Fig & Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

My father would have loved these! He was crazy for figs.....a Fig Newton lover from way back. I don't think I ever saw him eat a fresh fig, but he loved them cooked in bars and desserts, you know what I mean...gooey, sticky and sweet. As for me, I'm a convert...never cared for fresh figs much, but one day someone served me some with a dab of mascarpone on top and that sweet, honeyed flavor won me over. 
The chocolate addition is interesting, isn't it? Wouldn't have thought of it myself, but that's why I love all you creative bloggers!  Crazy about the splash of port in the filling. These are chewy and divine. I still have lots of fresh figs in my market, hope you do too.

Fig & Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

From :pastry studio

16 - 18 fresh ripe figs
2 – 3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar, to taste
good dash of Port

1 cup flour 
1 and 3/4 cup old fashioned oats 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Stem and chop the figs and place in a saucepan with the water and sugar. Cook until the figs are soft and juicy, stirring frequently so they don't burn. Add more water if necessary as the mixture cooks and taste to adjust sugar. Pull off the heat and cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease an 8” square pan and line with a piece of parchment paper large enough to form an overhang along two sides of the pan.

Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and both sugars in the bowl of a food processor. Process until ingredients are combined and the oats are chopped a bit but not ground completely. 

Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients along with the vanilla. Pulse until the mixture starts to clump. It might still look loose, but should hold together when pinched.

Press about 2/3 of the oatmeal mixture into the prepared pan to form the bottom layer. Distribute the chopped chocolate evenly across the surface. Pour the fig mixture over the chocolate and spread gently. Top with the remaining oatmeal mixture. Press the sliced almonds gently into the surface.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until slightly browned. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Gently lift out of the pan using the parchment overhang and cut into bars.


Texas Peach Cobbler

Found this recipe last summer on Pinterest. It sure made the rounds then, but I just got around to making it. Peaches are divine right now and if there's one thing I love it's fresh peaches. The juice running down your chin, the sweetness....simply delicious. I've had them for breakfast the past two mornings. 
I'm also fond of cobblers (as you've noticed) so used what peaches I had left to make this one. I halved the recipe because I'm not cooking for a big family; even at that this recipe will easily be enough for two for several days. Refrigerate and then heat it up. 
Note: the recipe below is for the full amount. 
Frankly, it looks as though a scoop of vanilla or a lovely light herbal ice cream should be on top, but it was divine without.

Texas Style Peach Cobbler
Found on Smoked 'n Grilled blog

2 lbs fresh peaches (approx. 7 medium peaches) 
1/2 cup butter   
1 cup flour 
2 cups sugar 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp salt 
2/3 cup milk 
1 egg 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg


To peel fresh, ripe peaches bring a pot of water to boil. Submerge peaches completely in boiling water for approximately one minute then immediately dunk them in a bowl full of ice water. 
Remove peaches and the skin will practically fall off in your hands. 
Peel and slice the peaches, place in a medium bowl.
Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Melt butter in a 13×9 inch casserole. 
In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
Add milk and egg and stir to combine. 
Pour batter over melted butter in the casserole dish, do not stir
Add 1 cup of sugar to peaches along with cinnamon and nutmeg if using. Stir to combine. 
Spoon peaches and sugar gently over batter, do not stir. 
Bake casserole for 30-40 minutes or until batter is fully baked and golden. 

                                              Looks like bread pudding, doesn't it?


Lemon Chicken Pasta

This is one of those recipes you read and then put in the back of your mind to make and/or adapt later. Got leftover chicken? Check. Got lemons? Of course. Pasta? Yes. Herbs from your garden and Parmesan and you're all set with a really speedy meal. Love the tang of fresh lemons with chicken!

Lemon Chicken Pasta

Found on Framed Cooks

8 ounces linguine 
1/2 stick butter 
2 cups cooked shredded chicken 
1/4 cup mixed chopped parsley, chives and thyme, plus extra for garnish 
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish 
Thin lemon slices for garnish


Cook pasta in heavily salted water until done. Reserve one cup pasta water and drain. Meanwhile, melt butter and add the chicken. Stir until ever so slightly brown and heated through completely.Stir in herbs and lemon juice. Add pasta and cheese to chicken mixture and toss. Add just enough pasta water to form a light sauce. Garnish with more herbs and lemon slices and top with more Parmesan.


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