Apple and Celeriac salad

This apple and celeriac salad brings a freshness and brightness to your meal while committing to the definition of “seasonal”.   And I say “seasonal” with the utmost respect. I’ve never been ready to give up bananas or avocados, chocolate, olives or other “staples”. Shit did I just do “quotes” again.  And I suppose those items fall under the definition of  “local”.  I can say I am not a proponent of berries, beans, tomatoes or summer squash in winter due to cost and moreover lack of taste. But on to “salad”!

apple and celeriac saladThis awkward root veggie, rather foreboding at face value, grows like a beet or kohlrabi.  With it’s thick roots and roughly a third of the ball in the ground and the rest nestled in the soil, it has a mild, almost sweet taste. See here.

I cut off the ends, then do my best to use a peeler for the exterior so as not to lose as much of the vegetable. You can slice off edges as well.

apple and celeriac salad

This apple and celeriac salad will also give you the opportunity to dust off your mandolin…

apple and celeriac salad..and practice your knife skills.

apple and celeriac saladIt’s a nice addition to soups either pureed or cubed.  And is this french classic standard.

I carefully used a mandolin to slice and then went for matchsticks/strips/small pieces. I’m out of practice. The irregularity in cuts seen here would not have flown in cooking school. But I don’t think any family members or dinner guests will be pulling out a measuring tape… or will they. Be sure to toss in a little lemon juice to prevent browning.

apple and celeriac saladThe apples were halved, cored and also sliced on mandolin followed by cutting. The apple is a little easier to handle and I think my muscle memory was kicking in. Immediately after cutting toss with lemon juice as well.

I used 2 large apples and 2 bulbs of celeriac and tossed with  a vinaigrette consisting of:

  • 6oz container of yogurt
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1-2 T lemon juice
  • 2-3 T orange juice
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • a handful of chives
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • ENOUGH FOR 6 PEOPLE. OR DINNER ONE NIGHT AND ADD TO YOUR LUNCHES IN THE WEEK

I love Bellwether Farms sheep milk yogurt.

apple and celeriac salad

I make up the dressing in a little mason jar and give it a good shake. Please adjust to your liking! apple and celeriac saladI have a patch of wild chives that don’t look like much but I appreciate the fact they seemed to have grown out of nowhere since about 5 years ago or maybe that’s just when I noticed them. Despite our freezing temps they found a patch of ground that gets warmed up quickly by the sun.

Add some chives and/or minced scallion to the salad.

wild-chives

You can call it good at this point but if you want to go creamier…Add a nice BIG dollop of creme fraiche. Also Bellwether Farms.

apple and celeriac salad

This apple and celeriac salad accompanied our Coffelt T-Bones last night. So Local! Try garnishing with pecans or walnuts. I tried a little celery in this batch.

tbone-and-apple-celeriacIt’s a nice first course that can be made a day ahead and holds for several days for lunches as aforementioned.

I’ve garnished here with a couple strips of green onion

apple and celeriac saladHere’s a little update of our four-leggers currently on the farmette. And yes, that’s a calf. Meet Else. I’ll have better pics soon.

farm-animals

Have a lovely week xx

Wendy

fall salad, brussels sprouts, pumpkin, pomegranate

Life is going along here on the farm. Garden beds are mostly at rest, thirteen hens are laying about 6 eggs PER WEEK- need to work on that. I had to actually buy a dozen at the store- ouch. We are working on breeding Shirley our yearling goat. I’m so not getting any idea of when she’s in heat despite numerous youtube videos on said subject- followed by actual mating. wow. I seriously just want to get our own buck… hint hint:) I mean a critical point of having these darlings was to get milk if I remember correctly. And we can’t do that without babies!

But let’s move on…I’m not so chatty today.

fall salad brussel sprouts pomegranate-5I served this salad with a meal of slow cooked lamb and red rice. It’s similar to a fall salad from 2012 with feta and I used the same maple vinaigrette.

We have several brussel sprout plants with varying sizes of sprouts. I’ve been enjoying cutting them up finely and frying in a little olive oil. Less cooking time and more flavor.

fall salad brussel sprouts pomegranate

We also had a good harvest of sugar pumpkins and they are making regular appearances in breads, muffins, cakes and smoothies AND salads.

pumpkinI’ll bake one up for 45 minutes or so at 375°, peel it, cut it and store it in the fridge and use it for all the aforementioned. I also rinse the seeds, salt them and stick them in the oven too. Then I basically nibble on like all of them in one sitting. They are tasty enough but mostly orally addictive.

pumpkin-2

I’ll also interchange it with this red kuri squash- I got turned onto it in Germany. It’s like their pumpkin from what I could tell- as you can see we are enjoying delicata’s and spaghetti squash as well as a few sucrine du berry at the forefront of the photo below

cider pressing 2014-2It was a nice starter and easy if you have your mise on place set up ahead of time.

fall salad brussel sprouts pomegranate-2I fried the cubed pumpkin up in coconut oil on a crepe pan (sort of non stick). Had my sprouts ready, some pumpkin seeds (bought and roasted) and a splash of corn salad (mache) from the garden… wish I had more. And of course those sweet, juicy ruby beauties. LOVE pomegranates.

fall salad brussel sprouts pomegranate-3And for your smiling pleasure- Otis has a couple new friends. One very big and one very small.

Oliver, Balen, Otis Oliver, Balen, Otis-9 Oliver, Balen, Otis-8 Oliver, Balen, Otis-7 Oliver, Balen, Otis-6 Oliver, Balen, Otis-5 Oliver, Balen, Otis-4 Oliver, Balen, Otis-3 playing dogsOtis is hoping these two four leggers will be moving in with their people to our rental cabin:)

Happy continuing Fall…

sticky orange and almond cakes {gf}

These little orange and almond sticky cakes and me go back.

sticky orange almond cake GF @wendyellenthomas.comWay back. Back to my time in Paris working in and out of a kitchen that I think two people could maybe stand in… if one of those people was a child at least. I’m going to have to dig out some pics of that adorable little kitchen that served me and my two kids well for two years- and quite a few others for whom I catered.

sticky orange almond cake GF @wendyellenthomas.comIn real time it was 2004. Only ten years ago. But in terms of life chapters it could have been decades for some. I have the capacity to pick up and go and completely change my life and its circumstances. This can be a blessing and a curse and all in between. And I’m sure my kids wouldn’t disagree. I will say our time in France had a profound impact on broadening our cultural awareness, language skills, and we were flung far from our comfort zones. Spending nine months in a cooking school in an “anglo” class at Ferrandi and three months working in a restaurant gave me a foundation to begin building my cooking skills and the passion to bring cooking and merchandising together. I spent hours walking the streets of Paris, taking notes and creating Chez Chloe first in my head and on paper, then opened the original retail store and cafe in 2006. The cafe, though popular, lasted only two seasons. Not cut out for the stress of food service, I opted to keep going with only the retail. I suspect you might here more of this story as time goes on.

sticky orange almond cake GF @wendyellenthomas.comBut for now – let’s get on with these sticky cakes!

  • 2 whole oranges
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 250g (8oz) sugar
  • 250g (8oz) almond powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder

This is such a simple recipe. It was gluten free before there was ‘gluten free’. I love this orange cake because it is always a no fail recipe, it taste good and travels well. The original recipe comes from a DK book, Canapés, published in 1999 in the UK. I think I picked up this version from the old Librarie Gourmande when it was small and still located in the 6th arrondissement. Published in 2007,  Hors d’Ouervres, the US version is just as good and I always highly recommend it.

In the past, I have topped them with a little greek yogurt or a yogurt/ whipped cream blend. And they are darling with a garnish of pomegranate seeds as is suggested in the book. But for this round, simple sifted powdered sugar was my desire.

{print sticky orange and almond cakes}

You start with boiling 2 oranges till completely cooked- then set them aside to cool. This is the only reason you need to think ahead as they take about 90 minutes to cook and then another 20 minutes to cool.

boiled oranges @wendyellenthomas.comThen split them up and take out the pips

orangesPop them in the cuisinart. Or maybe a blender but honestly I’ve never tried it.

Almond Orange Cake GF-3And chew those puppies up.

Almond Orange Cake GF-4Throw in 6 eggs, 8oz of sugar, 8oz of almond meal and 1 tsp baking soda. That’s it.

Almond Orange Cake GF-5I line my 9×13 glass baking dish with parchment paper

Almond Orange Cake GF-6

and here is how the thin poured batter looks

Almond Orange Cake GF-7Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes. It should be firm to the touch. Pull it out and as soon as you can, gently remove the cake from the baking dish and cool on a rack (with parchment). When cooled you can pull off the paper and cut.I use to follow the book’s suggestion of a jelly roll pan so they would be a little thinner. And I’d use a 1″ round biscuit cutter to turn them into bite size pieces with piped topping and a little pretty somethin somethin.

For this batch – I cut the edges off (and ate them), I like to think for a clean edge but maybe it’s just so I could get my paws on some without actually eating the ‘good’ parts.

sticky orange almond cake GF @wendyellenthomas.com

After the edges are off, I cut it into little individual square cakes.

I brought these to the concert for the band members of Ollie’s Seattle Tentet, who had their debut concert on Orcas Island a couple weeks ago:)

Almond Orange Cake GF-9

sticky orange almond cake GF @wendyellenthomas.com

So there you have it friends. Try it you’ll like it. Makes for a nice brunch menu item as well.

Have a great weekend!

sticky orange almond cake GF @wendyellenthomas.com

spiced applesauce cake

applesauce cakeSo you might be thinking this is a little more fall like and it is similar to the apple quince crumb cake but to me it’s more of a grab and go slice. I’d eat this after a workout.  And it is a great little cake for January when you want to feel like you are eating on the lighter side. When you still want something sweet but not like cranberry cheesecake or chocolate mousse sweet. This easy to make and easy to eat cake can double as a breakfast cake or afternoon tea cake. OR if you want, slap a little cinnamon cream cheese or buttercream frosting on it, or spiced caramel sauce or how about Fat Toad’s cinnamon caramel sauce… and call it dessert. You can find this amazing goat caramel sauce at Chez Chloe but to buy now visit Fat Toad🙂

Fat Toad cinnamon caramel sauce

This works:

Applesauce cake-19

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Cheesecake, Cranberry, Port… yes darling it’s true.

Cranberry cheesecake ginger crust-7

I had to make the most of this beautiful, relaxed weekend. No work for me Saturday and Sunday meant the time to dig into something extravagant for no reason except  to, well, there was no reason. Certainly not for the 10K+ calories loitering in my fridge.  Cranberries and port  seeped into my dreams these past weeks and begged to cover a dense cheesy  cake supported by a buttery, spicy, ginger snap crust.

Let’s do it I replied.

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Apple quince crumb cake

applecrumbcake and pressing 2013-5

I’m still enjoying the last bits of Germany. I’ve walked the architecturally divine streets of the small town of Detmold, the location of the Hochschule für Musik where O is officially finishing up his last semester as Professor. And we spent several days in Babblesburg with my Schwiegermutter (mother-in-law) and Schwägerin (sister-in-law) and family in Babelsburg, which lies just outside of Potsdam, (which lies just outside of Berlin:) But before I share photos on my days here, I must get this cinnamon apple crumb cake recipe out to you. If you ever happened to search the Internet with the not so original words apple crumb cake, you might have already stumbled across this recipe from buttercreamblondie. It is a go to this fall for apple cake. I researched quite a few recipes and am not sure how this one was developed but I very much like the ratios. I followed the recipe exactly except for the addition of about a cup of honey poached quince. Ok I’m lying a little because the first time I had to cut in 1/2 cup full fat yogurt cause I didn’t have enough sour cream. Anybody out there watch the sitcom The Middle? Imagine me tucking my head to my chest and whispering “I’m lying”.

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Muffins and smoothies…

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Does anybody know why i’m getting a little arrow on some of these pics???

Celebrating health with more muffins and smoothies…

One of my favorite sounds this time of year rang through the valley as I took these photos. Baby lambs calling for their mama’s and mama saying “for God’s sake I’m right here- Can’t I just go pee for thirty seconds on my own!”

Really though, they are so sweet… just like these muffins I had to make again. Here’s the GF version if you missed it.

I HAD to do it again. … with the all purpose flour, canola oil and white granulated sugar. As much as I love deviation- this is straight up followed. I even let them sit for twenty minutes before I buttered one and inhaled it in all it’s Morning Glory. They were good but not as good as in the bakery. That’s when you realize publishing a cookbook with your secrets won’t necessarily detract from your business.

