Piquant Pear Passion

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Enjoyable Eats: Piquant Pear Passion! Did you know a little bit of cheese and fruit make a great dessert at the end of a meal? Sure you did. The French have been doing it for years. Europeans, too. Bleu cheese, or its milder cousins Roquefort and Gorgonzola, is a perfect match with sweet ripe pears. Nuts provide that little extra crunch you crave. If making ahead, to keep the pears from turning brown, simply dip them in a wash of lemon juice and water. It works. If you wish to top off the dessert plate with subtle sweetness, drizzle some natural honey over the pears before serving. Obviously I threw in the greens as garnish. Habit, that’s for sure.

PIQUANT PEAR PASSION

Ingredients:

1-2 ripe pears, cored and sliced

4-ounces Bleu cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup walnut pieces

Arugula leaves, for garnish

Natural Honey, for drizzling (optional)

Instructions:

Arrange pear slices in a dessert dish. Add the bleu cheese crumbles. Sprinkle with walnut pieces. Garnish with arugula leaves. Drizzle pears with natural honey.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter U

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Uptown Burrata Masterpiece Salad! I stumbled onto this decadent cheese with the soft creamy center at first bite when my husband and I visited Little Italy in Boston. Hearing the excitement in the voice of our waiter piqued my interest. Oh my, this has to be the best cheese ever! The easiest way to describe it is to say that it’s a type of fresh mozzarella cheese with a hollow center filled with thick cream that boasts of a rich buttery taste. Make sense? It’s meant to be eaten at room temperature, so don’t waste your money melting it on a pizza.

UPTOWN BURRATA MASTERPIECE SALAD

Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh arugula leaves

3-4 Campari tomatoes, quartered

6-ounces artichoke hearts, marinated

6-ounces Burrata mozzarella cheese

Balsamic Reduction

Cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Arrange arugula leaves in a shallow bowl. Place tomatoes and artichokes around decoratively. Place a portion of the Burrata mozzarella at center stage. Drizzle balsamic reduction sauce over all. Garnish with cracked peppercorns to taste. Yes, please!

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter A

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Front-Runner Favs: Arugula Cherry Salad! Handpicked cherries, at the peak of ripeness, set the stage for an appealing salad that is sure to be delightful. Don’t have an orchard nearby? No worries. Check the local Farmer’s Market, fruit stand, or supermarket for the season’s bounty. Timing is everything. You’ll want to have enough ripe cherries on hand to pair later with wine and perhaps a little chocolate. Spoiler Alert: I’ve set aside a portion of juicy red cherries to feature in a decadent dessert. Stay tuned.  
ARUGULA CHERRY SALAD
Ingredients:

6 ounces baby arugula 

16 ripe cherries, stems removed and pitted

1/4 cup almonds, sliced

1 tablespoon tarragon, leaves only

1 tablespoon sherry cooking wine 

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil 

Sea salt to taste

Cracked black pepper to taste

4 ounces Bleu cheese, crumbled
Instructions:

After the pits are removed, cut the cherries in half. Combine arugula, cherries, almonds, and tarragon in a large bowl. Toss gently. In a small bowl, whisk together sherry cooking wine, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and cracked black pepper. Drizzle over salad and gently toss. Divide into serving bowls. Finish with Bleu cheese crumbles over top. Serve immediately. 

Dining Outside the Home: Ground Round Grill & Bar in Worthington, Minnesota 

Dining Outside the Home: Ground Round Grill & Bar in Worthington, Minnesota! After a long road trip, crossing State lines, having a restaurant within arm’s throw of the hotel is pretty nice. It does a body good to stretch the legs and walk about. And after being in a car all day, dining outside on an open terrace is an added bonus. Although an American franchise, this upscale eatery boasts a varied menu for the health-conscious, gluten-free crowd, and avid sports enthusiast. The Roasted Garlic Chicken Flatbread was truly gourmet. Baked to perfection, it fulfilled my expectation. Its rich ingredients of basil pesto, roasted tomatoes, garlic chicken chunks, and marinated artichokes were crowned with baby arugula drizzled with a sumptuous balsamic glaze. Now doesn’t that sound heavenly?

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet; Letter U

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Uptown Burrata Masterpiece Salad! I stumbled onto this decadent cheese with the soft creamy center at first bite when my husband and I visited Little Italy in Boston. Hearing the excitement in the voice of our waiter piqued my interest. Oh my, this has to be the best cheese ever! The easiest way to describe it is to say that it’s a type of fresh mozzarella cheese with a hollow center filled with thick cream that boasts of a rich buttery taste. Make sense? It’s meant to be eaten at room temperature, so don’t waste your money melting it on a pizza.
UPTOWN BURRATA MASTERPIECE SALAD
Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh arugula leaves

3-4 Campari tomatoes, quartered

6-ounces artichoke hearts, marinated

6-ounces Burrata mozzarella cheese

Balsamic Reduction 

Cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions:

Arrange arugula leaves in a shallow bowl. Place tomatoes and artichokes around decoratively. Place a portion of the Burrata mozzarella at center stage. Drizzle balsamic reduction sauce over all. Garnish with cracked peppercorns to taste. Yes, please!