I got it (carrot cake) from my momma

Growing up my mom would make carrot cake on every birthday. Now, I make it on a Tuesday.

I live for this stuff.

I eat it for breakfast…lunch..dinner. Dessert. Every minute of every day.
Jam packed with carrots, this oil based cake is as good as it gets. Not too sweet, perfect amount of moisture, and the oh so comforting spices.

And then that delicately tart cream cheese frosting.

I am in heaven.

(Like Winnie the little polar bear, here in the snow.)

I won’t give the exact recipe because to me, it’s worth like 800 million trips around the world…..but I can give some advice.

Cut the sugar in almost 1/2. Add extra cinnamon & allspice.

And use EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA carrots 

Save time by shredding carrots in the food processor…

And shred wayyyy more than you think you’ll need (usually I double it)

Perfect.

4 eggs.

Eggs meet oil

{Eggs + oil} meet dry ingredients

Mix until like this

Add carrots

Yum

Now divide it up

Bakey bakey

Time to makey some frostey

Butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, & a touch of milk.

Magic

Now frost her up

The sloppier….The better.

ūüź∑ūüź∑ūüź∑

Be a Pineapple

Thank you Pinterest for being you. I love you. I am obsessed. P.S. Sorry I put you on the back burner for a while….I realize now how magical and amazing you really are.

Here are 2 impossibly easy recipes from the queen of all things…AKA Pinterest. 

First comes coffee…. right?

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How about crock-pot Pumpkin Spice Latte’s…. yes PSL’s!!!!!! ūüéÉ

crock-pot-pumpkin-latte-recipe

Very fabulous, although next time I will add more (or stronger) coffee. Also I used a 1/4 of a vanilla bean instead of 1/2 cup vanilla extract. Sounded way too expensive for my taste.

More coffee will definitely get it closer to Starbucks. Need more….need. <<<Man I miss working there…free espresso drinks and beans…..>>>

 

BIG

Supersize Me

 

Next how about something you actually chew.

It involves crushed pineapple….

vanilla pudding…

cake mix….

and cool-whip…

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Talk about comfort. All things processed!!! Don’t we all crave processed foods now & then?

 

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duh

 

 

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Pineapple Sunshine Cake!!!!

BTW 8 oz. is roughly 1 cup. So if you got your crushed pineapple at Market Basket like me, you’ll have a little left.

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I don’t think I ever seen an 8 ox. can of crushed pineapple anyway.

And this frosting….

 

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OH my lawddddd ūüĎĆ

***once you mix it together initially, give it a few minutes and then come back and whip it again****

 

I’ve been seeing a ton of people on Pinterest make frosting out of cool whip and pudding mix and I wanted to see what all the rage was about.

Boy, am I impressed.Now I feel like such an idiot for boycotting Cool-Whip.

For 2 years, I deprived myself of this silky smooth engineered legend. Oh those food scientists…..converting oil to a solid at room temp. How sneaky, yet clever.

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AND DELICIOUS.yummmmmmmmmm

 

Morale of the Pinterest story: Be a Pineapple.

Stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside. ūüćć

Happy Pi Day

Extra almond crust in your fridge + Pi Day = one EXTRAAA delicious coconut cream pie

  
I like adding toasted coconut to my custard and a big mountain of freshly whipped meringue

  
Then bake this beautiful ūüĆī baby

   
   
Who wants to watch Trailer Park Boys with me and eat this?

  

Cake Cake Cake

In honor of Valentine’s Day and my ever-expanding waistline, my sister and I made a cake. Like a huge cake. Cake cake cake cake……and it’s not even anyone’s birthday.

To start this bad boy, first bake THE cake. Here I cheated and used a mix, whatever.  Winnie was mad about this. Or did she just want to come back into the warm house?? You tell me.

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Next, make a basic pastry cream.  If you have a whole vanilla bean, use it. Those black flecks are gold.

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For a sturdy and delicious piping frosting, make Italian Meringue Buttercream.  Sounds intimidating I know, but it is really not.  We made a 1/2 recipe here.

