Sunday, December 25, 2011

Game hens, ahoy!

Here they go...if they work I'll post the recipe.

Coconut, GAPS-legal Eggnog!

The presents were wrapped, the tree sprayed and watered against the incredibly dryness we've been having, music was playing...and I couldn't settle down. So I came up with this recipe for eggnog.

Why, do you ask, did I not make it with the lovely raw egg yolks and raw milk, as the WAP'ers prefer? The reason for that is that in this part of California at this time of year we don't get pastured eggs. I could, if I wasn't thinking about the incredible number of food miles on them, buy pastured eggs from Texas. Every other week we get pastured eggs from Montana, and even that makes me feel guilty (and honestly, I see the color on them and kind of wonder what those chickens are eating since they look  and taste just about like our local organic eggs). We happen to be out of them just now.

We can have raw goat milk, but that also appears to be on hiatus for winter, not to mention that the goatiness would be wrong for nog.

Not to mention that coconut milk is SOOO good for you, and when you can't get pastured eggs, that organic egg yolks do suffice. I don't feel quite right eating non-pastured eggs raw, so...

So this recipe does call for gentle heating, coconut cream and milk. (I recommend Wilderness Family Naturals, but any kind that doesn't add stuff and is BPA-free is good.) I thought I'd made a huge amount, but it appears to be half gone and we haven't even started the day yet!

I can't have honey, and I won't use sugar, hence...dates, and a blender. You could, though, substitute raw honey to taste added at the very end. You could, if you have raw cream and milk that you digest well, raw honey and beautiful pastured eggs, simply warm the spices in a bit of the milk gently for a while, then toss it all in a blender and whip it up. Seriously, it's the best of all worlds. Meanwhile, here's what we had this morning...

Coconut Milk/Cream Eggnog

2 cups coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg plus more for garnish
5 or 6 whole cloves
1/2 vanilla bean
1 cup coconut cream
5 egg yolks
3 dates
4 drops stevia

In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and stevia. Carefully split the vanilla bean, scrape out the caviar and add both caviar and bean to the mixture. Gently warm the mixture until warmed through. While stirring, heat to medium, so that it steams and bubbles a tiny bit. Avoid a rolling boil. Heat for 3-5 minutes.

In a blender put the dates, yolks and coconut cream. Blend well, until the dates are liquified.

To temper the eggs, add the hot coconut milk to it by the spoonful, stirring or whisking well so as not to cook the eggs. When it's yellow and warmed, slowly add the egg/cream mixture to the milk/spice mixture on the stove and stir or whisk until slightly thickened and warm. Remove from heat. Strain out the spices. Transfer to a mason jar. Seal well and chill, or drink warm. Warm or cold, it can be garnished with a bit of nutmeg.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chez Moo has become The House Of Apples.

Last weekend we had our first annual wassailing party. On a lark I went and bought a ton of organic apples, which were on sale because although they tasted pretty good, they had a kind of mealy consistency that didn't lend itself well to raw snacking. Then I got a bunch of bulk spices, including star anise, which is just gorgeous. I had no idea how many apples I needed, so I got too many. Just a bit. (Understatement. )

I went crazy with the juicer and made two big jars of apple cider, then I heated it up, wrapped a bunch of spices in cheesecloth, and tied it will twine. It simmered for roughly 30 minutes and was just amazing. It was a bit spicy, but even the kids were enjoying it.

This is my recipe for the mulling spices. A few things are estimated. I didn't use ginger because of allergies, but if you can tolerate it, I'd add about 1 tablespoon or so of dried ginger or a about an inch or so of a fresh root.

Cider Mulling Blend

For a large pot (spaghetti-sized) of cider:

4 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
1 tablespoon of whole allspice seeds
3 or 4 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods.
The skins of one orange and one lemon, cut up into manageable pieces

Put into a big tea ball, or wrap everything into two or three layers of cheesecloth and tie securely.

Heat up the pot and add the spice blend. Simmer 15-30 minutes or to taste.

It's possible to make this for storage or gifting if you cut off and dry the rinds three days in advance.

It's been four days. The cider has been packed away into the freezer and small brown spots started to show up on the gazillion apples that were still left. Then came the Winter Solstice and suddenly it was Hanukkah, too, so Little Moo and I decided to get down to work and get on the baking.

I came up with an apple cake, and we made another cobbler.

The cake was covered with raisins, which wasn't the best idea, but Little Moo wanted to use them, so we did. I wasn't sure which side would be prettier, so it's kind of a right-side-up-upside-down cake that can't seem to make heads or tails of itself.

I have to say that it's delicious, light, a bit eggy and I believe that it will be nicely dense once it's chilled. We enjoyed it topped with kefired coconut cream. Also, it's a blender cake, but only because, as usual, I cream dates into the eggs for sweetness. You could totally substitute 3/4 cup or so of another sweetener (some kind of sugar - honey would be too much liquid) and make it in a food processor or even by hand. Also, this is not a very sweet cake. If you decide to indulge your sweet tooth, add about two or three more dates.

Solstice Apple Cake


12 eggs
1/2 cup melted ghee
1/2 cup coconut cream (or milk)
6 dates
4 drops liquid stevia
2 pinches salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped apples
1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
(Optional: 1/2-1 cup raisins)

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a blender, blend the eggs, coconut cream, dates, stevia, salt and vanilla until smooth. While spinning, add the ghee. Add the baking powder to the coconut flour. Add the dry mixture into the moist and blend well.

Pour into a large bowl and mix down any lumps that are left. Toss the apples (and raisins) with the cinnamon and swirl them into the batter.

Grease the sides of a 9" round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan. Decorate the top if you like with apples. We also used about 1/8 teaspoon of sugar to sprinkle on the top.

Bake for 50 minutes-1 hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Here are pics of the cake in progress: