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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Egg Salad with Pepper Relish from “The Great Pepper Cookbook”

Egg Salad with Pepper Relish | She Paused 4 Thought

Fresh and dried peppers are essential ingredients the world over. Yet while growing up in the Midwest, I could remember only eating sweet bell peppers. This meant that I had a lot to learn about one of the most popular, unique and diverse foods on our planet. As luck would have it, I was invited to a special cookbook event at Melissa’s Produce to launch their latest cookbook “The Great Pepper Cookbook”. This was the perfect opportunity for me to begin exploring all these exciting flavors and have some fun! Continue Reading →

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