chocolate ginger pear crisp (also directions for gluten free)

I read blogs.  I actually got this idea from Lucullian's blog.  I love her pictures, which is really why I read it, but this is one of the few times I thought a recipe was something I was interested in.  I took my most favorite crisp recipe and changed it.  There is just a hint of ginger here.

I do not like oatmeal in my crisp topping, which I know is very common but it is not here.  The gluten free option is rather good.  I usually use a mixture of amaranth, sorghum, teff, tapioca starch and potato starch.  The texture with the gluten free flours is more similar to someone using quick oats in their crisp topping.  It is a cause for laughter.

Chocolate Ginger Pear Crisp

4 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

1 cup semi- sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ginger

1 cup flour or 5 ounces of gluten free flours 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a saucepan, put the chocolate and butter.  Heat on low heat until the chocolate is melted.  Add the sugar and ginger.  Mix well.  Mix in the flour.  Set aside.

In an 8 x 8 square pan (or something similar), put the pears.

Sprinkle the chocolate mixture over the pears.

I try to completely cover the pears.  Sometimes it is harder then others depending who is walking through the kitchen and snitching bits.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden bits or pulls back from the sides.

Serve hot or cold.  With cream or ice cream if you wish but this is decadent enough we did not even try.

Do try to share (grin)


gluten free dairy free mac and "cheese"

It was one of those days at work where you just wish to start drinking before you leave.  Or do what we did and have a dinner party.  It must be something in the air because most people had that type of the day!  

I did come home to the beautiful bouquet above on my door handle.  My daughter loves me!



They watched over me while I made dinner for friends.

I made a mac and "cheese" that I could eat.

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Mac and "Cheese"

5 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons potato starch

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

two finger pinch ground paprika, ancho chile pepper, and chipolte chile pepper ground

4 cups hempmilk

8 ounces almond cheese, grated

1 pound gluten free pasta (we like Tinkayada)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large pot, fill with water and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Strain.  Put in an oven proof casserole dish.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil.  Add the potato starch, pepper, paprika, ancho, and chipolote.  Cook with the oil until bubbly and smooth.  Add the hempmilk a cup at a time.  Stir in the grated almond cheese.  Pour over the pasta and stir.  Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and a bit golden around the edges.

There you go.  Macaroni and cheese, even though I used shells.  

The party was pretty fabulous.  Lots of laughter.  Thanks all for coming.



needing comfort

I went to the dentist today.  For many reasons, I am phobic.  I have a really good dentist but I have to admit that I do best when they put the lead x-ray apron on top of me and leave it there until we are done.  I know it is crazy but it is true.

I had a permanent crown put on today.  Took longer then expected and it took more Novocain then expected.

So I am of need of comfort. 

I recently finished this shawl and I am going to cuddle down with it this evening (probably while we watch Masterpiece Theater Sherlock on line!).  The red is a camel and the purpley edge is a wool silk.  It is the same pattern as the red shawl that I blogged about some time ago.

I changed the edge and softened the top edge of the camel with the wool/silk.  The camel is a bit scratchy but I was given the yarn.  Gifted is good! I have been using a crochet hook to use as a shawl pin.  It works for me!

Hopefully, some healing will go on tonight.  My face and jaw hurt.  Tomorrow is a new day.


white bean stew

I like to read the New York Times on line.  This last Wednesday there was a recipe for white bean stew with sausage.  Now, there is a stall at the farmer's market that has fabulous bacon that I have been wanting to try their sausage.  I thought this was a wonderful opportunity.  But did I really follow the recipe?  Not really.  When do I ever?  Maybe when I bake.......

White Bean Stew with Sausage

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound white beans (my preference are white beans from Rancho Gardo)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 onion, minced

4 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground thyme

1 teaspoon ground rosemary

1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile

1/2 teaspoon ground chipolte chile

1/2 teaspoon ground smokey paprika

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 pound italian sausage, sliced into chunks.

6 to 8 cups water or broth

In a crockpot (you can do this on the stove instead but this is easiest for me), dump the beans and 6 cups of water in.  Turn on low.  In a skillet, put in the sausage and brown.  Once browned, add to the beans.  Turn the heat down under the skillet to medium or medium low.  Add the olive oil to the skillet, add the onions and cook until golden.  Add the garlic and also cook until golden.  Add the rest of the spices and mix up well.  Pour everything in to the beans.

Now here is the hard part.  Cover this and walk away for about six hours (if on low).  You may wish to check the liquid level occasionally.

I dish this into a bowl and serve with bread.  It would be great with rice or pasta too.

Just so you know, I kicked up the herbs and spices compared to the New York Times recipe.  Doubled somethings.  Added others.  I always cook with what is in my refrigerator too.  So some vegetable ingredients went missing.  It did not seem to hurt anything.

By the way, that is Russell's most favorite spoon in the whole house!


what a week of spinning does....

I have been really calmed by spinning yarn this week.  It has taken the priority over sewing, though I do hope to start Russell's kilt tomorrow even though it is not on the weekend list.  Things like actually getting to the grocery store and digging in the yard are on the list.  Those small little things that get dropped when life is whirling around you.

But I have been spinning.

I filled this spindle.

I unwrapped the bobbin on to a niddy nod and tied the yarn so it would not tangle.  

And then I used a plastic milk jug with water in it as a weight to let it dry.

And now I have yarn!

I am hoping to get the whole pound of fiber spun.  Russell is going to get a Christmas hat and Danica may too.  I was thinking I needed another shawl.  There is nothing like too many shawls!  Makes me smile.