Jessica’s Morning Oatmeal


Good morning!  We were staying with our kids recently and Jessica pulled this dish of oatmeal from oven, hot & fruity & just a bit crunchy.  Add some warm milk and it’s the loveliest breakfast.

So I brought that recipe home and here’s my version– the best baked oatmeal yet!  (and we’ve eaten our share of baked oatmeal, let me tell you…)

2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup kefir or buttermilk
1 cup water
1 egg
3 tab. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
2 tsp. vanilla
1 pound fruit (pears, nectarines, blueberries)*
garnish:  a pitcher of cream (or milk) to serve/more syrup (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, stir up the maple syrup, buttermilk, water, egg, vanilla and 1/2 of the melted butter.  Set aside.

Cut the fruit to small chunks and spread it on the bottom of a 9″ square of 9″ deep round making dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Spoon the oat mixture over the fruit.  Then carefully pour the liquid mixture over the top of it all.

Bake the oatmeal at 375 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes until the oats are cooked through.  Drizzle the remaining butter over the oatmeal and serve with cream and syrup if you want a little more sweetness.

*I used 2 nectarines, 1 pear, 1 cup of blueberries (all unpeeled–easy!)

Caramel Pear Cake


Hello there– It’s that time of year when dinner can shift from leaning in around the family room table, to catching cool evening breezes under the maple trees in the back yard.   So last week friends came over the share an outdoor “pot luck salad supper” — perfect summer kick off!

And for dessert we had Miriam’s tart, Glenda’s legendary lemon bars, Joanne’s super strawberry cake and this caramel pear cake.  Sweet ending to time around the table with friends.

P.S. The best thing about this cake is that there is more pears, nuts mixed in than batter– so it’s fruity sweet crunchy sweet.

2 large pears, peeled, seeded & cut in bits
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1  1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
garnish:  powdered sugar,  1/4 cup salted caramel*

Prepare the pears and walnuts.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the egg, oil and vanilla (batter will be very stiff!)  Fold in the pears and walnuts until it’s thoroughly combined.

Spoon the batter into a 8″ or 9″ cake pan** that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes until a thin knife inserted comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for an hour or so.  Then dust on a little powdered sugar through a sieve.  Drizzle the salted caramel over the top.

If you serve it with ice cream, be sure to have a little pitcher of warm caramel to top it all!

*You can make your own caramel– I used Smuckers salted caramel from a jar!
**I like a springform pan because it’s easier to extract the cake and set it on a pretty plate.

Chocolate Pear Cake

IMG_3794Hello cake eaters–  Some cakes are elegant fancy dinner cakes, some are colorful festive birthday cakes, but this little guy is a homely nubbly little everyday cake–the sweetest part is the pears tucked inside. And with double chocolate and a little mound of whipped cream, it’s just right.

1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tab. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup canola oil
2 pears, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
optional:  whipped cream & cocoa nibs** (or more mini chocolate chips) for garnish

IMG_3785In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cocoa.  then mix in the vanilla, egg, milk and oil.  Finally fold in the pear chunks and mini chocolate chips.

Scrape the thick batter into a 9″ or 10″ cake pan* that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Put it into a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes until it’s cooked through.

*I like to use a springform pan to make it easier to take the cake from the pan to serve it.
** If you live in CA, the cocoa nibs are available at Sprouts!



Olive Oil Pear & Walnut Cake


Hello all– It’s officially baking season– a little late here, but all the more welcome!  The market was loaded with stack of big bright pears this week just when I came across this recipe for a rustic little cake made with olive oil.

So when the Monday friends came in last week it was on the table– with a heaping bowl of whipped cream.  The tender pears, sugar walnuts and sturdy little cake just belong together.  I think you’d like it too!

2 large pears, peeled, seeded and sliced
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup unflavored yogurt
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped– divided
3 tab. more of sugar

IMG_3773Prepare the pears and set aside.

