Carrot Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean & Orange Zest Cream Cheese Icing

Carrot Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean and Orange Zest Cream Cheese Icing

These cupcakes are a real treat!  My kids begged me to make them for Easter.  Anytime I take them to share at a party or potluck, I always get rave reviews. I’ve never shared this recipe with anyone so now my secret is out. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup macadamia nut oil (substitute vegetable oil)
4 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice, divided
1 tablespoon or zest of 1 large orange
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 1/2 vanilla beans
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, leveled
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (substitute nut of choice)
1/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
8 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a bowl, combine sugar, oil, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1/2 bean, and eggs.

Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour; mix. Stir in carrots, nuts, and coconut.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons orange juice, orange zest, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 bean. Whisk until smooth.

Frost cupcakes, and garnish with shredded coconut or shredded carrots.

Kula Fields Kale and Sausage Soup

Kula Fields Kale and Sausage Soup

I recently took this simple hearty soup to a Slow Food Maui  convivium to celebrate Terra Madre Day and it was all the rage.  Perfect for our “chilly” Hawaiian winter weather as of late.  Soups are so nourishing to the soul.  This recipe will serve a crowd or provide for some tasty leftovers for lunch the next day.  Feel free to substitute or add extra veggies.

Kula Fields Kale and Sausage Soup
Serves a crowd

1 pound mild Italian sausage – casings removed
2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 jar Kula Fields Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 – 1/2 pounds kale, rough chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

In a large soup pot, brown sausage, onions, & garlic in olive oil.  Add mushrooms and sauté.  Add zucchini, tomatoes, red pepper flakes , and cayenne and stir until veggies are soft.  Add chicken stock, water, and tomato sauce stir and let come to a boil.  On medium heat, add chickpeas, fresh herbs, and kale. Let simmer until kale is tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Roasted Pumpkin Squash Curry Soup

Pumpkins4 cups Roasted Pumpkin  or Kabocha Squash
Coconut Oil Spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium Kula onion , chopped
3 cloves garlic , chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1 dash cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
4 cups chicken broth
1cup water
1 cup coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
!/4 cup of cilantro for garnish
juice of 1 lime

Scrub your pumpkin all over. Dry. Slice in half and scoop out the seeds and fibers. (save seeds for future plantings) and place pumpkin on a baking sheet. Spray the  pumpkin generously with coconut oil inside and out. Bake at 375 for about an hour and a half, depending on the size of your pumpkin or until the inside is mush to the prick of a fork. Remove from the oven, and when it is cool enough to handle,  Scoop out about four cups and place in soup stock pot.  Retain extra pumpkin for pie.
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add butter. Stir in the curry powder, ginger, cumin, coriander, cayenne or red pepper flakes, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cook, stirring almost constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the mixture to the roasted pumpkin pot. Stir well. Add the broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot. Simmer about 20 minutes. Add coconut milk and stir well. Remove from heat.
In batches, transfer the soup to a blender, process until smooth and pour the pur*ed soup into a large bowl. (If you have an immersible hand blender, you can pur*e the soup right in the pot.) Return the pur*ed soup to the pot. Season the soup with salt, pepper, cilantro and lime juice. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Mini Zucchini Bites

Zicchini BitesIt is a struggle when you are in the business of fresh produce delivery and your kids suddenly decide that they no longer eat anything GREEN.  The worst offender in our household, momentarily, is zucchini.  Whatever my 10 year old son hates, my 5 yr. old daughter has now decided she hates too.

I’ve gotten quite good at blending offending veggies into soups, hiding them in juices, dips, sauces, and various breads.  I recently came across a recipe on Pinterest showcasing zucchini.  (If you are not on Pinterest…you should be).  I “liked” it so I could check it out later.  There are running jokes about folks sitting on Pinterest, pinning recipes, crafts, and DIY projects that they will never end up doing or trying because they are too busy “pinning” it on their computers.  Not wanting to fall into that lot, I actually try out some of the recipes.  I looked over this recipe and decided to bet my son $5 bucks that he would eat it and enjoy it without protest.  For the results of who won that bet, check out my photo at the end. You have to try this out with all that zucchini in your CSA boxes.

Zucchini Bites Ingredients

Inspiration for this farm to table gourmet goodness came from http://thewaytohisheart.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/summer-zucchini-bites/. The blogger found inspiration from a magazine with a similar recipe.  I varied my rendition slightly and most likely will every time I make it .  Bacon will surely be in my next batch.

Ingredients BowlIngredients

  • Olive oil cooking spray, for preparing the pan
  • 3 large local eggs
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup Surfing Goat Dairy’s BBQ cheese (it’s kiawe smoked and gave great flavor)
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs (I was out of breadcrumbs so I ground up croutons)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground hawaiian sea salt
  • 1/2tsp. of freshly ground pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Spray mini-muffin pan with olive oil.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the zucchini, onion, cheeses, breadcrumbs, parsley, rosemary, salt, and pepper and stir lightly to mix with a whisk.

