Thanksgiving is tomorrow. We have so much to be THANKFUL for. One of my favorite things to do at Thanksgiving dinner is to going around the table when everyone shares what they are thankful for. It’s honestly been a very challenging year for our family. My father was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. We are very healthy, active people so it came as a huge shock for all of us. I knew he was a strong, positive man, but now I see that he is truly the strongest person I know.
It’s kind of fitting to talk about him because EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING I learned in the kitchen I learned from him. At a very young age, probably two…he had my sister and I cooking. The Joy of Cooking was always in the kitchen so we didn’t just learn how to make a few basic dishes, we learned some real technique behind cooking. My Dad has served hundreds of thousands of people delicious food for the past fifty years. All of his customers absolutely love and adore him. He is the epitome of a “people person.” I love him so much and am so thankful for all that he has taught me. After five months of initial treatment, the doctors say he is in remission. My gratitude for modern medicine (even though I typically lean toward eastern and alternative therapies) and all of the doctors and nurses who have helped us is endless. In a few days, he has a big stem cell treatment coming up, so we are hopeful he will be completely cured. Corey and I sure hope 2015 will be a better year. Even still we have many things to be thankful for….Family, Friends, Health, Delicious Nutritious Food, Community, Music, Love, Smiles, Dance, Laughter, Finding the humor or sliver of good in everything….Paving the way for our Zen Sweet Life.
I know there is a lot of pumpkin and sweet potato recipes for Thanksgiving and sometimes pie gets a little boring, so I bring you a fun, easy, different dessert. Apple Pear Crisp, a sugar free (except for the fruit) Autumn Dessert.
Apple Pear Crisp
2 pounds firm Apples (6 apples)
2 teaspoons grated orange or lemon zest
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice
1/2 cup ZenSweet
1/4 cup whole wheat or gluten free flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups ZenSweet
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) melted unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.Peel, core, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. You can leave the skin on half of the pears and apples for some added fiber and crunch. I make mine with the skin on half, it’s healthier and cuts back on the preparation time involved.Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9X11 or 9X13 baking dish. Just make sure it is a deep baking dish large enough for all the filling. Combine the crisp topping ingredients. Stir well until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.Place the baking dish on a foil covered sheet pan just in case it runs over. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm. And if you feel going the extra step…Serve with fresh whipped cream or sugar free vanilla ice cream, Clemmy’s brand is our favorite.