Carrie Fehr

Kitchen Garden Food

Tag: seasonal

French Apple Cake

French Apple CakeTender chunks of apples layered over custard-like cake, is what makes this rustic French dessert, completely melt in your mouth.  One of the easiest dishes to prepare, this French Apple Cake is bursting with so much flavor, you could never imagine it only uses a few ingredients most likely in your pantry.  Voila!

With apple season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to stop by your local farmers’ market and take advantage of this fruit when it’s truly fresh picked.  A mixture of sweet tart apples such as Pink Lady, Black Arkansas, Granny Smith, or Fuji will give this cake a more interesting taste, and adds a wonderful fragrance that will make your home feel like fall.

French Apple Cake

Adapted from David Lebovitz, and Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients:

3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples, a mix of varieties, (4 cups)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (You can substitute olive oil for the melted butter)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF

Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Peel, core, and dice the apples into 1-inch cubes.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy, then whisk in the sugar until thick and creamy. Mix in the vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, and gently stir in half of the melted butter.  Add remaining flour and the rest of the butter.

Using a spatula, fold in the apple cubes until coated with the batter and pour into the prepared cake pan.  Smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, and remove the sides of the springform pan.

Bulgur Wheat Salad

Bulgar Wheat SaladBulgur Wheat Salad

Here’s a whole grain salad that is colorful and easy to prepare with the best of late summer garden sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes.

Ingredients:

Makes about 6 cups

1 ½ cups bulgur wheat

1 ½ hot water

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 sweet peppers, yellow, red, orange, purple, diced

1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

2 green onions, chopped

¼ cup feta cheese, cut into 1/8 inch squares

1 lemon, juiced

5 sprigs of parsley, chopped

Drizzle of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine bulgur wheat with hot water, cover the bowl and let sit about 1 hour until water is absorbed.

Add minced garlic, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, green onions, feta cheese, lemon juice, and parsley to cooked bulgur wheat, toss to combine.

Drizzle with olive oil, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Confetti Spaghetti

Bold colorful peppers and vine-ripened tomatoes always welcome me back to the kitchen classroom in the late summer, where I teach elementary school children how to cook real food inspired by the garden.

We kick off the season with the recipe, Confetti Spaghetti, highlighting the harvest’s bounty of bright jewel tones that look like the fireworks sky on the Fourth of July– a party on a plate that tastes like a celebration in your mouth.

And, oh so healthy too, these vibrant colored fruits and vegetables have a generous infusion of beneficial vitamins and minerals that nourish both the mind and body.

It’s no wonder that students eagerly swarm like bees to honey, to the cooking lesson. Excited fingers slice, dice, and roll fresh leaves of basil into cylinders that are thinly cut into a chiffonade.  This early hands-on nutrition lesson is not only fun and engaging for children, but will have a positive impact on the choices they make about food for many years into the future.

Confetti Spaghetti is one of the most versatile recipes you can have in your repertoire.  Feel free to choose your favorite seasonal vegetables, red, orange, even purple, and experiment with different flavors and textures or whatever is available to you.  Click here for the Confetti Spaghetti recipe.

Blue Corn Blueberry Pancakes

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 super food 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!

The possibilities for how to enjoy blueberries are limitless.  A  kid-friendly treat, snacking fresh from the container makes them a healthy fast food.  Sprinkle in cereal, salads, or smoothies, add blueberries to baked goods, or toss them into a sauce pan to make a topping. To celebrate the summer berry season, try this family-friendly recipe for Blue Corn Blueberry Pancakes.

The Science Of Food: The Chef And The Scientist

Teaching science through the lens of cooking encourages students to understand the valuable connection between a chef and scientist, and offers a rich stew of inquiry-based science lessons that reinforces the vital role food plays in our health.

The Lesson:  In the science of cooking lesson, fifth graders explore the relationship of cellular respiration, a process about how cells extract energy from food– and its impact on our health.  In the concept of cellular respiration, students learn that the human body uses sugar glucose as a main source of energy, and when combined with oxygen, it will release that energy.  For example, eating simple carbohydrates, will offer a quick boost of energy, but the excess glucose (energy) will convert into fat, also increasing the risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, an epidemic that according to experts affects one out of three children and teens.  Eating foods rich in complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, will breakdown the glucose more slowly, process the energy more efficiently,  and will help  lower the risk for getting diseases.

The Experiment: To prove the effects of cellular respiration, students investigate three different nutrient sources from the recipe, Three Sisters Succotash aka Corn, Beans, and Squash.  Yeast, a single cell organism that can convert sugar into carbon dioxide, is mixed with each nutrient source, and then sealed inside a plastic bag submerged in a warm water bath.  For comparison purposes, students create a fourth variable that is only sugar.  Students make predictions on what they think will happen between the nutrient sources and the sugar.  Lucky this is the science of cooking class, because students now put on their chef hats and prepare the recipe, Three Sisters Succotash, while waiting on the outcome of the cellular respiration experiment.

As another epic class concludes, the results of the experiment confirm that sugar processes energy the fastest, but yet the message is clear:  slow and steady, corn, beans, and squash will win the race, the marathon of all–good health.