Monday, March 22, 2021

Homemade Carrot Cake

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...

Homemade Carrot Cake

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.

Recipe courtesy of Inspired Taste

Monday, February 8, 2021

Valentine's 2021 - Happy at Home

Well, we've all mastered our homemade bread recipes and found a new norm accessory in our friend, the mask. All this time for reflection has helped me to remember just how happy I am at home. 

So, as the Valentine's Day holiday approaches, I look for more love to add to my humble abode, and Nod Hill Soap has it all! I endorse their products, not only because it is local to my town (Wilton, CT) and because we live on a street called Nod Hill, but because the products truly are remarkable. You can order online (thanks COIVD-19), and these are some of my favorites:

Here are some other favorites of mine that would make for a thoughtful gift around the home: Tea for One Set, Molton Brown Products, C.O. Bigelow Products, Kiehl's Haircare, a Water Carafe & Cup for anywhere you want! And of course, there's always Godiva...