Sticky Fig Jam

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Figs are one of those fruits that fascinate me. Outside of a fig newton, I had never tasted figs until I was in college, and even then it was out of desperation. Putting myself through college, my work life involved many carefully thought out random part-time jobs that, pieced together, allowed me to live in a cute apartment with a good friend and eat mostly Cheerios and Ramen Noodles. Yes, I was living the high life. One of my jobs was giving tours at a local open air museum, and occasionally I was assigned to work a ticket booth that was labeled The Dead Zone because no one (and I mean NO ONE) ever used that entrance. While it was a failure at generating ticket revenue, I actually loved working in that little ticket booth because I could take a good book and read for hours uninterrupted. Well, mostly uninterrupted.

You see, the ticket booth in question was near a very large fig tree whose canopy extended over the museum fence and shaded the city sidewalk on the other side (this was Florida, fig trees grow BIG). Did I know this was a fig tree? Uh, no. Did I know I could pick figs and eat them? Uh, no. My suburban upbringing left me woefully unprepared to forage for my own survival. Katniss Everdeen would have kicked my a**.

And then, I met two little boys. One day, these boys came by my ticket booth carrying plastic grocery bags and asked me if they could pick the figs on the other side of the fence. Their mom had sent them up the street with an assignment and she must have been paying them, because they were all kinds of serious. I told them to go ahead and pick what they wanted. What did I care? I was getting paid to read Edith Wharton. Then I got curious. Figs? As in FOOD? I watched the boys pick the figs and eat some. I tried one. I was hooked. The boys came back several times over the summer and I always enjoyed hearing their conversations from across the fence. Sometimes they would ask me questions about the museum, but mostly they were all business. And so was I. I think I ate my weight in figs that summer.

And thus began my love of figs, which were not only delicious (and free–thank you Florida taxpayers), but they were probably the only fresh fruit I ate all summer. If it weren’t for some ginormous, multicolored tree dinosaurs grasshoppers that scared years off my life when I saw them, I probably would have picked the tree clean.

Had I known how to cook, I probably could have made better use of those figs. If I had known about THIS recipe from my friend Heather at Sugar Dish Me, I would have totally made that (and I will as soon as I get me some more figs!). Figs are just coming into season here in central NC and I plan to sock away as many as I can. I found this recipe for sticky fig jam in “Put ‘Em Up” (LOVE this book) and it is absolutely delicious. The blend of figs and balsamic vinegar is pretty amazing. It’s great on toast, but we have enjoyed it on pork tenderloin, on pizza, over cream cheese as a dip and on grilled cheese sandwiches as well. Figs are also one of those great fruits that can be frozen whole for up to 6 months, so if you can’t decide what to do with them, just pop them in the freezer!

Last year, a friend gave me a fig tree cutting and our little tree is growing nicely. We even harvested one fig this summer! I need to talk with Tom about planting another fig tree…and finding me a ticket booth…I miss Edith Wharton…

Sticky Fig Jam

  • 2 lbs. figs, washed, stemmed and cut into halves or quarters
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c. bottled lemon juice
  1. Add figs and water to a non-reactive stock pot and heat over medium for about 5 minutes, until the figs begin to soften.
  2. Use a potato masher to mash the figs.
  3. Add the sugar, vinegar and lemon juice and stir well. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the mixture is thick and sticky. Test for gel by putting a spoonful of the jam on a plate. If you run your finger through the jam, it should stay separated.
  4. You can put the mixture into jars and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or can into half-pint or 4 oz. jars using a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Let jars sit in the canning pot for an additional 5 minutes with the heat off and the lid removed.
  5. Remove jars from the bath and let sit for 24 hours. Test seals and store for up to 1 year.
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Almond Butter Stuffed Banana Muffins

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While working on the post for preserving nuts (see here), I made a lot of chocolate almond butter. I mean, really, a LOT. So I started looking for creative ways to use some of it in recipes (stuffed pancakes, anyone?). Earlier in the summer, we posted a recipe for Whole Wheat Linzer Muffins (almond muffins stuffed with raspberry jam) and that got me thinking–would using almond butter as stuffing work? Turns out, the answer is a delicious YES!

These muffins are satisfying and filling. I used a regular banana muffin recipe and filled the muffin cups with a tablespoon of batter. I topped that bit of batter with a small ball of chocolate almond butter, then filled the muffin cups the rest of the way. Very easy and, if you have a small helper with you, they could make the little balls of almond butter for you and get some real world application for their budding play dough skills!

