Roasted Pears w/ Blood Orange & Pomegranates Recipe

I am first and foremost a gardener ~ pleased as punch to say that after 7 years of tender loving care, I have a pear crop! (Find the yummy recipe at the bottom of this blog post.)

I also have a few plums, apples, cherries and crab apples. (Look out!) I planted these saplings to feed the birds. Feel sorry for them in this harsh, high plains desert. Though I also wonder about their intelligence. Since they can fly for free, why don't they go some place lush and lovely?

Because that's what I do. Every time I bank enough frequent flier miles to do so.

Anyhoo! Planting fruit trees has worked out better than I ever expected. The birds love 'em and so do my dinner guests. This autumn I'm cooking up all kinds of special goodies...

Did you know? Each Pomegranate contains about 800 seeds and they make a delightful sweet tart garnish for pretty much anything.

Roasted Pears with Blood Orange & Pomegranates Recipe
  • 3/4 cup Red Zinfandel wine
  • 3/4 cup Pomegranate juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 blood orange, peeled, sectioned
  • 1/3 cup sugar
Top with:
  • 1/2 cup fresh Pomegranate seeds
  • Truly fabulous vanilla bean ice cream
How to:
Combine top list of ingredients (everything except the sugar and pom seeds) in a sauce pan, over low heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add sugar, stir until dissolved.

Take 6 ripe, luscious pears and partially peel them ~ create stripes by peeling lengthwise, leaving a space and peel another strip. (Makes them look very pretty and unique.) Remove the core from the bottom of the pears. Leave the stems on.

Spritz a square glass baking dish with cooking spray. Pour sauce over the pears. Roast @ 350 for about an hour.

Introducing CHEFS Wine Club!


Dried Garden Tomatoes: Save A Fortune, Come Winter

Took a walk through the Veggie Garden of Wunx last night. She had plenty of pretty flowers but what struck me when I rounded the garden corner were tomato vines, taller than me. She must have had 300 luscious tomatoes, ripening on the vine.

It got me thinking about how tricky tomato seedlings can be.

Sneaky, conniving little monsters. They act so sweet and innocent in the springtime. So tiny. There's room! Let's plant a few extras!

Twelve weeks later all hell breaks loose and, well, you can run but you can't hide.

So, it IS Labor Day weekend and these tomatoes SHOULD be red by now. They'll probably get there but how does one cope with a truckload of tomaters?

Never fear. Hazel is here. She dries tomatoes in her oven and Wunx can, too. :)

Oven-Dried Tomatoes
  • Start with firm, ripe (not overly ripe) fresh-picked tomatoes.
  • Slice cherry tomatoes in half, slice larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Sprinkle sea salt to improve flavor and speed up the drying process.
  • Set the oven to 175 - 200 degrees (F).
  • Place tomatoes, skin side down, on a baking sheet. Perforated pizza pans are great because they allow air circulation.
  • Slowly roast these babies. It could take anywhere from 3-12 hours (depending upon the size of the tomato slices.)
How to Know if You've Screwed Up:
√ Dried tomatoes are done when they feel pliable, kind of leathery.
√ If your tomatoes are brittle, they're over-done and you get an A for effort, nothing more.

To Rehydrate Dried Tomatoes:
Soak in water for 1-2 hours or toss directly into soups and stews.

You can dry green tomatoes. However, you might be a whole lot happier if you ripen them the old fashioned way and dry them when they're ready. That's why windowsills were invented, way back when.