gelatin (this should be half a 3 oz. package). Stir in the chopped strawberries until well blended.

    In another bowl beat 3/4 cup whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture. This is best done 1/3 of the whipped cream at a time. Spoon the filling into the crust. Cover and freeze for 8 to 12 hours until firm. Serve with fresh strawberries.

    If making pies doesn't sound like a fun way to spend Pi Day, then head down to Lady Luck Casino® Black Hawk for some games and delicious brownie pie at Otis & Henry's®. Our rich homemade brownie is topped with vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of decadent caramel sauce and a healthy dollop of whipped cream. This is one pie you won't want to share!
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