Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Topping

Hello there– It’s Larry’s birthday today!!  I’m 3 months older than him so now he can stop teasing me about my advanced age.  Our parents are coming for dinner– chicken & rice– and we’ll top it off with this hearty cake.  Happy Birthday dear Larry!!

CARROT CAKE WITH COCONUT PECAN TOPPING

Cake:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1  1/2 cups grated carrot (about 3 carrots)
2 eggs

Topping:
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup butter (2/3 of a stick)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pecan, coarsely chopped

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Then mix in the oil, grated carrot and eggs.

Spoon the stiff batter into a 9″ cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  And pop it into a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until a small knife inserted comes out clean.  Let the cake cool.

To make the topping, stir together the milk, 2/3 cup sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in a sauce pan.

Then put the pan over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir until the mixture thickens (2 or 3 minutes).  the stir in the coconut and pecans.  Let it set a few minutes to cool and then heap it onto the cake.

P.S. This is an OLD post– Larry’s birthday is in August!!  But I saved it and the cake was lovely, so I’m passing it along.  Better late than never!!

Sugar Snap Pea Slaw

Hello all– This is one of those dishes you put together with by cleaning out the fridge!  Look for all the brightest crispiest veggies you have in the drawer, make the dressing and done!  The recipe I worked from called for cabbage & fennel (don’t have those on hand), so I threw in some cucumbers and those little red peppers instead.  So fresh and yummy–  Just right with an end of warm weather bar-b-que!

SUAGR SNAP PEA SLAW

Dressing:
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1 tab. cider vinegar
1 tab. honey (or sugar)
1 tsp seedy Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt

Veggies:
2 cups sugar snap peas, chopped (8 oz. package)
2 medium carrot, peeled & shredded
2 small Persian cucumbers, sliced thin
1/2 cup sweet red peppers chopped

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients– yogurt, cider vinegar, honey, mustard and salt.  Then drop in the prepared veggies.  Stir it up and serve!!  How easy is that?!

Carrot & Parsnip Red Lentil Soup

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Hello there– How are you doing– eating healthier after all the Christmas food splurge??   This big pot of soup was an attempt at a hearty veggie dinner –until I decided to chop up the end of the Christmas ham and add it to the pot.  With or without ham, it’s a warming winter meal– best eaten by the fireplace with a big chunk of wheaty bread.

CARROT & PARSNIP RED LENTIL SOUP
2 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled & chopped to bits
2 cloves garlic
2 large parsnips, peeled & grated
2 more large parsnips, peeled and chopped
3 carrot, peeled & grated
3 more carrots, peeled & chopped
3 pints chicken broth (48 oz.)
1 cup water
1 tsp. cumin
1 cup red lentils
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup ham, chopped to bits (optional!!)

Heat the oil in a soup pot.  Throw in the onion bits and cook a couple minutes until it turns translucent.  Then add the garlic and cook a minute more.  Add the chopped parsnip and carrots and cook 3 or 4 minutes until they start to soften.

Then stir in the grated parsnips and carrots, the chicken broth, water, cumin and red lentils.  Stir it now and then so the lentils don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Put on the lid and bring to a boil.  Then reduce to a low simmer and let the soup cook 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the soup thickens.  Stir in the ham and season to taste with salt & pepper. Enjoy!

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Cream Cheese Carrot Muffins

IMG_9028Hey there– When I was up staying with Ani & Brian in San Francisco, she had a few of these muffins leftover in the kitchen and we happily downed them with mugs of steaming tea.  It’s like that old favorite carrot cake reduced down to a tidy little muffin.  Spicy and sweet, they make the kitchen smell delectable while they are baking.

CREAM CHEESE CARROT MUFFINS

Carrot layer:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (2 0r 3 carrots)
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (0r pecans)

Stir together the sugar, oil, eggs and carrots,  Then add in the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and walnuts.  Spoon it all into standard cupcake tins lined with paper wrappers (makes 16)  Add the cream cheese layer before you bake.

Cream cheese layer:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 tab. flour
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup butter (4 tab.)

With an electric mixer blend the cream cheese and sugar.  Then mix in the flour, vanilla and butter.  Spoon this over the 16 unbaked carrot cupcakes.  Pop them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until the topping just starts to brown a bit and the muffins are firm to the touch.

Thanks Ani for the tea and the recipe!

Banana Carrot Muffins

Weekend with the kids in town calls for Sunday morning muffins.  These little guys are packed with different flavors.  I think you’ll like them.

BANANA CARROT MUFFINS
2 smashed bananas
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1 carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup currants

Smash those bananas in a mixing bowl with a fork.  Stir in the oil, eggs and sugar.  Then add in the wheat germ, baking powder, salt and flour.  Finally fold in the grated carrot, walnuts and currants.  Bake them up at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes until they are firm to the touch and gold brown on top.

Serve them up with a mug of tea and a bowl of fruit– and if you have time scramble up some eggs.  Breakfast!