Caramelized Pear and Ginger Popsicles

It’s been something like 100 degrees here every day this week. Every single day with no break. Yes, I sit in air conditioning all day. I don’t have it all that bad, but it’s disgusting the moment you walk outside.

When I was pregnant with my older daughter,  I lived on popsicles. We went through box after box.

Last year, I came across this popsicle mold on a similarly hot day. It appeared on the perfect day. I have made popsicles a few times since, including these.

While not pregnant, I am still a big fan of popsicles. Today, I was in the mood for something fruity. I turned to pears and ginger because I love that combo. I’ve become a bit of a ginger addict when it comes to flavoring foods. That or garlic or both – and I don’t think garlic tastes good in popsicles.

I was so excited for these popsicles to freeze up so I could taste them. I wasn’t disappointed.

Caramelized Pear and Ginger Popsicles

5 pears, cored and cubed
1/2 stick butter, unsalted is better
1/2 cup brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2.5 tbsp. chopped ginger

In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add 1 tablespoon of the chopped ginger. Keep it going until the butter starts to foam. 

Stir in the brown sugar. Let the brown sugar melt a bit.

Add in the rest of the ingredients.  Let the pears caramelize and get soft.

The pears will start to give off it’s own juices. This is good. This should take 5-10 minutes.

Let the mixture cool a bit. 

Transfer mixture to a bowl and blend using an immersion blender. You could also transfer to a standard blender.

Chill the blended mixture in the fridge for about half an hour.

Pour in to popsicle molds and freeze overnight.


Caramelized Pear and Ginger Popsicles

Rhubarb Crisp

There is a greenmarket in front of my office twice a week. I love checking it out to see what’s in season. When I can, I prefer to buy from them. I love the splashes of color from the stands as I walk out of the subway. It’s a nice change from the shlock vendors that stand in its place during the rest of the week.

For the past few weeks, they’ve had rhubarb stalks on their tables. I’ve never tried rhubarb. Not even in a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I’ve missed out on such a classic American staple. As I walked through the tables yesterday, I eyed the stalks. I asked one of the workers how much I would need. He said 1-2 pounds would be plenty – about 4-5 stalks. A colleague mentioned that rhubarb is great in a crisp. I decided to check it out. Got to try everything once, right?
We love fruit crisps in the summer. They come together easily and use what we have on hand. I wasn’t sure how this one would turn out though. It smelled good while baking, but rhubarb has a mixed reputation. I set aside a small ramekin so that I could try it. I wasn’t disappointed. It has this tangy and tartness to it that is welcome. 


Rhubarb Crisp
4 large stalks of rhubarb
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 400.
Cut up the rhubarb, slicing it across – around 1/2 inch thick. Sliced Rhubarb

 Mix up the sliced rhubarb with the white sugar and the flour. Place in a buttered baking dish. A 9×9 would work for this.

Sliced up rhubarb

In a separate bowl, using a pastry blender, mix up the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle the crumble over the rhubarb.
Rhubarb Crisp

Bake until the topping is golden brown. The rhubarb should be soft. It should take around 30-35 minutes.

Rhubarb Crisp

Serve while warm – with a nice scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!


Homemade Caramel Corn

I have always hated shopping. As a kid, even more so. I was the worst companion at Dayton’s or City Center. I just wanted to get out of there. I do remember though, that at the end of each shopping trip to Dayton’s, the experience was sweetened by a trip to Candyland. This old school candy and popcorn emporium was some sort of tastebud paradise. A bag of popcorn or caramel corn for my sisters and I, and a bag of jujubees for my mom. Life was good.

I don’t think I have had real caramel corn since once of those shopping trips, but I was reminded of the crunchy sweet goodness of the stuff the other day. While browsing the kosher grocery store on Thursday night, a woman next to me had cart full of tubs of caramel corn. I mosied on over to the aisle and saw that the tubs were $5 and that they also contained pretzels and peanuts. Huh? We didn’t need the glutens, and $5 for a small tub of popcorn and sugar seemed pretty overpriced. We always have popcorn in the house. There’s always sugar and butter as well. What more did I need?

