Let’s clean out the fridge and make something yummy.

This weekend was cold, wet and rainy. Not conducive do to doing much other than A – house cleaning, B – laundry and C – Cooking. Well since the C matched up so well with cooking I opted for that.

So what do I have in my fridge that needs to be used – 4 apples, 3 pears, 4 carrots, 3 stalks celery, a bag of lentils (ok so they weren’t in my fridge but close by), some beef stock, 2/3 of a large red bell pepper.  Might as well check the pantry, were I find my hubby has all but finished the oatmeal except for about 1/3 cup, a mere tsp of potent cinnamon, one onion. I can see I need to go to the store soon.

First up – lentil soup. So ingredients are gathered.

Well would you look at that…this recipe starts with a Mire Poix! Now where have we seen this before? Oh yes I remember right here.  Lentils don’t take long to cook and make a very hearty meal. I love the fact you don’t have to soak them overnight first.

So you cook up the mire poix, add your lentils, stock and water and let them cook for about 45 minutes. Add your tomatoes and let it it cook another 15 min. and you have dinner!

Next it was time to play with a couple of desserts. Let’s preface this with I am not a baker, nor do I eat much in the way of desserts. But during this time of clean out I did find you can make very tasty desserts with very few ingredients. First up – Apple Crunch. This was super simple, slice up the apples and add a mixture of about 2-3 Tbl lemon juice and 1 Tbl arrowroot. The reason I use arrowroot as opposed to cornstarch is simple – heat. Cornstarch needs heat to full dissolve and do it’s thing. Arrowroot however works really well with citrus and dissolves clean. I also add about 1/3 cup granulated sugar and a pinch of salt.

Once again very few ingredients but a lot of flavor. Here I do recommend using a high quality cinnamon. The difference in flavor is noticible.

Next let’s make the topping, add your flour (about a cup), your oats (1/3 cup not quick oats!), brown sugar (about a cup) and 1 stick of cold butter cut into cubes. Put it all into a food processor and process till blended. It’ll be crumbly. Put your apples into a well buttered dish, I used glass 9 X 9. Sprinkle your crumb topping all over and bake at 400 degree for about 45 minutes. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes. Nothing worse than burning the roof of your mouth on sugar.

Pears are next on the list. So had three of those and a package frozen puff pastry. I must digress here. If you have never worked with puff pastry do so. It’s not just for dessert. I’ve used it for all sorts of savory dishes. But this little item just adds class to anything.

The pears I peeled and sliced and cooked on the stove with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar (about 2 Tbl.) till they were soft. In the mean time I baked the puff pastry.

I took one sheet of the puff pastry and cut it into 4 pieces, each was about 4 X 4.

Once the puff pastry was cooked and while still warm, I place the pears on top. You could always add ice cream or regular cream.

Over all a very successful weekend project.