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Fig Pastries

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I know I post a lot of recipes that are vegan or vegetarian, but I had made the decision later last year to not place any restrictions at all on my diet, but instead to eat quality food – if not all the time – then a majority of the time.  I found that calling myself vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian… or whatever, made me categorize foods as “good” or “bad.”  That very thought process what creating this whole world in my head where I was constantly judging all my food choices.  Unfortunately, it got to be pretty toxic… even if my food wasn’t toxic.  This doesn’t happen to everyone!  I think it may be just how my mind works.

Now, my focus is put into celebrating every meal.  Being completely and totally grateful for every bite of food.  I’m looking for food that is more nourishing, healthy, happily raised, taken care of, and flavorful.  I’m starting to realize that if the person/people who grow/raise my food don’t care about what they’re doing or how they treat the plants/animals, then the end result is empty, sad, un-nutritious food.  When I cook, I take the time to gently clean, season, cut, mix, knead, rest, reduce, etc., so, that I know, the meal was cared for as well.  (That’s what makes it so hard for me to eat out… I’m not totally convinced that the people cooking my food actually care…) & before I take that first bite, I give a little thanks to all those who were a part of getting that food to my table.

The ritual of eating food.  I’m so grateful to have the time in the day to actually care about these things.  I remember working full time and trying to make meals as quickly as possible.  My husband, Alen, was cleaning out his emails and found one from 5 years ago from me.  I asked, “What do you want for dinner tonight? Costco burgers or Totino’s pizza?”  LOL.  Now, I can make both at home, from scratch, and have it mean so much more.  It’s so crazy to see how far we’ve come in what we nourish our bodies with.  It was just 5 years ago that we were purchasing frozen pasta dinners, frozen pizzas, frozen burgers, frozen fries, and letting our veggies rot in the fridge.  Now, we’re stocking our fridge every week… and the only thing that rots is the lost carrot or zucchini that rolls to the back with the fridge trolls.

So, YUM, to good food!  Here’s something quite atypical for me to make, but something that I enjoy very very much!  Fig pastries… with organic flour.  Pasture raised butter.  Organic figs.  No added sugar.

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Filling Ingredients:
12 cooked figs

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pastry Ingredients:
1 cup organic flour

1 stick of organic pasture raised butter

1 splash of water

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Directions:
Filling:

1.  Cook figs on stovetop and mush up.  I added some water to aid in this process.  Add cinnamon now, or later.

2. Reduce.

3. Put in jar and rest for a day.

4. Cook on stovetop, again – don’t add anymore water.

5. Reduce.

6. Repeat until you get something that smells “figgy.”  If it still smells like fresh figs, then keep on repeating this process until they don’t.  This process will be intensifying the fig flavor.  This is also not my original idea.  I learned it on The Mind of a Chef, season two’s episode with Husk restaurant’s pastry chef… she did it with peaches… I can’t wait to try that out.

Pastry Crust (Also, learned on The Mind of a Chef.):

1. Put flour in mixing bowl and add butter.

2. Smoosh the butter into the flour in between your thumbs and other fingers.  Don’t overdo it, you want thin butter clumpies so that your pastry dough comes out flaky.

3. Add a splash of water… really just a little… and mix until it all sticks together.  I used too much and it didn’t come out bad, but the dough was unnecessarily sticky when I was rolling it out.

4. Wrap doughball up in plastic wrap and put in fridge (I’ve heard to do this for at least 30 minutes).

5. Cut up into 6 equal portions, and roll out until thin like a pie crust.

6. Put in some fig filling and then close it up by pressing the dough on the open side together.

7. Also, put a few holes on the top, before baking.

8. Bake at 350 F until golden.

9. Try not to burn your mouth when you try to eat them straight out of the oven.  My husband is a walking cautionary tale.

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Homemade Kale Hummus

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For the past few years, I’ve turned into quite the hermit.  Which is a little weird for me, because in high school, I was in the band, and loved being an “officer” and loved being around people all the time.  My first year at the University of Texas at Austin, I was still that outgoing girl… wanting to be friends with everyone and everybody.  Then stuff happened.  I got hurt by friends and by people I cared about.  At that time, I didn’t know why it was happening.  When I graduated, I worked as a pharmacist for 5 years and I found myself growing bitter about the state of healthcare, scared of my patients & clients (who knew what they were going to be angry about), and living a life with zero passion.  So, I quit.

I’ve had a few months to decompress and try and find what makes my heart beat.  (That’s been fun.)  I thought I would have become a lot more outgoing and wanting to hang out with people more, but I’m finding comfort in being solitary.  I mean, I hang out with my hubbs all the time, but with other people… not so much. (I even have daydreams where me and my husband purchase a microhouse in the country by a river and grow our own food.)  At first it was disconcerting to me.  Am I just someone who doesn’t want to be around others?  How will I ever help anyone else if I don’t want to be around anyone?  I want to help others.

Well, I decided it’s okay.  I think there are a lot of factors that have made me the hermit that I am today.  I think that I’m recovering from sad, angry customers at Walgreens who would yell at me when their copay changed.  I think I’m recovering from the nurses and doctors who talked to me like I knew nothing.  I think I’m recovering from finally letting myself feel all the hurt that myself and others have put on me.  I think I’m recovering from my negative self talk… the voice in my head that always said I wasn’t doing enough… that I wasn’t enough.  So, it makes sense.  I’m just a little scared of putting myself out there again.  Who will attack next?  Me? Instagram stalker/haters?  Blog trolls? Family?

It’s only been a few months.  I’ll let myself have as much time as it takes to feel better about being myself.  I’ll practice compassion.  I’ll practice unconditional love.  I’ll be more aware of what I’m doing: breath, thoughts, food, emotions, etc.  This is where I am now.  I don’t have the superpower to see the future, so, I don’t know if I’ll ever be a social butterfly again, but that’s okay.  I can only act in the present moment… and this is me, today.

Progress, not perfection.  I think that’s what Kimberly Snyder says… (nutritionist for the mind, body & soul)

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Ingredients (all approximate measurements):

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup water

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup tahini

2 cups chickpeas (or you can use 1 can)

1 cup of steamed kale (or more if you want it kale-y)

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Directions:

1. Put in food processor and process until as smooth as you like it.

2. Enjoy!

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My inspiration for homemade hummus, because this is the first time I’ve made it:

http://www.inspiredtaste.net/15938/easy-and-smooth-hummus-recipe/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/hummus-for-real-recipe.html

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/hummus-recipe.html

http://www.runningonrealfood.com/easy-kale-hummus-and-sunday-food-prep/

 

laur7179 - March 23, 2015 - 10:07 am

I love you too lady! I’m so grateful to be your sister-in-law too xoxoxoxoxo

Megan - March 20, 2015 - 7:11 pm

I love you, Laura! Your blog is so great, your recipes look delicious (I need to try them soon), and I’m so thankful to be your sister-in-law. :) xoxo

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