Friday, January 18, 2013

coconut banana cake

one more recipe for the day. no picture, sorry. i was sure i had already posted the original version of this recipe on my blog, but i couldn't find it anywhere yesterday. by that time, the whole cake was gone. guess i'll have to make it again soon so there will be a picture for you to be able to pin. ;)

this most recent recipe was modified to be dairy-free for my sister. you can use yogurt for the coconut milk and butter for the oil if you have no problems with dairy. make it without the chocolate chips and you have a great breakfast cake. make it with for a nice dessert or snacking cake.

coconut banana cake

6 eggs
1/2 C - 1 C coconut milk or coconut cream
1/2 C - 1 C coconut oil
5-6 ripe bananas, spotty is best

in a stand mixer, combine above ingredients. then add:

3 C oatbran
2 C unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 C quick oats
1 C whole oats (regular rolled oats)
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t aluminum free baking powder
1 t kosher or "real" salt
1/2 bag mini semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

mix well. spread into 9x13 pan. bake at 350 for 33-40 minutes. cool slightly and enjoy.

i have a 10x14 pan that i like to use for this, the only changes are to use the full amount of coconut milk/yogurt and oil/butter, and add an extra cup of quick AND whole oats (2 C of each).


warning: this granola is addictive. it should be consumed with great discipline, or you will need to make this large batch twice a week (which would not be good for your waistline). ;)

after many renditions, i have finally created the granola of my dreams. we, quite literally, eat this for dessert on occasion. i limit myself to having it a couple days a week, or i could end up polishing off all that oatty/coconutty/nutty goodness by myself.

a couple notes, for any of you who may have my past granola recipes:
1. don't use applesauce for the oil. the results are chewy, and i never really liked the way my original granola tasted.
2. do NOT use normal grocery store oil. go to the natural health food section and get a cold-pressed canola oil. or, better yet, find a trader joe's and buy their (very reasonably priced) cold-pressed canola oil. the taste is far superior...not to mention the health benefits.
3. unsweetened, shredded coconut is not hard to find these days. it should be in any bulk food area. this should be a staple in your kitchen.
4. the addition of a LOT more nuts is what makes this granola so good. leave them out at your own (taste) risk.

erin's granola

about 12 C regular rolled oats (whole oats, not quick or irish or steel cut), this is almost a full "quaker" sized container
3-4 C unsweetened, shredded coconut
2-3 C walnut pieces (i like the baking pieces because they are small)
8 oz raw sliced almonds, about 2 C
1 1/2 C pecan pieces 
2 C flaxseed meal
1/4 C cinnamon

mix all dry ingredients well in a large bowl. my huge thatsa bowl from tupperware works well.

1 1/2 cold-pressed canola oil
1 C honey
1/2 C maple syrup
1/4 C water (if i have an empty honey bottle or syrup bottle, i put this water in the bottle, shake, and add to wet ingredients)
2 T vanilla

whisk wet ingredients well. keep going until they emulsify...the texture changes a bit and nothing separates. add wet to dry and stir/smash until everything is mixed -- you don't want any dry spots.

divide granola on two large cookie sheets and bake at 300 for 15 minutes. stir, switch oven shelves (top to bottom), and cook 15 minutes more. stir and switch again. cook another 15 minutes. test and either cool or stir and cook 10-15 minutes more. i'm normally done at 45 minutes. don't stir after last baking, this is what creates the delicious chunks. allow to cool completely before placing in a container (or two). mine fits in two glass cookie jars.

spiced mixed nuts

this nut mix is my new favorite treat. it was quickly devoured each of the three times i made it while in iowa. then a new batch was made for belated christmas presents. and then i had to make more for myself. okay, fine...i'll share with the kids...(if they can get to it before i eat it all)...

the beautiful things about this recipe is that you can change spices and sweeteners until you find a combination you love. you could even toss in some cayenne and make a sweet-meets-spicy blend that would be really nice. have fun and let me know your favorite combination.

spiced mixed nuts

1 lb raw almonds
1 lb raw walnut halves and pieces
8 oz raw pecan halves and pieces
2 t - 3 T cinnamon
1/4 C maple syrup
2 T honey
sprinkle with salt, if desired

mix everything in a large bowl. spread on a large cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, stir and bake another 10 minutes. allow to cool before moving to a large, sealed container or bag.

a birthday and (mostly) paleo cake

kirby turned 11 the day before thanksgiving. must we make a cake so close to such a huge meal? yes, we must. i found a grain-free vanilla cupcake recipe and tested it on a small batch. it was delicious. with a few small modifications, i tripled the original recipe and baked in two 9" pans. layered with my lemon curd and topped with whipped cream frosting, it made a wonderful birthday cake. the leftovers made an interesting, though nontraditional addition to our thanksgiving desserts. ;)

grain-free vanilla layer cake

1 1/2 C coconut flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t kosher salt or real salt
12 eggs
2/3 C melted coconut oil or butter
1 C honey (depending on the sweetness you like)
2 T vanilla

put all ingredients in food processor and mix thoroughly. grease two 9" round pans and divide batter. bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. allow to cool 10 minutes before turning out on a cool rack for at least 30 minutes.

