Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Soaked Chocolate Zucchini & Raspberry Cake

I have to tell you, I am really learning to get into the rhythm of soaking now and so when I found a giant zucchini in the garden I thought I would try to make a recipe that would get this versatile vegetable into my chocolate loving family.

Here is the ingredient list for this recipe:
1/2 cup real buttermilk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup softened butter
4 cups shredded zucchini
4 eggs
5 cups soft whole wheat flour (pastry flour)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups SUgarCAneNATural
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons real vanilla
1 teaspoon natural almond extract
1 1/2 cups raspberries (optional)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the buttermilk, yogurt, oil, butter, zucchini, eggs, flour, and cocoa powder and let stand to 12 hours.  (I actually got past the 12 hour point, realized I needed to go to bed, so I put the whole thing into the refrigerator over night and then took it out to continue in the morning...and it still turned out very good.)

Next, add in the rest of the ingredients, minus the raspberries, and whip in a mixer for a minute or two.  (Sorry I did this step early in the morning and forgot to take a picture.)

Then you can fold the raspberries into the whole mixture of batter or you can put the batter into greased individual cake pans or small bread pans and then fold the raspberries into the ones you want to cook with the raspberries.  I chose the latter since my boys just want the chocolate and the fruit would not be appealing to them, so to their cakes I added chocolate chips.

Then bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  For these cakes, the smaller (1 cup of batter) took about 25 minutes while the bigger (2 cups of batter) to 35 minutes.  You can just press gently on the centers and if they bounce back then your cake is done.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Beet Chips

Another way to make beets is to make them into chips - a recipe my pickiest of picky children even ate.  I realize that frying vegetables is not the healthiest way to prepare them, but at times a person needs to cave to get one child to try something least that is my reasoning behind this recipe.

Here is what I used to make these chips:
4 medium-sized red beets
4 medium-sized golden beets
3 cups coconut oil
salt to taste

After washing the beets, removing the ends, and peeling them...

...slice the beets into fine strips using a mandolin.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees (don't try to fry them at any lesser temp...they will not crisp up if you do.)

Then place about 25 slices at a time into the hot oil.

After a minute stir the slices and continue to stir them until the chips no longer boil/bubble (that means the beet itself is done cooking.

Almost done


Move the cooked beets to a tray covered with paper towels and salt right away.

After the chips have cooled they will be crisp and can be moved to a bowl for serving.

Repeat with the rest of the beet slices.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sausage in Cream Sauce over Vegetable Pasta

With a wonderful summer squash in hand, fresh from the garden, I decided to use it to make something a little more out of the ordinary than just another vegetable side I made it into a noodle (along with some fresh beets that also came out of the garden).  You could top these veggie noodles with just about any pasta dish topping you desire, but I have also included a meat sauce I made to accompany these noodles that is creamy and filled with lots of garden fresh herbs.

Here is what you will need to make the two parts of this recipe:

Vegetable Noodles:
1 Medium-sized summer squash
5 Medium-sized beets
salt to taste

Meat Sauce:
4 large sausage links (I used lamb sausage we had from lambs we had butchered last year)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup herbed soft cheese
extra fresh herbs
salt to taste

To make the noodles, slice the summer squash and beets, using a mandolin, into thin wide strips.  Prepare to steam the vegetable strips by putting a cup of water at the bottom of a steamer or under a colander fitted inside a pot.

First steam the beet for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring slightly to make sure they are cooked evenly.

Next add the summer squash and steam for another 2 to 3 minutes, again stirring slightly to make sure everything in the pot is cooked. 

Sprinkle with salt, toss gently, and serve with your favorite pasta sauce or the sauce below.

For the meat sauce, first slice the sausages into pieces and then saute them until they are thoroughly cooked.

Next deglaze the pan with the milk and when warmed, add in the soft cheese and herbs.  (For this sauce, my soft cheese was part of a herbed cheese ball I made this past week-end and didn't get completely eaten at the potluck we attended.)  The herbs I added were parsley, rosemary, tarragon, basil, and oregano.

Cook until the cheese is warmed and then serve over the vegetable noodles (above).

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fermented Radishes

There were some pretty large radishes I had left in my garden, and since I came from a home that never put anything to waste this was a successful attempt to salvage what would have been some radishes past their delightful eating prime.  I decided to make these radishes up two ways so I could compare and contrast the flavors and see what I liked best, the ginger definitely won out and so if you favor ginger like I do you may just want to make both jars with ginger and eliminate the mustard powder in the second jar.

Here are the radishes I picked.  They are a couple heirloom varieties I grow every year just for myself, since no one else in my house likes to eat them.  (I am not crying, I could eat radishes every day if given the chance.)

