Lavender, mint, beet powder cupcakes with kefir frosting

 

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I recently read that cupcakes are still in, and I thought it was a crazy thing to read because cake in any form should always just be, cake is beyond “in”, cake is it’s own world, it’s own entity and to say any form of cake, whether in pound, round, square, small, cup, or otherwise is in or out is to degrade the thing that is cake. So, I’m posting this recipe, but not in response to the thing I read, because I don’t want to acknowledge cake speculation and trending, but just because these cupcakes are important to me. They are important to me because they are pretty and easy and absurdly delicious in all the right ways.

These cupcakes are quick and a totally successful first use of my beet powder. The lavender and mint combination is perfection I think, I mean just being able to smell mint and lavender before biting into a cupcake makes everything feel more okay. I first made them without mint and without beetroot, but the incorporation of these two ingredients made them both incomparably tastier and prettier. Oh, and the kefir! It just so slightly offsets the sweetness, and adds dimension and complexity, the way kefir should.

Cupcakes:

1/2 cup coconut oil melted
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp plain whole milk kefir
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut flour

Oven 350
1. Whisk coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, kefir, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl
2. Mix coconut flour and baking powder, then whisk into the egg-sugar mix
3. Line a cupcake tray, and bake for around 15 minutes.
4. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
1-2 tsp lavender buds
3-4 tbsp kefir
1 Tbsp beet powder
1-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (add more/less as needed)
Mint leaves

1. Whisk together the lavender buds and kefir; place in the fridge while the cupcakes cool.
2. Add the beet powder and powdered sugar. Adjust the consistency by adding more powdered sugar or more kefir.
3. Frost the cooled cupcakes, garnish with mint.

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Herbed Meatballs in Ginger Curry Broth with Shishito Peppers, Arugula, Apricot, Summer Squash + Cracklings

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My favorite time to cook is often when I think I have nothing left to work with in my fridge. It forces me to be creative, to leave behind my go-tos and come up with new ways to enjoy ingredients that I often use. As I was cooking this meal my mom brought me some pig cracklings she made from the pigs we raised on our family ranch. They are the perfect topping, savory with a crunch and melt in your mouth ending. This meal may seem like many steps but it is uncomplicated and adjustable depending on what you have left in your fridge, just read through the recipe before starting so you have all of your ingredients ready.

Ginger Curry Broth
11/2 inch ginger, peeled & finely chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1 can coconut milk + 1/2 can water
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder or paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil

Add the coconut oil to a skillet, melt and then add onions. Cook at medium heat, covered, until softened, then add the ginger. Cook for a few minutes-10 or so- until the onions are translucent, but not browned or burning. Add the can of coconut milk, water and the spices to taste. I keep the curry seasonings light so that the ginger isn’t overpowered. Pour the mix into a small saucepan and turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Shishito Peppers, Arugula, Apricot, Summer Squash + Cracklings
1/2 lb shishito peppers
1/2 lemon juiced
2-3 small yellow summer squash, chopped
2 handfuls arugula
1 apricot, halved and quartered
cracklings
1 tbsp coconut oil
sea salt & pepper

In a medium-high skillet, add the coconut oil and shishito peppers. Coat in lemon juice, salt & pepper. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or so, stirring every so often. During this time, start the herbed meatballs. When the shishito’s are browned well, add the summer squash. Cover and cook for another 6-8 minutes, then add the arugula and apricots. Make a little space in the pan to heat the cracklings, or fry them in another skillet. Season to taste, this will serve on top of the meatballs and curry.

Herbed Meatballs
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 tsp sea salt & pepper
3 sprigs of fresh oregano
1 egg
1/8 cup of coconut flour
1 tbsp coconut oil

Using your hands, mix the ground beef with the salt & pepper, oregano, egg and coconut flour. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, shape the meatballs, and add them to the pan. Cook until crisp and browned, then flip.

To serve: Add the meatballs to a bowl, spoon curry over and then add the vegetables and cracklings. 

Roasted Potato and Carrot Paratha

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My vegetable drawer is filling up with carrots and sometimes I get in a carrot rut where I don’t really know what I want to do with them. Today I was determined to find a way to enjoy eating carrots in different ways because I have so many. You could serve these paratha on their own or as the side dish with some kind spicy Indian dish. They are not overwhelmingly carroty, the potatoes and spice balance them and the ginger adds a little heat.

Roasted Potato and Carrot Paratha

Paratha:
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil
water, as needed

Filling:
5 small potatoes, chopped and roasted with salt and pepper at 425 until browned, about 40 minutes, you can also boil the potatoes
2 cups grated carrots
1 ½ tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
Handful of chives, chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
sea salt and pepper

Butter
Coconut oil
Plain yogurt
Lemon juice

Method:

Mix the flour, salt, oil and water and knead briefly and then cover under a damp towel.

Add some oil to a cast iron skillet, add the ginger and chives, and then after a few minutes add the carrots. Finally add the potatoes and the rest of the spices and mix thoroughly.

On a floured surface, roll out a small piece of dough to about a 3” circle, then add the filling into the middle, close the dough in at all sides, and then roll out again to a 6” circle.

Place a skillet on high heat and add some coconut oil and butter. Fry the paratha on each side until slightly browned and crisped.

 Serve with a drizzle of plain yogurt, a squeeze of lemon juice, a handful of chives, sea salt and pepper and your favorite chutney, I used a plum chutney my mom made that was incredible.