AlloBaber
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Why Do YOU Love to Cook? โ€“ A Cooking Conversation

Hey guys!
Allow me to introduce myself. I'm @allischaaff, and two of my BIGGEST hobbies in the world are cooking and eating. :) I especially like cooking and eating in the company of other people.
I've been really appreciating the Vingle Food and Cooking communities, because they're a great place to share my love for food. I'm having so much fun writing cards and hearing your guys' feedback on them! I'd love to exchange even more deeply about our mutual passion for cooking. So instead of sharing a recipe in this card, I'm starting a conversation. Here's my question for you all:

Why do you love to cook?

Because you love to eat?
Because you want to save money and eat better?
Because you love the process of making something beautiful (and tasty)?
Because you love to see the enjoyment on someone's face as they devour something you cooked for them?
There are so many reasons to cook, and I'm sure as a community we embody almost all of them. :) Looking forward to hearing what you (yes, you!) have to say! :D
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OH BOY. I keep meaning to write something here, but it's such a long story. I love cooking because it's just so awesome to be able to say that you're the one who made it, you know? I actually began cooking back when I was a broke college student who wanted to be able to eat Chinese food take-out everyday but didn't have the funds. And then I thought 'Hey, who says I can't just learn how to make Chinese food?' So I started with my favorite take-out recipes and branched out from there. I think my favorite part about cooking is how it actually kind of makes you lose weight? When you're cooking for yourself, you know all the ingredients you're putting in there, so there's no surprises and no crazy preservatives throwing your body for a loop. Just making something yourself versus buying it premade somewhere else tends to save you a whooole lot in the nutritional realm.
@TerrecaRiley I try? haha, just let me know if you need more encouragement :)
@MaryPanda There you go again! in loving this. So much encouragement. U speak truth
@TerrecaRiley awwww why thank you :') I think this is the first time I've actually inspired someone! all I can say is that things take time, before I cook I have to make sure I read a recipe like 50 times before I decide I'm ready and make sure to have everything I need. If I know I'm not ready or unsure I'll do more research, like watch videos to make sure I know what to do. I also do trials so I know how I can cut my time limit or stress level down and what to cut out. I appreciate that you're doing what you need to for your husband :) as spouses we try to do our utmost best for our better half even if it's something that may make us pull our hair!
Sorry, I'm a little late to this! But why do I love to cook and bake? Honestly, food is the #1 joy in life. That's not to say that I don't have other things to be happy and thankful for - I really do, and I appreciate every one of them - but for as long as I can remember, food has always been at the top of my list. It took me a while to accept that about myself, as if I should be cherishing something more "meaningful" than just food, but I finally gave in and really started to embrace it in my late 20's. Loving food just means I'm happy most of the time, because there's great food practically anywhere you go - especially if you take the time to make it yourself :D
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Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
These look simply incredible. Two of my favorite things, chocolate chip cookies and caramel, combined into one heavenly cookie creation. I was looking for more caramel recipes (because that's what I do in my spare time, duh) when I found this recipe from Table for Two. I mean, can you even imagine anything more perfect?!? Look at that gooey, warm caramel. Those molten chocolate chunks. That perfectly chewy cookie. Imagine how good these are fresh out of the oven. Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 13 min. Difficulty: Easy Recipe adapted from Table for Two Ingredients 3 sticks (1ยฝ cup) unsalted butter, softened 1ยฝ cup dark brown sugar, packed ยฝ cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 4 tsp. vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups bread flour (you may use all-purpose flour instead if you don't have it on hand) 4 tsp. cornstarch 2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 1ยฝ cups chocolate chunks ยฝ cup dark chocolate, finely chopped 18 caramel candies, cut in half to give you 36 Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350ยฐF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy (about 2 mins). Add eggs and vanilla. Beat 2 more mins. 2. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until fully incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula. To form the cookies, take a spoonful of dough, and use your thumb to make a small hole and press the caramel into the center. Re-roll the ball to cover the caramel candy. 3. Bake for 11-13 minutes. They may look quite soft at this point, but remember they will continue to cook after you remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool completely on baking sheet, or else they'll break and caramel will ooze everywhere. Enjoy, my fellow cookie monsters!! This one's for @JPBenedetto โ€“ maybe you could find a way to work in some oatmeal here, for a little extra chew? :D <3 @Luci546 @MooshieBay @InPlainSight You guys might like this one as well :)
