Tag Archives: vanilla ice cream

Food Matters Project #32: Cardamom & Pistachio Pear Crisp

And we’re back with another installment of the Food Matters Project!  This past week, on February 1st, this little project celebrate it’s 1 year anniversary!  I’m really glad that I have been involved in these weekly posts- it’s given me an opportunity to think a little outside of the box, and encourage me to try different recipes.  Most of all, it’s been a wonderful opportunity to connect with other bloggers who enjoy a great cookbook!  Thanks to all those that participate, and all the readers at home!

This weeks recipe was chosen by Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  She chose Mark Bittman’s recipe for Cardamom-Scented Pear Crisp, from the Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out Camillas post on her Cranberry & Pear Cardamom-Scented Crisp.  Also, take a peak what other bloggers did with this recipe.

Camilla has also hosted these Food Matters Project dishes: Wheat Berries with Braised Beef & Parsnips, Fish Nuggets Braised in Rhubarb Sauce.  While we were still on our honeymoon during one of those recipes, here’s the fish version of our dish: Cod in Spicy Rhubarb Sauce.

Whenever I go to the grocery store and see that a bag of pistachio’s is “buy 1, get 1 free”- I always grab a bag (or two).  They are a versatile nut that can be used in many baked goods, or they’re a perfect mid-day snack.  How do you use or eat your pistachio’s?

Pear Crisp

This was a great dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  This dish was delicious since it was not overly sweet, a perfect pairing with tea in the morning.  Sam and I finished it off as breakfast leftovers with some honey-flavored Greek yogurt.

Pear Crisp

Cardamom & Pistachio Pear Crisp
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 568)

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped unsalted pistachios
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
2 pears, cored & sliced
1 tsp cardamom

In a large bowl with a mixer, cream together butter, oil and sugar.  Then stir in the pistachios, lemon juice, oats, flour and salt.  Mix until the ingredients are combined.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Spray a tart pan with cooking spray, or grease it with butter.

Press the dough into a tart pan, using only 3/4 of the dough.  Next lay out the pear pieces on top of the dough, then sprinkle with cardamom.  Lastly, sprinkle the last of the dough over the pears.

Bake the crisp for 30 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown.  Serve once it cools with a scoop of ice cream.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you take away all of the commercial hype about Valentine’s Day, I think it can be quite a nice day.  Take a few moments to spread some love!

I hope you called your friends and family to tell them that you love them!  Wore socks with pink and red hearts, and enjoy some delicious chocolates!

This was a perfect recipe- it had 2 servings (so there were no seconds to worry about)!  Although if Sam wasn’t going to eat his portion, I was willing to “take one for the team” and eat it for breakfast tomorrow…with some ice cream on top!

Lots of love and hugs to all of our readers- thank you so much for sticking around!!!

Next up- Lobster & Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese!  Double yum!

Chocolate Mini Lavas
Adapted from: A Meandering Mango

pinch of butter
2 tbsp sifted flour + 1 tsp flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar + 1 tbsp more for decoration
1 tsp half and half (or milk)
3.5 oz dark chocolate*
1 tsp espresso, ground
1 tsp vanilla
scoop of vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 425ºF.  While the oven is heating up grease 2 small ramekins (size: 4 oz) with butter.  Then dust the inside of the ramekins with 1 tsp of flour (1/2 tsp for each ramekin).

Add the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Slowly, add the powdered sugar while mixing the ingredients.

In a double boiler, melt your chocolate and add the half and half.  Once the chocolate is melted, add the ground espresso.  Mix it well before adding it to the egg-sugar mixture.  While mixing the chocolate-egg-sugar mixture, add the vanilla.  Finally, slowly add the flour.  Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, divide the mixture between the ramekins.

Bake for 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and allow them to rest for about 5-10 minutes.  Then tip them out of the ramekins onto your serving dish.  Sift some powdered sugar on top for decoration.  Feel free to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream with this delicious treat!

*We used a fair trade Costa Rican chocolate- 71% Cacao Dark Chocolate; try using the best you can find*

Chocolate & Wine to Celebrate

We did not post anything about a wonderful blog milestone or an exciting event that has happened in our lives.  So although both are a little delayed, we’re glad to be sharing it!

First the milestone: the blog has been up and running for over a year and we didn’t even realize it.  It all started on October 20, 2010 with this blog post!  So we’re almost going into Month 13, unbelievable!

Having this blog has been a great experience.  It’s definitely pushed us to try different recipes and tastes.  Although we have always tried new recipes, having this blog ensured that we keep looking for something we hadn’t made before.  It did not allow us to be stuck in a dinner rut.  Over the last year we’ve realized more of what we like, what we’re good at making, and have higher goals of learning even more.  Sam has always been a little more adventurous in the kitchen, rarely following recipes.  It’s been a bit of a learning curve for me, but I’m getting much better at adjusting recipes to our tastes, or taking ideas rather than following exact directions.

Our goal is to continue this project (a hobby I guess).  We hope that all of you are learning and trying out some of these recipes.  Definitely let us know of any feedback- that’s the only way to improve!  And keep up with new posts through our Facebook page!

And now for another exciting announcement!  I know some of you already know this, but for those that don’t…we’re engaged!  It’s been a couple of months since the engagement, but I never felt like there was a right time!  Since we’re celebrating a 1 year anniversary of the blog, I thought it’d be perfect to also celebrate an engagement.

For this joyous occasion, I decided to make a chocolate cake!  The taste had a wonderful depth, and it’d be a great dessert for a girls dinner night, paired with some red wine!

Red Wine & Vanilla Yogurt Chocolate Cake

Adapted from: 17 and Baking

1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup of wine (I used Merlot)
1/4 cup of Greek vanilla yogurt
seeds of 1 vanilla bean (substitute: 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 scoop of vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Spray a 9″x5″ loaf pan with cooking spray.

Beat the soft butter on medium speed with your mixer, until the texture become smooth.  Slowly add the sugar and egg, continuously mixing the batter.  Once everything is beaten, add the wine, yogurt and vanilla.  Continue mixing the batter and slowly add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir well until everything is incorporated.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour, but make sure the batter is cooked through (the toothpick method).  Depending on your oven, you might need an extra 5-10 minutes.  Cool the cake for 10-15 minutes before serving.  A great addition is a scoop of vanilla ice cream!