There is just something about Mark BIttman’s recipes/dishes that keeps calling me back. I know you know the feeling. You find a chef/cook/baker you really like and then you just want to keep making their goodies. I am that way with Madjur Jaffrey, Donna Hay, and Mark Bittman, among others..

So when it came time to do another potluck for I heart Cooking Clubs I went with Bittman – again.


    8 ripe pears peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into smallish pieces
    1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    8 – 10 sheets whole-wheat phyllo dough, thawed
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    Powdered sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the pears, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Set the phyllo on your work surface and cover with a piece of plastic and a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Remove one sheet and put it in front of you, brush it with some butter and fold in 1/2 length wise.

Put about 1/8 of the pear mixture at one end of the phyllo strip and begin folding the filled section of the phyllo to form triangles back and forth along the length of the strip, like folding a flag. Keep folding the triangle back and forth until you reach the end of the sheet.
Transfer the turnover to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down, and brush it with a little more butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and apple mixture. You should have 8 turnovers.

Bake the turnovers until deeply golden and crisp (it’s okay if they ooze a little juice), 25 to 35 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or


    cinnamon sugar.

These were quick, crispy, flaky, tasty and the perfect light dessert. They are on page 565 of Bittman’s The Food Matters Cook book

For the other Pot Luck picks visit us over at IHCC


Back on November 8, 2008, TWD members made Rice Pudding. I was not one of them because at the time I. Could. Not. Find. Arborio rice. What! What is that? Was the response I got here in Podunk, USA. SHEESH!!! NOW it is everywhere. And I’ve used it quite a bit since I found it, but never did get around to making the Rice Pudding. Have now!!!

And it came out perfectly (I had tried it before and it was a miserable failure.) I made 1/2 of the recipe which gave me two nice helpings. One vanilla and one chocolate. B liked the chocolate and I prefered the vanilla so we were both happy. It is not the most photogenic dessert, at least not the chocolate….

Isabelle chose the recipe that week and you can find the recipe on her blog. It is also on page 412 of BFMHTY.


November 29, 2011 Normandy Tarts appeared in TWD kitchens.

I made about 1/3 of the filling recipe, used pears instead of apples and ended up with a 4″ mini tart. The pears were at B’s request. Good little tart chosen by my friend Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. It was her second time to host and her Tart is Gorgeous!! You can also find the recipe in BFMHTY on page 304.


I did skip one recipe for March back when – Chocolate Pots de Creme. {March 1, 2011}

We had made the Caramel Pots de Creme in May of 2011 and they worked out well so I wasn’t worried about the chocolate. 1/2 of recipe resulted in 4 4″ ramekins of chocolate delight. Thank you Christine of Cats in the Kitchen. LOVED these. Recipe is on her blog and on page 390 of Dorie’s book.

That’s all. I posted the Far Breton {1 November 2011} in September. I still have’t made the Chestnut Cake. Still no chestnuts to be found except in large portions and I am only making mini cakes these days since it is just the two of us. MAYBE by the end of the year I will get it made.

I missed a lot of December picks – six to be exact. I will be busy!!

Think back to January 6, 2009. Do you know what was baking in your oven?
If you were a member of TWD that year, you had THIS lovely tart in there.

    French Pear Tart

This tart was special because Dorie chose it for the group to bake. And hers is beautiful (DUH!!)
The tart calls for one of Dorie’s crusts – either the Sweet Tart or the Sweet Tart with Nuts. I had some shortbread crust left so I used that. It did add extra sweetness but just made the tart even better. The pear halves are sliced thinly and fanned out over the almond cream.

When out of the oven you can either brush with an apple jelly glaze, or, as I did, dust with powdered sugar.

The recipe is on Dorie’s Site so go there. This is so simple to put together you will want to make it EVERY nite!!!

I’m catching up on the TWD treats I missed before joining so you will be seeing still more of Dorie’s treats over the next few weeks.

…for the last couple of days it has been in the upper 80s outside and FALL seems far far away.

But this pie, which contains butternut squash, pears, and walnuts as well as cinnamon and nutmeg, is a reminder that FALL is a wonderful season for baking.


The full recipe gave me enough filling for 3 minis and 1 7″ pie. All with a double crust.

I dusted the larger pie with a little Turbinado sugar and the others with granulated sugar. Nothing like a nice sweet crust on a pie that isn’t that sweet.

