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The Spinach Cupcake

I love Pinterest and have used to find great recipes like the one  you will see here. For more great recipes check out my FAB FOOD board.

My boys are in Scouts and sadly they have been missing out on the snacks because of all the food coloring and unhealthy treats. Yes I am one of those moms who make my kids say, “ no thank you” to un-healthy snacks every time. Once I heard about them missing out I made it my mission to show the Pack that snacks can be healthy and still feel like a treat. Here is my variation on the recipe linked to above.

What you will need:
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (homemade if you make it)
1 1/2 cups of organic sugar
1large bag of spinach, you need 1 cup puree (you can use frozen)
3/4 cup of veg. oil of your choose
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Topping:
Your favorite icing
Veggie based sanding sugar

Directions:
Steam or cook spinach. Puree spinach it should look like baby food. Let cool.
Beat together eggs and sugar, oil, lemon juice and 1 cup pureed spinach.
In a separate bowl mixture together dry ingredients. Pour into cupcake papers.
Bake at 350 for about 20 and 30 minutes check with toothpick. Let cool then add toppings.

Option: use any 1 cup of veggie or fruit puree to change these cupcakes up.

Looking for natural sanding sugar? I buy mine for Realistic Mermaid on Etsy.

Beccijo Neff is a toymaker, storyteller, and award winning Artist from Pennsylvania. She homeschools 4 children and is happily married. You can find more about her life and her work at her blog . To see her enchanting toys stop at her shop, it will brighten and delight you eyes to see all the magical things she creates.



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Delicious Fish Tacos

Do you miss those days when your kids where little and ate ANYTHING you put on their plates? Well, I do. I am not quite certain what happened. I distinctly remember that my children were really adventurous as toddlers and loved trying new foods. There was not a food they totally rejected or refused to eat.

Sadly this has changed as we moved into the preteen and teen years. My son has decided that mortal enemy number one is fish. But as we all know: fish is healthy and doctors recommend we eat it twice a week because of the Omega-3s. Luckily I found one recipe that even the fish-hater in our household loves to eat: Fish Tacos. As an added benefit they are very easy to make and cleaning up your kitchen won’t take long either.

Ingredients:

1 pound of white fish (Tilapia or Catfish)

4 teaspoons  olive or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

half a head of red cabbage, very thinly sliced, stem removed

juice of a lime

4 ounces of feta cheese sliced or crumbled

1 jalapeno sliced thinly

1- 2 Avocados

fresh cilantro

pepper and salt to taste

12-16 corn tortillas

How to make it:

1. Slice the fish into bite sized pieces and marinate with 2 teaspoons of oil, cumin, and coriander, sprinkling of salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. Whisk the lime juice with the rest of the oil and some salt and pepper. Add the shredded cabbage and toss like a salad.

3. Put all the other toppings (feta, cilantro, jalapeno, avocado) into little bowls and arrange on the table – in the center where everybody can reach them.

4. Put a little bit of vegetable oil in a sauteing pan and cook the fish in it. I like to have a bit of a golden crust on mine and cook it through. Takes about 5-7 minutes depending on the size of your pieces of fish.

5. Warm the tortillas and bring them and the fish to table.

Now everybody can assemble their favorite combination of ingredients. My kids really love to pile feta cheese and cabbage on.  Where did that fish go? Oh, I can hardly taste it but it’s somewhere in there. I love fish tacos. Even our fish-hater will consume 5 or 6 of these tacos without complaint…

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

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Crock Pot Chicken, Cacciatora Style

If there there was only one cookbook I could take to an abandoned island the ONE I would take would be Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Sorry, Julia Childs, and French cuisine! Your food is yummy but just WAY too complicated for the modern woman who likes to present a delicious tasty meal to the family but has no time to cook.

Here is a recipe from Hazan’s book that I altered to fit the needs of the busy mother, dollmaker, writer, artist. In the cookbook it’s refered to as:

Chicken Fricassee, Cacciatore Style

Cacciatore means hunter style because, as Hazan claims, there is a hunter in every Italian family, and that’s the type of dish people would cook up after chasing down a rabbit or wild bird. No wild birds or rabbits big enough to eat in my yard – so some storebought chicken thighs will have to do..

