Carrie Fehr

Kitchen Garden Food

Category: Home

Almond Butter Granola

Homemade granola is so easy to prepare and it’s always nice to have a batch on hand in my food pantry. This gluten-free granola is low in oil and is lightly sweetened. Enjoy it as a breakfast cereal, or with fresh fruit and yogurt, or simply nibble on it as a healthy snack for a boost of energy.

Almond Butter Granola

Ingredients:

3 cups oats

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup chopped almonds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup coconut oil, or olive oil

1/2 cup smooth almond butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Add the oats, salt, almonds, sunflower seed in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside.

Place the coconut oil, almond butter, and maple syrup, in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir constantly until smooth and blended together, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour the almond butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir until the oats are fully coated. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer.

Bake until golden-brown 40 to 45 minutes, stirring once about halfway through. 

Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet.

Another recipe to enjoy with Almond Butter Granola: Roasted Caramel Pears

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Lemon Tea Cake

This simple tea cake has the bright tangy zip of fresh lemons enriched with a hint of vanilla. The addition of yogurt and olive oil makes the texture of this lemon cake incredibly moist. For an extra deep zesty citrus flavor, brush it with the lemon glaze while it’s still warm from the oven. 

 Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoon lemon zest (about 3 medium sized lemons) I use Meyer lemons

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 

2 large eggs

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

1/2 cup olive oil

Lemon Glaze

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.

Using your fingers, rub sugar with lemon zest and vanilla bean seeds in a large bowl until combined. Add eggs and whisk until pale yellow and frothy. Whisk in the yogurt and olive oil. 

Stir in dry ingredients and mix together until incorporated. (A few small lumps in the batter are fine.)

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until top of cake is golden brown, about 50 minutes.

Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto rack and then let cool completely.

Lemon Glaze

In a saucepan bring the powdered sugar and lemon juice to a simmer.  Remove from heat and drizzle the lemon glaze over the warm tea cake.

Plum Torte

It is not surprising that the most requested recipe from The New York Times dining section is the plum torte by Marian Burros. This classic cake is a perfect way to highlight the summer’s beautiful harvest from my backyard Santa Rosa plum tree. It combines everything I crave in a summer dessert: luscious fruit baked into sweet, tart perfection. The tangy plums, surrounded by buttery cake taste like soft little pillows of sweetness that are intensified by the oven’s heat so the flavor of the fruit comes shining through. This torte is a wonderful way to use fruit in season and can be prepared in minutes. The last remaining slice featured in the photo below, will be breakfast tomorrow!

Plum Torte

Adapted from Marian Burros.The original recipe calls for Italian prune plums, but feel free to swap them out for Santa Rosa plums, or any other seasonal fruits such as berries, apricots or peaches and you’ll see why it’s so loved.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 pinch salt

¾ cup sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs

10 to 12 plums, pitted and halved lengthwise

2 teaspoons sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon for sprinkling

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350° F.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and the eggs all at once, and beat until combined, scraping down the bowl once or twice.

Spread the batter into an 8 or 9-inch spring form pan. Arrange the plum halves, skin side up, on top of the batter in concentric circles. Mix together the 2 teaspoons of sugar with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the batter and fruit.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes, and then release the spring and let it finish cooling. Serve.

Brown Butter Mochi Muffins

Mochi Muffin

I love these brown butter mochi muffins! They are quite different from any other muffins out there. When you bite into one, you are rewarded with a soft, chewy texture and intriguing little burst of flavor that is the best version of mochi I’ve ever eaten. Ringing through them all is the nutty taste of brown butter, then butterscotch with a resonant intensity of burnt caramel, and finally the crunch of sesame seeds that pop out to startle you. I think it’s safe to say, one batch probably won’t stay around exceptionally long, but if you are blessed with some leftover muffins, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-days.

Brown Butter Mochi Muffins

Makes 1 dozen medium-sized muffins or 2 dozen mini-sized muffins.

Recipe adapted from Brown-Butter Mochi at The New York Times by Samin Nosrat. Inspired by Third Culture Bakery at Berkeley, CA.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans

1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups mochiko sweet rice flour (I use Koda Farms Blue Star Mochiko)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

black and toasted white sesame seeds for topping muffins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F

Grease cupcake tins with butter, including the rim around each muffin cup to help remove the muffins after baking.

To brown the butter, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the saucepan occasionally, until the butter turns golden brown and begins to smell nutty. This will take about 5 minutes total, be careful not to let it burn like I did with my first attempt.

Remove from heat, and add coconut milk and brown sugar. Whisk until sugar and coconut milk melt. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together mochiko flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the milk mixture, and mix until smooth.

Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tin completely filling it to the top. Sprinkle the tops with black and white sesame seeds.

Bake about 45 minutes until they just feel set in the center and the tops are golden brown. If using mini-sized muffin tin bake for about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack before serving.

