Everything Awesome This Week

A jumble of cool stuff I saw this week that you might like to see, too!

First off, if you’re not watching Orphan Black, you SO need to! I checked out the first season from the library and I’ve blown through the first eight episodes. I have two more to watch tonight, and I am both excited to watch them and crushed because there won’t be any more after I do. Until season two starts. In APRIL!

Anyway, this is the first scene of the show.

Tell me you’re not hooked!

If you’re like me, European soccer leagues are baffling and you can’t keep all the characters in Game of Thrones straight. So let’s put those two things together, ‘kay?

This article will terrify you and make you so, so mad.

Charlie Brown and the Smiths are a match made in mopey heaven.

Libraries are so much more than books!

As a college football freak who works every other Saturday, I love the heck out of this.

This houseboat is basically the best thing ever.

Now, some good things to eat!

This burger, y’all.

I have a pretty solid go-to pancake recipe. I would stray from it to make these banana pancakes with peanut butter syrup.

S’Mores. Icebox. Cake!

And since the oven will be free, well hello, Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Dinner Rolls.

I have never heard of Tennessee Cheddar Puffs, but they look awesome.

That’s it, guys! Have a wonderful weekend!

Gettin’ Figgy with It!

Fresh Figs

I’m one of those super lucky people with a fig tree in my backyard. In late July, the little green figs I’ve been urging to ripen already finally get on with it, and I get an amazing bounty of juicy, summery goodness.

And the race is on. For a couple of weeks, I’m harvesting a pint or so a day, and it’s all I can do to use them up without them going to waste! If you’re into canning, there are Fig Preserves, of course, or this Clean-Eating Fig Butter if you’d like a little less sugar. Or you could go savory and make Fig Ketchup.

But I don’t want all my figs to end up in mason jars! I want to eat some of these babies while they’re ripe and delicious, fresh from the tree. Here’s a favorite idea for a quick snack or small meal:

Roasted Figs with Goat Cheese, Bacon, and Balsamic Glaze

Roasted Figs

This is a simple, endlessly adaptable way to bring out the best of fresh figs by roasting them with complementary flavors. Here’s what I do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the stems of your figs, then cut the figs in half lengthwise and lay them, skin-side down, on a baking sheet (if you want to be fancy, you can use a paring knife to make two perpendicular cuts about 2/3 of the way down from the top of each fig, then spread the flesh and stuff your ingredients inside the whole fig).

Top the figs with any combination of the following:

  • Goat cheese, cream cheese, any cheese!
  • Bacon, Pancetta, Prosciutto, Ham, etc.
  • Chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
  • A drizzle of balsamic glaze, honey, maple syrup, or a sprinkling of brown sugar
  • Anything you want! Get creative! So many things taste great paired with figs.

Place the pan in the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and any meat products are fully cooked.

Enjoy!

If you’d like a more complete meal, you could make Fig Grilled Cheese Sandwiches or Pork Chops with Balsamic Figs.

Another option is pizza! Here’s a super easy method.

Fig Goat Cheese Naan Pizzas

Quick Naan Pizza with Fresh Figs

I get pre-made naan from the grocery store, warm it up in the oven according to package directions, then top it and pop it back in the oven until the cheese is melted and it’s all ready!

I slice the figs about a quarter-inch thick and pair them with whatever’s on hand.  I’ve used goat cheese, mozzarella, thinly sliced onions, olives, bacon, ham, balsamic glaze, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, whatever!

Delicious!

If baking’s your thing, you can make a lot of tasty treats with fresh figs! I made this Fig-Yogurt Bundt Cake and it came out better than I could have dreamed!

Fig Bundt Cake

Some other options for baked goods:

Fig and Olive Oil Cake.

Fig Upside-Down Cake.

Rosemary, Honey, and Fig Cake.

Fig Bars with Thyme

Fig Cake Collage

What are your favorite ways to use figs?

Everything Awesome This Week

A jumble of cool stuff I saw this week that you might like to see, too!

dinner

The Perseid Meteor Shower is coming up in the next few days! Read this essay about stargazing to get ready.

Since we’re focusing on the skies, these incredible videos from Curiosity’s year on Mars are, well, incredible!

Your occasional reminder that Roger Federer is just the bestest.

Awesome story about some septuagenarian ballers.

It’s almost football season! Rejoice! And see if you have what it takes to be an SEC referee.

Can’t get enough of Blurred Lines. This toy-instruments version is great fun.

I’ve been thinking a good bit about doing a weekly review, especially in the workplace. This set of questions looks like a good place to start.

I adore The Blue Hour, Brian Ferry’s gorgeous photography blog. This set of images transported me this week.

New Avett Brothers song! AND a new album out in October! YES!

Very cool example of effort and consistency paying off.

Now, some good things to eat!

I like this cheat-y fix-up for grocery-store vinegar to make Honey Balsamic Sauce.

I made this Pecan-Crusted Tilapia last weekend and, man, was it delicious! (Tip- whisk a tablespoon or so of dijon mustard into the egg wash – adds a little something that puts it over the top!)

So, I discovered Dole Banana Dippers this week. Oh my gosh I love them! But as I can’t live with myself to pay such a markup on BANANAS of all things and I’m trying to eat fewer processed foods, I’m going to give these homemade ones a try.

Do you not just want to stick your whole FACE into this cake? So beautiful!

This might be the best idea in the history of the world.

This pizza oh my goodness I can’t even.

It’s not fall yet, and in South Louisiana it’s not going to be for a good long while, but these donut holes are making the idea of cool weather and crunching leaves a little more believable.

Still, I probably won’t be able to wait for Thanksgiving to try out this take on Candied Sweet Potatoes.

