#FreshTastyValentines: Strawberry Basil Mojito and Valentine’s Poached Pear Salad

This is my final #FreshTastyValentines recipe. I’m sad to say that the event ends tomorrow! If you haven’t entered yet, you’re really running out of time to enter the giveaway. (You can enter at the bottom of this post) I had a great time participating in this event, creating recipes and using all of the amazing products that were provided by our sponsors.

Strawberries are a pretty common item on Valentine’s Day and I was thrilled to find good looking ones at the grocery store so I could use the strawberry tool KitchenIQ provided. I knew right away I wanted to make a drink recipe and thought that basil, which I have a plentiful plant of, could make a great substitution for mint in a mojito recipe! 

Strawberry Basil Mojito
Source: Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings: 2
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    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves + 3 additional leaves
    • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
    • 1/3 cup white rum
    • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
    • club soda
    • crushed ice
    • additional strawberries and basil leaves for garnish

1. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved, then reduce the heat to low and add in 1/3 cup basil leaves. Allow to steep for 3 minutes before discarding basil. Allow simple syrup to cool.
2. In a small bowl, muddle the strawberries with the simple syrup and remaining 3 basil leaves. Add in the lime juice and rum and stir.
3. Divide between two glasses filled with crushed ice and top with club soda. Add additional strawberries and basil leaves for garnish.

I may have not told Tom that I made these mojitos and enjoyed both of them myself. Oops?

Typically (at least in my world) Valentine’s day meals come with multiple courses, one usually being a salad. When I received Dining at the Ravens, I couldn’t pass up sharing a salad recipe with you, especially since it had “Valentine” in the title!

Valentine’s Poached Pear Salad
Adapted from: Dining at the Ravens, BenBella Books
Servings: 2
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for the pears:

    • 2 Bosc pears, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2-3 whole cloves
    • 1 1/2 cups red wine, such as Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Pinor Noir
    • 1/4 cup agave syrup
    • zest and juice of 1 lemon

for the dressing:

    • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp. olive oil
    • pinch of salt and pepper
    • 2 cups baby arugula 
    • 1/4 cup strawberries, sliced

1. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the seeds of the pears.
2. Place the pears, cinnamon stick, cloves, wine, syrup, zest and lemon juice into a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until boiling.
3. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 25 minutes or until the pears are fork tender, basting occasionally.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper until fully combined. Right before you’re ready to serve, toss the arugula and strawberries into the dressing.
5. Divide the arugula mixture between two plates. Place 2 halves of each pear on a plate and drizzle with the remaining basting liquid. Serve immediately.

Poached pears are one of my new favorite things. I love the flavor that you can infuse into them and they make a perfect sweet addition to any salad or served alone as dessert! 

This recipe is shared with you as part of #FreshTastyValentines, a group of 22 amazing food bloggers, led by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, who are posting recipes that we hope will inspire you to make some healthy valentine treats for your loved ones.

These recipes feature products from KitchenIQ, Casabella, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and BenBella Books.

KitchenIQ is the new houseware branch of Smith’s Consumer Products, Inc. and embraces their long-standing reputation for innovation and quality, reflecting their commitment to producing smarter products for the kitchen. They are providing a prize package of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for your Valentine cooking and for the rest of the year as well. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive: KitchenIQ’s Strawberry Tool and Better Zester.

Casabella grew out of the idea that housewares and cleaning products could be great looking, fun and functional simultaneously. And, to that end, they strive to deliver products that are attractive, intuitive and functional. Additionally, all of their products are designed and assembled in America. They are providing a prize package of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for your Valentine cooking and for the rest of the year as well. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive: Casabella’s Clip n StripShears and a Garlic Roaster.

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi began over thirty years ago, when Robert Mondavi had a goal of getting great California wine on every table in America. In 1979 he established the Woodbridge Winery near his childhood home of Lodi, California to make fruit-focused wines for everyday drinking. They are providing a prize package for the raffle. One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive two bottles of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wine – one bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and one bottle of Pinot Noir. Cheers!

BenBella Vegan is a division of BenBella Books, a boutique book publisher located in Texas. BenBella Vegan has published over twenty plant-based books and cookbooks in the past decade.

They are providing a prize package that includes five different cookbooks from their 2015 publishing releases! One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive a print copy of the following cookbooks: The Plant-Based Journey, Dining at The Ravens, Plant-Powered Families, The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, and The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a strawberry huller and better zester from KitchenIQ, Clip ‘N Strip Shears from Casabella, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines from Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and the Dining at the Ravens cookbook from Benbella Books as part of participating in #FreshTastyValentines in exchange for sharing a recipe. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. 


  1. Love the cocktail!!!! Perfect for summer!

  2. I love the looks of that dressing. And I've never met a mojito I didn't like…

  3. I love that poached pear salad and the idea of using basil in a mojito? pure genius.

  4. Those poached pears are beautiful.

  5. yum! This looks so refreshing for a hot day. I love food posts.

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