Stolen Fruit and a Fig Cookie Shake

Our neighbor has an enormous fig tree which was going bonkers with fresh figs. In years past, my husband has viewed it as a nuisance that creates a pile of rotten, bug-swarmed fruit in the corner of our yard and trimmed the branches that hang over our side as much as he could. A few weeks ago, while picking tomatoes from our garden that is less than 10 ft away, I noticed some figs on the ground and had this revelation that we have a fruit tree in our backyard!

Yes, I can be denseĀ at times often times. Do you know how many pounds of figs you can pick from a 4-foot section of an enormous fig tree? Do you know how many marvelous things you can make from figs? Answer: a metric fuckton. (Or roughly 20 lbs, but who’s counting?)

First, I made these cookies. And then, for good measure, I made them again. Four dozen of them. And I might have definitely ate a dozen the day I made them. I also made some smoothies inspired by the cookie recipe and Lauren made balsamic fig jam and has a batch of fig wine going.

We decided to try and weasel our way into her backyard for more figs by plying her with our fresh, delicious treats. But, instead of the profuse “Thank You!”s and “I can’t believe you made us cookies!”s that I was expecting, she acted as if I was trying to give her some old batteries and used tape and brushed me off with a “My sister picks our figs.”

Here is where I would like to go on a tirade about how many figs that tree is producing daily and how one person couldn’t possibly use all of them, let aloneĀ pick all of them. Instead, I leave you with a smoothie recipe that tastes like a Fig cookie shake. You’re welcome.

Fig Cookie Shake

Fig Cookie Shake

Makes 4, 16oz servings

  • 2 C. ice
  • 2 C. fresh figs
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 C. vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 C. orange juice
  • 1/2 C. yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

I add protein powder, Brewer’s yeast, and about 2 C. of spinach to every smoothie I make. This is plenty sweet enough to mask whatever supplements of greens you would like to add.

Fig Cookie Shake

Add ice, figs, banana, almond milk, orange juice, yogurt, and spices to blender. Pulse on “crush ice” or a low setting a few times until roughly blended. Measure out any supplements or greens you want to add and set aside. Set blender to “liquify” or highest setting and feed powders and greens through the blender lid. Blend thoroughly.

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Sugar Cookies with Royal (pain in the ass) Icing

For Archer’s 2nd Birthday, I had the brilliant idea of making sugar cookies and trying my hand at some royal icing. Well, actually, I had the brilliant idea that my friend Randi make them for her son’s birthday first and then I would learn from her mistakes.

I’ve had sugar cookies with super cute decoration at baby showers, weddings, in my Greenling Box, and again at Jackson’s birthday (Thanks, Randi!) and they always seem to have a taste that is slightly off. Except for the ones from Sweetish Hill that Greenling sends me, it often tastes like there are chemicals in the cookie. So, what better dessert to try for my son’s birthday, right?!

Basic, (somewhat) fresh ingredients

I decided to go with Alton Brown’s recipes for sugar cookies and icing since he hasn’t let me down yet. The cookies came out great aside from the fact that they were not uniform thickness, so some were slightly more crispy than others. Sugar cookie perfection is found by pulling them out of the oven at the precise second they are done, so uniformity is kind of important. Upon mentioning my flub to (the fabulous) Lauren, she clued me in on the rubber band trick. You just put thick rubber bands on the ends of your roller until they equal the thickness you want. Then I went and found these. Either way, I’ll be closer to perfection next time.

Prep Work

After two batches of cookies were baked, cooled, and miraculously saved from probing 2-year-old paws, I made two batches of royal icing. It’s little more than wet sugar and food dye that hardens as it dries. The trick is to plan exactly how you are going to create your masterpiece on each shape. And maybe don’t make three dozen cookies in three different shapes your first go-round. For decorating tips, I found these two posts to be extremely helpful. Don’t zoom through the instructions. They’re detailed for a reason. Seriously, you need to plan ahead.

SUGAR!!

The beach balls were probably the easiest since they are only flooded with no detail work. The two tutorials I followed show you how to flood the whole cookie one color and then detail on top of that with various tips. Squeezing that icing bag was giving me hand cramps, so I’m all for a simple design created from one outline and multiple flood colors. When outlining for a flood, just go ahead and use a #3 tip. It’s the most readily available small round size, it’s a helluva lot easier to squeeze icing out of the larger hole, and it allows you to get a nice, thick layer of flooded icing on your cookie. A #1 or #2 is going to give you hand cramps, limit your sugar intake per cookie, and generally rain on your cookie parade.

Our Masterpieces

Did I mention that this will require some serious time investment? And because the icing dries fairly quick, you can’t just stop and start willy-nilly. I suggest you try to find a friend as awesome as my friend Lauren (you probably won’t, but go ahead and try) to sit there for several hours decorating the cookies for you while you try to get the toddler down for a nap and convince (unsuccessfully) the baby to stop shrieking and play with her toys so you can get your sugar high on. Er, I mean, create museum-worthy masterpieces out of sugar.

The Spread

After you’ve spent an absurd amount of time creating cookies that as gourmet as straight sugar, butter, and flour can get, and are loaded with who-knows-what chemicals in the dye, you’ll still have to provide a variety of snacks that cost twice as much and take no time to throw on the table. No one can live on sugar cookies alone. According to this photo, they can live on guacamole alone. Maybe next time I’ll skip all the complications and just smear guacamole all over the table.

A Photographic Year

I will be taking care of both kids all by myself this summer. I could have prefaced that with a long monologue about how I feel like less of a mother for having Archer in Montessori school, since shooting two babies out of your vag is supposed to transform you into Wonderwoman, but I’ll save that for another day. Bottom line: This woman is having a serious momdentity crisis (post-post-partum identity crisis) and I though it would be fun to document my journey.

My weekly veggies

Our Bi-weekly Greenling Box

I’m starting my own photo-a-day project. I’m sure most of them will be via Instagram. There will probably be many of babies, since that’s who I roll with these days. I hope there are a few that represent some weight loss since I will be hitting up the gym as soon as June is old enough for their daycare. And, although I have been trying to use our new grown-up camera more, I’m sure many of them will be from the fancy new phone I’m angling for later this summer.

Heeeeere goes nothing!