Baked Bosc Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnuts Salad

P1200268-copy

P1200268-copy

This salad was inspired by my good friend and a guest chef on our site Tatyana Abel.  She originally came up and recreated an orgasmic dish she had tried many years ago which combines baked bosc pears, blue cheese and walnuts.  The link to her outstanding dish with superb presentation is here if you are interested.  I fell in love with this combination for the salad and well added few ingredients of my own.

They key three ingredients in this type of salad is baked pears, walnuts (with honey) and ofcourse Blue Cheese.  This is such amazing and most delicious combination, even considering the fact that I really don’t like Blue Cheese to begin with:)  But ever since trying this dish, i started liking this sharp and salty cheese.

P1200242leaf

“Blue cheese is a blanket term for cheeses which have been inoculated with Penicillium mold cultures, forming dark streaks, patches, or veins of blue-green mold. Some of the most famous cheeses in the world are blue cheeses, including Roquefort, Stilton, and Gorgonzola. As a general rule, blue cheese smells very pungent, and has a strong, tangy flavor. There are a number of culinary uses for blue cheese, which is readily available from most markets.
 
Sometimes blue cheese is seen labeled as “bleu cheese,” a nod to the French word for blue. Generic blue cheese is made by heating milk with rennet so that it curdles, and then stirring the mold in with the curds before pressing them, ensuring that the mold is evenly distributed in the cheese. The curds are pressed in a cheese mold and allowed to sit for several days before holes are made in the cheese to aerate it. Next, the cheese is stored in a cool cheesecave to ripen for three to six months, or longer in some cases, before being packaged for sale.Blue cheese requires careful handling while it is made and processed for sale, and home consumers should also take good care of their blue cheese by keeping it well wrapped and cold.” 
 
Source: What is Blue Cheese? http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-blue-cheese.htm.  Retrieved on June 26, 2013
 
Ingredients:
2 Bosc Pears
1/2 Cup of Walnuts
1/3 Cup of Blue Cheese
4 Tablespoons of Honey
2 Cups of Arugula
1 Avocado
2 Cucumbers
1/2 Cup of Dried Cranberries
1 Teaspoon of White Balsamic Vinegar
 
P1200207
 
How to make Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnuts Salad:
 
1. Set your oven to 350F to preheat while you wash and get your pears ready by placing them in the foil baskets inside your baking dish.  Then set them to bake for 40 minutes in the oven.  The baking time may vary depending how ripe the pear is, the softer the pear the less cooking time will required.
 

P1200212

2.  Meantime wash your arugula, set on the plate and sprinkle it with dried cranberries.

 P1200221   
 
3.  Then use or Julien Slicer and slice your cucumber in a very thin long strips, but can also just cut it too…up to you:)
 
P1200229
 
4.  Then cut up slices of your avocado.  Can use avocado slicer which is a very convenient tool.  But I didn’t have it available so just did it by hand with my ceramic knife which does an amazing just cutting vegettables.  
 
P1200231
 
5.   Add your avocado and cucumbers to your salad.
 
P1200234 
 
6.  Now prepare your nuts by grinding them coarsley through the nut chopper.  I use the one by Progressive which is simple enough to do by hand, easy to clean and which has both fine and coarse grinding options.  Here is a link if you’re interested.   Once your nuts are grinded add your honey and mix them well.
 
P1200238
 
7.  Add your nuts with honey to your salad.
  
P1200251
  
8.  Now cut up your blue cheese and also sprinkle it on the top of your salad.
 
P1200242
 
 9.  When your pears are ready take them out of then oven and cut one of the into pieces.
 
P1200267
 
 10.  Then add them to your salad.  Finally add 1 teaspoon of White Balsamic Reduction and 1/2 a teaspoon of White Balsamic Vinegar to your salad and mix well.  There are different ways your can serve it.  First version is serving it together with your other pear placed in the middle of you salad.
 
