Mini Nectarine Almond Frangipane Tart

nectarine almond frangipane tart | jessicagavin.com #sweets

The best thing about dessert is when you don’t have to share! I know, that may sound a little greedy, but sometimes you just want your very own pie. With that in mind, I thought that making individually portioned mini nectarine almond frangipane tarts would be a great way to indulge without going over board. It’s nice not having to give others a nibble of the good stuff, since everyone will have their very own tart…. 

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Rustic Peach and Berry Crostata

yummy peach and berry crostata | jessicagavin.com

Do you love crust? I love it! Who knew that combining butter and flour could be so magical, giving you tender pieces of pastry that melts in your mouth with each bite of fruit filling. Being that it’s still summer why not celebrate the last few days by using ripe stone fruit and berries in a delicious dessert?  My local market has super sweet yellow and white peaches and plump blueberries and blackberries available, so I thought that the combination of sweet and tangy fruit would be perfect for a crostata.

I originally found this recipe in Hedy Goldsmith’s incredible dessert cookbook, Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors. Chef Goldsmith is the executive pastry chef at Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in Miami Florida, where she creates whimsical and fun nostalgic desserts. I was lucky enough to meet her during her book release a few years back and I was so excited to try her recipes and now was the right time! I had brought this rustic peach and berry crostata to our friends fourth of July celebration, and it was a big hit!… 

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Lemon Herb Fingerling Potato Salad

Lemon Herb Fingerling Potato Salad | jessicagavin.com

Everyone loves a classic potato salad made with the traditional mayonnaise and relish base. However if you are looking for a lighter potato salad recipe, preparing a flavorful vinaigrette is a great option! For a fast side dish that won’t leave you in eater’s remorse, try this lemon herb fingerling potato salad recipe…. 

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Fig and Prosciutto Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

fig and prosciutto pizza | jessicagavin.com

When I think of figs, I find it funny to imagine the times of Greek gods and goddesses spending the afternoon eating these delicate and luxurious fruit gems. These perfect ripe figs are like eating concentrated honey bites and are perfect for pairing with salty and savory ingredients like prosciutto and cheese. Of course honey and figs go together like milk and cookies. It’s exciting to see when figs pop up in the grocery store or at farmer’s markets, it’s like a a special treat because it’s not something you have everyday.

I was recently dining with some of my favorite coworkers at a nearby pizzeria called Fuoco in Fullerton, CA and they had a special pie on the menu featuring you guessed it, figs! For some reason all of our eyes lit up around the table and we all ordered a whole fig pizza to ourselves! Greedy you say? No way, just indulgent and who doesn’t like a leftover pizza the next day? I hadn’t noticed figs in the market yet, so that got me thinking and inspired me to make my own version of fig pizza at home, if I could find some figs at my local market. And guess what, success! Whole Foods had the figs in cute little green baskets, ready for the taking. I hope you enjoy this recipe for fig and prosciutto pizza with sweet honey balsamic glaze, it’s a little bite of heaven if you ask me…. 

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Salmon Burgers with Lemon Dill Sauce

salmon burgers with lemon dill sauce | jessicagavin.com

It’s hard not to enjoy a nice and juicy Angus half pound burger with hickory smoked bacon and thick cut cheddar cheese (okay maybe that’s just what I’m craving), however sometimes it’s nice to try something a little lighter yet still satisfying. I’ve often grilled portioned salmon fillets for burgers, but I wanted to incorporate more flavor into the actual fish itself this time. The best way to do that is to create your own homemade salmon patties! It’s so simple and holds together very nicely on the grill.

