Fig and Almond Gratin

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This one comes from Patricia Well’s The Paris Cookbook, she never disappoints! Fresh figs, almonds, creme fraiche – what’s not to love, I did cut the sugar down a bit – hey figs are pretty sweet on their own. This one is best served warm, but ya can always give it a quick warm up in the oven.

Ingredients:
2/3 c cream fraiche or heavy creme
4 springs thyme
4 eggs
1/3 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 c ground almonds
2 lb figs, stemmed and a “X” cut halfway through
Thyme Sugar:
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Spray or butter a 10 1/2 inch round baking dish.

In a small sauce pan, combine creme fraiche and thyme over moderate heat until tiny bubbles form around the edge. Stir, remove from heat and allow to steep for an hour.

In a bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk, beat eggs, sugar and salt at high speed until thick about 2 minutes. Stir in almonds, extract and thyme cream.

Pour 1/2 in the pan. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Arrange figs over the batter. Pour remaining batter over figs and bake 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine sugar and thyme in a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.

Scatter thyme sugar over the gratin and bake for 10 more minutes until golden brown.

Remove from oven. Serve warm.

Serves 8.

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Fig, Almond, Chocolate and Honey Bites

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These little bites are amazing – and healthy. Another home run from my favorite cook book author, Patricia Wells.

Ingredients:
4 oz almonds, toasted and ground
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, broken
3 TBSP honey
2 TBSP water
Zest of one lemon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 oz dried figs, finely chopped

In a small saucepan combine chocolate, water and honey over medium low heat until smooth. Stir in zest, salt, cinnamon, figs and ground almonds.

Spoon into a mini muffin pan lined with mini muffin wrappers. Chill for 30
Minutes. Store in fridge in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 24.

Lemon Cake with Raspberries and Almonds

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This recipe is inspired by Bon Appetit – I made a few minor changes, used coconut palm sugar, swapped almonds for pistachios and used a little whole wheat flour. Make sure the olive oil you use is fruity.

Ingredients:
1 c flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 large eggs
3/4 c coconut palm sugar plus 2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP finely grated lemon zest
1 TBSP lemon juice
¾ c olive oil
1 c raspberries
3 TBSP slivered, almonds
Lemon Syrup
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c coconut palm sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9” diameter cake pan with nonstick spray.

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

Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and 3/4 c sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With mixer running, add vanilla and 1 TBSP lemon juice, then gradually add oil, mixing just until combined. Fold in lemon zest and dry ingredients.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Scatter berries over cake, then almonds and 2 TBSP sugar.

Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 45–55 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring remaining ¼ c sugar and remaining ¼ c lemon juice to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar; let lemon syrup cool.

Transfer hot cake (still in pan) to a wire rack and immediately brush with lemon syrup (use all of it). Let cake cool completely in pan.

Serves 8 – 10.

California Almond Shortbread Cookies

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This recipe is from Heritage of America Cookbook. I needed to come up with something for heritage week at my sons school, thank god I held on to this book. Our family is a Heinz 57 of European heritage so I got creative. My boys are both 5th generation Californians – so that’s the route I took. This almond shortbread cookies are perfect with a drizzle of chocolate.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c ground almonds
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c sugar
1 c butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c chocolate chips
1 tsp canola oil

Preheat to 325.

In a food processor combine flour, sugar and ground almonds. Add butter and pulse until it resembles course meal. Pulse until the mixture comes together is smooth.

Divide the dough in half. On an I greased cookie sheet roll half the dough into a 9x5x1 inch rectangle. Repeat.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the bottom starts to brown.

Cool 5 minutes the. Cut into sticks.

Melt the chocolate and canola oil into the microwave at 30% power for 40 seconds, stir, and repeat until melted. Drizzle over cookies.

Makes about 30 cookies.

Strawberry Salad

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This was inspired by a recipe on thedailymeal, I added some goat cheese and swapped arugula for spinach. Yum yum!!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 TBSP champagne vinegar
1/2 TBSP strawberry jam
1/2 tsp grapeseed oil
4 oz goat cheese
3 c arugula
1 c halved strawberries
1/4 c, sliced dry roasted almonds

Combine jam, vinegar and oil in a small jar – shake until combined.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, toss with dressing.

Serves 2.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad

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This is my favorite salad! Ok it is probably the strawberry balsamic that I love! I switch up the nuts, lettuce, with what I have on hand.

Ingredients:
3 – 5 c lettuce, Arugala, etc
4 TBSP toasted nuts
1 c fresh strawberries
2 TBSP strawberry balsamic
4 oz goat cheese crumbled
2 tsp olive oil

Toss greens with olive oil and balsamic. Toss in the rest of the ingredients.

Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side.

Orange Chocolate Cookies

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I swear every single time I go to quit a magazine, they have some amazing recipe that unjust have to make, which turn out so great I have to re-up my subscription! For these I swapped out the butter for applesauce to make them healthier. I also baked them in the bunny whoopie pie pan I bought last year. Sunset recommended a muffin pan. I added more zest and put little dots in for bunny eyes. Next time I’m doubling the recipe!

Ingredients:
1/2 c almond meal
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
Zest of one orange
1/4 c apple sauce
2 egg white divided
1/2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP butter
1 oz semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease pan – muffin, whoopie pie, etc.

Stir together almond meal, powdered sugar, cocoa, zest, and apple sauce.

Beat egg whites until medium peaks are formed. Fold in the cocoa mixture. Spoon into pan or muffin tins.

Bake for 8 – 12 minutes until the tops look dry. Turn out of pan on a wire rack.

Microwave 1 TBSP butter with chocolate until melted, drizzle over cookies.

Makes 16 cookies
1 WW PP per cookie