Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pear Tartin and Roast Beef

Sunday I decided that I wanted a nice family dinner that would taste amazing! So i put together a pretty good menu. Roast beef in the crock pot with baby potatoes and mushrooms, a side of roasted brussel sprouts, a green salad. And then last minute I decided that such a lovely dinner needed a dessert. So I had some pears sitting on the counter and I remembered that I saw the Barefoot Contessa make this lovely cake with plums and i thought she had said that you could use apples, so i thought why not pears. Turned out beautiful and delicious!!

So for the roast i went online and googled around until I found a crock pot roast recipe with really good reviews. I don't remember where I found it, could have been on

Amazingly easy crock pot roast!
1 packet dry brown gravy mix (i used the reduced sodium one)
1 packet dry italin dressing mix (I used the zesty mix)
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup water
3-5 lb roast (I used a shoulder roast with the fat trimmed off)
Some potatoes
Some mushrooms

Throw the meat in the pot.
Mix all the packets in your water and then pour on and around the roast. My roast was only 3lbs and I used 3/4 water which was too much water. I would reccomend that a smaller roast use 1/2 cups water and for the larger roasts use 3/4 cups water.
Put it on low and let it cook all day.
(My mistake here was I put it on high in the morning and I overcooked the roast, still tasted really good but it was a little dry!)
A few hours before you are ready to serve the roast throw the potatoes in the pot. I don't like mushy potatoes with my roast.
Throw the mushrooms in and make sure they get all in the liquid so they get cooked too.

Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts
sprinkle of olive oil
1/2 Red Onion sliced up
Mushrooms sliced
Lemon sliced
herbs de provence

pre-heat to 350
I use my pampered chef red baker, probably my favorite thing ever!!

So throw the brussel sprouts in the baker sprinkle the olive oil over them and then shake so they are all covered with the oil. throw in the sliced up onion and mushrooms and shake again. Sprinkle the herbs de provence on top, lay the lemon slices on top and cover. Put in the oven and let it cook until the sprouts are fork tender.

Now for the cake!

3 pears sliced and cored. (Enough for the cake and for snacking on while baking.)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Confectioners' sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the pears in the dish, cut side down.

Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, about 360 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan but don't stir. Pour evenly over the pears.

Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.

Pour the cake batter evenly over the pears and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If a pears sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar.

Eat while enjoy a nice glass of red wine!

I am going to cook more like this! I felt so good putting such a put together dinner down in front of my boys!

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