Ricotta Cheesecake with Figs and Honey 

I hope you’re not surprised to see yet another recipe with figs. They are just simply one of my favorite foods and they are only available in a nearly nonexistent timeframe here. I have to get them while I can. This is my go-to cheesecake recipe. I love it because it’s not too sweet and uses great cheeses. I decided to add figs for an obvious reason and a bit of honey.

It’s really quite a process to make, but so worth it. This is the recipe I use. In my fig and caramelized onion pizza post I explained my oven situation. It sucks. So I promise this cheesecake isn’t burned. It’s just very browned. Thanks oven. I adjusted the recipe to my liking by only using a cup of sugar instead of a cup and a half. The i drizzled honey on top and arranged the figs on top.

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Fig and Caramelized Onion Pizza (GF)


Summer nights always leave me a bit at a loss for dinner ideas. The main reason for this has a lot to do with my oven. It’s ancient; it’s always hot (even when turned off). This in combination with the summer heat make it hard to find the motivation to cook for dinner. But this fig and caramelized pizza is a keeper, because it only goes into the oven for about 7 minutes. 7 minutes of torture none the less but it’s all a compromise.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-made GF pizza crust
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 Figs
  • 1 onion, slivered
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 2 oz. of goat cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Salt and pepper

To make:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 (skip this step if your oven is anything like mine)
  2. Coat the pizza crust in olive oil.
  3. Add the slivered onions and butter to a sauté pan. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until onions are caramelized. Once nearly caramelized add in the garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme to cook.
  4. Slice the figs into thin slices.
  5. Add the caramelized onion mixture to the top of the pizza crust.
  6. Slice the goat cheese and add on top of caramelized onions.
  7. Place directly on the oven rack. Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Once done, add the figs to the top. Enjoy!

 

Golden Beet and Watercress Salad


I’ve been loving golden beets. It seems like a crazy thing to love but they are slightly more mellow than red beets and that makes them perfect for salads, especially when fried. This is a great salad for yourself at lunch or make a large bowl of it to share.

Ingredients:

  1. Bunch of watercress
  2. 1 radish, sliced thinly
  3. 1 golden beet
  4.  1 Avocado, sliced
  5.  Balsamic vinaigrette

To cook the beets: first slice the beets then, steam the beets in the microwave until tender. Seer the beets in a frying pan coated with olive oil over medium-high heat until golden brown, flip occasionally. Let cool.

Assemble the salad: layer the watercress, beets, radish and avocado onto a plate. Drizzle with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette. Bon appétit!

Winter Capsule Wardrobe 

My journey with a Capsule Wardrobe started almost a year ago already. Time has really flown by but I have definitely learned a lot about my style, clothing and consumerism over the past year. I have to say that I really do believe that a Capsule Wardrobe is the best way to organize your life and also force you to realize exactly what goes into the clothes you wear. How they are made, where they are made, who made them…etc. My journey for this next year is going to involve supporting ethically sourced, made and produced clothing including eco-friendly made clothing. Consuming less is inherently eco-friendly but I would still like to strive to push my ethical and ecological backbone even further. For now though, here are just some ways I’ve worked with my Winter Capsule Wardrobe.

Using accessories has become critical during the winter months. Most days I wear a chunky sweater and jeans so layering with scarves, jewelry and bags has definitely been a focus of my spending for my Winter Capsule Wardrobe.

My sweater collection was big enough from my Fall Capsule Wardrobe that I didn’t really need to purchase any sweaters. So I bought a new pair of jeans because I wanted to get a pair that would last and be versatile throughout the changing of trends. They still have ripped hems though; I don’t think I’ll ever get over that trend.

Exhibit A: stacking on the jewelry. This is actually a bit excessive for me but, case in point. Jewelry can change a minimal Winter Capsule Wardrobe in so many ways.

Some how I lucked out this year. It hasn’t been nearly as cold as it normally is so I haven’t purchased a warmer winter coat. I’m still wearing this teddy bear one from last year but it’s warm enough and I feel comfortable in it so there’s no need to change it.

It’s even been warm enough on some days to just wear my leather jacket which astounds me. Also I’m clearly not over the cami over tee ensemble. So 90’s, so understated ‘cool’.

Keep an eye out for my future Capsule Wardrobe post because I will most certainly be including some ethical brands that I am supporting for 2017.

Homemade Spiced Gingerbread Latte

I’m a sucker for homemade coffee recipes. There is something about making coffee at home that is so “comfortable”. But that’s probably because I can make coffee in my pajamas. Also, it usually makes me feel like a scientist in a lab. Whipping up different homemade coffee potions has lead me to make this spiced gingerbread latte more than once.

