Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Spiced shrimp w/ avocado oil (CL)

We've been eating so much chicken lately that frankly I'm getting a bit sick of it. I decided to make some shrimp tonight and I used the spiced shrimp recipe from cooking light. The seasoning is salt, sugar, chili powder, oregano, corriander and cumin. I didnt have any ground coriander so I used some smoked paprika instead. I also didnt have any avocado oil, but I had some lemon oil so I used that. I made some low-carb pasta and sautee'd some mushrooms and aspargus and mixed it all up with some leftover low-fat alfredo that I bought for a pizza last week. The shrimp were really good, the pasta just so-so. I'm really getting sick of all these pre-packaged foods. I know sometimes they really come in handy, but my taste buds just dont like them anymore.

On another food related note. On Friday I start working at a cafe one night per week. It's a basic neighborhood type pizza/pub restaurant, but the owner said I could have some creative reign.

Monday, January 30, 2006

2 way pie.....

If you havent figured out by now that Robin really doesnt like fruit, you will after this post. Robin is a peanut butter freak. She loves it so much, I think she has some each day. My sister told me about a peanut butter pie recipe that is somewhat trashy. It's pure convience food, the stuff you take to an office potluck because you can throw it together lickity split. I made it for Robin a few years ago and she declared it her favorite dessert. It is extremely peanutbuttery. I try not to make it that much because Its fattening. The crust is what makes that pie extra fattening because its crushed up nutter butters, and butter. She asked me to bake something last night and I wanted something with fruit( and low fat) and Robin wanted peanut butter. I came up with this solution. The original recipe ( with the cherries on it) is called spring breeze cheesecake. Its 1 bar of cream cheese( I used low fat) sugar( I used splenda) and cool-whip( I used french vanilla). I added the PB into robin's half and then chopped up a few pb cups. I used some no sugar added cherry pie filling for my half. Robin said it was good even though she didnt have the nutter butter crust( They dont sell them in Canada).

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A new way to make brownies.....

Last night we went out for dinner with a bunch of gals we havent seen in awhile. I decided at the last minute to whip up something to give the gals as a special treat. I remembered these from Nic's blog so I threw everything together and followed the unconventional intructions. The recipe/method comes from Alice Medrich. I'm not a huge brownie fan, but these were fabulous. They were really fudgy in the middle while nice and crunchy on top. I gilded the lily slightly by adding some dark chocolate chips on top. I might have slightly underbaked them( we really need a new oven), but they were still good. I used the new non-stick foil and they popped right out of the pan.

Thanks Nic and Alice!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sugar High(low) Friday #15

Wow, Im finally early for a blogging event. I was snowed in today so I thought I'd get a jump on things and get started. Sugar High Friday was first conceived by Jennifer our own Canadian DomesticGoddess. This month's SHF is hosted by Sam over at Becks and Posh.

The premise behind this months event is to make a low sugar dessert, preferably one that uses natural sweeteners. I chose to make a vegan chocolate mouse. I picked up this package of almond dessert tofu for two reason. One because it was low-fat and two because it was only 99cents. This was dead simple to make. You puree the tofu in the cuisinart, add a couple tablespoons of maple syrup( natural sweetener). In hindsight, this recipe didnt need the syrup at all, and then blend in some melted chocolate. I had a variety of scraps of chocolate in my big baking box so I used a combination of dark, semi-sweet and some milk. I added a tbls of vanilla and then stuck it out in our frozen sunroom for a few hours. It firmed up nicely. For serving, I topped this with some chocolate vegan whipped topping( cool whip LOL) and some toasted almonds( I found a use for those almonds from the previous post) and Robin dug in. First, I had to explain to her that tofu is bland, it picks up other flavors, blah, blah, blah. I explained to her that the tofu took the place of the eggs and butter and cream. It was still very rich and very good. She thought the almond flavor was very overwhelming(because the tofu was almond flavored) but she still liked it. Best of all, it was dead simple to make and I didnt add any other sugar.
Tagged with: +

Are you NUTS????

