Pear Cake with Toasted Pine Nuts

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Let me just say, that this Pear Cake with Pine Nuts from Cooking Light, is TO DIE FOR! I absolutely love this dessert. The cake texture is light, has a wonderful hint of lemon, and is reminiscent of a coffee cake. Some of the pears retain their firmness, and others become jam like. The toasted pine nuts add a slightly sweet nutty flavor and offer a nice texture contrast. The cake is just all around delicious. It went very well with my Netflix marathon, and mixed drinks. So, those two things really had nothing to do with the dessert, but…

A note about pine nuts: They are ridiculously expensive, especially when you buy them by the bag. I find it easier on the wallet to buy nuts in bulk. That way you can just buy what you need.

Also, per CL, this cake freezes well, whole or with wedges wrapped in plastic wrap. I cannot imagine that there will be any left to worry about freezing though.

 Pear Cake with Pine Nuts

Adapted from Cooking Light

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces

2 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup fat free sour cream

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 egg

2 cups thinly sliced peeled pear

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor or large bowl. Pulse to combine or whisk well to combine. Cut in butter with a pastry blender, your fingers, or by pulsing several times until mixture resembles coarse meal. Remove 1/3 cup to a small bowl, stir in cinnamon and pine nuts.

Combine the remaining flour mixture, sour cream, milk, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and egg in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.

Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan. Arrange pear slices over the batter and sprinkle with topping.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Serves 8.

Adult Grilled Cheese

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Pear, bacon and gouda is seriously a match made in grilled cheese heaven.

So…go get some creamy gouda, and smokey bacon, and make this melty, gooey grilled sandwich. You will love it! It is seriously the bomb!

Ingredients

2 slices of wheat sourdough bread
2 slices of thin sliced, good quality gouda
4 slices of a Bartlett or Bosc pear
2 slices of Applewood smoked bacon

Prep

Spray pan generously with canola oil {or a small pat of butter). Place one bread slice in pan and top with gouda, bacon and pears. Heat over medium/medium-low until cheese is melted and bread is crispy, golden brown. Flip, repeat, and eat.

Blog Kick-Off: Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Patties

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It is no secret that I love to cook for my family, and friends. My love of cooking was obviously born out of my love of eating. I mean, how else can you get excited about cooking unless you’re equally excited about getting to eat said cooked food? All things food…whether going out to for brunch, unfolding a white napkin at a fancy restaurant, or sniffing a mango for ripeness, are always a new opportunity to have a culinary good time.

People tend to ask me what my “specialty” is, and honestly, I don’t have one. I love to make so many varied types of foods, that I can’t seem to settle on any one thing. But I do still rattle off a few things I cook a lot, or have perfected, just to keep the conversation going: “Oh, I make a good lasagna, awesome Mexican rice, really good banana bread…” Here’s where this blog comes in. I need somewhere to chronicle the dishes I make, and share recipes with those who always ask.

To get this food blogging party started, I’m going with a new favorite: Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Patties, served with a tomato and red onion relish. When I first started cooking, any recipe I made came from the Cooking Light magazine subscription I had. Since then, I have purchased many of their cookbooks. This recipe is featured in their All-New Complete Cooking Light cookbook, and also in their Global Kitchen cookbook.

These potato patties are delicious! They have a caramelized and crisp outside and a gooey, cheesy center, served with a relish of ripe tomato and red onion. I may add avocado to the relish next time, because I am crazy like that, but it really is amazing as written. And let’s face it, could YOU resist a potato patty with cheese? Me either!!

Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Patties

Adapted from: Cooking Light Global Kitchen by David Joachim

1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

2 medium baking potatoes (about 1 1⁄4 pounds), peeled and quartered

1 1⁄2 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons minced green onions

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

3⁄4 cup diced tomato

1⁄2 cup diced or julienned red onion

Place 1 ½ teaspoons salt and potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain, and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Cool.

Add cheese, green onions, remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to potato mixture, stirring well. Divide potato mixture into 6 balls (about 1⁄2 cup per ball). Flatten balls into 1⁄2-inch-thick patties (about 3-inch diameter). Place on a baking sheet; cover and refrigerate 20 minutes or until firm.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Place patties in pan; cook 5 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Turn patties; cook 3 minutes.Top patties with tomato and red onion.

Per Cooking Light this makes 6 servings (serving size: 1 patty, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 4 teaspoons red onion). I, however only got 4 patties out of my mix.