Now that we have some holiday decorations up, making one of these on a Sunday morning, sitting next to the tree and reading a book makes me feel so festive. When doing lattes at home there are two main components: percolator and milk frother. With these two tools, homemade lattes become so much more desirable.

So to make this spiced gingerbread treat:

*recipe makes one latte

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk, of your choice
  • 3 or more bags of Celestial Gingerbread Spiced Herbal Tea
  • Maple syrup, or sweetener of your choice
  • A dash of a spice blend (cinnamon, cardamon and nutmeg)
  • a piece of a cinnamon stick for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons of espresso
  • water

Process:

  1. Prepare the percolator and heat over low flame on the stove.
  2. While the espresso is going, heat the milk, tea bags, spices and maple syrup in a saucepan.
  3. Bring to a low boil and remove from heat. Remove the tea bags and transfer to a liquid measuring cup and use the milk frother to get the milk to a smooth and creamy consistency. I usually stop frothing once the milk volume has doubled.
  4. Once the espresso is finished, pour it into the bottom of a coffee mug. Then pour the frothed milk slowly down the side of the glass until only the frothy part is left. Pour the frothed part on the top.
  5. Sprinkle some spices on the top and add the piece of cinnamon stick.
  6. Sip and enjoy!

I hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday weekend and if you decide to give this homemade latte a spin, let me know what you think in the comments!

Homemade Honey Lavander Latte

Sometimes my desire for coffee can lead to quite some imaginative creations. And when I say sometimes I mean now. The other day, I was craving a latte but I had no desire to leave the house. It was quite the predicament; venture out and get that perfect creamy latte that I wanted or stay home and curl up with a homemade cup of coffee. Obviously I chose the latter. I decided to be a bit creative and make a honey lavender latte with just a few ingredients. Now, I just happened to have been making lavender cupcakes for my birthday and so I had some lavender extract laying around. It’s not easy to come by but I got mine from Sur La Table. I have a feeling I’ll be cooking a lot with lavender in the next couple of months. Anyways, here is a simple delicious latte recipe that you can whip up at home, you know, for those days when you can’t rack up the courage to leave home. There are a few things you’ll need:

  • 1/8 teaspoon of lavender extract
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • coffee beans: mine were a Valentine’s day gift from Harry 🙂 It’s Stone Creek’s special Valentine’s day roast but whatever you have works fine too
  • milk frother, you can also use a whisk
  • 1/2 cup of milk, I used whole milk
  • and some kind of coffee making mechanism, I use a percolator when I want to make lattes, etc. 

Follow these simple steps:

  • brew the coffee to your liking
  • pour the milk into a liquid measuring cup and heat up in the microwave or heat up the milk on the stovetop,
  • whisk or froth the milk until it has a frothy consistency about half way through
  • add the lavender extract and honey to the bottom of your cup and mix them together
  • pour the coffee into the cup and stir together
  • start to add the milk slowly to save the frothy part for the very top of the latte
  • sip and enjoy 

And there you have a delicious homemade honey lavender latte. It has a very subtle flavor of lavender with a bit of sweetness and it’s great to enjoy on a lazy afternoon, curled up on the couch with a good book or magazine.

Goûtez bien!

  

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

I’m not one to partake in the hype of Pumpkin Spice but these home-made, baked Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts have changed my views on Pumpkin Spice. In my defense when I first saw the recipe I somehow believed that this was going to be a sweet potato doughnut recipe. Anyways, I saw this recipe and felt really completed to make them, it was probably the photography on Pastry Affair that got me as that is usually the case. First things first, I set out to find a doughnut pan. Believe it or not, there are doughnut shaped pastry pans out on the market, crazy right? I got mine from Target, low and behold. Harry has told me that the doughnut pan is one of the best purchases ever made, and  I have to agree. These pumpkin spice doughnuts conjure up everything that you love about being cozy. Wrapped in a blanket on the couch, favorite record on in the background, book in your lap, doughnut in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other one. I maybe outstretching the bounds of the pumpkin spice by bringing it into winter instead of staying fall but who doesn’t want to feel that cozy, soul soothing feeling all year round?

I followed this very simple recipe from Pastry Affair. You can follow the recipe here exactly but can easily be summarized. Preheat the oven, grease the pan, mix the wet ingredients, add in the dry ingredients, pour into a pastry bag, fill up the doughnut pans with the batter, bake for about 15 minutes, cool and then enjoy. The icing recipe is quick to whip up and adds something to these doughnuts but they would be just as good without it.

This recipe makes about 12 doughnuts but you can always wrap up the left-overs in aluminum foil to save for later and warm them in the oven another day.