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Farmers' market finds: Ripe figs & heirloom tomatoes

Recently I've been trying to buy our produce at the Oceanside Farmers' Market. I have a flexible work schedule and I thought I should really take advantage of this little local gem. The market is open year round and is only about a mile from my home. I've gone every week for a month now and we've tried some food we wouldn't normally buy. I figured it was time to start keeping track of what we made so here I am! 

This week I got some really great mission figs and sweet heirloom cherry tomatoes. I wasn't planning on using them together but we found this recipe for Beef Tri-tip with Roasted Figs and hello, it was amazing. I didn't have any fancy little onions so I used regular sweet onions and roughly followed this recipe to gauge roasting time before adding the figs and tomatoes. 

Adding a olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the figs and tomatoes before roasting yielded a sweet sauce that we used over the beef rather than making a gravy. It was perfect and what I've learned is that I need to roast figs a lot more often!


{Recipe} Honey Chipotle Spiced Pecans

Meet your new favorite party treat. The Honey Chipotle Spiced Pecans are a crowd pleaser. They're spicy, salty, sweet and totally irresistable. They are easy to whip up and they'll disappear fast!

Honey Chipotle Spice Pecans


2 tbsp honey
1 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups pecan halves
2 tbsp granulated sugar (I use raw sugar)
3/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the honey, chipotle powder, cayenne and cinnamon. Warm through. Stir nuts into warmed honey mixture to coat well. Spread honey-coated nuts in a single layer on to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until fragrant, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 minute. In a clean mixing bowl, combine sugar and salt. Add hot nuts to bowl and toss to coat. Return nuts to baking sheet and allow to cool completely. Yum!



Garden to table: Eggplant {Recipe}

Garden to table: eggplant

Eggplant harvest! Last spring I planted a variety pack of eggplant seeds and was really happy and surprised by the results. Eggplants of all different shapes and sizes started appearing. So fun! I had a few big harvests and as a result we've been eating eggplant with eggplant for weeks now. I tried making roasted eggplant, babaganoush, sweet and sour eggplant, but this Thai basil eggplant recipe is by far my favorite. I made a big batch for friends and the wok was practically licked clean!

Garden to table: eggplant

Thai Eggplant Basil Dinner
(from thaitable.com)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 bunch Thai basil, leaves picked from the stem
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 eggplants
2 chili peppers

Slice the eggplants into irregular shapes for easy turning in the pan. When it is sliced into a small disk, it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan and makes it difficult to flip or turn.

Chop garlic and slice chili peppers. Pick the leaves from the stem of the Thai basil.

Heat a pan or wok over high or medium high. Add oil, chili peppers and garlic. Stir until the garlic turn golden brown. Add eggplant and stir. Add a cup of water and cover the pan or wok with a lid. Keep the lid close until the eggplant is cooked. It should take about 5-7 minutes before the eggplant is done. The eggplant turns from white to translucent when it is done. Almost all of the water should have been evaporated at this point. If the eggplant is still not cooked, add a little bit more water and keep lid closed until the eggplant is ready. Add fish sauce and sugar and stir. Add Thai basil and quickly stir to heat the basil, so that it retains it color. Turn off heat immediately.

Serve hot with rice.


{Recipe} Bacon & Chocolate Chip Cookies

bacon and chocolate chip cookies

My new love affair. Salty, chocolatey, sweet, savory. It's all right here in one perfect little package. You brown the butter to add a rich nutty flavor and then the bacon takes it over the top. Yum!

Brown Butter, Bacon & Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from Mouth From the South)

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
4 oz semisweet chocolate bar, diced into 1/4" pieces
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chops (I like Ghirardelli 60% cacao)
3 tablespoons milk chocolate, grated
1 cup bacon that's been fried until crispy and diced into roughly 1/4" pieces

Adjust your oven rack so it's in the middle position. Pre-heat to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Heat 10 tablespoons of butter in a 10 inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly. Watch this carefully - butter can go from brown to burned very quickly. When butter is dark-golden brown and has a nutty aroma, remove from heat and immediately transfer to a heatproof bowl. Stir the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into hot butter until melted.

Add granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, salt and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until completely mixed. Add egg and egg yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth and there are no lumps of sugar remaining.

Let sugar/egg/butter mixture stand for a few minutes. Then whisk again for 30 seconds. Do this several times - you want to make sure that the sugar has "melted" into the liquid. When ready, mixture will be smooth, thick and shiny.

Using wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in grated chocolate, chocolate chunks, chocolate chips and bacon pieces. Don't overmix but make sure no flour pockets remain.

Using a teaspoon, place a heaping teaspoon of cookie dough on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I get about 14 on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-14 minutes (my oven takes 11 minutes) until cookies are golden-brown and set along the edges but the middle is still soft. Remove from oven and set baking sheet on a wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes.


Quick, easy and summer fresh {dessert recipe}

fruit stack

Fruit Stacks with Drizzling Sauce
Makes 2

3 ripe nectarines, thinly sliced (about a cup)
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 sheet puff pastry dough (I use Pepperidge Farm from the grocery freezer case)
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Allow puff pastry dough to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Cut dough in thirds along fold lines forming long strips, cut each strip in half. You now have six sections of dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and position two sections of dough about four inches apart, these will be the base pieces for the desserts. Layer nectarines neatly on each piece. Cover nectarines with a piece of dough. Layer raspberries gently pressing them into the dough so they don't roll away. Cover raspberries with the last two pieces of dough. Add a raspberry to the top for garnish. Place fruit stacks in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the dough is crisp and golden.

To make the drizzling sauce combine powdered sugar and milk and whisk until combined. Serve fruit stacks warm and drizzled with sugar sauce. Yum!