Fig and Ginger Brûlée Tart

Fig & Ginger Brûlée Tart | She Paused 4 Thought #cafigs

Figs are my current obsession. They make me happy when I gaze at them. Their sensuously rich, honey-like taste – which always makes me think of a hot summer day under the Mediterranean sun, pairs well with many flavors as well as on their own. I suspected a few people didn’t know what a fresh fig tastes like, and after my last fig post my suspicions were confirmed. How can something so seductively flavorful, something as old as the Bible, still be so unknown to so many?

I recently hosted a party for my Mom and her sisters for their annual silliness fest, where they eat and laugh until they can’t do it anymore. The day of the party just happened to be my Aunt Sharon’s birthday. So with my abundance of fresh figs generously donated by the California Fig Industry from the Figology Fest LA event, I thought what better way to celebrate than with a fresh fig tart.

When the gals all arrived I mentioned that I had a special fig dessert for them, the conversation stopped, until my dear Mom got it started again with a silly Ole and Lena joke. It turned out the joke was on me when I found out they thought they hated figs.

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Fresh Figs on Parmesan Crisps @ Figology Fest LA

Fresh Figs on Parmesan Crisps | #CAFigs #FigologyFestLA

I am continually surprised at how many people have not succumbed to the pleasure of a fresh fig. I’m sure it’s because the word “fig” is associated with the shriveled up dried fruit plate that your Grandparents received at the holidays, or with a dusty Fig Newton.

May I just say that a fresh fig tastes nothing like either one of them? Continue Reading →

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Fresh Apricot Almond Tart

Fresh Almond Apricot Tart | Cathy Arkle

This week I bought my first apricots of the season at my local farmer’s market. I couldn’t stop eating the samples because they were sweet and slightly tender… perfection.

I took them right home and with the ones left in my bag (!), I decided I’d make my favorite tart. I have been making this tart for so many years, that I have lost track of the source. (Sorry whoever created this amazing dessert)

fresh apricots - shepaused4thought.com

How to look like a Confectionery Champion

I love taking this tart to a picnic because there is nothing quite like the feeling when I pull it out of my basket. Conversation simply stops. “Did you MAKE that?” is the question I get followed by “May I have the recipe?” and that all happens before they’ve even tasted it.

So, here is the recipe for all – be a winner and take this to your next picnic (or black tie supper – it’s a perfect choice there, too). Continue Reading →

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Blueberry Bliss

blueberry | She Paused 4 Thought

Blueberries are just not my favorite fruit… simply because they’re not. I buy them because I love their color and I want to love their flavor, but… sometimes they’re bland and mushy.

So why did I find myself with twenty pounds of blueberries in my kitchen last week, enough to almost fill my bathtub? Well, let me tell you something, blueberries in season, fresh from the farm, are another matter entirely. If you have ever eaten a blueberry fresh from the bush, you will understand.

blueberries Fairfield Farms Pauma Valley ca

When I popped my first, off-the-bush berry into my mouth it burst with a wonderful tart flavor that ended on a sweet, blue note. The texture was firm, with no hint of that mushy-ness I have known. I became immediately addicted, and didn’t stop tasting until my mouth, hands, and palate were blue. Continue Reading →

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Artichoke Appreciation at Baroda Farms

artichokes at Barado Farms

April is artichoke season and there is something magical about seeing purple artichokes standing at attention, ready for harvest. You don’t have to be a farmer to appreciate the bountiful crop before you, or an artist to appreciate the sheer beauty.

A couple of food bloggers and I had the privilege to visit Steve Jordan, president and owner of Baroda Farms in Lompoc, CA recently, a perennial artichoke grower and developer 29 different varieties. Special thanks to Frieda’s Produce, the distributor of these spectacular artichokes, for a unique private tour.

artichokes at Barado Farms

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