P1200276
 
 11.  Another way is by simply mixing everything up and plating your salad.  I also like to use food rings to make it look nicer, you can just add it to your bowl will still be amazingly delicious.
 
P1200281
 
I hope you enjoyed this salad and this recipe combination.  I know there are so many versions of this salad out there…what is your favorite?  Would love to hear your comments and ideas!
 
Love,
 
451C4ACF5DBE383B5B17C2D9D97F000D
 
P12002855
 
Baked Bosc Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnuts Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Baked Pears with Blue Cheese, Walnuts in Honey, Dried Cranberries, Cucumber, Avocado and Arugula, drizzled with White Balsamic Reduction and Balsamic Vinegar.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 Bosc Pears
  • 1 Cup of Walnuts
  • ⅓ Cup of Blue Cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons of Honey
  • 2 Cups of Arugula
  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • ½ Cup of Dried Cranberries
  • 1 Teaspoon of White Balsamic Vinega
Instructions
  1. Set your oven to 350F to preheat while you wash and get your pears ready by placing them in the foil baskets inside your baking dish. Then set them to bake for 40 minutes in the oven. The baking time may vary depending how ripe the pear is, the softer the pear the less cooking time will required.
  2. Meantime wash your arugula, set on the plate and sprinkle it with dried cranberries.
  3. Then use or Julien Slicer and slice your cucumber in a very thin long strips, but can also just cut it too…up to you:)
  4. Then cut up slices of your avocado. Can use avocado slicer which is a very convenient tool. I didn’t have it available so just did it by hand with my ceramic knife which does an amazing just cutting vegettables.
  5. Add your avocado and cucumbers to your salad.
  6. Now prepare your nuts by grinding them coarsley through the nut chopper. Once your nuts are grinded add your honey and mix them well.
  7. Add your nuts with honey to your salad.
  8. Now cut up your blue cheese and also sprinkle it on the top of your salad.
  9. When your pears are ready take them out of then oven and cut one of the into pieces
  10. Then add them to your salad. Finally add 1 teaspoon of White Balsamic Reduction and ½ a teaspoon of White Balsamic Vinegar to your salad and mix well. There are different ways your can serve it. First version is serving it together with your other pear placed in the middle of you salad.
  11. Another way is by simply mixing everything up and plating your salad. I also like to use food rings to make it look nicer, you can just add it to your bowl will still be amazingly delicious.
  12. Enjoy!
 
 

Ricotta Cheese Pancakes

P1190797

198996_10151619425249002_1062161344_n

Ricotta Cheese Pancakes are the best fluffy, soft and moist pancakes that I have ever tasted! I’ve tried most, if not all available recipes out there for making different kinds of pancakes.  I made them from the box, from buttermilk, from milk, from tvorog…but this recipe is still our family’s favorite.  I make these at least once a week which also lasts us for few days.

These pancakes are so versatile that they can be served with anything and everything.  The version above is served with fresh mango, on the side with pineapple curd and mango sauce, surrounded by chocolate raspberry sauce.  I’ve also served them with fresh raspberries, maple syrup and melted chocolate and topped with confectioners sugar.  If you have never tried out these pancakes definitely give them a try.

IMG_0804

Ingredients:

1 cup of ricotta cheese
2 Eggs (I prefer brown organic eggs that are cage free)
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
4 Teaspoons of Sugar
4 Table Spoons of Flour
3 Table Spoons of Vegetable Oil (1 for the mix, the other two to moisten the pan)
 
 

P1190768

How to make Ricotta Cheese Pancakes:

1.  Break your eggs in the bowl and wisk it well until egg yolk and egg whites are well blended.  I used the wisk with the round balls on button of it, which also helps well with blending limps, especially when it’s done manually.  You can use your electrical mixer through ever step of this too!

P1190772

2.  Then add your ricotta cheese, sugar and  baking soda.  Continue mixing until well blended.

P1190774

3.  Then sift in your flour slowly while you continue to mixing it.  Like I said before, you can perfectly use your electric mixer to do the job well for you.

