Pear Almond Tart

“If you are in need of something to end a meal with a lot of ‘WOW’ factor, but don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen, this is the dessert for you,” says recipe creator Carol Kicinski. Bosc pears are a great choice for this tart, as they hold their shape when baked, and their honey-sweet flavor shines in combination with the almond paste. Ingredients Crust 1 cup superfine white rice flour 3 tablespoons potato starch 1 tablespoon tapioca starch ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (Or substitute 1¼ cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour for the above ingredients) ½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces Up to ½ cup ice cold water Tart 1 8-ounce can Solo Almond Paste (not marzipan) ¼ cup powdered sugar 2 tablespoons melted butter 2 Continue reading

A Healthy Relationship with Holidays

This year, my husband and I enjoyed Thanksgiving with close friends. We rented a house in the Colorado mountains, packed our car full of groceries and games, and headed into the snow for a much-needed vacation. I was particularly looking forward to unwinding and decompressing after a few stressful weeks at work. We decided on a local holiday instead of traveling to see family this year, mostly to avoid a tense event involving airports, security screenings, and general travel anxiety. No matter where a vacation takes me, as a dietitian, I still have misgivings about holiday celebrations; holiday eating in our culture is a very social event, and there is the expectation of gluttony. Even the promise of a relaxing holiday still causes me to stress! Thanksgiving dinner was exceptional; I made a tasty cheesecake for the first time, our Continue reading

Pear Chips

After a recent USA Pears photo shoot, I brought pounds of Bosc pears home to my kitchen. Lucky me! I wanted to make something with them—something simple and healthy. After a little research, er, Googling, I settled on pear chips. They’re tasty, easy, and pretty! Here’s how you can make them: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Using a mandoline (if you’re fortunate enough to own one) or a knife (if you’re not, like me), thinly slice pears into chips. I sliced mine both crosswise and lengthwise to keep things interesting. Bosc pears work well, with their dense flesh, but also take a bit longer to cook. Try any variety of USA Pears. Place the slices on a Silpat mat or parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 20-40 minutes, turning the chips halfway through. The baking time Continue reading

Pear Ghosts

Scary, I know… To get into the spooky spirit, I decided to create some pear ghosts for Halloween. They were really simple to make, and they would be adorable as party centerpieces. They’d also make a sweet treat for your trick-or-treaters! To make my Bosc pears ghostly, I whipped up some vanilla frosting. I learned how to make simple homemade frosting from my mom – put powdered sugar in a bowl with half a stick of softened butter, add some milk and vanilla extract, and whip it. I omitted the vanilla this time – I wanted bright white ghosts. You could also use candy coating or maybe white chocolate for an extra-decadent ghost. Once the frosting was smooth, I put it in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt it a bit. I stuck a wooden skewer into each pear Continue reading

Sauteed Bosc Pears

This simple, tasty pear recipe was created and demonstrated by “Top Chef” Chef Jamie Lauren and renowned cookbook author Mollie Katzen at the Food for Your Whole Life Health Symposium this week. If you can’t find Bosc pears at your local grocery store, red or green Anjou pears also work well. Enjoy this sweet treat! Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 6 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and quartered Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 ½ cup nonfat vanilla yogurt or frozen yogurt 1/2 cup chopped, toasted California walnuts Directions To prepare pears, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in spices and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add pears and cook for 15 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in lemon juice. Serve with nonfat vanilla Continue reading

Thanksgiving or Misgiving?

Stress, holiday blues, eating too much… I ask myself again this year, how does all of this spell thanksgiving?  If you’re like me, the holidays creep up on you when you’re already stressed and crunched for time, leaving you vulnerable to temptation! I know this is not the time of year to deprive myself, so I need a game plan to limit overindulgence and extra pounds. My strategy for Thanksgiving this year is to grab the family for low-key physical activity and to have one or two food strategies in place before temptation strikes! Here are some ideas. 1. Start by eating a filling, balanced breakfast. This will help maintain blood sugar levels and fend off later splurging. 2. Start a new tradition! Take a walk instead of having brunch. Or, walk off the big meal! 3. Grab the family and play a Continue reading

One Week, 4 Countries, Multi-Varieties!

I spent last week visiting some of our markets in Central America, starting south and working my way north, one country per day:  Panama City, Panama; San Jose, Costa Rica; San Salvador, El Salvador; and Guatemala City, Guatemala. I saw many delicious-looking USA Pears in all of the markets, and the quality of the fruit is outstanding, especially considering the long journey required to arrive!  The most popular variety is usually the Green Anjou, followed by Red Anjou and Bosc.  This year there is also interest in trying the smaller varieties, like Forelle and Seckel.  The more varieties, the better!  It’s great to see shoppers introduced to all the different flavors that USA Pears have to offer.  (Side note: you must go to your own grocery store and pick up as many varieties of USA Pears that they have, then Continue reading