Hummingbird Cake (with a gluten free option)

 

Hummingbird Cake from The Organic Kitchen

 
Hummingbird Cake. It just sounds delightful doesn’t it? 

The recipe for Hummingbird Cake was born in Jamaica. What sets Hummingbird Cake apart from other cakes is the use of oil instead of butter. There are literally hundreds of Hummingbird Cake recipes on the internet. So what makes mine different?

Hummingbird Cake from The Organic Kitchen

Most are made with processed vegetable oils.  I say boo-hiss to that. Why would anyone use processed oils when coconut oil is a far healthier option? And since this is a traditional Jamaican recipe I think coconut oil stays truer to the Caribbean vibe of this cake! Those healthy fats, fresh ripe bananas and pineapple make Hummingbird cake super moist. 

Hummingbird Cake from The Organic Kitchen

Cream cheese frosting is a perfect match for this cake, and again, I use only the best ingredients including Nielsen Massey Vanilla Paste. I buy the quart! (affiliate links)

See the flecks of vanilla bean?

Hummingbird Cake from The Organic Kitchen

 

The Recipe: Hummingbird Cake

You will need: Three nine inch cake pans, vanilla paste, a mixer. If you wish to make this cake gluten free: I have used this organic baking mix and it turned out really well, just add five minutes baking time.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Hummingbird Cake
 
Prep time
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A delicious moist cake with cream cheese frosting. If making a Gluten Free option use your favorite gluten free flour (mine is listed above) and bake about 5-10 minutes longer.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Jamaican mon
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (plus a little more for dusting pans)
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups coconut oil, (if weather is cold and oil is solid, heat slightly to make liquid)
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (from a can)
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla paste (or extract...I always prefer paste:)
  • 1¾ cups chopped walnuts or pecans (divided)
  • For Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 stick butter, room temp (1/2 cup)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (confectioner' sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
Instructions
  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and one rack in the upper third of oven and one in the lower third of oven. Use a paper towel to wipe the pans and then sprinkle lightly with flour. make sure to lightly cover bottoms and sides of pans.
  3. Use a potato masher to mash bananas.
  4. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine.
  5. Add eggs and coconut oil, mix till combined.
  6. Add pineapple, banana, vanilla, and 1 cup nuts. Mix well.
  7. Pour as evenly as you can into the three prepared cake pans.
  8. Set two pans on upper rack and one on the center of the lower rack. Bake for 25-30 minutes switching the pans at the halfway mark. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes before removing cake from pans.
  9. For Icing: Place all ingredients in a large bowl and use mixer to combine.
  10. When cakes are completely cool, use a spatula to frost. Sprinkle with remaining nuts.

 


This cake is such a treat!  I hope you love it as much as my family! Merry Christmas.

Hummingbird Cake from The Organic Kitchen

 

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What the Heck is Charcuterie? And Why You Need it at Your Next Party!

 

You will notice a trend on menus these days and it’s called Charcuterie. Charcuterie is especially popular in farm to table restaurants where traditional foods are served. So what exactly is it?

Charcuterie- What is it and why you need it at your next party

Charcuterie is the culinary art of preparing meat products such as bacon, salami, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit.  Someone that prepares charcuterie is called a Charcutier. So why is charcuterie suddenly all the rage?

Well as the saying goes “Everything old is new again”. Like many traditional foods that are making a comeback, charcuterie is a culinary art developed from necessity; it is the way meats were preserved long before the days of refrigeration. And just like pickles, fermented vegetables, home drafted beer, broth and kombucha, charcuterie has been revived and brought front and center by the traditional food movement. And in my humble opinion front and center is exactly where it deserves to be. 

Generally when served in a restaurant charcuterie is presented as an appetizer on a board alongside artisan cheese, nuts, fresh or dried fruit, honey and bread or crackers. (Click to see my gorgeous Marble and Wood Cheese Board)

Charcuterie: Everything old is new again!

 I like to serve mine with a little wedge of honeycomb…

Charcuterie : The Organic Kitchen

 

 …some kind of salted or herbed nuts, a delicious creamy goat cheese topped with artisan jam and Leslie Stowe Raincoast Crisp Crackers. (affiliate links)

Charcuterie board from The Organic Kitchen

Putting together a charcuterie board is a snap which is why it is perfect for holiday parties! Just visit the specialty department in your grocery store and pick and choose what looks amazing and then set it on a board! Honestly when something is this easy and delicious why would you make anything else?