Almond Butter Stuffed Banana Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
  • 3/4 cup organic coconut sugar (or organic cane sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1 large farm egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup chocolate almond butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line the cups of a muffin pan with paper liners or oil. Set aside.
  3. Make 12-1″ balls from the almond butter and set aside.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well.
  5. In a larger bowl, wisk together the bananas, sugar, egg and butter. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in the dry ingredients and mix just until all the flour is moistened.
  6. Drop a tablespoon or so of batter into each muffin cup. Place one ball of almond butter into each muffin cup.
  7. Fill the cups with batter and bake for 15-18 minutes. Check for doneness using a toothpick. Tops should be browned and the toothpick should come out clean.
  8. Let cool in muffin cups for 10 minutes. Remove muffins to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  9. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen in individual freezer bags for up to 6 months.

Summer Vegetable Tian

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I first saw the idea for a vegetable tian in an issue of Martha Stewart magazine many years ago. It looked hard. And fussy. I didn’t have a food processor, but I did have a little baby, and the thought of slicing all those vegetables seemed out of the question–who had the time? But things change, right? A few weeks ago, I saw another recipe on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a try. I have a trusty food processor now, making all that slicing easy. And that little baby is 13, so I can use sharp cutting tools without too much worry. Perfect timing!

A vegetable tian is basically thinly sliced vegetables that are stacked, seasoned and roasted until tender. Then topped with some cheese and baked until melty. This is a reasonably healthy, tasty and pretty dish–perfect for a dinner party or holiday dinner since it looks so fancy. Although we had this as a side dish, it would make a terrific vegetarian entree if you subbed the Parmesan cheese for soy cheese!

For our tian, I used late summer vegetables that I had handy–zucchini, purple potatoes and Roma tomatoes. I would have used yellow squash, but we had eaten it all. Ditto for the eggplant. The next time I make this, I’ll probably add some yellow squash and onion slices for some added flavor. And I may leave out the tomatoes since I am the only tomato fanatic in the house. You could make this with any vegetables you have handy as long as they can be sliced thin (sorry, broccoli, you’re on the sidelines for this one).

Looking ahead (although I am still not finished with summer), a fall version with sweet potatoes and squash would be pretty phenomenal–maybe drizzled with maple syrup!

While my “little one” isn’t so little anymore, I wonder if smaller children would love to see the animated movie Ratatouille, followed by helping to make the vegetable stacks for the pan. Maybe that would increase interest in eating vegetables??? This is one dish that involves some fun and creativity in the prep work!

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Summer Vegetable Tian (makes 8 servings)

  • 2 zucchini, washed and trimmed
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, washed and trimmed
  • 1 quart purple potatoes, scrubbed and trimmed
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • Ground, black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray or oil.
  3. Slice all vegetables to equal thickness (ours were on the thinnest setting of the food processor).
  4. Arrange vegetables in stacks within the baking dish–I used a little pattern, but you could be random–whatever works for you.
  5. When all your vegetables are safely tucked in, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cover and roast for about 30-40 minutes. Vegetables should be soft.
  6. Uncover, top with cheese and bake for another 15 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

Aubergine and Lavender Pasta

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Lavender. In pasta. You heard me! This pasta features some fresh, local vegetables and a locally produced pasta sauce with lavender. Game on, fellow foodies.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Neal “Nello” McTighe, owner of Raleigh-based Nello’s Sauce (a post about Nello’s is coming up later this week!). You know, we don’t purchase much in the way of processed or prepared foods, but I was very interested in talking to the folks at Nello’s about starting a small, local business. And, I like food, right?

During a recent blogy interview, Neal introduced me to Nello’s newest creation, their Provencal Pomodoro Sauce. Yes, Provencal–as in Provence, France–home of lovely fields of lavender! The amazing ingredient in this particular sauce is organic lavender. Now, I’ve had lavender in pound cake and cookies and in Herbes de Provence, but it never occurred to me to use it in a tomato sauce. Nope. Not even once. Shame on me, right?

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Since we have loads and loads of fresh, ripe eggplant at our farmer’s markets right now, I decided to take this sauce out for a spin with a roasted eggplant, chicken and artichoke heart pasta, created on the fly using what I found at the market. I used some locally produced fresh mozzarella, which melted oh so deliciously into the sauce. This recipe is a keeper, for sure. It was definitely on the hearty end of the food spectrum, although it is very modest in calories and super low in fat. You could easily skip the chicken, increase the eggplant and Voila! Meatless Monday!