 

Ingredients:

5-6 chicken thighs

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

a plate with some flour on it

Salt

Black pepper freshly ground

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into small disks

1 stalk of celery, cut into small pieces crosswise

a big splash of white wine

1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped

1 garlic clove

2/3 cup imported Italian tomatoes chopped in their juice  (hopefully you will be luckier than me and can find some that are not in a can!)

Now the first part of the recipe is a bit more involved. You have to brown the chicken nicely, and browning a piece of meat takes a bit of patience. But I promise your efforts will be rewarded with superior taste. Once you got that part done, it’s very easy! So take your chicken thighs, rinse them under cold water, and pat them dry. Place them on the plate with the flour and dip both sides in the flour. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the chicken in it. First do the skin side, then do the other side.

While the meat is browning chop your vegetables and the garlic clove. When the meat is brown, sprinkle some salt and pepper on both sides. Place your pieces of chicken in the bottom of a crock pot. Take the sliced onion and soften it in the pan drippings from browning the meat. Cook them until they are turning a nice yellow color.

Now layer all the vegetables including the onions and tomatoes over the meat in the crock pot. Add a big splash of white wine. Turn the crock pot dial to “high”. Cook the meal on that setting for about 15 minutes. Then turn the heat down to low. Now you can go back to your craft or whatever other chore you need to do. When the family comes home from their busy day (in about 3-4 hours) you will be able to present them with a delightful meal. That yummy chicken will just fall off the bones. Perfection! Serve with some brown rice, noodles, or as a stew in a bowl with some crusty bread on the side.

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

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Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is my take on one of my favorite soups growing up. I am a big fan of using what you have on hand so feel free to substitute things for what you already have in your kitchen.  This is super easy and very versatile!  Always a crowd favorite at potlucks.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs of Chicken (breast or thighs)
2 qts of chicken or vegetable broth

1-2 tbl of olive oil
1 Onion diced
3-4 cloves of garlic (more or less depending on your tastes)
1 bell pepper (i prefer red but use yellow or orange too) diced
1 can of green chilis
3-4 tomatillos or 1 can chopped
1-2 tbl of chili powder
1 tbl of cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano

sea salt and pepper to taste

1/4-1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)

1 medium can of fire roasted tomatoes (muir glen makes fantastic ones!)
1 large can of pinto beans NOT drained ( you can also use cannelini or black too)
1 – 1 1/2 c of frozen corn (more or less if you want)
fresh corn tortillas sliced into strips
vegetable oil or shortening
cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)

green onions chopped (optional)

Directions:

To get rich broth, I usually poach my chicken thighs or breasts with bone and skin in the broth.  Set aside and shred or chop into bite size pieces.

In a large pot, cook onion, garlic, peppers, chilis, tomatillos, and all spices including salt and pepper for 5-7 minutes until soft.  Cooking the spices this way with the oil is a traditional method in Mexican and Indian cooking that is thought to “wake” them up and really does make a difference in taste, well to me at least.  When cooked add tomatoes with juice, beans with liquid, corn and broth in small amounts until the desired consistency.  My family likes it a little thicker so I only end up using like 1 cup of broth in mine.  Freeze any leftover broth.  If you like your soup even thicker you can finely chop a few corn tortillas and add it to the soup to thicken.  Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  Taste it to check for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper as desired.  In a cast iron or deep pan, heat the shortening or vegetable oil.  Slice your tortillas and check a small piece in the oil to see if temperature is ready.  Fry in small batches and drain on paper towel.  Lightly salt.  Add chicken to soup to heat.  When ready to serve, top with cheese and crispy tortilla strips and green onions if desired.

I love serving this with my spicy cornbread!  Mix corbread as directed and add a small can of corn drained and a cubed block of pepper jack cheese.  Bake as usual.

