How to Poach Pears

How to Poach Pears Lorie  Poached pears have such a lovely, graceful and elegant appearance that I kind of look at them as being synonymous with most any festive occasion, the holidays in particular. With their creamy white flesh and subtle sweetness, they are most agreeable to assuming a wide range of flavors… yet are especially delicious with the spices and warm notes we look to during the holidays… sweet wine, cranberry, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, vanilla, etc. And, perhaps the best part of poaching pears… other than their delicious flavor… is that they are relatively easy to make. If you can boil water, you can poach a pear! After all, poaching is just the process of simmering ingredients in a liquid or water until you achieve the desired doneness you are after. When you poach pears, you are

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Honeycrisp Apple, Brussel Sprout, and Kale Salad

Honeycrisp Apple, Brussel Sprout, and Kale Salad Lorie  This was our holiday salad… a crisp, crunchy, vibrant fresh mix of apples, shaved brussel sprouts and thinly sliced kale dotted with sweet, candied pecans and dried cranberries, all tossed with a light, lemon-honey-cider vinaigrette. Though most any Stemilt apple variety will do, I’m particularly partial to the Honeycrisp apple in this mix… a lovely, crisp, sweet variety with a flavor reminiscent of apple cider. While this salad is certainly not just a holiday salad (it’s a great fall-winter option given our abundance of delicious apples and beautiful, fresh brussel sprouts), the true significance of being this year’s winner as our holiday salad lies in the fact that we had to get a change approved! For a family that loves its traditions when it comes to the

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Haricot Verts & Roasted Bosc Pears

Haricot Verts & Roasted Bosc Pears LorieWhen it comes to the Thanksgiving feast, there are a myriad of ways to arrive at essentially the same meal: turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, etc. Turkeys are barbecued, broiled, deep-fried, roasted, spatchcocked, stuffed, rubbed, brined, marinated… you name it. And every side dish that accompanies the big bird to the table has its own litany of options and camps. Take mashed potatoes for example. Some people swear by Yukon Golds, others lean to White Rose or Russets. Some love their spuds creamy smooth, others prefer them smashed. There are some who turn to ricers to get the perfect consistency, others that opt for mashers or blenders. There’s no right way, no wrong way… only your way when it comes to this annual celebration. Every table has its own

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Apple-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins

Apple-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins LorieA muffin that calls itself a Morning Glory has, in my humble opinion, a bit to live up to. Though these muffins aren’t new to the baking scene and vary on just what gets incorporated — from a laundry list of seeds, nuts, dried fruits, etc. to just a pop of freshly grated carrot and a few spices — it wasn’t until I tasted one while visiting Seattle’s Ballard Coffee Works that I thought now that’s a glorious muffin! It was generous in size, yet extremely moist, just subtly sweet, delicately dotted with nuts and raisins, and capped with a top that had just a bit of a crisp bite. Perfection. Though I never learned where this particular shop orders their baked goods, I did set out to create my own version. Too often these muffins tend to become far too dense, either due to

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Rushing Rivers Pears

Rushing Rivers Pears TateOne of my favorite parts of my job is taking people on tours of our farms. Whether its cherries on Stemilt Hill, apples in the Columbia Basin, or pears in the nearby Wenatchee and Entiat River Valleys, touring the scenic areas where our orchards call home, experiencing the action of harvest, and sharing with people why these locales are perfectly suited for growing Stemilt fruits is simply the best! This blog opened up the door for me to share the beauty of our farms with you, and this week’s post does that in a whole new way. In August, we introduced a new label for our pears and with it, a new carton that these delicious fruits would be packed in (hopefully you’ve seen at your grocery store recently). We know that people want to know where their fruit comes from and who

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Pumpkin Apple Mini Muffins

Pumpkin Apple Mini Muffins BriannaBaking is one of my favorite things to do with my free time and admittedly the only thing I’m pretty confident about doing in the kitchen. Fall is the season where I find myself baking a lot, and two of my favorite fall flavors – pumpkin and apples – are often featured in one of my sweet creations. With Halloween coming up, I thought it would be fun to “treat” my son and his class with a fall-flavored snack that didn’t send the kiddos into a sugar coma. With my little baking buddy’s help, we whipped up these Pumpkin and Piñata Apple Mini Muffins in no time at all. They are moist, sweet, and spicy with lots of pumpkin flavor. The perfect fall treat (or on-the-go breakfast) for kids and adults alike. Apples are a great natural sweetener to use when

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5 Cheeses to Eat with Apples

5 Cheeses to Eat with Apples BriannaThe holiday season is almost here and the great variety of fresh Stemilt apples (and pears) available are here to help you create the perfect menu for any gathering you are hosting. Pairing fruits like apples and pears with cheese and wine – either on a platter with crackers or in a delicious appetizer recipe – are perfect ways to build a beautiful party presentation with a trio of flavors that appeal to any palate. In fact, we love pairing our fruits with cheese and wine so much that we created the Pairology tool to help you build custom pairings that fit your flavor preferences. Now, we’re celebrating the holiday season with a sweepstakes centered around Pairology complete with great prizes and delicious new recipes from a few of our favorite food bloggers. Before I

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Easy Apple Egg Carton Craft

Easy Apple Egg Carton Craft BriannaThe leaves are turning and starting to fall from trees, the air is crisp, and the temperatures keep cooling. There’s no doubt that the fall season has arrived in Washington State! Last weekend, I was able to enjoy a rare rainy Saturday while visiting family on the west side of the state (or “wet” side as many eastern Washingtonians call it). With not one, but THREE kids (my niece and nephew joined in on the fun) under age 5 to entertain indoors, I thought we’d better pull out a craft of some kind to keep the little hands busy. This easy apple egg carton craft is my combination of a few Pinterest ideas, and definitely did the trick! Eggs are among the staple foods in our house (my toddler loves them!), and so I have quite the collection of empty egg cartons. Rather

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Apple, Cabbage & Cauliflower Crunch Salad

Apple, Cabbage & Cauliflower Crunch Salad LorieThere’s a lot written about the pros and cons of a raw food diet, or a plant-based diet, none of which I’ve delved into at any great level as it isn’t our personal methodology. Like many folks, however, we have assumed a very common sense approach to eating, incorporating a variety of foods that are as “clean” and “natural” as possible, leaning more heavily to fruits and vegetables, and curbing refined sugars, starches and the like. In my own kitchen, there’s a lot of leafy greens, fresh fruits, vibrant vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, some fish, and a bit of chicken. Ultimately, moderation sets the tone on what gets made in our kitchen and what doesn’t. Having said all of that, eating raw (and/or plant based) has a strong personal appeal that is unrelated to nutritional value,

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Harvesting Honeycrisp Apples

Harvesting Honeycrisp Apples TateIt’s the most sought after apple in supermarkets today and almost always comes out on top when we ask people what their favorite apple is. Juicy with a honey-sweet flavor and incredible fracture, Honeycrisp apples are truly special. In this post, I’m going to share the extra measures we take to ensure that every Honeycrisp apple is harvested with care. After all, it takes special care to harvest a special apple like Honeycrisp. Honeycrisp apple harvest gets underway in late August or early September in Washington State and continues for about a month. Here at Stemilt, we are just about done with Honeycrisp apple harvest for the year. Our growers use a variety of methods to determine when to harvest their Honeycrisp apple crop. They get a harvest range off the dates their

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