I should disclose that the sauce was given to me, although without expectation that I would blog about it. Although it was a gift, I would not blog about it if it weren’t exceptional–I have too many pieces to write as it is, so I’m not going to write about something that isn’t good. Ain’t no blogger got time for that.

A note about the sauce. If you have picky eaters and are worried about lavender in the pasta sauce, here is my suggestion–don’t tell them.The lavender in the sauce adds a lovely, floral flavor that doesn’t overwhelm you (you won’t feel like you are eating potpourri), and your family probably won’t be able to place the wonderful flavor. It is really a winning combination!

Nello’s Sauce is available at central NC Whole Foods stores or HERE. Neal is running a contest this week for recipes using his sauce–you can find information on the Nello’s website HERE.

Aubergine and Lavender Pasta (makes 6-8 servings)

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (raw) cut into small cubes (about 1/2″)
  • 2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
  • 3 smallish aubergine eggplants, peeled and cubed
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10-12 frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted (do not use marinaded artichoke hearts)
  • 1 jar Nello’s Provencal Pomodoro Sauce
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 10 ounces thin spaghetti noodles
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, to taste
  • Grated parmesan cheese, to taste
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put a stock pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
  3. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the cubed, raw chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pinch of salt, pepper and the Herbes de Provence. Toss well and add to one rimmed baking sheet. Put in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes.
  5. In another bowl, combine cubed eggplant and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and toss well to coat the eggplant. Add to the second baking sheet and roast eggplant for 30 minutes or until soft (I added the second baking sheet about 10 minutes after the chicken, so they finished at the same time).
  6. In a 12″ skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions until they are soft and begin to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Don’t let them burn. Add the garlic and artichoke hearts and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add the pasta sauce and reduce heat to medium low.
  7. Put the pasta in the boiling, salted pasta water and cook according to directions.
  8. While pasta is cooking, add the cooked chicken and eggplant to the sauce. Stir well. Cut up the basil leaves and add to the sauce.
  9. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water to thicken the sauce, if necessary.
  10. Add the drained, cooked pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Turn the heat off, and use tongs to combine the pasta and sauce.
  11. Serve the hot pasta with chunks of fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, if you like (and I do!).
  12. Serve immediately.

PLT Salad (Prosciutto, Lettuce and Tomato)

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I don’t know who came up with the BLT sandwich, but they are geniuses. I love a great BLT, especially when heirloom tomatoes are fresh and ripe and we have great, fresh bread handy. Yum! In the absence of bread (or if you are trying to avoid bread), a BLT salad makes a delicious meal.

This salad started off as a BLT salad, with bacon, lettuce and tomato. Unfortunately, the “bacon” I received in my produce box last week was actually a cured side meat known here as “streak o’ lean”– meaning mostly fat, with a little streak of lean meat running through it. Now side meat is awesome for seasoning kale, collards, beans and lots of things, but it is not a replacement for bacon–especially in a salad. Had I known what I was getting, I would have stopped by Mae Farm and picked up some of their incredibly awesome bacon. Instead I lightly fried some prosciutto we already had and used that. I think I actually like the prosciutto better on a salad–it is light and very crunchy and has tons of flavor without all the fat of bacon. Score!

PLT Salad (serves 4)

  • 1 head organic butter lettuce
  • 1 large, organic heirloom tomato (we used German Johnson, which are quite large) or several small
  • 1 organic cucumber
  • 1 organic bell pepper
  • 4 fresh farm eggs
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • Dressing of your choice
  1. Put eggs in a small pot and fill the pot with water to cover eggs by 1″. Cover and heat eggs over high heat until water boils.
  2. When water comes to a boil, shut off heat and let eggs sit for 12 minutes.
  3. While eggs cook, heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add prosciutto slices and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel to cool and drain.
  4. Wash, trim and chop the lettuce into bite sized pieces. Put in a large salad bowl.
  5. Wash, trim and chop the tomato, cucumber, and bell pepper and add to the bowl.
  6. When eggs are done, drain them in a strainer and run cold water over the shells. When they are cool enough to handle, knock each egg lightly all over (I do this on the counter) to create small cracks all over the shell. Hold each egg under a stream of cool, running water and carefully peel the eggs. Set aside.
  7. Break the prosciutto into pieces and sprinkle them over the salad. Cut each egg in half and arrange around the salad.
  8. Serve immediately with dressing of your choice!

