Monday, June 18, 2012

My 1st Carrot Cake

How about that bowl of freshly grated carrots?  This recipe calls for carrots, duh, and instead of just doing the convenient thing, buying shredded carrots, I buy whole organic carrots. I know my kiddo will want them and I'll sacrifice the time and effort so we can have them in the cake. Oh brother! If you want to do that too, go ahead. Or, you can save yourself a little time and a huge mess and just buy the carrots already grated.  
This recipe came from one of my mom's garage sale adventures.  She found a book compiled completely of brand name recipes. I'm sure I've said this before, brand name recipes are always good. Those companies want you to use their products so they work hard to create easy delicious recipes. 

Inside Great American Brand Name Recipes Cookbook were many 80's gems, including this carrot cake from Crisco, that's been lightly adapted.  It's been a while since a recipe told me to use a 9x13 pan. I'm not going to complain though. That's the easiest cake to make. I don't have to split and fill anything or carefully ice the sides. Just bake it in the pan, cool, and slather cream cheese frosting. 

Ingredients for Cake
2.25 cups flour
1.5 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
.5 tsp ground nutmeg
.5 tsp salt
1 cup veggie oil
3/4 cup sour cream
3 eggs
.5 cup milk
2 cups shredded carrots or 4 whole carrots
1.5 cups sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1.25 cup raisins

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick of room temp butter
8 ounces of room temp cream cheese
3.75 cups of powdered sugar
2tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. Butter a 13x9 baking pan. 
Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. 
Add oil, sour cream, eggs, milk, and milk.
On low speed mix ingredients until they are all moist. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Beat on medium speed for two minutes.
Fold in coconut, almonds, and raisins.
Pour into the 9x13 pan.
Bake for 55 minutes. I checked mine at 45 minutes. Test the cake by inserting a knife or toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's ready to go.
Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
In your stand mixer or with your electric beaters, combine the butter and cream cheese. 
Add the vanilla extract and 1 cup of powdered sugar.
Mix. When it's combined, add another cup of powdered sugar. 
Repeat until all the powdered sugar is incorporated. 
Then beat on medium for two minutes or until light and fluffy. 
Slather this on top of your carrot cake after the cake has completely cooled and store in the refrigerator.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Harvest Salad at Smashburger

Last week we went to Smashburger located in Hazard Center. We chose it because it's next to a Yogurtland, one of our favorite places to grab dessert. Anyway, I just had to share this salad with you. It was delicious. It's called a Harvest Salad. It's a big bowl of mixed greens topped with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, blue cheese, tomatoes, raisins, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I added avocado. I loved those seeds. DELISH! I'll be ordering it again.

Terra American Bistro

Last month Fox 5 Morning News aired a special on restaurants in East County San Diego. One of the places highlighted was Terra. It's a farm to table kind of place with ingredients that are carefully selected by their chef/owner, Jeff Rossman. Anything farm to table gets my attention.  
L to R clockwise: fish tacos, bistro skillet fries, BBQ ribs, and lobster mac n cheese

I'm so glad we went because everything we ordered was delicious. For our appetizer we shared the fish tacos. On the menu, it lists white jalapeno sauce as one of the condiments. It's delicious and we'll be getting those again.
 My friend ordered the bistro skillet fries for her entree. They are hand cut fries topped with truffle oil, pulled bbq pork rib, and jack and asiago cheeses. 
I ordered the Thursday night special which was St. Louis style baby back ribs. They fall right off the bone and melt in your mouth. My friend's husband ordered them too and he was describing the sauce as he was eating. "First it's sweet, now it's spicy, now sweet again." I'd say that was accurate. They also come with a great cheesy tomato pasta and corn on the cob. 
The server recommended the lobster mac and cheese. My husband was happy he took her advice. They load up the plate with lobster and use very flavor cheeses, brie, jack, and asiago. And to add a bit of freshness, you also get market vegetables. 

Mmm mmm mmm... we left very happy and very full. I can't wait to go back. I think I'm either going to order the pot roast or the hamburger. Or maybe we'll go back for brunch. They do have lobster cobb on that menu. Hmm, so many good choices. 

Check out their menu online and decide what you're going to have when you go. Enjoy!