First up, some of the best cornbread I've ever had, Sweet Skillet Cornbread on pg 326 of 500 Vegan Recipes. This recipe is easy to whip up. The whole kernels of sweet corn give it an extra flavor boost. And cooking in a cast iron skillet gives it a delicious, buttery crust that will melt in your mouth and make you *nomnomnom* in pure joy. Next time you are enjoying a steaming bowl of vegan chili, do yourself a favor and pair it with this cornbread.
Next up is an experiment I ran shortly after the new year. My mom has been the very lucky recipient of some Harry and David Royal Riviera Pears for the last two Christmases. You might think to yourself, "I can get perfectly good pears at my local grocery. Why would I mail order pears?" Well, you're only thinking that because you haven't tried these pears. My mom has affectionately dubbed these "sink pears" because you *have* to stand over the sink to eat them; they are that juicy and delicious. Well, this year my mom shared the wealth and sent me home with several sink pears of my own. I managed to eat all but two before they were simply too ripe to eat plain. I bought some plain old Bartlett pears to mix with them and made the Ginger Pear Butter on pg 205 of Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. This was a nice analogue of the more common (in the South at least) apple butter. It also was able to make my apartment smell amazing the entire time it was simmering away in my 70s-tastic crockpot. I enjoyed this spread on some fresh baked fruit and nut bread from Kroger. Yum-mo.
Before I say good-bye for tonight, run over to Love and Olive Oil and check out her cupcake journals. She's giving away a set (one large and one small) to lucky readers in honor of her three-year-blogger-anniversary. While you're entering the giveaway, check out all the amazing vegan cupcake recipes.