Carrot & Raisin Salad

I have never made this for Thanksgiving, ever. I made it this because I love it even though I know neither the Boy nor the MotH likes it at all – their loss, more for me. So I made it because there would be other family members at Thanksgiving in case someone other than me might like it too. I do think that worked.

D&D_2329These are random thoughts:

I eat carrot/raisin salad for breakfast – just a couple of days in the fridge and this really is excellent. It keeps so much better than cole slaw. Cole slaw need to be made the day you are eating it and then just toss it out. That is not to say you cannot use the cole slaw mix for days and days, you just have to dress it the day you are going to eat it. This works really well, especially when serving bbq pork or sloppy joes.

Oh, and yes, breakfast because apparently I have to eat meals now. Ugh.

I have no recipe for carrot & raisin salad* – same as with cole slaw.  Let me try to explain. I peel and grate a 1 pound bag of carrots on the large holes of a box grater. Put that in a bowl. Add golden raisins – sultanas, and decided if I need more raisins. Then get out the Duke’s mayonnaise. This is where you must be careful. Too much mayo will make just a hot mess. So add the Duke’s judiciously. A little at a time – a little kosher salt now would be a good thing. Then let the whole damn mess sit refrigerated overnight and decide if you need to add something more. In my case, a couple of days later the salad needed a little more (very little) mayonnaise. Made the difference in my breakfast this week. Indeed.

Carrot Raisin Salad is always for my brother’s birthday. That’s saying a lot. I’ve said this before, probably lots, but for our birthdays growing up you got your favorite meal for your birthday. My brother’s favorite was roast beef with rice and gravy and carrot & raisin salad. Maybe it was the roast beef I made the week before Thanksgiving that made this happen, but no matter what this was a really good treat for me and the others that recognized this** on the Thanksgiving buffet.

Who writes about carrot & raisin salad? No body but me.

*Why is it called a salad – it’s like a carrot slaw with sultanas. Oh, and pineapple-ly things will never, ever, be involved in carrot/raisin salad. Ugh – just so wrong. Yes, I have very strong opinions about food. I think we all do. Well, even if we all don’t, I still do.

**Yes, it was all of us old-ish people, but they enjoyed it. Me, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law’s mother, and I think my brother-in-law too. Yes, I was looking at plates. Based on what I saw, I think they liked it.

Either way, a great breakfast for a few days at the office.

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.

January – March 2016 – Food “Holidays” Recap

Super Bowl – February 7

Spiced Pecans * Roast Beef Horseradish Sandwich * Bacon-wrapped Fruit Bites * Buffalo Rolls * Proscuitto Fontina Pinwheels * Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Torte *

Mardi Gras Pot Luck – February 9

Mardi Gras Sugar Cookies *  Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Torte *

Margarita Day – February 22

Leap Day – February 29

Apple Carrot Cupcakes *

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Apple Carrot Muffins – slightly amazing. And, no. I’m not bragging.

Pi Day – March 14

Apple Walnut Pie *

Butter Pie Crust *

St Patrick’s Day – March 17

Guinness Brownies *

Easter – March 27

Not sure yet, but I have a few days to sort it out. Yikes.


Apple Carrot Muffins – Leap Day

Leap Day – 29 February 2016

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Carrot, Apple, Walnut Muffins

I don’t think there is any Leap Day food, I look at is an extra day to make something in the kitchen. Bake, cook, maybe trying something new.

Yes, I think try something new. But what?

So after the Boy and I made an excellent carrot cake from a recipe from my friend we had some extra grated carrots left and I remembered having recently seen this recipe and thought it looked good. Also nice that I had everything on hand. Bonus! Another breakfast food, at least in my opinion. Carrot, Apples, Walnuts – um, duh.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups grated carrots, about 3
1 1/2 cups grated Granny Smith Apple, about 2
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans if you can get good ones)

Frosting:
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
4 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Find some spiffy cupcake liners (this is a new thing for me). Line cupcake pan with liners.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a measuring cup, mix together oil and eggs. Break the eggs up. Make a well and add oil and eggs, mix to combine. The add carrots, apples, and walnuts.

Spoon batter into liners, 3/4 full. Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Sift in confectioner’s sugar. Apply frosting to cooled cupcakes.

Source: adapted from a recipe at Simply Recipes.

I made these one night and thought I would frost them the next day but I tried one after they had cooled a bit and decided to skip the frosting. They are great with no frosting. Even MotH likes them and that is saying something. I guess if you frost them then you can call them cupcakes. But I’ll stick with the un-frosted muffin. Besides, that way I can eat them for breakfast and feel good about eating carrots, apples, and walnuts …. for breakfast!! Woo Hoo!

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