Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Carrot Cake

Last week my youngest came to me with a request. She wanted Carrot Cake. I've never made Carrot Cake before because it's not a request I typically get from any of the kids. As a matter of fact, the last time I recall ever eating Carrot Cake was probably when I was, ohhhh -- 7 years old?! And I down right hated it. 

I have to admit that, after I finally wiped my apron clean of my floury mess in the kitchen, the recipe I am about to share with you was a success and yielded the most moist and fluffy cake I've ever sunk my teeth into! 


Larry Rosenberg's Carrot Cake
Makes one 9-inch Layer Cake

4 cups sifted cake flour (see below for instructions on making Cake Flour yourself)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups vegetable oil
5 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups grated carrots (a 1-lb bag of whole carrots)
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup dark raisins

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Butter and flour one 6-inch, one 8-inch,  and one 10-inch cake pan, then line each with parchment paper.
Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon,  and salt.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until light and fluffy.  Stir in the grated carrots.  Add the sifted dry ingredients and stir together by hand, adding the raisins in last. (Psst… We omitted the raisins)
Pour into the prepared pans and place in the oven.  Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cakes test done (they should be slightly moist in the center).  Let cool on wire racks before removing from the pans.
Source: The Martha Stewart Cookbook

Note from Author: We opted out of spreading the cake with Cream Cheese icing because it tasted so good with only a dusting of Confectioners’ Sugar.

How to Make Cake Flour
Recipe written verbatim, as told by:

Step One:
 Measure out the all-purpose flour that you’ll need for your recipe.

Step Two:
For every cup of flour you use, take out two tablespoons of flour and return it to the flour bin.  Throw the cup of flour (minus the two tablespoons) into a sifter set over a bowl.

Step Three:  
Replace the two tablespoons of flour that your removed with two tablespoons of cornstarch.

Step Four:  
Sift the flour and cornstarch together.  Sift it again, and again and again.  The cornstarch and flour need to be well incorporated and the flour aerated.  Sift the flour and cornstarch mixture about five times.  Look at that!  You just made cake flour!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

It's never too late to start your Corned Beef so it is ready in time for supper! I like to steam my cabbage separately from the meat so there's plenty of room for potatoes and carrots!

Corned Beef and Vegetables

  • 3 lbs Corned Beef
  • 10 Small Red Potatoes
  • 1/2 lb Baby carrots
  • 1 medium onion

  1. In a stockpot or Dutch oven with lid, place your corned beef, and add enough water to cover your meat. Pour season packet into pot.
  2. Turn on your stove-top burner to high heat. When water begins to boil turn burner down to low heat. Cover with lid and let simmer 50 minutes per pound or until meat is fork tender (3-lbs = 2 1/2 hrs. ciook time).
  3. Wash and pat dry potatoes. Peel and quarter the onion.
  4. Add potatoes, carrots and onion. Cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Remove meat from dutch oven. Place on serving dish. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Place drained vegetables around corned beef for a beautiful garnish before serving to your guests.  

Enjoy your Sunday, Y'all! xoxo

- Posted Remotely using my iPhone 4S

Monday, December 24, 2012

"..all the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, and I hope everything on my list will be there!" -Peewee's Christmas Special 

Happy Christmas Eve Day everyone!  Wishing you all a blessed Christmas! 

Love always, 

Oreo Cake Bites

  • 1 15.35-oz package Oreo Cookies
  • 1 8-oz package Cream Cheese
  • White almond bark (for dipping)
  • Chocolate bark (for dipping)
  • Mini baking cup liners
  • Decorating sprinkles & nonpareils
  1. In a large mixing bowl finely crush Oreo cookies.
  2. Add cream cheese and mix well.
  3. Roll mixture into 1-inch size balls and set aside onto a baking sheet.
  4. In a second baking sheet, set out mini baking cup liners.
  5. Dip cake balls in melted white almond or chocolate bark. Tap off excess chocolate and drop in individual baking cups. Working fast, garnish with decorating sprinkles before chocolate dries.