Soft Glazed Gingerbread Cookies

Springerle IMG_0079

A classic glazed gingerbread treat with a sweet peppery kick!  This hand-pressed cookie formed with a traditional Springerle wood mold, looks like an artisan ceramic tile that is a stunning work of art. The warm blend of ground cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, combined with a soft, chewy texture is a cookie aficionado’s dream! It’s perfect for the holiday season!

Springerle

Soft Glazed Gingerbread Cookies

Adapted from Elisabeth Prueitt’s Tartine cookbook.  Springerle cookie molds can be purchased from House on the Hill. The cookies will keep up to two weeks in an airtight container.

Makes 18 3×3-inch cookies

Ingredients:

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon white pepper

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

½ cup molasses

2 tablespoons honey

Glaze:

Mix ½ cup confectioners sugar with 1 tablespoon water until smooth.

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon,allspice, baking soda, salt, and white pepper.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix butter until creamy.  Add sugar and mix until completely incorporated.  Add egg and mix well.  Add the molasses, honey and then mix until combined.  Gradually add the flour mixture, and beat together until fully incorporated.

Remove dough and flatten it into a rectangle about 1 inch thick.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate over night.

Springerle dough

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place dough on a floured work surface.  Using a rolling pin roll out the dough about 1/3 inch thick, then lightly dust with flour.  Using a cookie mold, press over the dough and trim the edges using a knife.

Springerle tiles

Set the cookie shape on the prepared baking sheet leaving about a 1-inch space between each one.  Bake 7-12 minutes, remove from baking pan and set on a cooling rack.  While still warm, brush the glaze over the cookies with a pastry brush and trim the edges with a sharp knife.  Makes 18 cookies, 3×3- inch.

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Plum Upside-Down Cake for Breakfast? Yes, Please! The sun-ripened plums in this buttery cake are plump perfection with a bit of tartness in the skin that compliments the brown Swerve caramel topping. This moist and low-carb carb cake is delicious with Santa Rosa plums, but feel free to swap them out for  berries, apricots or peaches.

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Makes 9″ round cake

Ingredients:

Topping:

1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener, Brown

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

5-7 plums, stones removed and sliced

Cake:

1 3/4 cups almond flour

2/3 cup Swerve Granular Sweetener

1 tsp baking powder

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup unsalted melted butter

2/3 cup milk, or unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9” round cake pan.

Topping:

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar Swerve and melted butter until well combined. Spread over the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange sliced plums in concentric circles over the brown sugar mixture and set aside.

Cake:

Whisk together the almond flour, granulated Swerve, and baking powder in a bowl.

Mix together the eggs, melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.

Spread the batter evenly over the plum topping. Bake 30-40 minutes, until the edges are nicely browned and the center is firm to the touch.

Remove and let cool 10 minutes, then place a serving platter over the baking pan and invert the cake.

Keto Blueberry Muffins

Keto Blueberry Muffin

Fresh in season from the farmers’ market are summer blueberries.  These dark blue polka dots burst into a flavor explosion of blueberry heaven, when you bite into them.  And they come with benefits too.

Blueberries are a superfood filled with nutrients that strengthen the immune system, improve memory, promote heart health, and offer a generous dose of antioxidants that help to slow down the aging process.  Yes please!

These moist, low carb and sugar free blueberry muffins are a perfect treat for breakfast or afternoon snack. An easy and healthy recipe that can be made in minutes!

Questions? Feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

Keto Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour

2/3 cup granulated Swerve

1 tsp baking powder

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup unsalted melted butter, or coconut oil

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, or dairy milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup blueberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin; or line the tin with papers.

Whisk the dry ingredients: almond flour, Swerve, baking powder in a bowl.

In another bowl, mix all of the liquid ingredients: melted butter, almond milk, eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and gently mix together.

Fold in the blueberries.

Divide the mixture into the prepared muffin pan; an ice-cream scoop works well here.

Bake about 25 minutes until they’re light golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer muffins to a rack to cool.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Banana Oat Cookie

Since quarantine began, I get all of my food delivered to my home. Going to the local produce market, or bakery for a fresh baguette feels like a luxury now. My car has not moved for 8 weeks. And to be honest, I’m OK with it. But these tough times have me examining everything, especially all potential sources of food in my pantry. Careful meal planning is essential right now and a new relationship with my kitchen is beginning to emerge.

Before quarantine life, my freezer was a cold and lonely place, except for the occasional pint of ice-cream, it was mostly a vessel reserved for ice. Now, it’s a winter wonderland of possibilities with frozen assets to nourish me in-between deliveries. Pas mal as they say in French.

Cooking in quarantine has been an interesting journey. For instance, rather than send vegetable scraps straight to the compost bin, I collect and save them like a prize in a freezer bag for broth that will eventually land into a pan as a flavor booster for risotto, stir-fry, or sauce. My reward brings me comfort and satisfaction.

