Intro

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Here’s the story of how I met my new favorite snack.

First I saw this image of brie with honey and figs and thought, “I must eat this.” Then a couple weeks later I ran into another image, this time the cheese stood alone but was grilled.

You’ll notice a couple things so far. 1. I adore cheese. 2. I adore Pinterest.

So I married those two ideas, threw in a little inspiration from this and now have an incredibly simple and stunning appetizer that is best served on a picnic blanket, under the sun, and washed down with light, refreshing adult beverage of your choice.

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Isn’t that often how ideas start? By the inspiration of others? Sure, there are those wonderfully rare moments when a sudden gust of creativity hits, nearly knocking me over before I have a chance to write down whatever revelation just struck. In those moments I am thankful, brimming with excitement and grateful.

Most of the time inspiration is gleaned from one another. An image, recipe, phrase, etc. somehow grabs my attention. I write it down, take a photo of it, or pin it on one of my boards, and save it for another day. That initial idea gets reworked in my head and comes out with a stamp that is more uniquely mine. I have not necessarily made the original idea better but I have adapted it to resemble my own creativity in a way that makes me resonate with it even more clearly.

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It has been said that everything under the sun has been done. Sometimes I am disheartened by that, wanting so badly to create an idea, a recipe, an image that is evocative, new, ground breaking – only to find that someone has already done it.

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The hope is found in the continuous process of strengthening your creativity. As you persist in the process of creating, your own voice becomes more clearly defined. After a while you have created a style and an artistic identity. Believe me, if it’s not there already, it will come. Often we are far too immersed in our own work to realize it. Ask loved ones around you to describe your artistic voice. You’ll be amazed at how clearly your message is coming across and you’ll have the beauty of seeing yourself through the eyes of people who love you most.

Ideally we should humbly inspire and be inspired by others. We should give credit where credit is due and applaud other artists around us. And we should, without a doubt, eat more cheese that has been grilled.

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Grilled Soft Cheese, Thyme Honey and Fresh Figs

 

1 small wheel of soft cheese such as brie or a triple cream (I picked this one up from Trader Joe’s for under $5 and was very happy with it)

1/4 cup honey

a couple sprigs of thyme

fresh figs (as many as you’d like)

In a small saucepan add the honey and thyme and heat on low. You simply want to warm the honey and infuse it with the flavor of thyme. If it starts to simmer, remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat a grill (indoor or outdoor) until very hot. Carefully place the cheese on the grill and sear until marks appear and the inside starts to melt, about one to two minutes on each side. Using a spatula, remove the cheese from the grill and transfer to your serving platter. Half and quarter several figs and place on top of the grilled cheese. Drizzle the figs and cheese with the honey. Serve immediately with crackers and/or bread.

91 Responses to “grilled soft cheese, thyme honey and fresh figs”

  1. tami

    This about made me drop my coffee cup. Stunning…and I can only imagine incredibly delicious. <3

    Reply
  2. My Little Expat Kitchen

    I love what you say about asking loved ones to describe ones artistic voice. It is sometimes difficult to have perspective over your own creations/accomplishments/work.
    I love pinterest too. It’s such a source of good inspiration. Continuous and overflowing inspiration.
    Love your photographs!
    Magda

    Reply
  3. la domestique

    Your grilled cheese looks unbelievably good! I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for your words on creativity- as a blogger I constantly fret about trying to create something that is uniquely mine, while giving credit to those who inspire me.

    Reply
  4. Michelle

    Funny thing is most of your posts go right to my Pinterest boards before I even get done with the entire post. I love your photographic style and adore your writing style even more. Wait, then your creativity in what you make… your kids… you have great style in general.

    Reply
  5. Gabe

    This was delicious… I ate way more than I needed too. mmmm…. melty cheese.

    Reply
  6. Lucia

    Being an artist means to applaud other artists. To take inspiration and to give inspiration. To grill cheese, and to eat cheese. Love your recipe!

    Reply
  7. Paula

    Oh my goodness. You have combined two of my favorite things here: goat cheese and figs. I am so excited to try this and it would be a perfect treat to have to unwind from a stressful day of work and studying, along with some wine.

    Reply
  8. Paula

    I apologize, brie was used. I was too excited when I saw it I thought it was goat cheese! But the comment still stands :)

    Reply
  9. Denise Whitney

    This looks divine. I can see why it is your favorite. I have everything but the figs! I will get some today and try this. Your photos are beautiful

    Reply
  10. sara

    unbelievable pictures. So simple and I can’t wait to make it. I too, love pinterest and think it is just the greatest resource for inspiration around at the moment. You are great.

    Reply
  11. molly

    I just had my first cheese with honey (goat, honey, salted almonds) last week. WHAT have I been doing with my life?!

    The sentiments on inspiration: spot-on.

    And yes, we all need to eat more cheese.

    Reply
  12. Anna

    Ashley – I have to say that I love your work and find both your recipes and photograph truly inspiring. I am in the ever evolving process of improving, finding my voice and my path along the interests of food blogging, writing, photographing, making and growing. I really admire the creative and beautiful things that you do and will have to try this recipe when I get some figs. Thanks!

    Reply
  13. The Modern Apron

    I too am often discouraged when I’m playing with recipes and think of the old adage, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Of course, I also laugh when I think of an old line from Fran Lebowitz (which I am about to get slightly wrong)–”If you’re the first person who ever thought of serving lamb with kiwi, understand that there’s a reason for this.”

    Reply
  14. WishfulChef

    Yum! I also love the flavor combination of soft cheese and sweet.
    I’m new to your blog and just started my own a few days ago so I’m very excited to explore more of your wonderful recipes… Your photos are beautiful!

    Reply
  15. ShowShanti

    I’m going to arrange a date with myself and serve this! The gradually snapped frames of each point of the build up and the suspended honey drizzle… this post is crazy enticing! Thanks to ChezUs for introducing!

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      @Laura – Pears would be lovely. As would peaches, raspberries, apricots. oh oh oh dried apricots would be heavenly! The options are endless and really you could just do the cheese and honey and it would be delicious. Or jam! Okay, I’ll stop now.

      Reply
  16. Danielle

    Your words on creativity reminded me of this video featuring Ira Glass’ thoughts on working through the difficult moments and finding one’s own style: http://vimeo.com/24715531

    I too, am daunted by the fact that many things have come before me and that what I find new! and ground-breaking! is not likely to be the same for others. It’s a constant battle, to silence the inner heckler in all of us and allow our creativity to shine.

    Reply

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