The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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This year, for me, seems to be defined by my comfort zone and its boundaries. I’ve been hungrily collecting those quotes, you know the ones, things like If it doesn’t scare you, it’s not worth the effort. And whatnot. Well, last weekend I taught my very first class ever – on the basics of food photography. And it scared the crap out of me. (Also I was really thrilled about it.)

But I think it’s a good thing, to live at that edge and learn to be a little more flexible, even as I feel myself resisting in a panic, and worn down on some days because of it. I can also see how much growing I’ve done and how much more enthusiastic I am about life, generally, because I am going after the things I love. High five to that.

Teaching a food photography class!

I have always wanted to teach, but hadn’t felt ready to assume that role. It takes a while to feel like you’re good enough at a thing to be able to offer something of value. There is theater in teaching, in leading a group and in commanding a certain confidence. I’m not quite sure that I was as dynamic and on point as I had envisioned myself being, but one can’t expect to be perfect on the first try. People learned stuff. Questions were asked and I was able to answer them. That felt good.

Cocoa Pear Crisps

We find comfort in food for so many reasons, and lately it seems to be the familiar anchor that keeps me on the ground when so much of my life is a string of (exciting) unknowns. So, again, with these guys. Their delivery is novel, which I love about them, but the flavors are classic: cocoa, ginger and pear work easily together and their warm, spicy crunch is so perfect this time of year. And that rich aromatic fragrance, as they bake slowly in a low oven for an hour? It’s to die for.

Cocoa Pear Crisps

adapted from Food52

3 firm pears
3 tablespoons coarse sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Using a mandoline, slice the pears to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, ginger and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Sprinkle the cocoa mixture evenly over the pears.

Bake at 275 degrees. After 1/2 hour, flip each pear so that they cook evenly. After one hour, turn off the oven. Remove the pears from the oven and allow to cool. They will crisp as they cool.

And they will be eaten quickly.


  • Erin - I can’t say I’ve ever thought of putting pears and cocoa powder together before but these crisps look amazing. As for going after things you love-how awesome! I think sometimes it’s super scary to go after things that aren’t necessarily a “sure bet” but deep down feel like the right thing (currently experiencing that myself- what a ride!)ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - The pears look so good, I can’t wait to give it a go (I’m putting together a post on chocolate pear tart for tonight- hey hey!) I feel you on the pushing out of your comfort zone thing. I was toying with the idea of teaching a food styling workshop and then one of my local readers sent me an email requesting it. Ok universe, I hear you. When I saw you did a workshop it was very encouraging. Here’s to growing and putting yourself out there!ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - High five to you indeed!! Sounds like an excellent season. And these crisps, my goodness. I shall be picking up a few pears at the market this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Ashlae - High five for going after the things you love, indeed! And these cocoa pear crisps are just the excuse I needed to finally (!!!) purchase a mandoline.ReplyCancel

  • Kiran @ - Good luck in your future endeavours! It already looks like an amazing journey :)

    And that crisps? Oh my!ReplyCancel

  • thecitygourmand - Wow, I love how the cocoa gives the crisps such a beautiful texture ;)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - I’m so glad you posted this recipe, I was so intrigued by the picture on instagram and they sound just as delicious as I expected and the pictures here are so striking. I’m so glad that you’ve had the chance to share your amazing photography talents with people; I know I learn so much every time I visit your site.ReplyCancel

  • Emma @ Poires au Chocolat - These look amazing – I can’t really imagine how pear crisps taste, but I can’t wait to find out. Especially as chocolate and pear is one of my favourite combinations!

    Also, looks like you did a wonderful job teaching – it’s such a rush to pass on what you know.ReplyCancel

  • Sasha - I just added pears to my grocery list so that I can make this. Like now. Or this afternoon. I love pears and I look forward to trying them in such an intriguing and unfamiliar form (baked! and with cocoa!).

