How you Should be Baking with Figs

Figs are everywhere right now and they’re great to bake with. Figs in focaccia, figs in quick breads, and figs in coffee cake – both fresh figs and dried are fair game! These are all the ways you could be baking during peak fig season.

1. Arabian Nights Pavlova (John Whaite)
All the drama on one plate. Get the recipe here.

Baking with Figs

2. Cornbread Coffee Cake with Fresh Figs and Walnut Streusel (Food 52)
You need this Vivian Howard cornbread masterpiece at yur next brunch. Get the recipe here.

Baking with Figs

3. Fig & Fennel Biscotti (Sweet Paul)
Fennel seeds, cinnamon, hazelnuts, and dried figs. The perfect autumn biscotti. Get the recipe here.

Baking with Figs

4. Roasted Goat Cheese Stuffed with Lavender Thyme Honey (Be Ravenous)
A simple, classic preparation with a lavender thyme twist. Can’t go wrong with this. Get the recipe here.

Baking with Figs

5. Baked Rolled Barley with Figs, Berries, and Cardamom (The Bojon Gourmet)
Love Alanna’s take on my baked oatmeal. Also love that she bakes it in a cast-iron skillet! Brill. Get the recipe here.

Baking with Figs

6. Chocolate Banana Fig Bread (Kitchen Confidante)
A banan bread with a chocolate and fig twist. Olive oil is a good alternative to the canola called for. Get the recipe here.

Baking with Figs

7. Focaccia with Figs (Italian Food Forever)
You just know this is good. Get the recipe here.

Baking with Figs

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Plant-Based Mondays: Lemongrass

We’re so excited to introduce Plant-Based Mondays to Food Heaven, where we’ll be doing weekly plant-based produce highlights! We’ll highlight the nutritional properties of different plant-based foods, and will drop some creative ways to incorporate them in the kitchen. All food featured will be picked up from my farmers market here in the Bronx, which […]

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Fluffy Vanilla Nougat

To make great nougat, you really need to have a plan. You have to be legit focused. And(!), consider yourself warned, there are going to be a few minutes when you can’t answer the front door, or even look at your phone – boiling hot sugar is no joke. I’m going to show you how to make a fluffy, cloud-like, vanilla nougat candy. Because if you’re going to eat candy now and then, it might as well be homemade. You need to read through the recipe in its entirety before starting, so you have a sense of where you’re headed. You’ll also need a candy thermometer.

Vanilla Nougat Recipe

To the billowy, sweet, nougat base you can add all manner of flavors and spices. Or, stir in as many seeds, nuts, and dried fruit as the nougat will hold. The version you see pictured has vanilla bean, streaks of saffron, and a medley of nuts and seeds. The version in the video is slightly different. Part of the fun is experimenting with all the different ingredients you can add. A memorable favorite – lavender with loads of toasted white and black sesame seeds.

Vanilla Nougat Recipe

Vanilla Nougat Recipe

A few notes about this nougat recipe. A lot of nougat recipes use large amounts of corn syrup. The goal here was to get rid of as much corn syrup as possible, and preferably eliminate it altogether (I’m going to give variations with it, and without below). The version with a small splash of corn syrup is, quite honestly, less temperamental. But you can make nougat without it. What you see pictured here is a nougat made from honey, sugar, egg whites, and water as the base. Then there’s vanilla bean, and lots of nuts and seeds beyond that.

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Kale & Mushroom Tortilla

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I tried to write this post late last night after all kids had been tucked to bed. I sat down in our couch with my laptop on my knee and a bar of dark chocolate, a jar of salted almonds and a glass of water within reach. I was ready to do this. The next thing I remember is Isac’s hand pulling my hair three hours later. A dream had woken him up and he wanted me to come sleep next to him. I took a quick look at my computer and realized I had written zero words. So, new try today. This time I’m sitting at an outside cafe in broad daylight so I’ll hopefully not fall asleep here.

Today’s recipe is an autumnal approach on tortilla. You know that potato and egg cake that is sold on the counter in literally every corner shop, cafe and tapas bar in Spain. It’s a great snack and super popular with our kids whenever we are in Barcelona so we have started making it at home as well. It’s easy to get lost in the Spanish tortilla vs Italian frittata discussion. When I previewed the first version of this recipe on Instagram, I already received some comments that “this isn’t a Spanish tortilla”. Well of course not. It’s a Swedish tortilla. Seriously though, I realize that we have bent this recipe quite far – adding kale and mushrooms to it and changing the cooking method a bit – but it is still tastes like a tortilla to me. It’s more potato based than a frittata and slightly firmer so that it can be cut out into triangles, eaten with your hands either warm or cold. We finish it off in the oven rather than flipping it (which apparently is the Italian way of doing it rather than the Spanish) but it’s just because we are lazy and it works so well. And semantics aside, the most important part is that it tastes really good. It also has a rather short ingredient list and has become another one of our last minute dinner solutions.