P1190776

4.   Go ahead now and add between half to one table spoon of vegetable oil to your mix. This will help your pancakes to be more moist, require less or no oil for making them and prevent from sticking to the pan.

P1190778

5.  Now use your large table spoon to add your pancakes mix to your preheated and slightly oiled pan.  My favorite brand for the flat pancake pan is by Calphalon, it’s non stick and distributes the heat evenly…you can click here for more info, it’s also has been added to our shop for your convenience.

P1190781

6.  This pan should fit about 9 small size pancakes.

P1190789

7.   These pancakes cook really fast, so don’t leave your kitchen.  You will need less then a minute on each side.  You know they are ready to be turned once the sides firm up a little bit.

P1190790

8.  This is how they look turned over.  As you can also see that they will start to rise a little and get fluffier, but unfortinatley will flatten out again when cooled.   Now you are all done!  Transfer your pancakes from the pan to the plate, add some fresh fruit, syrup or sauce and enjoy!

451C4ACF5DBE383B5B17C2D9D97F000D

P1190797

 

Ricotta Cheese Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ricotta Cheese Pancakes served with fresh Mango, Pineapple Curd and Mango Sauce surrounded by Chocolate Raspberry Sauce.
Author:
Recipe type: Pancakes, Breakfast
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 2 Eggs (I prefer brown organic eggs that are cage free)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 4 Teaspoons of Sugar
  • 4 Table Spoons of Flour
  • 3 Table Spoons of Vegetable Oil (1 for the mix, the other two to moisten the pan)
Instructions
  1. Break your eggs in the bowl and wisk it well until egg yolk and egg whites are mixed.
  2. Then add your ricotta cheese, sugar and baking soda. Continue mixing until well blended.
  3. Then sift in your flour slowly while mixing it. Can do it by hand or with your electric mixer.
  4. Now add ½ to 1 table spoon of vegetable oil to your mix. This will help your pancakes to be more moist, require less or no oil for making them and prevent from sticking to the pan.
  5. Use your large table spoon to add your pancakes mix to your preheated and slightly oiled pan.
  6. These pancakes cook really fast, so don’t leave your kitchen. You will need less then a minute on each side. You know they are ready to be turned once the sides firm up a little bit.
  7. Once done, you can serve them with fresh fruit, maple syrup, and or any other sauces of your choice.

 

 

 

Strawberry Jello Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit

IMG_1520

IMG_1520

Unlike a lot of recipes that I make which I either find in cookbooks or online, this recipe was inspired by a new bakeware dish that I purchased at the local Marshall’s store shortly before winter holidays.  I was so excited to use it for festive holiday dishes this is what inspired me to come up with this dish (any many more to come:).  Making Jell-O is probably one of the easiest things one can do, just buy a ready made flavored little box, add water, put in the fridge and homemade desert is ready.   However, I wanted something a little more creamy and healthy, thus came the idea of using fresh fresh fruit embedded in Jello and Sour Cream/Cream Cheese base mixed with Sugar and Vanilla Extract.  It turned out absolutely delicious.  This desert also looked stunning in person, even this photo can’t do the justice to display it’s 3D effect:).  Most important of all however, it was extremely easy to make.

Norporo Holiday Tree Bundt CakepanMany of my friends and relatives have been asking me where to get it, and while I haven’t seen it in Marshal’s since, I was able to find it on Amazon, which now actually sells it much cheaper.  It is made by Nordic Ware and here is a link for it to amazon, we also added this product to our shop page for your convenience.

     Ingredients:

Product_Gelatin_Dessert_strawberry@2xJell-O Layer

1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 pack of strawberry Jello 

 

0004100003500_500X500Cheesecake Layer

2 tablespoons (2 envelopes) of unflavored gelatin powder
1 cup of cream softened cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup of fresh raspberries

 

How to make Strawberry Jello Cake

1.  Wash your berries, but keep them in separate bowls.  Dilute your Strawberry Jello according the instructions on the package you will be using.  However, you might add just a little bit less water to it for your jello to be slightly firmer for this cake.  In this recipe I used Jell-O brand Strawberry gelatin desert.  This can be bought in any local supermarket.

