Monday, June 20, 2011

The Best Carrot Cake Ever!!!!

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated peeled carrots (about 10 carrots)
one 8oz. can crushed pineapple, drained (I omit this ingredient)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
one 16oz. box confectioners' sugar, sifted

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
2) To make the cake, sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the eggs and vegetable oil and stir until well blended. Fold in the grated carrots, pineapple, and pecans and stir until the mixture in thoroughly blended.
3) Pour one-third of the batter into each of the prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the edges have pulled away slightly from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
4) Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely on wire racks.
5) To make the icing, place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer set at medium speed, cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth.
6) Place a cake layer on a serving plate and frost the top. Repeat this procedure with the second and third layers. Finish by icing the sides of the cake. Cut into wedges and serve.

Makes one 8-inch layer cake. Serves 8-10.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sesame Noodles

adapted from Good (click the title to go to the original link)

This is becoming one of our "regular" meals.  It's very easy and yummy.  If you *must* you could add some shrimp or even chicken.  I serve this with gyoza (Chinese dumplings) alongside.

I've halved the original recipe because it makes a lot.  I also limit the spicy-ness for my kiddos.
You can make the sauce earlier in the day to save some time.


- salt
- 8 oz. spaghetti (whole wheat, regular or even rice noodles)
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/8 cup rice vinegar
- 1/8 low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/8 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 Tbsp Asian sesame oil
- 1/2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp sugar
- pinch crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicier)
- 2 cups carrots cut into match sticks (save yourself some time and buy the packaged kind)
- 2 small cucumbers (I used Persian cucumbers) cut into matchsticks
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds toasted (optional)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

  1. Heat large pot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook as label directs.
  2. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, with wire whisk or fork, mix orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, oil, ginger, sugar, and crushed red pepper until blended; set sauce aside.
  3. Place carrots in colander; drain pasta over carrots. In large serving bowl, toss pasta mixture, cucumbers, and sliced green onions with sauce in bowl. If you like, sprinkle pasta with sesame seeds. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.