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First time we made this autumn version was a few weeks ago after I had scored a huge bag of funnel chanterelles at the market. After having made this stew on the first night and a version of this sandwich for lunch the day after, the bag was still half full. So we added them to a dinner tortilla. Just adding a few more vegetables to a simple tortilla turns it into dinner rather than just a snack. Especially if served with a side salad.

These mushrooms are cheaper than chanterelles and usually easier to find in the forest. But if you can’t find them, just use regular chanterelles or any another mushroom.

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Here are a few tips and tricks that we use when making tortilla.

• Don’t bother peeling the potatoes. If you use fresh and scrubbed potatoes, keeping the peal on. Not only does it save time, but also makes your tortilla more rustic. Dicing the potatoes instead of slicing it also helps making it more rustic.

• Traditionally in a tortilla, the onion is first sautéed for 20 minutes and then the potatoes are fried in LOTS of olive oil for another 20-30 minutes but we prefer precooking the diced potatoes in water instead (while the onion is sautéing). It saves time and we can reduce the amount of oil. If you have precooked potatoes leftover in the fridge, they are perfect for this dish.

• We make this with butter instead of olive oil because it’s more heat resistant and it brings out the best flavor in mushrooms. But you can of course use any oil of preference.

• Fry the mushrooms on a low/medium heat. Don’t crowd the pan and always listen for the sizzle. If you cant hear them sizzling, the temperature is too low.

• Luise has developed an intolerance against garlic (especially raw) so we have kept it out of this recipe, but I bet it could be good along with the mushrooms and kale.

• If you don’t like kale, try it with spinach. Or use the same method with another range of vegetables.

• Feta cheese is also really good in this combination. Just crumble it into the egg mixture. or before placing it in the oven.

• We finish the tortilla in the oven because it’s easier, but you can flip it by sliding the half-cooked frittata onto a plate. It will still be some liquid in the middle so you need to be careful doing this. Than you place the saucepan over the frittata (and plate) and simply flip it upside down while holding the plate as a lid so it falls down into the sauce pan. And then fry it for a few more minutes on that side.

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Kale & Mushroom Tortilla
Makes approx 8 serving

1 onion 
350 g / 2 1/2 cups firm potatoes, diced
5 tbsp butter or oil
2 cups / 100 g Funnel chanterelles (or any other mushroom)
2 leaves / 30 g kale, stems removed

1 large handful fresh parsley 
6-8 eggs (depending on the size)
salt and pepper

Set the oven to 200°C / 400°F. Add water to a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Peel and chop the onions. Scrub and dice the potatoes into 1-2 cm / 1/2 inch cubes. Heat 1 tbsp butter in an ovenproof frying pan. Sauté the onions on low heat for about 10-15 minutes until soft, translucent and smells sweet, stir occasionally. Meanwhile add the potatoes to the boiling salted water and cook for about 13-15 minutes on medium heat, they should be almost done. Drain the cooking water and add the potatoes to the saucepan with onions, along with one more tablespoon butter. Sauté for a few minutes more to give the potatoes some flavor and color. Pour the onion and potatoes into a separate bowl and put the saucepan back on the heat.

Clean the mushrooms, slice them into desired size and add to the pan along with a knob of butter. Fry the mushrooms on low/medium heat (you should here them sizzling without burning) for 5-6 minutes or until they have released some moisture and started caramelizing. Rinse the kale, chop finely and add it to the pan along with fresh parsley. Let wilt down for a few minutes. Salt generously and then pour into the bowl with potatoes.

Wipe the saucepan clean and put it back on the heat along with a knob of butter. Beat the eggs with salt and pepper. Pour the vegetables into the egg mixture and then tip it into the warm saucepan (it’s essential that the pan is warm and buttered. Let it fry for about two minutes (preferably with a lid or a plate on top) and then place the pan in the oven (without lid) and switch on the broiler. After about 10 minutes it should be firm, golden and ready. Wait a few minutes for it to cool down and then run a spatula around the edges to make sure it comes off easily. Cut into triangles and serve with a side salad. It can also be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.

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PS! Look at these two photos of Luise and Noah, taken exactly one year apart. <3<3<3<3

21 Vegetarian Sweet Potato Recipes

It’s always hard to choose favorite produce during each season because I love experimenting with all the different flavors and textures. However, during the fall, sweet potatoes become the staple for a solid amount of meals. Sweet potatoes are affordable and can be turned into almost any type of meal or snack you might be craving.

I use sweet potatoes as filling for tacos/enchiladas, as salad mix-ins, in place of baked potatoes, and even pureed and added to morning porridges. It’s really hard to go wrong with sweet potatoes. I have over 80 sweet potato recipes on the site (but I’ve also been known to use sweet potatoes in place of regular potatoes or butternut squash).

