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Entries in beets (4)

Friday
Sep052014

Something Simple – Candy Cane Beets

This is a photo I really like. I never meant to take it. It wasn't on the "agenda" for the day's photos. It wasn't even a real recipe I had in the hopper. 

It was just a result of some very pretty candy cane beets, a cracked silver plate and a rich slate counter top. That's really all. I threw some Gorgonzola cheese, fennel tops, salt and olive oil on there for "effect." Whatever that means.

I shaved the beets with a potato peeler (that happened to be polka-dotted).

A while ago, I wrote a post about cooking with what you have instead of always running to the store in a frenzy to pick up more ingredients. You can read about the resulting "Kitchen Sink Granola" here. But I feel like this is a valuable point in cooking and in life.

Often, with this blog, I am thinking of new exciting projects to post. "I KNOW!," I'll shout (to myself), "I'll make a layer cake and label each layer as something different and use some kind of wack-a-doodle metaphor about the frosting!!!"

Wouldn't that be GREAT?

Sure it would. And it would also take me about 47 hours of work. And maybe, just maybe, I already have some pretty cool stuff already in the "pantry."

So these days, when I'm thinking about cooking or doing or even getting something new, I pause to think about what I already have. Because what I already have is a lot.

A lot of cool photos.

A lot of spices.

A lot of pasta and olive oil (thanks, Colavita!).

And a lot of resources (people, family, friends, weird personal habits all included, bikes) that are useful in the present circumstances.

The pantry is well-stocked.

Because of this, I'm going to make an effort to show you things that I already have. They could be old. They could be silly. They could be completely non-edible. And I promise not to run out to the store for just one more ingredient for them.

Happy Friday!

Friday
Aug302013

Vanilla Poppy Seed Beet Cakes

Beets are my new secret ingredient. Lots of people say their secret ingredient is love. Well, mine is beets. I love beets, so I suppose it amounts to the same thing? Maybe?

I had my first beet dessert success with these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes, Rinny's Race Cakes. They were so good, people kept requesting I make them over and over again. The beets keep the cake moist. Super moist. Like so moist, I've stored them in my freezer for weeks (probably longer than I should) and they are still moist. Can you beet that? 

All puns aside, I wanted to make a vanilla version. I'm a chocolate girl, but John, he likes vanilla. But before you go calling vanilla boring, these cakes are anything but. Using golden beets, you can lock in that same cake moisture, while poppy seeds and salted pistachios give them a nice texture contrast. The salt from the pistachios also creates a nice contrast with the sweet coconut cream. The result is a true masterpiece. Great for breakfast, brunch, snacks and, well....pretty much all the time. Which is when I've been eating them anyway.

What You Need:

For the Cake:

1-½ cups almond meal

1 cup brown rice flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1-1/2 cups turbinado sugar or coconut sugar

4 small golden beets, roasted

3 eggs

½ cup almond milk

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used Colavita)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1/2 cup salted pistachios, coarsely chopped

For the Frosting:

See my Coconut Cream recipe here.

Process:

First, roast the golden beets:

Preheat your oven to 400°F degrees.

Slice the beets in half and wrap them in aluminum foil.

Place the wrapped beets in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until soft when pierced through the center with a knife.

Remove the beets from the oven, allow to cool and then peel the skins off. Chop them into cubes.

Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees.

Place the cooled, chopped beets in a blender with the almond milk and puree until very smooth - so smooth you could drink it.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, brown rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, turbinado sugar and poppy seeds. Mix all these dry ingredients together.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, olive oil and vanilla extract.

Add the puréed beets to the egg mixture and mix to combine. Pour the wet beet mixture into the mixing bowl with all of the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Prepare a cupcake tin by lining with cupcake paper or greasing with non-stick baking spray.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan (I used a mini bundt cake pan) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to cool.

Top them!

Drizzle some coconut cream frosting onto the tops of the cakes and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.

If you're not eating these right away (GASP!), you can store them (unfrosted) in the freezer, covered for 2 weeks.

Friday
Mar012013

February – A Month in Review

Well, folks another month has come and gone! And I am not sorry to see February go, I must say. My soul has spent the month recoiling from the cold weather. And if you think that's hyperbole, you clearly don't know me. I contemplated purchasing this to help warm the cockles of my heart:

I didn't do it, however, and instead somehow convinced Marmo to take me to Puerto Rico for a girls' weekend. I'm really not sure how I managed this, especially considering I couldn't even coordinate my socks for practice this month.

