red wine poached pears

Red Wine Poached Pears

i have this habit of buying
hard pears
i’m hit or miss with apples
my bananas are always purchased green
i have excellent radar with avocados,
choosing the ones that will soften
within days,
but peaches and pears are always
unequivocally un-ripe.
i don’t know man.
it’s just how i like
mah peaches and pears.

dw be like, what?
so i further puzzled him
by poaching them in wine,
because as a teetotaler
he wasn’t gonna partake,
which worked to my advantage,
because it was more for me.

Red Wine Poached Pears

red wine poached pears
i made three but depending on how big your saucepan is, up to five would be fine

*note: these are not scientific amounts, it was what was on hand at the time.

3-5 pears, peeled
3/4 bottle of red wine, i used a chianti. the other 1/4 had been consumed the evening before.
2-3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
1/4 cup maple syrup

use medium sized saucepan, one that can house 3-5 pears comfortably and when the liquid is poured in, the majority of the pears are submerged.

in the saucepan, add all the ingredients, except the pears. stir the wine until the maple syrup is fully mixed in. then gently add in the pears.

heat the mixture on medium, reaching a gentle simmer. poach the pears for up to an hour, turning them periodically. you’re aiming for even color and flavor distribution.

remove the pears, allow to cool.

at this point, you can chuck the wine, or cool it and make sangria. i reduced it down to make a simple sauce, but the pears were fine without.

serve when cool, as is, or with a side of whipped cream and drizzle of the wine mixture.



1 year ago: CMP – chocolate, marshmallow & peanuts ice cream
2 years ago: pull apart bread – two flavors
another poached pear recipe: spice poached pears

crock pot baked beans

Cranberry Beans

the city streets are littered
with snow piles now.
just earlier in the week
it was pristine, uninterrupted white.
while it was still in that phase
dw & i (and nuria)
were holed up at home.
we completed the Blacklist on Netflix
(just up to season 2)
and contemplated starting
something about making murderers.
3 people with 1 tv
makes for difficult Netflix
decision making.

meanwhile, with an out of commissioned kitchen
and all appliances in the living room,
none plugged in,
save the fridge,
it made for creative meal planning.
the slow cooker was in use,
and it’s pretty much the hero
and these beans are saving our lives
while we do daily dig outs.

Hearty Breakfast: crockpot beans + fried egg

crock pot baked beans
makes an assclown amount

*note: these are reminiscent of the baked beans eaten with hot dogs or hamburgers while camping, or during the 4th of july. kinda sweet, kinda smokey, and all sorts of warming. we’ve had it with just crusty bread for dinner, with rice for lunch and my fave: topped with a fried egg for breakfast. all i know is, it makes a lot and has kept me and two adults fed during the week as we muddle our way through snow and sludge and not much motivation to cook on a hot plate.

1 lb dry cranberry beans (really, any dry beans would work)
1 onion, chopped
4 strips center cut smokey bacon, chopped
1/4 cup molasses
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup tomato paste
2 TBL spicy mustard
1 very generous TBL cocoa powder
1/2 cup apple juice (an delicious option, in lieu of the juice, use coffee)
2 C water
salt/pepper to taste

depending on where you source your beans, soak them overnight.

in a crock pot put all the ingredients in, turn it on to LOW and ignore for 10 hours. if you think of it, around the 7 hour mark, stir and check the softness of the beans. you’re aiming for creamy beans and thickened sauce.

serve with crusty bread, or with an egg on top for a hearty breakfast.


Hearty Breakfast: crockpot beans + fried egg

2 years ago: Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies
1 year ago: brinjal pickle hummus

feijoada – Brazilian Bean Stew


we’ve been waking to low temps lately,
maybe not as low as the northern states,
but lower than the southern states,
and you know what?
low is low
and comparison is the thief of joy.
our kitchen is currently out of commission
but before we started
the renovation
dw made a stew that warmed us through,
staving off the chill,
and comparing to all other stews
i’ve thrown together,
let’s just say it’s
such a joy that dw can cook too.


feijoada – a brazilian bean stew
as dictated to me from dw who read 5 recipes and then mashed them all together

*note: feijoada is a stew of portuguese origin, with the respective portuguese colonies having versions of their own. dw went with a brazilian bent, though we did top off with asian rice vinegar to cut through the richness. using lime would be fine too. finish the meal with some slices of clementines or tangerines, to cleanse the palate. this is a super fatty, but sooooo good, stew.

