Wrapping up a week of Easter preparations, I’ve noticed that my blog numbers seem to be a bit lower than usual. Perhaps it’s the chaos of prepping for family and kids…. perhaps it’s me.
I’ve noticed that my posts have become more instructional and less personal. In striving to give you the best tutorial and perfect photographs, I’ve lost the real me and all the screw ups you don’t see behind the scenes. Perhaps we don’t all need to be Martha – maybe I can just be me and it will be okay?
We’ll test my theory today and I’ll show you the behind the scenes that I’ve been trying to hide….
We can’t go into Easter weekend without a carrot cake recipe. Seems like this is the only time of year that I let myself enjoy it – silly right? Self-imposed rules on what is appropriate for which Holiday. (Gotta work on that!)
I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com and with almost 2,000 people giving it 5 stars, it seemed a no-brainer.
I’ll post the instructions here, but there is also a video if you want to see how easy it is. (I’ve made two minor adjustments in this recipe over the one on the AllRecipes site – just because I didn’t have all of the ingredients they called for)
You will need:
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk or 3/4 cup milk+tsp of lemon juice
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups shredded carrots (approximately 4 medium sized)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 8oz can crushed pineapple – with juice
Preheat oven to 350 ° fahrenheit.
Lightly grease and flour a 8×12 cake pan.
Combine eggs, milk/buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well.
In a separate bowl sift cinnamon, salt, flour and baking soda together.
Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
Shred your carrots on the finest blade of your grater. Here’s where we get real – I cannot use a mandolin slicer, peeler or grater without hurting myself. Sometimes it’s just a nick, other times I’ve taken a fair chunk of knuckle off. It’s not rocket science. I have no idea why I’m so incapable of working these tools – but I can’t. Today’s adventure took a small piece of my pointer finger tip – a relatively minor injury – but still leaves me feeling like my brain is in backwards somehow?
Don’t worry, no flesh made it into the recipe. lol
Mix carrots, raisins, coconut, pineapple (with juice) and nuts together until well combined.
Fold carrot mixture into batter.
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
So far, so good. Small flesh wound – but better than most of my escapades in the kitchen.
Cream Cheese Frosting
You will need:
- 2 8oz packages of cream cheese (softened)
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 2 cups icing sugar
Mix ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
Just a suggestion, don’t add your icing sugar all at once and then turn your mixer on high. While you might think it will mix things together faster, smoother, better – what it actually does is cause a cloud of sugar dust to burst out of the mixer and all over everything nearby.
Yup, another fatal flaw – my kitchen always ends up like this (or worse) when I cook/bake.
When your carrot cake is done, let it cool on a baking rack for at least 20 minutes before you pull it out of the pan. AllRecipes clearly states this in their recipe…. this is what happens when you’re too excited to wait:
A moist and delicious glom of carrot cake. Yup, I’ll still eat this – I am that gluttonous – but normally I wouldn’t show this photo. Instead I’d try to impress you with the other half that I hadn’t destroyed.
Or, if I’ve mangled the entire project (but it still tastes good), I’d focus down to the “money shot” – if I can find a square that hasn’t crumbled.
There you have it. The truth. All the skeletons (from this adventure anyways) out of the closet.
The carrot cake really is fantastic – despite my photos – just follow the rules and you’ll be the hit of Easter dinner.
Okay, one more confession – yesterday’s post on decorating eggs with napkins…. not one of them was perfect. Even after 12 tries I still had wrinkles and overlaps and tears in the napkins. They look good, are totally edible, and would be fun for the kids – but I will confess to not being Martha.
Check that – F**k Martha! I’m Shelly and
Have a great one!