Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Carrot Tea Cake

Since it was DD's birthday, she wasn't available to make the famous Birthday cake! So I made a Carrot Tea Cake to celebrate hers! The icing was by far the best part! It was the perfect cream cheese frosting to top off the cake and it sat beautifully. I have to credit Martha Stewart for the recipe, however if I were to make any changes I would add raisins! I love Carrot Cake and loved spending her birthday weekend with her! Miss you!

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup packed grated carrots (from about 2 carrots)
1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 5-by-9-inch (6-cup) loaf pan. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in carrots. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.
Make frosting: Using mixer, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Frost top of cooled cake.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bradberry Muffins

Two weeks ago I spent my Saturday afternoon picking blueberries and wildflowers! And as soon as I got home I knew exactly what to do with them! These blueberry muffins are delicious! They were originally B's favorite but they've evolved and now everyone loves them. Despite the large list of ingredients these muffins are much better than a simple Better Homes and Gardens six ingredient muffin. Courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa.

Bradberry Muffins:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 half-pints fresh blueberries, picked through for stems

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 16 paper liners in muffin pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed. Fold in the blueberries with a spatula and be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup just over the top, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a cake tester comes out clean.

Lentil Salad

This recipe has become my favorite "make it one day-have it all week" kinds of meals. Its perfect because its cold. So it can just be thrown into a tupperware and eaten whenever. It is also dairy free, perfect for SM! Thanks for the recipe mom!
From Christopher Idone's GLORIOUS AMERICAN FOOD (1985)

2 cups lentils
1 onion, studded with 3 whole cloves
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 sweet yellow bell peppers-cored, seeded, deveined, and diced
2 sweet red bell peppers-cored, seeded, deveined, and diced
1 cup Vinaigrette*
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Wash the lentils thoroughly and drain.
In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
Add the lentils, onion, garlic, and salt.
Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Drain, discarding the onion and garlic, Set aside.
Just before serving, toss the lentils with the peppers and vinaigrette; check for seasonings.
Serve at room temperature.

Serves 8 to 10

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/3 cup safflower oil
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mstard.
Gradually whisk in the oils.
Season with the salt and pepper.
Makes 1 cup.