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Sunflower sprouts, pine nuts, roasted tomatoes, dried fruits & a sour fig dressing.

Written by Nazarina on July 26th, 2011

How to make food soar! How to make soap whimsical!

There is a certain question that almost invariably comes up at my gatherings of friends at the dinner table, “What besides gastronomy and saponification make you tick?” My answer, even though not etched in stone, but almost always is, “Cooking is after all, just an ephemeral art, just as soon as you create a delicious dish, it is consumed within no time & is gone, so I would always  want for my sweetie and I to rather love life deliciously in more ways than one,  ( so to answer the question, Romance!”

I swear,  I could just as easily survive on love alone!),  share life’s pleasures with others and to always laugh at our idiosyncrasies!  There is just no room for disconsolation in our life.

Sunflower sprout salad with a sour fig dressing

Everything I do is always with my Mom in mind, she could take any mundane dish & magically make it so delicious! There was magic in that lady’s hands!

Organic baby sunflower sprouts, roasted yellow & red cherry tomatoes ( from our garden), reconstituted dried fruit & toasted pine nuts with a sour fig dressing, also a bathroom makeover is on the agenda today.

I bought the sunflower greens from Paradise Farms in Redvale, Colorado. The sunflower sprouts are nutty & crispy,  so pairs exceptionally well with the rest of the ingredients in my recipe.

See my garden here!



I received some dried sour figs from a friend in Cape Town, South Africa, so I thought that a sour fig vinaigrette would be perfect for this crisp salad with all its tasty textures! Sour figs were my Mom’s favorite & her family would always make a sour fig” konfyt” ( I would eat loads of this),  but I decided to be a bit more innovative & make a kick-ass dressing out of them to coat this delicious salad. If you want to know more about these succulent & tart fruits just read HERE & also HERE. These wrinkled brown sour figs are a Cape Malay favorite!

Recipe: Please use organic ingredients when possible!

  • 3 X 5oz Organic baby sunflower sprouts or substitute baby spinach, if you cannot find them!
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts with a little of my home-made spice mix or  smoked paprika in your case & kosher salt, just do this in a hot pan on the stove top, let cool.
  • 1/2 cup reconstituted dried fruit, viz…dried apples, apricots, prunes & pears. Just soak in boiling H2O to make it supple  & then cut into small pieces
  • 1 lb roasted cherry, yellow & red tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in half,  place all on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with olive oil & kosher salt & roast @ 250 degrees for an hour, cool & set aside. Garden grown is by far the superior & our garden is no exception!

Sour Fig dressing:  ( Dit is my wending vir ‘n Suid Afrikaanse suurvye slaai sous)

  • 1 lb sour figs/ I guess you can subst. regular figs here but it will not be the same! Scratch that!…..It will definitely,  not be the same! Simply because the figs are sweet & these sour figs have a tart pulp that makes your taste buds, prematurely salivate while squeezing the pulp into your mouth!
  • wild, unfiltered & raw honey
  • pinch kosher salt/ or sea salt
  • stick cinnamon
  • vanilla bean, scrape using the seeds & the bean too
  • Brown rice vinegar or Aged Balsamic, I cook with both
  • Grape seed oil or safflower oil here, would not do extra virgin o. o. here, too overpowering in this instance!
  • my home-made spice, this toasted mix has elements of sweet & savory in it (optional)

First wash the sour figs. Soak the dry wrinkled or ( even the freshly picked),  sour figs in boiling H2O (about 1 & 1/2 cups of H2o) just to soften. Do not discard this soaking liquid but do strain it! Remove the figs & squeeze out the delicious sour pulp from each  into a small saucepan, (painstaking to say the least), but so freakin worth it! Add 2 or more T of wild organic honey, depending on the amount of sweetness you would like, 1 stick cinnamon & vanilla, a little kosher salt, a little bit of the soaking liquid, ( 1/2 cup),  and cook for about 15-20 mins until this liquid has reduced in volume & is concentrated. Add 1-2 T of the vinegar you could even use  malt v. to the mixture & cook further for 2 mins. I normally add a little bit of my home-made spice to give it that extra kick. Last but not least add the remainder of the cooled, strained soaking liquid & cook for another 5 mins.  Cool this liquid & pour into a jar with  2 T oil, 1 more T of the vinegar, pinch of salt to taste & more cold water if this liquid is too thick, shake like the dickens  & you are done!  Decant into a glass jar with cinnamon & vanilla.

You know what happens next…..just toss all these crisp greens with all the roasted & toasted nuts & fruits & drizzle with the star of this recipe, the SOUR FIG dressing & enjoy! Trust me you will!

“Lekker light” in more ways than one!!

What I did was,  serve the salad in tiny bowls with the dressing on the bottom of the bowl & then just had  everyone toss their own salad, so it was like a tasty surprise.


Guest Bathroom

This  guest bathroom took 9 months in the making……It was like conceiving & giving birth to a son! Yes, my husband took 9 months to revamp this eye sore & by Jove he is still not done yet!  He does all the renovations on our home by himself with no help. He is truly, the creative genius in our family!!! After you read below, you too will agree!