So yeah, I can't pass up a bargain and to me this was defiantly a bargain. 4 and a half pounds of almonds for 1.99.

and....... 2 3/4 hours later you have 1.38 lbs of shelled almonds. All thanks to the other girl in the kitchen, Robin.

Thank you sweetie. Now I'm off to find a nice and fruity dessert to make with the almonds..... Just kidding!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Alton Brown's stove top macaroni and cheese

Can you say Yum-O? LOL. I'm so excited to have found( well, honestly I knew about it for a long time but I never tried it before) Dreamfields low carb pasta. I can know eat a serving of pasta without feeling all icky and gross aftewards( I'm diabetic). I've made this recipe many times before, I really like it because its very easy and very tasty. Everything is made in the pot and you dont need to make a fancy bechamel. I use a combination of cheeses, a little sharp and a little mild.

The turkey burgers were burgers I made about a month ago and froze( raw). I like having them all ready made and ready to grill.

1/2 lb elbow macaroni, rotini pasta (1/2 regular box) or pasta shells (1/2 regular box)
4 tablespoons butter ( I used 2tbls)
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk (low fat is fine)
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
12 ounces cheese, shredded

1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain.
2. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.
3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy. If soupy, cook longer until thickened

Small batch baking ( outrageous PB cookie)

Thanks Daniellefor the suggestion to use another photo hosting site. I used snapfish and I figured out the html code to post the pics here. Not as easy as Hello, but at least its done. I wish I was better at HTML and computer stuff in general but I just dont get it most of the time.

Anyway, on to these cookies. I guess after all the fruit, Robin really really wanted something peanut butter. I pulled out the small batch baking book and made this recipe. Robin really liked them, I think they were a tad too dry, but that was my fault because I thought the batter looked too wet so I added another tbls of flour. Obviously, I shouldnt have done that. I also didnt have any nutrageous candy so I used one white chocolate PB cup and 1 caramel PB cup( limited edition). The recipe said to freeze the dough for 15 min prior to baking and I didnt do that either. I should have because the caramel leaked all over the place. Oh well!! The recipe was supposed to make 8 cookies, but I got 6 instead.

I can't post pics??

I have no idea why, but the Hello thingy isnt working. I've been trying for two days to post pictures. I am able to load the picture and then it says " uploading" and then nothing happens. Does anyone know how to fix this? I emailed tech support but I dont expect to hear from them for awhile.

I have been cooking though, and I have some great pics to share. I made Alton Brown's stove top macaroni and cheese using the dreamfeilds low carb pasta( I love that stuff). I also made some cookies from small batch baking and I'm about to make some turkey chili.

I want to post my pictures dammit!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Why can't I find Malt powder in Ontario?

coffee malt Posted by Picasa

Yet another favorite food item( along with Hershey's cocoa) that I can't find in Ontario. I'm just glad I dont live that far from the border. I introduced our neice Chelsea to Malts and now she's hooked. When I was growing up, my mom would pull out the trusty hamilton beach blender and make us kids a chocolate malt. It was never a shake, it was always a malt. She'd give us each a glass along with a big fat crunchy charles chips pretzel so we could dip it in our malt. Its funny, but making malts always reminds me of my mom. I try to make them low-fat by using light ice cream and skim milk. Surprisingly they are still pretty darn good. Chelsea sure loves them. For this malt, I used coffee ice cream( Edy's although I still prefer Bryer's) hershey's special dark chocolate syrup and milk along with a healthy dose of Carnation malt powder. This version was extremely yummy. If you've never had a malt, try it and let me know how you like it.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I tried it again.....