Despite the cold and mismatched socks, John and I managed to be relatively productive in February. We continued our Slice of the Month series with a Beet Chip and Spinach extravaganza that may indeed warm the cockles of YOUR heart with its iron-packed ingredients.

We also created a ridiculous but loving ode to Di Fara's pizza. John choreographed the whole peel-dancing affair. Please tell him how much you like it. And his hair.

And speaking of pie, I ate some. I travelled to Gowanus to sample Four and Twenty Blackbird's Pie As Big As My Face. Actually, it's official name is Chocolate Bottom Oatmeal Pie. But it was as big as my face. Go get some. You don't want to miss that oaty-topping.

We also featured a Farmer Friday post about creating your own flower arrangements for Valentine's Day. However, we highly recommend repeating this post for Easter table arrangements. Get clippin'!

And speaking of farmers, as you might have noticed from the title image, I visited Terrain this month with the Megs. It was a glorious day of visual overload, impulsive purchases and cheese. Consider these highlights:

The flower arrangements were off the charts and had me eagerly anticipating spring... also noteworthy were the too-cute-for-words packaging of just about anything, including seeds.

With all this sensory stimulation, we became quite hungry, so we plopped down in the Terrain cafe to feast on, what else, CHEESE. This is when I discovered SMOKE BLUE CHEESE.

I happened to love blue cheese. The stinkier, the better. This beauty combined the sharpness of a traditional blue with a smoked flavor. Imagine leaving your blue cheese on a mesquite grill. That kind of amazing. Plus, it was just the proper amount of softness (not too) to spread on sourdough bread that arrived in TINY FLOWER POTS. I was beside myself.

So while I try recreating flower pot bread this weekend, please take the time to recap February for yourselves. March is here, and we'll have more food-focused fun for you!

Oh, and I'll be in Puerto Rico on March 11. So don't bother me. Bother John, he likes it.

 

Wednesday
Feb062013

February Slice of The Month

We are in the second month of featuring seasonal pizza recipes. If you were paying attention last month, (you WERE paying attention, weren't you???) we featured a Kale, Roasted Carrot and Ricotta Pizza.

As it's still winter (egads), we are continuing to feature root veggies: beets. Let me tell you something, people, beets are cool. Beets are a super food. They're a known immunity booster, and according to some medical tests even guard against cancer. They're packed with iron, sodium, magnesium and folic acid - all things your body needs.

I took this beet recipe one step further and instead of roasting them so they are nice and soft (recipe provided for that too, don't worry), I turned them into BEET CHIPS. So you can crunch your pizza. I like a crunchy pizza.

Colavita has been nice enough to sponsor this Slice of the Month project. They feature it on their Facebook page every month. You should be nice and pop on over there and like them. Then we can keep bringing you slices of the month and everyone is happy. Especially you.

Let's begin with Beet Chip, Spinach and Gorgonzola Cheese Pizza.

What You Need:

You will also need 1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough, which you can find here.

What To Do:

Roast the beets: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the beets in half and loosely wrap them in tin foil. Place the wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of your beets - larger ones will take longer), or until tender when pierced with a knife.


Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once the beets have cooled, peel off their skins. Slice them into ⅛” rounds and set aside.

Increase the heat of the oven to 500 degrees. If using a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat up along with the oven for a half hour before baking on it.

Stretch out your dough on a cornmeal-dusted peel to about 10-12” in diameter. Place a layer of the spinach on top of the dough. Place the slices of roasted beets on top of the spinach along with the Al Fresco Sun Dried Tomato Sausage and sprinkle some gorgonzola cheese over the vegetables and meat.

Drizzle with a little more Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and herbs (if using).

Slide your pizza onto the stone in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.


Alternate BEET CHIPS:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a mandolin slicer or a VERY steady hand  and a chef’s knife, slice the beets 1/16” thick - or as thinly as you can manage.

Place the sliced beets onto the prepared baking sheet and brush with Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil. Sprinkle them with a little salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes. The edges will start to curl and the beets will begin to dry out. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. They will crisp a bit more as they cool. Set aside.

If you are using the beet chips, this is the time to add them. Garnish away!