Now, onto the recipe:
  • 2 quart jars
  • 4 to 6 large radishes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup cheese whey, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 2 cups water mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

First, slice thinly all the radishes after you have washed them thoroughly and cut off the ends.

Next, in the bottom of the two jars place in each a crushed garlic clove and 1/2 teaspoon of your chosen spice (you can substitute another spice of your liking also so don't be limited by my two options given).  Top that mixture off then with just a few tablespoons of the salt water mixture.

Now, pack in the radishes, making sure to really stuff them in yet leave a god inch of head room at the top of the jar...

...pour 1/4 cup cheese whey into each jar...

...then pour in the salt water, making sure to divide it up equally between the two jars. a couple of really large slices on the top to hold down the smaller slices...

...and then put a small food safe container on top of the large slices to keep them all submerged under the brine.

Seal tight with a lid and leave sit on your counter for 5 days.

After the 5 days is up, remove the small dish and store in the refrigerator or another cool storage place.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sneaky Homemade Shells & Cheese

Yes, at times I have to get a bit sneaky to get those vegetables in my kids and this is a recipe that is so well suited for that occasion.  I bet you can't even tell I used white cheese in this recipe.  That's right, the golden beets have added all the color and made this mac and cheese dish just as orange as the not-so-good for you variety you can buy at the store.

Here is what you will need to make this recipe:
  • 3 cups pasta (I use an asparagus pasta)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1  cup roasted golden beets (See instructions below on how to roast)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (any good melting cheese will work)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more if your cheese is not very salty)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • pepper to taste

To start out, roast 4 medium sized golden beets. (To roast them, just cut off their end and bake in a covered dish at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour.  Cool and then slide off the skins.)

When the beets are peeled and cooled, melt the butter in a pan and then add the flour to make a rue.  And make sure to start your pasta per the package directions.

At the same time, in a food processor, combine the milk, beets, cream cheese and spices.  Blend until well pureed.

When the rue is finished, add in the pureed beet and cheese mixture and heat well.  Add in the cheese and keep stirring until all the cheese is melted.

Pour in the cooked noodles, stir well, serve.

Cheesy Green Leaf Chips

This recipe is a bit of a remake on the one you see all over the web called Kale Chips.  But, since my cow eats all the Kale around here, I grow a loose leaf version of cabbage that is similar in taste to kale but has more of a leaf that makes it completely suitable for this recipe.

Here is what you will need to make this delicious chips that my kids flip over:
  • 8 loose leaf cabbage leaves (kale will work fine too, but you will probably need a few more leaves)
  • grape seed or olive oil in a spray bottle
  • sea salt
  • nutritional yeast (this is what gives the chips a cheesy taste - it is also a really good source of Vitamin B12)

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.

Then, the first step is to rinse the leaves and then completely dry them with a towel.  If not dried these will resemble cooked spinach instead of crispy chips (just a warning).

On parchment lined baking sheets, rip the leaves and arrange them to completely cover the sheets.

Spray with oil...

...and then sprinkle with salt.

Place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, making sure to rotate the trays (also, keep a close eye on them as they should not brown but rather just take on a really dark green color).

Immediately after removing the chips from the oven, sprinkle with nutritional yeast...

...let cool...then serve.

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Rendition of Caboc Cheese

The reason I am calling this post, "My Rendition of Caboc Cheese" and not just Homemade Caboc Cheese is because there is no known recipe for Caboc.  Instead, the recipe for this cheese is held very secretly by its makers in Scotland who have passed it down from mother to daughter through many generations, actually all the way back to the time of the clans in Scotland.  And, the story gets even better than that as I have documented in the uncut version of my entry for Bob's Red Mill Spar for the Spurtle competition.  If you watch that video, right in the middle I have sandwiched a detailed story about how Caboc, Scotland's oldest cheese, came to be.  So now, onto the recipe:

To make this recipe, you will need to go to the following links to make three different homemade cheese products I have previously blogger about and then also add 3/4 of a cup of steel cut oats which have been toasted to perfection.

Now onto the recipe:

Here is what you need:
4 Tablespoons of homemade butter, room temperature
6 Tablespoons of homemade real sour cream
1 cup, packed,  homemade cream cheese
3/4 cup steel cut oats, toasted

Mix the first 3 ingredients together until well blended - make sure not to whip in a mixer because the cream products will start to turn to butter and separate if beaten too hard.

On the oats which have been laid out on a large piece of aluminum foil, place the cheese on top make a short row.

Gently roll the cheese into a log, using the foil as a guide, making sure to coat every side of the cheese with the oats as you go along.

And there you have my rendition of Caboc cheese, which you can serve with my version of a porridge cake with butter "scotch" sauce and raspberries if you like or just enjoy as you would any other soft cheese.  By the way, this definitely beats any combination of store bought cheeses and also the yellow color of the homemade milk products ensures even a closer color to the original version of this cheese.