Travel the World with These 5 Delicious Vegan Recipes
If you're anything like me, you're definitely an international foodie. You've tried Russian food with your friends or tried making your own vegetarian sushi at home. Trying international foods is a terrific way to find out more about a culture - and it's certainly cheaper than a roundtrip ticket! Below I have five different vegan and vegetarian-friendly recipes from five different countries: Spain, France, Ethiopia, South Korea, and Jamaica! Try them out the next time you want to travel the world from inside your kitchen. 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Add the garlic, smoked paprika, saffron, zucchini and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes more. Stir in the rice and warmed stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until most of the stock is absorbed. 2) Cover with foil, put in 350 F oven for another 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. 3) To serve, decorate with lemon wedges and chopped parsley. Pissaladiere (France) Marseilles-Style Pizza (From Eat Live Run) MAKES 3 SERVINGS INGREDIENTS: 1/2 recipe Vegan DIY pizza dough (or store bought works well) 2 tablespoons pesto (store bought or homemade) 2 tablespoons tomato sauce or paste 5 white onions 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon oregano 1/4 cup water 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/3 cup sliced black olives 1/4 cup sliced sundried tomatoes A pinch of red pepper flakes DIRECTIONS: 1) Slice onions very thin and toss them in your largest pot along with the water, oregano, salt and pepper. Turn heat on medium low, stir and cover. Let cook for a little over an hour, stirring occasionally.They will get very, very soft and translucent. 2) Roll out pizza dough very thin. Place in greased long rectangular tart pan and prick the bottom with a fork. Brush with pesto and tomato sauce and then add a thick layer of cooked onions (you might not need all the onions). Sprinkle the sliced olives and sundried tomatoes on top and finish with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. 3) Bake at 450 for about fifteen minutes, or until the bottom of the pizza is done. Remove and let cool then pop out of tart pan and trim sides. 4) Serve with a glass of red wine and pretend youโ€™re in Nice. Alitcha Aterkik (Ethiopia) Yellow Split Peas (Adapted from Afra Cooking) MAKES 4 SERVINGS INGREDIENTS: 4 cups water 1 cup dried yellow split peas Olive oil, to taste 1/2 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 inch of fresh ginger peeled, finely chopped 1/2 tsp ground turmeric Salt, to taste DIRECTIONS: 1) Place 3 cups water (or a stock if you wish) and the yellow split peas in a large saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until most of the water has absorbed, about 40 minutes.In the meantime, saute your onion until clear, 5 minutes. Then add ginger, garlic, and turmeric and cook 1 minute. 2) Add to the cooked peas. 3) Add a little more water and simmer again until the peas are very soft. Add salt to taste Vegan Bibimbap (South Korea) Mixed Rice and Vegetables (From Peaceful Dumpling) MAKES 3 - 4 SERVINGS INGREDIENTS: Sauteed fern (Available at Korean supermarkets, but if you omit, that's okay too!) 1 bunch spinach, washed and trimmed 1 package mung bean sprouts (or soybean sprouts), washed and trimmed 1 medium carrot, cleaned and julienned 1/2 block extra firm tofu, cut into dominoes About 6 cloves garlic, minced 1 green onion, chopped 2 cups cooked rice 2-3 tbsp sesame oil About 1 tbsp cooking oil for stir frying 3 tbsp Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang, available in many supermarkets and Asian stores) Toasted sesame seeds (for garnish) Salt and pepper DIRECTIONS: 1) Boil mung bean sprouts in water for about 5-7 minutes until just tender. Drain thoroughly using a colander. Move to a large bowl. Using a pair of chopsticks, dress with about 2 tsp sesame oil, salt, pepper, about 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp green onions. Set aside on a plate. 2) Blanch the spinach in boiling water for no longer than 15 seconds and drain using colander. Run under cold water immediately, then squeeze out all the water. In the same large bowl that you used for sprouts, dress using the same exact ingredients. Move to the plate next to the sprouts (but donโ€™t mix them together!). 3) Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large wok or frying pan over medium heat. Add carrots and saute for about 5-6 minutes until done. Set aside. 4) Using the same frying pan, pan fry the tofu until golden crispy, about 4 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside. 5) In a small bowl, whisk 3 tbsp hot pepper paste with 1 tbsp sesame oil. 6) If you got the dry ferns, soak them in water for about 4-5 hours until completely reconstituted. Drain. Boil in water for about 30-45 minutes until these suckers are completely limp. Drain. Then saute in soy sauce (to taste), 3-4 cloves minced garlic, and sesame oil (also to taste) for about 5 minutes. 