Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spirit of the Forest

I've finished the first piece of ceramics I'm really happy with! The Green Man channeled this sculpture through me at class, and He's beautiful! I'm really loving working with clay again, and send a big thank you out to my friend Helen, who kicked it off by giving me her kiln. 
Many adventures to come. 

ps. He's available in my Etsy shop, if you'd like to take Him home.

Dock Seed Cake

I came up with this recipe for this month's Wild Things Roundup, the theme of which was "Seeds" 

To check out more interesting forager recipes, be sure to click on the link above!

My first ambition with this recipe was to make donuts. I'm obsessed with donuts since I found this donut pan from Wilton.

While looking up the image, I see they have a heart-shaped donut pan. Love.

Now I haven't had a donut in over 10 years, since going gluten-free. You may remember my wistful post a couple months ago about picking up donuts at VooDoo Donuts for the bf. Admittedly, these are more like donut-shaped cupcakes, but they're close enough to make me very happy.

That said, upon trying the first batch, I felt the dock seeds had a hearty texture that didn't really seem 
donut-y, so, I poured the rest of the batter into a jelly roll pan and made a low cake. I still was a little iffy on the texture for a cake, but the bf said they were good and grabbed three to take to work. Go figure, I'm usually the earthy one. 

So, here's the recipe:

4 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened grape juice, or other liquid of choice
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup grated carrot or other veggie, pumpkin for example
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup almond flour, although this was a bit moister than I like, I may try up to 1/2 cup rice flour next time
1/2 cup ground dock seeds
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt

Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add one to the other.mix thoroughly pour into well-greased pan of choice. Bake at 350* for approximately 30 minutes, times vary with your oven and altitude. Cake will be firm when done. I always find I need to cook gluten-free recipes a little longer than I think I do. When you think it's done, leave it 5 more minutes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dehydrating Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes is a challenge every year here in Seattle- will it be warm long enough for them to produce fruit? So far I get very few ripe tomatoes, and a bunch of green tomatoes, but that's better than last year, when the plants just started flowering when the frost hit. This year we had a long Indian summer after a very cool spring and early summer, so it was a good year.... I'm also learning about hot spots in the yard, and propagation methods, so maybe next year jackpot?. Luckily, the tomatoes at the Community Orchard I volunteer at went wild. At the end of the season they were loaded with green and ripe tomatoes, which we divvied  up, took home and put in paper bags to ripen.
 I had a lot of fun trying out new recipes; especially from a book of Indian recipes titled: Gourmet Indian in Minutes. Most Indian food I've made takes hours, so the title was exciting.... and maybe a bit misleading, as many of the recipes relied on already cooked items, but overall, the recipes were delish and relatively quick.  After a bit, though, I was tired of tomato recipes and still had a bunch of tomatoes, so I decided to dehydrate them, as the freezer was full. 

A lot of people add olive oil; but in most cases, I'll be using them in recipes where I'm also sauteing something in oil, so I decided to skip it and just add some oregano and basil.

These are the prepped tomatoes on the dehydrator screen. These are cherry tomatoes.

When finished they looked like this:

They REALLY dried down to a husk, it'll be interesting to see what they are like when I go to use them in a recipe. 

What's your favorite veggie or fruit to dehydrate? This year mine was strawberries.

Side note: I changed the white balance on the camera between shots..... they looked more similar in camera... I'm still learning how to use the digital camera after all these years!