Sunday, September 28, 2014

Debbie McG's Carrot Cake

Mmmmm...  Made from scratch, moist, and hey, it has 3 cups of shredded carrots, so I think each piece counts as a vegetable serving.  :)

Debbie McG’s Carrot Cake                                                                         
2 c sugar
1 ½ c oil
4 eggs

Sift together:
2 c flour
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves

Blend these mixtures together well, then add:
1 tsp vanilla
3 c shredded carrot
1 c raisins
1 c pecans (broken)

Grease and flour 13" x 9" pan.  Bake at 350ยบ for 50 to 60 minutes.  Cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Soften then blend:
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/4 c butter

Add and mix well:
dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar (sifted)

My notes:  Certain family members are not fans of raisins, so they were omitted without any complaints...the raisins, not the family members.  :)

I was in a time crunch, so instead of grating the carrots, I just put baby carrots in my food processor and pulsed/chopped till they were the consistency I wanted.  I didn't even bother with the grating blade...chopper was so much easier and worked great.  Oh, and I didn't sift the powdered sugar either, and it was perfect anyway.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mom's white bread...

Makes 2 loaves.

2 cups warm water (warm, not hot)
1 packet yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (approximately)

In a small bowl, place about 1/2 cup of the warm water, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and the packet of yeast.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes to will begin foaming a little.

In a large bowl combine salt, remaining sugar, remaining water, vegetable oil, and the yeast mixture.  Add in 3 cups of the flour, and mix together with your hand, scraping the sides of bowl to incorporate all the flour.  The mixture will be sticky, but will hold together somewhat.  Cover the bowl with a tea towel, and let sit for about 20 minutes.  *

After the 20 minutes, spread a little flour out on the counter.  Pour the dough onto the floured counter.  Add a cup of flour to the dough and knead for a few minutes.  (Kneading is repeatedly pushing dough firmly away from you with the heals of your hands and then folding dough over on itself...pushing away, folding...pushing away, folding.)  Add more flour a little at a time while continuing kneading until dough is smooth and pliable.  (It may end up being a little less than or a little more than 5 cups total.)  Place back in the bowl.  Cover with tea towel, and set in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes, or till approximately double in size.

Punch down risen dough.  Divide into 2 equal parts.  Form into loaves and place into 2 loaf pans.  Brush top with oil (or place a little oil in your hand and gently rub across top of loaves).  Cover with tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it rises and fills pans.  (Top photo above shows them ready to go in the oven.)  Place in a preheated 350° F oven for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Lay a towel on the counter, and turn hot loaves out onto towel.  Rub the tops of each loaf with a little butter.  Try to resist slicing until the loaves have cooled somewhat.  When completely cool, place in an air tight container or plastic bag.

*If raisin bread is desired, plumped raisins can be added to the dough after the initial 20 minutes of rest, before kneading and adding the final 2 cups of flour.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


When I do waffles, I want quick and easy.  None of that business of separating the egg yolks from the whites for me.  And beating the whites to fold into the batter?  No.  Just no.

I'm not sure where I found this recipe.  When I googled the name, there was a ton of sites that came up, all with similar (if not identical) recipes.

Oh Boy!  Waffles
2 1/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt

2 beaten eggs
2 1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat waffle iron.  Stir together dry ingredients. Combine eggs, milk, and oil, and add to dry ingredients just before baking, stirring only until moistened and fully incorporated.  Batter will be thin. (Lumps are okay).  Spray waffle iron with cooking spray.  Bake in preheated waffle iron.

Makes 8 to10 waffles (or six on my iron)

Let me emphasize: SPRAY WAFFLE IRON WITH COOKING SPRAY.  I was out of spray once, and tried brushing vegetable oil on the waffle iron instead.  There was a huge mess, followed by massive and frustrating clean up.  There were tears involved.  Oi!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad...

Pasta salad is a favorite of my son's.  I was excited when I came across this recipe from Cooking Classy on Pinterest.  It just looked like a great combination to me.  And when I made it, it received three thumbs up.  Son even went back for seconds...almost unheard of.

I'll definitely be making it again.  I made slight changes from the original leaving the grapes whole instead of halving them (which I did so the leftovers wouldn't get soggy) and adding cooked chicken breast to make it a meal in itself.  I also made the dressing with what I had on hand, rather than the original recipe's lower-fat version.  And I never measure anything...I always just put things in till the bowl is full, so the measurements I have below are approximate.

Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

In a large salad bowl, place:
8 oz bowtie pasta, cooked al dente
brocolli florets, raw (2 heads of broccoli)
red seedless grapes, about two cups
1/4 to 1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced
bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled, about 8 slices
3 cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced

1 c mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar

Whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Pour them over the salad ingredients and toss well.

Add pecans to individual servings if desired.  We love pecans, but I didn't want to put them in the salad itself, because I didn't want them to soak up dressing and make for soggy leftovers.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Greek Tortellini Salad...

GREEK TORTELLINI SALAD from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients for Salad:
1 (20 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, pit removed and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Ingredients for the Dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Cavender's All-Purpose Greek Seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain the tortellini and rinse with cold water.

2. Place the tortellini in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, and feta cheese.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, Greek seasoning, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until salad is well coated. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator.

Note-this salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

This recipe is directly from Two Peas and Their Pod.  I deviated from the original recipe just a tiny bit.  I doubled the recipe, because I wanted leftovers for home and for Carey to take to work.  I added cooked chicken breast, because I had some ready in the fridge and because the guys like some meat in their pasta salads.  I also increased the minced garlic in the dressing...I was out of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar, so I had to use light olive oil and apple cider vinegar, so I thought the extra garlic might up the flavor a little.