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10/31/2013

Squash Frittata, Beet Cake

Dennis, Betty, Josh and Art (checking  his email).
A newspaper editor came to the garden this summer for an interview. He asked me why I garden. "You've been doing this every year for most of your life, so don't you get tired of doing the same thing over and over?" I tried to explain no two seasons are ever the same, every year is a new challenge and every year I try new varieties, different vegetables and herbs. Not being a gardener, I don't think he ever quite understood. But the primary reason I garden is what you see above, getting to share what I grow and produce with good friends over pleasant meals. These folks are all friends from Hawaii, we always look forward to their visits and they love good food, so cooking from the garden is always a pleasure.
Fresh from the garden, directly to the kitchen.
Betty especially likes beets, fixed any way they can be fixed, so we had steamed beet greens with balsamic vinegar, buttered beets with orange juice and a beet cake (along with grilled salmon, and a squash fritta).

Frittata, grilled salmon, beet greens and beets, not especially pretty, but tasted good.
Here's the frittata recipe.
Squash Frittata
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2-3 medium zucchini (or young patty pan squash), in 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add turmeric and zucchini, add a dash of salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and baking soda and cool briefly.
Mix in the beaten eggs with the zucchini and pour into a greased 9" x 13" casserole pan and bake until set, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into serving sizes.
Apple pie - how did the crust get that way??

Beet cake. A leaf and powdered sugar created the design on the cake.
 For dessert we had either beet cake or apple pie so of course everyone had a small piece of each one. Here's the beet cake recipe, not mine, I was given the recipe by herb friends at Round Top, TX and I've made some adjustments to it over the years.
Beet Cake
  • 1 15 oz. can of beets (not pickled, just plain, canned beets)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup unbleached flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sugar (I use 1 1/2 cups granulated stevia or Truvia and 1/2 cup sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dry ginger
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans or walnuts)
  • 3/4 cup coconut
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor, empty the entire can of beets, juice and all. Blend it well. Combine the rest of the ingredients except for the chopped nuts, mixing well. Fold in the chopped nuts and coconut. Pour into a 9 x 13, oiled and floured baking pan (or 2 round cake pans). Bake until a knife inserted comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool. Serve with real whipped cream. Or, if using 2 round cake pans, use this filling between the layers:

Cream Cheese Filling
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese, butter. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk, mixing well. Spread on bottom layer of cake, then add the top layer. Let set up for an hour or so before serving. The cake can be made ahead and frozen, then thawed before serving.

Beet cake doesn't need frosting, just some real whipped cream on top.
 

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