Starting the New Year the Right Way with Poached Pears

Another end-of-the-year post talking about another new-years-resolution? It’s enough to make me hurl – and it’s my post! But, here I am again, with the same resolutions as last year. Along with millions of others, I want to get in shape and lose the excess weight. After three kids, I don’t have dreams of a Hollywood body. Come one folks, most of that is put back together under the knife. I just want to feel healthy again and like the girl I see in the mirror.

Yes, I still see myself as a girl. Yes, I’m forty-one years old. So, what?

Last year, I took a little January Jump Start coaching with my friend Stacy, at Center Stage Wellness. I was doing pretty well, until the kids got sick, I got sick, life happened and I was derailed. Never was able to get back into the workout groove.

Confession #1: It is getting easier and easier to derail me as I age. I am dripping and oozing with “Mommy-Guilt.” The notion that there are a gazillion of other things that are more important to do than to take an hour to take care of myself.

Don’t feed me the line, “Your kids need a healthy mommy!”


I’ve told myself that line for years, but it’s not enough anymore. I won’t bore you with my sob story. I’m saving that for my “results” post – I am optimistic that I will write it in 2013 because I took a jump start in December with my new years resolution.

I started attending classes at the Dailey Method. It’s a cross between pilates and yoga and physical fitness and hell. It’s not cardio. You do small movements to really get to the core of the muscle. The class goes by quickly as we are constantly changing our movements so you don’t get bored. I have developed a love-hate relationship with that little green exercise ball.

The Dailey Method is based on kinesiology and core alignment principles. They promises to strengthen, tone, and lengthen my entire body to produce quick physical results.

Oh, and your butt will be on fire after every single class.

After my first class, I hobbled and prayed I would make it to my car without falling over. I moaned to my husband as I tried to sit down next to him on the couch about how sore I was, only a few hours after my class. I have never felt like this so quickly after a workout. I was hooked. I could feel my body changing.

Confession #2: I barely completed the first month, I have only been able to attend classes 3 times a week and I haven’t been following my diet plan too strictly. Cut me some slack. It was December – the worst month of the year to start a new diet and exercise program. But, I know that January will be awesome! I am motivated by all of the many women I have met who have offered me testimonial after testimonial about the transformations their bodies have taken. I am ready for the ride of my life.

Because it’s not only my body I am hoping to transform, but also my mind set. Quite frankly, I’m not a in a good place mentally. Mom, before you freak out in tears calling me, I’m okay. I’m just stuck in my mommy rut. Picture a deep, dark well and I’m slowly clawing my way out.

I will not be posting many dessert recipes for awhile – for my sake. I just can’t have the sweet stuff within 30 feet of me. I threw out my leftover chocolate cake I baked because I kept nibbling on it every time I walked by it. The hubby is also set on losing a few from his love handles. He’ll probably get it down in one week. Despite him being 8-years older than me, his metabolism is a lot faster than mine.

A message for my dear blogging friends who bake up a storm and make me drool all over my keyboard: I apologize in advance as I avoid your blogs like the plague. I am weak and impulsive and I must disappear for awhile. I still love you and I will be back in a couple months.

Poached Pears with Red Wine and Pomegranate by

So, as a last hurrah, I am posting this classy and silky Poached Pears with Red Wine and Pomegranate. Because 2013 doesn’t start until Tuesday. More importantly, it’s fruit. I will keep you all posted with my progress. Hold me accountable people!! I need your support, your snide comments and bad jokes to keep me going.

Poached Pears with Red Wine and Pomegranate

Two of autumn's favorite fruits are paired to make this elegant dessert. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice


  • 1 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 star of anise
  • 4 firm but ripe pear, Bosc or Bartlett
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils


  1. In a saucepan large enough to hold your pears bring to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved:
    • 1 1/2 cup red wine
    • 1 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 star of anise
  2. Keeping stem intact, cut a slice from the bottom so pears can stand upright. Gently and carefully peel:
    • 4 firm but ripe pear , Bosc or Bartlett
  3. Reduce sauce heat to simmer and gently add the peeled pears.
  4. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, turning every 5 minutes for even color, until pears are cooked but still firm.
  5. Remove the saucepan from heat and cover. Leave the fruit to cool completely in the poaching liquid.
  6. Once cool, gently bring pears upright, cover saucepan and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours, periodically spooning the poaching liquid over the pears.
  7. Gently remove pears from liquid and allow to come to room temperature.
  8. In the meantime, boil the poaching liquid until it is reduced about 15 minutes over medium-high flame. You want a thick and syrupy liquid.
  9. Remove syrup from heat and cool to room temperature.
  10. Spoon syrup over pears and garnish with
    • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 4

Cook Time:

Disclosure: The Dailey Method in Rancho Bernardo has offered me two months of free classes. I have truly loved the staff, instructors and the traumatizing classes. Every week I am getting stronger. They are offering two New Years Specials: For new students: $100 for 6 weeks (an additional 2 weeks for FREE). For new and existing students: $140 for 10 pack (a $40 savings). POM Wonderful also sent me a box of pomegranates to sample. And if you follow my blog, you know how much I adore pomegranates!

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10 Responses to Starting the New Year the Right Way with Poached Pears

  1. Here’s to a healthy and happy new year ahead – cheers, Liz

  2. Eha at #

    May the New Year bring all you hope for and desire! Looking forwards to seeing you in v early spring! BUT, if you think you are the only one with these NY resolutions, how wrong can you be!!!!!! And Laura, I trained as a medical doctor and have studied this area for a 1/4 century: exercise is important, food much more so, and attitude and belief in self is the most important of all! Good luck!!!!!

  3. Beautiful poached pears, I love that you added pomegranates! Happy New Year, Laura!

  4. Gorgeous poached pears! Best of luck on your journey and we all look forward to the perkier new you when you return.

    Happy New Year and may 2013 be a fantastic year for you and your family.

  5. You go, Laura! I’ve got the same resolution. I’d join you if I were closer, that’s for sure. But please know that I think you are beautiful inside and out no matter how much dessert you’ve eaten! xoxo

  6. Your image of the pears is absolutely beautiful — I’d frame it! And I agree 100% with Jeanne’s comment! xo

  7. Go, Laura, go! You can do it! Love that you’re working on taking care of yourself, mentally and physically.

    And those pears are utterly gorgeous.

  8. I adore poached pairs and yours are just gorgeous!
    Happy New Year!

  9. Happy New Year to you and I wish you much success in 2013! This poached pear recipe is fabulous since my mom just gave me a big box of pears she got as a gift (no, she doesn’t like pears!). One of my new favorite workouts (I try and do it while my daughter has basketball practice) is doing the stairs (106 of ’em) at Torrey Hills Park. So far I usually do b/w 10-15 sets and its a really great workout with a ocean view at the top! Let me know if you ever want to join me :-).

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