Poached Pears


Poached Pears with Frozen Custard and Orange Slice Garnish  Picture by Connie Cockrell

Lots has happened to me since my last post in June. July held the Payson Book Festival for which I am the director, then August is prep for the Northern Gila County Fair which is the weekend after Labor Day. Then, well, I was just tired.

But, news! In August I began eating the Paleo Diet. I love it! I lost 15 pounds in August alone. If you don’t know what the Paleo Diet is, a quick explanation is that you stop eating grains and dairy. You can Google it for a more complete explanation. I have Celiac Disease which is closely related to Hashimoto’s disease. With that, you should also stop eating sugar (well, we all should anyway), caffeine (which I gave up years ago), and raw cruciferous veg (cooked is ok). So that’s what I’ve done.

I don’t feel deprived at all, despite my strong love of anything pasta. But it was making me feel bad so, while I may make the very seldom choice to go gluten-free pasta, it’s gone! Now I eat as clean as possible (meaning organic, grass-fed meat, organic veg, organic fruit. It helps that I have my own pear, apple, and peach trees, and grow a lot of veg in my small garden.

The pears are where this blog comes in. My Bartlett pears became ripe the end of September. They’re not a soft pear. I was having my brother-in-law and his girl for supper and was thinking about dessert. At first, I thought about an avocado-chocolate mousse, (more on that next month), but then I was looking at all of my lovely ripe pears and decided poached pears would be a better choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really missing anything on my new diet, but a girl does like the occasional sweet, am I right?

Serves 4 – 6.


Hardware and Ingredients  Photo by Connie Cockrell


Cutting board





Juicing the Oranges  Photo by Connie Cockrell


4 pears, peeled, cored, cut into quarters or sixths

3 navel oranges, 2 juiced (1/2 cup or more if extra juicy), 1 sliced into rounds

5 – 6 whole cloves

1 tsp vanilla (Pictured is a bottle of homemade vanilla my friend Dee gave me for Christmas. It’s almost gone. ☹)


Cutting up the pears  Photo by Connie Cockrell


Put the pears, vanilla, orange juice, orange slices, and cloves in the saucepan. The recipe I was using didn’t call for any other liquid and I saw that the pears were not fully submerged. Thinking that if they were going to poach they needed more liquid, I added water to just cover the pears.


Everything in the pot, heating up  Photo by Connie Cockrell

Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Check to see if the pears are completely tender. If not add another 5 to 10 minutes or more until they are.

I made my pears early in the day and after the mixture cooled, refrigerated it until time for dessert. However, you can plate this warm as well.

I served it with Culver’s vanilla custard (broke my diet a little there) and the pears.

For the picture, I did decorate with an orange slice but when I served it to my guests, I left the orange off. I thought it looked a little mushy and not nice to eat. The orange gives the pears a nice floral note and the cloves a little warm spicy flavor. Yum.


Notes: Culver’s vanilla custard, as of this writing, is gluten-free. I figured the 1/4 cup I ate wouldn’t break the Paleo diet too much.


Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.


Gluten-Free Girl & Guest Chicklet LEXI POST

Lexi Post photo smallHappy Wednesday, Rooster & Chicklet fans! I’m so excited to have the fabulous Lexi Post on our website this week. Lexi and I met a couple of years ago at RWA National convention and I’ve been following her career ever since. She’s a delight and a snappy dresser. But there’s more to her than the super cool hats she dons. Pull up a chair and let’s get to know Lexi Post. Continue reading

Guest Chicklet Kate Meader is HOT IN THE KITCHEN

Kate Meader

Kate Meader

Abigail here!  I’m so excited to host Kate Meader on her blog tour of Feel the Heat, the first book in the Hot in the Kitchen series. YOU can win Feel the Heat swag by going to her blog and entering the Rafflecopter giveaway. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Continue reading

Banana ice cream: Try it, you’ll love it


After getting the invite to join this blog, I was poking around the Chicklets’ kitchen, trying to get a feel for things.

I was shocked  — shocked, I tell you — to see y’all haven’t tried banana ice cream yet. Maybe it’s because banana ice cream, also known as banana soft serve, is ubiquitous on the healthy living blog circuit. For every ten blog posts in my Google Reader, at least two will have a mention of banana soft serve. Continue reading


Okay, I know that I’ve mentioned before my obsession with recreating delicious things I’ve tasted in a restaurant. Usually this is some sort of specific meal. Or a cake or cookies. And I will often try to get the recipes to the degree that I will pester the restaurant, scour the internet, do whatever it is that I have to. When the time comes that I realize it’s over? I still refuse to admit defeat.

Ultimately, I will invent. On my own.

Now that you have this background, let me tell you about a meal I had recently in Atlanta. Or, more specifically, a DESSERT I had. You see, I adore cooking shows. Love ’em. And my favorite is Top Chef. If you’re a fan, you will be familiar with The Professor – aka Richard Blais – and his molecular gastronomy (which, I promise you dear readers, I will one day be brave enough to try on my own. And then I shall blog about my miserable failure for your amusement…). The Professor is my favorite Top Chef contestant ever, and everything he makes looks insanely good (er. with the exception of the foie gras milkshake that helped to win him the competition. Too out there even for me).

The tiniest child stealing a piece of cereal off the Cap’n Crunch shake at Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta.

So when I was in Atlanta recently for my cousin’s graduation, I dragged the family to Flip Burger Boutique – Blais’s Atlanta place. The burgers were crazy good. I mean CRAZY good. But the real winner of the night? Liquid Nitrogen milkshakes. At the table, we had one that was Krispy Kreme flavored (complete with bits of donut), one that was nutella with toasted marshmallow (yes, it was exactly what it sounds like. And it was crazy rich and yummy), and our unanimous favorite: a Cap’n Crunch milkshake. When I tell you it tastes just like Cap’n Crunch, please know that I am not exaggerating in any way, shape or form.

It was insanely delicious. Like beyond what you could expect or imagine. And I vowed that I would one day make something similar because it had to be recreated. It could not be just a one time thing!

And so? I did. Maybe not quite as good as the one from Flip but still a VERY respectable substitute. The recipe is in approximates and will change based on preferred thickness/concentration of cereal, but if you like the cereal you will love the shake!

Cap’n Crunch!

Cap’n Crunch Milkshake

  • 1 c. Cap’n Crunch cereal plus some to garnish
  • ~1/3 carton of vanilla ice cream (I used Breyers, but any of the no-longer-quite-a-half-gallon cartons will do)
  • 3/4 c milk

Pour cereal into blender and pulse until mostly pulverized. Add ice cream and milk, pushing down toward blade. Blend until well-mixed. If you find that it is too thick, add a bit more milk and blend again. If it’s too thin, add a bit more ice cream. When it’s at your preferred consistency, divide between two glasses. Sprinkle with a handful of cereal, and enjoy!


So what’s your dream restaurant dish that you want to make but haven’t? Or what about anything that you have tried to recreate? How did it work out? Or… am I just insane to want to duplicate every yummy dish I try?

Special Monday Guest: Ben in the Kitchen

Ben with the Beef Stew and Dumplings

Y’all, I know I say I’m excited whenever I have a guest on the blog, and I am, but I’m SUPER excited to welcome Ben!  He’s in sixth grade in Florida and is a BIG fan of cooking and Harry Potter – the perfect combination, in my humble opinion.  Today he combines his two passions by bringing us a special Harry Potter-themed stew recipe.  Wingardium Leviosa, Ben!  (Okay, that’s the only spell I remember.  I really don’t want you to fly away.) Continue reading