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Best Stuffed Peppers

Please enjoy another cool recipe by NK Teammember Dria Peterson who lives and cooks in a vegetarian village in Israel!
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One day I found a small book of Jewish Indian cooking. The book wasn’t written very well, and trying to figure out what the author meant was a challenge. One of the recipes was for stuffed vegetables. I have been making this recipe for years now, on every special occasion and sometimes every week with no special reason. My daughters and husband love them (In fact I made them for him on our third date).
Over the years I have changed the original recipe completely and made it Quick, easy and flop-proof!
At one period of time, my second daughter was home with me, without her elder sister, every Wednesday. She was about 2.5 and interested in cooking. Making these stuffed Peppers became our weekly activity. I used to call her “My Sou Chef”. She now makes the stuffed peppers all on her own. I only need to supply the stuffing mix 🙂

And now I share it with you, after measuring what I do, so I can write it down properly. I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do.

What you need to make this recipe:

Large Pan (I use either a deep saucepan or stock pot and stack the peppers in two layers, or use a wide shallow pan called a Sauteuse – like in the photos).

  • 8-12 bell peppers (The number depends on the size of the pan you will use and the size of the peppers you have). You can measure how many peppers fit into the pan before cutting them.
  • 2 cups of brown rice (I use round rice)
  • 3 large tomatoes or 6 small tomatoes
  • Big bunch of herbs and greens (I use whatever I have in the garden – Celery, Parsley, Coriander, Chard, Green Onions, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Leaves from a cabbage or grape vine, to cover the bottom of the pan and prevent the peppers from burning. My daughters love eating the cabbage leaves from the bottom of the pan.

*other possibilities are to substitute some of the rice with lentils or mung beans, or add chopped almonds)*

Preparation:
Cook the rice with 4 cups of water. First bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Cook for about 30 minutes. Cooking the rice before hand is not the usual way to make stuffed vegetables, but this way you will not have “uncooked rice problems”, cooking is about half the time, saves energy and create an edible leftover stuffing.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the stuffing and get the peppers ready for stuffing:

Wash peppers, cut tops off and take the seeds out.

* These two steps can be made in advance*

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan. Spread it all over with a brush.

Cover the bottom of the pan with leaves.

Put the greens, tomatoes and garlic in the food processor and chop. Pour into a large mixing bowl, big enough to mix in the rice later.

If you are using raisins chop them a little with a knife or pulse them gently in the food processor. The purpose is not to leave the raisins whole so they won’t swell up. Place the raisins in the mixing bowl.

When the rice is cooked, add it to the chopped greens mixture. Add the 4 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice and the salt.

Mix well.

Now, Taste the stuffing. It should be delicious. If not, add more olive oil, lemon, salt or tomatoes till the stuffing is tasty.
Now it’s stuffing time! Fill the peppers up to the top (no need to leave space as in uncooked rice stuffing) and cover with the pepper lid.

Place the peppers in the pan, so they stand closely together and don’t fall over. Squeeze in another pepper if you have to.

The kids (or grownups) can eat the leftover stuffing.

Pour 3 cups of water into the pan. The water should only create a 1 inch puddle on the bottom of the pan.

Bring the water in the pan to a boil (you can hear when it’s boiling). Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 40 min – 1 hour. Listen to the pan to hear the liquid bubbling so you know there is enough water in the pan, otherwise the peppers might burn. Usually at the end of cooking there is more liquid in the pan than what you first poured in.

The peppers are yummy when hot but also when cold and even after a few days in the refrigerator. You can reheat them in the same pan with their liquid still in the pan. When we eat them cold we usually cut the pepper and pour some olive oil over it and add a squeeze lemon. A soft cheese like a sour Labaneh or yogurt also goes well with the stuffed peppers.

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Wild Greens Leaf Patties: A Recipe from Israel

Today I bring to you this a lovely recipe from Israel. It was sent to me by NaturalKids Team member Dria Peterson. I hope you are as excited as I was when I looked at this neat recipe for the first time. Just looking at the photos makes me want to visit the beautiful country where Dria resides…

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Green Leaf Patties (by Dria Peterson)

Have you ever thought to give the weeds around you a second look? Fact is that many of the plants that are considered a nuisance are actually edible.

Think about it – instead of paying good money for organic greens, or laboring hard to grow them in your garden, you can just go outside and pick healthy iron rich greens for free! Now isn’t that a great gift from nature!!

