Monthly Archives: September 2016

Happy Birthday Cake to Me

cakeToday is my birthday, yeah me, and yeah, my mom.  Mom, thanks for bringing me into this world.

Growing up, I often made my own birthday cake. My mom encouraged my brother and I to cook, but mainly I enjoyed the process of creating this birthday treat myself.  Back then, birthday cake came from a box, which is a one-80 from how I view food, prepare, cook, create, and eat today.  Even though my kitchen skills started from a box, I am very thankful to my mother for encouraging me to get in the kitchen.

Due to my food intolerances and thus, enable myself to thoroughly enjoy my birthday cake, I will create it myself.  This cake is almost dairy free (a little bit from butter, which lends a depth of flavor not available from coconut oil), egg free, and gluten free.

Here is the recipe, which also makes an excellent brownie sans frosting:

1 c. water
2 T. organic butter
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 T. gelatin
1/4 c.unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. almond flour
1/2 c. rice flour
1/4 c. arrowroot powder
1/4 c. coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 7 inch x 11 inch brownie pan with butter and place a piece of parchment on the bottom of pan.  Heat 1 c. water over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.  Turn off heat.  Sprinkle gelatin over the top of the water evenly and let it soak up the water.  Once gelatin is dissolved, stir.  If not all of the gelatin is dissolving, pick out any clumps, so these do not end up in the final product.  Add butter and chocolate, stir until melted.  Add all other ingredients and stir until well combined.  Pour into the greased pan.  Bake for 27-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

For the frosting, I was able to find an amazing tasting frosting in the store that was made with unrefined organic palm shortening (a healthy tropical fat) and cane sugar, called Dollop.  It was creamy and luscious.

For decorating: remove the cake from it’s pan once completely cooled.  Cut the entire cake in two equal pieces in order to make a layer cake.  Put one half of the cake on a large plate and frost the top of this piece then place the other half of the cake on top of that.  Continue to frost the top and sides.

I have to give credit to all of the cake decorators out there, this is a hard task, with making sure the frosting sticks without incorporating crumbs from the cake.  It was not the prettiest cake I have ever seen, but it was soft and sweet, chocolatey and creamy.  It was perfect for me and I wish I had more.

This cake serves about 8 people.

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Parsnip and Potato Mash

4 large parsnips, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 c. small red potatoes
2 T. grass fed butter
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 large cloves garlic, grated
2-4 grinds of black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt, plus more for boiling water

Place washed potatoes and parsnips in a large pot and cover with water.  Add a big pinch of sea salt.  Bring water to boil, remove lid and continue to cook parsnips and potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain water from pot.  Return parsnips and potatoes to pot and let them release steam into the air.  By removing extra moisture this way, the parsnips and potatoes can soak up flavors better.  Now, add everything else to the pot and begin to mash with a potato masher or the back of a spoon.  (My masher broke and I keep forgetting to buy another one, so end up using this technique more often than I wish to.  This technique just takes a little bit more arm strength and perseverance.  Haha, such is life!)  Taste it, maybe it needs more salt or butter, add it, if that suits your taste.  Makes about 4 servings.

I served these mashers with a mixed baby greens salad tossed in a Preserved Lemon and Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette along with a chorizo sausage, nitrate free of course, and a little bit of dijon mustard.  This is a delicious early autumn meal and pairs well with hard cider.