Desserts, Other, Recipes

Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

Happy Halloween! I love candy as much as the next girl, but if I was being really honest I would tell you that I prefer fruit-based dessert more than chocolate-based desserts. Hence sharing a fruity dessert on the day ‘o candy, right? 🙂 But this isn’t just ANY fruity recipe. It’s a versatile sweet treat that’s healthy enough for breakfast and indulgent enough for dessert. Say whattt? Yup! Breakfast or dessert, it don’t matter. Originally I set out to make an apple crisp–using apples from a recent trip to the apple orchard, natch. But then I spied some pears in the fridge (from my brother-in-law’s parents’ house!) and added those bad boys in. Extra yum!

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

Since I was making this recipe as part of a recipe contest for Steviva, I wanted to make the crisp topping a little healthier than usual. (If you want, you can find Steviva on FacebookTwitterGoogle +,  Pinterest, and Instagram.) Instead of loads of butter and sugar in the crisp topping, I decided to toss in additional crunchy elements… chia seeds and sliced almonds, to be exact. And let me say… what a great idea! The crisp topping turned into this fanastic crunchy, granola-y layer. It actually stayed crisp in the fridge for a few days until we polished off the leftovers. Amazing! I used just enough Steviva Blend (erythritol and pure stevia) to sweeten up the topping a little bit. Plenty of warm fall spices and apple and pear flavor come through. This might be one of my new favorite recipes! It’s delicious served with vanilla yogurt or ice cream, and I think it would be perfect with a bit of whipped cream too! Enjoy!

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

one year ago: Apple Cider Pancakes
three years ago: Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin
four years ago: Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote
five years ago: Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew
six years ago: Individual Pumpkin Pie Parfaits
seven years ago: Aunt Charlotte’s Tex Mex Corn

Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping

  • Servings: 12
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Ingredients:

for fruit

  • 8-10 cups chopped pears and apples, unpeeled in 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

for topping

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup Steviva Blend
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2-4 tablespoons sliced almonds, optional
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • vanilla yogurt, ice cream, whipped cream, etc. for serving, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 10 inch round baking dish with cooking spray. (A square baking dish or pie pan would also work.)

In a large bowl, toss together pears, apples, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Spread in prepared pan.

In the same bowl, stir together oats, Steviva Blend, chia, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If desired, stir in almonds. Cut butter into small chunks, then use a pastry blender or two knives to cut butter into the oat mixture until it is evenly distributed in tiny pieces. Sprinkle over fruit.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until topping is golden brown and crispy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve with some vanilla yogurt, ice cream, or whipped cream, if desired.

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Main Dishes, Pork, Recipes

Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year’s? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress… and it tastes even better! 

Disclaimer: This recipe was created for the Cape Cod Select Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge. Please follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I was sent free cranberries for recipe development purposes, but was in any other way compensated for my time, ingredients, etc. 

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

While I am not much of a “meat and potatoes” sort of girl, the one special cut of meat that I do appreciate is the pork tenderloin. Large hunks of meat tend to scare me a little bit. In college, my roomie and I always said that we would be “real adults” when we bought our own meat. We were joking around, but it’s sort of true… and then I married a man who loves his meat–so I had to get out of my comfort zone! Thankfully pork tenderloin, at least in my experience, is ridiculously simple and hard to mess up. Plus it tastes amazing! Pork tenderloin is incredibly versatile, and my recipe today combines lots of great winter flavors that the whole family is sure to love.

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

Normally, I make my pork tenderloin with some sort of marinade or sauce. And that’s true here…but I ALSO stuffed it, hassleback style, with cranberries and pears and goat cheese. MMMM! The cranberries and pears get all roasted and yummy–the perfect combination of tart and sweet–and when you add in the melty goat cheese, it’s just like a party on your plate! There’s nothing better! 🙂 For this recipe, I used Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries. These cranberries are utterly wonderful–and a great way to enjoy cranberries every season of the year. This was the first time I had used Cape Cod Select products and I was really impressed with their freshness and quality. Check ’em out at a store near you!

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

After the pork is done cooking, all the excess cranberries, pears, and juices from the meat aren’t going to go to waste–you can make a quick, savory cranberry sauce by pulsing everything together with an immersion blender or food processor. Spoon the savory sauce with the pork to keep it moist with every bite or use it as a dipping sauce. It’s in this sauce that the flavors of the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, rosemary, and cinnamon that was poured over the pork before cooking really comes through! The double dose of cranberry goodness is sure to spice up your pork and your dinner!

one year ago: No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
two years ago: Orange Spritz
three years ago: Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies
four years ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
five years ago: Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
six years ago: Cranberry Scones

Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sea salt
  • 2 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 large pear, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until soft. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Evenly scatter half of the onions in the bottom of a roasting pan or other oven-safe dish. Place rest of the onions in a medium bowl.

Slice pork tenderloin by cutting 3/4 of the way through, approximately 1/2-1 inch apart. Place in pan.

Stuff each opening with 1 slice of pear and 5-6 cranberries. Place remaining pear slices and cranberries around the pork tenderloin.