Other serving suggestions:

Aged gouda, brie, or blue cheese. Olives or pickles. Grapes, berries, or pear slices. Dates, dried plums, apricots or cranberries. Sourdough bread, bread crisps, or a toasted baguette. A little bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping bread. Honestly, anything goes!

If you need a beautiful board on which to place your charcuterie these cheese boards from William-Sonoma are perfect and they make a great gift! Of course every good cheese board needs a set of fabulous cheese knives and it’s always convenient to have cheese markers so people know what they’re eating. Bon appetit!

Charcuterie: What it is and why you want it at your next party from The Organic Kitchen

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Maybe My Best Roasted Chicken Yet! ~ Maple Roast Chicken with Vegetables

 

Ok folks, I don’t like to toot my own horn but this recipe…well, it rocks! And it’s here just in time for the holidays!

Maple Roast Chicken with Vegetables

 


 

Moist flavorful organic chicken surrounded by colorful vegetables tossed in olive oil, sea salt, maple syrup, and spicy brown mustard …

Maple Roast Chicken with Vegetables

 

…and roasted until the chicken is perfectly browned and crispy, then brushed with an orange maple glaze.

Maple Roast Chicken with Vegetables

 

The vegetables are cooked till caramelized, making them even sweeter! Are you hungry yet?

Maple Roast Chicken with Vegetables

 

I use some of my favorite vegetables in this recipe: Brussels Sprouts, tri-colored potatoes (new rose, purple and white), shallots and butternut squash.

Working with butternut squash can be difficult unless you have the right tools. You need a good sharp knife (my favorite on sale now!) and a Y peeler . With these two tools peeling and cutting a butternut squash is a piece of cake!

Maple Roast Chicken with Vegetables

 

The Recipe: Roasted Maple Chicken with Vegetables

You will need a good roasting pan (I use this All Clad), a good knife (this is my knife on sale now for lower than I have ever seen it!),  a basting brush and a Y peeler (for squash, trust me). To learn to carve a chicken watch my video tutorial here. Save the giblets and bones to make nutritious bone broth!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Maple Roast Chicken with Vegetables
 
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A spicy, sweet and savory chicken dish! Be sure to save giblets and chicken bones for broth making!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 - 4 to 4½ pound chicken
  • Sea salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 lb tri-colored new potatoes (rose, white and purple) if large cut in half, if small leave whole
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, if small left whole, if large cut in half
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and quartered
  • Veggie seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon REAL maple syrup (no fake stuff!)
  • 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • Chicken Glaze
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • pinch of sea salt, pinch of pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place oven rack in lower third of oven
  2. Remove giblets (save for later if making broth) rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Season entire chicken with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, place in roaster breast side up.
  4. Tuck wings behind back, and tie legs with cooking string or silicon bands.
  5. Prep veggies and place in bowl. Combine ingredients for vegetable seasoning and whisk.
  6. Drizzle over veggies and toss.
  7. Place vegetables in roasting pan around chicken.
  8. Place in oven and set timer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  9. While chicken is cooking place all ingredients for glaze into a small sauce pan.
  10. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Allow to thicken slightly. Remove from heat.
  11. When timer goes off (at 1 hour 15 minutes) baste chicken with glaze using a brush.
  12. Repeat every five minutes, until glaze is gone, cooking for 15 more minutes.
  13. Remove from oven when thigh juices run clear (usually an hour and a half total) or if using an instaread thermometer, when 175 degrees F is registered.
  14. Once removed, allow to 'rest' for ten minutes before carving.
  15. Helpful hint!
  16. If vegetables aren't quite browned enough, remove just the chicken to 'rest' and place the veggies back in the oven closer to the heating element till the edges are crispy!
  17. Another hint, if chicken begins to brown too much, tent just the center of chicken with a small piece of foil.

 

This meal is perfect served alone but if you are feeling like you need a special side salad for the holidays I highly recommend this gorgeous Caramelized Pear and Asparagus Salad from my friend Si at A Bountiful Kitchen!  Her blog is gorgeous and her recipes are perfection!

IMG_6417

Maple Roasted Chicken with Vegetables  

 

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Post tags: gluten free, grain free

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Cookies (with a gluten free option)

 

Blissful. That is the word that describes this sweet combination of cranberries, white chocolate and a touch of cinnamon!

