There's something is the air. A quiet, bashful something that none dare speak of aloud. It is the Christmas present that is never forgotten and never wrapped. But it arrives nonetheless and is truer and realer than anything that lay beneath our candied-colored glowing trees.
Hope. I would claim that even the most grown up of us still feel a glittery sense of undeniable, unexplainable, magical hope at Christmas.
Perhaps it is because we sanguinely believe that the upcoming new year promises better things than those left behind us. New beginnings and blank slates are envious gifts indeed. Perhaps it is because, as dear old Scrooge's nephew once declared, Christmas is a time "when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys." Or perhaps, it is simply because we live in the light of that one, great gift, given so many years ago, that brought the most assured, truest hope the world could ever claim.
I received this book in the mail several weeks ago and approached its beautifully designed pages with both trepidation and delight.
You may not be aware of this, but I am not actually a vegan. Ha. Haha. If you have spent more than thirty seconds on this site you have figured that out.
Of course, I have a very good reason for not being a vegan. Butter. The end.
But in pursuit of open-mindedness and for the sake of being a well-versed foodie, I decided to bring this book into my animal bi-product-loving home to see what treasures it had to offer.
I was not disappointed. In fact, if I could eat roasted pears and almond butter all day long I just might convert. Until I saw a buttered yeast roll and then it would be all over.
Nonetheless, these pears are really, really good. Like, really good. They became my lunch, dessert, and afternoon snack. But it's vegan, so it was healthy. I think...
These pears would have been fantastic on their own, but I added pomegranate arils and toasted pine nuts because you know what a jerk I am when it comes to following recipes.
Doesn't all that caramely goodness make your heart flutter? It does mine.
Pears are so pretty. I love it when I can score them with their stems intact.
These sweet, ginger-spiced pears are served with a dollop of vanilla cream, which was also supposed to be vegan but... I can explain. I'm sure cashew cream is amazing, and I had every intention of trying it as the book encouraged me to, but I bowed out at the last minute because I could not will myself to look at a cashew. I had a bad experience with them once. Details can be spared, but let me just say that I can no longer look at them without getting nauseous.
So that's why I used regular cream. I cheated. No shame.
I am sure that the cashew cream would have been amazing, and if someone would like to make it for me and keep the whole cashew thing a secret, I will happily take it off your hands.
This book is beautifully written from start to finish, and it may even inspire you to set aside the butter for a day. Choose your adventure, whether it be Gingered Carrot Bisque or Blackberry Coconut Ice Cream.
Being a quasi vegan wasn't so bad for an afternoon.
Merry Christmas dearest friends, and thank you for making this year the my best yet. Thank you for reading this blog and for giving me someone to write for - you are appreciated.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. As always, all opinions are completely my own. You can purchase the book here or find more of Food 52's beautiful products on their website!
Brown Sugar & Ginger Roasted Pears with Vanilla Cream
recipe adapted from Vegan / serves 4-8
- 4 medium Bosc Pears, halved and cored
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Place pears, cut side up, in a large baking pan. Drizzle the pears with lemon juice and rub with ginger and sprinkle with brown sugar. Pour several tablespoons of water into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the faces of the pears are golden and the flesh is fairly tender. While the pears are baking, baste them once or twice with the juices they have released. Remove from oven and flip each pear over, then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine cream and confectioner’s sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Mix in vanilla extract and fresh nutmeg.
To serve, place one or two pear halves cut side up, on each plate. Drizzle with some of the juices from the pan and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils and pine nuts. Enjoy!