A Healthier Gift Worth Giving

I love the holidays, but this year seems more stressful than past years. It’s getting down to the wire and I need a quick, thoughtful gift. I think I’ve got it – a personal gift from the heart that is useful, fun, and perfect for the new year! I’m a foodie at heart, so why not share my passion with all of the people I love? Gift baskets have taken on a modern, fun twist in recent years. Here is my plan: take five flavorful and festive items, grab a basket or pretty bag, combine, and dress it up! My personalized gift looks like this: two or three comice, forelle, or red Bartlett pears, a fine wedge of cheese (I like bleu), a mini jar of jalapeno jelly, sesame crackers, and a bag of dried apricots, almonds, or walnuts. Try 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

Nowadays, everybody’s keen on pears

It’s fall, and lot of people are doing a lot of wonderful things with pears right now.  Even though USA Pears are available nearly year-round, a lot of people still think of them as a “fall fruit.”  So if people like to cook with the seasons, and believe that pears are a fall fruit, it’s no surprise that the internet is EXPLODING with creative, delicious-looking pear recipes. We have our very own USA Pears recipe collection, with time-tested (not to mention professionally-tested) appetizer, beverage, entree, dessert, and kid-friendly recipes, but we also like to pay attention to what’s going on out there in your kitchens.  Food blogs are all aflutter with incredible pear creations this fall, and I’ve rounded up a few of my faves for your enjoyment: Scarlet Poached Pears from the blog “Zested” (http://zested.wordpress.com/)  This was sent to me from a fan in Continue reading

A Pear in Provence

This month, while traveling through the Provence region of France, specifically the Côtes du Rhône wine region, I had the opportunity to taste magnificent food, delicate wines, and absorb the gourmet culture of the French countryside. There, the French have a particular way of enjoying life: fresh fruits and vegetables from open air markets, a healthy dose of wine, and a slower pace. The climate is perfect for growing Mediterranean fruits – warm, fairly dry, and sun-baked. Provençal wines are frequently paired with fruits grown in the region – pears, melons, apricots, etc. Pairing fruit with wine has been a worldwide tradition for centuries; pears, for instance, are a nice combination with red, white, or rosé wines, and are exceptionally pleasant matched with dessert wines. In addition to the benefit for your palate, a moderate amount of wine has particular Continue reading

Score a Touchdown With Pears!

It’s September – school has started, fall is just around the corner, and the football crowd is gearing up for weekend showdowns. This means that football parties are in full swing, and so is the football fare. Over this past weekend, I attended a party to watch two local college rivals battle it out, but the real battle was between me and the snack table! If you’re like me, you want to be social, but have a hard time staying away from the large quantities of buffalo wings, chips and dip, sausages, pizza, cookies, beer, and other calorie-laden football fare. Rooting for your favorite team doesn’t have to mean overeating fatty snacks. Plan ahead and follow a few simple tricks to satisfy the crowd while staying on track. First, eat a small, filling meal ahead of time so that you Continue reading

Pearing Up with Good Day Oregon

On February 4, Andy Carson hung out with us at Portland specialty cheese and wine shop Foster and Dobbs, and showed thousands of viewers a few of the marvelous things pears pair well with. Beginning at 4:30 a.m. (eek!), pears were featured on Fox 12’s Good Day Oregon. Here’s a recap of some of mouth-watering pairings created by Foster and Dobbs’ own Luan Schooler: Bosc Pears + Rogue River Blue Cheese If you’re a blue cheese lover and this is the first time you’re learning of Rogue River Blue…you’re welcome. Each exquisite wheel is hand wrapped in grape leaves that have been bathed in, drum roll please, pear brandy. This cheese tasted incredible with the sweetness and subtle spice of Bosc pears, even at 4:30 in the morning! Red and Green Anjou + Swiss and Gruyere Fondue Here’s a shot Continue reading