Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake + Cherry Chocolate Glaze

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IMG_2686 IMG_2706This is a simple, throw together at the last minute cake. I’ve made it with melted chocolate as well, just depends on what I have on hand. The glaze is slightly salty, and pairs well with the sweet cherries and rich chocolate glaze. I like serving this warm, just out of the oven, but I’ve done research on how it tastes cold the next day and it is also fabulous.

Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake + Cherry Chocolate Glaze
2 small japanese sweet potatoes
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cacao
1/8 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sprouted whole wheat flour

Oven 350. Using a food processor, or hand mixer, blend the potatoes, sugar, cacao, salt, eggs and baking soda until well incorporated (I leave my potatoes just a little bit chunky though). Add the flour and stir until just mixed. Bake in a small buttered or parchment paper lined cake pan for 35-40 minutes.

Cherry Chocolate Glaze
1 handful cherries, pitted & halved
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp unsweetened cacao
1 tsp fresh ground espresso
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup (+ or -) powdered sugarIMG_2692

Whisk the butter, cacao, espresso, sea salt and powdered sugar. Add more or less powdered sugar depending on your desired frosting consistency. If you let the cake cool, double this recipe and spread it all over the cake. Garnish with the fresh cherries and sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Bacon + Green Bean + Pesto Pizza with Fresh Cilantro

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It’s been a wintery fall and during this season I tend to make the same kinds of foods. Pizzas, soups, Tikka Masala in the crock pot, and ginger snap cookies. I made the pizza dough on a Sunday night and let it rise in the fridge overnight. I broke it into balls and made pizza a few times during the week. This last pizza I made was a few days after I made the dough. I was nearly out of all of my pizza toppings and it was by far the tastiest pizza. It had better flavor, and the dough was chewy and formed bubbles. If you give your dough a little longer to rise and don’t use it immediately, it will be better. Also, if you don’t have a pizza stone, go get one. They are cheap, and make all the difference.

Pizza Dough
 (adapted from Alice Waters “The Art of Simple Food”)

2 tsp dry yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
3 ¾ cups whole-wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
¾ cup cold water
¼ cup olive oil

Stir the yeast, warm water, and ½ cup of flour together and let sit until bubbly, about 20-30 minutes. Mix the remaining 3 ¼ cups of flour with the salt, stir this into the yeast mixture and add the cold water and olive oil. Knead on a floured board for five minutes. I follow Waters expert advice here and let my dough rise overnight in the fridge, covered. You can also let it rise for two hours on your counter top. If you do let it rise overnight, be sure to take it out two hours before you want to start working with it so it’s pliable.

Toppings (for 1 pizza)

1 tbsp pesto
½ white onion chopped
2 slices of bacon, chopped. (Niman Ranch Bacon)
1 small handful green beans, ends cut off, chopped
4 anchovies pulled apart
Fresh mozzarella
Parmesan
Sea salt
Butter
Cilantro
Olive oil
Cornmeal

Oven 500*. Place your pizza stone in the oven and allow it to get nice and hot. Roll out a fist sized ball of dough as thin as you can on a floured surface. Set the dough aside. Heat a skillet to medium-high, add a tbsp of butter, and saute the onions and green beans for a few minutes, or until softened. Add the bacon to the skillet and cook for a few more minutes. Do not crisp the bacon.
Take your pizza stone out of the oven, sprinkle it with cornmeal, and place your dough on it. Spoon a thin layer of pesto on the dough, followed by the onion-green bean-bacon mix, add a few globs of fresh mozzarella and some shavings of Parmesan. Put apart the anchovies and add to the pizza. Add a sprinkle of sea salt to the pizza and place in the oven. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, and then broil until crisp for the last minute or two.
Pull the pizza out, drizzle with good olive oil (I love Bariani) and add a handful of fresh cilantro. The pizza can also be served with a farm fresh fried egg on top. Enjoy mixing up the toppings and eat it right off of the pizza stone!
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Lasagna with Kale, Broccoli, Goat Cheese and Cheddar

I like trying to put something together when I don’t have the typical ingredients for that dish on hand. My brother wanted me to make lasagna last night, so this is what I came up with. Make sure to cut the vegetables into small pieces. Serve with nice wine, and some Parmesan crusted bread.

Lasagna with Kale, Broccoli, Goat Cheese and Cheddar

Whole wheat Lasagna
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 tomato, sliced
Goat meat, cut into small pieces
15 oz. ricotta
1 cup cheddar, grated
½ cup Parmesan
½ goat cheese
1 egg
Lemon
Salt & pepper
Oregano & basil
Olive oil

Method:

Oven 375. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. As the water heats, sauté the onions in about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. After a few minutes, add the garlic. Add the goat meat and quickly sear it, then add the tomato, cover, and let the mix cook down for a few minutes. Stir in the broccoli and kale, season with lemon juice, salt & pepper and cover for a few minutes on high heat. Add olive oil as needed. When the veggies are wilted and a little browned remove from the heat.

 Mix the ricotta with ½ cup cheddar, ¼ cup Parmesan, ¼ goat cheese, lemon juice, egg, salt & pepper, oregano and basil.

 Place a layer of pasta in a buttered pan, layer with the vegetable mix and cheese mixture. On the top layer spread the remaining cheddar, Parmesan and goat cheese. Grind some sea salt & pepper, basil & oregano on top and bake for about 30 minutes. Broil on high for the last minute or until the cheese is browned.