Food bloggers are notorious for their prop collections. We use props of all kinds for food styling and photography, for serving and entertaining. I find props at the farmer’s market, Alaska antique or second hand stores, garage sales, fabric stores, gift shops and specialty food shops. Pastor Alaska has started giving me props as gifts (like a vintage strawberry crate and spice jars he brought back from a trip to Washington State in the spring). I have fabric cuts for every season and burlap in several colors hanging in my hall closet next to the coats. I have wood boards stacked under the console in the living room that Pastor Alaska fashioned out of pallets. That same console is full of cake plates, pitchers, and glassware I’ve collected. Compared to most bloggers, my collection is still pretty modest, but it’s growing all the time.
I was thrilled to hear about the Food Blogger Prop Swap, hosted by Alyssa of www.EverydayMaven.com and Faith of www.AnEdibleMosaic.com; I sent a box of my props to a food blogger and received a box in return from another blogger’s collection. I had so much fun going through my stash and deciding which items to send. I sent a box of goodies all the way to Minnesota to Hayley from Cheap Recipe Blog. Then, a couple of days later, I received a fantastically fun box of props from the wonderful Alyssa at Everyday Maven (one of the coordinators of the Prop Swap). She sent me an impressive mix of dishes, placemats, accessories (how did she know I’d been dying to have some striped paper straws? They’re so difficult to find up here!), and useful kitchen utensils. You can view the whole collection of props she sent me here. The prop that I’m highlighting in this post is the beautifully textured cream-colored plate in these photos, which I thought was the perfect color and size to showcase this recipe. Thank you ever so much, Alyssa! I had an absolute blast doing this and I’m looking forward to what you and Faith have planned for future swaps. Stay tuned to see more of the props I received from Alyssa in future blog posts.
My sister and her family are visiting from California and they were gracious enough to bring some fresh California produce up with them on the plane. I was beside myself with all the ripe, colorful produce covering my counter tops and filling my fridge. I was over the moon that she brought some fresh figs because they can be extremely hard to come by in our part of Alaska. Then my sister told me about a recipe that she and her friend had made using figs with brie. Brie is my favorite cheese and I was immediately sold as soon as the words came out of her mouth. What a stunning, yet simple way to highlight these fresh figs. I was also keen to try this new method of warming brie by using a panini press. Genius. Wish I had come up with it. I heated my press on the low setting and placed my whole wheel of brie in there for 5-6 minutes or until soft and warm to the touch. It came out with beautiful golden grill marks.
This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and only requires 5 ingredients, yet it is incredibly delicious and elegant. You just simply must make this for company and enjoy the oohs and ahhs that follow.
Grilled Brie with Figs & Thyme Honey
A stunning and elegant brie appetizer with fresh figs and thyme honey that takes less than ten minutes to prepare and only five ingredients. Adapted from [Not Without Salt|http://notwithoutsalt.com/2011/07/25/grilled-soft-cheese-thyme-honey-and-fresh-figs/].
Yields: 4-6 servings
- 1/4 cup honey (I used local homestead honey)
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1 (19.6 ounce) wheel of brie cheese
- 4-5 fresh, ripe figs, quartered
- water crackers or French bread
To a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the honey and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then turn down heat and keep warm.
Heat a panini press on the low setting. Unwrap the wheel of brie and place it in the preheated press. Close the lid and heat until soft and warm to the touch, with golden grill marks, watching carefully (if you go too long, the cheese will burst through the rind and ooze out), mine took about 5-6 minutes.
Carefully transfer the warm brie to a serving plate. Top with quartered figs, drizzle with honey, and garnish with fresh thyme. Serve immediately with water crackers or sliced french bread.