With my son’s first birthday extravaganza on March 17th, I was faced with the dilemma of whether to give him a traditional cake loaded with sugar sugar and more sugar. After a few experimental baking trials, I’ve finally came up with a somewhat healthy alternative and approved by me, the whole foods strict nourishing food mommy. This recipe DOES include eggs and honey. Honey (if you’re not comfortable giving it to your one year old) can be substituted for maple syrup. If you have not introduced your child to eggs it may cause an allergic reaction. Considering that my son has been eating eggs (and LOVES them) I had no qualms about adding some eggs from our wonderful chickens to the cupcake recipe.
The frosting of course was the not-so-healthy part but it can be omitted or swapped out with a few options I’ve listed below for you. I used a pumpkin buttercream in the recipe. Feel free to pick a frosting that works for you! Enjoy!
After debating on what to cook the Italian Parsley in, I went with most decadent and classic option… Carbonara. Easy right? Eggs, noodles, guanciale (or a similar substitute such as pancetta or bacon) and cheese topped with some parsley. Carbonara is one of those things that rely on quality ingredients. First things first. The meat. Most traditional recipes call for something called guanciale, which is a cured meat taken from pork jowls or cheeks (yikes). This ingredient can be a bit tricky to find and if you can’t seem to get your hands on some, you can also use pancetta or a quality cut of bacon. I wasn’t able to get ahold of any guanciale or pancetta so I used bacon in my dish below. Luckily, we have our own chickens so the eggs were taken care of. Going with a nice pastured egg will give you a nice creamy and rich sauce. As for the cheese, find a quality Parmigiano-Reggiano and IF you can get your hands on any Pecorino (A hard Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk) it will make your carbonara taste like a million bucks. I also stick with a dry spaghetti noodle.
Now onto the topic of technique. If done wrong, you can wind up with scrambled eggs and noodles which isn’t exactly a good thing. I do suggest getting your eggs to room temperature before adding them to you dish. I always crack mine into a bowl and let them while I prepare everything else. When you’re at the stage of adding your egg mixture, always always always add to a pan that has been removed from the heat. Otherwise you’ll be eating scrambled eggs for dinner. Now, onto the recipe.
Bring a large pot of salted water bring to a boil.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, Pecorino and Parmesan. Set Aside.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until a bit firmer than al dente. Strain in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set aside. *** RESERVE 1 cup of the pasta water ***
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add your bacon (or guanciale or pancetta) and cook until the fat has rendered and the meat is crispy. Add half of the reserved pasta water to the pan.
Toss in the spaghetti and agitate the pan over the heat for about one minute.
REMOVE the pan from the heat and add the egg and cheese mixture. Stir quickly until your eggs thicken. The residual heat will cook the eggs. Continue to stir quickly to keep your eggs from scrambling. If your sauce seems a little too thick, add some more of the reserved pasta water.
Toss with minced parsley and season with fresh ground black pepper. Add salt if needed (the cured meat should be salty enough on it's own to season the dish).
Serve and top with a little grated Pecorino. Enjoy!
What the heck is a kholrabi? If this odd little veggie is new to you, it tastes a lot like a cross between a broccoli stem and a radish. It can be eaten raw, steamed or cooked and its quite delicious despite it’s odd alien-like shape. Before eating, it’s important to peel it thoroughly. Beneath it’s thick, hard skin is yet another fibrous layer, which should be peeled away as well. The recipe below is great fried but can also be baked in the oven (400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown) for a healthier alternative.
Remove leaves from the kohlrabi and peel the bulb. Peel your potatoes and carrots. Grate the vegetables in a food processor or by hand using a grater. Squeeze the shredded vegetables in a tea cloth (or with your hands) to remove moisture. Finely mince your onion and add to mixture.
In a separate bowl, add the eggs be beat until frothy. Add to your grated mixture along with your flour, curry, salt and chopped chard or kale.
Place 3/4 cup oil in a large skillet (or enough to have 1/4 inch depth). Heat the oil over medium high heat and place small hand pressed patties of the fritter mixture into the hot oil. Fry on one side until browned, then fry on the other side. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.
In a separate bowl, stir sour cream with finely minced cilantro, salt and cayenne pepper. Squeeze 1/2 lime into the mix and serve with your fritters. Top with sliced radishes and green onions.
As you can tell, I have a surplus of leeks! Not that I’m complaining, I mean… I LOVE LEEKS. This recipe included the spinach from your recent CSA box as well as those leeks (of course). In order to make the quiche, we needed cheese. The fresh rosemary garlic sheep cheese from Black Sheep Creamery was a perfect match for this little dish. Who says real men don’t eat quiche?
Place pie crust on a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Set crust aside and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
In a small pan, heat butter and chopped leaks over low/medium heat for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper and cooked leeks.
Spread spinach in bottom of crust and dot with sheep cheese. (we used Black Sheep's Rosemary Garlic Cheese but you can substitute goat cheese) Pour egg mixture on top and bake until poofed in the center and lightly browned. This should take 40 to 50 minutes.
Set aside to cool until warm or serve at room temperature.
French Toast is not actually French by any means. The recipe for fried bread soaked in a mixture of milk and eggs predates France itself and was created by the Romans sometime in the 5th century AD. The next time you see French Toast on a menu of a fancy French brunch cafe, stand up and yell shenanigans! Now that we’ve had our little history lesson for the day, lets get on with the recipe.
In a medium pan, heat butter and syrup on medium heat. Add pears and cook for about 10 minutes. I prefer my pears to be firm but you can always cook them a little longer. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you prepare your toast.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together eggs, cream, milk, almond extract, spices and the liquor and pour into a shallow container such as a casserole dish. Dip bread in egg mixture and allow to soak for about 3 minutes on each side.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Fry slices in batches until golden brown, then flip to cook the other side. Place bread onto a large cookie sheet and finish baking them in the oven for about 10 minutes. The toast should rise slightly.
In a cold stainless steel bowl, beat cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla on high until thickened and set aside.
Serve your French Toast topped with pears, whipped topping, maple butter (from the pear pan) and sliced almonds. Enjoy!
Sorry for not including the almonds in the photo. I didn't have my coffee this morning and forgot to add them before the display platter was eaten by my husband.