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We had a little falling out with the sun here in Los Angeles for the last few weeks. Or so it seemed. In my three-and-a-half years in LA I haven’t experienced that much rain. Plus it was my first winter in California that I needed to cover my chest with more than a bikini top, and wear shoes covering my toenails. Yup, it was pretty nippy here, and not in a good way. I brought it all on myself, I realize, with my bitching about the long and hot summer we had last year. Imagine, I had the nerve! I should really shut up in that instant before one of you on the East Coast, or up North, stretches your vindictive hand across the entire United States and slap me on my face.

Luckily, the sun came back, shiny and perky as if nothing ever happened, teasing and schmoozing to get out and bask in its rays. Hence, I invited my fellow blogger and a kindred spirit, Alisa, to come over for lunch along with her 2-year old and their pup. That dog, by the way, is the most non-mean and non-vicious Chihuahua I’ve ever come across in my life. On the contrary, the little Bean is just as sweet as my Caramelized Pears with Whip Cream.

We sat ourselves outside in the midst of the quasi-jungle in our backyard, munched away some Quinoa Salad and another one with Greens, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Toasted Pine Nuts, and sipped my ICE TEA.

I poured boiling hot water over a bag of Sweet & Spicy Herbal Tea accompanied by one bag of Organic Chamomile Herbal Tea, let them seep together for 10-15 minutes, and then transferred that herbal essence into a jar filled with ice cubes and juice of half of a lemon. That was it. I dressed it up with a few lemon slices and we were ready to chill.

Here’s a twist I applied to the second batch after Alisa left – I added a pinch of cayenne pepper. If you’re familiar with the Master Cleanse, you’ll understand. If not, I’m afraid you’ll think I’m nutso.

Trust me, that little heat will do wonders to your body. Not only does cayenne help remove fat cells from your digestive track (that you can later use as a part of your fertilizer… if you want, but no pressure), but also combined with fresh lemon juice the concoction acts as a brush to your system – it helps clean it from the toxins we accumulate every day. To top it all, the heat helps break a sweat, which is your body’s natural cooling mechanism. It’s not serendipity that people who live in tropical climates tend to eat hot and spicy food.

Think about it. Summer is around the corner.

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Oh-Mah-Gawd, what a paralyzing accident did I get myself into last night! I crashed face first into a platter of… (are you sitting down?)… CARAMELIZED PEARS WITH… (oh, god, save my soul!)… WHIPPED CREAM.

Our sweet neighbor Mike stopped by in the afternoon hours carrying “something small and trivial, but better than sex”. He appeared at our threshold oh-so gently cupping two precious, juicy, perfectly ripe pears he had purchased from a specialty store. Generous man that he is, he hurried to share the joy the fruit had given him and Peter, his husband, with us.

We have a special bond with our neighbors, as not only are they fun, life loving, gregarious and genuine people, but also Mike is as nuts about playing in the kitchen as I am (if not more…? Nah, can’t be!). He often runs over with treats of his own making as those are the simple things in life that make the difference. It doesn’t hurt that Peter, like myself, is Polish. All in all, most of the neighbors are rather sweet and semi-chatty making the place our version of “Melrose Place”. Well, maybe with less inter-unit screwing.

Mike tenderly slipped both pears into Jason’s hands while giving the cooking instructions to me. “Slice those babies up and sauté them with a little brown sugar. They’re heavenly. I’m telling you, they’re better than sex!” he exclaimed visibly elated and off he returned to his lovely abode.

I know, I know I was supposed to keep it clean and light during that time squeezed between holidays. I didn’t plan on being put against the wall by an idea of that incredibly decadent dessert that’s “better than sex”. Who could resist that? So I did it. Yup, I broke and made the CARAMELIZED PEARS WITH (gasp) WHIPPED CREAM. You can walk around huffing and puffing all you want, but you can’t stop me from telling you ABOUT THOSE PEARS, because it’s simply too divine to just keep it to myself.

I followed Mike’s directions, and sliced the fruit into half-an-inch thick discs and set them on a heated pan with a touch of olive oil and butter. I sprinkled them with raw cane sugar, as that’s the only kind of sugar you’ll find in this household. Then I christened each slice with a drop of pure vanilla extract, and drizzled fresh lemon juice all over the pan. Just a touch. I let everybody get happy for a few minutes over a low-medium heat. Then I flipped the pears and gave the other side a moment to lounge in their own juices.

Within minutes I had this beautiful delight on a platter dressed with a flower of whipped cream and drizzled with its own caramelized juices. All it needed was a dust of cinnamon and a fork. The rest is history.

The whole pear incident, from start to the last bite, took no more than half an hour. However, I needed many hours of bouncing off the walls in our living room before I wore off the sugar rush and was able to settle down in bed for the night. Just saying.

And yes, it was ORGASMIC. Jason, however, thinks pears taste like dirt, so he would have none of the dessert and he never experienced what I did. I guess we’ll cultivate the old fashion way and won’t give up sex just yet. (PHEW!)

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