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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pears and Pumpkins

It's been hard to get this fall spirit with temperatures soaring over the last few weeks.  But, this weekend we got a break so I got did my best -- at least in the kitchen.  I made my favorite lentil soup, pear sauce and pumpkin-cranberry muffins.  

I've bought a lot of pears the last few weeks and while delicious, they haven't lasted long.   Last weekend I turned my extra's into a delicious pear crisp.  My changes to this recipe were very minor.  I left out the lemon juice and corn starch (because I didn't have any!) and used a glass baking dish.   This was excellent.  I can't think of any possible way to improve it.  I could have kept eating it all day.

This weekend found me with more pears to deal with.  I had 6-8 pears and decided I would to turn it into pear sauce for Oliver's lunches this week.   This was SO easy I don't really have much of a recipe for you just some general guidance.  You could use also use apples instead. 

Pear Sauce

6-8 pears
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey (Optional)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Core and slice the pears (no need to peel) and place in slow cooker with cinnamon and orange juice.   Mix well.   Set crockpot for four hours (or at high heat).   Pears will produce a good deal of liquid.   After about 3 hours add the vanilla and the honey, again mixing well.   After four hours turn off the slow cooker and allow pears to cool.   Once cooled, emulsify.    I transferred mine to the container I planned to store the sauce in and use my hand held mixer to emulsify.   You could also use a blender or food processor.  

I thought this was perfect.  Justin found it a little too sweet.  Oliver's only complaint was that it wasn't in a squeeze packet.  I may need to break down and buy some reusable ones.

I also decided it was time for some pumpkin cranberry muffins.  I previously used a recipe that I liked.   But, it was a little high fat and still lacking in moisture.  So, I wanted to experiment with it a little.  This is what I cam up with.  

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

1 can pumpkin
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.    Mix together all ingredients well.   Scoop into muffin cups (I use silicone cups in a metal pan).  Bake for 25-28 minutes.

These will make about 1 1/2 dozen.  Again, this is a very sweet recipe.  I think they are perfect with my morning (decaf) coffee and Oliver is more than happy to eat them with his lunch and for snacks.

Happy Eating!

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