Food + Recipes

Gourmet Spotlight: Spiced Pear Cake

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

If it happens to me, I know it must happen to you too.  You’re sitting there minding your own business when all of a sudden you are hit with an overwhelming feeling.

Must. Have. Cake. Now.

Are you familiar with this phenomenon?  The sudden urge to bake something moist and delicious?  And then shovel a big slice down the hatch?   Oh, ahem.  How unladylike of me.  Let me rephrase.  Delicately take small bites with your pinkie in the air. 

In my region, we were hit with some unexpected rain over the weekend.  It must have been that smell of the first rain mixed together with the wind blowing the first leaves from the trees that caused something to click inside of me.  I just had to make my oh-so-autumn Spiced Pear Cake.  And I had to make it now. 

I take some of these pretty little Bartletts and transform them into the most moist and delicious flavor of fall. 

before and after

My spiced pear cake has a little of everything.  A glazed fruit topping, a down home ingredient like molasses, and the spices often found in the best fall comfort food.  What’s my secret ingredient to guarantee a moist cake?

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Napa Style, Take Two

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

My friends, I must be frank.  The past week has not been easy for me.  My entire family, including myself, has been sick with the flu so I didn’t get to do any of my DIY projects during the week.  Bummer. When I can’t get to my primer and power tools, my knees start to shake and my hands start to twitch.  I start to go a little stir crazy.  So finally, on Saturday, I was finally able to tackle some projects.  I’m hoping to feature them this week, if all goes well.  Good stuff coming. 

Y’all remember last week’s look at wine tasting in Napa.  Here’s another peek at just a few more stops on our weekend getaway.  

Day Two began by with a spectacular luncheon at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Yountville.  As many of you know, Mr. Keller is famous for his world renowned French Laundry restaurant, also in Yountville, with its nine course prix fixe tasting menu.  It’s practically impossible to get into the French Laundry, unless you go online at the exact perfect time (at midnight Pacific Standard Time two months in advance).  Don’t believe me?  Read this dude’s suggestions.  And even if you do get in, you’ll spend your kids’ college fund on one meal.  But as I understand from my swankier friends, it’s pretty spectacular.  

For the ‘regular’ folk, there is Bouchon in Yountville.  (And also in Vegas.)  It’s a little slice of Paris in the heart of the Napa Valley, from the menu, to the interior décor, to the waiters in little black vests, ties, and aprons. 


And the food.  Oh, the food.  It’s ooh, la, la, off the charts. 

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