Thursday, September 29, 2011

Foodbuzz Tastemaker: Godiva Coffee review

Happy National Coffee Day!

Today, we celebrate the greatness that is coffee! You know, most days I get out of bed not so well relaxed. I am definitely in need of my coffee fix in the mornings. However, I'm not one of those who has to have one in the afternoon as well. If I ever do, it would be a decaf cup, just for the taste of it.

Now that it's fall, I've been craving pumpkin everything. As a member of Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, was so excited when I was accepted to get a sample of Godiva's seasonal limited edition flavors: Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Pecan Bark.

I brought both bags to work along with my trusty french press and had a little coffee party. If you don't have a french press, and love strong brewed coffee I highly recommend it! All you have to do is pour the coffee grounds into the press, add hot water and let seep for 5 minutes. Then push the plunger down, and enjoy!

My coworkers and I all enjoyed the Pumpkin Spice. It had a wonderful smell and tasted equally as nice. It was brewed dark, but because it was done on the press, it didn't have that bitter taste coffee usually has. I also brewed some on my Keurig at home, but I recommend the press.

The Caramel Pecan Bark was good as well, but I thought it had bits of sweet notes that were too strong for me. I'm not a huge sweets person (you wouldn't be able to tell from my blog huh?) so it was a little off putting. It would be a great dessert coffee paired with a coffeecake or such, but not as a daily morning brew.

My net take: get a french press then get the pumpkin spice coffee :)

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received two complimentary bags of Godiva Coffee. All the reviews and opinions are my own.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pear Pie

To tell you that I've had this recipe bookmarked for a while is an understatement. I saw this recipe almost 3 years ago, and I just got around to making it.

I don't really have any excuse other than we usually don't have pears on hand. Since pears are one of the fruits we don't buy often I totally forgot about this recipe until now. Whole Foods had some organic pears on sale, so I remembered this recipe when I snatched some up.

Lately, I've had a bit of bad luck with pie crusts. Since I need to make a dairy free crust for Gary, I haven't found the right crust, until now! This crust rolled out wonderfully, and it didn't crack while I was rolling it out. I think I've found the one! Gary also thought the crust worked out well and that it had a buttery aspect to even though I didn't use butter.

Pear Pie
crust adapted from Being Vegan and Getting Away with It
pie filling adapted from Honey and Jam

pie crust:
1 cup all purpose flour (plus more as needed and for dusting)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup non hydrogenated shortening
4 TBSP ice water

2-3 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4 inch thickness (I used 2 pears and it was sufficient)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter (I used earth balance)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350° F (175°s C).

prepare pie crust:
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour and salt. Cut in shortening using a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture looks like course crumbs. Slowly pour in water while mixing with fork in a circle. Once all the water is in, knead and form the dough into a ball. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in fridge for 10 minutes. (I skipped this and it was still fine.

Roll out dough for a 9" pie pan and place in pan. Cut off excess dough from the edges and flute or press edges with a fork.

prepare filling:
Peel and cut pears in half. Remove cores and slice into 1/4 inch thickness (approx). Place the pear slices down in the pie crust with the small ends toward the center to create a circular design in one layer. Chop excess pears and place in the center.

In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until light and fluffy. Stir in flour and vanilla. Pour mixture over the top of the pears to completely cover.

Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until pears are soft and custard is set in the center. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

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