The recipe reader – and a Chocolate Hazelnut-Pear Tart

My little girl has become quite the foodie. She loves to watch Anthony Bourdain (at age 2 she declared: “Tony is my best friend”), Chopped, Cupcake Wars, and pretty much any other food related show we will let her watch.

She got a kitchen for her birthday:


But  one of her favorite pastimes is to sit and read out loud from cookbook; one recipe after another. That means my days sound like this:

It wouldn’t be so bad if the recipes were all healthy and nutritious, but her favorite book from which to read is this:


All day long with the delicious sounding recipes, delectable ingredient after delectable ingredient.

And the recipe she was reading in the video was this:


So hour after hour I sit here having chocolate deserts described to me, and the more she reads those recipes, this more I do this:



Now I don’t pretend to be a cooking blog, so no, I haven’t made this recipe yet. Although, I do believe this particular tart is in my future. But, since we taunted you with the ingredient list earlier, I’ll go ahead and include the recipe she was reading here:

Chocolate Hazelnut-Pear Tart

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook (1995)

16 ounces canned pear halves, well drained
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tablespoons hazelnut-flavored liqueur
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
2 ounces (1/2 baking bar) Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate, for garnish.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, or grease lightly.

Pat the pear halves dry with paper towels. Cut each half into thirds lengthwise. Set aside

Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, liqueur, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and ground chocolate. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in the nuts. Spread into the prepared pan.

Arrange the pear slices in a circular pattern on top of the batter. Bake 23 to 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the tart. Cool tart on a wire rack. When the tart is partly cooled, run a knife around its edge and remove it from the pan. Allow the tart to cool completely.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until  smooth. Using a spoon or pastry bag, drizzle the melted chocolate over the cooled tart.

Yield: 12 servings


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Interview with a 5-year-old

I’m having a little trouble wrapping my head around Gem turning five. She’s clearly 5. She acts like a 5 year old. She thinks like a 5 year old. I’m just having a little trouble keeping up.

I thought an interview might be a good way to try to catch up

Favorite color: Red and pink
Favorite animal: cheeta
What do you want to do when you grow up: police officer
What is your favorite thing to do: play cooking
What is your favorite book: My Little Pony Equestria Girls
What is your happiest memory: going to the beach
Why do you like being a kid: because I can play more
If you could be any animal, what would you be: a mermaid
What’s your favorite thing to do with Mommy and Daddy: snuggle
Where is your favorite place to go: to the doughnut shop
What is your favorite TV show: My Little Pony
What is your favorite food: pears
What was your favorite birthday present: kitchen and cook book
What is something you don’t like to do: wait
What do you think Daddy does at work: work on his computer
And what does Mommy do: work on her computer, too, and takes care of me
What is something that you’re really good at: running fast
What is something that you want to get better at: going in the water and being safe from the sharks
What is something that you want to learn: how to make a paper boat
Who is your favorite person in the whole world: Bella
What is your favorite thing to wear: dresses
What is your favorite kind of weather: rainy
Why: because I can stomp in puddles with my boots
If we went on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you like to go: to school
What would you buy if you had $1000: cherries
What is your favorite kind of ice cream: strawberry
What are you looking forward to next year: going to Kindergarten

we’ve had a big year

a look back at 4 even more of 4 more of 4

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Little Library

The fact that this exists at all fills my heart with joy.

That we found this on the sidewalk in our new neighborhood… well that’s just too cool.

Check out the little free library.

little library


what’s awesome in your world?

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A beautiful day in the neighborhood

The day started out with a plan, and it was all Gem’s idea. We were going to go on a walking tour of all the beautiful flowers in our new neighborhood. And, I would bring my camera, so we could take pictures and use them for a blog post.

My little unpaid intern is really starting to pay off.

We got off to a good start.




But, after a while we came across this:



And inside, they had this:


They also had books.


The walls were lined with old classics


and my little girl was entranced


We spent hours in the doughnut shop, and I got to share with her some of my childhood favorites.


The garden tour / photo walk can wait for another day.



what captured your attention this week?

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