Pour maple syrup over the onions in the bowl, then add Dijon mustard, rosemary, and cinnamon. Stir together, then season with pepper and salt to taste. Pour mixture over pork, then sprinkle with goat cheese.

Cook for 35-50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F and pork is no longer pink in the center [unless you prefer it rarer]. Pork takes about 15-20 minutes per pound to cook through, and I found it needed a little longer probably due to the pears and cranberries.

Transfer cooked pork to a serving platter and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Pour drippings from pan, including excess fruit/onions, to a medium bowl. Use an immersion blender to puree everything together into a chunky, savory cranberry sauce. Add a little water to thin if desired. You can also use a regular food processor. Serve savory cranberry sauce on the side and enjoy!

Fruit, Recipes, Sides

Cranberry Pear Sauce #bookclubcookbookCC

My favorite Thanksgiving side dish… cranberry sauce jazzed up with pears, vanilla, and a secret ingredient that’s totally appropriate when you think about it. And, there’s a Harry Potter connection too! Crazy. 🙂 Read on to find out more!

Jazz up your cranberry sauce with pear, vanilla, & a secret [yet totally appropriate] ingredient! YUM!

Most Thanksgiving dishes I can take or leave. Turkey, meh. I’ll eat it if it’s there, but if not, no big loss [my husband is crying in the corner right about now]. Mashed potatoes? Alright, but these are better. Stuffing, YUM. Green bean casserole, BLECH. Sweet potatoes, yes, if you hold the marshmallows. Rolls, only if they’re homemade. So, basically we’re at about two of six for my list of Thanksgiving classic necessities. I know every family has their own “necessity” and mine certainly does too–Mixed Vegetables Mornay is one of my faves. But for me? My ultimate fave is cranberry sauce! There are so many ways I like it… as long as it isn’t jellied in a log from a can. 🙂

So, it was to my pleasant surprise when I was brainstorming recipe ideas for this month’s edition of The Book Club Cookbook project that I remembered via reading/flipping through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that Harry’s Christmas feast at Hogwarts included all the traditional holiday fixings–turkey, potatoes, rolls… and cranberry sauce! Erin from The Spiffy Cookie is this month’s host and she selected the first Harry Potter as this month’s book selection. She made Treacle Tart [YUM] but I decided to go for another kind of sweetness, one that will be perfect on your Thanksgiving table! 🙂 Or Christmas table, just like Harry’s.

Jazz up your cranberry sauce with pear, vanilla, & a secret [yet totally appropriate] ingredient! YUM!

In the past, I’ve enjoyed my mom’s traditional cranberry orange relish. For a long time, that’s the only way I could imagine it. But then I branched out and have made a cranberry-mint relish, a cranberry pineapple sauce, and even a gingered cranberry-apple sauce. Over the years, there have probably been some other iterations that just haven’t made it to the blog [gasp!]. Sorry, guys. I just keep dreaming up new variations every year, and this year was no different. Since I was making this for a Harry Potter event I knew I wanted to make this something special. I got into reading the Harry Potter books late, but then read them all in one summer… maybe even six weeks. It was crazy, but so fun. Someday I want to re-read them, or even listen to the audiobooks [I’ve heard they’re really good!]. But for now, I’ll just enjoy this cranberry sauce. 🙂

Jazz up your cranberry sauce with pear, vanilla, & a secret [yet totally appropriate] ingredient! YUM!

Lately pears have been super cheap at the grocery store [don’t you love it when they practically give away produce?], and I had the idea to add pears to my cranberry sauce when a bunch of them all ripened on the counter on the same day. Since pears are so delightfully sweet, they’re a great pairing [ha – sorry, I had to] with the beautiful, albeit tart, cranberries. You can just cook them down on the stove together with some sugar and water and watch the delicious transformation happen before your eyes! That’s the magic of making homemade cranberry sauce instead of relish–all those popping berries are just so fun to see. Or is that just me? 🙂 But wait! This time, there’s a little extra bit of magic because in addition to the cranberries, pear, and sugar, I added PUMPKIN PIE SPICE to spice up this cranberry sauce! Yup, that’s my secret ingredient. Told you it’s seasonally appropriate! 🙂 And appropriate for a Harry Potter-themed cranberry sauce… since Harry spices up life wherever he goes. Ha ha!

Jazz up your cranberry sauce with pear, vanilla, & a secret [yet totally appropriate] ingredient! YUM!

Pumpkin pie spice has all sorts of goodness like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and lemon peel and by adding just a little bit of your [hopefully homemade] blend, your cranberry pear sauce is fruity and scented with warm spices for an unforgettable taste. After everything has cooked down, I added some vanilla extract to mellow things out and that just made it absolutely perfect. 🙂 Good thing cranberries freeze so well–you’ll want to pick up a few extra bags this week so you can make this cranberry sauce whenever you please… even in the middle of summer. 🙂 I know I’ll still be thinking about it then. Ha! Enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving! Be sure to scroll down to enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Book Club Cookbook–it is so great! What a fun book choice. Thanks for hosting, Erin!

one year ago: Apple Fritters
two years ago: Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
three years ago: Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
four years ago: KC’s Dilled Carrots
five years ago: CranApple Stuffing

Cranberry Pear Sauce

  • Servings: 6
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2-1 cup sugar, depending on preferred level of sweetness
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 Bartlett pear, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla extract

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, bring water and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil. When boiling, stir in cranberries and reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook for about 10 minutes, until cranberries begin to burst. Then fold in pear and pumpkin pie spice.

