Tag Archives: mandoline

Pear Gorgonzola and Walnut Rustic Tart


I’m not much of a New Year’s resolution person.  I could blame it on the fact that I often don’t finish what I’ve begun, and to some extent that may be true, but know it’s more about being someone who constantly takes stock, reflects, compulsively evaluates, over-analyzes, sifts, sorts, and thrives on general hair-splitting.  It’s endless, so to some degree  I welcome January 1 each year to think in a more focused way — at least that’s what I’ve convinced myself of.

It’s really more about being able to sigh for the first time after a busy holiday season and quietly celebrate that I don’t have to cook anything too involved if I’m not in the mood.  That for the first day in quite some time, mental lists, menus to plan, groceries to purchase, and errands to run aren’t interrupting a quiet moment, or causing alarm should something important be forgotten.  It’s exhausting, and each year I vow to live through the holidays more graciously, more collected, and more as someone who enjoys and participates rather than orchestrates and delivers.

And so I’m reflecting on our holidays today and remembering some of the delicious food we shared with those we know and love.  It always allows us to pause long enough to enjoy one another’s company, to laugh, clink our glasses in a toast or three, and then smile at the quiet that comes after everyone has picked up their forks and begun to eat.

This beautiful and delicious Pear Gorgonzola and Walnut Rustic Tart was made on Christmas Eve in celebration of a special couple, recently engaged who happen to have a kitchen always filled with music, and often, dancing.  Here’s to you Lisa and Steve!

This year, there will be more music and dancing in my kitchen.  I promise myself.

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Apple Walnut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I believe that I’m a muffin person more so than a cupcake person.  Muffins seem to be less work, more humble, and are at least somewhat capable of providing flavor without a lot of sugar so I can dupe myself into thinking that the morsel I’m about to pop into my mouth is good for me.  Then I can have two.

With butter.

Realistically, the only other big difference between a muffin and a cupcake is frosting, isn’t it?  Well, and all those cutesy decorations everyone’s putting on cupcakes these days.  Both muffins and cupcakes are transportable, which makes foisting the leftover onto unsuspecting co-workers expected, but when you travel with top-heavy cupcakes, don’t they usually end up on the floor of your car when you brake to avoid the bumper of the person in front of you who didn’t see the red light because she was putting on her make up while driving?  Muffins would survive that trip to the floor unfazed and looking just as comely as they did before the mishap.

But I think I’ve found a happy medium.  Something with pieces of fruit, nuts, some spice…and a lovely cream cheese frosting.  Humble, not cloyingly sweet, and very satisfying.  And yes, sporting a bit of a decoration as well.  Have you ever made your own apple chips?

You won’t have to grab a second because these are anything but bite-sized.  In fact, you’ll need a friend to share one with.  I’m sharing mine with Fanny of Foodbeam for SHF:  Cupcakes the Final Chapter.  They’re definitely…

Not.  Just.  Pretty.

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