Warm Pears and oranges

Tender pears and Mandarin oranges prove to be a delightful dessert when warmed in a slow cooker.  As I have shared in previous posts, fruit desserts are some of my favorites. Of course, they can also be served with a slice of pound cake, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, or even vanilla Greek yogurt.  This recipe is one to try before the warmer weather sneaks up on us this Spring.  The comforting flavors of this recipe can be enjoyed throughout the Fall and Winter months.

Here is how I make this recipe–gather these ingredients:  1 can sliced pears with juice, 1 can mandarin  oranges without juice, 3 cinnamon sticks, and 2 fresh Bosc pears peeled and sliced.  Additional fresh pears or canned pears could be substituted for each ingredient.

In a small bowl, combine these ingredients:  1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 Tablespoons melted margarine.

Place the first set of ingredients in the slow cooker, and then cover with the ingredients from the bowl.  Cook on LOW for 4 hours.  Serve warm. I topped each serving with whipped cream and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  Yummy.

Spring Cara Cara and tangerine salad

A spring citrus salad can be so refreshing.  The pastel color of the fruit helps to make the salad presentation bright, light and fresh.  I chose to use Cara Cara navel oranges for my Easter salad this year.  I found them at Whole Foods this past weekend, and their sweet taste is delightful. This variety has a very low acidic taste.  I also noted that this fruit was grown in California, which encouraged me to make the purchase. Their rose-pink color was so attractive on the plate in contrast with the tangerines.  Another option would be to use blood oranges, which I could not find in my market.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I used a salad dressing recipe from Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2015 edition which was super easy and perfect for this salad.

Combine these ingredients to make the dressing:  1/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt.  Shake or stir very well in a salad dressing jar.

Then, plate the salad.  I used baby arugula, with slices of Cara Cara and tangerine, topped with chopped pistachios.  Add a drizzle of the dressing.  Delicious, Bright, and so very Spring!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

 

homemade fruit water

Homemade infused water is so easy to prepare.  Choose your own fruit selection and steep overnight in the refrigerator.

The water is tasty, chilled to perfection, and can be a super refreshing drink right after exercise or just to hydrate during the day.  I was given an opportunity to test out this fruit water infuser, which is BPA and lead free.  Made in the United States, the clear bottle is 26 ounces and perfect for using on the go after exercise.

I have tried lemon, orange, strawberry, and even grapes in this infuser.  Every one of the fruits nicely infused into the bottle, giving just the right amount of flavor to the water.  So refreshing and so tasty.  I don’t have to worry about other artificial ingredients, and enjoy the taste of my own recipes. Mixing berries and lemon is so easy and gives a great taste to the water.

I love the clear container, no writing and just a clean appearance.

For more information on this infuser, please follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/FlavFusion-Infuser-Bottle-Flip-Sipper/dp/B00KHBAU0C

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

cherry street market –a wonderful fall experience

Last Friday, we took a relaxing Fall drive Up North to Traverse City Michigan.  I certainly do love Northern Michigan and will never give up an opportunity to experience wonderful food, shopping, and of course the Lake.  The weather was lovely and the air was filled with the crisp cooler weather that has rolled into our state.  I enjoyed every minute of the day, especially my stop at the Cherry Street Market in Kalkaska. ( http://www.cherrystreetmarket.com/)

IMG_0469

The vegetables and fruits were overflowing the shelves into bushels and pecks for sale.  The apples, squash, concord grapes and pie pumpkins were beautiful.  I love everything about a farm market.  I love that it is outdoors. I also love that the produce looks and tastes better than anything available at any local grocery store.  The romaine lettuce is deep green.  The corn is super sweet.  The apples are crisp and perfect without any blemishes. I love that I don’t have to “pick through” the pile, because every specimen of fruit or vegetable is picture perfect.  The freshness factor is overflowing.