7) Assemble all of the above over a bowl of brown rice. Admire for a few seconds and then mix it all together with a spoon, then eat it! Veggie Patties (Jamaica) Pocket Pastry filled with Diced Vegetables (From Vegan Soul Kitchen) MAKES 6 LARGE PATTIES INGREDIENTS: 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced yellow onion 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/8 teaspoon cayenne Coarse sea salt 2 larges cloves garlic, minced 3/4 cup coconut milk 1/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced carrots 1/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced yellow potatoes 1/2 cup fresh green peas (or frozen) 1/2 cup sweet fresh corn (or frozen) 1/2 cup shredded cabbage 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper Pastry: 1 3/4 cups unbleached flour 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 2 teaspoons turmeric 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 3/4 cup chilled coconut oil 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water DIRECTIONS: 1) In a medium-size saute pan over medium-low heat, combine the coconut oil, the onion cinnamon, allspice, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, carrots, and potatoes, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the carrots and potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the green peas, corn, cabbage, thyme, and lemon juice, cover, and cook for 3 minutes more. Season with additional salt and the white pepper (or to taste) and set aside to allow the flavors to marry. 2) Combine 1 1/2 cups of the white flour with the pastry flour, turmeric, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Set the remaining 1/4 cup white flour aside. Add the coconut butter to the flour mixture and rub with your fingertip until the mixture resembles fine sand, about 10 minutes. 3) Combine the vinegar and water and mix well. 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Green Tea Smoothies โ€“ Delicious, Healthy, and Help You Lose Weight
Celebrate summer with these yummy green tea smoothies! They're packed with seasonal fruit and all the nutrients your body needs, helping you eat smart and achieve your health goals. Researchers at Purdue University found that you stay fuller longer when you drink thick beverages like smoothies; replacing meals with smoothies ups your chance of losing weight and keeping it off for more than a year. Even if weight loss isn't one of your goals, drinking smoothies can help you sneak in more raw fruits and veggies into your diet. My dad, who's a total health nut, will throw everything from kale to tomatoes to raw beets into his VitaMix โ€“ but shockingly, you'd never know it! Using a little peanut butter, cinnamon, sweetened yogurt, or ripe strawberries can really mask the taste of less traditional ingredients. Why Green Tea? Green tea contains catechin polyphenols, which Swiss researchers have found significantly increase your body's metabolism of fat โ€“ meaning you burn more, faster. In addition, green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, which, coupled with the nutrients provided by other ingredients, will give you long lasting, non-jittery energy, unlike the buzz-crash-repeat vicious cycle of coffee. Give one (or all!) of these green tea smoothies a try โ€“ you won't be disappointed! Green Tea Goddess Smoothie 3 cups frozen green grapes 2 cups baby spinach, packed 1 1/2 cups strong brewed green tea, cooled 1 medium ripe avocado 2 teaspoons honey (or agave syrup) Avocados are packed with oleic acid, a healthy fat that's great for your heart. Plus, they've got more potassium than bananas, making them excellent supporters of healthy blood pressure levels. Source: Eating Well Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie 3/4 cups green tea 2 cups frozen blueberries 12 oz. nonfat vanilla yogurt 20 whole almonds, unsalted and dry-roasted 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds Almonds are high in magnesium, iron, calcium, and protein, as well as healthy fats that may help you lose weight, and certainly support a healthy heart and low cholesterol! Source: Food Antioxidant-Rich Berry Matcha Smoothie 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries (or a mix of all three!) 1/2 cup yogurt 1/2 cup ice 1 tsp. matcha powder Add some mango, kiwi, ginger, or a few fresh mint leaves to make this even yummier! Source: MatchaSource Mango Green Tea Smoothie 1/2 cup green tea 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt 1 cup mango chunks, fresh or frozen 3-5 ice cubes Mango is one of my favorite fruits, and protein-packed Greek yogurt will keep you full and focused for hours! Source: Joy Bauer Cinnamon Honey Green Tea Smoothie 1/2 cup green tea, chilled 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tbsp. honey 1/2 banana Like green tea, cinnamon has great metabolism-boosting properties. At only 139 calories, this low-cal concoction is better as a snack than a meal replacement. Source: Popsugar A Few Tips: Use frozen fruit. It's cheaper, easier to store, won't go bad, AND might even have more antioxidants than the fresh fruit you find in the supermarket, since it's picked and frozen at peak ripeness. To brew strong green tea, use two tea bags โ€“ but don't oversteep. Oversteeping can give your tea a bitter flavor that other ingredients might not succeed in masking.
