Posts tagged ‘organic’
…and it happens to be my birthday too (happens like every other year). So we are having a big dinner with my family and I make the cake (all organic ingredients). It’s a Japanese style strawberry shortcake, meaning it’s a sponge cake base with whipped cream and strawberries.
Japanese style shortcake
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp melted butter (or oil, walnut or almond)
cream chantilly (to be fancy):
- 1 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- strawberry or raspberry preserve
- 1 qt fresh strawberries
- parchment paper
eggs and sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs and sugar till very pale yellow and is 3-4 times the original volume using a mixer. Cut parchment paper into circles to fit two 8in round cake pans (fold the paper in halves till you can’t anymore and snip the ends to fit). Oil pan with the parchment thoroughly otherwise it’d be hard to get the bottom out of the pan. Sift in flour and baking powder, fold with large metal spoon and add the vanilla while folding. Fold in melted butter last after the batter comes together. When fully incorporated pour into pans and bake for 25mins.
Beat cream and sugar till it forms soft peaks, add vanilla and beat a little more. Put away till cake is completely cooled.
Take half the strawberries (the least pretty ones) and slice into 4ths. De-stem the rest for the top.
When cakes are cooled peel off the parchment paper, spread on a thin layer of preserve, top evenly with the sliced strawberries then spread the whipped cream over. Put on the next cake layer, and thin coat of preserve. Frost cake with the remaining cream. I saved some and piped it on with just a snipped sandwich baggie (I never got the hang of using decorating tips). Top with strawberries how you see fit.
This year I decided to grow tomatoes (to save money, organic tomatoes are like luxury items), but I didn’t get around to it till late June. After some research on the web, I got an early variety; ‘First Lady’ that only takes 66 days to yield fruit. I bought 4 plants, and place 2 in the ‘Tomato Success Kit’ and the other 2 in a window box type planter. The ones in the Tomato Success Kit grew huge. I didn’t expect much from the other planter but it grew pretty large (but less than half the size of the other ones) with many tomatoes.
Some finally ripened early last week when the temps came down from the 90s. My first batch was about a pound and a half. I sliced them up with some basil from the garden, olive oil, black pepper and fleur de sel. It’s my favorite thing to do with these tomatoes. I made salsa a few days later with new tomatoes, which was very tasty but it can’t beat the basil-olive oil-pepper-fleur de sel experience.
Next year I’m going to grow red bell peppers. At $6.99/lb for organic at Whole Foods, I haven’t had any red bell peppers in over a year.
Every year, my herb aspirations grow. I don’t have the greenest thumbs but I keep trying. This year I am growing cilantro again which I haven’t tried in years. I always screw up and they go straight to seed. Last year I had pretty good luck with basil, rosemary, oregano and micro greens (which were zero effort). The rosemary and oregano had survived the winter and started to grow on their own since March, and some thyme that didn’t really do so well are also making a comeback. I sowed the seeds for basil, cilantro, dill and micro greens a few weeks ago and everything is sprouting. I’ll give the micro greens another week or so before I start trimming.
These are wet pots, they are terra cotta inside glass which you fill with water and it’ll stay moist for 2 weeks. Basil for indoors.
This is the big outdoor pot of basil.
This is mint and chives I left in a box over winter. They never really got very tall.
I have 3 pots for cilantro, fingers crossed.
Oregano, the other half of the box held a rosemary plant which has been transplanted to a larger pot. I added some more oregano seeds to the empty side, hopefully the oregano will also start to expand on it’s own.
The rosemary was very reddish, it’s slowly getting greener. I hope it will grow into a small bush.
Don’t know how the thyme will fare this year. I had to transfer boxes so it’s kind of a mess.
And http://www.terracycle.net/main_plant_food.htm for organic fertilizers made from worm poo. :)
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup powder sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp mint extract
3/4 cup melted organic shortening
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
5.3oz bittersweet chocolate (for melting)