Chamomile Poached Pears

 

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This recipe calls for d’anjou pears, though any firm pear will work nicely. Poaching firm pears softens them without causing them to fall apart too easily. I plan on enjoying these over my morning granola and yogurt, though I may deviate and use them to top a pound cake later in the week.

Chamomile Poached Pears

2 d’anjou pears, peeled, halved, and cored
2 cups water
2 tablespoon dried chamomile blossoms (if you don’t have any on hand, a bag of sleepy-time tea would work nicely)
4 tablespoons sugar or honey

1. Boil the water, add chamomile, and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 5 minutes.
2. Strain out the chamomile, then return the tea to a simmer. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
3. Add the pears to the sweetened chamomile tea and reduce heat so the pears are barely simmering. Cook covered for about 8 minutes, until the pears are easily pierced with a fork.
4. Remove the pears from the syrup and allow to cool. If you’d like, place the syrup back on the heat and allow to reduce by half. This would be nice drizzled over the pears however you choose to serve them.

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Baked Apples with Maple Whipped Cream and Granola

  

As promised, here’s another simple recipe for a cozy night in… Or maybe a special breakfast if you’d like to treat yourself! Be sure to drizzle the pan juices over the apples after you place them in their bowls for serving.

Baked Apples with Maple Whipped Cream and Granola

4 apples
4 tablespoons butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup granola

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Core apples and use a sharp knife to score the skin of the apple- four scores should do the trick.
2. Place apples in a baking dish and place one tablespoon of butter inside the core cavity of each apple. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes.
3. While the apples are baking, combine maple syrup and heavy cream. Whip until the cream forms soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. When the apples are done, place in individual bowls and top each apple with a sprinkling of granola and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

Butternut Squash Bread with Candied Ginger

 
 

It’s hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us! This week’s recipes are ones that I hope can help you take time to pause and reflect on the simple things- a candlelit dinner with those you love or a quiet breakfast with a warm cuppa. This squash bread is moist and well-spiced. The flavor of the butternut itself is quite mild but lends an earthy backbone to this bake. I’ll be making it the day of Thanksgiving so we have a treat for the next morning.

Butternut Squash Bread with Candied Ginger

1 cup cooked and mashed butternut squash (I simply roasted mine and scooped it out of the skin- the rest went into this soup)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup non-gmo canola oil
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons candied ginger cut into small bits

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients: sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, spices, and ginger. Whisk to mix well.
3. In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients: squash, eggs, oil, water. Whisk to mix well.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients until well incorporated. Pour into a loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
5. Allow the loaf to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.