Today is the second of January. It’s also the day that I’ve used to set some intentions for 2017 – this beautiful, big new year we have ahead of us. Rather than set resolutions (as i’m terrible at keeping them), I chose a word for the year and set some small goals that resonate with the theme. I feel good about it and might expand a little later in the year but for now I just want to start, especially as, after reflection, 2016 can be crowned the year of procrastination.
It’s been a while! I’ve been moving house and said goodbye to my beautiful table that I used to shoot on – suffice to say i’ve been struggling to find a replacement but think we’ve done it. I’m still adjusting to the darker background though and paired with winter lighting we’ll see how it goes!
Anyway, to the food, which is why you’re here and don’t I have a total treat for you this time. Pears are all over the place during winter and I try to use them anyway I can, in smoothies, stewed with raisins, in oatmeal… But what I really wanted to do was to put them in a loaf having exhausted my previous favourite banana loaf recipe.
Saturday mornings are never better than when you get to the market and everything you need is there. You have a list, you get all the things on the list (plus breakfast) and then you head home to whip up what you bought into something great for the afternoon. This Saturday was one of those days and there were figs!! The somewhat elusive fruit has only a very short season and every year I vow to get involved. So far however figs and me and have never become good friends. This has all changed now though.
Fig week could even become 2 weeks with the amount of recipes they’re good for. Don’t be surprised if they make a guest appearance at some point – maybe during beetroot week?
This cake – adapted slightly from Jordon Rondel’s second book ‘The Caker – Wholesome Cakes, Cookies and Desserts’ – is a perfect introduction to fresh figs. It’s sweet, moist and you get big pieces of fresh fig dotted throughout; you get a real taste of them. The cake was great for afternoon tea and isn’t too heavy in this hot weather. The buckwheat flour gives an earthy taste but it isn’t overpowering which I love. Using honey and just a touch of muscovado for sweetness the cake isn’t overwhelmingly sugary either (breakfast anyone?). Overall it’s a great balance and one of those cakes you could make any day, not just for celebrations. Keep reading for the recipe 🙂
We welcome Autumn to New Zealand on Tuesday. Many i’ve spoken to are less enthusiastic than me when I remind them of this but I think it is my favourite season. The days are still warm but the nights get chilly, inspiring an extra layer or two and you might actually feel like eating something warm and comforting again. There is still plenty of produce around and still light in the evenings to prepare it in. Bliss.
This morning I woke up to find the rain from the night before had disappeared and got up to get to the markets at a decent time. By 10am I was back home – breakfast ready and back in bed. I am a huge fan of breakfast in bed. Today’s choice was buttery wholemeal toast with boiled eggs and heirloom cherry tomatoes. I’ve been seeing so many market haul photos featuring delicious tomatoes and had to get some of my own. These were sweet, fresh, colourful and totally worth the (kind of) early wake up – oh and did I mention it took me all of 10 minuted to get ready. Perfect! Read on for the recipe.
For some of us, the need for a chocolate based cereal disappears as we grow up and realise it may not be the most nutritious choice. For others, like me, this inherent desire never evaporates and the more chocolate options I have in the morning, the better. This granola satisfies all the cravings I have and even stops me going for actual chocolate in the afternoons where it’s a hand in the cookie jar situation. The original recipe is from My New Roots – i’ve just adjusted a little as I like more buckwheat than oats and I had almonds on hand.
Add the above granola to a sweetened plum compote and you have a bowl of heaven that can be finished with a dollop of yogurt (i’m thinking greek or coconut) or even just a couple of glugs of milk. Organic whole has been my choice most mornings this week but almond would be great too. The fibres in the plum thicken the milk to a syrupy consistency and make it feel oh so indulgent. Apart from that I don’t think I need to explain why the plums are there. Did you see them up there, bright red, telling you just how sweet they are? Take another look…