Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Figs

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We all know I love figs. I also have a mad crush on sweet potatoes. I dreamt up this recipe while trying to come up with as many was as I could to include figs in a recipe. I turned to the world wide web for more inspo and it seems that someone beat me to the chase. Not just anyone, but the great Yotam Ottolenghi (Yo-TAm Oh-toe-LEng-he) of Plenty, Jerusalem and more. We are big Jerusalem fans in my family. Thank you for that Claire and Mike. 

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Roasted sweet potatoes are such a staple. Throw my favorite fruit with it and you have an insane side dish. So easy, but impressive. Just what I'm about. 

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs adapted from Jerusalem 
yields 3-4 servings

Ingredients:
2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (optional) 
4 figs, stems removed and quartered
2 green onions, whtie and green part sliced on an angle
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions:
Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 475 degrees. (I've been using my toaster oven like crazy in this summer heat to avoid heating my whole house and to avoid an extreme electricity bill).

Slice your sweet potatoes into wedges. Slice in half lengthwise, then in half again, and then again, so you get 8 wedges from one potato. Place the wedges on a roasting sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  Roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. 

When your potatoes are almost done, it's time to start making the balsamic reduction. In a small sauce pan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 2 to 4 minutes. The balsamic with thicken. You will know when it easily coats the back of a spoon. If it gets too thick you can add a few drops of water to thin it out. 

Arrange the potato wedges and fresh figs on a platter.  Sprinkle over green onions and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. 

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Annie

Bites of My Life

I finished a book. Did you hear that? Annie "hater of reading" Tucker, finished a book. Pick up a few of Shauna Niequist's books if you get a chance, I highly recommend. I also had a very vivid dream that I was invited to a pre-opening shopping event at our Trader Joe's that is supposed to open next month. It was a good week to say the least. 

-Most idyllic start to my week. 
-Figgy pudding aka chia pudding with figs and gogi berries. Sister hated it, I loved it, to each his own. 
-Snack plate lunch makes for the best lunch al desko. Figs, hard boiled eggs, salami or prosciutto, apple and veggies are on rotation.
-I have a little project up my sleeve and it tastes and sips deliciously. 
-A dear dear friend of mine and I have been trying to make our lunch dates a frequent thing. Salads and our convos always fill me up! 
-My little londonite is home in Texas for about a month. I'll get to see her in September, but was able to sneak in a hug while she was in OK for the day! 
-When you run out of groceries and momma treats you right!
-The cutest plant shop in town just added coffee and treats to their repertoire. Can't wait to plug in and get my grind on in the atmosphere they've created. 
-Happy 3rd birthday OKC Lululemon! A birthday, my besties, and barre3; so fun at #sweatstock2016.
-Counters are the new chairs apparently. 
-"Savoring" Sunday morning with my new Shauna book and breakfast in bed.
-Becoming one of those Sunday meal prep nerds. Shredded chicken, sliced veggies, homemade mango salsa, balsamic salad dressing, hard boiled eggs and roasted sweet potatoes.  

Annie

Flavor of the Month: Figs

Duh. If you follow me on instagram, I'm clearly having a fig moment. I think July was the month of matcha, but August is the month of figs. Figs have come a long way since the fig newton days. Nothing against fig newtons, but fresh figs are like little culinary gems these days. 

Fresh figs peak about this time, but snatch up these little beauties while you can, they are only good through early fall. Don't worry, dried figs can carry us through the dark months. Some tips on buying figs: look for ones that are plump, not mushy and rich in color. Black Mission and Turkey figs are probably the most common found in stores, they are the dark purple ones. If you can find them, I really love the calimyrna or kadota figs, bright green in color and bright pink on the inside. Figs are easily perishable so eat them within at least 2-3 days of purchasing. Keep them refrigerated. To prepare: run them under water and remove the stem. Keep scrolling for eye candy fig dishes that I'm coveting! 