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Cookies


White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Cookies

These dense hearty cookies are perfect when served warm and gooey just out of the oven…

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Cookies

or tied in holiday string and given as a tasty gift! (affiliate link)

White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Cookies

 

The Recipe: White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Cookies

You will need: A mixer, a cookie sheet, unbleached parchment paper and holiday string if tying with a bow. For gluten free option: I used The Pure Pantry All Purpose Baking Mix and it worked perfectly! (affiliate links)

5.0 from 2 reviews
White Chocolate Cranberry Bliss Cookies (with a gluten free option)
 
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A dense hearty cookie. Great for the holidays or anytime!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 2 ¼ cups flour (for GF version I used Pure Pantry Gluten Free Baking Mix)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cups rolled oats
  • ⅔ cups dried cranberries
  • 10 oz good quality white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and place rack in center of oven.
  2. Place flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugars in mixer.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla paste, mix till combined.
  5. Slowly add flour mixture, then whole oats, mix well.
  6. Add chocolate chips and dried cranberries, fold in by hand.
  7. Place by large spoonfuls onto parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

 

Holiday cards and Party Invites from PaperSnaps

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Casual Friday Menu ~ Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Spinach Salad

 

Ah…it’s almost Friday, phew! We made it through another week. And as we get closer to the holidays we begin to get busier, which often means less time to think about cooking. So I present you with another Casual Friday Menu.

A couple of people have asked me to explain the difference is between my ‘Fifteen Minute Meals’ and my ‘Casual Friday Meals’. Fifteen minute meals are just that, meals that take fifteen minutes or less from start to finish, usually one course with few ingredients. ‘Casual Friday’ meals are actually more of an attitude than a time limit. Casual meals, usually taking 30 minutes or less, but involving more courses than a fifteen minute meal. Got it? Great.

Today our menu is Creamy Cauliflower Soup and an amazing Spinach Salad with White Balsamic! So comforting, filling and delicious. (Dishes from Anthropologie)

Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Spinach Salad ~ Casual Friday Menu

Cauliflower is high in folate, fiber, Vitamin C, and contains many phtyochemicals common in plants that are members the cabbage family. Cauliflower is also high in sulforaphane, a nutrient known to have anti-cancer benefits. All this and almost no carbs! So indulge with absolutely no guilt!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Spinach Salad ~ Casual Friday Menu

We begin our soup by roasting cauliflower, shallots and garlic…

Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Spinach Salad ~ Casual Friday Menu

 And then blend it with bone broth.

Beef Stock

 Homemade broth will make your soup more flavorful and savory, but store bought works fine too.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Spinach Salad ~ Casual Friday Menu

After blending we place the soup in a pot, add almond milk 

The Recipe: Creamy Cauliflower Soup (Dairy and Dairy Free Verisons)

You will need: a rimmed cookie sheet, a stock pot, and a blender. (I use the Nutribullet Rx)

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Roasted Cauliflower Soup (Dairy Free Option)
 
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A nourishing savory soup with a dairy free option. Variation: serve in a bread bowl.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 12 cups cauliflower florets, (approx 3 heads)
  • 4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 4 Tablespoons ghee, butter or coconut oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups broth, divided (chicken, beef or veggie)
  • 2 cups plain almond milk (or milk or cream)
  • Bread bowls (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 and place rack in upper third of oven.
  2. Cut cauliflower into florets and slice shallots.
  3. Place on florets, shallots and garlic gloves on parchment paper, drizzle with melted ghee, butter or oil, toss.
  4. Generously sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Toss.
  5. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes (or until golden), turning with spatula every ten minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and reserve two cups of cauliflower for later, place the remaining cauliflower, garlic and shallots into a blender.
  7. Add 3 cups of broth to blender (reserving one cup for later) You made need to do this in parts if your blender is small.
  8. Blend till smooth. Pour into a stock pot and place on medium heat.
  9. Add almond milk (or milk or cream) and stir.
  10. Add the cauliflower florets that you set aside to soup. Stir.
  11. If needed, thin with remaining broth and add more sea salt or pepper if needed.
  12. Serve.

 

Serve with this Spinach Salad and your casual Friday menu is complete!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Spinach Salad ~ Casual Friday Menu

 I hope you are enjoying these casual Friday menus! 

Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Spinach Salad ~ Casual Friday Menu

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Disclosure: We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Subscribing and sharing on social media is very appreciated! Also, if you make any purchases using Amazon I would love it if you would use the affiliate links on this page (highlighted in this post or the Amazon banner in right sidebar). Your cost remains the same but I receive a small commission that helps keep this website up and running. Thanks for your support! ~ Linda Spiker

 post tags: dairy free option, gluten free option, grain free option