I was actually surprised on how easy it is to create salmon patties, I’ve seen them sold at Costco and Trader Joe’s thinking that they were a great idea, yet looked a little boring. So to bump up the flavor of the salmon patties, I incorporated some common ingredients that compliment this fish very nicely; lemon and dill. I hope you give my salmon burgers with lemon dill sauce a try, it’s a great healthier meal option!… 

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Aromatic Jasmine Coconut Rice

Aromatic side serving of Jasmine coconut rice | jessicagavin.com

Rice was a staple at the dinner table almost every night in my family growing up. I don’t prepare it as often at home now, but it’s a welcomed comforting treat. One way to make this simple and wholesome grain even more delectable, is to infuse flavors into the liquid during cooking which rice easily and happily takes on.

The ingredients commonly used in Thai cuisine such as sweet and rich coconut milk is perfect for adding into the fluffy white grains of rice. I decided to use long grain rice which is often used in Asian cooking for this aromatic jasmine coconut rice recipe, it will surely become one of your favorite side dishes!… 

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Tahitian Mahi Mahi with Vanilla Sauce

mahi mahi with vanilla sauce | jessicagavin.com

Have you ever wondered what types of fresh fish you can expect to eat when visiting the beautiful islands of French Polynesia? You can experience extremely fresh locally caught lagoon fish, swordfish, marlin and tuna to name a few. When Jason and I visited the small Tahitian island of Bora Bora for our babymoon, we grew very fond of mahi mahi fish which could be found on almost every restaurant menu on the island. I actually remember seeing the local fisherman selling huge whole fresh caught Mahi Mahi in the small downtown in Bora Bora, called the Vaitape.

fisherman in Vaitape, Bora Bora selling mahi mahi | jessicagavin.com

When we returned home from paradise, we were happy that we could find some fresh fillets available at our local fish market. Mahi Mahi is a little on the pricier side, but worth the investment for a taste of this delicious fish. One of our favorite Polynesian traditional dishes is pan seared Mahi Mahi with vanilla sauce and I’m really excited to share this recipe with you!… 

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Bora Bora Coconut Custard Pie

delicious coconut custard pie recipe | jessicagavin.com Have you ever traveled to a destination and basically ate your way through the trip? When Jason and I traveled to Bora Bora this coconut custard pie recipe was our slice of heaven. We first had this irresistible dessert on our honeymoon to French Polynesia three years ago and we realized that it was a staple item on pretty much every menu around the island. Each restaurant had their own version, however we always found that the pie was served warm with a cool and creamy scoop of ice cream.

After out third visit to Bora Bora for our babymoon, I thought that I should try to recreate the flavors of French Polynesia by surprising Jason with this coconut custard pie recipe. And guess what, he said I nailed it! We actually ate a slice each night for dessert for almost a week until our craving was gone, haha!… 

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Jasmine Green Iced Tea Limeade

Jasmine green iced tea | jessicagavin.com

There’s nothing better to quench your thirst on a warm day then with a chilled glass of iced tea or lemonade. There is no reason that you can’t have the best of both worlds! I frequently like to ask for an “Arnold Palmer” at restaurants, or half iced tea and half lemonade. For me it has the right balance of sweet, tangy and astringent. However some of my favorite types of tea are Jasmine and green tea because they are much more mild and aromatic, compared to the slightly stronger black tea.

Lemons are also known to really make your mouth pucker which is why limes are a nice substitute to achieve a milder sour note and have nice flavor. Putting all of those flavor elements together, I made a refreshing jasmine green iced tea limeade to give a delicate yet revitalizing beverage…. 

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Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon Fillet

cedar plank salmon recipe | jessicagavin.com

Salmon is one of my favorite seafood choices because it cooks in minutes and is packed with healthy nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon also takes on any flavors you choose with very little effort. At our house, we still have our lean “salmon mondays” so I wanted to think of a new recipe to put into our weekly rotation. I was really happy when Jason spent a good part of the weekend upgrading our Weber grill with some much needed replacement parts. When he returned from Home Depot he surprised me with a fun new cooking tool to play with, cedar planks! I had never tried this cooking technique before so I was excited to try a grilled cedar plank salmon fillet recipe and add a blend of aromatic herbs and spices to make the fish even more tasty…. 

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