Before.…the original 70’s style when we bought the house….out dated & so yesterday! It was dislike at first sight!


…….Ta Da! enter the luxurious spa bath…….., be sure to pick up your jaw on the way in! The transformation is stupendous! He actually outlined the pattern on the wall & on the floor first, before laying the tiles…a step that saves you lots of stone tile in the end.


……….complete with a tub & more jets, your sore  a.. can handle! LOL!


I requested little hidden nooks for all my nik naks, ask & thou shalt receive, even if it does mean that you will definitely be getting the silent treatment for a day or two or vice versa when the request was met with a reverberating He..  NO! In this instance, a good old pouting helps!

He! he! I always get my way. Anyway, let’s be realistic the little Paris nik nak has to go & make way for shampoos & other bathroom accoutrements. I do have more shelves on the side for the girly crap.


I love how the light just “spills ” over  the walls! I also requested the river rock  inlay that surrounds the perimeter of the bathroom. I painted this vivid picture in my mind & my husband solely obliged, but not without the added bullsh…..that follows a renovation!


The faucets & all the other fixtures boast that same bronze hue! My husband struggled a bit with the stone that frames the mirror but in the end with his temper in check, finally achieved this fabulous result. Sweetie, let me put it in writing here now……“I am sorry for giving you all that crap while you were trying to get this project done, but you must admit my nagging or should I say seemingly reasonable requests, kept your creative juices flowing & you magically made them come to life!

When a referred Turkish stone quarrier, now a dear friend, learned  that I shared the same religion & that I was into “decent cookery”, he simply gave us the Limestone (counter-top)  for free in exchange for some computer help from my husband & decent grub from me. Life has all  sorts of perks.


Yep, the old crapper is gone, who would not want to park their rear here now & enjoy the view!


This  sweet, little floor register below will keep us, ( or rather our guests), warm during the winter! This bathroom looks better than the other renovated bathrooms in our home! Hence the proverbial saying,” you get better with age.”


This bathroom is upstairs just off a dark hallway, so now I really want him to install a skylight to bring in some natural light, what do you think?

I love making new soaps for my guests, especially for the kids…I really do not mind when they take them home!

naz-nemo-soap590Hope you are all keeping your cool!



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13 Comments so far ↓

  1. Hello Naz,

    Oh what lovely treats you have in store for us to devour with our eyes. A garden salad is exactly on order for these tremendously hot days! You always serve up the best and never disappoint! I can say from experience your dressings are superb.

    What extraordinary colors and boudoir you and your husband designed. I simply love all the fixtures you put in, and wouldn’t mind at all planting my butt in that gorgeous bathroom!!

    You know your hubby and mine are both very talented masons as mine also designed our home and all the rooms in it. So fun to be able to custom design your rooms, when you’ve someone to design every special detail.

    You also come to a heartfelt appreciation as to all the work and time that goes into creating such a beautiful venture!

    Your new soaps are soo cute!
    Talk soon, love ya, Jo

  2. NazarinaNo Gravatar says:

    …………….Jo, thank you for your lovely comment, Yes I really do appreciate the exquisite work that my sweetie does to make our home our castle! I love the word, “boudoir” you used here…only you can appreciate the hard work that goes into the doing & the designing of such a task of such magnitude! Pretty good for a computer consultant ( that is after all his day job!), would you not agree? I can in no way, even with all my wizardry in cooking, top this!

  3. This is a fabulous salad and although I do not have the figs you mentioned I think that it’s fresh and healthy and makes me think of summer

  4. NazarinaNo Gravatar says:

    …………Thanks wizzy for popping in! I found out that these sour figs grows in California,( certain regions there), so my network of friends there promised that they are going to send me some, one said maybe even a bushel if I am willing to trade some of my spices & soaps! LOL!

  5. The salad sounds excellent and I love the idea of the sour fig dressing, nice.

  6. RachanaNo Gravatar says:

    Loved both the salad and the drssing.

  7. That salad is so pretty and those soaps are so cute!!

  8. TammyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Giddy! Thank you! your site is very gorgeous! 🙂 I am also you newest follower now.

    The salad you have prepared is so summery and refreshing.

    Toodles for now,

  9. This salad looks amazing!
    The bathroom looks fab! I am jealous! I love love love the dark wood cabinets.

  10. Unknown MamiNo Gravatar says:

    I am truly amazed by the bathroom renovation and I can’t believe he did all by himself. He is a genius and obviously you are too.

  11. arabiaNo Gravatar says:

    Hmmm..a nice one., it has some nice tips and other suggestions, m going to apply them 🙂
    bi the way, my mouth is watering 🙁
    Much appreciated

  12. Washila ToffieNo Gravatar says:

    This site is absolutely Amazing! I just love all the Beautiful recipes and the Soaps. OMG they are just soo Awesome.
    As for your Bathrooms ….this has Inspired me to come and see all of this FIRST HAND!
    Your Family is sooo Proud of You.

  13. NazarinaNo Gravatar says:

    xxxxxxxxThank you for those kind words!

    Would love to have you over. I would go above and beyond hospitality!!!!!!

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