In My Kitchen, March 2013

In My Kitchen this month are many things.

Freshly made croissants

Freshly made croissants

Croissants, Hamentashen, Almond Cakes, so much to give away!

My hairdresser got the croissants (some had lovely chocolate in them),DSC_0043 Hamentashen went to many Jewish friends, IMG_5083Almond cakes went with the TV crew and one got scarfed by us smothered in lovely berries and vanilla yogurt.

There is a Peruvian Blue potato that has  sprouted so I decided to try to grow it. So far, there are at least three areas

Sprouting Blue

Sprouting Blue

“rooting”.  I think these may get grown in a bag, if I can find one, to help with harvesting later.

There is a Vita-Mix in my kitchen this month, to “play with” for school. Also included is the large Whole Foods Cookbook they produce for using the Vita-Mix.

My assignment is to come up with something to use it for next semester when my class is “Global Cuisine”. One thing I have learned is that I really like my food with texture, and I like to chew my food rather than drink it.

Visiting Vita-mix

Visiting Vita-mix

I made a wonderful tasting marinade – Citrus Ginger Marinade – that we really liked the flavor but not the emulsified texture of the marinade,sauce or dressing it could be used as. I’ll play with it for a little while longer to see what else it can do, but so far, while I like a powerful blender, it isn’t something I’d really use that often. Smoothies aren’t really my thing, eventually pureed soups need something more interesting than a smooth texture. My opinion, you may love your Vita-Mix! If so, please comment on how you use it!

Perennial herbs are beginning to show signs of growth as winter wanes.

Emerging Garlic Chives

Emerging Garlic Chives

We only had one good afternoon of snow last Saturday and it was all gone on Sunday. But, the tarragon, chives and rosemary are all showing signs of Spring.

I love eating Rosemary flowers! Right now the plant is bursting with the pale purple flowers.

Rosemary Flowers

Rosemary Flowers

Sage flowers are next and then chive flowers. Gather a bunch of them from your herb garden and pop them onto vegetables, salads or garnish almost any dish with them. The flavors are amazing, be sure to linger over it, notice it and enjoy.

Shout out to Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting the monthly In My Kitchen Posts!

There are many more things simmering away in my kitchen so I’d better grab my camera and get busy documenting.

March 2 and it has been snowing all morning. 2 weeks ago we had “thunder snow”. Local weather lore says if you have thunder snow, you will have another snow 10 days to 2 weeks later.

We had thunder snow 2 weeks ago and this morning we have lovely big fluffy flakes that have been falling all morning. The ground is far too warm for anything to stick so it is really nice to watch.

IMG_5103

Butternut Squash Soup and Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches for lunch.

Spring is near!

And that is what is happening in my kitchen this month.

Versatile Gluten-Free Almond Cake

Almond Cake with Raspberries

Almond Cake with Raspberries

This Gluten Free Almond Cake is easy to make and can take on many flavors. Depending upon what gluten-free flour you choose, the cake can be quite different each time you make it.

You can add fruit, nuts or chocolate chips for greater variety. Glaze recipes are at the end.

You will need:

      • 2 eggs
      • ½ cup milk
      • ½ cup honey
      • 2 ounces melted butter  (1/2 stick)
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2-1/2 cups almond meal* (see note below)

    1-1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
    1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Spray a 7″ tubular or bundt cake pan with pan spray set aside until ready to use.

Combine the almond meal with the salt and baking powder, mix well, set aside.

Combine the vanilla, eggs, honey, melted butter and milk in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. The consistency is cake batter. If what you have is too thin, add more almond meal.

Pour into prepared cake pan; bake for 30 minutes or longer. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan.

Glaze with honey or fondant glaze

Chestnut Cake with Almonds and Blueberries; Honey Glazed

Chestnut Cake with Almonds and Blueberries; Honey Glazed

Honey Glaze:

Melt 2 ounces of honey with 2 ounces of butter, drizzle over cooled cake

Fondant Glaze:

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-2 drops vanilla

 Chocolate Fondant Glaze:

Pistachio Cake with Chocolate Drizzle

Pistachio Cake with Chocolate Drizzle

Add 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder to the fondant glaze recipe above. Mix the cocoa powder with the confectioners sugar for an even blend.

Special Note:

By changing the gluten-free flour used from almond to pistachio, or chestnut, you can produce some really nice and different cakes.

You can also use Splenda in exchange for the honey. Additionally, you can use agave syrup as well.

Enjoy!

Pistachio cake with chocolate fondant and toasted chopped pistachios

Pistachio cake with chocolate fondant and toasted chopped pistachios

Chestnut cake with honey glaze

Chestnut cake with honey glaze

Almond Cake with raspberries, fondant drizzle and toasted almonds

Almond Cake with raspberries, fondant drizzle and toasted almonds