almond olive oil cake Posted by Picasa

Call me stubborn, but I wanted to get some more fruit into Robin. Citrus is especially fragrant and juicy this time of year and I found some lovely oro blanco grapefruits and some really juicy navel oranges. I remember seeing this cake on Giada's everyday food about a week ago. I really liked the delicate flavor of this cake. It was really easy to make and unlike most cakes that use butter, this cake uses olive oil. Giada calls for EVOO( extra virgin olive oil), but I used a combination of EVOO and light olive oil. Giada calls for orange flower water, but I didnt have any. I used a few tbls of sugar to counteract the sourness of the grapefruit. I really enjoyed this cake, but Robin said " it isnt chocolate". I guess to her, dessert isnt dessert unless it consists of chocolate or peanutbutter. Oh, well, I'll keep trying.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted, coarsely crumbled
Powdered sugar, for sifting
Citrus Compote:
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
3/4 teaspoon orange blossom water, optional
3 oranges, segmented
2 pink grapefruits, segmented

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8-inch-diameter cake pan. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the milk. Gradually beat in the oil. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the almonds. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Place cake pan on baking pan to collect any possible spills. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Remove cake and place on serving platter, top side up. Sift powdered sugar over the cake.
To make the citrus compote: Stir the orange peel, blossom water, and 2 tablespoons of accumulated juices from the segmented fruit in a small bowl to blend. Arrange the orange and grapefruit segments decoratively in a wide shallow bowl. Pour the blossom water mixture over. Cover and let stand 15 minutes for the flavors to blend.

Cut the cake into wedges and spoon the citrus compote alongside.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Supper Omelet...

goat cheese and arugula omelet with whole wheat toast

grits Posted by Picasa

So last week I say to Robin "Honey, I decided we're going to eat one Vegetarian meal per week". She says " Uh ok".

So, I wonder, is this just a coicidence that she happened to pick tonight to have dinner with her cousin? Me thinks not.

Anyway, I forged ahead with my plan. I had originally planned to make the omelet recipe in this months Bon Appetit, it has fennel and olives and dill. Since it was just me, I thought I'd just use what I had in the fridge. I had some arugula, some scallions and some really nice herbed goat cheese. I threw this together using 1 whole egg and some egg beaters. I havent made an omelet in ages, but I didnt lose my touch. I toasted up a piece of that wonderful bread I made a few days ago and cooked up mine and another blogger's beloved grits.

Earlier this afternoon, I made some low-fat rice pudding. but the picture is not very attractive.

Too Much Information.....

Anna tagged me awhile ago for this and I figured its about time I do it.

This is a random 10 weird facts about yourself thingy.

1. I dont like hot drinks, in fact I must have my beverages super duper cold. I freeze my water, put ice in my milk and I wont drink a soda that hasnt been refridgerated.

2. I sleep with a black sleep mask. This all started when I was 19 and I was working graveyard shift at American Express. It was too light during the day so I bought a mask. After a year I got so used to it, that I had trouble sleeping with out it. It must be a psychological thing because even if the room is pitch black, I must have my "blinders".

3. I've been published in Glamour, People and a couple of newspapers. I love writing letters to the editors giving my opinions about topics.

4. My mother NEVER let me cook when I was growing up. It was her kitchen and it was off limits. You'd think I would have had no interest in cooking, but when someone tells me NO, I want to do it all the more.

5. Living in California all those years afforded me the opportunity to see a lot of celebrities. I actually could care less about then, but I'd ask for an autograph because I'd think they would be worth a lot of money when the celeb died. The last autograph I got was Melanie Griffith. She was in a pizza place with all her kids and I was the only other person there. I asked her for the autograph and she never said one word to me, just signed. Her oldest daughter said "thank you" to me.

6. I feel anxiety if my feet arent "done". If I am overdue for a pedicure, I wont show my feet.

7. I hardly ever wear Jeans. Maybe once a year.

8. I hardly ever run out of anything. I like to have a backstock, especially toilet paper, detergent, shampoo, soap, etc. This comes from childhood.

9. I couldnt stand law school. I hated the politics, the competition and most of the students. Graduating law school was one of the happiest days of my life.

