Poached Pears

Poached Pears

Poached Pears

Necessity is the mother of invention.  You’ve heard that saying before haven’t you?

Well, in my refrigerator were four pears that had gotten quite ripe while I was away, and it was necessary that I find a way to use them up.  I had read an article some time ago about poaching pears in red wine, and thought at the time that they were very pretty because they became tinted pink.  Not having any red wine readily available, I “invented” this recipe for poached pears using cranberry ginger ale.  Since orange is also a good match-up with cranberry,  I added some orange slices and threw in some whole cloves.  The results, as you can see, were tender pears, tinted a nice pink, and further flavored by the orange and cloves.   And the best part?   There’s no sugar in this recipe.  I just relied on the sweetness of the ginger ale and the pears themselves to carry the dish.

After being cooked they are a lovely pink color.

After being cooked they are a lovely pink color.

This is an easy-peasy dessert.  It can be served warm or chilled.  Mr. D. loved these pears, and I must say that I find them pretty darn good too.  If your New Year’s resolution has something to do with weight loss or eating less sugar, these pears are for you!!

This is everything you will need.

This is everything you will need.

POACHED PEARS

Yield:   4 -6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium pears, ripe, but not too soft.  I used Anjou pears
  • 1 orange
  • several whole cloves,  about 6
  • a bottle cranberry ginger ale, or cranberry juice

Directions:

1.   Peel and core the pears.  Cut each one into eighths.  Place into a medium-size sauce pan.

2.  Slice 3-4 slices from the orange, and cut each one in half.   Juice the rest of the orange and add the juice to the pan with the fruit.

Cut-up pears, orange slices and cloves in the saucepan.

Cut-up pears, orange slices and cloves in the saucepan.

3.  Add the cloves to the pan with the fruit.

4.  Pour in the ginger ale just to the point where the pears are not quite covered.   Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife.  This took about 15 minutes.

5.   Drain the pears reserving the juice, but removing the cloves and orange slices.  Cool and serve pears with some of the juice.

Serve warm or chilled for a low calorie dessert.

Serve warm or chilled for a low calorie dessert.

SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals

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Honey-Date-Thyme Scones

Honey-Date and Thyme Scones.

Honey-Date and Thyme Scones.

Today I just had to bake something.  It didn’t have to be sweet; I simply wanted something hot and flaky fresh out of the oven.  I rationalized that if there was no sugar in it,  made with part whole wheat flour, and included honey and dates, how could it possibly be bad for me.   And also because they contain the herb thyme, these scones are technically savory, not sweet.  I will have one when they come out of the oven, the rest will be saved for breakfast(s).

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I don’t know why I’m obsessing so much about this and feeling guilty, the weight is coming off as planned, but I don’t want to hit a plateau and then say to myself, “that’s because you ate the scones”. Guess I’ll just have to chance it, because the aroma of these scones baking makes them too good to pass up.  Soooo, if you’re on a diet journey like I am and you’re craving something really good, but also good, i.e.. healthy, for you, give these a try.  And try not to feel guilty!

HONEY-DATE-THYME SCONES

Yield:  12  3″ scones

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups self-rising flour, (see below for a substitute)**
  • 1 stick salt-free butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp.  Honey,  overflowing
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus 12 small sprigs for decorating

**In place of self-rising flour, use 3 cups regular all-purpose flour, plus 1 Tbsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt.  I used half white flour and half whole wheat flour, i.e. 1 1/2 cups of each.

Directions:

1.  Grease 2  baking sheets or line with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 350*F.

2.  Measure out flour in a large bowl.  Cut in butter with a pastry cutter till coarse crumbs form.  Stir in thyme leaves.

3.  In a smaller bowl combine milk and honey and stir with a whisk to blend well.

4.  Add liquid ingredients to dry and mix lightly,  do not over mix.  If the dough remains shaggy and doesn’t come together add a drizzle of milk until it just holds together.  Stir in the dates.

5.  Turn out onto a floured board and knead 2 -3 times.  Roll out to  1 -inch thickness.

Roll out to about  1/2-inch thickness.

Roll out to about 1-inch thickness.

Cut out with a 3 – inch biscuit  cutter and place onto prepared baking sheets.

6.  Brush the tops of scones with a little milk or cream and lay a small sprig of thyme on top of each one.

Cut out with biscuit cutter. Brush tops with milk, and garnish with sprig of thyme.

Cut out with biscuit cutter. Brush tops with milk, and garnish with sprig of thyme.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 350*.    My scones were perfectly baked at 20 minutes.

Browned and flaky, fresh out of the oven.

Browned and flaky, fresh out of the oven.

Serve warm with  a little butter to melt into all the crevices.

Serve warm with a little butter to melt into all the crevices.

SOURCE:    slightly adapted from   lepirate.com  (blog)