Remove from heat and stir to combine, breaking up some of the whole cranberries with a wooden spoon. Cover and let rest for about 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla, then taste [be careful, it’s hot!] and add more sugar if desired. Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for up to one week.

Giveaway
This month Erin at The Spiffy Cookie, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!
One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from November 1st till November 30th at 4 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.
*Disclosure: Erin received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.
Breakfast, Oatmeal, Recipes

Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears

If you like cranberry sauce, then you’ll love these oats! Steel cut oats are a special treat for me. They take too long to make on a weekday morning before work [who has time to babysit at the stove for 30 minutes?], so they’re reserved for the weekend in my mind–and I always make extra for leftovers. 🙂 But I digress. This past Saturday, I whipped up these easy Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears, and let me tell you… they were something amazing!

Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears | thepajamachef.com

I’ve only made steel cut oats a few times in the past and these were by far the best–tender with just a little bit of chewiness. These steel cut oats were the most flavorful oats I’ve ever tasted, and the prettiest too! See that pink? I cooked fresh cranberries in with the steel cut oats to achieve that gorgeous color, added some cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar to cut down the tartness of the fresh berries, then topped off with some easy, juicy caramelized pears. The subtle sweetness of the pears plays so well with the tart cranberries, I love it. I first experienced that unique flavor combo over Christmas when my mom, sister, and I were making brunch for the family and we all helped throw together the pear cranberry compote. Divine! [Everyone loved it, so I knew the flavor combo was a winner.] This breakfast may be a bit time consuming, but it’s totally worth it. If rich and indulgent oatmeal is a thing, this would be it, because, duh, caramelized pears! Enjoy! 🙂

Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Mexican Cornbread Pot Pie
two years ago: Lasagna Soup
three years ago: Whole-Wheat Cornbread

Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears [adapted from S. John & Sandra Ross and Martha Stewart]
click to print

Ingredients:

for oats

  • 2 cups water
  • 5 ounces fresh cranberries, washed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup pear cider [or milk, water, cranberry juice, apple juice/cider, etc.]
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

for pears

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Anjou pears, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Add water, cranberries, and sugar to a pot and bring to a boil. When berries begin to burst, add steel cut oats, pear cider, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cook for 25-30 minutes until oats are softened, stirring occasionally.

To prepare pears, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When bubbly, sprinkle in sugar gradually. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved and caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add pears, carefully flipping to fully coat in sugar-butter mixture. Cook until just soft, about 2-4 minutes [depending on how thin you slice them], then gently fold in cloves and cinnamon.

Top cranberry oats with caramelized pears to serve.

Time: 40 minutes.
Yield: 4-5 servings.

Linked up with: What’s Cookin’ Wednesday.

Desserts, Other, Recipes

Harvest Pear Crisp with Crystallized Ginger

Let’s conclude our week of Thanksgiving recipes with the best part of all… dessert! Since I’ve made so many pies this fall, we just weren’t in the mood for pie for our fun meal. So crisp it was! What’s more fall than a crisp? But not the classic apple or cherry, but another fall fruit–pears!

Harvest Pear Crisp | thepajamachef.com

I think sometimes pears fall by the wayside, overshadowed by apples. Even though I am pretty much addicted to having at least one sliced apple a day, pears are another love of mine! They’re sweet and pair [ha ha ha] so well with cinnamon and ginger. Two things make this crisp sing–the crumbly, buttery topping with tangy pieces of crystallized ginger, and the simple spice of cinnamon. Some fall recipes use a bunch of warm spices. That’s all well and good, but keeping it easy and basic just celebrates the pear, cinnamon, and ginger. Yum! Exactly what we needed to polish off a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. The photos do NOT do this dish justice. It was getting dark… boo.

Harvest Pear Crisp | thepajamachef.com

Oh well, I still hope you’ve enjoyed this week of Thanksgiving recipes! 🙂

Thanksgiving Meal | thepajamachef.com

two years ago: Whipped Sweet Potatoes
three years ago: Spinach Mushroom Cream Sauce with Spaghetti

Harvest Pear Crisp with Crystallized Ginger [from Bon Appetite, November 2009]
click to print

Ingredients:

filling

  • 4 pounds ripe pears [6-7 large pears] – peeled, cored, cubed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, minced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place pears in prepared baking dish, then add sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and vanilla. Toss together gently with a fork.

In a medium bowl, prepare topping. Stir together flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter with pastry blender, then add oats and ginger. Toss with a fork, then spread evenly over pears.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until topping is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Serve warm.

Time: 60 minutes.
Yield: 8-10 servings.

Linked up with: Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck.