Jerri’s Carrot Cake

This carrot cake is AMAZING!!! It’s dangerous! I got the recipe from my husband’s grandma. I didn’t realize I even liked carrot cake until this recipe. YUM! Now it is one of my favorites!! Seriously, don’t make this unless you’re willing to suffer the consequences! :)

Carrot Cake Slice

Cake:

2 c flour
2 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 t cinnamon

Mix with mixer in a large bowl and add:

1 1/2 c vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 c grated carrots

Mix with mixer about 3-5 minutes. Bake 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

Icing:

1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
1 box (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar
1/4 lb butter
2 tsp vanilla

Cream cheese and butter until soft. Add sugar and vanilla. Frost cake.

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Homemade Oreo Cookies!!

These homemade Oreo cookies are soft and delicious. They are not exactly like Oreo cookies, but I think they’re even better. :) Enjoy!


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 335° F.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salts. (Fluff up or sift your flour unless you want very dense cookies!)
  3. Combine melted butter and sugar in a separate bowl. Add egg.
  4. Add dry mixture 1/3 at a time. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you may need put in some elbow grease for this last part as the dough is very stiff.)
  5. Roll out grape-sized balls of dough.
  6. Coat the bottom of a cup with sugar and smoosh the balls of dough so that they are a bit thicker than an oreo cookie.
  7. Bake cookies for 6-7 minutes on parchment paper. Watch closely! You don’t want them to dry out! When you first pull them out of the oven, they should be really floppy and impossible to move with a spatula. Let them cool for a couple of minutes and they will firm up, but still be nice and soft.
  8. While the cookies are baking, whip up the filling. Put in a sandwich bag and cut off the tip so you can pipe the frosting on the cookies easily.

Ingredients:

– Cookie – 

  • 1 ½ c Flour
  • ¾ c Dutch process Cocoa
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 10 TBSP Salted Butter
  • 1 ½ c Sugar
  • 1 Egg
– Filling –

  • 8 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • ½ Cups Shortening
  • 3 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

References:

I made a couple changes to this recipe: http://snapguide.com/guides/make-homemade-oreo-cookies-1/

Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese – Easy, Healthy & Pretty

Here’s a dish that K and I recently included in an Italian-themed dinner we put together with some friends. I love it because it’s healthy and really really easy for how “pretty” it looks.  It’s also really delicious and refreshing – especially if you’ve got home-grown tomatoes. I just use salt and basil to bring out the flavor. My dad used to always salt tomatoes when I was growing up. I thought it was really weird. In this case, I don’t think it’s weird. It’s delicious. But he also salts watermelon. That one is definitely weird. I put my foot down there. :)

Ingredients:

  • fresh tomatoes
  • fresh mozzarella
  • salt
  • basil

Directions:

  1. Slice & salt tomatoes.
  2. Slice mozzarella.
  3. Arrange on plate.
  4. Sprinkle basil on top.

44 calories per piece

(assuming you’ve got 1/2” slices of tomato with 0.5 oz of mozzarella)

Homemade Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream (+ Sandwiches if you want)

I <3 Blue Bunny Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

My favorite ice cream in the whole wide world is Blue Bunny’s Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate. I love scooping that ice cream in a glass cup and pouring just a bit of milk over top of it. That gives it a soft, icicle-y texture. Sooooo good! Well. Kroger (where I shop) doesn’t carry this ice cream, so I have had to go without for the past year or so. But no longer!! Say hello to homemade bordeaux cherry chocolate!

And if you want to go the extra mile, then say hello to homemade bordeaux cherry chocolate ice cream sandwiches!! What!?!? Ice cream sandwiches are one of my most favorite things in this world. To combine these two things into one almost brings a tear to my eye. Ok, I’ll stop being a dork. :) But seriously. Soooo good.

How to make the ice cream:

Just follow the cuisine art recipe for simple vanilla ice cream and add almond extract, cherries, and finely chopped dark chocolate chunks. Easy!

Ingredients:
Yield ~5 cups

1 c whole milk
3/4 c sugar
pinch salt
2 c heavy cream
1 T vanilla
1 t almond extract
1 c dark sweet cherries (chopped)
1/2 c bittersweet dark chocolate chunks (finely chopped)

Notes: I actually feel that all that heavy cream makes the ice cream too rich. I substitute 3 cups of 1% milk for the whole milk and heavy cream and find that to be delicious. It is less creamy and more yogurt-like but it cuts down the calories A LOT (329 calories per 1/2 cup to 170 calories).

