Royal Riviera® Rogue Valley Salad

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A few days ago, I found a nice surprise on my doorstep–a box of beautiful Harry & David® Royal Riviera® Pears! And Harry & David® is also extending a special offer to me and my readers–a 20% discount on your next purchase of anything on their site when you enter the code NANCY20 during checkout! So if you still need some gifts, you’ll want to check out their site!

I learned a little about the history of these pears, too. These sweet and juicy pears, traced back to 19th century France, were brought to Oregon’s Rogue Valley in 1897, where they thrived in the climate there. And for 80 years Harry & David® have been shipping these pears from their southern Oregon orchards.

I was wondering why there was a spoon in the package, and then I saw a note explaining that, in celebration of Harry & David’s® 80th anniversary, and also in honor of National Pear Month (yes, December is National Pear Month!) they were inviting some pear lovers to take the “Spoon Test Challenge” to see if their claim that Royal Riviera® Pears are really “so big and juicy, you can eat them with a spoon” is true. So I did take the Spoon Test Challenge, which involved letting the pears ripen for 1-2 days, slicing them in half, and using a spoon to eat the juicy pear. And I am happy to verify that yes, these pears really are juicy enough to eat with a spoon! They are really, really good. If you like pears or know someone who does, these are a real treat!

Here are some serving suggestions for these pears:

  • Halve, core, and eat with a spoon (makes a wonderful, healthy dessert!)
  • Slice and serve after dinner with an assortment of fine cheeses
  • Slice pears for salads
  • When slicing pears for salads or dessert, Harry & David® recommends peeling them first, then sprinkling with some lemon juice to keep them looking fresh

Here’s a recipe for a salad you can try–this recipe was included in my package of pears, so I thought I’d share it with you. This would make a great salad for your holiday meal! You can also find more salad recipes at Harry & David.com.

ROYAL RIVIERA® ROGUE VALLEY SALAD (recipe and photo from Harry & David)

royalFor the dressing:

  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup walnut oil
  • Whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Gradually whisk in the walnut oil. chill for 20 minutes.

For the salad:

  • 1 head butter lettuce, washed and dried
  • 1 large or 2 small Royal Riviera® Pears, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2/3 cup Rogue Creamery or other blue cheese
  • 2/3 cup Harry and David® candied pecans, roasted pecans, or roasted walnuts

Gently tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces. Arrange on four chilled plates. Top with fans of pear slices. Sprinkle blue cheese evenly over the pears and lettuce and top with nuts. Drizzle the dressing generously over the salad and serve.

Are you a pear-lover, too? What kinds of recipes do you like to use pears in?

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10 Sweet Potato Recipes

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Sweet potatoes recipes are perfect not only for Thanksgiving, but all holiday season long–and actually, some are great year-round! This Thanksgiving, I had made Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie, which was really good, and I thought I’d share a roundup of some other yummy Sweet Potato recipes I’ve made with you!

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These Sweet Potato Biscuits are just the thing for breakfast, with eggs, and they’re also great for lunch or dinner with your main dish and sides!

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Same for these Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins–good any time of day!

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Sweet Potato Bread is nice for breakfast, too, or later in the day as a snack.

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For a delicious side dish, these Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes are wonderful!

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Another side, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, are really tasty, and there are a variety of ways you can make them!

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I really like these Roasted Italian Potatoes, which are made with both sweet and regular potatoes.

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This Sausage Potato Bake, a yummy dish for lunch or dinner, is also a two-potato recipe, made with both sweet potatoes and red new potatoes.

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When you’re ready for dessert, you need to try this decadent Sweet Potato Cinnamon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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And this Sweet Potato Pound Cake is pretty amazing, too!

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Last but not least, here’s the Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie I made this past Thanksgiving–a very easy recipe and so good!

Hope you enjoy trying these sweet potato recipes out!

Linked to I’m Lovin’ It at Tidy Mom, Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Teatoxy Detox Tea

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Some of you are devoted coffee drinkers, while some of you prefer tea. And then there are some who love both, which is the category I fall into. I’ve been drinking a little more tea lately, though, since coffee tends to keep me up at night!

Recently I received a package of three Teatoxy Detox Teas to try. These teas are created in Thailand from organic ingredients that have detox benefits. As you can see from the photos, they’re really pretty teas–almost as pretty as potpourri!

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The Morning Blend, designed to boost metabolism and increase alertness, is a blend of lemongrass, rose hips, peppermint, apples, rooibos, blackberry leaves, hibiscus, and marigolds. The soft peppermint flavor is refreshing–a nice way to start the day.

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The Energize Blend is an organic blue detox tea blend created with lemongrass, Pandan leaves, Moroccan Rose Petals, Bluechai, and Lavender, which is designed to increase energy, fat burning, and suppress your appetite. It has a nice mild flavor and a pretty blue color which turns purple if you add some lemon juice.

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The Calm Me Blend includes organic hops, hibiscus, peppermint, cornflower, marigold, goji berries, and dried lemon slices. It’s supposed to help promote better sleep and is rich in antioxidants. I liked the light lemony flavor of this tea–it’s very soothing. I think this blend was my favorite!

If you like tea, you may want to try these out. They would also make a great gift for any tea drinkers you know!

So which category do you fall into…coffee drinker, tea drinker, or both?

Pumpkin Spice Granola

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After making a few pumpkin recipes that didn’t require much pumpkin, like the Pumpkin Pie Latte and the yummy Pumpkin Pie Magic Bars, I still had some pumpkin to use from the can. So I decided to continue with the … Continue reading

Avocado Hummus and a Featured Soup!

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Avocados are so good and since I was making some more homemade hummus, I decided to experiment by making an Avocado Hummus. It came out pretty much like I thought it would–really smooth and creamy, with that great avocado flavor, but … Continue reading

7 Anti-Aging Foods

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I saw an article at Sharecare.com about seven foods they refer to as “anti-aging powerhouses.” These foods may also help cut your risk of heart disease and cancer when incorporated into a healthy diet. So if you’re interested, here’s a condensed list of the seven foods–you can … Continue reading

Spinach, Blueberry, and Blue Cheese Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

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I took a short break from the internet at the end of August, and I can’t believe we are into September already! But it’s still officially summer and the weather is still warm for many of us, so I thought I’d … Continue reading

Berry Walnut Granola

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I am a big fan of granola, and I prefer homemade–I think it tastes so much better! I’ve posted several recipes for granola bars, like Crunchy Honey Almond Granola Bars, Dark Chocolate Granola Bars, and chewier Granola Bars. I’ve also made an unsweetened Cranberry Raisin … Continue reading

Cocoa Banana Smoothie

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I think this just may be the hottest week of summer. And that calls for a smoothie–even better, a chocolate smoothie! There’s a soy and non-soy version for this recipe, so you can take your pick. The smoothie I made … Continue reading

Chilled Cucumber Soup

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Chilled soups are perfect for summer! And if you like cucumbers, you’ll want to try this one! It has Greek yogurt, green onions, fresh dill, and parsley in it. Some lemon juice and salt give the flavor a little punch and I also added some garlic … Continue reading

Peach Cucumber Salsa

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Are you growing cucumbers in your garden this year? Here’s a recipe you can use those cucumbers in! It’s perfect for summer because it’s a little fruity, lightly sweet, and a little spicy–good with tortilla chips or as a side dish … Continue reading

Tomato Cucumber Salad with Feta

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If you like tart and tangy, savory and salty flavors, then this is a salad you may want to try! I decided to make this when my friend Greg gave me some cucumbers from his garden. You can’t go wrong combining cucumbers with tomatoes, … Continue reading