Hazelnut & Fig Financiers

Recipe: Hazelnut & Fig Financiers (adapted from Melissa Clark on NY Times)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), and additional for greasing the pan
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
12 cup toasted hazelnuts(or hazelnut flour)
1/3 all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon(for hazelnuts)
Pinch of salt
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe figs

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt butter, letting it cook gently until it turns nut brown and smells toasted, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

In a food processor, add hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon of flour. Pulse until it resembles a coarse meal(do not let it turn into butter!).

In a large bowl, combine sugar, hazelnut flour, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and salt. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and set on low speed (or use a whisk and a strong arm), beat in egg whites until flour mixture is damp. Add browned butter(do not scrape up any black bits from the bottom of the pot) and beat on medium-high speed (or vigorously by hand) until smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix in vanilla.

Trim stems off figs and slice each one crosswise into 3 rounds; you will have 9 fig rounds. Eat one. :)

Butter and flour eight 1/2-cup muffin cups. Divide batter between cups and top each with a slice of fig. Bake until financiers are golden brown and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before unmolding gently.

Pastrami Smoked Salmon with Scrambled Eggs on Cream Cheese Toast

Summer Fruit and Yogurt with Hazelnuts

I'm taking full advantage of our brief fig season here in Northern California. Go pick yourself some super ripe, busting-at-the-seams types, if you can. Use them quickly! They're full of honey-like sweetness and delicious over a simple bowl of greek yogurt. I also picked up some hot pink pluots last weekend. Aren't they absolutely gorgeous? Nothing like a colorful and simple breakfast for a weekday morning.

Acorn Squash Egg-in-the-Hole

Who else is craving those classic Fall flavors already? It's hands down my favorite season not just for the food but the weather and mood just makes me happy. This squash recipe will have to suffice in the meantime. :) Countdown to Fall begins now(T-Minus 36 days!).

Recipe: Acorn Squash Egg-in-the-Hole 
Roast 1-inch slices of seeded acorn squash with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, turning halfway through. I used some leftover squash from my roast chicken dinner the night before--FYI.

Once fork tender, crack an egg in the hole, season with salt and pepper, and return to a 350 degree oven for another 8-10 minutes(or until the whites are just set). I served mine with a dusting of pecorino cheese and crusty bread. Some crumbled bacon or pancetta would also be a delicious topping.

Caramelized Onion, Ham, & Feta Quiche

Recipe: Caramelized Onion, Ham, & Feta Quiche (serves 6-8)
1 prepared pie crust(I cheated and used store bought)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 zucchini, grated
3 oz ham, any type will do, cubed or cut into small pieces
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pie dough into your pan(I used a 12 inch tart pan), press dough into sides, and cut off excess at the top. Poke several holes in the bottom of the dough to let air escape. Par-bake in oven for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

While the pie crust is baking, heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Over medium high heat, cook onions until soft and slightly caramelized(slowly). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Caramelizing onions takes longer than you think--about 12-15 minutes until they are sweated down, stirring frequently. I sometimes add a splash of water to help this process.

Next, add your eggs, flour, baking powder, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. Add grated zucchini, ham, and caramelized onions then pour into your tart shell. Top with feta cheese crumbles.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until center is just set. Let cool for at least 10 minutes prior to eating.

Zucchini & Corn Fritters with Poached Egg and Sweet Chili Sauce

Recipe: Zucchini & Corn Fritters with Poached Egg and Sweet Chili Sauce(makes 5 large fritters, serves 2 hungry people)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 green onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh or frozen corn
2 medium zucchinis, coarsely shredded
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter(for pan)

Sweet Chili Sauce:
2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 heaped teaspoon chili garlic sauce
dash or two of fish sauce
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl until honey is dissolved

2-4 eggs, poached

In a sautee pan, heat oil over medium heat then cook green onion and garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add corn and cook for another 2 minutes, remove from heat and place into a medium sized mixing bowl. To the mixing bowl, add your grated zucchini, egg, and milk. Stir to combine. Add flour, salt, and pepper to taste and mix until just combined. Heat a large frying pan or cast iron skillet(in my case) over medium heat. Add mixture with a large cookie scoop (about 1/4 cup) and spread into a 3-4 inch pancake. Cook about 3 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with poached egg on top and sweet chili sauce.

Fancy Toast: Sauteed Kale, Goat Cheese, and Poached Egg on Ciabatta

Fresh Berry Scones

This is a recipe for those of you who, like me, need to use up those last few berries before they completely rot. :) Take your less than perfect fruit, dice it, fold into scones, and bake! I love finding ways to avoid food waste and this only takes about 10 minutes to throw together.

Recipe: Fresh Berry Scones
(adapted from Pam Anderson on All Recipes)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup fresh berries diced or left whole if you're using blueberries or raspberries
1/2 cup sour cream

heavy cream for brushing tops
1 tablespoon coarse sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then gently fold in berries.

In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.

Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)

Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a circle about 1-inch thick. Use a sharp knife or dough scraper to cut into 6 even triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Brush with heavy cream then sprinkle on coarse sugar. Bake until golden, about 17-20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Homemade Granola with Figs & Fresh Berries

This is just some leftover Coconut Granola. Click through for the recipe!