Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cardamom Pear Crisps + "Desserts in Jars" Cookbook Giveaway



Desserts in Jars what a perfect concept!  They are easy, compact, simple and easy to serve.  Desserts in Jars is a new cookbook from Shaina Olmanson from the popular blog Food for MyFamily.  Shaina has a pedigree of accolades to her credit – from being ranked in the top ten in Babble.com’s 2011 list of the 100 best food blogs for moms to being named a “Top 10 Family Cooking Blog” by My Life Scoop.  Kudos to Shaina! 

Emily from Harvard Common Press reached out to me to ask if I would like to participate in Shaina’s “Blog Tour” to promote her lovely new book.  My response was – “I would be happy to be part of Shaina’s Blog Tour.” A few days later, my very own copy of the book arrived at my doorstep.  With an eye catching cover that draws you in immediately, I could not help but be curious to see what delightful desserts could be served in jars.  At the beginning of the book, there is a dedication that reads – “For my grandmother, who taught me how to give a piece of myself through the food I make.”  That statement resonated with me, since learning to cook from my mother and grandmother, I too love to cook and share with others.


After browsing numerous times through Shaina’s mouth watering book, I kept coming back to the Cardamom Pear Crisps.  The close contenders were the Classic Apple Pies, Peach Bourbon Pies and the Espresso Crèmes Brulee.  Trust me; those will be made at one point – that is for sure. I am a bit obsessed with cardamom these days and with pears in season, this was a no brainer.  Not too mention, the weather is chilly and what a perfect way to enjoy dessert, with a warm jar of goodness.  I tweaked the recipe slightly by adding more lemon juice, less corn starch, more cardamom and candied ginger versus the ground variety.  The result was pure heaven!


I was fortunate enough to have an interview with Shaina to gain her perspective on desserts, inspiration, recipe development and some personal insights.  Please enjoy getting to know Shaina:

When did your love for cooking begin and who was your inspiration?
As cliché as it may seem, my love for cooking started extremely young, and while my mom cooked every day, it was my grandma who inspired me. She created these elaborate and elegant meals, and she showed love to her family by feeding them.

What was your inspiration for starting a food blog?
I had a few friends and an old roommate who just didn't know how to cook, not even the basics, and it pained me to see that this necessary skill was skipping a generation. Everyone needs to eat, and there were people who were completely reliant on processed foods and restaurants to prepare even the simplest of meals for them. I wanted to encourage everyone to embrace cooking and eating well as a way of life again, old or young, busy or just lazy.

What is your all time favorite dessert, and why?
Ice cream. Sure, I love all the things you can put ice cream on, and lately I've been a bit obsessed with apple pie and I have a longstanding love affair with cheesecake, but when it comes down to it, it's the ice cream that gets me. Salted caramel is my favorite flavor, but I am always trying new flavors. There is a shop (Izzy's) near my house that continuously rotates their flavors. Their Summit Oatmeal Stout and their Irish Moxie (coffee, whiskey, Oreos) are two that I can never pass up when I find myself at the counter. When I travel I seek out ice cream and gelato shops over bakeries, and if you can get both in one go, even better. In Portland, Oregon I headed to Salt & Straw to try their buttermilk sweet corn sorbet. Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York makes a kouign amann gelato sandwich that makes me weak in the knees. (They also make a great avocado toast, if you're into savory fare.)

What inspired you to write your latest release – Desserts in Jars?
Desserts in jars have been around long before I wrote a cookbook about them. I had been getting more and more requests by contracts to produce pies and cakes and puddings using the jars as the serving vessels, and it then materialized into a book. The jars are great for serving or shipping, and they're cute and sustainable at the same time. They have a bit of old school charm, and once you eat the dessert you can use them over and over or use them for something completely different. (I store my office supplies in jars on my desk.)



How did you come up with all of those wonderful recipes for the book – Desserts in Jars?
Many of them are inspired just by things I like to eat, serve, and make anyway. I try to keep my ingredients seasonally paired, and then I just thought about what I would enjoy eating or what might look cute presented in a jar. There is inspiration everywhere if you know to watch for it.

How did you find the time to write a cookbook, publish your food blog and take care of your family?
Freelance writing is my full-time job. I use my blog as a résumé for work that I hope to acquire, and since I work full-time, I suppose I juggle it like any other working mom: We're all a bit crazy and wonderful at multitasking. My house—particularly my kitchen—is just messier more often since it also serves as my workspace. Oh, and I have props where most people have tchotchkes.

Thank you Shaina for your time and interesting insights – is there anything else that you would like to share with my readers?
Thank you so much for having me! I hope you enjoy the book, and happy baking!



Giveaway: 
I am excited to announce that each of you have a chance to win a copy of Shaina’s new cookbook – Desserts in Jars.  The cookbook giveaway is generously supplied by The Harvard Common Press.  This contest is open to US resident only, my appologies to my international friends.

Congratulations to our Winner - Cindy Brickley!  I will send you a quick email to obtain your information, so I can arrange to have this lovely cookbook sent to you!  

True Random Number Generator  24Powered by RANDOM.ORG

How to Enter: 
  • Leave a comment on this post and would love to hear what dessert idea you have to make in a jar.
  • Entries/Comments accepted until 9pm (PST), Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
  • One winner will be randomly selected and notified by email.
  • This contest is open to US residents only, my apologies to my international friends!
 Bonus Entries:
  • Become a fan of Authentic Suburban Gourmet on Facebook. Leave an additional comment to let me know you became a fan.
  • Follow Authentic Suburban Gourmet on Twitter. Leave an additional comment to let me know you became a fan.
  • Follow Authentic Suburban Gourmet on Pinterest and Pin this giveaway with the cover photo from this post.  To qualify for the bonus entry - Leave an additional comment to let me know you followed and pinned the cover photo.