Makes about 4 dozen

- Posted Remotely using my iPhone 4S

Saturday, December 1, 2012

White Trash

Yea-yea.. You heard me right! This snack is a holiday favorite for anyone who comes around our neck of the woods to visit!

White Trash

4 cups Cheerios toasted oat cereal
3 1/2 cups Rice Chex
3 1/2 cups Corn Chex
16 ounces M&M's plain chocolate candy
2 cups salted peanuts
2 cups small pretzels (holiday shaped pretzels are fun to throw in!)
1 1/2 lbs White Almond Bark

Throw the cereals, M&Ms, nuts & pretzels in a large bowl.

Melt the white almond bark in the microwave or in a double boiler. Melt very slowly, stirring occasionally, being careful not to burn the chocolate.

Pour melted chocolate over the rest of the ingredients and then toss 'n fold over until you have well-coated piles of white goo! Work fast so as not to let your M&Ms break apart and melt all over the place.

Dump the whole mess out onto parchment paper and spread out. Set aside in a cool place until it sets up, then break it into pieces.

Store in air-tight container.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears

Heaven is... Skinny dipping in a Pool of Chocolate!

What you'll need:

  • Double Boiler, Electric Chocolate Melting Pot or Microwave-safe Bowl
  • Large baking sheet pan
  • Wax Paper
  • Dinner fork
  • Chocolate Dipping Wafers (Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate or ChocoMaker Dark Chocolate flavored Fondue Dipping Candy)
  • Gummy Bears (for quality, look for Black Forest brand)

1. Melt chocolate in melting pot.

2. While waiting for chocolate to melt, line a baking sheet pan with waxed paper.

3. One at a time, dip Gummy Bears into melted chocolate, turning once to cover all sides. Quickly lift out gummy bear from melting pot with fork and tap fork on edge of pot to allow excess chocolate to drip off. (Make sure not to let gummy bears sit in melted chocolate for too long. You'll want to work quickly so as not to let the gummy bears melt.)

4. Drop gummy bears onto waxed paper. Let cool.

5. Gummy bears can be handled after the chocolate has cooled and set. Store in airtight container.

Chocolate covered gummy bears are a favorite of mine. When I was a child my mother used to treat my siblings and me to sweets at the gourmet candy shop. I used to love sampling the lovely truffles and bonbons! Each of us were allowed to purchase 1/2 a pound of candies. Among the different selections we purchased, one of us always chose Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears! It was fun sharing our bags of sweets with each other!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I found this sweet bread recipe on Pinterest. The author of its edited version didn't do this recipe any justice so please allow me to take it back to its original recipe as written by Willow Bird Baking. The only tweaking I've done to my bread was using 1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract in place of Rum. My family isn't a fan of rum and I'm not a big fan of sharing, so score for both teams!


Please Note that your Glaze will not look as thick as the one shown above. In attempting this recipe through a tweaked version of the original recipe, the author had called for too much Confectioners' Sugar. Rest assure that the recipe below will yield a nicer glaze!

Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread with Butter Rum Glaze

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, adapted from All Recipes, Joy the Baker, and Pumpkin Tart
Yields: one loaf, about 8 servings
Prep Time: (including dough rising) about 3 hours

This sticky, sweet pumpkin pull-apart loaf is irresistible. It’s made from layers of fluffy pumpkin yeast dough coated with browned butter, cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg. Let it cool until it has just a hint of warmth left, drizzle on some glaze, and enjoy — preferably with the windows open to let in a crisp autumn breeze. Oh, and by the way, this recipe makes use of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, but there’s no reason you can’t knead this dough by hand. It’ll just take a little longer (and a little more elbow grease).