    And a big high five for teaching a class and going after your passions!ReplyCancel

  • Dianne - What a wonderful item to use on a desert will add this to my must makes. Will try them tomorrow. Big thank you for the idea.ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf - What a wonderful idea. I love the combination of chocolate and pears and these look like a beautifully light version. Beautiful beautiful photos too.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - I can completely relate about life being a string of exciting unknowns. I never thought that was the path for me. I always thought my role would be behind a desk doing architecture work until retirement. My how things have changed. It’s so great you decided to teach and share you amazing talents with others. I would have loved to attend! Oh yeah…the pears sound outstanding.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - Congrats on teaching your first class! That’s an amazing accomplishment. This post couldn’t have come at a better time because I just inherited 29 lbs of pears and was trying to think of other ways to use them besides preserves and jams. Cocoa, ginger, and pears = yum!ReplyCancel

  • jamie smith - Kimberz, I’m so proud of you! I am thrilled that you have found work that you love and makes life juicy! How exciting, indeed. High five! Now, off to make some pear crisps! XOReplyCancel

  • Jacqui - Congrats on your new venture! I’m sure you did an awesome job! And I was just thinking about making some pears crisps before I saw this; same wavelength.ReplyCancel

  • SG - High five lady! I was just looking at two pears in the kitchen and wondering if I should eat one. Looks like fate has stepped in – thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Congrats on your first workshop and these pear crisps look great! I have also been looking at a lot of quotes like the one you mentioned, hello pinterest, and thinking constantly about taking the next steps. It’s nice to know someone like you feels the same way–thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Beth - Congratulations on teaching your first workshop. I’m quite familiar with the “holy crap, this is a scary thing I’m about to do feeling,” but I find it always precedes incredibly worthwhile endeavors. I’d never have thought to put together cocoa and pears, but these crisps look delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - Yay, congrats on teaching and jumping into the abyss! Always good to test boundaries and shake things up. I’m actually not a pear-lover (I’m a staunch pear-hater, actually), but these look really good. Drying them out into crisps would get rid of their mealy texture that I don’t like. Nicely done.ReplyCancel

  • Lottie @ Lottie's World of Cakes - Wow, these look and sound great! What a fantastic idea!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - Yay, big high five! I’ll bet you were amazing (where was the class? SF? Let us know!) I saw the crisps come up on Food 52 and wasn’t convinced but you have swayed me. And I surely have enough pears coming in right now off our tree to try something new! Cheers to being brave, and to the things that comfort us behind the scenes of bravery :)ReplyCancel

  • ileana - These are lovely. Congrats on teaching your first class!ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - Good for you for breaking out of the comfort zones! I think that’s when the great stuff tends to happen. Also, these crisps sound out of this world delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Riley - This is such a creative dish! Beautiful photos as well.ReplyCancel

  • Cara - Love the sound of this! Such a wonderful fall snack and so simple too.ReplyCancel

  • sara - I’m so proud of you!!! The class looks like it went fabulously. You have so much to offer, wish I could have been there. You are a beautiful example of living on the edge. Go forth, lady. Oh, and the pears, amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Jocelyn Pascall - These look incredible. I am totally pinning this for future consumption. Beautiful photos and nice work on the class! Usually it’s the things that scare us the most that are the most well-worth it.ReplyCancel

  • kale - so pretty!! well done. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne - Hi five to that! Good for you, Kimberley. I’m sure I could have learned a lot from your class. I used to live near a health food store that sold dehydrated pears. Addictive! These look like cocoa-dusted homemade versions.ReplyCancel

  • shelley - Hmmm. Pear crisps. That’s a new one on me, so guess what? People learned stuff. AGAIN!ReplyCancel

  • sarah - Yeah, for you! Really, I love hearing of people over coming their reservations and fear, to do something they love. It’s so encouraging. And, oh! pears and cocoa! These are amazing. {I might replace the ginger with cardamom when I make them, ha. :) }ReplyCancel

  • MikeVFMK - Yay for you. Breaking free from comfort is hard but rewards you. And I’m sure your students loved the time spent with you learning. Beautiful crisps, seems like the perfect response to what fall has to offer.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - I have a sticky note on the bathroom mirror that says “if you’re dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” Yay for big dreams, lady. Inspired.ReplyCancel

  • Chai Spiced Apple Crisps | Greens & Seeds - […] idea for these came from Kimberly’s Cocoa Pear Crisps. I had to make many adjustments as I went along. Maybe because my mandoline doesn’t say 1/8 […]ReplyCancel

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