Egg Usage – by month – (February 2016)

What shall I decide to represent the February Egg Usage, not sure what will work. But these are great sugar cookies that I have been making them for donkey’s years and now I have Mardi Gras Cookie Cutters. Cool.  Thank you King Arthur Flour. I really hope March is better, but that is just me. Damn Mardi Gras came too early. So strange. D&D_1180

February 4 – 2 – Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondies

February 5 – 2 – Sugar Cookies

February 20 – 2 – Oatmeal Pecan Toffee Cookies

February 24 – 3 – Carrot Cake

February 27 – 2 – White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

February 29 – 4 – Apple Carrot Cupcakes

Apparently I need to add this up and do some math – ugh.

15 eggs @ .33 each = $4.95. I can do better.

Butter Usage – by month – (February 2016)

February 1 – 2 Tbs – Grilled Cheese Sandwich – yep boring, but I love a good grilled cheese. Of course with applesauce.

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Spiced Pecans

February 4 – 16 Tbs – Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondies

February 5 – 16 Tbs – Sugar Cookies

February 6 – 4 Tbs – Spiced Pecans Will be making these again even if they are a bit sticky – but we’ve had a rather damp winter  – hence, no taffy (total bummer.)

February 20 – 3 Tbs – Parmesan Rosemary Crackers

February 20 – 8 Tbs – Oatmeal Pecan Toffee Cookies

February 24 – 4 Tbs – Carrot Cake – frosting

February 27 – 16 Tbs – White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Easter Planning

Holy cow. Easter will be here before you know it. Sorry – this year the early food holidays have just stacked up way too much. Super Bowl Sunday smashed into Mardi Gras – literally. I’m not kidding. Two days apart.

I understand that Pi Day will always fall right in line with St. Patrick’s Day.  There is no denying the calendar on that one, but they are fixed points – unlike Mardi Gras and Easter – thank you Hebrew calendar for keeping us on our toes.

I am thinking something with lemon. But that seems to be something I do a lot.  Or Asparagus. Or fresh herbs. I won’t go all crazy and say I’ll make lamb, because I won’t. I at least know myself well enough to know that will not happen. Ham, also, will not be in my future. We’re just not big fans.

What is really strange to me is I do not remember any big food traditions for my family for Easter. I’ll have to ask my dad, but no, I’ve really got nothing.

We always dyed eggs (Paas and vinegar are always linked together in my brain), had great Easter baskets, went to church, did the egg hunt thing. But that is all I remember.

Either way, I am going to have to come up with something for Easter dinner this year

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Carrot Cake is just so tempting for Easter.

. Carrot Cake seems to be a repeating element. But, I think I am going back to my original idea –  lemons. Yep. That is what I’ll do. No surprise really.

Tomorrow is Good Friday, so I best decide.

Wednesday Cooking School

So tonight The Boy and I made carrot cake. It is one of his favorites.  I have made carrot cake for D&D_1233him many, many, many, years  – big birthday cake for him. When I said The Boy and I made a carrot cake, I really mean just him. I am kind of the director in this movie. Suggesting, demonstrating, etc. To me, you learn by doing, so I let him do the doing.

So I get home from work and he’s here already – good start. As I go up to change (I’m a mess when cooking, so I have to change my clothes), I say to him, start peeling the carrots. Simple enough, right?  A few minutes later he’s still peeling that first carrot … There was almost no carrot left. I said, what are you doing? Do you not know how to peel a carrot?  Apparently not. So I explained how to peel a carrot. And then explained for the cake we would be grating the carrots for the cake. Poor guy, he just didn’t know.

Lesson: don’t assume things in Wednesday Cooking School.

I am not a fan of making cake after work, but this wasn’t too horrible. Only about 2 1/2 hours, but excellent time spent hanging out with The Boy. Yes, that’s the best part.  Indeed.

I’m kind of excited that his next choice is Eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise. I started this stupid idea on New Year’s Day of 2009. What the hell – make a very complicated thing for New Year’s Day – does anyone do that? Apparently I do. And we did it weekend after weekend that year. But since The Boy is coming over after work, it will be for dinner, and in my small brain, that is a good thing.

