Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Monday, March 22, 2021
My dad came to visit, for the first time in 18 months (thank you COVID vaccine!), and I was over the moon. It felt special, and I wanted him to feel special. And my father, the doctor, loves his vegetables. So of course, one of his favorite cakes is Carrot Cake. Luckily, I have a friend who is a marvel in the kitchen and gave me this recipe for a homemade carrot cake. I was skeptical at first when she said it was easy, but all truth be told, the most difficult part was slicing the carrots! So, without further adieu, here is the best recipe for...
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
5-6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced *
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep two 9-inch round cake pans lightly greased with oil, lined with parchment, and lightly grease the parchment.
2) Whisk together the oil, sugars, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, one by one, until all ingredients are combined.
3) Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and the salt. Blend together, then add the remaining flour, baking soda, and ground cinnamon. Stir until all is smooth.
4) Add the carrot slices, pecans, and raisins, and mix together.
5) Bake for 35 minutes, then remove from oven, flip over on a rack, and let cool and release from the pan (about 15 minutes).
*To "slice" the carrots for this cake, use a peeler to peel off the skin, then just keep using the peeler all around to get your thin, fine slices.
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup of butter, softened
4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Beat all of the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Makes a generous amount of frosting.
Now put it all together... Place some frosting in a full circle on the bottom of a plate. Top with the first cake round, layer the top with frosting. Carefully place the second cake round on top of the first, and frost the entire cake around.
Monday, February 8, 2021
Friday, January 29, 2021
Monday, November 23, 2020
Friday, November 20, 2020
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Stacking Stones, or Cairns, are no stranger to New England. If you have visited this part of the country, then you have seen the beautiful rock walls that landscape many of the houses. But where did they all come from?
At first ask, many New Englanders will respond that these rock walls were formed with the first settlers, who were farmers, needing a fence to keep the animals in (or out!). Smart thinking, at first. Now, does that really make sense? If you truly think about it, no.But it's not totally wrong. The first settlers were indeed farmers, and the "new" England was covered in trees and debris. So, upon clearing the forestry land for their crops and livestock, there was plenty of fire wood to be stacked, but also these nuisances called rocks, which were tossed aside into a pile, or a "dump wall" as they called it.
Well, as the years went on, and the settlers started to take more pride in their new American land they called home, they wanted their home to look nice. Thus, these dump walls became beautiful works of masonry art for each farmhouse to display with honor. They truly are beautiful after all.
The stacking of stones is seen by many as an art form, or even a meditation - needing a lot of calmed focus and concentration. It is actually an ancient form of artistry seen back in Neolithic burial grounds in Scotland, nautical travel markers in Scandinavia, and Inca Goddess Pachamama shrines in Peru, according to the New Yorker.
One's reaction to a Cairn is individual, but for me, I enjoy the natural pause to stop and enjoy the beauty of the natural world around me and the thought, care, and effort of the Creator.