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14 Mind-blowing Dessert Lasagnas!
I guess these people never got the memo about lasagna being a dinner food โ€“ and oh man, am I glad they didn't. These innovative kitchen wizards have turned a saucy Italian cheesefest into a gourmet dessert. This is a food trend that I have NO doubt we'll be seeing soon on upscale dessert menus around the world. It's hip, it's totally different, and it's just the right amount of weird to tickle the imagination. See what you think โ€“ which one of these fantastical desserts would you most like to try? (I've tried to give credit where credit is due. All the recipes are linked below; just click on the word "Recipe." Photos belong to respective owners.) :) Chocolate Lasagna Brownies, chocolate pudding, and Oreos โ€“ oh my! Add some whipped cream, and you've got a lasagna. (I never, ever thought I would EVER say that sentence.) Recipe by Rachel Schultz, A Household Almanac Apple Pie Lasagna Let me be clear: this is not your grandmother's apple pie. Oh sure, it's got apples, cinnamon, and sugar โ€“ but it's also got caramel cream cheese filling, Heath bar toffee bites, and a touch of maple syrup. I have only one word: WANT. Recipe by Beyond Frosting Pumpkin Pie Dessert Lasagna I don't know if they necessarily needed to specify that this was a "dessert lasagna" โ€“ I think that's pretty clear from the whole "pumpkin pie" part. But I digress. We're talking pumpkin, Cool Whip, pumpkin spice chips (which exist, apparently!?) and chopped pecans. It might be 91 degrees out today, but suddenly I'm feeling a little autumnal! Recipe by The Cookie Rookie, inspired by Beyond Frosting (who is apparently our dessert lasagna MVP!) S'mores Lasagna And speaking of Beyond Frosting, she's also responsible for this dare-I-say GORGEOUS creation topped with gooey toasted marshmallows. S'mores Lasagna may be an improvement on the already impossibly wonderful campfire dessert, because it's got two types of graham cracker (original AND chocolate), marshmallow fluff, whipped cream, and โ€“ for the mess-haters among us โ€“ you can eat it with a fork. Recipe by Julianne Bayer of Beyond Frosting (the dessert lasagna goddess herself. soon we'll all be wearing t-shirts with her face on it.) Brownie Brittle Strawberry Lasagna Before we get too carried away in our decadence, Julianne (yep, we're on a first name basis now) has whipped up a lighter version of dessert lasagna featuring a cheesecake filling, dark chocolate pudding, and plenty of strawberries. See? It's got fruit! It's obviously healthy. Yet again, recipe by my idol, Julianne Bayer of Beyond Frosting Nutella Cheesecake Lasagna Okay, so maybe the photography skills are a little lacking on this one, but the concept is so flawless that I had to include it. Nutella and cheesecake, married into one perfect lasagna that is then dusted with brownie mix and chocolate chips. I can't really explain how much I'm salivating right now. (Sorry for that wonderful image.) Recipe by Modern Christian Homemaker Paleo Chocolate Lasagna Eating clean? Don't worry! We've still found the perfect dessert lasagna for you. Interesting ingredients in this one include coconut palm sugar, almond butter, apple cider vinegar, and shredded zucchini. I won't pretend to understand how it all works, but I will trust the author when she says it's delicious. Maybe. Recipe by Vanessa Barejas of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind (which is an awesome name for a blog) Fabulous Fruit Lasagna Whoa, a dessert lasagna that actually uses noodles! I bet you were wondering when one of these was gonna show up. This lasagna is a delightful conglomeration of fresh berries, mascarpone and ricotta cheeses, brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, and a pinch of chili powder. Not what I was expecting! It can also be made, the author suggests, with chocolate pasta. Recipe by F.H. Browne, posted on Just a Pinch Chocolate Toast Crunch Lasagna Did you know that Cinnamon Toast Crunch has a chocolaty cousin? Chocolate Toast Crunch adds a special, well, crunchiness to this dessert lasagna. Its creamy filling has a hint of almond flavor. Mmm. Recipe by Cheeky Kitchen, posted on Tablespoon Frozen Snickers Peanut Butter Lasagna