"My grandmother would use food coloring to make red and green pears only at Christmastime, and I enjoy carrying on her tradition. When I prepare this for a salad, I fill the centers with fresh fruit, fruit cocktail or cottage cheese. As a dessert, there are more options...a dab of whipping cream with a cherry on top, a drizzle of chocolate on top of the whipped cream or a scoop of sherbet in a contrasting color. -Mary Selner, Green Bay, Wisconsin"
In a skillet, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat; add food coloring and mint extract. Carefully place pears in syrup. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until tender. Place pears in a deep bowl; pour syrup over pears. Make sure pears are completely covered in the syrup to prevent browning. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until serving. Garnish with fresh mint.