What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Good Food Hunting: Lemon Chia Seed Cake

January 09, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

By Kat Nielsen

Lemon chia seed cake is an alternative to lemon poppy seed cake only with no grains!

Lemon chia seed cake is an alternative to lemon poppy seed cake, only with no grains!

Lemon chia seed cake is an alternative to lemon poppy seed cake with  a ton more nutrition and get this, no grains!

My personal blog, Eat Your Tarte Out is a place where anyone can come to learn more about cooking and baking. On occasion, I’m presented with challenges by individuals, and that’s exactly what happened in this recipe. My rider friend and colleague wanted me to create a version of lemon poppyseed cake, but with no grains. At the end of my experimenting, I was so surprised with the results- it tasted absolutely phenomenal!

What I came up with in this recipe was a way to combine what most people had in their homes, with a few specialty ingredients. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, just make things a bit more healthier and tailored to this person’s diet.  Take chia seeds for example, they’re one of nature’s nutritional powerhouses. Packed with tons of Omega 3’s, protein, vitamins and minerals, and with a unique gelling ability, chia seeds should become a staple in your pantry for all the benefits!

Chia seeds provide a complete amino acid profile including Lysine and Proline. Proline is a key constituent of collagen. Chia's antioxidant content is higher than blueberries.

Chia seeds provide a complete amino acid profile including Lysine and Proline. Proline is a key constituent of collagen. Chia’s antioxidant content is higher than blueberries.

For the flour components of this recipe, I opted for almond flour and quinona flour. Almond flour rarely gets fine enough unless bought for commercial use, therefor you’ll have to try and find almond meal or make it yourself from slivered almonds. You start off by baking the almonds at 350 degrees on a baking sheet, in a single layer for about 10-15 minutes. The almonds can brown slightly, but be careful not to get too much color on them. After they have cooled, you put them in your food processor to get a fine ground meal. Over processing a nut that has excess moisture will turn into butter, so this method of drying works well to help you achieve your desired meal. In this recipe, I also opted to use quinoa flour. Because of the grittiness of almond meal, I wanted to make a more desirable texture in the end cake so I needed a non-grain flour preferably packed with tons of ingredients. However, if you haven’t used it yet, beware. The first time I used it and had it activated with butter, I almost ‘lost my lunch’ due to the smell and taste. Non-cooked quinona emits a very bitter smell and taste to ward off prey in the wild. When it reaches a certain temperature, that bitterness gets removed. It was after much research I gave it another shot in my cake recipe. If you can maintain your sniffer through putting the cake together and baking it (DO NOT try the batter), the results will be well worth it.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know, but I look forward to you trying this no grain recipe!

To full plates and eating your tarte out!

Lemon Chia Seed Cake

1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of almond meal
3/4 cup of quinoa flour
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
Juice from one freshly squeezed lemon
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 cups of confectioners sugar

Position oven racks to the middle and reheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9″ cake pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, baking powder, quinoa flour, almond meal, chia seeds and salt. Set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale in color, about two to three minutes. Scrape down the sides and add in the the eggs, mixing till combined. Add in the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.  Spread out evenly into the buttered pan and bake until golden brown on top, 20-25 minutes.

In another small bowl, combine the lemon juice, vanilla and powdered sugar to make a glaze. Keep stirring to remove lumps. Pour the glaze onto the warm cake and spread out evenly. Let cool completely before cutting.

About the writer: Author Kat Nielsen is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at EatYourTarteOut.com or email her at tartechic@eatyourtarteout.com.

Good Food Hunting: Pecan Tassies

December 19, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

By Kat Nielsen

Gooey centers and butter tender crusts are why pecan tassies are such a favorite in my home!

Gooey centers and butter tender crusts are why pecan tassies are such a favorite in my home!

Pecan tassies aka mini pecan tarts are a beautiful way to churn out delicious baked goods in a crunch before the holidays (thirty minutes or less). Even if you need a last minute gift idea for your trainer or for your local tack store, the tassies wrap up beautifully and transport well for gifting or receiving.

Miniature desserts are generally more time consuming, and I’ll agree with you on that. But the reason I turn to this recipe in the countdown before Christmas is that it takes just as long to make the dough and filling as cookies, and pressing the tart dough into your mini muffin tin is actually quite therapeutic- mashing and pressing down does get excess frustrations out, especially on repeat. The baking time is just under twenty minutes, and that’s for twenty four delicious pecan tarts….not bad, huh? And even if you are watching your waistline, you won’t feel near as bad indulging in one tassie at a time.

Pecan tassies don't require a lot of heavy lifting -easy, delicious and look beautiful!

Pecan tassies don’t require a lot of heavy lifting -easy, delicious and look beautiful!

