Wednesday, March 21, 2012


i am coming out of a 'what do i cook for my family' rut. it included a lot of little caesars pizza trips. i've never been a cream-of-chicken-soup-girl or a dinner-from-a-box-girl. but i do rely on the convenience of to-go parking spots. a lot.  

a quiet evening flipping through the tabbed pages of my favorite cook books and a trip to the grocery store all by myself was all it took for me to climb out of my fast food funk. we had a weeks worth of the yummiest/happiest meals sitting at our kitchen table after that. 

cooking with my husband is probably one of the best things in the whole world. 
he chops, i stir. i read off the recipe, he searches the spice cupboard for paprika. we talk. we share the sink. it's the best of domestic bliss. we've been trying new recipes. neither of us would list cooking/baking under things we do best, but i am braver in the kitchen when he's helping. 

this last sunday i pulled out one of my favorites. apples for jam.  
it's so beautiful. you must add it to your collection. 

i'd spent extra time in the produce aisle during my quiet grocery shopping trip. extra time to pick out three of the prettiest pears. they would ripen on my counter top until sunday evening. andrey and i were going to make the pear and berry crisp together. 

it was perfect. 
perfect to warm our bellies. 
the perfect amount of sweet to carry us into this new spring season. 

pear berry crisp by tessa kiros
3 large pears
1 cup of mixed berries ( we used fresh strawberries + blueberries)
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 pound + 3 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

preheat your oven to 375°F. Generously butter a 14 by 81/2 inch baking dish. peel, core and slice the pears, and put them in the dish. mix in the berries and scatter half the superfine sugar over the fruit.

mix together the flour; brown sugar, and the other half of the superfine sugar in a bowl. add the butter and vanilla and rub them in with your fingertips. working until the mixture isn't smooth but looks like clustery sand.  your fingers might be tired. 

scatter the topping over the fruit to cover it completely in a good thick layer. bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden and some berry juice has oozed up a bit over the crust and darkened it here and there. let it cool to touch and then serve warm with sweetened whipped cream, a bowl of custard, or vanilla ice cream. 


  1. Oh girl-

    I loathe cooking, but recently have decided it's what I must do with a busy student/worker husband & a me trying to lose weight. I've been using Cooking Light so we can count/track calories easily, and I can honestly say that I don't even feel proud of my accomplishments(that's how much I hate it), but I know it's what we need....I'm glad for you that you guys can cook together! I can't wait til my hubby can join me in the kitchen. :)

  2. I have been in and out of that rut since....well forever. It is so nice to sit down and plan a week full of delicious healthy meals, and even nicer when the husband is by my side shopping, preparing and cooking. I have never been one to prepare food alone. That time spent with him in the kitchen creating is what it's all about for me.Especially now that I must do it one-armed. Hazel is going through a clingy stage and I am NOT allowed to put her down. Tricky, this one-armed living.

  3. "i am braver in the kitchen when he's helping."

    this made my heart hurt so good.

  4. I love your description of cooking with the hubs. the funny thing is we found out early in our marriage that the most fights comes when we are trying to work together in the kitchen. so we do it just one at a time! but i do love when the hubs cooks for me! But i guess it works out becasue David doesn't get home until just after 6 anyway so i just have dinner on/almost on the table when he gets home!

  5. Oh, that crisp looks so delicious! I too loved the way you described cooking with your sweet Andrey. You two are a perfect team!

  6. Such pretty pictures! Now, I'm just wondering if you have christened your Le Creuset yet :)

  7. I have this book (a gift from Rachel/Black Eiffel) and I keep meaning to try recipes from it. Thanks for the push...this post is just what I need!