During the Pandemic lockdown, the girls and I joined our local winery, InVINtions, for their Zoom Italian Cooking classes with Chef Lucas. We made many wonderful dishes with Chef Lucas, and Pears in Red Wine Sauce was a delicious surprise. We didn’t have great expectations for this recipe, but trust me, it was one of many fantastic dishes!
When the holidays are upon us and we are tired of dishes that are too sweet or too rich, this is the perfect answer. It is a beautiful dish to serve your guests or to enjoy all by yourself!
PEARS IN RED WINE SAUCE
6-8 Pears 1 Bottle Red Wine 8 Ounces (1 cup) of Sugar 3 Cinnamon Sticks 6 Cloves
In a pan, combine all the ingredients.
Cook over low heat for about 1 hour.
If you desire a thicker sauce, remove the pears after cooked and mix one teaspoon of corn starch with a 1/4 cup water and mix with the wine.
Serve hot or cold. They are delicious warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! You can store in the fridge for about a month.
Autumn and apples are like hand in glove. I love making apple desserts and salads and I needed a Vegan and Gluten-Free dessert for a gathering of friends. This recipe fit the bill and was scrumptious for all.
APPLE CRUMBLE — GLUTEN FREE AND VEGAN
6 large Granny Smith apples (around 1 kilo), peeled, cored and chopped into cubes
½ cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract2 tbsp. water
Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
In a large bowl combine all the filling ingredients making sure that all the apples are coated well.
Spread the apples evenly in an approximately 31x21cm (12.2×8.27inch) baking dish and set aside.
For the crumble topping, reusing the bowl from the apples, combine all the topping ingredients well with a spatula. If you feel like it isn’t mixed in well enough evenly, I like to get in with my hands.
Crumb the topping over the apples evenly and put in the oven to bake for around 45-50 minutes.
Serve warm with some vegan ice cream, cream or even yoghurt.
S’mores conjure up childhood memories of campfires with friends and family, biting into that creamy marshmallow with melted chocolate. Yum! Sometimes you don’t have a campfire and you still want s’mores. This recipe does that and takes it up a notch with peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut spread.
Make these delicious s’mores in advance and store in the fridge. Decorate for the occasion or holiday, in this case, Labor Day. It is a real crowd pleaser!
Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter S’mores
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
16 graham cracker square (8 whole rectangular pieces, halved)
1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
8 large marshmallows
1 package white almond bark
1 package chocolate chips or other melting chocolate
Spread a generous dollop of peanut butter onto one side of 8 of the cracker squares, and then spread the chocolate hazelnut spread onto one side of the other 8 squares.
Thread the marshmallows onto 2 metal skewers and carefully toast over a flame on the stove top or grill. Place 1 toasted marshmallow onto each of the peanut butter-covered graham crackers. Top with the chocolate-covered crackers and sandwich together gently.
Melt the white almond bark and milk chocolate in separate glass bowls set over simmering water. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally to keep the chocolate melted.
When the toppings are at room temperature, one by one dip half of the sandwiches in the white chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off. Work quickly, and then add on whatever sprinkles or toppings you’d like to use. (NOTE: We chose to drizzle melted chocolate over the s’mores and then apply sprinkles.)
Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Then you can store the s’mores at room temperature or in the fridge until you’re ready to serve! (NOTE: I would recommend storing in the refrigerator so the chocolate doesn’t melt. They keep very well without getting soft).
Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network/Ree Drummond
Beat first 5 ingredients on medium speed until blended, 2-3 minutes (do not overbeat).
Whisk lemon juice and sugar in a shallow bowl until sugar is dissolved. Quickly dip 8 ladyfingers into lemon juice, allowing excess to drip off; place in a single layer in an 8-in. square dish. Spread a third of the mascarpone mixture over top. Repeat layers twice.
Sprinkle with lemon zest. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours before serving.
Mango Shrikhand was a recipe made by my friend, Diane, for Book Club now over a year ago. It was delicious and I wanted to try to make it at home. I made it with Greek Yogurt and cut the cardamon in half.
For those who don’t love Greek Yogurt, I would recommend using Vanilla yogurt. If you don’t like cardamom, try using cinnamon. If you don’t like mango, try another fruit. It’s a versatile recipe and healthy dessert.
2 1/2 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
3/4 cup mango puree
5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I used 1/8 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons crushed almonds
Line a colander with a clean piece of cheesecloth. Place colander over a tall vessel to collect the dripping water.
Pour yogurt onto the cheesecloth and gently twist the ends. Tie the ends into a knot above the yogurt. Let drain and thicken in the refrigerator, 5 hours to overnight.
Whisk yogurt, mango puree, confectioners’ sugar, and cardamom in a bowl until well blended.