5-Step Pesto with whatever greens and nuts you have on hand.

Have a great weekend!

Everything Awesome This Week

PESTO1

I hope your week was great! I made more pesto!

Here we go with a jumble of cool stuff I saw this week that you might like to see, too!

In honor of the 500th episode of This American Life, which I know we all adore, several outlets put out best-episode lists. I can’t wait to listen or re-listen to them all!

This engaged couple’s movie-poster idea is just the cutest.

Weight loss – it’s so easy!

Rjukan, Norway has a nifty idea to beat those winter blues.

I played “Hot Knife” about a million times when Fiona Apple’s last album came out. This video totally captures the energy of the song.

Ohpleaseohplease make this Daria movie a real thing. It would make a perfect double feature with the Veronica Mars movie.

Can you even believe this glam apartment used to be a public toilet?

Great ideas to make your Sunday night less panicked. #1 and #5 totally work for me.

Jay Z’s 99 problems, illustrated. The best.

How to fill that suddenly urgent Orange is the New Black-shaped hole in your life.

Now, some good things to eat!

Cucumber Noodles in Peanut Sauce. Oh, man.

These Spicy Black Bean Cakes look fairly simple, but majorly flavorful.

Slow-Cooker Bread? Really?

I just… I think I need these.

This BBQ Quinoa Salad looks incredible.

I love build-your-own recipes like this fruit crisp one.

Have a wonderful week!

Everything Awesome This Week

A jumble of cool stuff I saw this week that you might like to see, too!

sharkamelon

Get ready for an instant summer vacation.

It’s a little creepy and a lot incredible: the Giant Mr. Darcy Statue!

Mr. Rogers, I love you.

If you thought the fake-reality show print ads were cool – check these trailers out!

A to-do list of lists! To do!

Framing our thoughts with positive language makes a difference.

Your poster choices speak volumes.

I love all the creative touches in this gorgeous apartment.

Now, some good things to eat.

This Cleaned-Up Blueberry Crumble looks worth a try.

I want to make this Stuffed Zucchini, soon!

These Easy Sesame Noodles would be good with zucchini “noodles” too, I bet.

I. Want. These Sweet Potato Waffles.

I made these Pesto Chicken Burgers last night. Except with turkey, and I threw a bunch a Parmesan into the pesto because come on.

These fancypants Cocktail Cherries look delicious, and maybe would be a good Christmas gift?

Yum, Flank Steak Pesto Rolls. I do have all that leftover pesto…

Have a great weekend!

Everything Awesome This Week

I hope your Fourth of July weekend was great! Mine featured family, fun, and these pancakes, so I’m happy with it…

pancakes

A jumble of cool stuff I saw this week that you might like to see, too!

A teacher accidentally wore the same outfit on yearbook day two years in a row and decided just to go with it for the rest of his forty-year career.

As sad as I am that Wimbledon is over, I am happy that this little guy is out of danger. Hang on to the memories with the New York Times’ all-tennis crossword!

Science made this duck so, so happy.

I just discovered Thug Kitchen and laughed and laughed and laughed.

Oh my god, y’all. This ad.

I was bowled over by this video showing the video effects used to make the Great Gatsby so… Luhrmann-y?

Run like a direwolf is chasing you!

I feel mean still snickering about the buttfumble, but this is too well done not to share.

Why oh why did it take so long for someone to do this? And why wasn’t it me?

Now, some good things to eat!

peachcake

I made this Super-Moist Peach Cake for my family’s Fourth of July gathering, and it. was. so. good!

This Zucchini Feta Pie looks awesome.

I’m making this Slow-Cooker Herbed Balsamic Pork Roast today. Can’t wait to eat it!

So many delicious condiment options: Fig Ketchup, Spicy Ketchup, and Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce, OH MY!!

Maybe it’s time for me to give sardines a try?

I want to make this Vegetable Curry. Yum!

Everything Awesome This Week

A jumble of cool stuff I saw this week that you might like to see, too!

peppers

Maybe not the most photogenic of produce, but these peppers are, aside from herbs, the very first things I’ve grown and eaten! So I’m proud of them in their ugliness. And they taste great!

I thought Mad Men’s sixth season was fantastic. This AV Club wrap-up and look ahead to the final season was a great read.

I’m just starting to watch The Sopranos, and James Gandolfini’s performance is so incredibly captivating and beautiful. His death made me so sad. David Chase’s eulogy was beautiful.

The Price is Right has filmed an all-Plinko episode! Be ye PRO or CON? I myself am heartily pro-Plinko. My grandma loved it!

This makes me want to buy a tent and get travelin’.

Y’all. Y’AAAAAALLLL!!!! This happened.

Instagram added video this week. I’m still not sure if I like it or not, but I think this musing on the new feature makes a good argument against it.

I was thoroughly disheartened by the upsets of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the opening rounds of Wimbledon. Unfathomable! The guess-the-tennis-grunts quiz cheered me up. A bit.

I know I would not have been as composed and quick-thinking as this 12-year-old girl was, in a terrifying situation. Incredible!

A reminder: your body is so much more than the number of pounds you weigh.

Now, some good things to eat!

I really, really want some Blueberry Cheesecake Pie.

I’ve made fajitas before. But these Skirt Steak Fajitas look major.

New pestos to try: Nutty Arugula and Lemony Pea.

This Chicken, Fennel, and Artichoke Fricassee looks so flavorful!

Hey there, Peach Thyme Cake.

I will definitely be trying this simple 3-Ingredient Paleo Sweet Potato Pie.

And these Super Clean Turkey Meatballs.

Have a great weekend!