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FEW TIPS: When boiling the sugar syrup, use a wet pastry brush to get rid of any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Keep a close eye on the temperature of the hot sugar mixture because it goes through various heating spurts. Also, when pouring the hot sugar mixture into the whipped egg whites, try and avoid the sides of the bowl. You want a steady stream aimed at the¬†moving center of your mixer. That way you won’t get little chunks of hardened sugar. (Believe me, I have had it happen before)

Flavorings: Salt and vanilla extract are your friends.

Coloring: Food coloring is your friend.

Once everything is nice and cool…..it’s ASSEMBLY TIME!

Cut the cakes in half, layer on fresh raspberry jam….

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GIVE HER¬†a¬†good ole’ blob of pastry cream…

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A top.

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Perfect. Time to give her a crumb coat of buttercream….

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Repeat for next layer. We did a tiered cake here, so there was a second, smaller layer. Refrigerate uncovered, until hardened. (roughly 1 hour)

Cover with another layer of buttercream… if you don’t love my sloppy, handmade look, you can smooth out seams by running your spatula under hot water.

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THEN decorate your heart out.

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Because we are clearly both obsessed with hearts, my¬†sister made these awesome chocolate covered peanut butter and jelly bites. Aren’t they cute together?? (like me and Stephen Merchant??!!?)

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Serve it up…

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What do you think???

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Cake Cake Cake…..

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Onion Bialys

Do you LOVE bagels??? Then you absolutely must try making bialys.

Sort of a hybrid between onion rolls and gourmet bagels, bialys are….

larry david

Sure the process¬†maybe¬†a little time consuming, but TRUST ME, the result is totally¬†worth it. ¬†Perfect with a¬†schmear of cream cheese….mmm.

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This dough is chewy, salty, and jam-packed with caramelized onions.

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I’m in bialys heaven.

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I found this recipe in the December 2014 issue of Saveur magazine (no. 170), but for some reason their website is completely different.  Wah.

Here it is:

  • ¬†1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. coarse bread crumbs, lightly toasted
  • 3 cups ice-cold water
  • ¬Ĺ oz. fresh yeast
  • 5¬ĺ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. poppy seeds
  1. Heat oil and onion in a 12‚ÄĚ skillet over medium; cook until onion is golden, 12 minutes. Stir in bread crumbs, let cool.
  2. Stir ¬Ĺ cup water and the yeast in a bowl until smooth; add remaining water. Combine flour and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a hook. With the motor running, slowly add yeast mixture until a sticky dough forms. At medium-high speed, knead dough until smooth but still sticky, 3-4 minutes. Cover bowl with a dish towel; let sit in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, 1-1¬Ĺ hours.
  3. Uncover and return dough to stand mixer with hook; knead 10 minutes. Return dough to bowl and cover; let sit until doubled in size once more, about 1 hour. Seem kind of odd beating up dough after its first rise? Don’t judge until you try it.
  4. On a floured surface and with floured hands, divide dough into 16 balls. Place 2‚ÄĚ apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets and cover with dish towels; let sit until slightly puffed, 40-45 minutes.
  5. Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of the oven; heat to 450¬įF. Wet the bottom of a small glass (about 3‚ÄĚ in diameter) with water; press glass into center of each dough ball and twist glass back and forth to produce a thin, flat well surrounded by a thick ring of dough on the outer edge. Brush a little water over the top of dough rings and sprinkle with poppy seeds; spread 1-2 tsp. of onion mixture in well and top edges of dough. Working in batches, place baking sheet on pizza stone; bake until bialys are golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to the middle rack; back until bialys are browned and onions are slightly caramelized, 6-8 minutes. Let bialys cool before serving.

