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.

blood oranges and blood orange products

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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.

citrus for breakfast


grapefruit for breakfast has always been a favorite for me.  especially during the winter months, when i look for something refreshing and bright.  i decided to peel and slice this morning, as i often see Martha do in her magazine.  i just topped with a bit of powdered sugar.  she suggests using a drizzle of honey, yogurt,  or even decorating with some pistachios.

i found the powdered sugar to be all that i needed for a start today.  i think preparing a plate for guests with a layer of oranges, grapefruit, and smaller tangerines in this way would be really a pretty presentation for a breakfast buffet.

i only used three slices for my serving this morning. by peeling and slicing, there is limited waste of the actual fruit and pulp. just delicious!

best time of year to increase your vitamin C

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


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:


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.

tiny orange brunch muffins



for those of you who love muffins, but don’t want to face the calorie count, this is a recipe for you.  these muffins offer a tiny pop of orange flavor and just the right amount of bread for any brunch table.

the recipe is from p. Allen Smith’s seasonal recipes from the garden cookbook, which by the way, has many amazing recipes for every occasion throughout the year.  he provides a glaze recipe for this muffin and suggests even adding a citrus marmalade to serve alongside the dish.  i just served these muffins by themselves, and enjoyed them a great deal. here are the directions that i followed to make my orange muffins.

to make the orange muffins:

preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  butter the mini muffin tins with pam butter spray. in a bowl, using a hand mixer, cream 1 cup sugar with 1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter.  next, add 2 beaten eggs.  then dissolve 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup buttermilk.  

using 2 cups of flour and the buttermilk mixture, alternately add each to the batter until well mixed.  then add the grated zest of 2 oranges, 1/3 cup golden raisins, and 1/3 cup chopped pecans.

fill the muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes.  remove the muffins from the tin to cool.  serve with fresh fruit, eggs, omelets, and other brunch treats.


glazed orange chicken thighs



i never get tired of another new chicken recipe.  i have tried hundreds over the years and usually fall back on some favorites. this recipe is one that i will make again, as the sticky orange glaze is quite tasty. the recipe comes from everyday food, Martha Stewart’s magazine that recently was discontinued.  the magazine was published in pocket-sized format and was truly one of my all-time favorite reads.  the recipes are quick, easy and are perfect for everyday eating — nothing fussy, nothing fancy, just down to earth basics.

i will miss the publication, however; one of the chefs has now posted online recipes, which can be followed through you tube.

this online format is wonderful as the prep time is quick and the recipe comes together in minutes.  i truly enjoy Sarah Carey and her recipe commentary. as usual, i do alter the recipes a bit to fit our taste and quantity of servings.  so, here is how i made the dish.

orange glazed chicken thighs:  preheat the oven to 400 degrees and season four chicken thighs with salt and pepper.  arrange in a ceramic dish and bake for one hour.


meanwhile in a saucepan on the stove, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup orange juice concentrate, 1 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar, 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, and 2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce.  Simmer on the stove until the mixture thickens, which will be nearly 20 minutes.

When the chicken has finished the cook time, transfer the chicken to a bowl and toss in the glaze.  Remove the fat from the ceramic dish and place the chicken back in the dish and broil until the sauce is bubbling and brown.  This step takes about 4 minutes.

Serve with a side salad or green vegetable. 


candied orange and grapefruit peels

this christmas, i made candied orange and grapefruit peels, from a colonial williamsburg recipe.  these candied peels are delicious and so very easy to make.  they look lovely in a glass compote or on a cookie tray.

to begin, decide which citrus fruit to use for your candy.  lemon, orange and grapefruit peels work nicely.  thoroughly wash the fruit and quarter them lengthwise.  remove the white pulp from the peel.  cut the peel into 1/4 inch wide strips, about 3 inches long.

mix 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water.  bring to a boil, and then add the peels.  cool them very slowly until the peels almost look clear in color.  i used a candy thermometer, and brought the boil to 230 degrees.  the trick to this recipe is not to boil too quickly, or the sugar darkens and caramelizes.

when the boil reached 230 degrees, i took the peels out with a fork and placed them flat to dry.  when the peels are dry, roll in extra sugar and store them in a sealed container.  this recipe makes 1/4 pound.

i used 1 grapefruit and 2 large oranges and boiled them until almost all the liquid was absorbed at temperature.  these were delicious and better than expected.  this has become one of my very favorite recipes.