10. I am a total sun worshiper. I have psoriasis( mild) so the sun is good for me. I am very, very happy on sunny days.

Im tagging Christine and Danielle

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Robin was supposed to cook

chicken tettrazini Posted by Picasa

But yeah, she worked late so I did. We've had this dish before, I like it because while slightly labor intensive( poaching chicken, boiling noodles, making a sauce) you get a lot of bang for your buck. This recipe from Cooking Light makes a lot of food. I filled an 8 inch square casserole and 2 disposable foil containers. I'll freeze the foil containers for future meals.

I basically followed the recipe, except I added frozen peas, I used the entire 8 oz package of light cream cheese instead of the 4oz called for. ( I didnt want 4 oz of cream cheese floating around my fridge) and I added about a cup of milk to the veloute instead of all chicken broth. I also topped with panko instead of the white bread crumbs the recipe called for.

Tomorrow Robin is meeting her cousin for dinner so I'll be cooking for one.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Whole Wheat, Oatmeal and Raisin muffins( CL)

Whole Wheat, Oatmeal and Raisin muffins Posted by Picasa

I usually dont have a lot of faith in low-fat baking, but these were fantastic. I loved the fact that they used all whole grains, only 1/2 cup of sugar( 1/4 cup white, 1/4 cup brown) and 1/4 cup oil. The Recipe calls for raisins, dates and cranberries. I used dates, cherry flavored dried cranberries and a bit of toasted coconut I had leftover. I also used old-fashioned oats instead of quick oats. I wrapped each one in some saran wrap and I'm going to freeze them for future breakfasts. I'm really impressed by these muffins as were others as they were rated 5 stars. I urge you to try them.

Whole Wheat, Oatmeal, and Raisin Muffins
From Cooking Light

With four whole grains and three dried fruits, these muffins are a great way to get a variety of antioxidants and fiber. Wheat germ is a good source of vitamin E. Look for untoasted wheat germ in the organic food section of the supermarket. Adding boiling water to the batter and allowing it to sit for 15 minutes before baking allows the hearty oats, wheat germ, and bran to soak up the liquid for a more tender muffin.

1 cup whole wheat flour (about 4 3/4 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons untoasted wheat germ
2 tablespoons wheat bran
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup chopped pitted dates
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup boiling water
Cooking spray

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in oats, dates, raisins, and cranberries. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in boiling water. Let batter stand 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 muffin)

CALORIES 204(28% from fat); FAT 6.4g (sat 0.8g,mono 3.2g,poly 1.8g); PROTEIN 4.6g; CHOLESTEROL 19mg; CALCIUM 43mg; SODIUM 288mg; FIBER 3.4g; IRON 1.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.7g

Digging into the archives...

cupcake tree

top view


one more view Posted by Picasa

Tonights dinner is salad and turkey burgers( frozen from last week) so I thought I'd dig into my photo archives and talk about the cupcake tree I made for our wedding. We married on June 19, 03 in our backyard. The same-sex marriage law had just passed only days prior and we thought we better hurry up and tie the knot in case the law was appealed. We had 8 ppl at our wedding and both Robin and I really felt ripped off. So, we planned a big shindig for our 1st anniversary which just happened to fall on a Saturday. We booked a hall and decided on a menu( the most important part to me, LOL). Our here, most people go with a church group to cater a big roast beef dinner. That wasnt even an option for us, since we dont eat red meat and because we wanted something different.

We chose a company that converted a train caboose into a smoker. We had them smoke chicken, corn and potatoes. We made a huge vat of baked beans( a fabulous recipe I got from Martha Stewart), my mother-in-law made her famous coleslaw and we ordered flaky dinner rolls from a local bakery. At the last minute my MIL thought we didnt have enough food, so she ordered a big salad from a local caterer. ( normally, Id object, but I was too stressed to worry about it). Everyone raved about the food, they said it was so different than anything they'd ever had.

