Roasted Grapes with Yogurt Cream


Roasting grapes brings out their natural sweetness and elevates them into an elegant, light, yet very easy dessert.  Seasoned with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar and sea salt, the grapes soften and blister as they roast, filling the kitchen with a delicious aroma.  Served warm with a dollop of Greek yogurt, this makes a really delicious and nutritious dessert.  The cool silkiness the the yogurt is a lovely contrast to the warm, spiced grapes which  burst in your mouth.  The result is something irresistible and completely seductive.  I fancied up the Greek yogurt with a bit of whipped cream, honey and some orange flower water.  You could easily serve the grapes with ready-to-go vanilla yogurt.  This recipe was inspired by The Pastry Studio blog and the original recipe can be found here.

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Date and Cinnamon Omelette


When I first read about an omelette with dates, I was skeptical.  I love dates but I have never thought of putting them in an omelette.  The recipe was being referenced in a glowing review of a gorgeous new cookbook, The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, in the holiday book guide of the Wall Street Journal.  On a cold November morning, I decided to try it.  It was surprising and quite delicious.  The sweetness of the caramelized dates in their warming spices commanded the most attention in the omelette and filled the kitchen with the most wonderful aroma.  The eggs seemed more of a vehicle for the sweet dates and this tasted more like a sweet breakfast than an egg dish but in the most delicious way.   It is absolutely essential to include the sea salt in the egg mixture to balance the sweetness of the dates.  I added a third egg to the omelette from the original recipe’s 2 eggs, since I felt there were a lot of dates and a larger omelette would allow for sharing.  This sweet omelette was a comforting, aromatic and nutritious breakfast enjoyed while lingering leisurely over the weekend papers.  A lovely way to ease into a  new  week.

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Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad with Pomegranate, Apple and Walnuts


After all the Thanksgiving feasting and left over creations, you might be craving something light and healthy by now.  This salad, inspired by Philadelphia’s famous  Israeli restaurant Zahav, a personal favorite, is a modern take on tabbouleh.  It would be great on its own or with some added shredded left-over turkey or chicken or as a side to grilled fish.  Full of fall flavors and crunch, it introduces a surprise burst of flavor from quick pickled onions seasoned with the Middle Eastern spice, ground sumac.  Don’t have sumac, just add a squeeze more of lemon juice. Continue reading

Decadent Banana-Chocolate Bread Pudding


After 67 days of living in temporary housing, we have moved back home, albeit to an ongoing construction zone.   What’s a girl to do in all this chaos?  Bake a decadent banana-chocolate bread pudding of course, because amidst the chaos, there was a left over bread, some cream for coffee for the crew, eggs and overripe bananas.  Oh, and chocolate, always chocolate!  This is a bread pudding incorporating good-for-you ingredients:  fiber and nutrient rich bananas, nuts, molasses and dark chocolate.  The bananas are puréed as if you were making banana bread.  Then when it’s ready, you add another layer of fresh bananas.  Bliss!

Because it can be prepped overnight and then popped into the oven for less than half an hour, it will make a fantastic day-after-Thanksgiving breakfast.  Your overnight guests will wake up smelling it baking, then drool when they see it and then just simply devour it, while still warm.  With fresh bananas sliced on top and served with a dollop of yogurt, ice cream or whipped cream, it is comfort food at its easiest and best.   I would have made the bread pudding into individual portions in a muffin pan, if only I could have found it among the hundreds of boxes still unpacked!

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