I set out to make it motzei shabbat. J is the expert at the popcorn making  – so I put him to work at the stovetop. We don’t do microwave popcorn. I find it too chemical tasting. I was surprised by how easy it was to make the caramel corn. Just a few ingredients, and a few easy steps! It really is as good as I remembered. Even the kid who doesn’t like caramel loved the stuff.

Homemade Caramel Corn

6 quarts cooked popcorn (stovetop, storebought, or microwave)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cups corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the poprcorn in the biggest mixing bowl you have. I have a few of those restaurant sized stainless steel bowls. If you don’t have them, then just throw them in to a couple of baking pans. The disposable foil 9×13’s are perfect for this.

Preheat the oven to 250.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter at a medium-low heat. You do not want the butter to burn.

Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup, and the salt.

Keep stirring.  Turn the heat up to medium high. Let the mixture come to a boil for a few minutes. Keep stirring.

Turn the heat off after a few minutes. Add in the baking soda and the vanilla.

Pour the mixture over the popcorn.
Stir the popcorn to coat it entirely.  If you haven’t already done so, dump the popcorn in to the baking pans.

Place the baking pans in the oven at 250.

Stir the popcorn every 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven after about an hour and let cool for aout 10-15 minutes. 

Break up the popcorn and store in an airtight container. Or eat it all up. It was be hard to fight the urge to keep eating. It’s that good! Enjoy!

Beer Bread

I came across this bread recipe on a natural parenting site that I frequent. Everyone was raving about this bread. I am not usually one to follow the cultish trends, but this seemed like a fun experiment to test on a day off. I learned a few lessons along the way. One being that the bread is awesome. Two, is that I didn’t even need a whole day. If I had a toaster oven at work, I could do this during my lunch hour. It’s that quick and easy. Three, is that the bread gets eaten very fast if you have people mulling about your kitchen. It’s really that good. I do plan to make some variations of this again. Maybe adding some herbs, olives and/or some roasted garlic.

Beer Bread


3 c self-rising flour (poured loosely into measuring cup)
1/2 c sugar (do not decrease or substitute) – I will experiment with less next time
1/4 t baking powder (probably optional)
12oz can/bottle beer – not Corona, I don’t know why…just don’t use the Corona. I used Heineken.
3 T butter, melted – do not use margarine or any other substitute


Preheat oven to 375.

Mix together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.

Add the beer. Mix a few strokes until everything is mostly incorporated. Do not overmix. Do not knead. The dough mixture with be sticky, wet, and lumpy.

Pour into a loaf pan. Pour the butter over the top. Please remember that the butter is very essential.

Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes., until the top is brown and crispy. This bread top is essential. It is the best part of this bread. Let cool, a little. Dig in!

If G-d forbid you don’t finish the bread on the same day, store in a ziplock bag. The bread is pretty good when toasted.

French Onion Soup

I love soup. It’s the perfect meal for me at the end of the day. I eat French onion soup as an indulgence maybe twice a year. I love it, but most restaurants don’t get it right. I have resisted making my own as I didn’t have the special crocks. I finally bought two of the soup bowls at The Bowery Restaurant Supply store. They were only $4 each – score! I got to work.

The soup itself is very easy to make. I like using a variety of onions to get the taste just right.

French Onion Soup

2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 small yellow onions
3 shallots
4 garlic cloves
1 Vidalia onion
2 small red onions
1 tbsp. thyme
1 tsp. sugar
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup white wine
tbsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

Sauté the onions in a small amount of butter and some olive oil along with a teaspoon of sugar.

Sauté just until it starts to brown. Some people add flour to make a roux, but I don’t.

Add beef or vegetable broth, white wine and a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

Let it get to a boil on high.

Switch it to medium low and then cover it while it cooks for 45 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, slice up a crusty baguette. Toast it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. I rubbed a little garlic and olive oil on it before toasting.

Slice up some swiss cheese.

Taste the soup for doneness.

Ladle the soup into the special bowl.

Put the bread croutons you just made on the soup.

Lay the cheese on top. Put in the oven at 425 for 10 minutes. Soup Heaven!

1 2