P.S. They also freeze well.

P.P.S. Mom’s recipe always said to make a double batch. Do it.

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Tassies made with hickory nuts or pecans make a wonderful holiday treat.

Tassies made with hickory nuts or pecans make a wonderful holiday treat.

Pecan Tassies

3 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of flour
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of ground pecans or hickory nuts
1 teaspoon of white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Add in the salt and flour till just combined. Using a mini muffin tin, press in a heaping teaspoon of dough to cover the bottoms and sides of the tin. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Mix till throughly combined. Fill the crusts to about 1/4″ from the top, do not overfill.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are set and crust is lightly brown. Allow to cool in pan. Remove gently, use a butter knife as needed.

About the writer: Author Kat Nielsen is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies, while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at EatYourTarteOut.com or email her at tartechic@eatyourtarteout.com.

Good Food Hunting: Tips for Holiday Baking

December 12, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

By Kat Wojtylak

Don’t let holiday baking ruin all your fun and the special moments around the holidays. Instead, embrace one of the busiest times of the year for your oven and showcase holiday spreads and your gifts with awesome skills and minimal stress. Baking is an inexpensive and special way to show someone or your horse you care. Here’s just a few tips to utilize what little time you have and make the most of your holiday baking.

Sugar Cookies pressed with a vintage glass leave you with beautiful results and zero hassle of cutouts.

Sugar Cookies pressed with a vintage glass leave you with beautiful results and zero hassle of cutouts.

Baking Tip 1: If you don’t have time for cutouts, don’t make them! They’re super labor intensive. Instead, consider sugar cookies pressed with a vintage glass or just a regular drinking glass. You can add colored sugar and make them even more festive. And if you have kiddos in the house, they can still help with this. Checkout Grandma Glinda’s Sugar Cookies or White Chocolate Dipped Gingersnap Cookies.

Gingersnap cookies pressed with a glass warrant sparkly delicious results.

Gingersnap cookies pressed with a glass warrant sparkly delicious results.

Baking Tip 2: On the cookie front, consider another alternative to cutouts in bar cookies! Rather that forming them into individual shapes or even scooping them out, it works well to just put the batter into a baking pan or jelly roll pan and bake the whole thing! Extra baking time will be required of course, unless you use a no bake option like Peanut Butter Bars with Crispies. Cut them up using a sharp knife and wrap in pretty paper.

Peanut Butter Bars with Crispies or other goods formed in a single pan make for easy prep and even easier cleanup.

Peanut Butter Bars with Crispies or other goods formed in a single pan make for easy prep and even easier cleanup.

Baking Tip 3: Try not to use a recipe you haven’t had sufficient time to try.  There’s nothing like waiting till the last minute and the recipe falling to shambles. If you garnered your recipe online, look at reviews or talk to people who have made them before. Lots of times they can provide valuable insight so if you do decide to go new this year, you’ll have a better chance of success.

Baking Tip 4: Learn how to properly scoop flour so that you get consistent results every time. Scooping flour with your measuring scoop can actually result in tough baked goods as you’re taking away valuable moisture with the extra flour. The best way to measure out flour in a recipe is to first fluff, aka stir your flour in its canister. Then you sprinkle the flour into your measuring cup and finally level off the cup. This should result in a perfect amount every time to give you consistency when baking. This is all determined by weight so if you have a scale, try it out and see!

Baking Tip 5: Enlist help! Wrangle a family member into helping your prepare, or consider a cookie exchange. Play hostess to a group of individuals and provide the drinks. Each person brings a decided upon amount of one type of cookie. At the end of the party, depending on how many people show up, you can leave with a variety of cookies from each member. Or just spend a weekend with the girls and bake cookies together, laughing and enjoying what the holidays should be about!

Fathers and other family members make for great helpers when starting in on holiday baking.

Fathers and other family members make for great helpers when starting in on holiday baking.

Baking Tip 6: Personalize your baking so it stands apart. Consider using a stencil and sift powdered sugar, cinnamon or cocoa over top. You can also do this with frothy beverages to leave your stamp on a not-so-permanent delectable.

Cocoa sifted over a stencil leaves a beautifully impressive (but easy) imprint. This is Queen Elizabeth's!

Cocoa sifted over a stencil leaves a beautifully impressive (but easy) imprint. This is Queen Elizabeth’s!

Baking Tip 7: Consider quick breads….after all they’re quick! You can make carrot versions for your favorite horse friend, banana bread or even fruit cake for anyone on your list. They’re usually one bowl wonders and if you make them in pretty disposable containers, you’re one step closer to getting the job done.

Paper Pans from King Arthur Flour making baking and taking so much easier!