How to make the ice cream sandwiches:

Follow this recipe: Ice Cream Sandwiches Tested Recipe

I wouldn’t change a thing! The sandwiches are nice and soft and stay that way in the freezer for days afterward. (I’m not sure just how long they keep because they didn’t last too long before getting eaten…by me). Oh, and I take take that back, I actually did change one thing. I added some almond extract to go with the ice cream. I was mucho pleased with the result. 

*Any* Pie Filling Banana Bread

So… my banana bread kick is obviously not over yet. I had some leftover raspberry pie filling from the lemon cake and thought why not put that in banana bread!? Genius! It turned out so so good. And I bet you could use other pie fillings and really have fun with this recipe. I made a chocolate loaf and regular loaf and put in raspberry pie filling and white chocolate chips in both. Delicious!! I made them both at the same time so I could compare them side by side. I have to say that although they were both delicious, the chocolate loaf won out – and disappeared faster. It was almost brownie-like, not in chewiness, but in moistness and richness. Don’t those loaves look gorgeous??

Banana Bread

I bet it would be really good to try cherry pie filling + dark chocolate chunks, apple pie filling + caramel chunks/peanut butter chips, blueberry pie filling + white chocolate chips, etc., etc. Please feel free to post any variations you try in the comments! I’d love to hear about them!

Banana Bread Banana Bread
Chocolate Raspberry White Chocolate Banana Bread Chocolate Banana Bread

Ingredients:    (yield – 1 loaf)

Wet Ingredients –

1 ripe banana    

2 eggs

1 t vanilla

½ applesauce

½ can pie filling (I used raspberry)

Blondie Loaf Only –

½ t lemon extract (or 1 t lemon juice)

Dry Ingredients –

1 ½ c flour

1 T baking powder

½ t baking soda

¼ t salt

½ c white sugar

½ c brown sugar

1 c chocolate chips (I used white chocolate)

Chocolate Loaf Only –

1/3 c cocoa powder

Blondie Loaf Only –

¾ t cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour.
  2. Mash banana; combine with all wet ingredients in bowl.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in separate bowl.
  4. Combine both bowls.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes. (You can check with a toothpick, but remember that the pie filling is going to remain a liquid.)

~180 calories per slice (1/18 of loaf)

Banana Bread

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Lemon, Raspberry, White Chocolate Cake

lemon raspberry white chocolate cake

So this was my very first round layered cake, and my first time making chocolate curls! So much fun! I had been craving lemon for forever and thought a nice lemon-raspberry cake would hit the spot. My husband suggested the white-chocolate frosting, which turned out to be a winner. The cake is made up of a simple lemon cake mix, raspberry pie filling, and a homemade white chocolate frosting. The inside of the cake has a layer of the raspberry filling mixed with the frosting – the best part in my opinion.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Make two 9” round cakes from a lemon cake mix and pop in the oven.
  2. Whip up some white chocolate frosting! This recipe posted by Kristen was what really made this cake:
    http://comfortablydomestic.com/2011/06/28/white-chocolate-buttercream/OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  3. When cakes are done, use floss to remove the top of one of the cakes.
    2013-08-30 11.17.38
  4. Mix together about 1/4 can of raspberry filling mixed and about 3/4-1cup. This mixture goes in between the cake layers.
    2013-08-30 11.40.39
  5. Frost the cake!! Top with another 1/4 can of raspberry filling and white chocolate curls (if you want to get really fancy). The white chocolate curls took a little bit of practice for me to get the hang of. My husband, Kyle, was actually really good at it and helped me figure it out. We found that – 1, using a cucumber peeler is more effective than a knife and 2, you need to apply just enough pressure to get the right thickness. My problem was that I was pushing too hard and the chocolate kept breaking in my hands!! But if you don’t push hard enough then you get sad little wispy shavings. So, you just have to play around with it.
    Lemon-Raspberry White Chocolate Cake

Lemon-Blueberry-Peach Loaf Cake

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Here is a very moist loaf cake that I “invented” using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/04/lemon-yogurt-anything-cake/). I followed the recipe except that I used applesauce instead of oil (lower cal but probably not as delicious) and buttermilk instead of yogurt (because that’s what I had) and lemon juice instead of lemon zest (also because that’s what I had). As a result, it was almost too moist. :) Next time I want to try using the yogurt instead of the buttermilk, BUT the moist-ness didn’t stop my husband and I from consuming it quickly. It made for a very delicious breakfast, especially with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Yum!!

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Here are some quick directions if you don’t want to go through the Smitten Kitchen link:

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170 calories per serving (1/12 of loaf)