Fig and Cheddar Grilled Cheese


Hello my friends, happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  Our was pretty magical-  hopefully you’ve been following along on my Instagram where I’m sharing all the incredible things we’re seeing!    We’re still in Tahoe- I don’t want to leave!  Saturday we hiked Rubicon trail- and since our RV is too long to be allowed in the park and we had to walk in to the trailhead, it ended up being a 17 mile hike.  I’ve never walked that far before- my legs ached and there were moments when I was so walk-weary that I thought I might rather sleep in the forest than take another step. Which made for an ENORMOUS sense of accomplishment when we made it back to our home on wheels!

All of that brings me to this meal- a fig and cheddar grilled cheese with a simple green salad. AKA the best thing I’ve eaten in weeks.  Food tastes great when eaten outdoors and even better when your legs feel like they’re going to fall off, apparently.  HA!  But seriously, if you haven’t cooked a grilled cheese on an actual grill (this was my first time) DO IT!  Do it now.  Figs are going out of season, so snap them up and make this sandwich, I promise you’ll love it.  Until tomorrow…. xx- Sarah  PS- yes that is me wrapping chocolate in roasted marshmallows with the biggest grin you’ve ever seen.  I’m quite happy here on the road, in the forest, beside campfires, and most especially when eating grilled cheese and marshmallows.  Life if good.

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The Art of Charcuterie


Happy Monday everyone, I hope you had a great weekend!  Today I want to talk about the fine art of a charcuterie board.  Truth be told if I could I’d eat nothing but cheese and fruit, crackers, crostini, olives and pickled everything for every meal for the rest of my life.  It’s my favorite way to eat- a nibble of this, a nibble of that, A MOUTHFUL OF CHEESE.  Ha!!!  In all seriousness though, there’s something so delightfully indulgent about a massive display and sitting down with friends to enjoy it- and it’s actually not a ton of work to prepare, but will make your guests worship you like a culinary goddess!  Below is my list of must-haves for a charcuterie, I hope this inspires your own decadent soirees!  xx- Sarah

1. At least three kinds of cheeses is my minimum for a great spread.  I look for pasture raised, organic cheese at Whole Foods and start there- asking for samples and choosing my favorites based on availability.  Generally speaking I like a hard cheese (like Parmigiano Reggiano or Gouda), a soft cheese (like a Brie or Camembert) and a stinky cheese (like Blue Stilton or Roquefort)

2.  Fresh veggies and fruit- I like to mix up the fruit and veggies I add to my boards based on the season, but some of my favorites are:  stone fruit (peaches, cherries, nectarines, apricots), grapes, pomegranates, figs, apples, berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries).  With colorful variety of in season fruits you can’t go wrong!  Sometimes I’ll include dried fruits as well.  For veggies I love:  carrots, snap peas, bell peppers, radishes, cherry tomatoes, celery (with the leaves) and green beans.

3. 2 kinds of olives- I love  dry cured black  and Castelveltrano olives.  YUM!

4. Pickled somethings-  I am always on the hunt for a pickled something to add to a charcuterie board.  This one features spicy pickled green beans, caper berries, and Peruvian pickled peppers.  The kick that they bring to the table is just so tasty and so needed!  I’ve also been known to have bowls of pepperocini, and Cornichons.   My love for all things pickled is vast.

5. Crackers and bread-  These are my favorite crackers these days. Not only are they delicious but they’re SO pretty!  I also love grilling well-buttered slices from a baguette.

6. Nuts-  Marcona almonds (if you haven’t had them you MUST!), walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and pecans all make great additions to a charcuteries spread.  Bonus if they’re seasoned!  They’re the perfect nibble in between all of the sweet, sour and savory.

7. Fig jam & honey-  A touch of sweet spread onto a crisp or baguette with cheese over the top may be my perfect bite, so I always have a fig jam and a bit of honey on display to accommodate!

8 Hummus or baba ganoush- These two items make me feel as if I’ve eaten a proper meal- they add sustenance to the nibbling!  Here is my favorite hummus recipe and here is my favorite baba ghanoush recipe!