Around where I live (in the hills of Galilee in Israel) spring is out in all its luscious leaves. In many an Olive grove you can see women bent over foraging and collecting wild green leaves to make cooked salads, stuffed pastries and other yummy food. Traditionally, these were special dishes available for only a short time a year, before summer sets in and dries everything up. Nowadays many people pick extra greens and freeze them for year round use.

The recipe I bring you here is traditionally made with the green leaves of a plant called Hubeza (Latin: Malva) which is a type of Mallow. In spring time my daughters love to go out and collect Hubeza leaves and help me make this seasonal delicacy.

But don’t worry; these patties can be made with any kind of greens, wild gathered greens or cultivated greens such as Spinch, Chards, Etc. You can use one type of greens or mix a few kinds together

Of course, I don’t know which wild plants are edible where you live. Around my house I can find wild Spinach, Stinging Nettles, wild lettuce, wild garlic, wild mustard, and types of alfalfa, Wild Chicory, Thistles, Dandelions and many more plants. I am familiar with the poisonous plants around where I live and know which ones to avoid (They are not many, by the way). If you are unsure, you can always take a small bite and see how the plant feels in your mouth. If it stings your tongue or the back of your throat don’t eat it (this test is not a good way to determine if mushrooms are edible or not!).

I took a look in some of my books to see what edible plants you might look for in North America and UK: Chickweed, Cleavers, Clovers, Dandelion, Dock, Goosefoot (Lambs quarters) and Nettles.

There are many books about “Edible Wild Plants” out there, if you wish to study the subject thoroughly before popping anything into your mouth.

After this long introduction, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

• A huge bag of leaves. It’s kind of difficult to give an amount. I would say that you will need leaves that consume a space of at least 6 liters or one and a half gallons. This amount will produce enough patties for a family of five. Remember that after steaming, the leaves shrink down to a fifth of the volume they were when fresh.

• 3-4 eggs

• 1-2 cups of bread crumbs – I use whole wheat herb bread from my mother’s bakery. I simply chop it up in the food processor till I have crumbs.

• 1/2 teaspoon of black or white pepper

• 1-2 teaspoons of ground cumin (optional).

Preparation:


Wash the leaves.

Decide which greens you want to steam. Leaves that are thick and coarse are better steamed first to get them a little softer. You can mix steamed and raw greens, too.

Place the greens to be steamed in a large pan with 2 cups of water. Cover the lid and cook for 10 minutes.

In the meanwhile, chop the bread in the food processor.

When the leaves have wilted and softened, pour them into a colander, and strain. Squash them with a wooden spoon to get most of the water out.

Pour the lump of cooked greens onto a cutting board, and chop coarsely 6-7 times.

If you are using raw greens, chop them to bite size pieces.

Put the chopped leaves with the bread crumbs, eggs, pepper and cumin in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

Warm 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. (You can use a different kind of oil if you prefer). The flame needn’t be too high, not to burn the oil. Form palm sized patties with your hands and place in the skillet.

Note: if you do not want to fry, you can bake the patties in the oven – make the patties and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Brush with oil. Bake for about 20 minutes in medium heat and flip over for another 5 minutes.

In this photo you can see a mixture of cooked and raw greens. Patties that are made only of cooked greens will look a little different.

Fry the patties a few minutes, and flip over when the patty is getting golden brown.

Serve with a few drops of lemon on each patty. Bon appetite!

I hope you enjoyed your virtual visit to Dria’s kitchen and country as much as I did! Please, visit her beautiful Etsyshop here. I am sure you’ll find her store just a lovely as her cooking.

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Perfect Pasta Sauce

I should probably let you all in on a few things about me before I start. I hate to cook and I hate following recipes even more. In fact, I rarely do unless I’m baking and the amounts really will matter. I also have a deep-rooted love for my Crock-Pot.

That being said, this recipe is right up my alley in that it’s a “throw it all in the pot and leave it alone” kind of recipe and there is no measuring, no specific amounts of anything that are needed, and you can vary the recipe to your taste and preference. Can’t get much better than that!

