Breakfast, Snacks, Sweets

Gingerbread

I’m a ginger nut. Early in my marriage, I purchased candied ginger and would occasionally pop a piece and chew it slowly. My husband ate a piece and told me, it was inedible. It was too spicy. He had no idea how I could possibly eat such a thing. He never ate straight candied ginger again (to my knowledge). He has, over our six years of marriage, grown to appreciate ginger. He now drinks ginger beer. He likes ginger candy. He approved of this gingerbread.

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Gingerbread

3/4 cup ginger ale (do not use diet)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup molasses

1/3 cup oil, plus a little extra

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon dried ginger

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a eight by 4 loaf pan with a little oil. I like to drizzle a little oil in the bottom of the pan and use a towel to wipe the pan to evenly coat the inside with oil.

Bring the soda to a boil. When boiling, remove the soda from the heat and add the baking soda. Make sure you’re using a pan with high sides because the soda will foam. When the foaming has stopped, stir in the sugar and the fresh ginger. Set aside to cool. When cooled, whisk in the eggs and the oil.

Whisk the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, and salt. Whisk the soda mixture into the flour slowly until combined. Pour the batter into the pan and tap the pan on the counter gently to remove air bubbles.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the loaf is firm to the touch. Let the loaf cool before slicing.

 

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Breakfast, Snacks, Sweets

Gingered Pumpkin Bread

Winter is quick bread season. Life is fast, and if you need a little sweet in little time, quick bread to the rescue. This one is a mash up of some of my winter favorites: gingerbread and pumpkin bread. If you’re like me, you already have these things in your pantry already. Let’s get to mixing.

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Gingered Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour)

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 rounded teaspoon baking soda

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 stick butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup water

1 thumb-sized length nub of fresh ginger

1 tablespoon oil, to grease the pan.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a loaf pan with oil.

Sift the flour, the salt, the spices, the baking soda into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Peel the ginger, and grate the fresh ginger into the wet ingredients. Mix well. Create a well in the dry ingredients, and mix in the wet ingredients.

Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife emerges from the loaf cleanly. Let cool before slicing.

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Salad

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Ginger

If there is a fruit that is better than watermelon in the summer, you let me know about it. Juice dripping down your chin, spitting the seeds into the yard, watermelon is the perfect summer food. This summer salad dresses watermelon up just a little bit, without losing any little bit of what makes it refreshing.

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Watermelon salad with mint and ginger

1 small watermelon (about four cups of watermelon)

4 coins ginger (one small thumb of ginger, skin removed and sliced)

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup walnut oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Packed 1/4 cup mint

Remove the rind from the watermelon, and chop into small cubes.

Put the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until well blended. You do not want any large pieces of ginger in here. Mix the dressing into the watermelon and stir to combine.

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Main Courses

Thai Carrot Soup

The rains have come to Oklahoma, and Autumn is almost here. I can’t wait to step outside, and feel the crispness in the air. After oh so many days of one hundred plus weather, I’m ready for sweaters. I’m ready for orange. I’m ready for earlier sunsets. I’m ready for dark beers.

So is Starbucks, which is probably why their Pumpkin Spice flavor has returned to stores everywhere. 

Too soon in my estimation. I like pumpkin flavors, but Oklahoma still feels very much like Summer. Every year stores roll out their holiday and seasonally-themed merchandise earlier and earlier. In protestation of the Christmas wreaths that showed up in our local craft store next week, I’m avoiding fall flavors until it cools down significantly.

For your own education, a haiku on the glory of Thai Carrot Soup:

aromatic spice

cardamom, nutmeg, chili

cool, sweet carrot soup

This soup is lovely served warm in later months, but now in the last dog days of summer it is suburb served right out of the fridge. Another lovely benefit? This soup is vegan and vegetarian friendly! As it seems that everyone knows someone who ascribes to vegetarianism and veganism, it is nice to have some vegetable dishes in your back pocket. This recipe is dedicated to my vegetarian friend Penni who blogs at Banjelope!

Thai carrot soup

Thai Carrot Soup

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

4 cloves garlic

1 small white onion, chopped

2 thumb-sized pieces ginger, minced

2 fresh red chilis, minced

1.5 lbs carrot, peeled and chopped

1 Tbsp. cumin

2 tsp. cardamom

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

4 cups vegetable stock

1 can coconut milk

1 Tbsp. vegetarian fish sauce

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 lime

Thai basil, chiffonade

Cilantro

1. Saute onion, garlic, ginger, and chili until fragrant in the coconut oil.

2. Add cumin, cardamom, and nutmeg and saute for one minute.

3. Add carrots and broth. Simmer on medium for fifteen minutes, or until the carrots are soft.

4. Add coconut milk.

5. Blend the soup, then return to the soup pot.

6. Season with soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Taste as you go here! It is easy to go overboard with salt seasonings, and the amount of both soy and fish sauces will depend on the saltiness of the broth you use.

7. Garnish with herbs.

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