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Butter Rum Glaze Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon *rum (WBB Wrote: the original recipe called for extract, which I found too strong)
--> Yoohoo! Bekah's input:(*1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract can be substituted for Rum)

Make the pull-apart bread dough: Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the 2 tablespoons of butter. Let it bubble and foam and when you see it start to brown, stir it so that it browns evenly. When it’s the color of dark honey, remove it from the heat and pour it into a large heat-safe mixer bowl to cool. In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk until it bubbles. Remove it from the heat and pour it into the bowl with the butter. Let these cool until they’re about 100-110 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to check). Set the saucepan aside for another use later. I use the same one throughout the entire recipe; why do more dishes?

Stir the sugar and yeast into the milk/butter mixture and let it sit for about 10 minutes to proof (it should foam; if it doesn’t, discard it yeast and try again with new yeast). Stir in pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup flour. If you haven’t already, fit your mixer with a dough hook. Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between each addition. When the dough is combined, knead on low speed with a dough hook until smooth and elastic (about 4 minutes with a mixer).

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour until it doubles in size (After it rises, you can put it in the fridge overnight to use it in the morning, but let it sit out for half an hour before rolling if you do.)

Make the filling: While the dough is rising, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Toward the end of the rising time, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter for the filling in the saucepan over medium-high heat and brown it as directed above. Put it in a small heat-safe bowl to cool for use later.

Shape and bake pull-apart bread: Knead a sprinkling of flour (about 1 tablespoon) into the dough, deflating it, and recover it. Let it sit to relax for 5 minutes. Flour a large work surface and turn your rested dough out onto it. Roll it out to a 20 inch long and 12 inch wide rectangle, lifting corners periodically to make sure it’s not sticking. If it seems to be snapping back, cover it with your damp towel and let it rest for 5 minutes before continuing (I had to do this twice during the process).

Spread the browned butter over the surface of the dough with a pastry brush and then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top, patting it down to ensure it mostly sticks. Joy the Baker encourages you to use it all even though it seems like a ton, but I admit I got squeamish at the amount and only used most. It was fine despite my nerves. Go ahead and pile it on.

With the long edge of the rectangle toward you, cut it into 6 strips (do this by cutting the rectangle in half, then cutting each half into equal thirds. I used a pizza cutter). Stack these strips on top of one another and cut the resulting stack into 6 even portions (again, cut it in half, and then cut the halves into equal thirds). Place these portions one at a time into your greased loaf pan, pressing them up against each other to fit them all in. Cover the pan with your damp cloth and place it in a warm place for 30-45 minutes to double in size.

While dough rises, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 if you have a glass loaf dish instead of a metal pan). When it’s risen, place the loaf in the center of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until dark golden brown on top (if you take it out at light golden brown, it’s liable to be raw in the middle, so let it get good and dark). Cool for 20-30 minutes on a cooling rack in the loaf pan while you make the glaze.

Make the glaze: In your saucepan, bring the butter, milk, and brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove it from heat, add the powdered sugar and rum, and whisk it to a smooth consistency.

Assemble and serve: Use a butter knife to loosen all sides of the bread from the loaf pan and gently turn it out onto a plate. Place another plate on top and flip it to turn it right side up. Drizzle glaze over top. Serve each piece slightly warm with a drizzle of glaze.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Trying to Multi-task today.. Fortunately I found an interesting recipe to try for dinner. I just hope it turns out good. Since I forgot to thaw out my steaks, I threw them into the slow cooker frozen and set it to cook on the low setting... Wish me luck! Source

Crockpot Cubed Steak


Desired number of cubed steaks
Lipton onion soup** (approximately 1 package for every 4-5 steaks)
Cream of mushroom soup (approximately 2 cans for every 4-5 steaks)
Your crockpot


1-Put the cubed steak in the crockpot
2-Pour onion soup mix on top of cubed steak
3-Cover with cream of mushroom soup.
4-Can turn crockpot on low or high-it just depends on how fast you want it ready.

We serve this with rice and usually sauteed green beans. It's a pretty easy recipe. It makes its own gravy and you just kind of "eye ball" how much of the soup mix and cream of mushroom soup you want.

**Note- if you don't have Onion Soup Mix on hand, try mixing up a batch from scratch HERE!

I can't wait to try Mormon Mavens recipe tonight!