This Carrot Cake Recipe Will Make Your Friends Believe You Are A Food Network Star (Look Out Ace Of Cakes)

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"The carrot cake was the best I've ever had." --Mindy Gledhill

INGREDIENTS:

3 eggs

1 1/4 cup oil

2 cups sugar

2 cups finely grated carrots

1 cup pureed pineapple

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted (optional)

COOKING TOOLS:

9×13 baking pan

Mixer (a wood spoon and bowl will do the trick too)

Cooling rack

Large biscuit cutter

COOKING TEMP. AND TIME:

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes

First step: grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan then set aside.

With beater attachment, mix 3 eggs, 1 1/4 cup oil, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups finely grated carrots, 1 cup pureed pineapple, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix, 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 cup chopped and toasted walnuts (optional), then add to wet mixture and combine well.

Scoop mixture into your greased 9x13 baking pan and bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees. (I forgot to take a picture of the batter in the pan, so just imagine it for me. You see it? Good!)

Cook until a toothpick comes out clean (again, 30-40 minutes) Turn out cake onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

Put it back into pan and using a large biscuit cutter...

cut out eight individual carrot cakes.

Cut them in half. then set aside.

INGREDIENTS FOR FROSTING:

2-8 oz. blocks of cream cheese

10 tablespoons of butter, softened

4 teaspoons vanilla

4 – 5 cups powdered sugar

Put 2-8 oz. blocks of cream cheese; 10 tablespoons of butter, softened; 4 teaspoons vanilla; and 4-5 cups powdered sugar in a food processor.

Blend up until smooth.

Now take your carrot cake halves and...

Spread frosting in the middle.

Put the top back on.

Spread frosting around the outside of the carrot cake.

Shave off a thin piece of carrot...

and use it as a garnish. This is the best carrot cake ever.


Unique Stocking Stuffers For Your Cook (Ideas From UniqueStockingStuffers.net)

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Each measuring cup is a miniature version of All-Clad's famous saucepan, made of heavy-gauge stainless steel with a polished finish and the manufacturer's signature riveted handles. $18.00 – $50.00 at Williams-Sonoma.

 Click here for

  All-Clad Measuring Cups at Williams-Sonoma.com

Spider skimmers makes scooping easy, while large openings speed draining. The stay-cool handle is made of Cromargan, an exceptionally durable 18/10 stainless steel. $18.00 at Willimas-Sonoma.

 Click her for

 Spider skimmer at Willimas-Sonoma.com

This is a dual Blade Pasta & Pastry Cutter. Double-mounted rotary blades cut smoothly through any dough. Made in Italy. $12.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

 Click here for

Dual Blade Pasta & Pastry Cutter at Williams-Sonoma.com

Pancake Pen makes it a snap to fill every crevice of your pancake pans and molds or to draw pancakes on a griddle in any shape you like. Mix batters right in the bottle – measurement markings on the side help you gauge quantities. $9.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

Click here for

Pancake Pen at Williams-Sonoma.com 

Set of five, stackable, hand-polished, stainless-steel biscut cutters. $16.95 at Williams-Sonoama.com

Click here for

Stainless-steel biscut cutters. $16.95 at Williams-Sonoama.com

Caramel Apple Made with orchard-fresh apples, premium caramel and Guittard dark chocolate. $22.95 at Williams-Sonoma

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Caramel Apple $22.95 at Williams-Sonoma.com

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pure Hollow-Ground 5" Santoku Knife. Each knife is precision forged using Zwilling’s Sigmaforge process resulting in an exceptionally hard yet flexible blade. $79.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

 Click here for

Henckels Santoku Knife at Williams-Sonoma.com

All-Clad Instant Read Digital Thermometer $39.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

Click here for

All-Clad Instant Read Digital Thermometer at Williams-Sonoma.com

Narrow Stainless-Steel Spatula. Made in Italy by Due Buoi. $26.00 at Williams-Sonoma.

Click here for

Due Buoi  Narrow Stainless-Steel Spatula at Williams-Sonoma.com

That’s It! I’m Giving Away A Henckels 7″ Santoku Knife, Whether You Like It Or Not!

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Okay! Here’s the deal. The end goal of my blog has always been to make money from advertising.    I have spent the first year blogging to see if anyone would like us, and I am happy to report that we have received great feedback. Now, in the second year, I need to build a following. You see, I only have 3,000 people that visit my blog each month. I need to build that to 10,000, and I plan to do this by bribing you. I want you to refer your friends and family to Cherry Lane Diaries.

Since most of the people that follow my blog are "foodies" and like to cook, I decided to give away a brand new Henckels santoku knife.

If you are not familiar with J.A. Henckels, they are a top-of-the-line brand. I use their knives in my own kitchen.

This knife I'm giving away has an ergonomic handle design for a comfortable grip...


as well as a wide blade that has hollow-ground depressions to reduce friction and minimize sticking.

It also has a full bolster which enables full use of the knife edge when chopping, as well as, allow full sharpening.

It has a full tang, three rivet design. Full tang means the knife blade goes the full length of the handle, which gives the entire knife strength and makes it much more durable.

