With Valentine’s Day only a week away, I thought I’d give some advice on how to get your significant other to pop the question, propose, or my personal favorite, thanks to Beyonce, put a ring on it. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought lately because of a couple I met at my company’s holiday party this past December. As Mr. Donut and I were getting to know Jim and Debi, they asked us how long we had been dating? I dread this question because once we tell people how long we’ve been together, it is immediately followed by why haven’t you guys gotten married yet? Don’t you want to get married? What’s the hold up? What people don’t realize is when you’ve been with someone since you were a teenager, eight years really isn’t a long time. Regardless, I hate to lie, so I told them the truth, eight years. To that we got the expected confused head tilt to the side, and then, “You’re not married yet?” To that we responded with our usual statement of, no not yet, it will probably happen one day, just not right now.
Before I could say another word, Jim leaned over and suggested, “You’ve got to take him to Europe.” Debi, his wife, had taken him on a trip to England and shortly after they were engaged. They have been happily married ever since. Little did they know that this past summer, Mr. Donut and I had spent two of the most incredible weeks vacationing overseas. We told them about our trip, and they were both convinced that an engagement would happen in the near future. They proclaimed, “Yes, it’s official, you’ll be engaged soon.” I laughed, at their theory because everyone knows the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. After all, I’d been working on Mr. Donut’s stomach for eight long years! Yet their confidence, made me question my theory and for a quick second I thought maybe there could be some truth to their crazy hypothesis. I quickly came back to reality, and thought to myself, yeah right, it’s not happening any time soon. I know Mr. Donut like the back of my hand.
Well, hush my mouth! Not even two weeks later while opening our Christmas gifts, Mr. Donut gave me the surprise of a lifetime and asked me to marry him. I’ll be darned! Maybe Debi and Jim were right. I couldn’t believe it, Mr. Donut and I had talked about marriage but it was always in our future plans. We even had a tentative date set. Well, not really, it was more like me hinting that he should propose before our 10 year anniversary. So, I assumed he would propose maybe next year, but to do it in front of my entire family on Christmas Day was a complete shock.
This is when I’m supposed to go into detail about how he proposed and what he said but after he got down on one knee and opened that little black box, the tears started flowing and I don’t remember a thing. All I know is I balled like a baby.
I guess I’ll never know what finally motivated Mr. Donut to put a ring on it. If you ask Debi and Jim, they would say it was definitely the trip to Europe, but I haven’t given up on my first theory of winning your man’s heart by feeding him good food. Now that I have the ring, I’m working on a new project. Here’s the title of my next post: Bribe Them with Food, How to Get Your Significant Other to Write You More Love Letters. What do you think? I’ll start with Apple and Pear Coffee Cake, which happens to be one of Mr. Donut’s favorite deserts. Let’s see how many meals I’m going to have to make before I get my love letter. Until then, I’ll just have to keep
bribing feeding ‘em!
Apple and Pear Coffee Cake
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
Cook Time – 1 hour and 30 minutes, including prep. time. (Maybe even less if you’re a Master Peeler)
Ingredients (Where would I be without commentary?)
For the Cake:
1 Stick and 1 Tablespoon of Unsalted Butter – room temperature
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar – the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup but it really isn’t needed
2 Large Eggs – room temperature
2 Cups All Purpose Flour – Sifted
2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Sour Cream – I used low fat, and let it sit out for about 30 minutes, so that it could come close to room temperature. Please don’t forget about your sour cream, you should not leave it out for more than 1 hour. I also used a dry measuring cup to measure the sour cream (as opposed to a liquid measuring cup).
2 Teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Medium peeled, cored, and chopped pears – I used D’Anjou
1 Medium Apple – I usually use granny smith but thought I’d try it with a honeycrisp apple, which I already had in stock.
For the Crumble Topping:
1/2 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar – I am still having a love affair with dates so, I only used 1/4 cup of sugar and substituted the rest with about a cup of chopped (and seeded) dates.
1/2 Cup of All Purpose Flour – if you are substituting some of the sugar with dates like I did you may want to add an addition 1-2 tablespoons of flour.
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter – Room Temperature (Soft)
The original recipe called for a Brown Sugar Glaze, but I have never made it, the cake is sweet enough.
Preheat oven to 350°F
Lightly grease a 13×9 inch glass baking dish with the 1 tablespoon of butter.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside. In another larger bowl cream together the one stick of butter and sugar until it becomes fluffy. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Add an egg one at a time, beat well, and make sure it is thoroughly mixed after each addition. Now add your flour mixture to the “wet” mixture, alternating with the sour cream, and vanilla. Make sure the flour is the last thing you mix. (i.e. flour, sour cream, vanilla, flour, sour cream, flour). Fold in the pears and apples. Pour batter into center of the baking dish, and spread evenly to all edges.
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, (dates if you are substituting them), flour, cinnamon and butter, and mix with a fork until it looks like crumbs. (Almost the consistency of stuffing.) Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown. This should take about 35-40 minutes depending on your oven. You can also insert a toothpick in the center of the cake to test if it is done. If not, let cook for an additional 5 minutes or so. Once done, remove from oven, and let cool for at least 10 minutes on a wire rack.
I usually serve this cake with a whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.