Roasted Spanish Mackerel

20130815-200613.jpgI am a huge fan of roasting as a cooking method, but for some reason, I’ve had a mental block about roasting a whole fish. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it’s the head? Yes, most likely, it’s the head. And the bones. I mean, I know how to carve a chicken, but a fish? Uncharted waters, my friends.

Recently, though, I read a post from Locals Seafood about roasting fish that compared it to roasting a chicken in terms of ease and deliciousness. And during our trip to France, where fish is commonly served roasted and whole, we learned firsthand how delicious and moist it can be. So why not give it a try?

This recipe is for roasted whole Spanish mackerel, a sustainable fish commonly caught in North Carolina waters. You can substitute any medium sized fish for this recipe though. It is very simple and incredibly delicious. Stuffing the fish with fresh fennel, onion and citrus gave the fish a nice flavor and made the house smell AMAZING.

How was the experience? Actually, very good! Roasting the fish could not have been easier and the resulting dinner was moist and flavorful. Carving the fish was a little stressful for me, but thankfully Tom fishes frequently and his tips were all I needed to get two large and (mostly) boneless fillets. In the end, a whole fish is also a LOT less expensive than buying fillets–a big plus on our budget!

As for the fish head? Well, that is where our cat, Cosmo, comes in. He was in cat heaven. Yes, kinda gross, but at least it didn’t go waste. You can always ask your seafood person to remove the head for you, if it bothers you–you can also use the head and bones to make a fish stock.

I give this experiment a thumbs up, and we will definitely try it again with other varieties of fish and other types of seasoning. It’s great to expand your horizons and try something new!

Roasted Spanish Mackerel (servings will depend on the size of your fish–we had two servings from one fish)

  • 1 whole Spanish mackerel (about 2 lbs. total)
  • 1/2 bulb of fresh fennel
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 small lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (optional, but it does make cleanup easier).
  3. Place the fish on the baking sheet. Salt and pepper the inside of the cavity. Stuff the cavity with onion, lemon and fennel (as much as will fit).
  4. Rub the outside of the fish with the olive oil (both sides). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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  1. Roast the fish for 30 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flaky. The timing here will depend on the size of your fish. A larger fish may take up to 45 minutes.
  2. To carve the fish, remove the head and tail and reserve the head for stock (or a lucky kitty). Using a very sharp knife, start at the head end of the fish, insert the knife just above the spine of the fish and run the knife all the way to the tail. Remove the top fillet.

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  1. You should see the fish skeleton (see photo). You should be able to pick up the backbone at one end of the fish and remove the skeleton in one piece (this will be of endless coolness if you have small children).
  2. Trim the remaining bottom fillet and plate.
  3. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza

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This pizza is a knife and fork pizza. Or at least a two napkin pizza. It is chock full of late summer goodness, like roasted sweet potato, sweet onions, locally made chorizo sausage, and colorful, fresh bell peppers. This pizza is a meal In itself. I had originally planned to have a salad with dinner, but once I saw how huge the pizza was, I decided to save the salad for another night!

Pizza is one of those incredibly versatile meals that can make the most of whatever you have in the pantry or refrigerator. I’m including my whole wheat crust recipe because it is filling and higher in protein and fiber. You could replace it with whatever crust you like, though. I’m definitely going to make this again during football season!

Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza (makes 4-6 serving)

  • 1 recipe whole wheat pizza crust (see below)
  • 1 large sweet potato, roasted, with flesh removed from skin (compost the skin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 bell peppers (I used 1 each of red, yellow and green), washed, seeded and chopped
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
  • 1 lb. chorizo bulk chorizo sausage
  • 1 cup canned organic black beans
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  1. Prepare the pizza crust and let rise.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a 12″ skillet, brown the chorizo sausage over medium heat. Place a strainer over a thick layer of paper towel and pour sausage and drippings into the strainer and set aside.
  4. Return the skillet to the heat, and add the olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers. Stir together and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft and there is no liquid in the pan. Remove pan from heat.
  5. On a lightly greased or flour dusted baking sheet, stretch dough out to make your pizza shape (I prefer square pizzas, but that’s me).
  6. Spread the sweet potato over the crust and sprinkle the drained chorizo over the sweet potato.
  7. Add black beans on top of the sausage, then add the pepper mixture over all.
  8. Cover the vegetables with a generous amount of cheese.
  9. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Cut and serve immediately.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (makes 2 rounds of dough)

  • 1 pckg. yeast
  • 1 3/4 c. warm water
  • 4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until completely dissolved and a bit foamy.
    2. In the bowl of a standing mixer (w/dough hook attached), combine flour, salt and olive oil.
    3. While mixer is running on low/med low, add yeast water to the flour in a stream.
    4. Allow mixer to knead dough for about 4 min.
    5. Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.
    6. Punch down dough and divide into two pieces (we divided it into 3). Each ball will make a pizza. You can freeze half for another time or let each dough ball stand covered for 20 minutes.
    7. Shape and make your pizzas according to the recipe directions.

