Treat-Y0-Self Baked Pears

All righty friends, listen up. Today’s lesson is one that I sorely need to be reminded of, not just from time to time, but really everyday, so I’m going to share it with you as well.

Be nice to yourself. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated. TREAT YO’ SELF. 

We put so much pressure on ourselves (read: I put so much pressure on myself) to go the extra mile, put in the hours, elbow-grease, all that fun blood-sweat-and-tears hard work, and generally be perfect that we run ourselves into the ground. This, as you might have guessed, is not the best way to live. There is a part in Eat Pray Love (both the book and movie) where they talk about this idea in North American culture that we have to work non-stop all week until we collapse on the weekend, not moving unless it’s to eat, for 48 hours straight. Then we do it all over again. Apparently, or so Julia Roberts would have me believe, there is the Italian idea of dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing. It’s the radical concept (please note the sarcasm) that you don’t have to make relaxing or enjoying yourself some big song and dance. Treating yourself can be as simple as doing something small that makes you happy.

After this past week, I’m looking forward to some much needed doing nothing. I mean, I’ll probably still run around in circles at some point, worrying about what I still have to do for the coming week, but I’m going to try to remember to treat myself.

One of my favourite ways to treat myself is with food. Food that tastes good, food that makes me feel good, etc. I love big, long, laborious recipes that leave me feeling physically exhausted but like my soul has been put back together. It’s therapeutic.

Sometimes though, and I’m not going to lie, it’s more often than not these days, I want something that takes as little effort as possible.

This is one of those. I love these pears because I can treat myself to dessert (or dessert for breakfast, because it’s fruit so that counts right?) and feel as though I’m eating something decadent and rich, while in reality dedicating less than 15 minutes of my time to them. It’s so so so easy and you will feel like a kitchen goddess (or god, we don’t discriminate here, everyone’s welcome in my kitchen).

So please, treat-yo-self this weekend, and enjoy the sweetness of doing almost-nothing.

Makes: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 pears (Bosc work best, especially if they’re a little overripe. Baking them will get rid of any mealiness they may have, and they’ll be so so sweet)
  • olive oil spray, or cooking spray
  • 2 generous (and I do mean generous) tbsp goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp Dried cherries, finely chopped
  • maple syrup
  • whipped cream (optional, but really when is whipped cream every optional?)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F
  2. Cut the pears in half lengthwise (stem to bottom)
  3. Carefully, with a knife, cut out the string that runs from the stem through the middle of the pear. (This is  a lot easier to do if the pears are more on the ripe side)
  4. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds in each pear half, leaving a small bowl-like indentation (that’s where the cheese will go, if you’re having trouble picturing it)
  5. Once the pears have all been prepared like this, place them cut side down (so skin side up) on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil and sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray.
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pears are soft when poked with a fork, or when a little bit of caramelization appears on the cut side if you lift one up to peek
  7. While the pears are baking, make the filling. Literally all you do is mash the dried cherries into the goat chess with a fork. So easy
  8. Once the pears are done, let them cool until you can pick them up without screaming bloody murder.
  9. Put a scoop of the goat cheese filling into each pear half and arrange artfully on a plate.
  10. Drizzle maple syrup over the works, making sure to get some on the goat cheese part.
  11. Add a dollop of whipped cream on the side (if you’re feeling really fancy, make whip it from scratch)
  12. Serve and TREAT-YO-SELF!
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