While my website gets a major overhaul in the next few months, so will my body – I’m hitting the gym big time. It’s conveniently located in the same complex as my favorite cinema, so I’ll reward myself with flicks for the effort.

Color coordinated sisters Jewels and Patty – oh mom!
Last year was all about healing, and this year is about recovering the body to tip top shape. I’ll need that extra strength and energy for the exciting plans I have in store for 2011! Many are still in the embryonic stages, so I’m not at liberty to discuss them quite yet, but I can’t keep everything a secret!
What’s Jewels got cooking?
In addition to the new and improved www.therovingstove.com, due Spring 2011, I will also be launching an entirely new interactive website. “Jewels” from The Roving Stove will be migrating there (but I’ll remind you closer to the time, so you won’t miss a post), as well as my updated, much more user friendly recipe pages. The monthly newsletter will keep you posted on upcoming events, contests, and giveaways while I answer some of your kitchen catastrophe questions in my “Dear Jewels” column. The members section will create a cyber living room where we can hang out, share our thoughts, pictures, and recipes.
Reaching goals in 2011!
How about a little retail therapy too? Oh, and paleez don’t forget I need my restaurant spies to keep us up to date with the yummy in your neighborhoods all around the globe. I hope to see some more guest blog posts in 2011 (a girl does deserve a day off every once in a while). I’d also like to know what else you want? What would you like to see on this new site?
Red Wine & Blood Orange Poached Pears

Getting back into my best shape doesn’t have to mean goodbye to all desserts! It just means getting smarter about the ones I choose. Here’s an occasional indulgence I whipped up last week that won’t derail your weight loss plans completely (hint: go light or skip the whipped cream), but it will make your sweet tooth happy, and poached pears are a great make-ahead dessert.
Servings: 4


4 Bosc pear, ripe but not too soft
1 1/2 cup red wine
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 blood orange, sliced (use a navel orange if you can’t get blood orange – I have a tree)
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1/4 teaspoon Szechwan pepper, optional

1). Leaving stem on, peel and core the pears. Slice a little off of the bottom to level if necessary, so the pear will stand without rolling.
2). Bring wine, water, sugar, blood orange, cinnamon stick, five spice powder, and Szechwan pepper (if using) to boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the pears, turning gently occasionally so that liquid soaks into all sides, and simmer for 25 minutes or until pears are cooked soft but not mushy.
3). Carefully (trying not to mark with indentations) remove the pears to a serving dish and cool.
4). Meanwhile reduce cooking liquid to a thick syrup, boiling an additional 15-20 minutes. Pour the syrup over the pears, and refrigerate once cooled. Chill for at least 4 hours to overnight to absorb the spicy rich flavor.

Servings Suggestions: I served this with homemade vanilla bean whipped cream for guests, but I love the pear just dribbled with a little of the extra syrup. It would also be great with ice cream.
PS. Please don’t forget to vote in the poll at the top right of the blog for your favorite hors d’oeuvres. The top five will win Gardein gift certificates to start their 2011 Meatless Monday’s off on the right foot! Winners will be announced January 14th.
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  • January 6, 2011
    10:46 am

    Very exciting year ahead Julie Anne! Can't wait to see the new site!Cupcake

  • January 6, 2011
    2:32 pm

    This is seriously yummy blog. Thanks for sharing recipes, will try a few, wish me luck. Greetings from Croatia.

  • January 6, 2011
    5:03 pm

    Happy New Year Julie Anne, I love keeping up with your cooking tips etc. Good luck with the healthy body regime!!Hillary Short

  • January 6, 2011
    5:17 pm

    Thanks Cupcake and Hillary, I look forward to delivering! Meeting with the branding guy today!Vinnes – I am so glad you checked in. Croatia is one of my most favorite destinations in the world – so beautiful, and seriously good food! I want to come back one day to hunt for truffles.

  • January 6, 2011
    6:19 pm

    Happy New Year Jewels!!! I am so excited for all the things 2011 seems to bring to almost everyone around me, including you!On top of it I cannot wait to read more of your inspiring and entertaining blog-posts.Rica xxP.S. I already voted…;-)

  • January 6, 2011
    7:06 pm

    I don't know how you manage to do it all! Can't wait to see the new/revamped site, but nothing wrong with it from my perspective. Just keep being "you" that's who we are all here for and love. But, keeping healthy is good and I'm all for that and am trying to keep my weight stable rather than up and down. That's not a resolution, just a positive thought for me to focus on this year.

  • January 6, 2011
    7:36 pm

    Great perspective Ruthee! I hate resolutions – like promises, they are made to be broken. Positive thoughts and intentions set are much more rewarding – in my experience anyway.

  • January 7, 2011
    5:25 pm

    I love the recipe for Red Wine & Blood Orange Poached Pears but I have a question. I’ve heard conflicting reports about alcohol burning off in cooked food. Is there still some in it or does it cook off? My husband doesn’t drink anymore (for 2 ½ years now, with good reason). I’m wondering if it’s safe to cook with alcohol or should I just avoid it to be safe for him? I figure I’d avoid it but I thought I’d ask. Thanks!

  • January 7, 2011
    5:35 pm

    Hi Suzanne – technically about 97% of the alcohol cooks off if you cook it for a long period of time ie. my Harvest Comfort Short Ribs recipe calls for deglazing the pan with wine, then simmering for 2 1/2 -3 hours – that he should be fine with. These pears I might not if he is newly sober since they only simmer 25 minutes. Try substituting Cranberry juice or Apple cider for the wine in the recipe.

  • January 7, 2011
    5:36 pm

    oh my my *salivating* :-)Anitra DeLorenzo

  • January 7, 2011
    5:37 pm

    Look tasteful!!Giuliana Iannotta

  • January 7, 2011
    5:56 pm

    Thank you so much!

  • January 7, 2011
    7:41 pm

    I like this a lot…nice idea now that I've found a diet plan for women with pcos.So I can eat something sweet for my b-day! yummmmmmMartina D' Epifanio

  • January 8, 2011
    5:26 pm

    I wish you could come to Dallas to teach me how to cook!!Tabatha Mueller

  • January 8, 2011
    5:26 pm

    I always say have whisk will travel Tabatha.

  • January 8, 2011
    5:29 pm

    please stop making me hungry Julie xxRichard Cole

  • January 8, 2011
    5:29 pm

    you are a fairly safe distance away Richard…. unfortunately.

  • January 8, 2011
    5:42 pm

    yum yum yumAmanda Eliasch

  • January 8, 2011
    6:06 pm

    There isn't anything you haven't covered is there? Love the jeans in the in the 3rd photo.My 2yr old son is turning me into a non-meat eater now (he hates meat and eggs even though he used to love both), he loves garden burgers and salads but need to get him eased into something else. Any likeable suggestions for a younger child you can suggest?

  • January 8, 2011
    8:49 pm

    oooooooh…sweet potatoes!Rhonda Davis Crombie