For the dessert, I originally thought I'd make 5 different 2 layer cakes and just present them on a dessert table. That idea morphed into the cupcake idea. We looked online for a cupcake tree. We decided we'd make one ourselves( Robin actually made it) and then for 6 months I set about testing recipes. I finally decided on a coconut cupcake with a coconut pastry cream filling and a cream cheese frosting, a triple chocolate cake with a chocolate filling and a chocolate buttercream frosting, a fresh orange cake with an orange cream cheese frosting( no filling, although I wished I would have made an orange curd) and a white chocolate lemon with a lemon curd filling and a buttercream frosting. A carrot cake went on top for the wedding party.

I baked and froze the 300 cupcakes for a month prior to the wedding. I made all the fillings and frostings the day before and on the morning of the wedding, we( 6 of us, filled and frosted them). It was a lot of work, but I was very happy with the way it turned out. I recieved lots of compliments and I got a few cupcake tree jobs out of it.

Now, for my big secret!! Ready????
I used "pre-measured" ingredients for the cucakes. That's right people, I used cake mixes. I wanted a consistent product and for cost-effectivness I wanted to use oil instead of butter( butter went into the frostings).

I frequented the cake mix doctor message board and those wonderful women helped me come up with my recipes. There were so many added ingredients that you couldnt even tell it was a cake mix. Believe me, I can tell.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


tiramasu Posted by Picasa

and finally, here is the tiramasu from the dinner last night( see previous post). This came out fabulous. The recipe called for dark rum, I didnt have any so I used bailey's. The top was sprinkled with chocolate shavings and 10x( icing) sugar. This was really really good. Everyone raved about it and it is really a very simple dessert to put together. No cooking/baking at all. Perfect for a make-ahead meal.

The catered dinner

a mess of chicken

polenta croutons


chicken cacciatore and smashed potatoes Posted by Picasa

Last night we catered a dinner in London. The menu was Ceasar salad with Polenta croutons, chicken cacciatore with smashed potatoes, garlic bread and Tiramasu. I'm happy to say that everything went really well and the food was delicious( natch!). I made the chicken the day before( see picture above). I used 16 chicken thighs and 6 breasts cut in half crosswise. This was for a tripled recipe. I took out 4 thighs and 1 breast and some of the sauce and I froze it for a future meal. I'm from the school of thought, where if I'm cooking, I cook extra to freeze.

I made the dressing and croutons at home too. The dressing was a simple vinagarette with anchovy, garlic, lemon juice, dijob and EVOO. I made the polenta and spread it out on a cookie sheet to cool. I sliced it up and pan sauted it at the location. I forgot my recipe/directions so at first I took a large saucepan and attempted to deep fry the polenta. That didnt work too well, so I just threw it in a pan with a bit of oil and it crisped up nicely. Robin and I plated the salads. This salad was different as I grilled the hearts of romaine before slicing them up. I tossed the salad with the dressing, then we added some strips of sun-dried tomato, pine nuts, the croutons and some reggiano.

The smashed potatoes were redskins that I smashed with evoo and reggiano, salt and pepper. We plated the chicken too and topped with with some chiffonade of basil. We passed the reggiano at the table.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Weekend dog blogging

Oliver and his super sonic nose

I'm tired mom Posted by Picasa

Welcome to weekend dog blogging hosted by sweetnicks.

Here are my sweet boys. So loyal, so loving and so pretty. I love my boys. In the above picture, Robin and I went to lunch and I took some chicken out of my salad and put it in my purse. Oliver has such a super sonic nose, he knew it was in there and he was waiting patiently for it. Harley, well, he is just a big teddy bear.