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*** I did not have fresh yeast. Substituted in ~1¬ĺ tsp. active dry yeast and 3 cups of warmed (108¬įF) water. ¬†Also, I covered the bialys with aluminum foil for the ENTIRE baking process. The¬†onions on my first batch burnt¬†without the cover.***

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Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Incredible Cinnamon-Cardamom Swirl Bread

Guys I did it! I officially¬†solved a lifelong puzzle. ¬†How does Auntie Anne’s¬†get that absolutely salivating topping on their cinnamon sugar pretzels?

Is it crack? No. (even though that would explain their addictiveness) Is it some ridiculously secretive ingredient that you have to spend hours outsourcing online? No. What is it then???

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Salt. Good ole’ salt.

To make this ridiculously comforting bread use the recipe for Cinnamon Swirls.

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These. Go ahead, click on it. I know you want to….

For cardamom infused bread instead of rolls; simply add cardamom to your cinnamon sugar filling, tie the rolled up dough into a knot (instead of cutting it), and then once it is baked, add salt to your cinnamon sugar topping.  Here is mine after it was baked.

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It was even more beautiful on the inside.

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Am I making you hungry??

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HEAVENLY Overnight Cinnamon Pull-apart Bread

ina garten gif

I wish I was as cool as Ina and could invite you over for some of this bread.

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I made this bread a while ago for my mom and she loved it. Seriously, this stuff is incredible. Eat it fast because it never lasts long.

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Here’s the recipe, I found it in the¬†Better Homes and Gardens Annual Cookbook. #yum

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Oh yeah, add in EXTRA cinnamon and a slight hint of brown sugar for the filling. I used 2/3 granulated sugar and 1/3 brown sugar.

cinnamon bread

 

 

Little Piggy Rolls

Something about Christmas reminds me of pigs. Maybe it’s the Honeybaked Ham or just a reflection¬†of how I feel when I look into the fridge.

Check out these adorable and must I say, ABSOLUTELY DELECTABLE Cardamom rolls my sister made.

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Little¬†piggies need ears…

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They also need to get¬†nice and portly¬†with a good proof.¬†And what little piggy doesn’t love a¬†bath in egg wash?

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This little piggy got¬†BAKED…

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This little piggy is going in my mouth..

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And this little piggy needs a nose job.

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Baking doesn’t always turn out as planned…. but that is ALRIGHT

Ever spend a good amount of time making something and find yourself completely disappointed if it fails? Try to RELAX. Failure is a part of learning  and is probably the best way to learn. Especially when it comes to baking.

Sometimes failure forces you into uncharted territory where thinking outside the box is the only solution. Case in point, my attempt at a cinnamon roll wreath.

It was beautiful to begin with.

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It smelled even better. Cardamom and cinnamon sugar filling wrapped in an orange infused dough. YUM. Or so I thought.

Then… #fail

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Cinnamon picture frame anyone?

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It may not look like it but these orange infused rolls were drier than the Arabian desert! How could this happen? Something must have gone wrong during the proofing process. Or maybe I used the wrong dough.

I tried saving it¬†with some orange glaze…

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MAJOR DIGRESSION: this is my new favorite GLAZE

Orange Glaze:¬†Powdered sugar with¬†the zest and juice of one¬†orange¬†ūüćä Add vanilla extract and a touch of rose water if you are going for Fiori di Sicilia.

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Even with the addition of glaze, these rolls were still DRY CITY. Things were looking pretty hopeless.

So what did I do?

How do you¬†save¬†or help fix¬†horribly dry and under-proofed¬†cinnamon rolls???¬†CINNAMON ROLL¬†BREAD PUDDING. I soaked the ripped up rolls with milk, egg, and salt (because I wanted to balance out the¬†sugary glaze) for 15 minutes. Then baked it in a water bath at 350¬įF for about an hour.

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Result? Seriously delicious bread pudding. Perfect flavor combination and DRYNESS is no longer a problem.  The orange and cardamom have me feeling like HOW COME THIS DISASTER TURNED OUT BETTER THAN MY ORIGINAL IDEA?

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LESSON OF THIS COOKING JOURNEY–

You can’t always save it, but at least¬†try.¬†Sometimes it really is hopeless though, like Sony’s security IT system.¬†