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Winner of Your Best Pears

September 28, 2011

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

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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!



See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • cookinginvictoria
  • lorigoldsby
  • Waverly
  • Bevi
  • pierino
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


cookinginvictoria October 2, 2011
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!
hardlikearmour October 2, 2011
Thank you, civ! You're making me blush!
lorigoldsby September 30, 2011
Congrats on another win for another great recipe!
hardlikearmour September 30, 2011
Thank you, Lori! I am still ecstatic, and my parents are equally thrilled.
Waverly September 30, 2011
Congratulations, HLA! Your cake is beautiful; your aprons precious.
hardlikearmour September 30, 2011
Thanks, Waverly! I was pretty pleased with the outcome of the cake and the aprons.
boulangere September 30, 2011
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)
hardlikearmour September 30, 2011
I'm sure they will love them (though I'm guessing you meant aprons!)
boulangere September 30, 2011
There's no pulling the sheep over your eyes.
Bevi September 29, 2011
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...
hardlikearmour September 29, 2011
Thank you, Bevi! Aprons are a pretty fun gift to make and receive.
pierino September 29, 2011
Congrats, and thank you for the anchovy comment....but there you are, fishing!
hardlikearmour September 29, 2011
Catch & release fishing! I go about once a year when my dad is visiting.
aargersi September 29, 2011
WOOT! Congratulations! On winning and overcoming fishy fear and your aprons are super cute. What next? The sky's the limit!
hardlikearmour September 29, 2011
Thanks, aargersi!
monkeymom September 29, 2011
congrats HLA! Love seeing your amazing cakes!
hardlikearmour September 29, 2011
Thank you, monkeymom!
lapadia September 29, 2011 more thing, HLA, Cheers to grilled Pizza forever!! :)
hardlikearmour September 29, 2011
I'm with you on that one, lapadia!
lapadia October 1, 2011
Thanks for the pizza recipe shoutout! :) :)
vvvanessa September 29, 2011
woo hoo!
hardlikearmour September 29, 2011
Woo hoo indeed!
TiggyBee September 28, 2011
happy dancing!!! congrats!!! : ) really thrilled for you!!!
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
I've been happy dancing on-and-off all day! Thanks, TB!
Fairmount_market September 28, 2011
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.
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
Thank you and you're welcome! I've got my fingers crossed for good week end weather!
cheese1227 September 28, 2011
Fabulous recipe. Congrats!
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
Thank you, cheese1227!
Summer O. September 28, 2011
Adorable aprons; where can I get one? And congratulations!!
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
Thanks! The pattern is McCalls M5720. It has 3 different apron patterns, with a woman's and child's version of each.
wssmom September 28, 2011
Wonderful! Congratulations!
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
Thank you, wssmom! I've had a long day at work, and could really go for one of your peartini's right about now!
wssmom September 28, 2011
LOL soon!
mrslarkin September 28, 2011
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? :)
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
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!
gingerroot September 28, 2011
OMG, hla!!! Spinning poi? You could teach Lily a thing or two...she always hits herself in the head with her poi at hula!!
TiggyBee September 28, 2011
I was just about to ask you gingerroot where to get poi here in california!! I freaking love the stuff. Odd? : )

hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
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.
EmilyC September 28, 2011
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!
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
Thanks, EmilyC! My brother wants to stage a food52 intervention, but my husband said "no" since he gets to reap the benefits of it!
melissav September 28, 2011
congrats! Love so many of your recipes. And those aprons are amazing!
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
Thanks, melissav! Your butternut squash wedges are my husbands favorite way to eat winter squash.
dymnyno September 28, 2011
Congratulations! (lucky nieces)
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
Thank you, dymnyno! I've got some really great nieces.
lapadia September 28, 2011
Déjà vu, HLA!! Congratulations, again. Love the aprons...
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
Thanks, lapadia! I should've made one for myself (even though I'd forget to put it on!)
Midge September 28, 2011
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!
hardlikearmour September 28, 2011
You're too kind! Thank you, Midge.