Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day Ben!

With Ben's birthday and Father's Day so close on the calendar I decided that two cakes were out of the question. So I made cupcakes for Father's Day and decorated them to resemble a lawnmower. I chose a chocolate cake mix and made Coco's buttercream frosting and tinted it green. I used Wilton tip # 233 to make the "grass" and was pleased with the results. Then for the mower I used a milk chocolate Hershey Nugget and the wheels were M & M's and the engine was a red M & M attached with a little frosting. The handle should have been made from licorice laces but they were not available at our local grocery stores so I cut the regular licorice and made do.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Another photo of Carrot Cake

I was disappointed with my previous photo of the carrot cake so here is another attempt!!

How do you like the new look of my blog? I surely didn't do any of the work but Coco did and I thank her for it! Caribe will be asked to vote on it today (there is one other background that I thought was nice).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Carrot Cake

Now here is a carrot cake that everyone should try! I had never made it before but decided to prepare and deliver to the Johnson family that I mentioned in an earlier post. ***I had forgotten that Mr. Johnson introduced C & C to Hot & Now Burgers...what a guy***

Carrot Cake:

4 eggs
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/1 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 1/4 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees... Line bottom of three 8" round cake pans with parchment paper. Leave sides of pan dry, no greasing necessary. You can use two 9" pans but do not overfill as the cake will run over. Combine the eggs and oil in a large mixing bowl and beat for two minutes with a mixer on medium speed. Add 1 cup sugar and continue mixing for two minutes. Add remaining sugar and mix for three to four minutes. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; add to egg mixture, beating on low speed until blended (about one minute). Add carrots, walnuts, and pineapple; mix until well blended. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake for 60 minutes OR until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature on wire rack. Run knife around edge of cakes and remove from pans. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups white chocolate chips, melted
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
Chopped walnuts

To prepare frosting, place cream cheese in mixing bowl and beat with mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add melted chocolate a little at a time, continuing to beat at medium speed. Add butter a little at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl; add lemon rind and beat until combined.

Remove cakes from refrigerator and ice top of one layer. Place second layer on top and ice. Place third layer on top and ice. Now frost sides of cake and finally press walnuts into the sides of cake and top if you desire. I made a chocolate carrot for the top and garnished with a sprig of parsley.

Ben has decided that this should be his birthday cake so I will be making another carrot cake soon!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Perfectly Beautiful Pink Poppies!

When I glanced out our window at the flower garden this morning I was delighted to see the poppies had opened completely! As you can see, they are the most beautiful pink color and are huge! I believe I planted the poppy plant three years ago and the first year I wasn't sure if the plant would survive but it did and by year two it put on quite a nice display! And this year the plant has exceeded my expectations it is just simply gorgeous!

Today was a perfect day for the poppies to bloom, reminding me that after a long winter we are greeted with rebirth...much like the life of Roger Johnson that we celebrated today. He was diagnosed seven weeks ago with pancreatic cancer and passed on last Friday, the 12th day of June. He now has been given new life and for that we are happy. He was a neighbor of ours and he and his wife Barbara have a daughter Andrea about the same age of our two daughters and they were best friends growing up on Sunset Drive. Oh the fun they had and Roger and Barbara were just like second parents to our girls and we are grateful for their many acts of kindness and all the memories we hold dear!

Life is indeed precious, let us all enjoy each day to the fullest! Where we see need let us do a kind deed!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Party Animal! A taste of Hawaii in our neck of the woods!

It appears that the answerman is getting ready for some sort of Hawaiian get-together!!! The inspiration was a recipe find in Sandra Lee's new magazine (June/July issue) entitled Hula Burgers and Saturday was the perfect day for grilling. So off to the store went Ben to get his supplies along with some necessary ingredients that I needed.

Mr. Hula himself was in charge of the Hula Burgers and I decided to use a recipe from Coco for Pina Colada cupcakes. Coco mentioned that drained crushed pineapple could probably be added to the cupcakes or to the frosting...I opted to add a little pineapple to the frosting and it was a nice addition. For my cupcakes I needed little paper umbrella's and Ben found them at our local dimestore. May I mention that the dimestore is called Walenta's and believe me they have a little bit of everything!

We enjoyed a fruit salad, assorted chips and Cha made some delicious lemon bars!

A fun little Saturday with part of our family, including my Mom, Cha and Tyler. Missing was Coco and Mac who now reside in lower Michigan, we miss you guys tremendously and hope one day jobs will bring you north!