Kitchen Mishaps and Broiled Cinnamon Pears

Lately I’ve had a “writer’s block” of sorts. I suppose it could be called that, anyway. Last week, I had a difficult time coming up with recipes that were worth sharing on this little blog of mine. And the ones I did choose to make, the ones I thought were promising and was excited about….did not come out as planned.


Recipe mishaps happen, I know. But I am a perfectionist when it comes to baking (and cooking) and I can’t stand it when what I am making does not come out exactly as planned. Not only do I want it to taste perfect, but it also needs to look perfect. Usually when this happens, I decide to make something else out of frustration, and because by that point I’m already frustrated, impatient, and tired, the same problems continue. And then I convey my disappointment to my poor husband, who constantly reassures me that “at least it tastes okay”, or “it doesn’t look that bad”, or “well, now you know not to use that ingredient next time.” I’m happy he still deals with me. Though he does get food out of this deal so I guess it can’t be that bad.

Last week, I made a butternut squash lasagna that did taste pretty delicious, but I made it with limited time and realized that I didn’t have all of the ingredients after starting. Still tasted good, but not my best work. Then, I made some pumpkin pies on Friday for our “Friendsgiving” with my favorite pumpkin pie recipe that calls for a swirl of brandy added into the mixture at the end, right before pouring into the pie pans. Something went wrong when the brandy was added which caused the mixture to separate and create splotches on the surface as well as a strange thin layer between the surface of the pie and the filling. It actually tasted very good-but again, not my best work. It took a lot of convincing for me to even still bring it to the party. Baking is truly a science.

This brings us to Saturday, where I made a chocolate layer cake for my husband’s birthday party. When I took the layers out of the pan, the top layer crumbled a bit, resulting in a lopsided crumbly side of the cake that no amount of frosting could cover up. Why did this happen? Probably because I am impatient and cannot wait for a cake to properly cool down before assembling it.

These recent events have reminded me that I am a bit of a perfectionist, stubborn, easily frustrated, and impatient. And also that, though these mishaps are on a smaller scale, I do need to slow down a bit and pay closer attention to details in life in general. Sometimes I am too anxious for the next step, for everything to go so perfectly, that I sabotage myself by moving too fast. And also, that at the end of the day, usually it’s the less pretty food that tastes the best!

So this post is dedicated to simplicity. For writing just to write, without worrying about having the perfect dish with the (far from) perfect photos all ready to go. Today, I wanted to share a very easy, barely even a recipe that has become my new favorite snack lately.


Pears are in season and they are quickly becoming one of my new favorite fall fruits. To be honest, I never used to be a big fan of pears. They were okay, but never really appealed to me. Until lately, when I bought a bag of pears from Trader Joe’s for $1.99 and subsequently fell in love with them.


My new favorite way to enjoy pears is by broiling them until they are softened and lightly browned, then putting them over a bowl of Greek yogurt, with almond butter and the cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar I splurged on. Or you could eat with ice cream, pancakes, toast, whatever you fancy. Or just enjoy them plain for a cozy winter treat.


Broiled Cinnamon Pears

  • 1-2 pears, cut lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (and any other spices or seasonings as desired-pumpkin pie spice, granulated sugar, etc.!)

Heat broiler to high setting. Place pears on baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place in broiler for 5-10 minutes, keeping close eye on them as cook. Remove from oven when cooked and browned to desired level and serve immediately!



Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal + Oatbran

Finally the weather is starting to turn in Kansas City. The leaves are changing, football is in full swing, there’s a slight chill in the air in the mornings. You can almost feel the season changing in the air. Though I do eat oatmeal all year long, a warm bowl of oats becomes even more comforting and cozy for breakfast during the Fall and Winter months.


Obviously, there are numerous ways to cook oatmeal and almost every “healthy” cooking blog has a few (dozen) oatmeal recipes, so I realize that this is nothing new. But that is one of the great things about oatmeal-not only is it nutrient dense and filling, but also so versatile and easily customized to your own tastes (unless you are my husband and you have strange food texture issues….which is a story for another day that will probably come up at some point in time on here….).

The oatmeal/oat bran makes the texture so creamy, while adding additional protein and fiber. I use this basic combination practically every time I make a bowl of oats. Image


I also need to mention my deep and ever-growing love for cinnamon. I use a lot of cinnamon in most of my baking (and cooking), especially in breakfast foods.


I’ve started buying my cinnamon from Penzey’s, which is  pretty much one of my favorite stores these days. I love visiting that place, and I could browse around in there for at least an hour. Hey, everyone’s got their own version of retail therapy, right? Side note: I actually dislike that term for whatever reason, but I got no other way to describe my specialty food shopping habits. You can most definitely tell a difference with high quality cinnamon, and it is not much more expensive that what you’d pay in a grocery store.  

I was definitely in the mood for a warm bowl of oats on Saturday morning, after sitting outside in the chilly evening weather the night before at an outdoor concert. And though this is slightly different than my standard oats recipe, the classic combination of apples + cinnamon was nothing short than the perfect Fall morning breakfast. Also worth noting is that it kept me full for hours during a busy morning of yoga.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1/8-1/4 cup oat bran (adding the full ¼ cup makes a lot and it’s quite filling-depends on how hungry I am)
  • 1 small apple, diced
  • ½ banana
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • As much as cinnamon as you like!
  • Small handful of walnuts, for topping

Combine oatmeal, oat bran, and almond milk in a small saucepan on medium heat . Bring to a rolling boil, then immediately lower heat to simmer, and stir in apple, banana, and cinnamon. Let simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until tender, then remove from heat and let sit 1 minute. Transfer to bowl, add walnuts and enjoy! (preferably with a warm mug of coffee, but whatever you want to do is cool…I guess…).