Winner's Q&A

Winner of Your Best Pears

September 28, 2011 • 63 Comments

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Congratulations to hardlikearmour, whose Pear Rosemary Danish won this week's contest for Your Best Pears, earning her a spot in the new Food52 holiday iPad app!

fishing  Pear Rosemary Danish

Q&A with hardlikearmour

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
My paternal grandmother was a fantastic baker.  She would make individual pies for us, whatever kind we wanted.  I always chose coconut cream.  One of the first pies I ever made was in her kitchen -- blueberry made with blueberries my grandpa, sister and I had picked.  

What's your least favorite food?
Fishy-tasting fish like salmon.  I have recently been persuaded to use anchovies in a salsa verde recipe (Pierino's Market Style Porchetta), something I was pretty frightened of, but glad I did because the resulting sauce was fabulous.  (Big thanks to Pierino & gingerroot for helping me overcome my fear!!)

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
My husband and I have been making some really delicious grilled pizzas lately.  A couple of memorable ones have been a kale with egg pizza (based on lapadia's Eggs on Greens Pizza) and fresh figs, gorgonzola, and arugula pizza.  I definitely have a love of grilled pizza, that borders on obsession. 

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
My kitchen was a spectacular disaster after making a wedding cake a couple of weeks ago!  It was so bad I couldn't face it until the next morning.  Luckily my husband was out of town for the weekend, so he didn't have to suffer through my mess.

What is your idea of comfort food?
When I got home after delivering the aforementioned cake I had a serious craving for LocalSavour's Warm Custard Spoon Bread.  Perfectly warm, soft, and creamy comfort food in my book.

Apron or no apron?
I made some really cute aprons for my nieces last Christmas so I am definitely pro-apron (see below)!  Unfortunately I almost never think to put one on when I'm cooking!

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
I love the scene in Matilda when she makes pancakes as a 4-year-old.  It's adorable!

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
My entire immediate family (my parents & my 3 siblings) will be in Oregon for Thanksgiving this year.  It's the first time in 15 or so years that we'll all be together.  I can't wait to make an over-the-top Thanksgiving feast!

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood.
I'm a loner!  

When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook, b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.
Mostly b & c.  Thank goodness for the invention of the dishwasher!

  • Tree Cake  Aprons
  • Cake decorating skills AND apron-making skills!

 

 

Jump to Comments (63)

Comments (63)

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almost 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Love your q&a, hla! I too admire your creativity in the kitchen -- especially your talent for coming up with such imaginative and delicious-sounding recipes week after week. I am a fan of so many of your recipes. Glad that you have become an anchovy convert. I love their inimitable flavor. And your cake -- and aprons! -- are truly gorgeous! Well done!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, civ! You're making me blush!

Lorigoldsby

almost 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Congrats on another win for another great recipe!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, Lori! I am still ecstatic, and my parents are equally thrilled.

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almost 3 years ago Waverly

Congratulations, HLA! Your cake is beautiful; your aprons precious.

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Waverly! I was pretty pleased with the outcome of the cake and the aprons.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

OMG, I just realized what I'm making my friends and sister for Christmas! Thank you so much, hla, they're going to love their cakes ;o)

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm sure they will love them (though I'm guessing you meant aprons!)

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

There's no pulling the sheep over your eyes.

Cakes

almost 3 years ago Bevi

Congrats hla! I love the little aprons - I made bistro style aprons for my daughter and nieces last year. Always a great and thoughtful way to impart a love of the kitchen...

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, Bevi! Aprons are a pretty fun gift to make and receive.

Zester_003

almost 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Congrats, and thank you for the anchovy comment....but there you are, fishing!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Catch & release fishing! I go about once a year when my dad is visiting.

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almost 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

WOOT! Congratulations! On winning and overcoming fishy fear and your aprons are super cute. What next? The sky's the limit!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, aargersi!

Monkeys

almost 3 years ago monkeymom

congrats HLA! Love seeing your amazing cakes!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, monkeymom!

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almost 3 years ago lapadia

OH...one more thing, HLA, Cheers to grilled Pizza forever!! :)

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm with you on that one, lapadia!

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almost 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks for the pizza recipe shoutout! :) :)

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almost 3 years ago vvvanessa

woo hoo!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Woo hoo indeed!

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almost 3 years ago TiggyBee

happy dancing!!! congrats!!! : ) really thrilled for you!!!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I've been happy dancing on-and-off all day! Thanks, TB!

Kg_in_evanston_cropped

almost 3 years ago Fairmount_market

congratulations hardlikearmour! And thanks for reminding me about grilled pizza, which I love. I hope the Oregon rain holds off this weekend so we can make some.

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you and you're welcome! I've got my fingers crossed for good week end weather!

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almost 3 years ago cheese1227

Fabulous recipe. Congrats!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, cheese1227!

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almost 3 years ago Summer of Eggplant

Adorable aprons; where can I get one? And congratulations!!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks! The pattern is McCalls M5720. It has 3 different apron patterns, with a woman's and child's version of each.

Me

almost 3 years ago wssmom

Wonderful! Congratulations!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, wssmom! I've had a long day at work, and could really go for one of your peartini's right about now!

Me

almost 3 years ago wssmom

LOL soon!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Congrats hla!! So happy for your gold trophy!

Love the aprons. They remind me of the ones my mom used to make all the time, with funky fabrics, colors and patterns. LOVE the rickrack! Where do you find it?

Hmmmm...What other talents do you have hidden up your sleeves? :)

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, mrsL! I got the fabric & rickrack at a place called Fabric Depot in Portland. I'm pretty good at spinning poi, though must admit I only use LED poi balls. I've yet to be brave enough to spin fire poi!

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almost 3 years ago gingerroot

OMG, hla!!! Spinning poi? You could teach Lily a thing or two...she always hits herself in the head with her poi at hula!!

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almost 3 years ago TiggyBee

I was just about to ask you gingerroot where to get poi here in california!! I freaking love the stuff. Odd? : )

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

LOL! I whacked myself in the face once, and the bridge of my glasses cut my nose. I ordered my Poi balls & chains from a place in Christchurch, NZ.

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almost 3 years ago EmilyC

Congrats again, HLA! I'm in awe of your ability to come up with wonderful recipes week after week. Your husband -- or anyone who gets to eat your cooking -- is very, very lucky!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, EmilyC! My brother wants to stage a food52 intervention, but my husband said "no" since he gets to reap the benefits of it!

Ry_400

almost 3 years ago melissav

congrats! Love so many of your recipes. And those aprons are amazing!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, melissav! Your butternut squash wedges are my husbands favorite way to eat winter squash.

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almost 3 years ago dymnyno

Congratulations! (lucky nieces)

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, dymnyno! I've got some really great nieces.

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almost 3 years ago lapadia

Déjà vu, HLA!! Congratulations, again. Love the aprons...

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, lapadia! I should've made one for myself (even though I'd forget to put it on!)

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almost 3 years ago Midge

I'm in awe of your many talents and constantly amazed by your wonderful contributions week after week. Way to go on a well-deserved win!

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almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

You're too kind! Thank you, Midge.