Refrigerate Shrikhand for 1 to 2 hours. Garnish with crushed almonds and serve chilled.
Palisade (Colorado) peaches are divine and something our family looks forward to each year. Due to an early freeze, we weren’t sure we could purchase peaches. A local high school band had a fundraiser with peaches and we purchased 3 boxes of the most beautiful peaches.
This recipe for cobbler combines my favorite two fruits, raspberry and peach. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Fresh fruit is the best but I have also made from frozen peaches with great results.
What will I do with the rest of the peaches? Oh, wonderful peach salsa!
PEACH RASPBERRY COBBLER
8 medium sized peaches (about 2 lb. or 4 cups), ripe peeled and sliced
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups raspberries, rinsed and drained
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a shallow 1.5 to 2 quart baking dish.
Mix together peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle raspberries over the peaches.
In a food processor or a bowl, mix together flour, 3/4 c. sugar, butter and nutmeg until it has the texture of coarse oatmeal. Crumble over the fruit.
Bake until bubbling in the center and golden brown on top, about 45 -60 minutes.
Cool for at least 10 minutes. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.
Raspberries may very well be my favorite fruit and would certainly be on my ‘last dinner’ list. This recipe started out to be Lemon Blueberry Bars as the original recipe stated. Midway through making the bars, I realized the frozen blueberries were off, so quickly switched to raspberries that I had in the freezer. Frankly, I love the results. Even the nutmeg called for in the original recipe suited the raspberries.
Another new favorite!
LEMON RASPBERRY STREUSEL BARS
yield: 24 BARS
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries (I thawed frozen raspberries)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9×13-inch pyrex pan with nonstick spray.
Prepare the crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, zest and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg and vanilla together; stir into the crumb mixture until a dough forms. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. (Keep the oven on)
Sprinkle raspberries over the crust. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup sugar and nutmeg; sprinkle over the raspberries.
Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, use a rubber spatula to cream together the 5 tablespoons butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the flour, so that the mixture is crumbly, like streusel. Sprinkle over the raspberry layer.
My Mother was such a great cook and many of my cherished recipes came from her kitchen. Apple Roll Ups is one of those recipes. They are fantastic served warm but equally good left-over. If you truly want to indulge, you can pour a bit of cream on the top of your Apple Roll.
APPLE ROLL UPS
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
Boil for 3 minutes. Cool.
Pour into ungreased 9×13 inch pan.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening (I used unsalted butter)
1/2 cup milk
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and shortening and blend well. Add 1/2 up milk and 1 egg. Mix well.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a rectangle shape about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups finely diced apple (I used Granny Smith)
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over rolled out dough. Add chopped apple.
Rice Krispie Treats are a family favorite and I love peppermint so this sounded like a fun, simple recipe to make. The results are cute, the perfect snack to leave for Santa Clause (and his helpers). It’s best to eat the treats within a couple of days as they tend to lose their ‘snap, crackle, pop’.
PEPPERMINT RICE KRISPIE TREATS SNOWBALLS
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2-14 Oz. bags White Candy Melts
6 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
⅓ cup crushed candy canes
1 10 oz. package marshmallows
¼ cup butter
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat.
Add in the marshmallows and allow them to melt completely.
Add in the crushed candy canes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies®.
If making balls, pull out heaping tablespoons from the pan and roll into balls. Add a candy can into the center of each ball.
If making cut out shapes, press the Rice Krispies® mixture into a pan prepared with cooking spray.
Allow to cool for about five to ten minutes and then cut out your favorite shapes.
Add a candy cane into the top end of the treat.
Place your finished treats into the fridge for about 15 minutes to cool down.
Melt the candy melts according to package directions and add in the vegetable oil to thin the mixture.
Dip your cooled treats into the chocolate, sprinkle or decorate, and set aside to cool and harden completely.
Note: For a quicker version, simply substitute one 12 oz. bag of white chocolate chips for the melts and oil. Add the chips in with the marshmallows and heat until completely melted. Proceed with adding the candy canes and Rice Krispies®. You can then roll your balls and add sprinkles to the still warm treat.
This mix was the perfect base for a patriot, 4th of July dessert with fresh berries and a cream cheese base. This recipe can easily be cut in half and baked in a round or square pan.
The dessert is best served the day it is made but leftovers brownies can be good for 1-2 days.
PATRIOTIC BROWNIE FRUIT DESSERT
2 packages Double Chocolate Krusteaz gluten-free brownie mix (I bought a large box at Costco) and ingredients stated on the box (water, vegetable oil, egg)
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh red raspberries
1 cup apple jelly
Make brownies according to package directions and bake in greased jelly roll or sheet pan as directed. Let cool completely.
Beat together softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.