Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer Sandwich Frenzy

One of the greatest things about having a summer garden is being able to make tomato sandwiches. I was raised on these messy and easy summer delights. We have even been known to eat tomato sandwiches (or sometimes tomato fold-overs) for breakfast. Despite the fact that the tomato sandwich, complete with mayonaise, salt, pepper and sliced tomato, really needs no improvement, we can't help but make them just a little gourmet. This summer sandwich was the sum of our garden bounty and thoroughly met our hunger for the uniquely flavorful homegrown tomato sandwich. I hope others can get creative with their tomato sandwiches this summer.

Glorious Summer Tomato Sandwiches for Two

2-3 ripe homegrown tomatoes

4 slices good bread, toasted on both sides

Mayo (not the low-fat kind please)

Mustard (we like dijon)

Pickles (we chose our homeade squash pickles)

Arugula (or whatever lettuce greens you are growing)

sliced red onion (again, homegrown)

sliced homegrown cucumber

fresh basil

Assemble and enjoy and don't forget your napkin!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Spiced Fig Cake with Molasses Honey Fig Topping

This cake is formatted from another recipe found on the internet under the title of "Cajun Fig Cake." The topping is my own creation.

This would make a decadent cake for a baby or wedding shower.

For the cake:
1 1/2 C. chopped fresh figs
1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C. chopped pecans

Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a Bundt pan and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda and spices.

Add these dry ingredients, alternately with the buttermilk, into the sugar mixture. Stir constantly until all ingredients are well incorporated into the batter.

Add vanilla extract, pecans and figs. Stir well and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for approximately 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool. Remove from pan.

For the Topping:

1 C. chopped fresh figs (more or less)
1/2 C. honey (more or less)
1/3 C. molasses (not that store-bought crap now)
splash of water

Heat all ingredients in a thick-bottom pot. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer, stirring occaisonally for about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then spoon over cooled cake.

An interesting addition to the topping would be some lemon zest, but remember to add this at the beginning for best flavor.