9.  Crostinis aren’t a must but they sure do add a little something something!  I grilled buttered baguette slices and made the following three variations:  sundried tomato and basil, peach with burrata and basil, mint with walnut, feta and a drizzle of honey.  They take minutes to put together and are such a treat!

10.  Garnishes – The pretty little bits that fill up space and add color, texture and finesse to your boards…. I love rosemary sprigs, flowers, and whole pieces of fruit.

My tips for assembly:  I love a board that’s overflowing, and I’m not a person that cares about foods touching, so I tend to pile on the goodness!  Start by pacing your cheeses and adding fruits, crackers, and veggies.  Fill in all the holes with nuts and garnish!  Don’t be too precious about it, have fun with it, and most of all- enjoy every last bite of it!

Styling sources:  marble and cheese board, cheese knives, wine glasses, bread basket, water pitcher  (all of the other wooden cutting boards will be available at Shop A House in the Hills soon!

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Warm Freekeh Salad


We had dinner at a friend’s house the other night, and she always cooks the most delicious meals.  She served us a warm freekeh dish that had me fighting the internal battle about asking what they intended to do with the leftovers when we were done.  HA!  I managed to restrain myself but a couple of days later I whipped this up because the craving wouldn’t quit.  If you haven’t had freekeh, it’s a cracked wheat- chewy, earthy flavored and so, so good served in a warm salad like this.  You could mix it with so many things but I chose roasted butternut squash, shallot, pomegranates, heaping bunches of mint and crumbled sheep’s feta.  And of course, always: garlic, salt and fresh cracked pepper.  So, so tasty.  Hope you love!   Recipe below.   xx- Sarah  {Styling Sources:  shallow bowls, large serving bowl, serving spoons, flatware}

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Soup + Salad From the Grill


Since we’ve been on the road I’ve fallen even more in love with cooking on our grill, simple delicious meals that warm the body.  Especially after long hikes like this one.  Food tastes infinitely more delicious when your legs are achy and your mind has had hours of walking to exhaust all thoughts!  Yesterday we hiked to Alamere Falls, and after a long day of walking this meal was the perfect answer to all of our hunger questions.  Lemony grilled romaine salad (the charred lemons give it such good flavor!), easy tomato soup with salt + pepper potato chips, and a bit of skirt steak- our kind of meal these days!  Recipe for the soup and salad below- we hope you love!!  xx- Sarah  {Styling Sources: plates, bowls, flatware, napkin, ladle, cutting board, serving platter}

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Figgy Olive Chicken


Hello my friends, happy Tuesday!  I hope those of you stateside had an amazing holiday weekend!  I’ve got a recipe for you that I’ve made twice now, and am completely obsessed with.  It’s my first time sharing a meat dish- and I’m new to cooking meat, but I’ve had to learn.  I’ve felt so much better since I started increasing my protein a year and a half ago.  I’ve always shared what I eat here, but I’ve never posted a meat based recipe because I haven’t felt like I’ve cooked anything overwhelmingly good- or even good enough to share.  But, this chicken is divine.  This chicken is a favorite.  It’s sweet, salty, savory and hits all the right spots.  I told Lou I think it might be one of the best things I’ve ever cooked.  Which is a bold statement to make right before your husband is about to take his first bite.  Ha!  Recipe below, I hope you enjoy!  xx- Sarah

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Peach, Cherry and Coconut Milk Slushie


I’ve turned a corner with my health- I’m on an official upswing!!!  Horray!!! It’s been such a tough year but it’s making me appreciate every single minute of every single day that I’m here.  And we’re making the most of the final months of Summer with lots of beach days, copious amounts of watermelon and celebrating the goodness that is life with friends every chance we get!  Which brings me to this sweet treat, my new addiction.  Creamy coconut milk, smashed fruit, slushy ice- it’s basically heaven in a cup.  Simple, sweet, healthy and the perfect treat for these sweltering days of Summer.  I hope you make it, I hope you enjoy it sitting on a porch with friends, I hope you love it!  xx- Sarah

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