Cardamom Pear Crisps

Makes 6 Jars

Pear filling:

4 to 5 Large Red Anjou Pears
Juice of two lemons
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom

Crisp topping:

½ cup flour
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon crystallized ginger, minced
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of salt
8 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make the filling.  Core the pears and cut them into ¼ inch slices.  Put the pear slices in a large bowl.  Add the lemon juice and toss gently to coat the pears to keep them from browning.  Mix in the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and cardamom.  Fill six 8-ounce jars with the pears to ½ inch from the top.  The pears will cook down a bit and some of the topping will drip down in between the pears.

Make the topping. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cardamom, crystallized ginger and salt to mix well.  Add the butter and use a fork (or your fingers) to incorporate it into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.

Spoon the topping over the pears to cover, and use the back of a spoon to pack the topping down tightly.  Place the jars 2 inches apart on a large baking sheet.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pears are cooked through and the topping is light golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheet.  Serve warm.  Can top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for extra decadence.  Enjoy!


51 comments:

  1. Too cute! (The peach bourbon pies sound amazing too.) There's something so intimate about eating a dessert out of a jar.

    I'm following you just about everywhere. :D

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  2. I'd love a banana cream pie in a jar. Yummy!

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  3. I enjoyed reading your review and can't wait to try my own dessert in a jar!
    I'm a fan of cardamom with pears so I like your choice of recipes from the book...looks just heavenly, wish I could grab a spoon and dig in;-)

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  4. I love small compact easy to serve desserts for dinner parties. The flavors here are delish too. How fun to get her cookbook to review.

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  5. I make mini key lime pies in jars - yummy! Just the right size.

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  6. I make mini key lime pies in jars - yummy! Just the right size.

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  7. How cute are these little crisps! I love the desserts in jars concept. I'd love to try the Espresso Creme Brulee. I'm following you everywhere! :)

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  8. I'd love creme brûlée in a jar

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  9. I would make an apple crumble!

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  10. The first thing that came to mind is a Boston Cream Pie.

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  11. Follow Authentic Suburban Gourmet on Pinterest and I pinned this giveaway with the cover photo from this post onto my Food - Sweets to Make AND Food - Bites and Jars.

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  12. Came here from Pinterest after pinning that amazing Pear Cardamom dessert! I would love a Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse in a jar, and a copy of this beautiful book!

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  13. I'm on a Salted Caramel kick, so I would love to make Salted Caramel Apple Pies in a jar!!

    adb6{at}humboldt{dot}edu

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  14. I now follow Authentic Suburban Gourmet on Pinterest and pinned your Cardamom Pear Crisps to my dessert page :)

    adb6{at}humboldt{dot}edu

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  15. How about cheesecake in a jar?

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  16. Hmmm...first comment disappeared.

    Cheesecake in a jar!

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  17. I enjoyed your blog and will be following you on Pinterest also. The peach bourbon pies sound heavenly, but will have to wait for summer. In the meantime these pear crisps will hit the spot, too! I would love to have this book to pour over. :-)

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  18. I like Cinnamon Coffee cake in jars.
    cjbrick@ymail.com

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    Replies
    1. CONGRATULATIONS! You are the winner of the Desserts in Jars cookbook! Please email directly, so I can get your information to have the cookbook sent to you!!!

      Lisa
      authenticsuburburbangourmet@gmail.com

      Delete
  19. I am a fan of Authentic Suburban Gourmet on Facebook.(Cindy Brickley98)
    cjbrick@ymail.com

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  20. I follow Authentic Suburban Gourmet on Twitterand left you a tweet.
    cjbrick@ymail.com

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  21. I follow Authentic Suburban Gourmet on Pinterest and I pinned this giveaway with the cover photo from this post.
    http://pinterest.com/pin/61502351132934092/repin/

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  22. My hubby would love if I made him Banana Cream Pie in a jar, it's been forever since he's had it!

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  23. I follow you on Pinterest and also pinned this
    http://pinterest.com/pin/30047522485426625/

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  24. Pumpkin pie in a jar!

    ksickle11@gmail.com

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  25. I follow on pinterest and pinned the cover photo~

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  26. I think cheesecake in a jar...YUM!

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  27. It sounds like a fantastic book...and these crisps look amazing!

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  28. I love using mason jars for desserts, and other things that just canning. This pear and cardamom sound delicious together!

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  29. I follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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  30. And I just pinned the cover photo, too!

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  31. Lovely interview, Lisa! And even lovelier topic. I think Shaina's cookbook is brilliant, and with my ever growing collection of jars (partially inspired from our jamming sessions), I would love to see a tiramisu in a jar :)

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  32. Oh what a beautiful dessert! Even better that it's in a jar... I don't have to share it! ;-)
    I love apple pie in a jar...I've made it a few times and it was a hit!

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  33. I think making cheesecake in a jar is brilliant!

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  34. I just made the giveaway deadline, yay! Love these crisps and that they're made in jars!

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  35. This looks fantastic! I have been meaning to get this book and try some of the recipes:)really like the interview of Shaina:)

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  36. I would make some type of fall cobbler. An apple cranberry cobbler that incorporates pumpkin and a homemade whipped topping!

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  37. What a cute and fabulous sounding dessert! I love anything with pears, so this is perfect!

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  38. OMG this looks incredibly delish! LOVE it! I'm celebrating my birthday with a recipe link up along with a giveaway for 4 oz of each of these spices: ground cardamom, ground chipotle pepper, ground ceylon cinnamon, whole cumin, granulated garlic, and oregano. I'd love for you to stop by and link up this recipe along with any other's that use any of these 6 spices. TGIF!

    marilyn

    http://4you-withlove.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-birthday-party-begins.html

    ReplyDelete

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