Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pear Bellini

A traditional Bellini is made with peach nectar and champagne or sparkling white wine.

Here, I substituted pear nectar, which I found next to the peach nectar in the Latin section of my supermarket. The result was just as delicious as the original - or maybe more so!

It's great for brunch or cocktail hour.


Pear nectar, chilled
Champagne or sparkling white wine, chilled
Pear slice for garnish (optional)

Pour the pear nectar into a champagne flute until it is 1/2 full.

Top with the champagne until full.

Garnish with pear slice, if desired.

-- 1 serving

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Vanilla-Cinnamon French Toast

This version of French Toast, featuring the comforting flavors of vanilla and cinnamon, will appeal to folks of all ages.

It's a delicous way to use up and revitalize day-old (or older) bread that is starting to go stale.


4 large eggs, or equivalent in egg substitute
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6-8 slices bread
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Powdered sugar, syrup, fruit, and/or other toppings, as desired

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk, and then whisk in the milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.

Add the bread slices to the bowl, toss so that each slice is covered with the custard mixture, and let it sit for several minutes so the bread can absorb the custard.

Heat the oil on a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Place the coated bread slices on the griddle and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.

Top with powdered sugar, syrup, fruit, and/or other toppings, as desired.

-- 3-4 servings (2 slices per serving)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic

Here I started with my basic recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts and added some sliced garlic. The result was quite good, with a subtle hint of toasted garlic.


12 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts
1 (medium to large) clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rinse the Brussels sprouts, trim the ends, and remove any of the outermost leaves that are yellow or discolored. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise.

In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients, and let sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Pour the Brussels sprout mixture into a baking dish or roasting pan, and arrange the sprouts in a single layer.

Cover with foil and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the foil.

Stir the sprouts.

Return the sprouts to the oven and continue roasting, uncovered, for another 10-20 minutes, or longer as needed, stirring once or twice, until the sprouts are nicely golden on the outside and tender inside.

-- 3-4 servings

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms and Peppers in Puff Pastry Shells

This gourmet egg dish is elegant and impressive, yet so easy to make.

Serve it with fresh fruit for a light breakfast, or pair it with a green salad, Roasted Potatoes and Onions, or other side veggies for a hearty brunch, lunch, or supper.


6 large eggs, or equivalent in egg substitute
2 tablespoons milk
Scant 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian herb mixture
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced white mushrooms
1/2 medium red or green bell pepper, seeded and cut lengthwise into julienne slices, and slices cut crosswise into thirds
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
6 frozen puff pastry shells (1 10-ounce package)

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and peppers, along with additional salt and pepper to taste. Saute until the vegetables are cooked through.

Add the egg mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until eggs are cooked through.

Meanwhile, bake the puff pastry shells according to the package directions.

Fill the puff pastry shells with the egg mixture, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve immediately.

-- 3 servings