Dinner

Hearty Sweet Potato Curry | http://naturallyella.com

Sweet potatoes make for an easy dinner choice. Use them as a side or feature them as the main ingredient. It’s hard for me to pick just a few favorite sweet potato dinner recipes but these are the ones that get made time and again. During the cooler months, it’s rare we eat a taco without sweet potato- so good!

Lunch

Turmeric Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut and Coriander | @naturallyella

Added to soups or added to salads, sweet potatoes and lunch meals are meant to be together. I often roast a big batch of cubed sweet potatoes to toss with salads for an easy lunch win.

 

Breakfast

Sweet Potato Polenta with Fried Eggs ad Microgreens | Naturally Ella

It might be pretty obvious that I love sweet potatoes and eggs together from the recipes listed below. However, sweet potatoes are also great in savory and sweet breakfast porridges. Take a sweet potato puree and mix it in with steel cut oats and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

 

Snacks

Cabbage and Sweet Potato Summer Rolls | @naturallyella

Sweet potatoes make for a wonderful snack or appetizer. The sweet potato summer rolls are delicious (and I’ve been known to eat them for lunch and dinner.)

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Pie Crust Designs, These Pie Crust Masters Show you How it's Done

There’s an art to creating a beautiful pie crust, and it doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you’re looking to move beyond a simple, basic crust this season, there are a host of next-level pie crust design techniques out there to inspire your creations. There’s really no reason you can’t master the basket weave, the leafy border, or the fluted edge! Have fun with these.

1. Pie Crusts Classics
Thomas Joseph shows us a nice range of pie crust design options – a leaf border, a braid border, a honeycomb top (a favorite!), a classic lattice top crust, and he makes it all look easy and doable. Listen up for some of his helpful little tips as well like, how to hide seams.

2. Harvest Leaf Pie Crusts
A really pretty video demonstrating a range of beautiful harvest leaf pie designs. There’s the a mega-leaf pie (cool & unusual!), and a couple of free-style approaches with medium leaves. They all bake up beautifully!

3. Twenty Pie Crimping Techniques
Watch this one for the corkscrew crust, and Caesar’s crown. Measuring spoon is brilliant as well, but I have to admit visibly flinching at the pearl crust ;)…

4. Cookie Cutter Crusts
There is so much that could be said about this video, so many questions I have! 😉 I like the way our Topless Baker friend uses little fondant/cookie cutter flowers to accent his pie, and he really goes for it. Double decker flowers and all! That part kicks in around the 5:15 minute mark – I’ll tee it up for you.

5. Hearts, Flowers, & Polka-dots
There’s a nice graphic sensibility to this collection of crusts. And, the lace technique is new to me. I really love how the ribbon-edged crust baked up – super inspiring! Trying to find the original source video for this one and will update the link when I do.

6. Nine Minutes of Pie Inspiration
There are some very strange pies in this one. But, perhaps there will be something in the mix here that will inspire your own creations in the coming months.

7. Savory Square Basketweave
I sort of love this square basket weave with the sesame sprinkle. For when your basketweave game is strong.

Continue reading Pie Crust Designs, These Pie Crust Masters Show you How it’s Done…

Vegetable Noodle Soup

This vegetable noodle soup is as simple, direct, and delicious as it gets. Served extra hot and plump with pasta noodles, it’s the kind of soup that comforts minds and bolsters spirits. If you’re vegetarian or vegan looking for an alternative to chicken noodle soup, this should be in your wheelhouse.

Vegetable Noodle Soup

Vegetable Noodle Soup

Vegetable Noodle Soup

Variations: There are a host of things you can use in place of the pasta noodles here. For example, you can serve the broth over leftover rice, cooked farro, or pearl barley. You can also stir any of the following into individual bowls of soup to take things in slightly different directions – toasted sesame oil, lemon olive oil, sriracha sauce, miso, or curry paste.

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Brown Rice Carrot Fritters with Chipotle Sunflower Sauce

Brown Rice Carrot Fritters with Chipotle Sunflower Sauce | Naturally Ella

There are a few meals meals on which my husband and I can always agree. One of the easiest decisions: fritters. There’s something wonderful about fritters. It might be the ability to make fritters out of almost anything or the fact that you can toss in herbs, grains, and cheese. I think it’s the fact that fritters are perfectly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. These carrot fritters are a riff on these cheddar cauliflower cakes. We always have carrots on hand, making these fritters an easy dinner win!

Add the that, a creamy vegan sauce. I love using sunflower seeds as a base because they are usually cheaper than cashews but make for a just-as-creamy sauce. This chipotle sauce is a staple for fitters, noodle bowls, and even tacos.

Read more and see the recipe.

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