This is always a bittersweet time of year for us. We’re experiencing the post-Christmas blues after saying good-bye to my parents and in-laws, and reminiscing about plenty of silly moments. At the same time, we look forward to our annual New Year’s Eve fondue feast and the start of a new year, with a fresh page on which to etch new memories.
This past year was filled with personal accomplishments, as well as challenges. We were so proud of my husband when he completed his Master’s degree (a reason to crack open a beer or two) and it was a thrill for me to run my first marathon while my husband completed his tenth. Once again, he clinched a spot in the Boston Marathon and we can’t wait to cheer him on in April.
It wasn’t only my husband and I who pounded the pavement. Our boys completed their first 5k race , which is what inspired this collage that we used for our Christmas card.
This year also marked a change in eating and exercise habits for me, culminating in a loss of 30 pounds (see My Health and Weight Loss Journey). Not only did the experience change the recipes I post here (well, except for the burst of holiday treats), but it also effected how I feel about myself everyday, the size of my energy reserves and how I face daily challenges.
Did everything that happened in 2012 paint a perfect picture? Of course not. But I can tell you that I am beyond grateful for so many things…my supportive husband, my boys (who steal my heart every day), my parents and in-laws, my friends and all of you. Thank you for your faithful readership and for returning again and again, trusting me to give you recipes that you can make for your own family and friends. I love writing this blog, and it is deeply satisfying to know how many people enjoy the recipes I dream up.
Now let’s move on to a recipe that is perfect for your New Year’s Eve celebration. A box of beautiful Harry & David pears inspired this simple crostini. (This post is not sponsored by Harry & David. I just really dig their pears.) After a quick turn around the grill pan, this pears are layered on pieces of toasted baguette, along with goat cheese, prosciutto and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Salt, sweet, tang, crunch. This appetizer has it all. And it comes together in a matter of minutes, leaving you more time to mingle with other New Year’s Eve revelers.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the pear slices until the pear is just starting to soften, about 1 minutes per side.
Spread some goat cheese on each baguette slice, then top each with a piece of prosciutto and a slice of pear.
Drizzle 2 to 3 drops of balsamic vinegar over each pear slice. Serve.
Other crostini recipe ideas:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Strawberry, Brie Cheese, Honey & Basil Crostini
Cookin’ Canuck’s Crostini with Balsamic Caramelized Onions, Melted Cheese & Sage
Foodiecrush’s Fig Spread & Cheese Crostini
Reluctant Entertainer’s Roasted Red Grapes & Rosemary Crostini
Closet Cooking’s Shiitake Mushroom & Blue Cheese Crostini
- 12 baguette slices
- 1 pear, cut into 12 slices
- 2 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
- 6 slices prosciutto, cut in half crosswise
- High-quality balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the pear slices until the pear is just starting to soften, about 1 minutes per side.
- Spread some goat cheese on each baguette slice, then top each with a piece of prosciutto and a slice of pear.
- Drizzle 2 to 3 drops of balsamic vinegar over each pear slice. Serve.