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For the next two weeks, I’ll at some time during each week feature one recipe from my new book, Soups & Sides for Every Season (click HERE to order).   Make the recipe, photograph it, email the pic to me:  soupsandsides@gmail.com.   If yours is the first email with a recipe photo I receive, I’ll mail you a book!  Don’t forget to include your snail mail address in the email as well as any adjustments you made to the recipe.  Now get “cooking!”  I can’t wait to hear from you.

My first for-real book signing is Saturday, July 19 (11am – 1 pm) at Aspen Kitchens and Design Studio here in Colorado Springs:  5134 North Nevada Ave. Colorado Springs, 80918 –University Village Complex. I’ll have a few books with me, but you still have time to buy one and bring it!  There may even be some soup or something else to taste.  Come see!

If you haven’t had a chance to look at the book yet, it’s a soft covered paperback, 174 pages, and was a more than two-year effort that included a wonderful team:  Patricia Miller, editor; Amanda Weber, designer; Daniel Craig, artist; and Drew Robinson, CS, sommelier.  I had a dedicated team of testers and they’re all listed in the acknowledgment section.

The book itself is divided into seven chapters:  one soup chapter for each season, and then one each for Breads and Spreads, Salads and Fast Sides, and, saving the last for best, Desserts.  The desserts are very simple recipes and only one or two require any baking.  Most are nearly instant (think individual microwave chocolate pudding cakes) and there’s a whole page of ideas for truly instant desserts (parfaits, etc.)

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This grilled peach or fig dessert is classic hot summer fare when no huge sugary baked good could possibly surpass the exquisite nature of a sweet, ripe peach or fig.  It also leaves dessert to the grillmeister.  Slice the fruit, grill briefly, and fill with goat  (peaches) or blue cheese (figs)…You’ll be quite happy.

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GRILLED PEACHES OR FIGS WITH CHEESE, HONEY, THYME, AND BLACK PEPPER

Don’t like the idea of warm fruit with cheese?  Just grill peaches or figs and serve over vanilla or cinnamon ice cream with a tiny drizzle of honey and a few tiny leaves of fresh thyme.  The black pepper would be up to you!   —4 servings

  • Canola Oil
  • 2 large peaces or 8 fresh figs, cleaned, cut in half, and pitted
  • 4 ounces goat or blue cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Preheat clean grill to medium-high.  Brush pitted, halved peaches or figs with a little bit of canola oil and place cut-side down on the grill.  Watching carefully, let cook 3-4 minutes for peaches and 2-3 minutes for figs, turning them over when grill marks are well-established, but not too blackened.   Cook another 2 minutes (peaches) or 1 minute (figs) until tops of cut sides begin to dry slightly.  Remove from grill and cool briefly.  In small bowls, top each peach half or two fig halves with 2 tablespoons cheese (goat of peaches; blue for figs), drizzle with honey, sprinkle with thyme leaves and a grind or two of freshly ground black pepper.

Cook’s Note:   No grill?  These could easily be done stovetop in a heavy skillet or on a stovetop grill.  Fruit not quite ripe?  This dessert might just fit the bill.

Wine:  Drew did not pair the desserts with wines, but I would choose a Moscato, which is lovely with fruit, or if something less sweet rings the right bell, a brut rosé.  Not drinking? Freezing cold mint iced tea would drink.

Sing a new song; grill some fruit!

Alyce