The Hostess with the Coast’ness

December 19, 2010

While everyone is worried about buying just the right gift for everyone on their football field-length list and afraid of putting more junk into their trunk, I get cookin’.  Avoiding the retail circus and focusing on nourishing the people I love with special attention to creativity in the kitchen is the think I crave the most and trading out empty calorie treats for fresh, seasonal produce desserts is how I keep it cleaner.  To counter act the effects of one too many cookie exchanges, friends and family walk away from the table without feeling so guilty.  After all, we love pears but we don’t need to take on their shape.

So when I received a reusable bag full of unique specialty fruit from my friends at Coast Produce for their Holiday Recipe Challenge , I had a permagrim the whole way home, wheels turning on how to put it to good use.  I love the simplicity of fresh fruit, raw and unadulterated.  After all, though, this was a challenge and another great excuse to get my festive game on.  With a combination of red pears, Asian Pears, finger sized baby bananas (I had to hide these from everyone, they’re so darn cute), chestnuts and green apples, I had a crunchy, sweet and nutty symphony in my hands.  Reminds me of someone I know.

A sample of the fresh seasonal goodies that come to your doorstep from Coast Produce.

Before I got to work, I recruited my 9 year old daughter to give everything a good cleaning with the Eat Cleaner Wipes they provided (Whoever came up with those Wipes is a sheer genius!) to remove any bacteria, wax or residue.   Once we had all of the ingredients prepped, it only took fifteen minutes to get dessert on the table.

Just call me the Hostess with the Coast’ness. 

Happy holidays and enjoy!!



Holiday Apple and Tw0-Pear Compote with Granola and Chestnut Streusel




A seasonal dessert that leaves everyone warm and fuzzy inside


Serves 4-6

Method:  Core 3 red pears, 1 Asian Pear and 3 Roma, Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples.  Dice them into uniform 1/2″ squares, and spritz with our Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash to keep them from browning.  Place in a medium-sized metal bowl and chill in the fridge.

Roast a handful of chestnuts in the oven at 400F for about 30 minutes or until shell easily peels away from inner flesh. Let cool before handling, then peel and chop finely.

Next, take 1 Cup of your favorite granola (I used an apple granola with walnuts) and toast in a dry saute pan, stirring constantly.  Add chopped chestnuts with 2 Tablespoons of butter,  ground cinnamon and brown sugar to taste.  Place on a baking sheet and let bake for about 15 minutes until light brown. 

In the meantime, take apple and pear combo and combine in a saucepan with 1/2 Cup unfiltered apple juice, 1 teaspoon grated fresh giner and 2 cinnamon sticks.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Fruit should still retain a little crunch.  Remove from heat and let cool.

In individual bowls, layer cooked fruit topped with chestnut granola streusel.  Top with a dollop of fresh organic whipped cream or organic vanilla ice cream.  You could also add slices of those adorable finger sized bananas but we option to eat those a la carte.

My favorite food prep utensil

For more inspiration, check out the Coast Produce Holiday Recipe Challenge and find out more about their CRAVE! office delivery program.  It’s the antidote to donut mania and a like Christmas every day of the year.


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