Paper Pans from King Arthur Flour make baking and taking so much easier!

Banana Bread or Gingerbread make great gifts for families.

Banana Bread or Gingerbread make great gifts for families.

Baking Tip 8: Learn how to make cupcakes and more in mason jars! They’re another great way to present gifts and you can personalize the outside with ribbons, tags and anything your heart desires! Not to mention no cleanup after baking!

Cupcakes in a jar can be dressed up or down depending on your preferences and gifting tastes.

Cupcakes in a jar can be dressed up or down depending on your preferences and gifting tastes.

Baking Tip 9: Don’t fret if you don’t want to make goods from scratch! Store bought or pre-made gifts can be personalized so that the recipient would never know that you didn’t do the heavy lifting. Try adding special toppers that are unique, such as Harbor Sweets Sweet Sloops Ice Cream Topper, or fancy sprinkles. You could even buy extra of your toppings and gift them some of their own to have fun with!

Using store-bought is just fine! Jazz it up with special toppers or sprinkles to make it uniquely delicious!

Using store-bought is just fine! Jazz it up with special toppers or sprinkles to make it uniquely delicious!

Baking Tip 10: Have fun! Find a style that works best for you and embrace it. If your skills aren’t with homemade from scratch items, buy pre made and personalize. You could also wrap it and present it in a fun way. Just don’t get carried away in the stress, this should be enjoyable after all!

Have fun with frosting! Just add a bit of color and no muss, no fuss beautiful baked goods!

Have fun with frosting! Just add a bit of color and no muss, no fuss beautiful baked goods!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday, and if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me anytime tartechic@eatyourtarteout.com.

To full plates and eating your tarte out.

About the writer: Author Kat Wojtylak is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies, while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at EatYourTarteOut.com or email her at tartechic@eatyourtarteout.com.

Good Food Hunting: Food and Kitchen Gifts for the Equestrian

November 21, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

By Kat Wojtylak

What do you buy your trainer, barn owner or fellow horse owner? Most times it’s not an easy and straightforward question. That’s why I’ve compiled a few kitchen/food related items that are sure to be unique for your gift giving this holiday season.

French antique knife holder running horse from PARISOUIPARIS.

This Antique Horse Knife Holder Set is perfect for individuals who enjoy dinner parties and like the equestrian flare. These one of a kind set of silver running horses is from the 1920’s and will be a unique element for the recipient. Sold on Etsy, the set of six retails for $79.00.

Harbor Sweets/Dark Horse Chocolates unique and beautiful display of their chocolates in the Heritage Tin.

Harbor Sweets/Dark Horse Chocolates unique and beautiful display of their chocolates in the Homestead Winter Tin.

Dark Horse Chocolates Homestead Tin is filled with an assortment of handmade chocolates courtesy of Harbor Sweets. Each tin contains forty pieces of various chocolates depicting horses including milk and chocolate varieties. When the chocolates are all gone, the recipient has the perfect tin to store and showcase treats for years to come. Retails at $45.00 and is perfect for a barn owner, barn staff, tack room or for any horse owner.

Wild Stallion Horse Magnet, Set of Eight, sold by OriginalAnimalMagnet.

Wild Stallion Horse Magnets are a fun way to dress up the fridge. Who knows, they might even help keep the little ones entertained while you’re trying to serve up a holiday meal. A perfect stocking stuffer for the collegiate equestrian, or a gift for the newly relocated equestrian. Retails for $22.00 and sold on Etsy. Available in other colors.

Dala Horse Screen Printed Horse Glassware by Vital

Dala Horse Screen Printed Pint Glasses are an eclectic four pack that will bring something special to your holiday equestrian gift giving. Sold in green, blue, red and yellow, this four pack is handmade and good for those equestrians who like to drink and be merry! Retails for $42.00.

Vintage Horse Prints Wafer Paper available from Fancy Flours

Vintage Horse Prints Wafer Paper is a baker’s secret to making breathtaking cookies that pay homage to thoroughbred racing. Available from Fancy Flours, this set of twenty two comes in unique prints that are sure to leave recipients and those indulging talking about them for years to come. Retails for $15.00.

Kicking Horse Coffee, 454 Horse Power Blend sold on Amazon.

And last but not least, for those individuals who have a coffee addiction, Kicking Horse Coffee brings you their 454 Horse Power Blend. An organic and fair trade coffee, this blend from Indonesia bring earthy tones with a deep dark flavor to the palate. Available in whole beans. Retails for $25.55 and is sold on Amazon.

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and if you need help, you know where to find me.

To full plates and eating your tarte out.

About the writer: Author Kat Wojtylak is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies, while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at EatYourTarteOut.com or email her at tartechic@eatyourtarteout.com.