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February 10, 2012

Banana Cinnamon French Toast

Make this Valentine’s Day extra special beginning with this delicious Brunch idea. For an added touch open a bottle of sparkling wine with a little fruit on the finish. A bowl of fresh berries will complete the menu.

Serves two

Prep time 2 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 slices cinnamon loaf bread
  • Toppings: Chopped pecans, sliced banana and strawberries

    Instructions:

    Whisk together eggs, nutmeg and milk. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread one side of each slice of bread with cream cheese. Put 2 cream cheese slices together sandwich style. Lightly dip sandwich into egg mixture. Place in skillet and cook on each side until golden. Add more butter as needed.

    Top each sandwich with pecans, bananas and strawberries. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with your favorite warm syrup.

    Cooking Wiser:

    To decrease fat and calories replace milk with 1% milk and use low fat cream cheese
    Replace butter with olive oil

    Posted by terri at 03:02 AM | Comments (0)

    February 06, 2012

    Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Pomegranate Molasses

    The brilliant, edible red seeds of the pomegranate fruit have a sweet tart flavor. Their juice is a favorite in martinis and easily made into a delicious syrup.

    Makes 2 cups

    Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 1 medium lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

    Instructions:

    Place a large skillet over medium high heat and when it is hot add the oil. Add the onion, garlic, brown sugar and cumin and cook, stirring until the onion is slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Add peppers, lime and molasses, and process until smooth.
    Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days to let the flavors develop. Serve with pita wedges, crostini or chips. Garnished with chopped parsley.

    Terri's Tips:

  • If you can't find pomegranate molasses just make your own by cooking 1 cup pomegranate juice and 1/2 cup sugar in small saucepan until reduced by half.
  • Commercially prepared roasted red peppers are good but if you want to improve this recipe, roast your own red pepper by placing under broiler until charred, place in plastic bag until skins come away from pepper, peel, slice and remove seeds.

    Posted by terri at 02:08 AM | Comments (0)

    February 05, 2012

    Grilled Pineapple and Peaches with Lime, honey and Mint Sauce

    Grilling fruit brings out the natural sugars providing a deliciously healthy dessert option

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 5 minutes
    Total time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon pepper, freshly cracked
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed (about 2 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh pineapple, sliced into 8 slices
  • 4 fresh peaches, washed and cut in half
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped

    Instructions:

    In a small saucepan, combine the pepper, honey, and lime juice, cook over medium heat until just warm, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the finely chopped mint. Cool to room temperature.

    Brush the pineapple and peaches with the lime honey sauce and place them on the grill with a medium fire and cook until lightly browned. To serve, cut pineapple in half, place with a peach half onto serving plates. Top with the sauce.

    Terri’s Tips:

    • Grilled pineapple is also great served as a topping for your favorite burger; or add to fruit salsa, or enjoy as a healthy snack.
    • Don’t peel fruit before grilling to assist with holding the fruit’s texture
    • For a savory flavor, brush the fruit with grape seed or olive oil
    • See my Grilled Pineapple and Bananas with Rum Sauce for another great idea for grilling fruit

    Posted by terri at 02:10 AM | Comments (0)

    Marinated olives with orange zest

    I love olives on pizza, in green salads, potato salad, and tuna salad. But most of all I love to eat them on a relish tray after marinating in herbs and orange zest.

    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green Spanish olives, drained
  • 1 lb. Kalamata olives, drained
  • 1 cup black olives, drained
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • a pinch of hot pepper flakes
  • extra virgin olive oil, enough to cover
  • zest and juice from 1 navel orange, additional zest from another orange

    Instructions:

    Place all olives in 9x13 glass dish. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over olives. Marinate 2 hours up to 24 in refrigerator, mixing a time or two to distribute flavors. Add additional orange zest to serve

    Posted by terri at 01:26 AM | Comments (0)

    February 04, 2012

    Mango Lime and Red Bell Pepper Salsa

    To me, mangos taste like a cross between a peach and a pineapple. They are absolutely delicious when ripe. The bright colors in this recipe make it a great side dish.

    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 17 minutes

    Ingredients:

    •2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and cut into bite sized chunks

    •1 red onion, peeled and diced small

    •½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced small

    •1/3 cup fresh lime juice

    •1 jalapeno or other fresh chile pepper of your choice, minced

    •1 tablespoon ground cumin

    •3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro

    •Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
    The salsa will keep covered and refrigerated for 2 days.

    Serve with grilled goat cheese tortilla sandwiches

    Posted by terri at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

    February 03, 2012

    Panna Cotta with Blackberry-Zinfandel Compote

    Panna Cotta is Italian for cooked cream, it is a light, silky egg custard. It is usually flavored with caramel but this fruit compote is a delisish alternative. You can also make it your own...

    Serves 8

    Ingredients:

    Panna Cotta:

  • 2 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ¼ cups evaporated milk
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

    Compote:

  • 3 cups frozen blackberries, thawed and divided
  • ¼ cup zinfandel or other fruity dry wine
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 mint springs

    Ingredients:

    To prepare panna cotta, sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. Bring milk, powered sugar, and vanilla bean to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; remove vanilla bean with a slotted spoon. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean. Stir seeds into milk mixture, discard bean.
    Add gelatin mixture to milk mixture, continue to cook on low heat, stirring with a whisk until gelatin dissolves. Add sour cream and cardamom, stir until well combined. Divide mixture evenly amount 8 (6-ounce) custard cups. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
    To prepare compote, place 1-cup blackberries, wine, and granulated sugar in a food processor, and process until smooth. Strain the blackberry mixture through a fine sieve into a medium saucepan, and discard solids. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add remaining 2 cups blackberries. Cool completely

    Loosen edges of panna cotta with a knife or rubber spatula. Place a dessert plate, upside down, on top of each cup, invert onto plates. Serve with compote, top with mint sprigs.

    Terri's Tips:

    If panna cotta is difficult to remove from dish, place small amount of hot water in a bowl and set the dish in for 10-15 seconds. This should loosen the panna cotta. Otherwiser serve in dish and top with compote.

    Cooking Wiser:
    Replace sour cream with low fat sour cream
    Replace evaporated milk with 2%- the dessert will not be as rich but it will be good

    Posted by terri at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

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