Saturday, February 2, 2013

A "Spicy" Pear

Hello Sweets,

I hope you all are having a fantastic Friday, after all it's the weekend!!  I'm going to see my grandparents this weekend, and I am going to make them an offer that I'm pretty sure they won't refuse.  I'm going to offer to make them dinner a few times a week. They choose the protein and I will take it from there :)  They are the best grandparents you could ask for, so I figure it's the least I can do, not to mention it allows me to expand my cooking skills because anyone who has to cook for someone knows it can be a pain.  Not to mention my grandmother is from an English background, so she doesn't like to experiment with spices, or even stray from cooking instructions for that matter lol, and my grandfather is from Malta (close to Italy) so he is the complete opposite.  I think it will be fun, for me, for them, and it will give my readers more variety, so everyone wins!!

I know that I said today's post would have some type of reminiscence to my childhood, but since I didn't get any sleep last night, I ended up flipping through a cookbook that was given to me at Christmas from our friend Dave (you know from Impact's Views).  It's funny, every time I can't sleep I end up eating better and getting some things done, but I think a lot is that because my body never goes into rest mode so I'm burning calories that I don't really have.  As I'm flipping through the cookbook I remembered that I had pears in the fridge that I wanted to use in a new way, and I had this weird random craving for oatmeal. Then, like a sign from the kitchen gods, I flipped to the perfect inspiration:  Spicy apple and oat muffins. They even had an option to make it with pears at the bottom.  Now of course I didn't follow their recipe, but I'm not going to take complete credit when they were my inspiration for them after all :)

Canuckette's Spicy Pear and Oat Muffin 
(inspired by 1001 cupcakes, cookies and other tempting treats)
6Tbs coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
1C all-purpose flour
1Tbs baking powder
heaping 1/2C dark brown sugar
2C rolled oats
 1 1/2 pears, cubed
2 eggs
1/2C light half and half
1/2C fresh apple juice
heaping 1/2Tsp allspice
heaping 1/2Tsp cinnamon
heaping 1/4Tsp ginger
(I ended up omitting the salt)

1)  Preheat oven to 400F.  Grease 12 cup muffin tin.

2)  Sift together the flour, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger into a large bowl.

3)  Stir in the sugar and 1 2/3C of the oats.

4)  Chop the unpeeled pears into bite size pieces (or smaller if preferred), discarding the core.  Add to the flour mixture and stir in.

5)  Place the eggs in a large bowl or container and beat lightly, then beat in the milk, apple juice, and oil.  

 6)  Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the egg mixture.  Stir gently until just combined; do not over mix.

7)  Spoon the batter into the muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with the remaining oats.  Bake for 18 minutes, or until well risen, golden brown and firm to touch, or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

8)  Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These muffins would be a great addition to your breakfast, or even as your mid morning snack. They aren't overly sweet and have a lovely spicy scent and flavor.  The pear recipe in the book called for pear juice but I decided to stick with the apple juice because the pears I got were sweet and I wanted to subdue that as much as possible.  This is definitely the type of recipe that can be tweaked with different spices, and you can most certainly use almost any fruit, it's the kind of muffin you can reinvent each season with the seasonal fruit.  I think I'll experiment with nuts and seeds as well, you can never have too much goodness can you?

Dave if you are reading this, thank you for the awesome gift, it is definitely getting used and has been a great source of inspiration and guidance.  Now I need to really delve into my wine course book soon, so that I can become a "wine snob" lol, not really, I just want to become more familiar with the different types of wine for when Nathan and I go out for dinner, or just to grab a bottle to enjoy by the fire :)  Life with Nathan is honestly perfect, and at the risk of sounding mushy and cheesy, I've never been happier in my life and feel very fortunate to have found my soul mate and my best friend all wrapped into one :)

So now I am going to enjoy a nice cup of tea with a muffin, do a little recipe research because I still have to dress up or "adultify" lol my childhood snacks.  Not to mention I have a bunch more fresh mint that I want to use as well.  Do any of my lovely readers have a suggestions for the mint?  I would love to hear from all of you, whether it is feedback on a recipe, a story, or even a suggestion. I'm never to busy to read comments and messages from you :)  Until next time...................

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

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