The Year of Maple Syrup

Maple Thyme Chicken Thighs and Pears

2014 was the year that failure was recognized as an attribute towards the journey of success. That’s if the lesson was learned from the act of failure. This recipe was a difficult dish to develop. It was perfect the first time. The second attempt was too sweet. The third try lacked a flavorful taste. And, when the dish was finally successful, it was perfect.

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Parade Magazine: Maple Almond Pear Tarts

Maple Almond Pear Tarts

After returning to working a weekday schedule of 9 to 5, desserts with less prep work are appreciated in my schedule. Although pears and/or apples baked in buttery pie crusts are worth the extra effort and time, using puff pastry to make a tart turns out a quickie dessert.

This tart is topped with pear slices, warm spices, chopped almonds, and a maple syrup glaze with Tonewood Maple Flakes sprinkled on top. Of course, no dessert with baked pears is complete without a generous scoop of fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Sweet pies are great if there’s extra time in your schedule, but those with fewer hours can make these maple almond pear tarts with equal love.  Continue reading Parade Magazine: Maple Almond Pear Tarts

Shredded Kohlrabi, Watermelon Radish, Pear Salad with Arugula

Shredded Kohlrabi, Watermelon Radish and Pear Salad with Arugula

A winter farmers market initially looks deserted, but it has plenty of unusual root vegetables and varieties of dark leafy greens. The apples and pears overflow their crates. Some markets, such as New York City, also serve goat cheese, yogurt, cured and cuts of meats, milk, honey, bread, eggs, grains, and dried beans. Heirloom carrots in purple and varieties of potatoes are visual reminders of whole food’s diversity.

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Radicchio and Pear Salad

A sweet and savory Winter salad.

Winter’s Radicchio leaves and firm Bosc pears create a jewel of a salad lovingly enjoyed during the last few weeks of winter. Spring Equinox is about a month away. Piles of snow are melting, but let’s not rejoice too early. After a few years of living in New York, I’m not convinced the last of the snowstorms are finally in the past. It’s a bittersweet time of year full of warm anticipation, but snow flurries appear in April, too.

Most red and purple hued vegetables are honestly sweet. Au contraire for the reddish- purple and white leaves of radicchio, for it has a fresh bitter bite. Good looks fool most people. On occasion, I take advantage of radicchio’s bitter taste to fill it with generous spoonfuls of pungent blue cheese and toast walnuts. It’s an addictive snack. The strong flavors combined mellow into an honest, sweet taste. Continue reading Radicchio and Pear Salad