Whisk the eggs and 1/2 cup sugar together for 2 minutes.  Then stir in the olive oil and yogurt.  Next mix in the flour, baking powder and salt just until it’s all blended.  Finally fold in 1/2 cup of the walnuts.

Then scoop the stiff batter into a 10″ round cake pan (I used a tart dish) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Arrange the pear slices in a circle over the cake batter.  Then sprinkle the other 1/2 cup of walnuts on top and dust the the 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Drop it into a 350 degree over for 40 to 45 minutes until the cake is cooked through (test for crumbs with a sharp knife).  Lovely served warmish with piles of whipped cream!


Pear & Cabbage Cole Slaw


Hi there– Cole slaw.  I’m such a big fan!  Not those mushy sour cole slaws.  I like it crunchy and a little sweet– to balance out my pulled pork or bar-b-qued burger!  And this recipe gets a lovely sweetness from pears with plenty of cabbage crunch as well.  You can make it in 10 minutes.  What’s not to love about this little bowl of sweet, green crunch?


4 tab. mayonnaise
1 tab. cider vinegar
1 tab. sugar
1/4 tsp. poppy seeds
dash of salt
grind of fresh pepper

Stir the dressing ingredients all together in the bottom of an ample mixing bowl.

1/4 small green cabbage
1 green pear (not too ripe)

Chop cabbage to bits.  Remove the core from the pear and julian it to neat little sticks.
Mix this all into the dressing and enjoy– best eaten cold from the fridge.  Makes 4 scrumptious servings.


Pear Muffins with Crystalized Ginger


Hi all–  So I bought a tub of candied ginger to make some gingered biscuits* for breakfast when our kids were visiting –Then with a bit of the leftover candied ginger I tried these pear muffins with ginger for a breakfast with my mom.  They came out just fine.  BUT– I have 98% of that tub of candied ginger left sitting in my cupboard.  Any ideas how to make good use of it??  I need a few more tasty ginger recipes…

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk**
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut to bits
1 tab. crystalized ginger** minced fine

IMG_3486Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then stir in the buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla.  Finally fold in the pear chunks and minced crystallized ginger.  Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups lined with muffin papers and bake them up at 350 degreese for 15 to 18 minutes– until they are golden and firm to the touch.

Serve them hot of breakfast.  And leftovers are fine with a big leafy salad for lunch or dinner.  Hope you enjoy them!


*The ginger biscuit recipe is at:

** I use a couple tablespoons of cider vinegar added to milk to take the place of buttermilk.  Let it sit a couple minutes to thicken.

Ginger Pear Tart

IMG_8945Hello all– My young moms group came last night–Big Fun– laughing and talking and praying and eating.  It’s just for dessert, but it’s pretty much a given that the dessert will be one that requires a mound of whipped cream along side of it.  So this week it was this Ginger Pear Tart.  I’m eating a leftover piece right this minute while I’m writing to you all… tender and sweet.


1 cup flour
3 tab. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 egg yolk
Mix the flour, sugar and salt.  Then cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or food processor) until you have coarse crumbs.  Add in the egg yolk and continue to blend until it’s a ball of pastry.  Gently press it into a 10″ tart pan or pie dish.

3 large pears, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg
3 tab. flour
3 tab. white sugar
3 tab. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/3 cup sliced almonds

I like the pears just in half, cut out the core and make nice big slices.  Lay them in a nice pattern over the pastry in the tart pan.  Then blend together the cream and the egg.  drizzle it over the pears.  Stir together the flour, sugars and ginger.  Sprinkle this over the pears as well.  Then top it all with the almonds.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until the crust is nicely browned and the pears are tender when you stick in a sharp knife.

Whipped cream:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream*
2 tsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. instant vanilla pudding mix (to stabilize the cream)

Serve this along side the warm tart.  There’s never too much whipped cream.

*Buy a pint of whipping cream, this will give you just enough for the fillling cream and the whipped cream.