It's official, fall is here. Instead of heading out in the cold, stay in and make yourself comfy with none other than fall's favorite ingredient; apple cider. Whether you're making dinner for two, having drinks with friends, or baking up a storm, apple cider is the perfect addition to keep you feeling warm.
Stuffed Roasted Pears
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Three ripe but firm Anjou pears (doesn't have to be Anjou but should have about the same shape).
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons worth)
Three ounces coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup apple cider (they have a great assortment at Whole Foods if you can't get to a farmer's market)
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 ounces baby arugula
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel the pears, slice in half length-wise, and take a small slice off the rounded part of the pear to keep from wobbling in the baking dish. Using a sharp paring knife or melon baller, hollow out the middle of the pear to get rid of the seeds and to create a deep well. Toss with a decent amount of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown and place them core side up in a baking dish so they're packed nice and snug.
Break up the blue cheese and mix with the dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Split up the mixture evenly filling in the center of the pears. Heat up the apple cider on the stove, just enough so the brown sugar is easily dissolved when whisked in. Pour mixture over and around the pears in the baking dish and bake pears for 30 minutes, basting occasionally with apple cider mixture.
Before serving split up arugula among the plates. Whisk together ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup basting liquid, and olive oil to create the dressing. Dress the salad and place baked pear on top, finishing it with some more of the basting liquid and touch of salt.
The above receipe is courtesy of one of our favorite StyleCasters, Jill Magenheim. Being well versed in food culture, her delicious recipe is sure to please!
Now that you've done the roasting, it's time perpare the perfect drink for the toasting.
Apple Cider Au Pear
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3/4 oz brandy of your choice
1/2 oz pear brandy (we recommend this aged pear brandy, distilled in both France and Oregon)
5 oz. of apple cider
Fill a shaker with ice, add both brandy and cider. Add a few dashes of the ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Enclose the shaker, and shake! Strain into a martini glass, or if you prefer, fill a rocks glass with ice and pour. Slice your apple into thin wedges and use to garnish. Cheers!
After a great dinner, why not bake apple cider muffins to last you all week.
Apple Cider Muffins
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2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup raisins
2 cup apple cider
6 tbsp of melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and raisins. Take an egg in a seperate bowl,wisk. Pour in the apple cider, butter, and and whisked egg into the flour batter. Stir until blended (don't worry if you can get out all the lumps, it will tend to be a little uneven ). Line your muffin tray with cute muffin wrappers. Fill each slot 3/4 with batter. Springle sugar and cinnamon on top, and bake for 20 minutes.
Now you have three new delicious treats, to keep you warm and well fed this fall. Bon appetit!
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