New discoveries in the kitchen, sparked by lockdown, have truly become a blessing. This Banana Oatmeal cookie recipe counts as one of them. It highlights how baking doesn’t have to be complicated. No flour, no eggs, no dairy. No problem! Plus, the starring humble ingredients are most likely found in your quarantine pantry. Voilà!

Easy. To. Prepare. These cookies are on the cooling rack and ready to eat in less than 15 minutes. This recipe is easy enough for young kids to make by themselves. Simple set of instructions: Mash bananas. Add oats, and mix together. You’ve got this!

Banana Oatmeal cookies are moist and delicious with just two ingredients, but feel free to add any mix-ins you like to jazz up the flavor combinations. I like chocolate chips, dried fruit, or toasted nuts. Sesame or sunflower seeds would also work, as would coconut.

These healthy cookies are perfect for breakfast, or as an energy booster for those late quarantine afternoons.

Questions? Feel free to leave them in the comment section below. Also, I would love to know what recipes are inspiring you during quarantine?

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 1 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 ½ cup of oats

Mix-Ins: (Optional) ¼ cup chocolate chips, toasted nuts, coconut, dried fruit such as raisins, dried cranberries, apricots. Vanilla extract.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl combine the mashed bananas and rolled oats. Stir in mix-ins, if using.

Using an ice-cream scoop, form tablespoon-sized mounds of dough onto the baking sheets and press the tops down a bit with your fingers, or the back of a spoon.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned and set.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Lemon Olive Oil Madeleines

IMG_1511

When Marcel Proust dipped his madeleine into his cup of tea, a powerful memory from his childhood emerged that led him to write the classic novel, “Remembrance of Things Past. “ Imagine such a table from nostalgic past, set for afternoon tea, bursting with memories, sparked by the delicate flavor of this simple yet elegant, shell-shaped cake.

This recipe was originally published in 2013, which I have updated and revised using Swerve sweetener as a replacement for sugar. Swerve sweetener is a natural sugar replacement that has zero net carbs and is keto-friendly.

Lemon Olive Oil Madeleines

Ingredients:

2 eggs

2/3 cup Swerve sweetener or sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

3/4 cup flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Zest of lemon

Glaze:

4 tablespoons Swerve confectioners or powdered sugar

½ lemon, juiced

Directions:

In a bowl of an electric mixer, whip eggs, Swerve sweetner, and salt until thicken, about 5 minutes.

Sift in the flour and baking powder.  Using  a  spatula gently fold in  the flour until  incorporated.

Add the olive oil and continue to stir. It may take a minute for the olive oil to blend into the mixture but do not over mix.

Stir in the  lemon juice and zest.

Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Batter may be chilled for up to 12 hours.)

Lightly coat the madeleine mold with cooking oil.  Preheat oven to 350°

Make the glaze in a small bowl by stirring together the Swerve confectioners and lemon juice.  Mix until smooth and creamy.

Scoop batter into madeleine mold, filling 2/3 full.  Bake for 10-12 minutes and unmold on a cooling rack.  While still warm, dip both sides of each cake in the glaze.  Cool and serve with tea.

Mochi Muffins

Mochi Muffin

I love these brown butter mochi muffins! They are quite different from any other muffins out there. When you bite into one, you’re rewarded with its soft, chewy texture and intriguing little burst of flavor that is the best version of mochi I’ve ever eaten. Ringing through them all, is the nutty taste of brown butter, then butterscotch with a resonant intensity of burnt caramel, and finally the crunch of sesame seeds that pop out to startle you. I think it’s safe to say, one batch probably won’t stay around very long, but if you are blessed with some leftover muffins, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-days.

Brown Butter Mochi Muffins

Makes 1 dozen medium-sized muffins or 2 dozen mini-sized muffins.

Recipe adapted from Brown-Butter Mochi at The New York Times by Samin Nosrat. Inspired by Third Culture Bakery at Berkeley, CA.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans

1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups mochiko sweet rice flour (I use Koda Farms Blue Star Mochiko)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

black and toasted white sesame seeds for topping muffins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F

Grease cupcake tins with butter, including the rim around each muffin cup to help remove the muffins after baking.

To brown the butter, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the saucepan occasionally, until the butter turns golden brown and begins to smell nutty. This will take about 5 minutes total, be careful not to let it burn like I did with my first attempt.

Remove from heat, and add coconut milk and brown sugar. Whisk until sugar and coconut milk melt. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together mochiko flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the milk mixture, and mix until smooth.

Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tin completely filling it to the top. Sprinkle the tops with black and white sesame seeds.

Bake about 45 minutes until they just feel set in the center and the tops are golden brown. If using mini-sized muffin tin bake for about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack before serving.