I had some steamed butternut squash from when I made Butternut Squash Bread and Butternut Squash Soup so instead of cooking more I used it. And I found out there are NO pears in the local stores so I had to use canned pear halves. (Not an ideal situation!) The ingredients include dried fruit so I threw in a handful of dried Cherries.

I liked the tartness of the cherries against the ‘semi’ sweetness of the squash and pears.

But to be truthful I haven’t decided if I like the pie altogether. Guess I will have to have another piece, just for research purposes. Maybe with some of Dorie’s nilla ice cream. Just in case it needs it. Just in case.

We had a choice of Pie or Mini-Madelines this week for TWD. I wanted to make the Mads, sorry Di, but I still don’t have a pan. One day!!

So I made pie, which was Valerie’s pick for this week. You need to see her PIE it is gorgeous!!!!

AND you need to visit the other members of TWD and see their pies and Madelines.

We have two pear trees in the back ‘yard’. One is a Bartlette and one is a Kieffer. The Bartlette is an eating pear. Sweet and soft. The Kieffer is more of a cooking pear. Firm and sweet. I thought the two trees had quit bearing, but The Hubs told me there were still plenty of Kieffers on the tree. (That was good because I thought I was going to have to make either an Apple torte or a small pear one.) Neither of them look like the pears you see in the grocery store.

The ones in the middle are nice, ripe Kieffers (from the tree). The outside ones are Bosch (from the store). Big difference. In shape and in taste. With the Kieffers in hand I set out to make this week’s TWD Pick:

    Fold Over Pear Torte.

Thank you so much, Cakelaw of Laws of the Kitchen for a great fall sweet.

The torte is similar to a rustic galette except instead of being free formed it is baked in a spring form pan. That means, of course, that you can put TONS more fruit in it plus a simple custard. Pears, walnuts, golden raisins, and some dried cranberries for a little color.

The hardest part was wrestling the dough into the springform. I had to patch it in a couple of places, but it all came together and formed a beautiful crust.

I have to tell you – it was DELICIOUS!! Family was over for supper and this was dessert. It was a hit with everyone.

Simple Vanilla ice cream on top gave us a perfect ending to a perfect meal (I can say that since The Hubs had fixed his prize winning BBQ’d chicken.)

This torte was part of a TwitterBake this weekend. Several of us baked it together – virtually. Since I got started a little later than the others I picked up on their tips. so major thanks to Di, Kayte, Nancy, Tracey, and Marthe (who had actually made it a few days before) for making it a fun ‘assignment’.

Visit the other TWD Bakers and see their ‘take’ on this torte. I bet you find some amazing variations. The recipe will be on Cakelaw’s page or in Dorie’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.

In 1978 we moved into a house built in 1926. It was a frame house. Nothing fancy. It is located in an old Czechoslovakian community and was built by one of the early settlers. It wasn’t so much the house that we bought it for, it was the trees everywhere. Oak. Elm. Apple. Plum. Fig. Peach. Pear. Many of the fruit trees are gone now. They were old when we bought the place. We have replaced some of them, but not all. The first year we lived here I picked enough apples to put up 22 quarts of applesauce. That was the last year we had apples. We still have the pear trees so every year we pick and give away plenty of pears.

Why am I telling you all this?? Because of the recipe this Saturday.

    Cinnamon Apple Pear Bread

It is supposed to be apple bread, but we have a bumper crop of pears this year and I hate to see them go to waste.

      3 eggs
      1 cup veggie oil {I subbed applesauce.}
      2 cups sugar {used 1/2 sugar 1/2 splenda}
      1 tsp vanilla
      3 cups flour
      1 tsp cinnamon {Used 3 tsp.}
      1 tsp salt
      1 tsp baking soda
      3 cups raw pears, chopped
      1 cup nuts, chopped {this makes two loaves so used pecans in one and walnuts in one}

Beat together eggs, veggie oil (or apple sauce), sugar and vanilla
Sift together flour, cinamon, salt, and baking soda.
Add toegg mixture
Stir in pears and nuts.
Pour into 2 greased regular size bread pans.
Bake at 300 degrees 90 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar and wrap with foil or plastic wrap while hot.

I wondered about this last step, but it gave the loaves a nice sweet topping as the sugar melted into the cake.

The quickbread is NOT real sweet but the pears add sweetness to the loaf.

This recipe came from our local electric company cookbook –
The Power of Good Food

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