Risotto is so tasty, hearty, and versatile; I can’t believe I haven’t done a risotto recipe on here yet! For this version, I knew I wanted to do risotto, but I didn’t know what I wanted to put in it. So I did what I usually do – I went to Haymarket (my local “farmers”/produce market), looked around, and saw what struck my fancy. This time, what hit me in the face was the number of fresh figs everywhere! It turns out it’s fig season, and even though I’ve never had fig risotto, I knew figs go great with cheese, which is also often in risotto, so I thought I’d give it a try. To go with the roasted figs I chose another roasted vegetable, then added spices, sherry, and almonds on the recommendation of my Flavor Bible.
Before the summer is truly over, I wanted to make a dessert that celebrated some of my favorite fruits of the season. My mom had recently tried the Peach Upside-Down Cake from NYT Cooking, which was good, but I wanted something with more fruit, that paired the peaches with almond to make a more complexly flavored cake. To do this, the RATIOS of the ingredients were crucial and I relied heavily on knowledge from sources across the internet. Almond flour is not the same as wheat flour and combined with almond paste it can really weigh the cake down. I needed enough egg whites (instead of whole eggs) to provide lift. I also wanted to use buttermilk for lift and moisture, but I had to compensate for the added acidity by replacing some of the baking powder with baking soda. Overall, I was very pleased with the result!
This is a bit of an unusual post for me, because this is far from the first time I’ve made these granola bars. In fact, I eat at least one every day, so trust me when I say I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about them…
The reason I eat so many granola bars is that I have a serious hangry problem. My day can be going along fine, then suddenly my blood sugar drops and within 30 minutes I’m irritable and nauseated. As a result, I carry snacks everywhere, and these are my reliable favorites. I prefer them over store-bought granola bars because commercial bars are so expensive, and they often contain chocolate or some mysterious sticky binding agent, neither of which I enjoy. When I make my own granola bars, I can use big pieces of fruit and nuts, and I get exactly what I want. This particular recipe is so easy: just one bowl, one 13×9 pan, and they make enough for a few weeks. Making your own granola bars is something I recommend to everyone. Once you go homemade, you won’t go back.