How Lovely! Hello Natural and my Flavored Vinegars!

Flavored Vinegars ~ A Stack of Dishes

Hello Natural recently did a post on Delicious and Easy Homemade Gifts- and LOOK who they featured! You may see their post HERE.

And you can find my vinegar recipe HERE.

Foodie Gifts 2013

Marzipan How To~ A Stack of Dishes .com

Step by Step instructions for making traditional marzipan fruits.

 I’ve had a few folks ask me about some things I’ve made in the past as gifts recently. So I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite things- from my recipes for food gifts, a book, and a coupon to one of the best Healthy Menu Services in the world! {OK, it’s MY company, but I think you are seriously going to love it}.


 This is an adorable and awesome little cookbook written by my associate Michelle Buffardi, is packed with some adorable and clever cheese ball ideas- with delicious fresh flavor combinations. She’s got a cute idea for Super Bowl you’re going to want to check out. Great Balls of Cheese

is a sweet book, which at just over $10 on Amazon, makes the perfect hostess gift or stocking stuffer for the entertainer in your life.


Two seasons ago I did a marathon 12 days of gift giving that contains over 25 recipes for food gifts. You can find the full compilation HERE.

2 Days of Food Gifts~A Stack of Dishes

12 Days of Edible Gifts with over 25 recipes.

Flavored Vinegars~ A Stack of Dishes

Here is the link for 3 different flavored vinegar combinations that you can make yourself. My favorite was the grapefruit. In fact, I plan to make a batch for myself today. It’s bright with a hint of tangy citrus that is wonderful on salads, fish and meats.

8 tips for perfect caramels~ A Stack of Dishes


Homemade caramels are quite the rage these days. This post has a list of 8 tips for making successful caramels.

And lastly I am offering my readers a COUPON for a 50% discount on any menu plan at A Healthy Hunger. For anywhere from $2.50-5.00/month you can help someone get their health on track and love every bite.

A Healthy Hunger has meal plans for Diabetics, or Pre-Diabetics and my Clean Eating plan is great for anyone with high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, heart health concerns- or anyone who just wants to eat better and doesn’t know where to begin.

The menus are designed with nutritional balance for your health, and great taste for the foodie. And check out the blog for health tips, kitchen wisdom, inspiration and more!

Holday50Click HERE to find out more and use the coupon code at checkout. The coupon expires December 31.

 Happy Holidays All!

Boozy Fig Onion Jam with Bacon


Figgy Bourban JamOh my dear ones, forgive me, forgive me. I’ve been out of pocket for the last couple of weeks, but for a very good reason. Last week my love and I eloped to Napa Valley and got ourselves hitched!  The whole experience has been magical and so full of love and happiness that I am bubbling over with exuberance. I promise that as the pictures come back I will be posting all about it. There are many beautiful, and sometimes zany, stories that I cannot wait to share- and of course some amazing food.

Until then, first onto this delectable condiment and the story behind the many hands that brought it together.

figsIt starts with a bountiful fig season, which thrilled me to no end. I love the warm stickiness of fresh figs, but I’ve never had them so close to the tree that produced them. I am also so fortunate to have not one, but TWO wonderful friends who were willing to share their bounty.

The first is my ’round the corner neighbor, Cindy Gleason Johnson.  I felt like a thief at first sneaking into her backyard- but when I saw that the birds were boldly helping themselves I jumped right in. Her golden figs were so delicious that they did not stand much of a chance.  They barely made it home where upon I instantly gobbled them up in a snap.

The black figs above came from another friend in the opposite direction, Candy Peavy. Her beautiful fig tree is espallied against the side of her house into a towering glory in such a royal and commanding manner it took my breath away. Having been satiated with the first batch of fresh beauties, I had the presence of mind to think of how I might create something with this second batch.


Another dear friend Caroline Manning recently opened an amazing restaurant called Blue Southern Comfort Food.  Caroline’s got heart and soul as big as the south, and the flavors and finger lickin’ good food to match. She’s famous for clean plates and her Blue Burger, which is topped with her special Bacon Jam. It’s a sweet, oniony, syrupy topping that seeps right down into the sourdough bun and sidles up real nicely to the layer of cheese that is melted over some of the best burger beef I’ve ever tasted.

I have made NO attempt to replicate her specialty sauce, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t an inspiration. My onion jam is thicker and less sweet. The bacon adds a heft and a chew and there is the added crunchy texture from the fig seeds.  Mine also has a secret ingredient: Camellia Coffee– which adds a round dark bitter base note.camellia

Camellia Coffee is from right here in Caddo Parrish and another project of our beloved Cindy Gleason Johnson. She has created a couple of blends, but I went right for this Dark Roast. We have some amazing things being produced right in our backyards and kudos to Cindy for bringing this gorgeous coffee together for us to enjoy.

So you see, it’s all the goodness of the land and good people who can come together and create something magically delicious.


The jam takes a while to reduce and meld, the whole time filling the kitchen with sweet fragrance. I have yet to try my jam on a burger, (I’ll be getting mine at Blue) I prefer it on a grilled gruyere cheese sandwich, or any other stinky pungent cheese. A Goat Brie would be awesome too.


With a jar of this in your fridge, anyone could stop by at a moment’s notice and even served on toast and cream cheese, or some hot buscuits- you be having some good southern community cooking.

Boozy Fig Onion Jam with Bacon
Smoky, sweet with a hint of bourbon for lip smackin' southern goodness
1145 calories
157 g
83 g
31 g
31 g
10 g
728 g
2412 g
140 g
0 g
17 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1145
Calories from Fat 277
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g
Saturated Fat 10g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 83mg
Sodium 2412mg
Total Carbohydrates 157g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 140g
Protein 31g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 pound smoked bacon
  2. 1 very large yellow onion, sliced
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 cups halved fresh figs
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  6. 2/3 cup maple syrup
  7. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  8. 2 tablespoon ground dark roast Camillia Coffee
  9. 3 Tablespoons white vinegar
  10. 1/2 cup bourbon
  11. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  12. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  13. water if needed to thin during pureeing process
  1. In a large cast iron skillet, brown the bacon and then remove.
  2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of grease. Over medium/low heat gently sauté the onions and garlic for one minute, then add the fresh figs. Gently cook for 4 minutes until the onions are wilted and the figs soften.
  3. Add the cayenne, maple and brown sugar, coffee grounds and vinegar and slowly simmer until thick and a dark amber color. Add the bourbon and cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Add pepper and salt- adjust to taste.
  5. Add back the bacon and continue to cook for a total of one hour. Remove from the heat and cool.
  6. In a food processor or with a hand blender, puree the mixture in batches to a rough grind. There should be some texture to the bacon.
  7. Store in a sterile jar in the fridge and consume within 2 weeks.
  1. Any type of fig may be used, including reconstituted dried figs if that's all you have.
A Stack of Dishes