Monday, August 29, 2011

Fig and Thyme Cake Recipe

Last week, I was given a ton of figs and I've been eating them on my yogurt but we just couldn't eat them fast enough so I started looking up recipes for figs and I found a bunch of delicious ones but they were time consuming - whip egg whites, separate this, blah blah, and I'm making this at 8 p.m. after working a 10 hour day. I wasn't into complicated and I remembered my favorite cake recipe for a pear cardamom cake. I interchange the pears for figs and the cardamom for thyme. It is fantastic.

figs sitting in the brown sugar and butter mixture

Fig and Thyme Upside-Down Cake
Serves 8

1 1/2 cups flour (i used cake flour which required 3 more tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 - 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme (this is to taste - I added almost 2 based off how the flour and thyme smelled together. I didn't want it to be overpowering but I wanted it to be noticeable)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature, divided
3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
10 small figs sliced into discs (I covered my entire cake with discs of figs so depending on the size you might need more or less)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
black pepper (optional)

Whipping Cream (optional)
pint of heavy whipping cream
sugar -to taste

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-1 1/2-inch round cake pan.

2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together. Stir in the thyme and set aside.

3. Melt one-fourth cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sugar has melted and combined with the butter. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, spreading it to reach the sides.

4. Cut the figs, cut into discs and discard the stems. Arrange the figs in a circle around the cake pan, starting at the center and working outwards. Sprinkle with a dash of pepper (optional). Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

5. Beat the remaining one-half cup butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, beating after each addition just until combined.

6. Gently spoon the cake batter on top of the figs, smoothing out to the edge of the pan and making sure the cake batter fills in around the pears.

7. Bake until the top is a deep golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Place the cake on a rack to cool for 5 minutes in the pan.

8. Run a small spatula or knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a cake plate, leaving the pan on the cake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature

9. Make whip cream, pour pint of heavy whipping cream into bowl and add sugar to taste (usually 1-2 tablespoons) and whip with either hand mixer or stand mixer until cream becomes thick and fluffy.

10. Serve, wait for everyone's mouth's to drool while you're plating up this sugary, figgy cake and service with a big dollop of homemade whipped cream.

The only slightly sad warning is this cake doesn't last if you don't eat it past the second day. It might have lasted longer in the fridge but its so moist that it will turn before you can eat it all!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Food Porn - Pan Fried Duck

I love cooking and for me it is like a mental yoga. When the day has been bad or things aren't going the way I planned I can go to the kitchen and cook. Very rarely do things turn out bad. Somethings not as planned but not bad. Recently, Leslie, had posted about an asparagus salad that they had created the recipe via video. This led me to start reading Kinfolk Journal. Which is like the playboy of food journals. It's an amazing website and magazine that documents amazing food and the people that make it. I instantly knew that I need to make this recipe.

I took one measly little photo on my iphone. I was really too hungry to try and photograph it well and to be honest the video is amazing. Why try to recreate it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Corn Salad Recipe

A few weeks ago when I was in San Francisco, we stopped at an awesome pizza place in my girlfriends neighborhood; Delfina Pizza. To be honest, the pizza is good but their side entrees really stole the spotlight this past trip for me. We ordered sand dabs ( mini fish deep fried) and a summer corn salad. I've been thinking about making the corn salad ever since which I finally did this past weekend twice.

Summer Corn Salad
serves 2
1 large ear of corn - shave off the corn with either a knife or a cool corn tool
1-2 small kumato tomatoes (mine were fairly small maybe 2 inches across) - chopped
2 large handfuls of arugula - washed (or several websites call for basil
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon onion - finely chopped

-Shave the corn off the cob and place in a small mixing bowl.
-Finely chop the onion and add to the corn.
-Cut the tomatoes into smallish pieces (or if using cherry tomatoes I would halve or quarter if possible) and add to the corn/onion mixture
-Toss the corn/onion/tomatoes with a bit of good olive oil (I probably used 2 teaspoons)
-Season the corn/onion/tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste
-In the final step, make sure to mix the corn, tomato, and onion mixture well to blend the olive oil into the salad
Place the arugula on the plates and spoon the corn mixture over
*Another option would be to mix the arugula into the corn mixture if that is what you prefer I would add the arugula by sight. Using probably only 1 large handful vs the 2 handfuls.

There are tons of summer corn salad recipes online but a lot of them call for boiling the corn to remove the starch. I didn't and I loved the summery sweet taste of the raw corn. This recipe was sort of made up of what I liked from other people's recipes so feel free to modify! Let me know if you try something new and yummy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I'm SFO bound in a few days to spend a much needed Girls Weekend with my Best Friend.

via we heart it . com

I simply can't wait to spend the weekend with her! Its incredibly hard not living near each other but luckily she's just up the coast and not across the world!

Even though I've been there a handful of times we always find new exciting places to try! Please let me know if you have any must see spots!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Diner en Blanc

Say what? Diner en Blanc was a night in Paris where 10,000 people all dressed in white and brought their own picnic to the Louvre and Notre Dame.

Dîner en Blanc -Parvis de Nôtre Dame
via flickr

How amazing would this be? The most amazing part is it was all started by spreading word by word of mouth. Everyone was a friend of someone.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Raspberry Summer Cake

I was reading someone's blog this weekend who linked to Smitten Kitchen's blog about how to make pancakes. Something I'm determined to master at some point in my life. Mine always turn out overcooked or raw in the middle. Ugh, after mentally memorizing how to make perfect pancakes I decided to catch up on some of her other postings. I came across Strawberry Summer Cake. It sounded easy and we might have gone a little crazy with the juicing and bought way to much. Maybe. I needed to use some raspberries up about 12 pints to be exact.

Raspberry Summer Cake

Adapted, unintentionally, from Smitten Kitchen

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour (I used cake flour and measured out 188 grams otherwise per cup you add 2 extra tablespoons, I believe)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 pound (450 grams) raspberries (SK originally calls for strawberries, I only had raspberry on hand)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch cake pan.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.

(This is where I messed up big time - I know only like 2 steps in. I wasn't paying attention and I mixed the sugar into the flour, baking powder and salt mixture. I continued to cream the butter by itself and add the egg/milk in and then gradually add in the flour. Not sure what the cake would taste like otherwise but mine is still delicious!)

In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared cake pan. Arrange berries, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges.

It was the perfect dessert with our grilled buffalo chicken tenders and margherita pizza made on the grill. This cake is summer.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I love your sultry smooth voice and I envy your oh so cool 60's vibe with the behive, pointed nails, black eyeliner and big lashes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I've boughten into the latest fad even though I hate to admit it. I recently watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (which is on instant netflix currently!) and went out hours later and bought $150 worth of fresh fruits and veggies and an $80 juicer to start juicing immediately. Pictured below are the supplies - mangos, spinach, grapes, large cucumbers, red peppers, tomatoes, figs, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Also the juicer is behind the crate of mangos.

The results only 5 days later - I am down 2.3 pounds and feel fantastic. I have replaced my breakfast with a jar of fresh vegetable and fruit juice that I drink slowly most of the morning at work.

I might have bought into the hype but is it a really hype to get more fruits and veggies in my diet? No, I don't think so. I do have to admit I felt like a hoarder buying all these fruits and veggies but we bought 2 giant bags of spinach and we've gone through 1.5 bags in only 5 days.

If anyone has any questions about it feel free to send me a message! Not that I'm an expert but I can share with you about my own experience!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Travel Bug...

Keeps on biting me...I am dreaming of places to go today

Perhaps a warm beautiful island

or beautiful Italy

or maybe Spain

or we could go back to Paris