Cold Winter Mornings

I like including fruit and granola in most of my mornings. Usually, I will spoon some plain yogurt, fruit, and granola into a bowl and enjoy it that way. Sometimes I will add a little maple syrup for sweetness and a light sprinkling of nuts for extra protein. Of course, that's during the week. On the weekend, the same concept gets the upscale treatment:

For this particular recipe, firm pears are preferred, as very ripe ones will simply fall apart under the heat of the oven. So those pears that look amazing but aren't quite ready to eat? Those pears that have been tempting you, but ripening oh-so-slowly? Yeah, grab some of those. You are about to have some morning bliss!

I also like to serve this simple — yeah, it's actually very simple — dish with a small scoop of yogurt. Old habits die hard, I suppose, but this one's a good one! Besides, a little bit of yogurt added to each decadent bite is a great way to start the day. Elegant, easy, and actually good for you. Maybe this winter thing will have us enjoying new traditions like this again and again!

Maple Roasted Pears with Granola and Almonds

  • 4 firm pears
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. granola — choose a favorite variety
  • 4 T. sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Slice the pears in half and, using a melon baller or teaspoon, carefully remove the core of each half. Make sure you leave the stem intact.

Place the butter in an 8-inch square baking dish and set it in the oven for 3 minutes. Remove the pan and carefully set the pear halves in the melted butter, cut side down. Roast the pears for 10 minutes. Then, remove the pan and drizzle the maple syrup into the pan, making sure the pears get rubbed into the syrup-butter mixture. Return the baking dish to the oven and roast an additional 10 minutes.

Place two pear halves on a serving plate and sprinkle a fourth of the granola and sliced almonds over the pears. Serve warm.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

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