Every so often I need to take a few moments to remember what I am most grateful for in my life. It is a way of putting things in perspective when things are not so perfect. When life gets crazy and stressful, I like to close my eyes and think of simple pleasures that make me happy.
Here is a list of 10 simple things that make me smile as I think of them:
- Great coffee when I wake up on a Sunday morning
- Picnics by the beach
- Dark chocolate and a glass of port
- Sunny days with the sunroof open
- Fresh heirloom tomatoes
- My 15 month old grandson when he drops everything to do a little dance along with the music on Sesame Street
- Fuzzy slippers
- Reading a great cookbook
- French Pastries
What does your simple pleasure list look like?
I have been a fan of Donna Hay’s magazines and cookbooks for decades, so being able to share this recipe is a pleasure. The cake is dense and full of rich almond flavour which is complimented well by the honey glazed pears. I like to serve it with a dollop of whipped cream.
Pear and Almond Tart
Makes 6 servings
6 tbsp. butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
¼ cup sifted all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. finely grated lemon rind
3 small pears, peeled, cored and halved
¼ cup honey, for brushing
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until just combined.
Add the eggs, vanilla, almond meal, flour, baking powder and lemon rind and process until just combined. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 9 inch round loose bottom fluted tart pan. Press the pear halves into the tart mixture, cut side down and bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Brush the pears with honey and allow tart to cool in the pan. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
Serve alone or with whipped cream.
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay Magazine