Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Happy Mother's Day

So I actually spent mothers day harvesting our homegrown chicken crop for this year (I thought this was a nicer way to say slaughtering, plucking and sending over to Ami for gutting, which I can and do know how to do, but he is much more practiced).  We are very thankful for these animals and what they have given to nourish our family. 

The evening was much more celebratory, however.  We had a delicious Coho salmon for dinner.  It's hard to say "this is the best salmon I've ever had" but seriously, this meal was up there.  We couldn't get Chobe to nap during the day, so he went to bed about two hours earlier than usual so Ami and I had a chance to stay up late watching a movie and eating delicious grown-up snacks (ice cream sandwiches). 

In honor of the special day I decided to put my sugar fast on hold and make a carrot cake, which I've been craving for months.  I did do what I could to reduce the sugar in the recipe and increase the protein and mineral content to help balance the sugars.  I used brown sugar, maple syrup, and fruit to sweeten, all of which are healthier alternatives to regular sugar (brown sugar and maple syrup still have more of the plants natural mineral matrix intact).  Then I used neufatchel cheese and ricotta instead of cream cheese for the frosting to increase the protein content.

Here's the recipe:

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine:
2 and 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar, not packed

Stir to mix well. Then add:
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup (one stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can of crushed pineapple with the juice

Stir again then add:
2 cups carrots, grated and packed into measuring cup
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, pecans or other nuts of your choice (optional)

Stir once more and put in a greased 13x9 baking pan.  Bake at 325 for 40 minutes.

Frosting:
1 8oz. package of Neufachel cheese at room temp
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk or use a handheld mixer to mix well and minimize lumps (although this is by nature a lumpy frosting because of the ricotta). Just neufatchel cheese can be used to achieve a smoother frosting if desired.  I like the texture of the ricotta myself.

Here's the finished cake:




This recipe is loosely based off of Sandra Woodruf's Secrets of Fat-Free Cooking recipe for carrot pineapple cake.  I added a lot of fat and reduced the amount of pineapple in mine. 


 
And then we had a midwive's appointment Monday afternoon where we got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time!  We don't use doppler or ultrasound unless there is some compelling reason, which at this point there isn't.  Fetoscope works just fine.  It's so amazing because what you hear when the baby is still this small is less of a sound and more of a felt vibration in your ears, which is really sourced in the baby's body rather than mediated and interpreted by a machine.  It was nothing less than magical.  What a happy mother's day!

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