Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year to everyone.  I have not been at home for most of November and December.  In November I was on the road for work–worked extra so that I could take time off in December for traveling and fun.  My husband and I started our travels in New Orleans and then took off for Europe.  Our vacations tend to be food centric.  It consisted of great dining, wine tasting and cooking classes.  I took lots of photos and videos to share with you in future blog posts.  I have posted some of my photos on Instagram at cookingwithloveandspices if you would like to see a preview.

Here are a few photos of holiday decorations in Europe.  The feature photo is from a small town in southeastern France called Bormes-les-Mimosas.  We went wine tasting in the area.

We went around the Mediterranean on a medium sized cruise ship.  I like small to medium cruise ships because it is like having a floating hotel.  I don’t have to pack and unpack as I go from place to place.  Here are a few holiday decorations on the ship.

Happy Holidays Viking

They also had a few ginger bread displays.

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One of the best food destinations on the trip was in France.  We were supposed to stop in Marseille, but were detoured to Sete because of riots in Marseille.  This was a lucky detour.  Sete is known for its oysters.  They were amazing.  Here is a pastry case in Sete filled with holiday treats.  YUM!!! So much to choose.

Happy Holidays Pastry

Here are a couple of unique Christmas Trees in Spain.  The first one is made of wine bottles.Happy Holidays Bottle Tree

The second one was in a beautiful Andalusian restaurant where I participated in a Master Chef Class cooking with a variety local sherry wines.  Happy Holidays Christmans Tree

Will share my Sherry tasting experience and the dishes we cooked in a future post.

Again, Happy Holidays and a fantastic New Year!!! 🙂

Yogurt Fig Parfait

This past July my neighbor brought me fresh figs from his tree.  I glazed these figs and I use them in many recipes.   The first recipe I posted was my Fig Fillo Bites

Fig Fillo Bites 3

I had some glazed figs leftover so I used them to make this parfait.  I also used them to make frozen fig cubes for a cocktail my husband created, called Texan Raspberry 75

INGREDIENTS:  (Serves two.  Double or quadruple the recipe as needed.)

Yogurt Fig Parfait Ingredients

  • 8 glazed figs with their glazing liquid (see my recipe, Fig Fillo Bites for step by step instructions on how to glaze the figs.)  NOTE:  There are 4 figs per serving.
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt.  You can buy it or make your own.  I have made my own by using My Mom’s Yogurt recipe.  NOTE:  There is 1/2 cup of yogurt per serving.
  • 1 tablespoon of raw shelled pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon of agave nectar (you can also use honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground fennel seed powder (you can make the powder by grinding up fennel seeds in a spice grinder)

ASSEMBLING THE PARFAIT: in your favorite parfait or martini glass

  • Place a teaspoon of glazing liquid and one fig in the bottom of the glass.
  • Next place a dollop of Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with pistachios and a pinch of fennel powder.  Drizzle on a bit of agave nectar.
  • Next place two glazed figs with a bit of the glazing liquid.  Add more pistachios, fennel powder and agave nectar.
  • Add more yogurt.  Sprinkle with more pistachios, fennel powder and agave nectar.
  • Place the fourth fig in the center of the parfait and top off with a single pistachio for a pretty presentation.

Yogurt Fig Parfait Feature

Fruit parfaits like this are simple, delicious and impressive looking.  They are also very versatile.  Choose any seasonal fruit you like and any spice you prefer.  I have served yogurt/fruit parfaits for breakfast, brunch, a snack and even dessert.  As an added bonus, they happen to be nutritious and figure-friendly.

Please try this recipe and let me know your feedback in the comments.