Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Going Nuts For Donuts

I love a good donut. It is on the short list of foods I will make a gluten exception for (pizza is the other). So when I saw this recipe on My Whole Life Food I knew I had to try it. The original recipe isn't actually gluten free but, still on my buckwheat kick, I wanted to try my hand at converting it. I had a couple of bananas browning by the minute just calling out to be used in a sweet baked treat, and some leftover buckwheat flour so I gave it a go. I linked to the original recipe above and below have rewritten my own gluten free version that turned out pretty great. I know my kids are going to be excited to dive into these when they get home. And once again I am loving that subtle, sweet, nutty flavor that the buckwheat flour adds. Banana Chocolate Chip Donuts 1 Cup AP gluten free flour 1 Cup Buckwheat flour 1/2 cup sugar (I used fair trade organic sugar) 1/4 cup melted coconut oil 2 very ripe bananas -- smashed 3/4 cup whole milk yogurt 1/4 - 1/2 milk 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1/2 cup chocolate chips Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease your donut pan. I whisked all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then mashed and combined all the wet ingredients with the exception of the milk and chocolate chips in another smaller bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well, the batter will be rather thick, this is where I slowly added the milk to thin it out a bit, use your best judgement but I'd start with the 1/4 cup and slowly go up from there. Your going for just thick enough to be able to spoon up in large dollops. At this point add your chocolate chips and stir just until combined. Spoon into your donut pan just under the lip of the pan. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes in the center of your oven. Let cool and enjoy with your favorite coffee, or for the younger crowd, a big glass of milk.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Snap, Crackle, Pop

So I had just set some chickpeas to soak the other day, starting out with a good rinse and the water happened to be pretty hot from the dishes I had just washed. Well those little chick peas started to snap, crackle and pop away right there in the bowl, and it just made me chuckle thinking of that old rice cereal commercial we all grew up with. I still consider myself a bit of a beginner when it comes to cooking with dry beans, so this was totally new and unexpected.

Friday, March 7, 2014

This Moment...

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Soup That Kept Me Up All Night

I spend a crazy amount of time thinking about food; what I should cook for my family, what I want to cook for my family, what ingredients do I need to try to get into more of our meals, what have we been eating lately... it goes on and on but you get the idea. So to have something linger in my mind is nothing new, but TO KEEP ME UP ALL NIGHT?!?! Well, that was new for me. So let me back up a bit here, it all started with a sweet potato. I had one left over from this curried sweet potato salad I made last week, and I bought another to make these yummy looking sweet potato/pretzel balls. But time and life got away from me, I never got around to making the sweet potato/pretzel balls and now had two sweet potatoes sitting on the counter staring at me. I was thinking about the curried salad but it's been so cold around here lately I couldn't stomach the thought of a cold meal, I needed something warm and soothing and then it hit me - a steamy bowl of creamy curried sweet potato soup just sounded so good. I couldn't get the thought out of my head, I laid awake thinking how the flavors of curry, sweet potato and coconut milk just sounded like they were made for each other. I dreamt about creating this soup, crazy right? So 1 am, 3 am, 4 am the clock is ticking by all I can do is think about the amazing flavor of caramelized onions pureed with the sweet potato and finished off with coconut milk. So first thing that morning I got up and hit the WWW for a little guidance, really validation. I mean, to me it sounded like a little slice of heaven but would the flavors come together as gracefully as I had hoped? First off I found a recipe that suggested roasting the potatoes first, great idea. But nothing that I found in my quick search mentioned caramelizing onions, and most recipes called for all sorts of other additions like celery or apples. None that I found really hit the spot of what I was looking for, other than simply validating that I was on the right track with the curry and potatoes. So, I winged it. Roasted the potatoes in the morning, then chopped a big onion and caramelized it. Once that was done I threw in some garam marsala and curry powder to let the flavors really sink into those onions and toast themselves a bit. Next I added three roasted sweet potatoes and about a quart of homemade chicken stock. Once this came to a boil I pureed it all with my immersion blender and added a can of coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste. At the table we topped our bowls with some toasted pumpkin seeds and goat cheese. Home run I tell you. The smell told me I was on the right track, but when I finally had a chance to sit down to dinner and eat, it was exactly what I had hoped for. I was especially grateful for the suggestion to roast the potatoes and for the addition of the garam marsala. On a cold night, this was so warming from the inside out. It will definitely make a regular appearance on on our fall and winter table from here on out.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Spring Is Near...

I feel it in the air, don't you? The way that bone crushing chill has lost it's bite, the way the sun is sticking around just a bit longer each day nudging the chickens to start laying eggs again, and especially they way all these green beauties are popping up all over the place. All of the above very welcome by me right now, I mean layering the long johns just to take my children to and from school was getting a bit old as was feeding and caring our flock of hens just to go and purchase eggs elsewhere. I am starting to dream and plan for some spring planting of peas, greens, tomatoes and carrots. Now I'm off to start reading seed catalogs and sketching this spring's garden plans...