Fig Cobbler

I’ve already made fig pie, fig preserves, and fig and strawberry jam this summer, thanks to the plethora of figs from my father-in-law’s tree.  I’d be happy to just eat these figs just the way they are, but I can’t convince William that fresh figs are a good thing, so tonight I made fig cobbler…and it definitely makes our favorite dessert list.  Here’s the recipe, just in case you’ve got some fresh figs nearby (this is adapted from the recipe for cobbler in the Betty Crocker cookbook and I made ours dairy and soy free by replacing the butter with a dairy/soy free butter substitute and by using rice milk in place of the regular milk):

In a medium saucepan, mix 1 c. sliced, peeled peaches, 1 c. sliced strawberries, 2 c. fresh figs, unpeeled, quartered, 1/2 c. sugar, 1 Tbsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp lemon juice.  Stir constantly over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, until boiling and thickened.  Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Pour into a 2 qt, ungreased casserole and set aside.  Keep warm.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1 c. flour, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder.  Cut in 3 Tbsp butter.  Stir in 1/2 c. milk.  Drop the mixture in spoonfuls over the warm fruit.  Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

Pizza

Here’s my secret to a perfect pizza:

1.  First you need a willing, happy and joyful helper… 

2.  Then toss together some delicious, hand-kneaded pizza dough…

3.  Mix up some tomato sauce with lots of garlic, oregano, and basil…

4.  Prepare your toppings…

(Be sure to take a sample, to ensure quality!)

5.  Spread that sauce, nice and thick…

6.  Add some more spices (just cause it’s so fun to shake that bottle)…

7.  Sprinkle on your toppings…

8.  Don’t forget some cheese (preferably in more than one spot, though)…

9.  Bake and enjoy! 

You’ll know you’ve done it right if your little helper looks at you during dinner, mouth full of pizza, and says, “Can we do it again?”

Worth Sharing

Here’s some delicious comfort food to enjoy on these cold winter nights:

Barley Winter Soup (adapted from a recipe in Shape Feb 99)

  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley, washed and drained
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 – 3 links Italian Sausage

Bake Italian sausage 30 -45 minutes (until done).  In oil, saute mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, barley and thyme.  Cook over medium heat, stirring until veggies are tender.  Add diced tomato and beef broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, simmer until barley is tender and soup begins to thicken (about 45 minutes).

Italian Bread (taken from Taste of Home, Dec/Jan 2010)

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (110-115)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add the sugar, salt and 3 cups flour.  Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Stir in remaining flour to form a soft dough.  Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Turn onto a floured surface; divide in half.  Shape each portion into a loaf.  Place each loaf seam side down on a greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.  With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf.  Bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Yum, yum, yum!