It's been pretty hot out, so why not stick your dessert lasagna in the freezer? Dry roasted peanuts, caramel sauce, and little pieces of Snickers? This is exactly what I want to be eating right now. Recipe by Not Your Momma's Cookie Oreo Pumpkin Lasagna Maybe you can't get enough of dessert lasagnas. Maybe you want to try more than one of them. Why not do it at the same time? This recipe is a combination of pumpkin pie and Oreo dessert lasagnas โ€“ and I can't think of a single reason it wouldn't be delicious. Recipe by Kitchen Nostalgia Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Lasagna But come on guys, let's be real: this is the dessert lasagna you've been waiting for. Layers of creamy and chocolatey deliciousness topped with mini Reese's cups? Game over. Recipe by Marty's Musings Chocolate Candy Lasagna This take on chocolate lasagna tops it off with yummy and colorful crushed M&Ms! And then you have your choice between caramel and hot fudge drizzle toppings. But I say, Vinglers... why not both? Recipe by Princess Pinky Girl (yes, that is her real name) Chocolate Lasagna 2.0 And finally, we've got one last spin on chocolate lasagna from Center Cut Cook. It features a thick Oreo crust, a sweet whipped cream cheese filling, chocolate pudding, and lots of tiny chocolate chips. I think the width of the crust layer and the crunchiness of the mini-chips set it apart from other versions! Recipe by Center Cut Cook Which one of these crazy creations are you trying first? For more recipes, dessert and otherwise, be sure to follow my Cooking collection :) @jlee37 @buddyesd @danidee @TerrecaRiley @LizArnone @alywoah โ€“ can you BELIEVE these?!?!?
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bites โ™ฅ โ€“ย Sally's Baking Addiction
Oh my goodness gracious I need these in front of me RIGHT NOW. I'm obsessed. Those adorably tiny chocolate chips? And sweet caramel goodness? And Oreo cookie crust?! And CHEESECAKE, for Pete's sake?!? It just really couldn't be any better, dessert-wise. Sally's Baking Addiction, I salute you for creating this incredible little treat that's sure to be the reason I gain 300 pounds over the next month. โ™ฅ To make your own batch of these decadent little treats, you will need: 18 whole Oreos (Double Stuf or regular) 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted 16 oz (448g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt (you can also substitute sour cream) 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup (180g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips homemade salted caramel sauce (you can find the recipe here!) Here's what you do! 1. Preheat your oven to 350ยฐF. Line two cupcake pans with 18 paper or aluminum cupcake liners. 2. Make the crust: Use a food processor to reduce Oreos into a fine, crumbly texture. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cookie crumbs and melted butter. Spoon one heaping tablespoon of the mixture into each liner, then press down firmly and uniformly with fingers. You should have enough for 16-18 liners. Bake for 5 minutes and allow to cool while you make the filling. 3. Make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and yogurt, and beat to combined. Turn mixer down to low speed and add eggs one at a time. Finally, beat in vanilla and mini chocolate chips. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed! 4. Use a spoon to fill cupcake molds with batter until almost full. Bake for 20-23 minutes. When you remove the cheesecakes from the oven, their centers will still be slightly jiggly and they may have inflated a bit. That's all perfectly normal. Allow to cool at room temperature for an hour. 5. After they've cooled at room temp, place the cheesecakes in the fridge and allow to chill another two hours. Top with salted caramel and additional mini-chips just before serving. Note: You can store cheesecakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store cheesecakes (without caramel) in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Let me know if you make these!! :D I know they're top priority on my To Bake list. Thanks again to Sally's Baking Addiction โ€“ all photos and ideas are hers! Happy baking, Vinglers :) Update: Super-awesome Vingler @PikaPixie made a great card showing her experience making these delicious treats! Check it out here for photos :)
