Is it just me, or does food look more inviting served up in a little jar? Did you know there is a cookbook devoted to these sweet treats? Packed with fifty recipes and fifty fabulous photos, Desserts in Jars by Shaina Olmanson has got something for every season and every occasion. Continue reading
I am in charge of the program for the teenage girls at my church. That means that I coordinate lessons on Sunday and help plan activities on one weeknight every week. It is incredibly rewarding and a nice break from my teenage sons at home. One week each month, we celebrate birthdays. I ask the birthday girls what their favorite birthday treat is and then I bring in a cake, brownies or whatever it is that they requested. Last month, I the answer I got was an overwhelming “Chocolate! Lots of chocolate!!” Continue reading
I bought a 25 pound bag of flour at the grocery store recently. The check out girls were amazed at the big bag. “Are you a baker?” they asked. “What do you make?” I answered with the usual things like cakes and cookies, but I was really thinking, “I have five kids. This isn’t going to last that long. I was disappointed that this was the only 25 pound bag you had!” Continue reading
Last week was Princess Pat’s 7th birthday. It is hard to believe that so much time has passed since her arrival. She has brought such a sweetness to our rough and tumble household. I always used to say that I’d ruin a girl, so I had to have sons, but maybe Someone knew better. Continue reading
When strawberries come on, my family expects three things: to eat a lot of them straight out of the package, to have homemade jam on their toast, and to see a few fresh strawberry pies after dinner. I am more than happy to oblige their expectations, but sometimes my need to expand my repertoire overcomes my desire to keep up tradition. That and the fact that I don’t always plan ahead like I should worked together to delay this year’s pie. So, when my little girl said, “let’s make strawberry cake, Mom,” I jumped at the idea and ran with it. Continue reading
Cinco De Mayo has long been a fun day celebrated in our family, not because we are of Mexican descent, but because it is my husband’s parents’ wedding anniversary. Going out to eat or having a fun fiesta of our own is something we looked forward to as May approached. This year would have been their 64th anniversary if my father-in-law were still with us. Continue reading
I had plans to make mustard for today’s post. I bought mustard seeds. I soaked them in vinegar for a day. I
followed adapted a recipe. I thought I was going to be the new Queen of Mustard. Then I tasted it and almost had to call 911. For now, I will be happy to buy mustard made and flavored by someone who knows what they are doing. So I am punting today. I hope you are not too disappointed. Continue reading
Don’t forget to enter to win a Canon Rebel Camera HERE thru 4/30/13
I have climbed on the bandwagon. I am following the crowd. I am doing something because “everyone else is doing it.” Where is the cliff, so I can jump off it like my friends are?
I have finally made Magic Bars. And I don’t care if it is the latest thing and completely not original. These things are amazing! Continue reading
It is a sad fact that anyone who wants or needs to go onto a specialized diet is going to have to spend more to eat than someone on a regular diet. When I go to the local pizza place with my family and wait the extra 10 minutes for my special pizza that was made in the back in a special pan with special ingredients and special gloves, I spend an extra special amount of money for that privilege. If I want to eat a grilled cheese sandwich with my family, I pay 4 times more for a loaf of bread that is half the size of theirs. For the most part, I don’t try to replicate gluten/sugar full foods. It just isn’t worth it. However, once in a while, I want a treat. Continue reading
It’s Improv time again. Every third Thursday of the month, a group of bloggers post the results of a cooking challenge involving two assigned ingredients and a whole lot of imagination. If you would like to join us in the future, see my Improv page on my header. This month’s ingredients were peas and carrots. Next month’s are eggs and bacon (bacon brownies anyone?).
For this month’s challenge, I opted to hide the peas. I bought a little four ounce jar of baby food peas. The cake may have had a green hue to it, but no one noticed. I didn’t hide the fact that I had bought the baby food. I put right on the counter in plain sight and when asked told the family I was going to put them into a dessert. I just neglected to mention which dessert they entered. No one has mentioned that the jar is gone. Hehehe.In place of the peas, you could add applesauce, mashed pears, squash, or more oil. I doubt if I will go to the bother of buying baby food again. It’s easier to puree what I have on hand. For the purpose of the challenge, however, peas were a necessity.
This recipe was a compilation of a bunch of recipes. I took what I thought was the best from about four and put them together into this amazing cake. The frosting came from Southern Living.
- ½ cup oil
- ½ cup pureed peas (or applesauce or squash or pears or more oil)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups shredded carrots
- ⅓ cup butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup evaporated milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 8oz cream cheese
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- For the Cake:
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon) together in a small bowl.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the oil and peas until blended.
- Add brown sugar and vanilla.
- Mix in the eggs until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients.
- Stir in the carrots.
- Pour into two greased 9 inch pans.
- Bake 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until they test done.
- Start checking at 30 minutes if your oven is hot.
- Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto a wire rack.
- For the filling:
- Start this while the cake is baking.
- Melt butter in a saucepan.
- Stir in brown sugar and evaporated milk, stirring constantly until boiling.
- Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for a couple minutes (3-4), stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and cool until it reaches a thick consistency.
- It will look horrible and you will be worried that it didn’t work.
- Put it into the freezer for 15 minutes to speed up the cooling process.
- For the frosting:
- Beat cream cheese, butter and cinnamon until smooth.
- Add vanilla.
- Beat in powdered sugar on low, gradually increasing speed.
- Mix 5 minutes, making it fluffy.
- To assemble:
- Place one completely cooled layer of cake on a plate.
- Top with thickened filling.
- Top with second cake layer.
- Spread frosting all over top and sides.
Now, let’s see what everyone else in the group did with this challenge.
Although I know that I will make other coffee cakes in the future, this is probably the best one I have in my repertoire. It figures that a recipe that has been around for decades would be a good one. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the “secret” recipe my sister-in-law has been making us for years, too. No matter how many times I asked for the recipe, she always managed to forget to write it down for me before we had to drive home. I am now wondering if the fact that this cake is just a jazzed up cake mix had anything to do with her reluctance to share. Hmmm, could be. Continue reading
This time of year, my refrigerator is full of citrus. I buy every kind I can find and make my family eat oranges daily. It’s my simple way of keeping their vitamin C intake at the right level, especially during cold and flu season. If we get sick less, great. Regardless, we get to enjoy some wonderful fruit. Continue reading
You are in for a special treat today. The beautiful Amy from A Healthy Life for Me is with us and she brought along a decadent cake and gorgeous photos to match. I am so glad to introduce her to you. She is quite an amazing person. She keeps bees. She raises chickens. She does hot yoga. I don’t think there is anything she couldn’t do if she put her mind to it. You must check out her cakes , some of her posts on bees and chickens and her amazing garden. She cans, she cooks and she loves her some chocolate. Continue reading
I would like to introduce you to Dani Katarina from The Healthy Hippie. She considers herself 90% vegetarian, 5% Vegan and 5% pescatarian with a bit of gluten free thrown in here and there for good measure. Originally from Chile, she grew up with a passion for food in a family of great cooks. She creates lovely food on her site like Italian Style Stuffed Peppers, BBQ Veggie Sandwiches, and my personal favorite, Raw Coconut Chocolate. Continue reading