One of the perks of doing a blog over the past 3 years is that I have met some incredible people. I am constantly amazed at the talent out there and their willingness to share their recipes and talents. I've made so many friends along the way and this has also been a great platform from which to grow on and get back in touch with friends from the past. Growing up, I always wanted to be able to cook like my Mom, where people looked forward to sitting down at my table and the house smelled divine with the aromas of a feast. To me, that is comfort and I feel it each time I go down to stay with my parents. I think abut the food on the drive down - yes, I know, crazy, right? Now my Mom follows my blog and emails me how she wants me to make this or that for her. It is one of the best compliments a girl can get, in my opinion.
I think sharing is important and isn't it one of the basic things we teach our kids when they are little? While that aspect of life still may be a battle, sharing food, tips, recipes and tools of the trade are one of my favorite things. I was recently contact by Jessica at CSN Stores asking if I would like a product for myself and do a quick review. While I appreciate the generosity, I would rather have the opportunity to share a product with a reader so they can whip up something scrumptious in their own kitchen with a product they are in need of. So here is what I have picked:
This 7-speed hand mixer by Cuisinart has been invaluable while making some scrumptious desserts, such as this pear cake. All you have to do is comment one or all of 3 things: What is the most addictive dessert you have made and why, tweet about this giveaway on twitter and post back here that you did, or blog about this giveaway on your blog and let me know. Easy! I will announce the winner on Thursday. Jessica at CSN Stores will then get this super-fun mixer sent to you as soon as you give me your contact info. How easy is that? Check out some of their other stores such as their Kids Bedding which has darling stuff. My daughter is is now thinking her room definitely needs to be redecorated with the purple polka dot duvet set. A huge Thank You to Jessica and CSN Stores for this fantastic giveaway to my readers.
As for the cake, if you are a cinnamon fan, this is your cake. By cooking the shredded pears in brown sugar and letting them caramelize, it intensifies the flavor and keeps the cake soft and moist. With the cinnamon sugar topping that turns golden brown in the oven, this cake is perfect for an evening snack or that morning coffee. Delicious!
Adapted from Cooking Dinner
2 large firm pears, peeled and grated on the large side of a grater
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar (store-bought or homemade)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
For the pears: Placed the grated pears, butter and brown sugar in a medium non-stick skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally over low heat until liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x9-inch baking pan.
Beat butter and sugar together until creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl.
Stir half of the flour mixture into the creamed butter and sugar. Do not overmix. Stir in the sour cream then the remaining flour mixture. Stir in cooked pears.
pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake until top is light brown, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.