Fruit-Topped Frangipane Tart
Have you ever heard of frangipane? It's AMAZING. I love the stuff, and because it's not a common thing over here in the States, I can never get enough of it. For those of you not in the know, frangipane is a creamy mixture made from mixing almond paste with flour, sugar, butter, and all that good stuff. The first time I tried it was in France, where it's a popular filling for the "galette des rois," or king cake, a traditional dessert eaten in January to celebrate the Epiphany. There's always a little figurine, or fรจve, hidden in one of the slices; whoever finds it becomes king or queen for the day. This lovely tart does not include a fรจve, nor does it make you queen for a day, but eating it definitely makes you one happy camper! It looks complex, but it surprisingly easy to recreate in your own kitchen. If you don't believe me, watch the video: See? It's so simple! The video even includes techniques for achieving that gorgeous layered pear design. Fruit-Topped Frangipane Tart Prep Time: 30 min. Chill Time: 25-30 min. Bake Time: 40-55 min. Yields one 9, 10, or 11-inch tart. Difficulty: Easy Recipe by Truffles and Trends All you need to make this recipe is a shallow tart pan, like the one shown, an electric mixer, a mixing bowl, and a rolling pin. Ingredients Tart Dough: 2 3/4 cups flour (all purpose or cake/pastry flour) 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar 2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, cubed 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 eggs Almond Cream (Frangipane): 8 oz. almond paste 1/4 cup sugar 1 stick (4 oz.) butter 1/4 cup flour 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Fruit: 7 canned or poached pear halves (about 1 1/2 cans) 1 container (6-8 oz.) blueberries Apricot jam/preserves + a few teaspoons of water 1. Make the crust: In a food processor or large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse/stir. Add in the cubed butter and pulse or crumble with hands until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add in the vanilla extract and eggs. Mix and knead till you form a dough. Wrap dough in plastic, flatten, and freeze for 25-30 minutes, until it's cold and hardened. Grease a 9, 10, or 11 " tart pan (best if it has a removable bottom) and set aside. The smaller the pan, the more dough you will have left over (you can use the extra dough to make tartlets). 2. Form the tart base: Unwrap dough and work it with your hands to soften it slightly. Flour your surface and the top of the dough. Roll out dough gently with a rolling pin to a bit less than a 1/4 " thickness, flouring as necessary. Roll dough onto rolling pin and unroll into the tart pan. Lift up the excess dough/overhang while pressing the dough into the bottom and sides of the tart pan so you don't stretch out the dough. Roll your rolling pin over the pan to cut off the hanging dough. Refrigerate the crust while you make the filling. 3. Make almond cream (frangipane): Cream the almond paste and sugar in a machine with a paddle attachment, or with an electric mixer. Add in the butter a little at a time, and cream until incorporated and you have a minimal amount of almond paste chunks left. It's okay if you still have a few chunks. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in the flour and mix. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until fluffy and light. 4. Assemble the tart: Remove the crust from the fridge and spread the almond filling into the pan evenly. Place back into fridge. Preheat oven to 375ยฐF. For the pears, slice each half thinly, scoop it onto your knife, and spread the slices to fan them. Place into tart, with the wider part touching the edge of the pan. Your tart will probably need 7 pear fans. Fill the empty spaces with blueberries. Or, if you prefer to use different fruits, you can use any kind you like. Try doing all blueberries, all raspberries, or sliced canned apricots. 5. Bake: Bake the tart for 40-55 minutes, till golden brown. Brush fruit with glaze after the tart is cooled slightly. To make the glaze, place the apricot jam and water in the microwave or in a small pot and stir till warm and runny. Serve and enjoy!