Coconut oil poundcake

Coconut oil pound cakeIngredients
1 cup organic cane sugar
3/4 cup virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut milk
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons desiccated or shredded coconut

Optional coconut topping
4 tablespoons coconut milk mixed with 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
1 -2 Tablespoons desiccated or shredded coconut for sprinkling

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
Melt the coconut oil in a large bowl in the microwave oven. Let cool slightly and whisk in the 1 cup sugar, coconut milk, eggs and vanilla extract.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well, then stir in 6 tablespoons coconut. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to combine. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and smooth with a spatula.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

If adding coconut topping:
Whilst the cake is still hot in the pan, using a skewer or toothpick, prick holes all over the top of the cake, pushing the skewer or toothpick through to the bottom of the cake. Gently pour the coconut milk/sugar mix all over the surface of the cake, distributing evenly with a brush if needed. The liquid will be quickly absorbed by the cake. Then immediately sprinkle the dried coconut all over so it sticks. You can use as much dried coconut as you wish.
Allow to cool completely before taking out of the pan.

Recipe adapted from cooking.nytimes.com

Buckwheat cacao nib shortbread cookies with clementine zest

Buckwheat cacao nib shortbread cookies with clementine zestThese shortbread cookies are the perfect accompaniment to a pot of tea. You can find cacao nibs at Trader Joe’s, or online at Amazon.com. While cacao nibs are a bit pricey, their flavor is very intense – so you don’t need to use as much. And when you consider the benefits of consuming these:

MOOD BOOSTING: Cacao contains natural chemicals that promotes heightened sensitivity and euphoria
NUTRITION: This ancient superfood is full of antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, and nutrients. It is considered an energizer, appetite suppressant and metabolism booster

They are practically health food! 🙂

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup organic cane sugar
2 tsp clementine zest (from about 3 clementines)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cups cacao nibs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, rub zest in the sugar with your fingers until evenly distributed and aromatic. In the bowl of a KitchenAid, beat butter and sugar on medium until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. In the meantime, whisk flours and salt together in the bowl you used for the sugar and zest.
Mix in cacao nibs and vanilla with the whipped butter. Mix in flours just until incorporated. Scrape the dough into a mass and knead with your hands for a few minutes until dough is smooth. Refrigerate dough until it is cold, at least an hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Divide dough in half and place one half in between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll out dough to 1/4″ thick. Using your favorite cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet about an inch apart – the cookies will spread slightly.

Put cookies into the pre-heated oven and bake until the sides of the cookies are golden, about 15-16 minutes. Let cookies cool completely.

Recipe adapted from alifewelllivedblog.com

Lichen cowl

img_9737Back in May, during my New Hampshire trip, I visited Harrisville Designs‘ lovely store in Harrisville, NH, and came home with a lovely skein of flyWHEEL yarn, and a pattern for a cowl.
This yarn comes in gorgeous colors, and it is a pleasure to knit. The cowl can be completed in a few days, and the pattern matches the yarn perfectly.
The details of this project are posted on my Ralvelry page.
Happy knitting!

Roasted garlic and smokey greens soup

Roasted garlic and smokey greens soup3 large garlic heads
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
2 medium leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced crosswise (white and pale green parts only)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium russet potato, peeled and medium diced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more as needed
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
12 ounces kale, tough stems removed and leaves cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 4 cups)
1 cup water

Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Peel any loose outer skins from the garlic heads and cut off the top quarter of each head to expose the cloves. Place the garlic heads, cut side up, on a large piece of foil, drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over all 3 heads, and wrap tightly to form a foil packet. Place the packet on a baking sheet and bake until the garlic cloves are golden brown and very tender, about 60 to 75 minutes. Remove from the oven, open the packet, and let the garlic sit until cool enough to handle. Squeeze the roasted cloves from their skins and place in a small bowl; set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the leeks, bay leaves, and rosemary, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks have begun to soften and the herbs are fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the potato, roasted garlic, and paprika, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until a bit of crust begins to form on the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and, using a wooden spoon, loosen the crusty bits from the bottom of the pan and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and let simmer until the potatoes are knife tender, about 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and remove the pan from the heat. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pan.
Return the soup to a simmer over low heat. Add the kale and water and stir to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender but still brightly colored, about 10 to 12 minutes. Taste and add more paprika, salt, and pepper as needed.

Recipe adapted from chowhound.com

Mexican casserole with roasted corn and peppers

Mexican casserole with roasted corn and peppers2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
1 jalapeno peppers
1/2 red onion
2 cups frozen corn
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
2 cups Mexican cheese (I used a Sargento blend)
16 whole wheat tortillas (16 oz. bag)
1 can vegetarian refried beans
2 (10 oz) cans red enchilada sauce
cilantro, guacamole, or sour cream for topping

Pan-roast the veggies: Dice the peppers and mince the onion. Heat a large nonstick skillet with a little bit of oil over high heat. Add the onion and peppers, sprinkle with half the chili and cumin, and stir, rest, stir, rest until you get a nice browning on the outside of the peppers. Remove and set aside.
Repeat the roasting process with the corn, sprinkling with the remaining chili and cumin, removing from the heat when browned and roasted on the outside. Mix the corn with the peppers and onion in a large bowl or pot, set aside.

Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the tortillas into thin (1 cm / 1/2 inch) strips. Put the refried beans in a bowl and mix with a little bit of water to make them easier to spread.

Spread a little bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer in order: half of the tortilla strips, all the beans, half of the veggies, half of the sauce, half of the cheese. Cover with the other half of the tortilla strips, veggies, sauce, and cheese.
Bake: Cover with foil (tent foil by propping it up with toothpicks inserted in the dish) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
Serve with guacamole, fresh cilantro, or sour cream.

Recipe adapted from pinchofyum.com

Red lentil, garbanzo and carrot curry

img_99012 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (or 1 tsp dry)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin powder
3 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can garbanzo beans
2-3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups red lentils
3 medium carrots, chopped (1 1/2 cups)

fresh cilantro and yogurt, to serve
cooked brown rice and/or naan to serve

In a large pot, heat the oil or ghee. Sautee onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and spices, cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, lentils and carrots, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook until lentils dissolve, about 20 minutes – check to see if additional water is needed.
Serve over rice with cilantro and yogurt.