An Easy Little Quinoa Cake w/Pears

December 6, 2013

Even though I know a whole heckofalot about desserts, I have to admit that for most of the year, we don’t eat many of them around here. We buy (and try, nibble by nibble) chocolate bars of all types but its really not until the fall months that we start craving real, warming, wholesome and satisfying desserts. And, so long as this is the case, I don’t feel that bad about it. 

Until I’m in the process of making dinner and realize that – yet again – I forgot to make something sweet which, at this time of year, feels like you’re leaving a little hole in your belly (and in your soul) empty. The truth is that I’m still trying to work myself into a routine where I start early, and get to spend all day shooting and playing with a recipe in this “test” kitchen of ours but I haven’t quite nailed that yet. If I look back the past couple of weeks, dessert has been forgotten most when I had this or that important deadline, this or that photo shoot, or when we’ve been traveling — all good things. I like to tout myself for being the type of woman who loves (craves even) a routine, but as I get older I start to think that this is the case just so that I can push around the building blocks of that routine to fit my own purposes. As much as I love the regimen, I think I like to break the regimen with the unexpected even more. 

Back to dessert; each fall I seem to find a few little treats that are quickly adopted into our repertoire because they come together quickly, require ingredients that we typically have on hand which means that our homebody ways and impromptu gatherings are not interrupted by needing this or that wacky ingredient. This little quinoa cake has recently been added to this list. 

The original recipe came from a cartoon drawing in one of my favorite cookbooks by Yvette VanBoven. If you haven’t read her whimsical, fun-loving, and tried and true recipes, I recommend them (along with her blog, located here. ) This cake caught my eye amongst all the other yummy ideas in her her books because of the crafty use of super-powered quinoa as a complete protein, and supplier of calcium, phosphate and iron. All good things to have snuck into your dessert, right?

I want to try apples, and persimmons, and I bet that there is a good savory twist to take as well but it might take a while for us to try those options because we really do like the pears. Served warm with hot cocoa for dessert, or as a quick breakfast on my way to a yoga class are my favorite ways to enjoy it, and I’m excited to hear how and where it fits into your winter baking repertoire as well. 

One other thing: you’ll notice that I’ve started converting ingredients for those of you outside the continental United States! I hope this is convenient for more of you, but also think that the matter of proper measurement in the kitchen is something worthwhile…stay tuned for a more on that (and maybe more inspired by Yvette) this weekend. xo – L

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