Friday, January 13, 2006


almost finished Posted by Picasa

almost finished Posted by Picasa

I made Tiramasu today for tomorrow's catering job. As Ina says " Tiramasu has been done, done and overdone. Nevertheless, its a fairly easy dessert to make and it looks impressive and people who can't cook thinks its the bomb. It also needs to be made ahead so its perfect for entertaining. No cooking is involved either, just assembly. Robin brewed up some espresso, and I added some bailey's to it. ( Recipe called for Dark Rum, but I didnt have any). In my KA I whipped up 6 egg yolks with 1.4 cup sugar. The add another 1/4 cup baily's and half a cup espresso. add 1lb of mascarpone and whip until smooth. Dip the lady fingers in the coffee mixture, arrange on bottom of a shallow dish, pour half of mascarpone mix on top, another layer of ladyfingers and the rest of the cream. Top with shaved chocolate and 10x sugar. ( I'll post a pic tomorrow after its all decorated)

fixings Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I pulled a Rachael Ray

chicken carbonara pizza Posted by Picasa

Oy, what a long day. I left early and drove to MI. I went to Kroger and Meijer and Target( and the mall). I usually bring home Chinese food, but I told Robin its too greasy and we need to eat healthier. I'm usually just too drained to cook( after grocery shopping and dealing with customs and the drive home), but I told Robin I would make dinner. I planned on just picking up a rotisserie chicken and making a salad. At the last minute, I changed my mind. Whole wheat boboli's were on sale as well as some low-fat dijorno alfredo sauce. Robin's favorite sandwich from Quizno's is the chicken carbonara so I thought Id try to make something reasonably healthy. I spread the crust with some sauce, shredded one breast from the chicken, sauteed some fresh mushrooms and microwaved some all-ready cooked turkey bacon. Lastly, I sprinkled some green onions on top and covered with some mozzarella and then a touch of cheddar.

So, how did it taste? Robin liked it, she thought it would be better with regular bacon. Me, I thought it tasted like convience food. It didnt thrill me in the least. Oh and I have Rachael beat, it only took me 15 min to make.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sweet and Smoky Chicken

sweet and smoky

tuna sannich Posted by Picasa

Ok, dont hate me, but I have a confession to make. I can't stand dark meat chicken!! I know, I know. "It has so much more flavor", " chicken breasts are so dry". Yes, yes people, I've heard it all. There is just something inherently feral about eating dark meat. Anyhoo, Robin loves it so I do cook it for her. Tonight I threw some thighs in the oven and used the glaze from Fallen Souffle's recipe. Robin loved it. I added a tiny bit of smoked paprika as well, because well, Danielle said it was good. Robin thought they were awesome. I had some leftover pork.

I also baked another loaf of bread and Robbie came home for lunch. I made her a tuna sandwich. That bread is seriously good, so easy too. I did the whole thing in the cuisinart. Yummy and no High Fructose Corn Syrup.

I have a big catering job on Saturday night. Friday I'm making the Chicken cacciatore( Giada), tiramasu( ina garten) and polenta for the croutons( giada) Day of party, I'll make the smashed potatoes, dressing for the ceasar salad, salad and garlic bread.

Needless to say, I wont be cooking dinner on Friday night.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

How to get Robin to eat fruit......


flipped over Posted by Picasa

Robin is just weird, she doesnt like fruit. Oh, she'll eat bananas as long as they are baked into bread or slathered in Peanut Butter, but she doesnt think about fruit or crave fruit like I do. In order for me to get her to eat fruit, I have to say " I put some grapes in your lunch, eat them" or bake something fruity for dessert. So, I was perusing the foodblogs( as per usual) and came across this lovely pear cardomom cake in The Wednesday Chef's blog. It was especially appealing to me because it came from The LA Times( and as you know, I moved to Canada from Los Angeles( Long Beach to be exact). This cake was good, but I think I'm not such a big fan of cardomom. I used the ground instead of grinding my own. I think I'd like this cake a lot more with Ginger and I'll definaly try it again that way. I had some trouble with stickage when I flipped it over. SOme of the cake/syrup pears stuck to the pan, so I chucked it back in the oven and melted it and then poured it on top. Robin really enjoyed the cake. I cut a couple sliced and brought them to a clients house as a treat. Pears are in season now, so if you're looking for a way to use 2 underipe pears, I recommend this wholeheartedly.