1 onion, fine diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil
6 slices of smoky bacon
1 lb pork shoulder, large cubes
1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight
chorizo sausage links, sliced
3 bay leaves
dried chili flake to taste, optional
1 TBL coriander seeds, toasted and then finely ground
enough water or stock to cover
rice vinegar to serve

in a pan with a bit of olive oil saute the onions until translucent season with salt, add in the garlic and coriander seed to warm through. add the entire onion and garlic saute to the bottom of crock pot.

return pan to stove top and cook the bacon until crispy. pull bacon out and crumble. add to onion/garlic mixture in crock pot. (though, it can be added at the end, prior to eating. up to you).

drain off excess bacon fat, but reserving enough fat to cover pan (about 1-2 TBL) and brown the pork cubes on all sides. add pork cubes to crock pot.

saute the chorizo sausage, just to give it crisp edges. add to crock pot.

add soaked beans to crock pot, discarding the soaking water.

add the bay leaf and smattering of dried chili flakes, if using.

add water or stock to cover.

put crock pot on high until beans are soft, about 4 hours.

serve over plain rice with splash of rice vinegar and side of clementine slices.



1 year ago: frozen old fashioned waffles
2 years ago: kale + tofu balls with pasta
another portuguese concoction: chicken curry + chorizo and olives

mushroom stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff

our current living arrangement
feeds one more mouth
no, we did not have a baby or adopt.
i mean.
my dear friend nuria is crashing with us
while she finishes a contract at the local university
so it’s kinda like adopting a child
but fully fleshed out
with personality and potty trained.
she and i lived together before,
it wasn’t a hard transition for me.
i can’t speak for dw,
but i can only imagine how he feels
when she & i are:
pseudo meal planning
hogging the couch.
for the most part,
we eat dinner together,
the 3 of us.
i cooked for nuria when it was just us
i cooked for dw when it was just us
now i cook for all of us.
this was such a meal
that received rave reviews.

Mushroom Stroganoff

mushroom stroganoff
serves 4-6

*note: this was made vegan, but can easily be made with meat products: stock, actual cream and butter and yogurt, it’s entirely up to you.
**note: i didn’t use the mushroom stems, i save those in a gallon bag and freeze to make stock with scraps of random vegs.

1 lb white button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1/2 large onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
up to 1 cup of water or veg stock
1/2 cup white wine
healthy splash of Worcestershire sauce
1 heaping TBL dijon mustard
1/4 cup vegan yogurt, i use So Delicious
olive oil
1-2 TBL AP flour
smoked paprika, sprinkled liberally, about 2 tsp.
rough chopped flat leaf parsley, to garnish
1 package noodles, cooked according to package instructions

in a large pan, heat up a healthy splash of olive oil (medium high). add in the onion and garlic, saute until fragrant, anywhere from 5-10 minutes, you’re not aiming to caramelize it, though if it does, don’t freak out, it just adds another layer of flavor. *season with salt*

add in the mushrooms and saute. the mushrooms will brown and release a lot of liquid. don’t be alarmed.

at this point, boil noodles according to package instructions

add in the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the good brown bits. next, add in the dijon mustard and healthy splash of worchestershire sauce.

allow the mixture to reduce down, scraping the pan periodically.

spoon the flour over the mushrooms, minimum 1 tablespoon, or up to 2 tablespoons. stir the mushrooms until the flour has been incorporated into the oils/liquid/onions. slowly add in the water or stock, liquid amount at your discretion, depending on how saucy you it to be.

allow for the mixture and flour to warm though and thicken.

add in the yogurt and paprika, stir until fully incorporated.

by this point, the noodles should be done. the dish can be served with the sauce ladled over the noodles, or the noodles can be added into the pan and mixed through with the mushrooms.

garnish with parsley and more paprika.