Carrot Cake

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Carrot Cake

This is a recipe from a friend. It is her grandmother’s recipe. I love grandmom recipes. I have so few from either of my grandmothers that I just love those grandmom recipes from friends. When a recipe goes down through a couple of generations it means something: It works; it is a favorite; it is loved; it is important. That has a certain Siren call to me.

To my way of thinking, that is largely what this site is all about. Leaving behind what is important to me, and hoping that The Boy finds them worth something in the future. That sounds a bit depressing, but I do not mean it in that way.

From my friend Elaine – from her Grandmother. This is a half recipe. It makes a 2 layer cake, but you could double it to make a 4 layer cake which is what the original recipe does.

Cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, plus one large egg yolk
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup grated carrots
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans (local Renfroes) *
1 tsp orange zest

Prepare two 9 inch round pans with baking spray, line with parchment and spray parchment. Preheat ove to 350 degrees.

Sift together over a piece of waxed paper the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer. In a large measuring cup add canola oil and eggs. Whisk with a fork to combine. Slowly add to dry ingredients while on low. Add carrots, pecans, and orange zest and mix until just combined.

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Carrot Cake – for The Boy to take home.

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes, turning half way through. Do the toothpick test. Remove and cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out, remove parchment, and cool completely.

Frosting:
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange juice
8 ozs powdered sugar, sifted**

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and orange juice. Once smooth, sift in powdered sugar (sifting keeps the frosting smooth).

Once cakes are cooled, frost those layers, and the sides if you want. But we did not do it.

Notes: This is the first time I’ve made the recipe and I’ve made just a half recipe because I only have two 9 inch round pans – that’s how it goes. I have been using a recipe from Mrs. Fields (you know, the cookie lady) since about the time The Boy was born and it has been a huge birthday cake for him for donkey’s years. But this was so much better. I think the canola oil (my choice of vegetable oil because it so neutral) made it so unreally moist.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be ugly about the originally recipe that I made, but this was one of those – wow! – moments. I am just going to say that some times, really old recipes are the best. Next time, I will add raisins because they really add something to carrot cake.

This is the L year. Ugh. This will be a theme. Unfortunately.

Wednesday Night Cooking (Baking) School

 

Pre – Thanksgiving Prep Week

For me planning is the ultimate part of putting Thanksgiving together. List-making is a close second, but maybe that’s just me (I know I am a list maker) although it is a close run between list-making and grocery shopping. That said, here are the other things I would like  to get accomplished in the week before Thanksgiving.

Making two pans of cornbread for … wait for it …. cornbread dressing.
Make cranberry relish. It’s better made earlier. Yep.
Toast a pan of bread until dry. For cornbread dressing. My Mom’s instructions.
Roast some sweet potatoes. For Sunday Sweet Potatoes and Sweet Potato Biscuits. I’ve been boiling them, but will roast them this year.
Spinach Dip because the Boy loves it, and secretly, so do I. With Hawaiian Sweet Bread.
Trying a new carrot cake this year and will make the layers ahead.
Pecan pie made a day or two ahead.

Won’t tell you how many of these things I’ve already done.  – Cranberry – yep – sweet  potatoes – yep – bread – yep. Cornbread will be tomorrow, I think. Do have to go grocery shopping again. Seems always to be the case.

So I’m left with the day of making corn pudding, Sunday sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, sweet potato biscuits, the Boy’s request for Upside Down Butterscotch Apple Sour Cream Cake. Hoping we are eating at about 3:00pm or so, because I’m not getting up early. Just not going to happen.

Oh, and then there is the venison. But that’s an entirely different post.

2015 Butter Usage (by month – April)

2 March 2015 – 8 Tbs. – Lemon Crispy Chews

3 March 2015 – 24 Tbs. – Carrot Cake

4 March 2015 – 8 Tbs. – Cream Cheese Frosting

7 March 2015 – 2 Tbs. – Currant Chicken

16 March 2015 – 1 Tbs. – Mexican Rice

43 Tbs. = 5.375 sticks = 1.34375 pounds

Pitiful. Really. Pitiful.

I have no excuse – I need to be baking more. Sigh.

Ugh, math.

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Lemon Chewy Crisps