i am coming out of a 'what do i cook for my family' rut. it included a lot of little caesars pizza trips. i've never been a cream-of-chicken-soup-girl or a dinner-from-a-box-girl. but i do rely on the convenience of to-go parking spots. a lot.  

a quiet evening flipping through the tabbed pages of my favorite cook books and a trip to the grocery store all by myself was all it took for me to climb out of my fast food funk. we had a weeks worth of the yummiest/happiest meals sitting at our kitchen table after that. 

cooking with my husband is probably one of the best things in the whole world. 
he chops, i stir. i read off the recipe, he searches the spice cupboard for paprika. we talk. we share the sink. it's the best of domestic bliss. we've been trying new recipes. neither of us would list cooking/baking under things we do best, but i am braver in the kitchen when he's helping. 

this last sunday i pulled out one of my favorites. apples for jam.  
it's so beautiful. you must add it to your collection. 

i'd spent extra time in the produce aisle during my quiet grocery shopping trip. extra time to pick out three of the prettiest pears. they would ripen on my counter top until sunday evening. andrey and i were going to make the pear and berry crisp together. 

it was perfect. 
perfect to warm our bellies. 
the perfect amount of sweet to carry us into this new spring season. 

pear berry crisp by tessa kiros
3 large pears
1 cup of mixed berries ( we used fresh strawberries + blueberries)
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 pound + 3 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

preheat your oven to 375°F. Generously butter a 14 by 81/2 inch baking dish. peel, core and slice the pears, and put them in the dish. mix in the berries and scatter half the superfine sugar over the fruit.

mix together the flour; brown sugar, and the other half of the superfine sugar in a bowl. add the butter and vanilla and rub them in with your fingertips. working until the mixture isn't smooth but looks like clustery sand.  your fingers might be tired. 

scatter the topping over the fruit to cover it completely in a good thick layer. bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden and some berry juice has oozed up a bit over the crust and darkened it here and there. let it cool to touch and then serve warm with sweetened whipped cream, a bowl of custard, or vanilla ice cream.