Start off with frozen chicken breasts. I recommend organic, or at least all natural and honestly local free range is the best, but what you’ve got is what you’ve got. I use 6 because if I’m going to cook at all I’m going to make enough for another meal. I have a family of 5 and we can eat this for 3 meals. My motto is, make a lot and freeze it. Just throw the breasts in the pot as they are, frozen and all.

Then, get your pepperoni on. Make sure it’s the good stuff, uncured from your whole foods store. It’s so much better for you and the taste is significantly better too. Don’t get sliced, get the links, and cut it up in bite size pieces. How much you use is up to you, but I like a lot.

Next come the tomatoes. I like to do about 4 cups of diced first. Whatever tomato you prefer is fine. I fancy the Roma myself. Then, add your sauce. Fresh, frozen or canned is up to you. That’s the great thing about this recipe, use what you have on hand and it still makes a great sauce. I fill up my Vitamix with Romas and set it on high then pour them into the crock. I didn’t have enough on hand to do that today, so I used canned.

Next comes the flavor. I add a lot of garlic, around 4T since I adore garlic. I also add in Italian seasoning, sea salt (just a bit), fresh ground pepper, lots of chopped onion, and bay to taste. I’ve also been known to leave out the Italian seasoning and add cumin, chili powder, and peppers and make more of a chili with it. It’s easy to adapt to your mood. Again, fresh is best, but if all you have on hand is dried herbs and spices, don’t fret, just throw them in. I’m also a sneaky chef so I add in any puree I have on hand. I am partial to carrots and zucchini in this recipe and it’s easy to add a lot and no one is the wiser, so if you have picky kids, make sure to add these too and the sauce will pack more of a nutritional punch.

By now your crock is full and ready to be left to its business. I like to do this in the morning and let it cook on low all day until dinner. Feel free to do it after lunch and cook it on high, it won’t change a thing. Now, while it’s cooking you might get worried that your sauce looks like the runniest thing you’ve ever seen. Don’t panic, once it’s done cooking you just shred your chicken with 2 large forks and it is perfect.

Pour over your favorite pasta or eat it like I do, just as it is in a large bowl with goat cheese crumbled on top. Enjoy!

Kristi Ashley

This recipe was brought to you by our new member Tickety Bu

The Place to get a Lovey Bamboo blankey for your Babe!
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Nature Inspired Breads

Being a German Immigrant I often get this question: What do you miss most about Germany? Over the years the answer has remained the same. Besides family, of course, the thing I miss most about Germany is bread. After living in the US for over 15 years, I still have a hard time finding decent bread in the grocery store. The first couple of years I was so depressed about the choices here that I tried to bake my own. But living at high altitude, I found it very difficult to bake good bread. I gave up on sourdough breads completely, when one day I managed to produce a loaf that was so hard it resembled a brick, and my husband suggested we try burn it in the fire place…

But never mind my failures. I found one great recipe that works even at high elevations. It is really fun and easy to make. I make it to go along with soups. The whole family loves the flavor, and the kids have been intrigued with the bread’s leaf-shape since they were little and started to reach for the bread basket.

I found the recipe in a cooking magazine many years ago. It’s been so long I can’t even recall where it came from. But it’s a French style bread called Fougasse.

Here is what you need to make it:

4 cups of flour (I use 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 3 cups of regular flour)
1.5 cups of lukewarm water
tsp of yeast
1-2 tsp of sea salt ( I use 1 tsp since I try to cut down on sodium)
2 Tsp of Herbs de Provence
2 Tsp of extra Virgin Olive Oil plus some more
corn meal

How to make it:

Put the flour, herbs de Provence, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the lukewarm water in the measuring cup. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then add the water with yeast to the flour, add the tablespoons of olive oil and knead everything together. If you have a KitchenAid mixer, you can just stand by and watch as the dough hook does all the work for you. If not, roll up your sleeves and with some elbow grease you can do it. It’s not so bad! Once the you have a nice big ball of sticky dough, put a little olive oil into the bowl and coat the outside of your dough ball with it. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place.

After the dough has risen for about an hour split it into two equal parts. Roll out each into a flat roundish disk shape. Use a Pizza wheel and cut slits in the shape of the veins on a leave into your bread. Pull the dough slightly apart to make the holes bigger where you cut it.

