Category Archives: Fruit

Time for Fig Tart — Two Helpings At Least

Fresh figs -- in all their glory -- in a perfect tart.

Fresh figs — in all their glory — in a perfect tart.


Figs are a rather stealth fruit.

For those of us not lucky enough to have our own backyard fig trees, we forget the candy-sweet, sticky, plump fruit have two seasonal harvests a year here — in June-July, and September-October.

As such, they rather sneak up on us. There we are, ogling the strawberries, plums and nectarines at the market, when all of a sudden out of the corner of our eye, our attention gets hijacked. “Are those figs?,” we find ourselves asking silently, as we hurry over to investigate. Sure enough, they are baskets bulging with the gorgeous purple or green figs.

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Melissa Clark’s Peachy Pork

One-pan magic that makes the most of summer peaches.

One-pan magic that makes the most of summer peaches.


Every summer, I turn fruity.

As in batty for plums, pluots, peaches, nectarines cherries, strawberries, blueberries, figs and the like.

So much so that I practically have to restrain myself from buying a few of everything that I see at the farmers market, lest I end up with a load of fruit at the end of the week, when I am ready to set out to the market again on my regular weekend jaunt.

Just last Saturday, my favorite strawberry vendor asked me pointedly, “Do you really go through this many strawberries every week?” as I bought my usual three baskets from him.

Why, yes, I do. I really, really do.

Hey, it could be worse. At least he didn’t ask, “Do you really go through five buckets of chicken every week?”

Instead, I’m proud to be fruity to the core. Most of my haul is enjoyed as is — out of hand or topped with Greek yogurt or tossed into salads. Some get baked into sweet treats such as galettes, muffins or financiers. And every now and then, some actually end up in something savory.

Like “Peachy Pork or Veal with Pomegranate Molasses and Charred Onion.”


The recipe is from “Dinner: Changing the Game” (Clarkson Potter), the newest cookbook by Melissa Clark, of which I received a review copy.

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The Joys of Cherry Snow Cones in Summer

When the weather gets hot, reach for a cherry snow cone with a dash of kirsch.

When the weather gets hot, reach for a cherry snow cone with a dash of kirsch.


On Christmas long ago when I was a kid, my aunt gave me a snow cone maker.

It was one of those plastic, hand-cranked ones in the likeness of Frosty the Snowman. You’d plop ice cubes into the top of his “head,” turn the lever like mad, until fluffy shaved ice started filling his “stomach.” I’d scoop it out and fill a paper cone or cup, then drizzle on the syrup that came in the kit, which no doubt back then was made with all manner of artificial flavors and colorings.

No matter, it did the trick — offering up an icy, slushy, syrupy sweet treat that I couldn’t get enough of.

Decades later as an adult, I was gifted another snow cone maker much like my childhood one.This one, however, was in the likeness of Snoopy, and a cross between a real and a gag Christmas gift from a best friend who knew only too well my adoration of Peanuts characters. I’m not above saying I used it, too.

After all, no matter what age you are, there’s just something magical about snow cones, how mundane ice can be transformed into something so incredibly delightful.


That’s why when I saw this recipe for “Cherry Snow Cone” in the new “Food52 Ice Cream & Friends” (Ten Speed Press) by the editors of Food52, of which I received a review copy, I knew I had to make it.

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Bee Free Honee — It’s Like Honey, But It’s Not

A honey-like product that tastes of apples.

A honey-like product that tastes of apples.


With its golden, amber hue, it looks a lot like honey.

But from the moment you unscrew the cap on the jar, you get the unmistakable whiff of sweet apples.

Bee Free Honee is a honey substitute made from organic apple juice, cane sugar and lemon juice — all cooked down until sticky and viscous.

The company was founded by Minneapolis-based Katie Sanchez, who grew up on an apple orchard with a father who was a beekeeper. One day, while trying to make a less sweet apple jelly, she accidentally created this syrupy concoction instead.

It’s vegan, and safe for anyone who has a honey allergy. Use it just like you would honey.

With bee populations decimated over the past decade, it’s also a way to enjoy a honey-like product while stressing bees less. Moreover, for every jar sold, Bee Free Honee donates 10 cents to pollinator-friendly groups.

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Hooray for Halos, Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Say "hello'' to fun with Halos!

Fun with Halos!


My husband will be the first to admit he suffers from Lazy Fruit Syndrome. No matter if it’s strawberry season or peach season, he stays loyal to his penchant for bananas. Yes, because he likes them. But more so, because they require no washing and are a breeze to peel.

We’ve all been there, right? Maybe that’s why we can’t get enough of Halos, either. These cute tangerines have peels that come off just like that to reveal easily segmented, seedless flesh that bursts with sunshine-y juice. One Halo has only 50 calories and comes with a jolt of Vitamin C.

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