Do It Yourself: The Crave! at Work Holiday Recipe Challenge & GIVEAWAY (!!!)

On your mark... get set...

Blog-friend Sara recently said to me, “If I send you some delicious and FREE fruit, will you cook something up and blog about it for the Crave! at Work Holiday Recipe Challenge?”

“Hell yeah!” I replied, even though I don’t really cook. I mean, I know people who cook, and sometimes I take pictures of the food they cook. That’s really what I write about here. Eating food, not cooking food.

But whatever, free fruit. I’d work it out. (And PS I once won a national recipe contest, I think by default. But that’s a story for another day… and it was NOT a good recipe. So I’ve stricken it from my cooking record.)

I was pumped when this adorable tote bag of Crave! fruit arrived at my office today…

I love this tote.

… and then I found the note that instructed me to “think about a dish you can create… [and] post your tasty recipe.”

UH OH. GULP. Like I said, not an amazing cook. And recipes of my own invention?? SCARY PANTS!

But I will try, for Crave! (The exclamation is theirs, in case you think I’ve gone mental with my punctuation.) (That too.)

I have to say, the other competing blogs look super-legit, recipe-wise. What have I gotten myself into?

It’s amazing what I’ll do for free fruit. And to get YOU GUYS some free fruit. WHAT? That’s right. My first giveaway.

If you live in the LA area, YOU TOO could have an adorable tote containing TEN POUNDS of seasonal fruit delivered to your door. Really. Really really. You’ll be the toast of the neighborhood. (If your neighbors like fruit.) (If they don’t like fruit… you don’t want them to toast you, anyway.) (Throw toast at them.)

Want to meet the contents of my fruit bag?

Small tree not included.

Back to front, that’s baby bananas (& chestnuts), Comice pears, and Asian pears (AKA apple pears… they look like apples).

I have a few more adorable pictures of the baby fruits, but I have to save something for the next post.

If you want to be entered in the Crave! giveaway, simply comment on the blog (make sure you give a valid email address… it won’t be shared with the universe– just me). Remember, you have to live in LA. And, uh, maybe say what your favorite fruit is, or what your favorite holiday meal is. Or tell me what you would make with this fruit. Yeah– let’s go with that. Or all three.

And if you don’t live in LA– comment anyway. I’ll send one of you a really cute card. IN THE MAIL. Just to thank you for being a pal.

Talk to me, people. Help a blogger out! And you could get some fruit for your labors. And my labors.

SOS! Savory or sweet!

I’m going to do my best to make something Binge-worthy. Something easy enough for me to make, and for you to make, too– possibly with a tote of free Crave! fruits.

xoxo…

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11 thoughts on “Do It Yourself: The Crave! at Work Holiday Recipe Challenge & GIVEAWAY (!!!)

  1. I WANT. Here are my plans:

    Bananas are for Elvis cupcakes – banana bread based cake part, peanut butter cream cheese frosting, topped with candied bacon bits.

    Since I have a tub of gingersnap cookies at home, the pears are for a gingersnap pear tart/pie. Maybe I’ll top it off with some homemade rum or bourbon whipped cream.

    They’re not Asian pears, they’re KOREAN pears! 😛 I grew up eating these insanely sweet and juicy lovelies. These don’t need a recipe, they are the best just crisp and cold, or as an addition to any Waldorf-esque salad.

    PICK ME!

  2. I sure do like bananas foster, but Ii don’t know how to work the pears in there. Maybe just glaze them and throw them in there. I am avail most weeknights for sampling.

  3. GIVE ME YOUR FRUITS!!

    No, but seriously I want those pears. I want to make this pear autumn salad with goat cheese and a delicous vinaigrette dressing. We sort of made it at Thanksgiving but couldn’t find all the ingredients. You’d love it!

  4. How about banana’s foster crepes topped with roasted walnuts, roasted pear sauce or butter(think apple sauce/apple butter), and an “apple” ginger crisp with the asian pears that are sort of a cross between apples and pears? Chestnuts are difficult because I don’t really like them, but why not try roasting them out of shell (and once they’ve been cooked) in the oven and the last 5 minutes drizzle on some maple syrup and top the pear sauce with them? Oohh, or try creating a sweetened paste with them, fold in some whipped cream, and stuff some cream puffs?! Or maybe alternate layers of spongue cake with a sweet chestnut filling and cream? OH, or apear galette with carmel sauce drizzled on top. Oh, what about . . . OK, OK, I need to stop now. There are just too many possibilities. Good luck with the contest!

    P.S. I want fruit!!!

  5. Wow! So many options. With the bananas, I would make my famous banana bread but I can’t give away the recipe because it’s top secret. However, other possible recipes include a pear pie with banana icecream? I sort of just made that up but here’s what I’d do for the pear pie, which is a blend of various pear pie recipes I use:

    1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
    1/2 cup white sugar (I prefer raw turbano sugar, I think it’s better/makes it even more sugary, or also raw cane sugar works)
    1/2 cup brown sugar (I prefer dark brown sugar)
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt <–tip: use kosher or Mediterranean salt.
    3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    5 cups peeled and sliced pears
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    – Combine sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon in mixing bowl.
    – Arrange pears in layers in a 9 inch pastry lined pan, sprinkling sugar mixture over each layer. Dot with butter. Sprinkle with lemon juice and vanilla. Roll out remaining dough; cut slits for escape of steam. Moisten rim of bottom crust. Place top crust over filling. Fold edge under bottom crust, pressing to seal. Flute edge.

    Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.

    NOTE: I've considered mixing the sliced pairs in a cup of sugar before putting them in, I think that'd make them even yummier.

    Then, for the banana icecream:

    2 1/2 cups half-and-half
    8 egg yolks, beaten
    1 1/2 cup white sugar
    2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
    4 bananas
    3/4 cup half-and-half

    – Heat 2 1/2 cups of the half-and-half in a large saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.
    – Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. While stirring, slowly pour the half-and-half into the egg mixture. Transfer the mixture to the saucepan and heat again over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove from heat and return to the bowl. Stir in the heavy whipping cream.
    – Puree the bananas and 3/4 cup half-and-half in a blender until smooth. Add puree to bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until cold, 3 to 4 hours.
    Pour mixture into cylinder of ice cream freezer. (Refrigerate any remaining mixture until ready to freeze.) Freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Transfer to 1 quart containers and freeze overnight before serving.

    NOTE: I might try adding mint to the above at some point.

    Anyway, there you go! Hope this helps!

  6. OMG I want fruit!! My favorite all-time fruit is starfruit 🙂 Too bad it’s expensive.

    I would concoct some sort of tart or crumble, because I roll with desserts. Lately I really like this recipe: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Individual-Apple-Cobbler (because Ben doesn’t like apples – so I make it individual sized, just for me!). I would maybe change out the apples for pears – bet that would be good!!

  7. Well, I have a famous banana bread recipe that I will share because I did not make it up: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Banana-Bread-VIII/Detail.aspx

    Although those lil’ nanners are really sweet, so they might be good with just like a peanut butter and warm tortilla kind of situation (I sadly used to eat that for breakfast when I was going to be biking around all day and it is a lot to swallow…)

    As for the pears, those are always good in salad. I once made an apple cheddar pie, though, and I wonder if you could make like a pear and brie pie (sharp cheese with pear probably wouldn’t work out too well…)

    Also, lest we forget, ALL fruits go with alcohol. Hard alcohol. You could even drop one of those nuts into the bottom of a banana martini. Consider that.

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