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Raspberry-Pear Pie with Pecan Nut Crust

One thing I love about Washington, is all the abundant seasonal local fruit.  These pears came from an organic farmer not far from my folks home.

I can barely wait to experience fall in Washington. The leaves are just beginning to change to vibrant golden hues with touches of cranberry speckles. The air is crisp in the morning, providing that need for the lightest of sweaters until the afternoon sun warms you.  So, this raspberry-pear pie sets the tone for the changes stirring about. I can barely hold back my desire to partake in frequent bowls of soup throughout the week.

Praying the cooler weather comes soon. I’m ready for fall!

PECAN NUT CRUST:

1/2 cup oats

1 cup pecans

1 cup organic all purpose flour

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

4 Tbsp. Earth Balance, melted

pinch of sea salt

RASPBERRY-PEAR FILLING:

3 pears peeled and sliced

1/8 cup organic cane sugar

2 Tbsp. arrowroot

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. lemon peel, minced

2 cups of fresh raspberries

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

For the crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place oats and pecans into a blender or spice grinder and coarsely grind.  In a bowl, mix the pecans, oats, flour, cinnamon, sugar and salt. Melt the Earth Balance in a saucepan, then add to the mixture and fold in the earth balance. Press the crust into a pie tart pan. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes, then set aside on a cooling rack.

For the filling: Peel and slice pears and place into a mixing bowl.  Sprinkle on the sugar, arrowroot, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, lemon peel, and vanilla. Fold in gently to combine all of the ingredients.  Gently add the raspberries and fold until mixed with the other ingredients.  Add the pie filling to the crust and then bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

 

 

 

 

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Crispy Crackers

Why make your own crackers, you might ask? Any mother could understand why.  This recipe takes a total of 25 minutes of my time. That being said, by the time I strap my three young daughters into their carseats, and make my way to the grocery store, and meander down the aisles with their harmonic wants and persistent grabbing at products, and then return to strapping them back into the car and back, and make my way home…. you get the point. I could be done without ever leaving home.  Plus, they are fresh and I know exactly what goes into them. The temporary displacement of scrambling for a quick grocery jaunt, is completely eliminated.  This is a recipe my mom passed along to me, and one I wish to share with you. These are delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup olive oil or butter

1/2 cup water, plus more as needed

1/4 cup sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix the flour and salt. Then add the oil or butter and water. Lightly blend the ingredients, adding more water as needed.

2. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until it has reached a thickness of no more then 1/8 inch.   If the dough is thicker then 1/8 inch, the crackers won’t be as crisp as they should be, so this is important.

3. Transfer the dough to an ungreased baking sheet, and lightly mark the dough into 2-inch squares using a knife. Don’t cut all the way through the dough.  Next, use a fork to poke tiny holes in the top of each cracker.

4. Sprinkle the crackers with salt and sesame seeds, and bake until crisp for 15-20 minutes. If you crackers are more then 1/8 think, extend the cooking time. Makes 36 crackers.

* I have tried the seeds two different ways, one the way the recipe suggests (topping before baking), the other is mixing them into the dough before adding the wet to dry. I prefer the second way to the first because the seeds and nuts stay in the cracker, as opposed to falling off.  Also, I added flax, chia, and sunflower.  Be creative. This recipe is just the beginning of what you can alter to make your own way.

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My at home co-op brings fresh vegetables every other day.

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Here, I topped the crackers with home made hummus, fresh picked mache, garden picked arugula, home grown lemon cucumbers, and heirloom tomatoes.

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Red Cabbage, Cranberry and Apple Coleslaw

My dear friend knows how much I love my vegetables.  Having taken the last two seasons off from our own garden, due to our move, her garden fresh cabbage was the perfect gift. Thank you Brianne Wells for knowing the ways to my heart.  You’re a very true friend in all matters, and I will miss the heck out of you.

This simple recipe is perfect for a summer afternoon.  Light and crisp.

COLESLAW

(yield: 8 servings)

Ingredients:

5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup agave syrup

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. olive oil

3/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 1/4 cup fuji apples, thinly sliced

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Directions:

Combine cabbage and cranberries into a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl combine: vinegar, agave nectar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.  Mix throughly.  Cover the cabbage combo and allow to chill for 2 hours. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

 

 

 

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Cilantro Walnut Pesto

It was that time I was in a pinch. I had invited guests over for dinner, and had run out of basil.  I recall I was making seitan and vegetable skewers brushed with pesto, over yellowed rice.  I had no time to to rush off to the store, so I scoured my fridge to see what alternative was available.  I had used walnuts in the past along with basil, so the walnuts were not a big deal.  I decided on cilantro, and a partnership was formed. I’m certain I’m not the first to do this. The combination of cilantro and walnut is a great marriage of flavors, and one that I have continued to enjoy. I hope you enjoy it as well.

 

CILANTRO WALNUT PESTO 

yield: 2  cups


 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup roasted walnuts

2 cups of cilantro

1 tsp. garlic

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp of salt, or to taste

1 Tbsp. of water to adjust texture (if you are using a blender)

Directions:

1. Wash Cilantro. Roast walnuts until scent is apparent.

2. Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

*Serve on pasta, brush on skewers, or use as a sandwich spread. So  many options.