    Southern Succotash

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    I’ve always loved vegetable mixes, especially that popular mix of corn, carrots and Lima beans called succotash. To me, the three vegetables combined were always more interesting than they were served individually. And then, of course, there is the name “succotash”, which always seemed fun to say, especially if you use your best Sylvester the Cat voice and say “Sufferin’ Succotash.” But I digress.

    This succotash has a lovely, summer Southern flavor based on vegetables that are plentiful here in late summer North Carolina. It is a delicious and vitamin rich side dish, but served on top of organic rice, grits or corn bread, it is also a hearty, vegetarian main dish. This version centers on okra, tomatoes, field peas and onions, all grown within 50 miles. So delicious, so healthy, so summer. Sufferin’? Not hardly–how about celebratin’ succotash?

    Southern Succotash (makes 4 entree portions or 6 side dish portions)

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 sweet, organic onion, peeled and sliced
    • 4 cloves organic garlic, peeled and chopped
    • 1 quart baby okra, washed and trimmed
    • 1 quart cherry tomatoes (we used purple splash)
    • 1 quart pink eye field peas (any field pea or butter bean would work)
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • Kosher or sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
    1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
    2. Add the onions and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
    3. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Add the tomatoes and okra. Cook until tomatoes start to release their juices, about 5 minutes.
    5. Stir well and add the fresh field peas and thyme.
    6. Reduce heat , cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until peas are just tender. If mixture becomes dry, add about a half cup of water and continue cooking.

    Peach Cobbler

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    Ohhhhhhhh, this peach cobbler. When Tom sees me coming home with a basket of peaches, he is one happy man. This cobbler is one of our favorite summer desserts. You could substitute another fruit for the peaches, but peach is by far the best. There are probably a million cobbler recipes out there–cobblers take different form in different parts of the U.S. We agree though, that this is the version for us. It is moist and a bit gooey, with a lightly crunchy crust. My version uses unbleached flour and sugar, making it a bit browner and rustic looking, but the taste is all awesomeness! I also use almond milk in place of cow milk, but either work well.

    Ice cream? Absolutely! Pass me some more cobbler…

    Peach Cobbler (makes 6-8 servings)

    1 stick of organic butter
    1 quart fresh, ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
    1 cup self-rising, whole wheat flour
    1 cup organic cane sugar
    1 cup almond milk (or real milk)
    2 tablespoons turbinado or brown sugar
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    Ice cream or whipped cream (optional? Not for me)

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    Melt the butter and pour into an 11 x 13 baking dish.
    Add the peach slices on top of the butter.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and milk. Pour over the peaches.
    Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
    Bake for 35-40 minutes, until crust is lightly browned and the cobbler is hot and bubbly.
    Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes.
    Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

    Mediterranean Shrimp and Feta

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    Can you tell we love shrimp? A good number of our summer recipes revolve around shrimp and fish, both of which are available fresh from North Carolina waters. Shrimp has had a bad rep for its high cholesterol content, but interestingly, it is high in natural cholesterol and very low in fat. Studies of the effects of shrimp on cholesterol levels have shown that unlike high cholesterol, high fat foods, eating steamed, poached or roasted shrimp do not negatively impact bad cholesterol levels. Great news! Just stay away from the all-you-can-eat fried popcorn shrimp at Golden Corral. Nothing good comes of that.

    This shrimp dish is unbelievably flavorful and fresh, and it comes together in about 30 minutes! The original recipe is an oldie from Southern Living, but I’ve added my own spin to it. We served this over organic rice, but pasta would be great as well.

    Mediterranean Shrimp and Feta (serves 2-3)

    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, trimmed and sliced
    • 1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 can organic artichoke hearts, halved
    • 4 ounces goat milk feta cheese
    • Juice of one fresh lemon
    • 1/2 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
    • 3 cups cooked organic rice
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    2. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
    3. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Add to baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
    4. Stir vegetables gently and add shrimp and artichoke hearts. Roast for 10 more minutes.
    5. Combine feta, lemon juice and parsley in a large bowl.
    6. Add cooked shrimp mixture and any pan juices to the feta. Toss well.
    7. Serve over hot rice.
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