"Nothing was so likely to do her good as a little quiet cheerfulness at home." ~ Jane Austen
This week was not how I intended it to be. One week ago I had visions of powering through recipe testing for the book and getting a good jump on my Christmas baking. None of that happened. Instead, I woke up last Friday with what felt like knives hanging out in my throat. No amount of honey or tea would soothe it. Next day the tickle at the back of the throat started and so came on the incessant cough that stole my sleep for the better part of this week. That, combined with congestion and aching bones kept me out of the kitchen and away from the computer, except for deadlines which had to be kept. There's not much one can do with a foggy brain and aching body except cozy up on the couch and watch movies until you drift off, only to be awakened by the soft padding of kitten paws rearranging themselves on your legs. This bit of forced rest has done me good - a reminder to not get too overloaded this holiday season. Lord knows there will be busier days ahead, but if I need to take a break and watch Little Women, then so be it.
Today was the first day back at recipe testing and wouldn't you know it, the cranberry loaf was not how I wanted it to be. Not entirely inedible, but not full of magic like I want all of the recipes to be. Back to the drawing board, as they say! I did manage to whip up a simple appetizer which will fit any and all entertaining needs, be it for a crowd of ten or two. It's dangerous having a whole baked brie in the house with no one to eat it but you. There is forced rationing and thoughts of gym memberships. Yes, it has come to that.
The recipe is super simple. Dice a pear and sauté it in a little butter until it's soft. Stir in brown sugar, a little apple cider vinegar and chopped, cooked bacon. Let this reduce down a bit, then top a small wheel of brie and bake it until the cheese is softened. Spread this sweet and salty treat on fresh baguette slices and everyone is happy. Speaking of happy, I'm sharing some of my favourite links of late. Lots of good giveaways and gift guides, and a chicken soup that I wish I had a bowl of right now. I'll be back soon, with some seasonal sweets. In the meantime, I hope you're lives are more cozy than crazy, and your homes filled with good cheer (and beer). 'Tis the season!
Baked Brie with Caramelized Pears and Bacon
2 tsp butter
1 ripe pear, diced
pinch of flaky salt and cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cider vinegar
3 slices of cooked bacon, diced
200 g wheel of Brie
Preheat oven to 350*F.
In a small frying pan, melt the butter then stir in diced pear, flaky salt and cinnamon. Cook for about 3 minutes, until pear is soft. Stir in brown sugar, cider vinegar and diced bacon. Cook until all liquid is evaporated, about 3-5 minutes. Place brie in an oven proof baking dish and spoon the pear mixture on top. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is soft. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve with crusty bread. Makes 4-6 servings.
Molly's chicken soup. I need it now.
Amy is giving away all kinds of great stuff. Go on, enter!
Aimée has a list of her favourite cookbooks. Santa, are you paying attention?
Eat North is giving away 25 days of good things, everything from a pasta maker to craft beer.
Jan shares her recipe for mulled wine - we all need that!
Sarah writes so honestly and thoughtfully about what it's like to miss someone during the holidays.
Joy makes chocolate almond ginger bark and I kinda wish she was my neighbour.
If you build a gingerbread house, you MUST enter Movita's contest. Good luck!