whipped cream frosting

8 oz cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
1/2 C evaporated cane juice

with a whisk on your stand mixer, blend cream cheese and sugar. incorporate 1 t vanilla and 1/4 t almond extract. with mixer running, slowly pour in 1 pint whipping cream. once whipping cream is all in, beat on medium high to high setting until stiff peaks form. while waiting for the right thickness, this is where you would add food coloring, if you so desire. i usually have to stop about halfway through to scrape the bottom of the bowl. this frosting is DELICIOUS.

a little cyclocross

it's mid-january in oregon...not exactly the time i'm wanting to be outside riding through the mud or standing outside in the rain cheering for people riding through the mud. lucky for me, cyclocross season is over (well, at least the cross crusade series is over) and sunday afternoons are spent in my warm, dry house. andy had a good season, finishing in the top 30 every week and even in the top 20 a couple times. here are a few highlights from the alpenrose race where it was beautifully sunny and very dry and (cough, cough, cough) dusty.

i didn't go camera crazy this year. i guess by the fifth season you figure you have nearly all the shots you could ever want of muddy boys and muddy bikes. ;) a few parting shots...

asbestos removal

if a picture is worth a thousand words, this one may qualify. maybe for a thousand laughs. but asbestos isn't really a laughing matter, so don't laugh. okay...just one chuckle, because andy does look pretty comical in that getup. ;)

a small section of two pipes needed to be removed so that the radiators in the kitchen and bathroom could be reinstalled. after multiple quotes for asbestos removal came back with a minimum charge of over $400, andy did a little online research a decided that by purchasing the "asbestos removal kit" and following standard practices he could safely remove the asbestos himself. all the tools used for the removal had to stay in the special bags that were attached to the pipes and ceiling...forever. once finished, his suit and all the bags containing the asbestos and tools were taken to a special facility for toxic waste. don't worry...he followed every procedure to the letter. oh the joys of old home ownership!

our beautiful coop

we welcomed three new chickens to our brood late in the summer, making it necessary to expand the run area. after moving the coop earlier in the summer we lost use of the detachable run. eight chickens need more room that the coop alone would allow. luckily we saved the old kitchen cabinet doors from our remodel nearly two years ago. a little ingenuity and elbow grease from andy and jeremiah and the new home was ready in an afternoon.

chicken salad

going through my camera last night, i discovered many food pictures waiting to be added to the blog. from late september through mid-december, my life was consumed with "the nutcracker". when we weren't back and forth for all our normal school things and activities and ballet classes, we were at the studio two extra times per week for rehearsals. throw in massive amounts of costume sewing and you have the makings of a crazy fall. it's fairly amazing i stayed sane through it all. i digress...

all that chaos left little time to think about blogging recipes. today, i catch up. today, i empty the camera and spend time (probably the whole day) putting lots of new food and altered recipes online. today. a flurry of posts will be my witness. a little late, yes, but at least it's getting done. ;)

chicken salad

1 - 3 lb bag, frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
salt and pepper

preheat grill and season chicken. cook 5-7 minutes per side. let cool/rest on a plate at least 10 minutes. prep the rest of the ingredients while you wait, adding to a large bowl:

1 medium red onion, diced or minced (depending on how small you want your onion pieces)
1 celery heart, include all center leaves, sliced or diced (again, depending on how small you want your pieces)
1/4 - 1/2 lb red, seedless grapes, halved

cube chicken and add to vegetables. top with:

1/2 C - 1 C mayonnaise, or combination mayonnaise and plain yogurt. if you use ALL yogurt, be sure it is strained
2 T spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper

stir together. adjust seasonings, add more mayo/yogurt if it's too dry.

i used to serve this in pita halves, but now we just eat it in a bowl. this is one of my favorite things to make when grapes are in season! enjoy!

orange muffins, paleo remix

i had four beautiful oranges sitting on my countertop. yesterday mary asked if she could have one and i said i had a plan for them. "orange muffins?" she asked with happy anticipation. "yes," i said. waiting too long to fulfill this promise would have been a big mistake, so this morning i found my original recipe. wheat flour...rats. would it stand for a paleo makeover? we would have to find out.

well, if it hadn't worked i wouldn't be posting the new recipe, right? ;)

paleo orange muffins

3-4 oranges, quartered, then halved (my oranges were huge, so i used three but in the past i always used four)
3 eggs
1/2 C melted butter or coconut oil

blend in food processor until the orange is very fine, usually around 5 minutes. i like to start with the oranges and eggs, adding the butter or oil later to ensure i'm not cooking the eggs.

in a seperate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients:

2 C almond flour
3/4 C coconut flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t kosher or real salt

add the wet ingredients,1/3 C agave syrup, and 1/3 C almond milk or coconut milk to the dry ingredients. mix well. (at this point you are welcome to add 1 C mini semisweet chocolate chips...delicious, but not necessary. we were having ours for a midmorning snack and not dessert so i opted not to include chocolate this time.) spoon into muffin cups. bake at 375 for 22-30 minutes.