IMG_0470

I purchased two large bags brimming with fruits and vegetables for $17.  This amazes me, as produce is so expensive at the grocery store. The abundance is breathtaking and the atmosphere is charming.  I love the harvest season and everything about farm produce.  I encourage everyone to have a small garden.  For those items that cannot be grown at your home due to hours of sun available in your yard, or even just space, I encourage supporting local growers in your area.  I have never been disappointed with the quality or the selection at the end of a growing season.

IMG_0478       IMG_0479IMG_0472IMG_0475

 

citrus dill roasted carrots

Image

coastal living magazine offers a nice variety of dinner in a breeze recipes, for those meals to enjoy while vacationing.  i find their recipes very clean and fresh, offering a nice mix of easy preparation techniques using lots of fresh vegetables, fish and lighter fare.

this citrus herbal roasted carrot recipe was very good and a nice option from other ways i often prepare carrots for dinner. it uses fresh orange juice and fresh or dried dill.  it is both easy and quick.  i certainly will prepare these carrots again. the hint of orange juice is very light and does not overpower the carrots.  i think it would be nice to add some zest of orange as well for presentation and added flavor.

to make the roasted carrots: i used a ceramic baking dish and preheated the oven to 375 degrees.  drizzle the dish with about one tablespoon of olive oil and add 5 tablespoons of fresh orange juice.  arrange the cleaned carrots in the dish, and sprinkle with dill.  another option would be to use tarragon for another distinct flavor.

bake for 20 to 30 minutes until fork tender.  season with fine sea salt if desired.  serve and enjoy.  this is a nice side dish for any chicken or fish entrée.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

blood oranges and blood orange products

Image  Image

have you noticed all of the blood orange products at the market these days?  i have seen everything from the fresh fruit to facial creams and cleansers.  the color of this fruit has sparked a great deal of interest, since the fresh fruit has red pigment which is high in antioxidants.   they are primarily grown in Italy, but crops are also coming from Texas and California now due to the rise of interest in the fruit.

if you have not yet tasted a blood orange, i would encourage you to purchase them.  the citrus profile has also a hint of raspberry flavor.  some of the oranges are sweet and others that i have tasted are more sour.  just like any other citrus fruit, they can vary based on the growing time, and the growing temperatures for the plant.  i have also purchased blood orange marmalade in the past, and have found it to be very beautiful on the plate as well as delicious to taste.

from the health perspective, as an RN, i would always recommend having citrus in your diet.  these oranges are high in Vitamin C, and have about 28 percent of the daily recommended fiber content for your diet. they are also a source of potassium and calcium.

the Moro oranges pictured above are some of the deepest red in color, and some of the more sour in taste, compared to other varieties.

you will only see blood oranges in the market from December through April, so if you haven’t tried them yet this season, you still have time to search for a package in your store.  personally, i love them.

best time of year to increase your vitamin C

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Image

typically when we think about Vitamin C, we think about citrus fruits.  in the wintertime, i usually like to stock up and eat grapefruit, oranges, cuties, or even tangerines.  i make dishes that include lemons, like lemon chicken or fish with lemon. at Christmas this year, i made candied citrus peels.  we enjoyed them a great deal. i have included these recipes on my blog over the past few years.

citrus is widely known to have many health benefits. grapefruit lowers blood pressure.  citrus juice has been known to decrease the risk factor for kidney stones.

but today, i had the opportunity to try out Vitamin C in another format.  this Vitamin C serum was sent to me as a trial product.  i am truly excited about trying this serum on my face.  it is said to have many health benefits with anti-aging properties.

la Beatue Pure’s product is Dr. Oz recommended. it is organic and should lighten any facial discoloration.  it does not contain chemicals, preservatives, fragrance, colors, and was not tested on animals.   so, off i go to try vitamin C on my skin. why not? as a registered nurse, i know the benefits of ingesting Vitamin C, and am willing to see if the topical application of the product works.  i will let you know.

for more information,  follow this amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Abeauty%2Ck%3Avitamin+c+serum+la+beauty+pure&keywords=vitamin+c+serum+la+beauty+pure&ie=UTF8&qid=1389820551

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.