Poached Pears

The first snow of the season started to fall at ten this Thursday morning. By the time I got back from my 11:30 dentist appointment, my work had decided to close down. They thought it best to send people home before the roads got too bad. The drive home was slow, but thankfully uneventful, for me and my neighbor/coworker. Joel’s drive back from the seminary library was a bit more exciting, what with hills and parked cars. Thankfully, he didn’t hit anything and he also made it home safely.



While I spent the afternoon steaming up the apartment windows, the neighbor’s little boy opened and shut our kitchen cupboards, picked out his favorite bottle of “Fig condiment with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena”, and pushed the other bottles round and round on their lazy Susan.

Eventually, we enjoyed an afternoon snack of poached pears and a boule of fresh, spongey (but too salty) whole wheat bread.

JZ lights (2)

After the neighbors went back upstairs, Joel started to hang additional Christmas lights to celebrate the beginning of winter weather.

Ingredients for Poached Pears

1/2 tablespoon cardamom  powder
1 cup vermouth
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon  lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
1 stick of cinnamon
dash of salt
2 firm pears, peeled, stems intact
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan that will hold both pears. Add enough water to cover the pears. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce the heat to let the liquid simmer. Put a cover (slightly ajar) on the saucepan and continue to heat the pears for about ten minutes. When the pears are just soft, remove them with a slotted spoon. Keep the lid off the saucepan and increase the heat. Let the liquid boil so that it will reduce to a syrup.
Halve or slice the pears to your liking for presentation and/or number of servings.  Spoon the reduced syrup over the pears.
Categories: Dessert, Food and drink, Fruit, Herbs and Spices | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bag of Treats

Last night we could hear the raindrops hitting the widows to our apartment. Although the wind wasn’t howling it took a little while for us to fall asleep. Grey light poked its way along the edge of the curtains seemingly too early the next morning.

Breakfast at Ikea was on our schedule, though, so we couldn’t stay in bed past nine. We’ve learned it is best to arrive as early as they open the door in order to avoid the weekend rush.

The other stop on my schedule was King of Prussia Mall.  Occasionally, I’ll find a Groupon that is too hard to resist.  Last week, I ran across an offer for $30 worth of Lindt chocolates for $15, and Groupon was giving an additional 20% discount.  The catch was that you had to go to a physical store and you had to use it before mid-November.

Three Lindt stores are “in” our area: KoP, Pottstown outlets, and Princeton. Since it was a rainy day, the indoor mall seemed the best idea: we could get exercise and make my purchase.

One shouldn’t be surprised to find miniature superheros, dragons, dalmatians, knights, ans slices of pizza running around the last few days of October.  King of Prussia had its fair share of children dressed up, going from store to store asking for candy.

Although the little packets of Snickers, KitKats, and M&Ms caught my eye, I was interested in something slightly different. This is what I decided to purchase with my Groupon.

Categories: Cookies and Candy, Food and drink, Shopping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taste of Peru: Salsa Criolla

Two of my coworkers are in South America this week.  Yesterday, the plan was them to take a break from working by going on a taxi tour of some sites in Peru. While I hold down the “fort” at the office, I can enjoy a taste of Peru with the following recipe.  A Peruvian friend from church made it for us one Sunday, and Joel liked it so much we’ve had to try making it ourselves.
Keys to Success: Slice the onion using the thinnest setting on a mandoline. Also, be sure to rinse the onion in cold water to diminish the onion’s bitterness.
  • Red onion
  • Aji­ amarillo
  • Cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lime juice
  • Olive oil



Salsa Criolla


Categories: Food and drink, sauces & condiments, Vegetables, work | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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