Brie with Earl Grey Fig Jam.

chicago food blog smak brie with earl grey fig jam 1 My brother recently wrote about FINDING REST on Smak's sister site, The American Swede. He spoke of anxiety, frustration, and the need to be constantly doing something. Going out for dinner and drinks. Running errands. Writing blog posts. Lining up pictures for Instagram. Cooking dish after dish to make sure that there is content for every single day of the week.

While this is all great, it is so important to allow yourself time to rest and unwind. I'm not saying that all of these activities have to be cut cold turkey. Let's face it, life continues and we have to be able to keep up with it. What I am saying is that a night of reading or Netflix by yourself is okay after a long stressful day at work. The weekends don't always have to be filled with sticky bar floors and shots of Fireball. I have a revolutionary idea - what about having friends to your apartment, putting on your favorite Spotify playlist and enjoying one another's company while lightly drinking and grazing on hors devours like Brie with earl gray tea fig jam?

Despite what our society may tell us, life doesn't have to be one giant production. You should never feel like you're stuck on a merry-go-round going no where.

Easier said than done, trust me, I know. But let's make this pact together: each day allow yourself 10 minutes of quiet time. Get lost in your thoughts and allow yourself to acknowledge how you're feeling in that moment (a scary concept, right?). It's daunting, but let's give it a whirl and try to find a little more rest.



| Fig Earl Grey Jam |


5 cups fresh figs, sliced 2 teabags Earl Grey tea ½ cup water 3½ cups sugar juice of 1 lemon


  1. Place a small plate in the fridge, you’ll see why later in the recipe.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed, medium saucepan, cook the figs over low heat with the tea and ½ cup water until they begin to collapse.
  3. Add the sugar, stir until combined. Then add the lemon juice.
  4. Raise the heat to medium, let the mixture come to a boil and cook until it is jam-like in texture. (The old “plate in the fridge” test is good for seeing if it is done – jam has reached its setting point (or 220°F) will “gel,” or hold its shape, when dripped onto a cold place.)
  5. If the jam is still runny, let it boil for a few minutes more. Another trick is to add a little more lemon juice. (There is natural pectin in lemon juice that will help thicken the jam.)
  6. When the jam gels, place it in a container with an airtight lid. Let cool and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.