2.  Pour your jello in the form you will be using, it can be any form you would like it to be.  I used my Nordic Ware Holiday Bundt Tree Pan form I talked about earlier to make this cake.

3.  Then add your fresh blueberries inside, you will see that they will be floating on the top of the Jello and that is exactly what we need. Now you are ready to make bottom layer, so set this  form aside and leave it in your refrigerator until it firms up (can take 1-2 hours).

IMG_1488

4.  To make the bottom layer take out your pack of unflavored gelatin, softened package of cream cheese (can use regular 8 oz package), 1/2 cup of sour cream, vanilla extract and 3/4 cups of sugar.  Take a small saucepan add your 3/4 cups of water and sprinkle with 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin evenly over the water, allowing it to absorb the water for two minutes.    Then bring water to a boil while stirring well until all your gelatin is dissolved.

5. Transfer gelatin into a medium bowl, add your cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract.  Beat the mixture until it is smooth and allow to cool until room temperature.

IMG_1489

6.  Now take out your mold with strawberry Jell-O from the refrigerator, make sure that the mixture is firm.  Then gently pour your cheesecake mixture over your your first jello layer and add your fresh strawberries evenly spreading them on the form.

IMG_1490

7.  Now you are ready to put it back in the refrigerator for few hours until the bottom layer will be set.  Finally once your cake is firm, you will need to turn it upside down.  To do that, take a large bowl (larger then mold, so the whole mold would fit inside of it) and fill it up with warm/to hot water and dip your form in the water for about 10-15 seconds.  Then take your cake stand or a large plate and by holding two of them (one over the other), turn the mold upside down.  Since your Jello-O might get a little softer around the edges, you might want to put it back in the refrigerator  for 15 minutes to firm up again.  Your cake is ready!  Enjoy!

Love,

451C4ACF5DBE383B5B17C2D9D97F000D

IMG_1515IMG_1526

Strawberry Jello Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Strawberry Jello Cheesecake with fresh blueberries and raspberries
Author:
Recipe type: Desert
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • Jell-O Layer
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 pack of strawberry Jell-O
  • Cheesecake Layer
  • 2 tablespoons (2 envelopes) of unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 cup of cream softened cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Wash your berries, but keep them in separate bowls. Dilute your Strawberry Jell-O according the instructions on the package you will be using. However, you might add just a little bit less water to it for your Jell-O to be slightly firmer for this cake and pour it in the form you will be using.
  2. Then add your fresh blueberries inside, you will see they will be floating on the top of the Jell-O and that is exactly what we need. Now transfer this form to the refrigerator until it firms up (can take 1-2 hours).
  3. To make the bottom layer take a small saucepan add your ¾ cups of water and sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin evenly over the water, allow it absorb the water for two minutes. Then bring water to a boil while stirring well until all your gelatin is dissolved.
  4. Transfer gelatin into a medium bowl, add your cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat the mixture until it is smooth and allow to cool until room temperature.
  5. Now take out your mold with strawberry Jell-O from the refrigerator, make sure that the mixture is firm. Gently pour your cheesecake mixture over your first Jell-O layer and add your fresh strawberries evenly spreading them on the form.
  6. Transfer the form back in the refrigerator for few hours until the whole cake will be set. Finally once your cake is firm, you will need to turn it upside down.
  7. Take a large bowl (larger then mold, so the whole mold would fit inside of it) and fill it up with warm/to hot water and dip your form in the water for about 10-15 seconds. Then take your cake stand or a large plate and by holding two of them one over the other, turn the mold upside down. Since your Jello-O might get a little softer around the edges, you might want to put it back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up again. Your cake is ready! Enjoy!

 

Copyright © 2013 Flavor Shades