Next is juicing…

Healthy mind-body smoothie-12

I’m not sure if the New Year juicing, fasting, GF cleansing has been plucked from popularity and you know I’ve had some dips already in the chocolate tin. Since I often get recycled magazines from the library I’m trending a little behind the beat anyway.  But if you could see me now I think I might be glowing.

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I’ve been reading about the positive impact of fruits and vegetables in the same blended drink. Sounds good except I don’t want to put my strawberries through the champion (old school around here) and my fibrous kale and carrots in the stand up blender (the one with a metal switch).

Healthy mind-body smoothie-5

So until I get something, if ever, a little more updated, then I’ll be pulling both units out. And this morning I had the time. Really it wasn’t so consuming.

I love juicing and I love smoothies and usually will crank both out for a week or two at a time. Because I have the attention span of a goldfish the thrill disperses quickly and I can’t justify a $500 bill on a new machine.

I juiced carrots, celery, kale and an orange. Poured this mixture directly into the blender and added a little spinach, berries, peaches, a frozen banana and my whey protein powder. Throw some flax or chia seeds in there and you will get an A++.

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Since I’ll probably do this for a few months , weeks, days, I decided to make up some packets. Two things that I still here my French cooking teachers say- “economy of motion… we must win the time”. This was his direct translation of gagnez le temp!… And “bien assaisoner”. Use the damn salt and pepper already (but that does not apply here).

I only made up three packets and they make about two servings each. Make them accordingly for yourself or family. But trust me the time it takes to pull out the peaches, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and frozen bananas (the going brown ones you already peeled and put in a baggie), reach a hand into each one, and put them all back… OR you could pull out one little baggie and plop it in the blender. You can always rinse out the baggie and reuse it

Healthy mind-body smoothie

You could of course also portion and prep your veggies for several days at a time too. This way when you pull out two machines- it’s not so bad. And if you have one of those Breville’s or Vitamixes, well hell – you’ve got it made.

You will literally start to glow at least on the inside when you see all this goodness your body will be shortly receiving. I’m just finishing my first glass now. Still picking the raspberry seeds from my teeth. The first sip was a little hmmm… I’m confused. A hint of greens and orange… berries. Do I like this? By the third sip. “I think so.” By the last bit. I love it and am  on for seconds. Or maybe I should wait a few hours so I don’t go into detox shock.

Here’s the official Macrina Morning Glory recipe:

Ingredients 
▪ 1/2 cup seedless raisins 
▪ 1/3 cup walnut halves 
▪ 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
▪ 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
▪ 2-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon 
▪ 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
▪ 1/4 teaspoon salt 
▪ 1 medium carrot, grated 
▪ 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated 
▪ 3/4 cup chopped pineapple 
▪ 3 eggs 
▪ 1/4 cup canola oil 
▪ 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
▪ 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 
▪ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
▪ 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut 
▪ 1/3 cup coarse raw sugar

Have a lovely week,

Tschüß xx

EAT PANCAKES! Or Crepes…

Pancakes aka Crepes-10

Did you remember today is Pancake Day? Or Shrove Tuesday- the day after Rosen Montag and the day before  lent (for you Catholics out there- I’m a non-practicing one myself). I did not remember until I got to my email this morning and saw THIS great post from Things We Make. Of course she posted it yesterday which would give you a little more time to prepare. But what we really need for pancakes or crepes is usually sitting under our noses. So for those of you who just needed a little reminder… maybe it’s not too late. This was my first event this morning since Chloe made it to the bus on time. THANK YOU teen guardian angles.

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A plum cake you will make. A lot.

We do have a lot of plums. And many varieties. Somewhere in a box is the old map scratched out in pencil on notebook paper of the trees originally planted on these 15 acres. Over 200 trees about 30 years ago by the guy who homesteaded the place when he was about 24 years old. I would say about 25% still remain. We’ve been remiss in planting new fruit trees and it’s time.

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Peach chutney perks up the deviled egg…

Peach chutney and deviled eggs

I’ve got peaches in the freezer, peaches in the fridge, peaches on the counter… and what about the plums? Got them too. And a few fruit flies having a PARTYYYY! The sun just won’t quit which is warm, wonderful and scary at the same time. I prefer to think Indian summer rather than global warming.

Peaches

We got a 1/2 case of these beauties. If you look closely, James might peek around the corner.

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