HOW TO WIN THE KNIFE:

1. For every friend you refer to  the Cherry Lane Diaries Facebook Page, you will receive two entries to win the knife. All your friends have to do is “like” the Cherry Lane Diaries Facebook Page and leave a comment (anywhere on the page) with your name. Your friends will receive one entry, themselves,  just for doing this.

2. If you are already a fan of the Cherry Lane Diaries Facebook Page, you will automatically receive two entries. If you are not already a fan of Cherry Lane Diaries on Facebook, please “like” us and you will get one entry.

On January 1, 2012, we will draw one person from all of the entries and they will be the lucky winner.  The announcement will be made on our Facebook page and on our blog.  Oh, I almost forgot. If you refer 5 friends, I will double your entries, and if you refer 10 or more friends, I will triple your entries. Hows that for multiplication power?

Pumpkin Waffles: The Perfect Holiday Breakfast Treat

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Pumpkin Waffles

This is the Pumpkin Waffle recipe that my wife's family has used for decades.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground  nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup melted butter

1 cup pumpkin (I ALWAYS use Libbys brand and NEVER a knock off)

COOKING TOOLS:

2 large bowls

wooden spoon

waffle iron

In a large bowl, mix together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 cup brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, mix 4 eggs, 2 cups buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 cup pumpkin.

Now mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Don't over-mix and let batter sit for 10 minutes before using.

Now cook your waffles in a waffle iron. Remember to spray it with non-stick spray.

Pumpkin Waffles

I usually top my Pumpkin Waffles with homemade buttermilk syrup. (Click on the link below for that recipe.) You can also top it with peaches, maple syrup and whipped cream. Eat and enjoy.

Homemade Buttermilk Syrup

Pumpkin Waffles: The Perfect Holiday Breakfast Treat

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Pumpkin Waffles

This is the Pumpkin Waffle recipe that my wife's family has used for decades.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground  nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup melted butter

1 cup pumpkin (I ALWAYS use Libbys brand and NEVER a knock off)

COOKING TOOLS:

2 large bowls

wooden spoon

waffle iron

In a large bowl, mix together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 cup brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, mix 4 eggs, 2 cups buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup melted butter.

Now mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Don't over-mix and let batter sit for 10 minutes before using.

Now cook your waffles in a waffle iron. Remember to spray it with non-stick spray.

Pumpkin Waffles

I usually top my Pumpkin Waffles with homemade buttermilk syrup. (Click on the link below for that recipe.) You can also top it with peaches, maple syrup and whipped cream. Eat and enjoy.

Homemade Buttermilk Syrup

Secret Revealed: William-Sonoma’s Peppermint Bark Recipe

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I've cracked the code to William-Sonoma's Peppermint Bark Recipe.

I hate to say it, but it's true. This recipe is not quite as good as Williams-Sonoma's. But it is VERY passable. I would buy their stuff, but I don't feel like spending $2000.00 on my neighbors.

INGREDIENTS:

2-12 oz. bags semisweet chocolate chips

2-12 oz. bags white chocolate chips

6 candy canes

COOKING TOOLS:

Parchment paper

Large ziplock bag

Glass or mallet (to crush candy canes)

Double broiler or a medium sized glass bowl that fits on a medium pot

Rubber spatula

Large cookie sheet

Knife

TEMPERATURE & COOKING TIMES:

Medium heat on a stove

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper and set it aside.

Put 6 candy canes in a large ziplock bag. Crush them with the bottom of a glass or with a mallet (something hard).

Lick the candy cane dust off the counter and set aside the crushed candy canes.

I like to shave blocks of semi-sweet baking chocolate, but to keep things simple for you...

I am using two 16 oz. bags of semisweet chocolate chips. (NOTE: If you use chocolate chips vs. baking chocolate, make sure to use a nicer brand like Ghirardelli.

Melt chocolate in a glass bowl that is placed over a pot of boiling water (over medium heat). You can also use a double broiler, if you have one.

Spread the chocolate on the parchment paper. Let it harden. (I put mine in the freezer to speed up the process.)

Lick the rubber spatula and wash the bowl.

Now melt two 16 oz. bags of white chocolate over medium heat.

Spread it on top of the hardened semisweet chocolate then quickly...

sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top.

You now have a field of peppermint. Let it harden.

Chop the bark into odd-shaped pieces.

Now you have the perfect peppermint bark recipe.

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes: Turkey And Black Bean Soup

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Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes: Turkey And Black Bean Soup

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup left over turkey, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2-15 oz. cans chicken broth

1-15 oz. cans diced tomatoes

1-15 oz. can black beans

1-2 celery stalks, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1-2 tablespoons dried parsley

2-3 teaspoons dried basil

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

salt to taste (depending on saltiness of your turkey meat)

COOKING TOOLS:

Large pot

Wooden spoon

TEMPURATURE:

Medium heat on the stove.

Saute one medium onion (that has been diced) in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat

Add in 1 cup left over turkey, chopped; 1 tablespoon minced garlic; 2-15 oz. cans chicken broth; 1-15 oz. cans diced tomatoes; 1-15 oz. can black beans; 1-2 celery stalks, chopped;1 large carrot, chopped; 1-2 tablespoons dried parsley; 2-3 teaspoons dried basil; 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Salt to taste. Cook until carrots are soft.

This is the simplest of Thanksgiving leftover recipes. Now sit and enjoy your turkey and black bean soup