so what's new in your world? grilled figs on goat cheese toasties

Writer's note:  best intentions to add pictures and post this when I wrote it on Wednesday, but it took until Sunday to finish what I started.  I'll get back up to speed.

Gee, where to start?  Here I am all by myself with one happy to be back at Purdue for her senior year, the other safely starting her journey at Duke after "surviving" an earthquake (didn't feel it, we were walking) and a hurricane (two hours inland, just very blustery) and my husband living the dream out on the road this week in Boston (not a lot of power out there so his hotel is full).  The cat and the guinea pig are fabulous conversationalists (not really, despite my best efforts, maybe I should speak to them in Spanish or French and see if they get that) so I'm super thankful to have my lululemon gig.  People everywhere.  Our store is crazy busy and the days fly right on by.  Finding a little routine day by day.  Going to bed earlier so I can squeeze in hot yoga or a walk/run before work.  Remembering that with my allergies, walking outside on a really pretty morning is kind of suicidal.  Should have gone to sunrise vinyasa.

So here are some highlights from my first week in empty-nesterville:  yoga everyday this week (!need it!), crawled up on my own into a headstand three times (I am awesome!), pinned up pants for hemming this week for a local celeb (pressure), tried a zumba class in the parking lot of Lifetime Fitness with 3 other lemons and 150 other people (hilarious, but so much fun I'll try it again), drove home at dusk under the canopy of trees and maybe a dozen dive-bombing bats on 106th St. (spooky), fed Kelly as she dropped by for two hours this afternoon and skyped with Sara for the first time.  That's all in three days.
Today I really should have cleaned and done paperwork, but since Kelly could eat dinner with me I spent most of the mid-day cooking and baking.  I do love my job and I'm too busy to be all melancholy, but there's just something lovely for me about spending a few hours in the kitchen and sharing a meal.  Heavy sigh.

I'm not planning on "cooking for two" or "cooking for one" as the evening's attendance figures fluctuate.  How would I have leftovers?  Greg and I love leftovers.  Mine often morph into a salad or sandwich version of the original.  Greg is straight up on the plate, no balance of food groups needed.  Now all I need is a bit more time at my mac to get my posts out of  my head and onto my blog page.  Last weekend I bought some pretty "brown turkey" figs at Whole Foods.  I've dog-eared so many fresh fig recipes and finally decided to give them a go.  If I lived in California I'm sure I'd have attempted this sooner, but here in the midwest it's a little trickier to buy them ripe and use them before they get questionable.  It was a quick dinner so I just decided to skip the recipes and halve them, grill them to caramelize them and serve them atop goat cheese toasties.  Good plan.  These would be great appetizers, but I served them alongside lightly dressed field greens for a salad/side dish.

Here's my little recipe of the day:

Grilled Figs on Goat Cheese Toasties

pint basket of ripe figs
olive oil
nice whole grain baguette
plain goat cheese
honey or balsamic vinegar, if desired

Preheat the grill.  Halve the figs.  Brush lightly with olive oil.  Grill cut side down over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until soft and caramelized.  Brush baguette slices with olive oil, flip over and top with goat cheese.  Grill alongside figs until lightly browned on the bottom and melted cheese on top.  Top cheese toasties with figs.  Drizzle with honey or balsamic vinegar as desired or serve them plain (like I did).

caramelizing on the grill

pretty on the plate

working their way towards the cheese toasties


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