admin / November 30, 2015

Pears with Ricotta Filling

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Here’s a recipe I recently tried out that’s somewhat of a break from pies and anything overly heavy. I bought some pears, and as everyone knows they’re either in one of two conditions. Either perfect for using as paperweights or mushy and only fit for smoothies. I don’t know why there’s never a middle ground for this fruit, but that’s the way it is. So before my purchase turned into mush, I decided to slow cook them. The result was a half descent pear that didn’t fall to pieces. The filling I made is a little more decadent depending on whether or not you use full fat or skim milk ricotta. Either way, they’re delicious and if you really want to splurge, I think the filling would be great between layers of puff pastry too and drizzled with melted chocolate.

Ingredients-

4 pears, washed, destemmed, peeled, cored and cut in half

2 tablespoons butter or low fat spread

½ cup ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (adjust the amount depending of your love of sweetness)

¼ cup chocolate chips/morsels

1 tablespoon crystallized ginger

¼ cup dried sweetened cranberries

 

How to make-

Place the pears in the slow cooker and dot them with the butter. Cook on low for about an hour or two depending on how ripe the pears are to begin with.

Meanwhile chop the chocolate chips, ginger and cranberries together.

In a small bowl, add the ricotta cheese and stir in the confectioner’s sugar. Stir in the chocolate mixture but reserve a tablespoon of it for decoration.

When the pears are ready, put two halves on a plate and add some of the ricotta cheese mixture down the middle of each one. Repeat with the rest of the pears and remaining filling and then dust all of them with the reserved chocolate mixture.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

 

 

admin / November 12, 2015

My First Shopping Trip to Aldi

After hearing about the Aldi supermarkets for years, last week I took my first shopping adventure there. It’s a nearly opened one and luckily only about a few miles from where I live. I’m a price shopper more than a brand one so I knew that my shopping style would probably be a good match.

For those of you who’ve never shopped there, you pay 25 cents for the cart which is refunded when you take the cart back and you need your own shopping bags which I prefer anyway, plus you pack everything in what’s known as a bagging area.

I have to say after my first trip there I’m a huge Aldi fan…I even went back there yesterday to buy some cast iron skillets and casserole dishes that were just $29.99.

As far as quality and taste, all the things I purchased were equal to, if not better than other stores where I’d pay a lot more. On my first trip I had a full cart and the total was around $130. I know when I have that much in a cart at another store in the area, it’s usually around the $200 mark.

Some buys I especially liked were the red grapes which were 2.39 for a two pound bag. I usually pay that per pound and these were some of the best I’ve tasted. I bought two more bags on yesterday’s trip because I’ve been snacking on them while I write.

Frozen salmon which was excellent. Lots of varieties of gourmet cheeses that are a lot more expensive where I usually shop. Bags of frozen veggies were a great buy two. Some unusual ones like eggplant, peppers and zucchini that I used in a lasagna. Yesterday I bought a cauliflower bake and also bags of parmesan garlic potatoes. The canned veggies were a great price too, and the milk and eggs were a lot cheaper than  where I’ve been shopping.

While you might not find everything you need there…for example, I couldn’t find any veggie burgers but maybe other Aldi stores stock them. And you won’t find items you can use coupons for, but overall this is a store I’ll now be doing the bulk of my grocery shopping at.

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