Place each loaf on a cookie sheet that you have sprinkled with corn meal. This will keep your bread from sticking to the sheet plus give it a nice crispy bottom crust!

Cover both breads with kitchen towels and let them rise in a warm place. While they are rising, arrange the racks in your oven so that you can bake two loaves at the same time in it! Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rub some olive oil on the loaves of bread right before you put them into the oven! Put loaves in an set the timer for 9 minutes. After 9 minutes switch the two cookie sheets around. The bread that was baking on the top needs to go to the bottom and vice versa. Bake for another 9 minutes or until the bread has a nice color.

Can you smell the beautiful aroma of the Herbs de Provence yet? Yummy! It’s so good! And you get two loaves at once. We eat one loaf with our soup. The other I use for fixing school lunch sandwiches.

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Make a Skeleton Bread (A Video Tutorial)

A video tutorial for a spooOOOooooky kid-friendly project by Eve!

This delicious and funny Skeleton Bread is just the thing for a Halloween Party or part of a fun and nutritious meal just before trick or treat time on Halloween evening.

Eve’s video instructions will guide you through the shaping process!

Eve used this recipe from Martha Stewart for the dough. The recipe explains how to poach your skeleton before baking to give it an authentic soft pretzel taste and texture. (Martha shapes fingers in this recipe).

Use the video to make a skeleton, or use the idea to create your own creature!

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buttermilk chocolate cake recipe {+ cookbook giveaway!!}

by Jen of SewnNatural

Our new Thursday recipe/tutorial feature is off to a huge start with today’s chocolate cake recipe… and cookbook giveaway from Cynthia Lair, author of “Feeding the Whole Family – Recipes for Babies, Young Children and Their Parents.”

MARY’S BUTTERMILK CHOCOLATE CAKE

I found this recipe in a wonderful cookbook I highly recommend. Cynthia Lair’s “Feeding the Whole Family – Recipes for Babies, Young Children and Their Parents”. As a mom of a toddler, I’m always on the look-out for quick, delicious and nutritious recipes I can whip up to spice up our meal routine.

The cookbook is packed with simple recipes that excite the tastebuds, employ whole, organic foods and can be easily adapted for everyone around the supper table. You need not be a parent of little kids to enjoy this book – it would be a wonderful treat for anyone.

Check out Cynthia’s new humorous {+ fabulous} online cooking show CookusInterruptus, about how to cook fresh local whole foods despite life’s interruptions. You can also read her “baby food is not rocket science” article here about how it’s best to feed babies “family food”.

Note: For a dairy free version, substitute 1 cup soy milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added for the buttermilk and use melted coconut oil in place of buttter.


image by elana’s pantry

Prep time: 45 minutes
Makes 2, 8-inch layers

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup of maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil two 8-inch cake pans. Mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir into flour mixture (do not overstir). Pour batter into cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or a little less, depending on your oven.

I poured Cynthia Lair’s strawberry sauce on for added fruit, presentation and contrast. With strawberries being out of season right now (unless you’ve stored some away in your freezer from the last harvest), I’d recommend using pears, apples, whatever is freshest & has travelled the least distance to get to your plate.

image by anashruti

STRAWBERRY SAUCE
Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes 1 cup

1 pint organic strawberries
1 tsp lemon or orange juice
1 tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave nectar

Wash and trim strawberries. Place them, the juice, and sweetener in a blender and blend until smooth. Use at once or refrigerate the rest. Will keep a few days in the fridge.

|”Reprinted with permission from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair”.

TODAY’S GIVEAWAY

Cynthia has generously offered one reader a copy of her book!

That’s Cynthia 2nd from left!

To enter today’s giveaway, simply visit CookusInterruptus and leave a comment about something you enjoyed or learned (one entry per person, please!). This giveaway will end at 9am EST on Sunday, and the winner will be announced soon after.

image by Bruce Tuten

COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED.

The winner (drawn at random) is… comment #12 Katherine Robb! CONGRATS (now you don’t have to go out and buy one!!)