Roasted Cauliflower with Figs and Olives from Brooklyn Supper

Fig Scones from Making Today Beautiful 

Beef, Fig, & Red Onion Balsamic Skewers from Every Last Bite

Pizza with Figs, Honey, Ricotta and Thyme from Whole Living

Salted Caramel Fig Blondies from Take A Bite

Strawberry Fig and Almond Butter Smoothie from Take A Bite

Fig and Tomato Orzo Salad from Take A Bite

Fall Cheese Board from Honestly Yum

Cardamom Layer Cake with Salted Caramel and Figs from Erin Made This

Are you feeling my fig moment too? What's your current flavor of the month? 

Annie

Bites of My Life

By the looks of my pictures last week, my days seemed to be full of bright colorful plates of food. Meals aside, my days weren't so colorful. I was on a streak of weird mishaps happening each day. Little things like breaking a brand new compact of bronzer to getting tea all over my white comforter. But the cherry on top was a car wreck. Thursday evening ended with a boom, bump, crash. No one was hurt except for my car. Counting my blessings!

After the hump of weird occurrences I settled into the weekend with a delicious dinner with friends and drinks with more friends. Some of my oldest friends to be exact. Then a cozy Saturday night in with my Lindz for take out on the couch and a chick flick on the TV. Crossing my fingers for better karma this week. 

-I know this is so basic, but I've been making this salad dressing of equal parts dijon mustard, balsamic, & olive oil then a little s&p all whisked together. Been eating it on everything, but really loving it on kale/spinach with cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes, chicken and avocado.
-Snack plate lunch beats sad dreary salads any day.
-Dinner a la whole foods. Their hot bar indian food sucks me in every time. 
-Sneaking figs into every meal I can. Didn't have strawberries so I subbed in blueberries to make this fig smoothie recipe!  
-Proof to show my week didn't only revolve around food. A little blue and blue and lots of hugs and squeals at KKG alumni night. 
-Pretty plated Saturday breakfast. 
-Blueberry spinach smoothie bowl with all zeee toppings. Feeling the blueberry vibes clearly...
-Sunday morning baking is becoming my favorite "me time" activity. Blueberry Banana Streusel Muffins were yesterday's culprit. Loved them so much I already posted the recipe
-Sausage peppers and onions cooked in a tomato sauce is a take on a dish my mom used to make. Perfect Sunday night comfort food!

Annie

Blueberry Banana Streusel Muffins

I have decided Sunday morning baking is my favorite. I've also decided it needs to become a ritual. I love getting up while everyone is still asleep and the house is quiet. Make some green tea, put on my apron, turn on the oven and get baking. Food Network is likely to be playing in the background. 

A few weeks ago I woke up with a huge itch for blueberry muffins. I tried to make them healthy, but every time I try to make baked goods healthy I'm reminded that I should just stop trying. Baked goods are meant to be filled with sugar, butter and eggs and there really is no replacement. Anyway, my last Sunday morning baking adventure failed. Exhibit A. This morning was blueberry muffin redemption day. 

I woke up at 6:48am this morning. My body doesn't know what sleeping in is. With several hours ahead of me before my roommate woke up, I decided it was baking day.

Blueberry muffins had to happen. I also have a stock pile of overripe bananas in my freezer that were begging to be used. Blueberry banana muffins it was. With a streusel topping added because like I said baked goods require lots of sugar and butter. 

They turned out just perfect and helped redeem myself after my previous muffin fail. I edited my pictures and jumped straight onto my computer this morning because I decided you need this recipe NOW. Also, if you have little kiddos at home about to go back to school, make these for them. No better way to beat the back to school blues than with blueberry banana streusel muffins!

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Blueberry Banana Streusel Muffins
yields 1 dozen

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Streusel:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350ΒΊF. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.  

Combine bananas, sugar, oil, milk, beaten egg, and extracts in a large bowl with wooden spoon.  Add in the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, and baking soda and stir to combine. Fold in the blueberries. Using an ice cream scoop, evenly divide the batter into the muffin tins.

In a small bowl combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and cold butter. Using your fingers, break up the butter with the sugar mixture to form the streusel. Evenly distribute over the muffins.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Sunday morning baking for the win. What should I make next Sunday?

Annie