Forget the Figs

I recently attended a lovely party (and I promise to write more on that later) at my friend Renee’s house.  I was invited to bring a savory dish as Renee was taking care of the sweet treats.  And boy did she ever take care of the sweet treats.  She made these petite pecan tarts that were heavenly.  The crust was so light and delicate, and the filling had a sweet syrupy texture – as oppose to the gelatinous goop I’ve seen in typical pecan pies.  After one bite, I proposed to her (sorry Darrin).

When deciding what to make for the party, I turned to my favorite site (say it with me now) Pinterest for a new fall inspired recipe.  I wanted something that felt warm and earthy.  That’s when I stumbled upon the following photo.

Figgy Brie Rolls from Better Homes and Gardens

Doesn’t that look delicious and cozy?  I was instantly interested in what these rolls had to offer, except for the fig part.  Count me out.  I just don’t like figs, unless there’s a newton involved.  So, I started to think, what could I substitute for the figs? Prosciutto?  Sun dried tomatoes?  I adjusted the recipe to fit my own tastes and to my delight, it was a success.  The other party goers ate-up every last roll and (dare I say) loved them!  So, I thought I’d share my recipe with all of you.  If you’d like to see the original recipe (in case you are a figgy-fan), simply click on the photo above to be taken to the BH&G website featuring the recipe.

Mellissa’s Sun dried Tomato, Brie, & Rosemary Rolls

Yields: 16 roles


  • 1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (use the ones in the bag, not the ones packed in oil)
  • Fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tubes of Pillsbury french loaf
  • 2 oz (at least) brie cheese cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 T water and 1/2 T warm water
  • Kosher salt
Spray a 8x8x2-inch baking pan with oil.  Set aside.

For filling, select a few sprigs of rosemary and chop finely.  (If you like rosemary, chop more.  Just know that a little can go a long way.)  In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, rosemary, honey, and 1/2 T of warm water.

Open both tubes of bread dough and cut into 16 equal portions (8 portions per tube).  Shape portions into a ball.  One at a time, take a dough ball and flatten it.  Place a small spoonfull of the tomato mixture into the center of the dough circle.  Top the filling with a few pieces of cheese.  Fold dough over the filling; twist and pinch to seal.  Place the dough ball, sealed side down, in the baking pan.  Cover pan and let rest for about 45 minutes – 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350.  Whisk together egg white and 1T of water.  Lightly brush mixture over the rolls.  Pick off a sprig of rosemary and press one or two (depending on taste) into the top of each roll.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake in preheated oven about 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool in pan on rack for about five minutes.  Serve warm.

I ended up forming the dough balls on the same board where I chopped the rosemary.  This happy accident resulted in some rolls getting an extra infusion of rosemary in the dough.  I might do this on purpose next time.  Also, next time I won’t be so chintzy on the cheese.  Lord knows you can never have too much ooey-gooey brie.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.  Hopefully you’ll take it and make it your own, switching ingredients for things that work for you.

Jump In the Line

This weekend, the Harry Belafonte song was my mantra, I was singing “Work, work, work Senora, work it all the time.”  You know the one, probably most familiar to my generation from the final scene in Beetlejuice (I heart Tim Burton).  “It sounds like Lydia got an A on the Math test.”  Anyone?

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I took the song out of context, but the beat was right and the words served as solid instruction as my muscles started to ache on day four of my painting escapades.  Later this month, Darrin and I are having an open house to celebrate our engagement (more on that event later), but first we’ve got much to do on the house – starting with a ton of painting projects.  Luckily, we had the help of some star painters in the form of my sister Jenn, and brother-in-law, Kevan.

My big sister Jenn lookin' cute with a roller.

Kevan rocking the ceiling work.

We decided to tackle the largest room first.  The challenge with this room is that there are two different ceiling levels, a big rock fireplace with rough edges, and a few “cut-outs” that require a lot of detail work.  It was also difficult to estimate how much paint we would need.  (Read, we ran out of paint mid project.)

But, we finished the project!  On time, even.  I’ll post more complete after-photos once we move some things back into place.

You’ll note that earlier I said that Msr. Belafonte’s song was helpful after 4 straight days of painting.  That’s because I started with a small project of painting some cross beams in our kitchen.  Here’s an in-progress glimpse of that project.

We went with a Behr's Mountain Ridge in high gloss for our cross beams.

For now, it’s time to concentrate on putting the big room back together and then we’re moving on to painting the remaining rooms on the ground floor prior to the party.  Good thing I’ve got some good dance music to keep me going.  “Jump in the line…..”

What about you?  What songs/music/artists keep you going when you’ve run out of steam?  We also relied on a mix from Pandora, the Walkmen, and some old Ricky Gervais podcasts for a few laughs.