With a small spoon, fill each muffin cup just to the top, using about 1 tablespoon of the mixture.

Bake the bites for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are browned and set. No jiggly centers allowed. Allow the bites to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the bites to a wire rack to cool completely. Plate and serve.

Makes 24 bites.

Zucchini Bites Tray

Zucchini Bites Empty Tray

Papaya Ginger-Mint Smoothie

Papaya Ginger Mint SmoothieI just whipped up this smoothie with ingredients  leftover after packing the Kula Fields produce boxes this week. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon cooler!

  • 1 medium sized ripe strawberry papaya
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 apple banana
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon or lime
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Small handful of spearmint leaves and some to garnish

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Add more coconut milk if the consistency is too thick and more papaya or banana if the consistency is too thin.  Pour into a pretty glass and garnish with spearmint sprigs. Enjoy!

Kula Fields Fennel & Kula Onion Manchego Cheese Pizza

  • 1 pound pizza dough (I like the pre-made kind available at Whole Foods)
  • 1 large Kula Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced (use small amt. of fennel leaves as a garnish)
  • 1 cup of shredded Manchego cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. Black Truffle Oil (optional)

If pizza dough has been refrigerated, allow to rise and come up to room temperature. Divide dough into half. Apply a small amount of olive oil to hands to help shape the dough. Stretch and shape each half into circles. Sprinkle a pan with cornmeal and place dough onto pan. Set aside.
Slice onion & Fennel bulb, reserving the leaves as a garnish and store the rest for later use.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, fennel and salt.  Saute until tender.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Brush dough with remaining olive oil.
Add an even layer of fennel and onion mixture to dough. Add a layer of Manchego cheese.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until dough is crisp. (I like to pull mine off of the pan at about 8 minutes and cook directly on the oven rack for another couple of minutes)
Top each pizza with fennel leaves & a drizzle of black truffle oil. Enjoy!

Wilted Chard with Garbanzo Beans and Tomato

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdhQP2sg9x4[/youtube]

This is my “go to” recipe for easy preparation of chard. Mighty tasty too!

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, cooked
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound chard, rinsed and chopped into little ribbons
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato, sliced or chunked
  • 1-2  lemons, juiced

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Stir in garlic and green onions; cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add salt and peppers. Stir.  Add garbanzo beans.  Allow the spices and seasonings to mingle with beans and heat through. Place chard in pan, and cook until wilted. Add tomatoes and squeeze lemon juice over greens. Plate, and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can add Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Strawberry, Baby Greens, & Goat Cheese Pizza

I love making this simple pizza with goat cheese & fresh strawberries. I sometimes use arugula instead of spinach and like using fresh herbs like thyme or oregano to give it extra flavor. This recipe also works well with cream cheese if you’re not a fan of goat cheese.

  • 1 12 inch prebaked pizza crust (I buy the dough pre-made from Whole Foods)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup trimmed baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons macadamia nuts, chopped (substitute any you prefer)
  •  

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 425°.
    Place crust on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and lightly salt. Bake at 425° for until cooked through. Remove from oven; arrange goat cheese evenly over crust.
    Combine strawberries, baby spinach, olive oil, juice, salt, and black pepper; toss gently to coat. Arrange strawberry mixture evenly over goat cheese. Sprinkle pizza with Parmigiano-Reggiano and nuts. Cut into 12 wedges. Serve immediately.

    Strawberry Wonton Tartlets

    This couldn’t be simpler to make and makes you look like a kitchen ROCKSTAR!
    Ingredients:
    1 – 2 cups sliced strawberries
    1 package wonton wrappers
    1 – 8oz. package cream cheese
    1 cup sour cream
    1/2 c. melted butter
    1 & 1/4 c sugar – divided (1/2 & 3/4)
    1tsp. vanilla extract
    1 lime for zesting
    Tarlets
    Brush Wontons with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Press into muffin tin and bake 5-7 minutes at 400 F (200 C). Cool.
    Cream Cheese Filling:
    1 C Sour Cream
    8oz. package Cream Cheese
    3/4 C Sugar
    1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
    Combine all in large bowl or stand mixer and beat until it forms a stiff cream, about 3 minutes.
    Once wontons are cooled, pipe or spoon desired amount of cream cheese mixture into shell. Top with strawberries and garnish with lime zest.

    Kula Fields Macadamia & Coconut Pie

    This is ALWAYS a hit and made without corn syrup.

    • 1 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 2 local eggs
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla soymilk (plain cow’s milk works just fine too)
    • 1 Maui Vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
    • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
    • 1 – pre-made pie crust
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla bean, macadamia nuts & shredded coconut.
    3. Pour into an unbaked 9-in pie crust. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.