Wednesday, July 6, 2011

{ Your Weekly Peek + Red Velvet Cake with Beets }

Here we are on week 5 of CSA season. This week's box was a little slim on the pickings, but hey we haven't exactly finished last week's produce yet so who are we to complain. All of this out of town and meals with friends business really cuts into our veggie eating capacity, but we're loving it all. In today's post I'll share the new veggies we got this week and I'll also show you a fun way to eat your beets, Red Velvet Cake with Beets.

The star of this week's box was the first carrots of the season. We picked up our box yesterday afternoon and sadly they were devoured by bedtime, they were delicious. Most of the carrots were steamed with the broccoli and then tossed with fresh thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper and linguine for a side dish with dinner. Phoebe wanted some crunchy carrots, so she ate the last two non-cooked carrots. And that's how they all disappeared.

The other new produce we received this week were cilantro and cabbage. The old faithfuls of radishes, lettuce, kale, broccoli, garlic and green onions were in there too. We're looking forward to more kale chips, another stir-fry and sweet salads this week.

Now let's talk beets. If you remember, the last two weeks we got beets. Kyle and I aren't really fans of beets. I don't really mind them, though I don't crave them either. Kyle hasn't had them a way that he likes them, and while he's willing to try them again prepared a new way he's all but decided that he doesn't like beets - in steps Red Velvet Cake with Beets. Kyle did like this, as did everyone else at the 4th of July party we went to.

My girlfriend Shaelyn had told us that she had used her beets to make a cake a while back. I thought that this would be a great way to use our beets too since we haven't had much luck just eating them by themselves yet. So I googled for a recipe and here's what I got:

Winnie from Healthy Green Kitchen's Red Velvet Cake with Beets. I followed Winnie's recipe for the Red Velvet Cake with Beets (click the link above to check it out yourself) and topped it with the standard cream cheese frosting from my Better Homes and Garden cookbook (I didn't have the lead time to make the frosting Winnie includes with the cake recipe). I also didn't have fresh berries to decorate with, but in the theme of keeping it natural I tried coloring my frosting with frozen blueberry and raspberry juices. Unlike red 40 and blue 1, the raspberries and blueberries made more of a pink and purple frosting instead of a red and blue. Here's how mine turned out:

When I added the raspberry juice it was a little hot, which melted the butter in the frosting and made my "red" a little runny as evidenced by the drippy look it has. The blueberries worked a little better, you can see that the frosting stayed thicker; although in my hurry (I was running late, again) and frustration with the "red", my "blue" decorating came out a little sloppy too.

This was my first cake ever, I had to go buy pans to make it, and it was also my first time trying to use natural coloring agents for the frosting; so with all of that as a qualification, I am happy with how it turned out. I definitely need to keep working on my cake decorating skills before becoming a pastry chef. On the bright side, it tasted great and everyone loved it. There wasn't any cake to bring home after the party.

How do you eat your beets? Any cake decorating tips?

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