Mushroom Stroganoff
1 year ago: crocheted broomstick cowl
2 years ago: crocheted minecraft creeper hats

chili + fennel seed pork pie

Chilli and fennel seed pork pie

with the arrival of 2016
i know i should be thinking about
goals and resolutions
clean slates
good intentions
and yet, as per usual,
i spend an inordinate amount of
time and brain cells
on food –
the making of it,
the consumption of it.
not the best use of my time
for sure,
but i’m not too pressed about it,
it is what it is,
and when i convince dw to
join in my frivolity,
it’s all the better.

he put together this here meal,
that we shared on new year’s day,
all because i saw it on
The Great British Bake Off,
and would not shut up about
Hot Water Pastry.
we spent the morning laboring
over the dough,
dicing the pork,
shaping the pies,
and then enjoying the
remainder of the day doing nothing.
time well spent methinks.

Chili + Fennel Seed Pork PiesChili + Fennel Seed Pork Pies

chili + fennel seed pork pies
adapted from ruby tandoh
makes 3 4″ pies

*note: this is a dish usually served on the cold side, which honestly, weirds me out. from my understanding, when the pastry is hot, it’s greasy and the lard is all melted and not at all palatable. so we ate the pies just as they were cooling at room temp, which i felt was a good compromise. we also had sides of roasted maple carrots and an arugula salad. even though these pies were about 4″ in diameter they were hefty – we only consumed half. to reheat, dw scraped out the meat and heated it up separately in a pan. we let the pastry warm to room temp and then put the meat back in. no judgement.


75g cubed butter, firm but not chilled
300g AP flour
¼ tsp salt
135ml water
75g lard

400g pork shoulder, diced
150g smoked bacon
2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt, to taste

preheat oven 400F

add the butter and flour in a bowl, and crumble them together with your hands until the mixture is like breadcrumbs. add in the salt.

meanwhile, in a small pan heat the water and lard over low heat, just until the fat melts. pour the liquid over the flour mixture and stir to combine. (at first we used a wooden spoon but then went back to using our hands, but take care, it is hot). press the pastry into a ball and knead it a few times to stretch it. set aside, uncovered while you do the other steps.

in a large bowl, mix the pork shoulder, bacon and spices. use your hands. season with salt/pepper, though be mindful, the bacon is likely salty.

the pastry should be cool to the touch. fyi: hot pastry is too pliable and oily, whereas cold pastry is hard and difficult to work with. you want something in the middle (i know, could i be more vague?).

portion 2/3 of the dough, and with that, cut into 3 equal pieces. set the remaining 1/3 piece aside. take one of the 3 pieces and roll out on lightly floured counter top, aim for about 8″ diameter, you’re aiming to cover the base of the pan and pull the pastry up the sides of it as well. the dough is so forgiving, slide it into the pan and use your fingers to press into corners and up the sides. repeat for remaining 2 pans.

firmly pack the meat mixture into the pans. with the remaining 1/3 dough, cut into 3 equal pieces and roll out to about 4 1/2″. transfer to top of the pies. seal the lid and sides together as best as possible. i used a fork to press down on the sides and make a pretty design, it’s not necessary. (i also used a star cookie cutter to lightly decorate the top, but i will tell you during the bake, it puffed up and the star kinda sorta disappeared. press down hard if you want to keep the design.) stab a hole in the middle with a knife to let the steam out during baking. before pies in oven, brush with beaten egg.

bake for 15 minutes and then lower temp to 350F and bake for additional 45 min to 1 hour. you’re looking for a golden brown crust.

cool completely in the pan, on a wire rack. once cool, refrigerate until ready to serve.


Chilli and fennel seed pork pie

1 year ago: lentil tacos – vegan
2 years ago: red pepper & baked egg galette – dairy free