Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Blog Anniversary And Something Special To Share

I've been waiting and waiting for an appropriate moment to share this rather delicious piece of news with you. Between all my kitchen experiments, cat wrangling drama, Pacific Northwest vacation, and moving to a whole new state, I managed to get myself knocked up! That's right dear readers, I'm pregnant, I'm sooooooooo pregnant. And it's been infinitely wonderful. Even though these days I'm getting very familiar with Mr. Braxton Hicks himself, my ankles have disappeared, and I can't even bend over to put my own socks on anymore, I still can't complain. Without getting too melodramatic and making you all uncomfortable, suffice to say, it's been a tough road getting to this pregnancy, and the fact that we may finally get to hold our own little munchkin, our very first, in our arms is a dream-come-true for DH and I. I don't have too many weeks left, so I'm trying to wring every last drop of enjoyment out of this pregnancy as I can - hence, the weekend outings to plays, movies and restaurants etc., and let's not forget the incessant pigging out.
The reason why I chose this day to tell you all about it, is because today is my blog's one year anniversary! At times I can't believe a whole year has gone by, and at other times, it feels like I've been doing this forever. DH thought it was just a fling when it began, this blogging, but now even he sees that it's turned into a torrid, long-term love affair. This anniversary post is already off to a good start. Now I need to follow it up with a recipe that's worth celebrating. I think I know who to turn to for that.

Say hello to The Pioneer Woman's pear crisp with vanilla ice-cream! It makes sense that Ree is here with me in spirit to kick off my blogiversary. After all, her amazing blog, her gifted writing and delicious food is what inspired me to enter the world food blogging myself. When I used to work full-time, there were days when I would secretly be scouring Ree's site, when I really should have been working on that report for my boss. I couldn't help it if Ree's adventures on the farm were more compelling than mindlessly crunching numbers for the man! And this recipe is another winner. I made it just yesterday, when CT had its first big snowfall of the season, and the windchill made it almost impossible to even think about going out anywhere.
It's always more fun to cook seasonally, when you can. These pears were so sweet and perfect as a holiday dessert.

PW's Pear Crisp (find Ree's recipe on her blog)
Serves 8

Click here for printable recipe

4 whole pears (I used Bartlett, but Bosc work great too)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

1.5 cups AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 stick butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Peel, core and dice your pears. Place them in your baking dish, tossing them gently with the sugar and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped pecans and stir together. Drizzle melted butter over this, and stir with a fork till everything is combined with delicious chunks strewn throughout.

4. Top the pears in the baking dish with this crumb topping. Bake for 30 mins in the oven. If you think the top needs more crisping, place under the broiler for just a minute or so (keep an eye on it!). Serve warm with a generous dollop of vanilla ice-cream.Verdict: The sweet pears still had a bit of bite left to them, which I liked, and the crumb topping with the pecans was just amazing! I adore that warm super-crunchy sweetness in my mouth, combined with the smooth coolness from the ice-cream. And this is such a simple recipe, that I'll definitely be making it again and again throughout the holiday season, and beyond. DH took one big bite, and moaned. I rest my case.

I'll be sending this recipe in for the Christmas/Holiday recipes round-up at Foodie Fans of The Pioneer Woman - a fun blog hosted by Debby and yours truly.

Take a closer looksie, why doncha?! Isn't this what you really want ...

... when it's this cold and frigid outside?!

This isn't Morse code - it's what my balcony looks like right now!