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Friday, October 19, 2012

Fig & Almond Cookies

The other day I was at the glorious foodie oasis that is Trader Joe's and I came across a flat of California figs. A few thoughts ran through my mind:

1. Ooohhh, those are pretty

2. Hmmm, I don't really like fresh figs... 

3. I bet if I keep trying, I'll start to like them

4. But I've never had a good experience with fresh figs

5. There's GOT to be a way I can make them my friends, I'm a foodie after all and I refuse to not like figs!!!

5. They're only $4.99, I can't just leave them sitting there

And so, after much ado about produce, I placed the figs in my cart and hoped for the best.

See what I mean about pretty??

That night I decided to make a little home-gourmet plate of sliced figs, honey, feta, fresh banana peppers and ritz crackers (so much for gourmet) and you know what, I LIKED figs. The sweet/spicy/salty combo was perfect. The gooey texture of the figs and the crunch of the pepper was music to my palate. YUM!!! Well, that took care of about oh, 5 figs. Now what to do with the rest of them!

I wanted to make something sweet. I initially thought of fig pie. Then I started thinking of the term "figgy pudding" and before long it was the whole Christmas tune. Sorry for Mr. B but he got to listen to me mindlessly singing "bring us some figgy pudding, oh bring us some figgy pudding", it's not even November yet. Sorry babe. Seriously, can't believe those are actual lyrics in a Christmas carol, but I digress. 

After deciding against figgy pie or pudding, I narrowed in on cookies. I found recipes with all sorts of variations but I decided to do a basic cookie and tweak it to my taste.

* 1 cup granulated/white sugar
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 egg
* 2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 cup chopped fresh figs
* 1/2 cup chopped and toasted almonds


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .
  • Once oven is preheated, toast chopped almonds on foil lined baking sheet for about ten minutes or until they become fragrant
  • Cream sugar and butter
  • Beat the egg and add to the butter/sugar mixture.
  • Sift dry ingredients.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the mixture.
  • Fold in the figs.
  • Fold in the nuts.
  • Drop cookies by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • I love the way the cloves and cinnamon make this cookie scream fall and the tender chewiness of the figs make this an awesome accompaniment for coffee, tea, or milk!

    These were a big hit, not only with Mr. B but also the office mates. One clever co-worker told me "They taste like an oatmeal raisin cookie, except they're good." Ahahaha, success!!! 

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    Blinged Out Pumpkins!


    What do you get when you mix seasonal vegetables and craft supplies? Blinged out pumpkins and third degree glue-gun burns!!! Ok, ok, maybe not third degree but daaaannnggg my fingers were happy when I was finished. 

    Like everyone else in the universe, I too LOVE fall. Even though it makes me somewhat depressed because summer is fading, it usually only takes a couple weekends in the country and a few new fall accessories, ahem BOOTS, and I'm jumping on the fall bandwagon. One of my absolute favorite parts about the fall is the decorating. I get three whole months of pure design fun. It's lovely.

    I'm usually all about carving pumpkins, always have been, but this year I decided to take another road and turns out I may never go back. I wanted fun, blingy, festive pumpkins to launch me into autumn. After a trip to the craft store and a well spent Friday afternoon, mission accomplished! I am in love with my pumpkins. I wish I could keep them all year long but since I used real pumpkins, that would not turn out so well. 

    I highly recommend you march your cute scarved and vested self down to a craft store and pick up the following: 
    • Rhinestones
    • Spray paint
    • Sequins
    • Glitter
    • Hot glue gun
    • Tacky glue
    • Stencils
    • Anything else that catches your eye!
    After that, go grab a few funky punkins and maybe a nice glass of malbec, to get the creative juices flowing, and see what happens!

    After I painted the pumpkin, I used a chalk marker to rough out my design. I affixed the rhinestones with tacky glue since it dries clear and used a bamboo skewer to dot the glue on. 

    I absolutely LOVED this project, it was so much fun and you can't mess it up. 


    Mrs. B

    Friday, October 5, 2012

    Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

    Three words, Baked. Pumpkin. Oatmeal.
    I was craving something hearty for breakfast but since I get up while the sky is still dark and my alarm clock seems to be laughing at me when it goes off, I needed something I could make ahead of time for an easy re-heat. I came across several recipes for baked oatmeal. Mmm, oatmeal, warm, filling and easy to make. Baked oatmeal sounded great but when they threw in pumpkin, I was sold. If you'd like to try out this yummy treat, follow the link.
    First crisp up your oats with a little butter.
    Add the pumpkin puree...

    and the spices...
    and the milk...
    Pop it in the oven @ 375°F for 35 minutes. 
    And voila! Re-heat in the morning, throw a little milk and maple syrup on top and you're good to go!

    Pumpkin goodness!!!
    The oatmeal turned out to be fantastic. Since there's not a lot of sugar in the recipe, the maple syrup is definitely a must. I love the taste of fall!!!

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    House Stuff

    I've been slowly but surely adding my touches to the house since the wedding (next week is ONE YEAR!) and thought I'd do a quick blog on some of my decor updates. 

    Our kitchen has some great features, one of those being a wall of windows with a sliding door to the balcony. Problem is that it gets REALLY warm in the kitchen in the afternoons and we also overlook a busy road and could use some extra privacy. I've been wanting to add some curtains for a while now but wasn't sure exactly how to proceed. Last weekend I made a trip to Home Goods and just decided to go for it. I found a nice rod and some really chic curtains/sheers for a heck of a deal!

    Mr. B securing the curtain rod for the "Oh so boring" wall o' windows
    Pretty and functional... AND pocket friendly!
    We also have a humongous wall in the kitchen/dining room that I haven't been able to adorn yet. I feel like it needs a massive statement piece and that means either a lot of $$ or some serious thrifting but during my outing to Home Goods, I found this awesome painting that just happened to have every color in my rug and was modern for Mr. B's taste! It's not as large as I would like but at least something is on the wall! On a side note, the buffet and hutch are going to get a makeover, stay tuned!
    Not too shabby, eh?

    And a few other updates around Casa de B! 
    New fall pillows!
    Re-working the wedding decor... still love peacocks :)

    Gourds and mini punkins!

    New Bath and Body Works Wallflower, love the design and the delish fall scents!

    Framed up the ol' vows and some wedding pictures.

    Obsessed with this cream and sugar set that my amazing Mom gave me when we went to visit over the 4th of July. 

    I found this rad, antique food grinder at a yard sale this summer. I want to refurbish it but we shall see. 
    Now that it's officially October, I'll be playing around with some fun decorating ideas and some yummy new recipes. Hope to have more blogs up this month! Ciao, Bella!!! XOXO