New Year, new treats: festive brunch

Welcome the New Year with a simple but sophisticated brunch.
Small plate offering or your own intimate buffet.  The Menu Shoppe has it covered…discovering trends and new finds in the new year.
Spiced Pears and Pomegranates
3 pears – peeled, cored and cut into wedges
1 pomegranate, skin membrane removed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds (optional)
4 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)
Place the sliced pears and pomegranate arils into a bowl. Toss with lemon juice to coat. Combine the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a small cup or bowl, then mix into the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to blend the flavors. Serve in individual dishes, and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped almonds and a sprig of mint.  Or heat for a few minutes for a warm and toasty version.   allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spiced-Pears-and-Pomegranate/Detail.aspx
Dried Cherries, Pecans and Rosemary Brie en Croute
1/2 (17.3 ounce) package Puff Pastry Sheets
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup dried cherries, softened
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 (13.2 ounce) round Brie cheese
assorted cracker selection
Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it’s easy to handle. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square.
Stir the cherries, pecans, honey and rosemary in a small bowl.  Spread the cherry mixture into the center of the pastry square. Top with the cheese round. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg mixture. Fold two opposite sides of the pastry over the cheese.
Trim the remaining two sides of the pastry square to 2-inches from the edge of the cheese. Fold the sides up onto the cheese and press the edges to seal. Place the pastry-wrapped cheese seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture. Decorate the top with pastry scraps or additional rosemary, if desired. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden brown. Let stand for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Serve with the crackers.
Spinach Frittata 
1 lb spinach leaves (about 2 bunches), cleaned, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 large clove garlic, minced
9 large eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Sun-dried tomatoes, about 2 Tbsp chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 oz chevre
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cook spinach in 1/4 cup of water in a covered saucepan until just wilted, a couple minutes. Drain water and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and Parmesan cheese. Add in chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Sauté onions in olive oil in an oven-proof  skillet, until translucent, about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Add garlic and cook a minute further. Add cooked spinach and mix in with onions and garlic.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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