Saturday, April 15, 2017

Carrot cake


This needed to ferry out faster than I could type. 

That means, as much as I enjoy it, and am urgently believing you do too, we won't have our usual 
lengthy dialogue.

I know you're disappointed.
And that just was not a sigh of relief.

I'll confess I am not as diligent and methodical as I portray myself to be. And the slightly imbalanced to-do list of Easter things needed to be finished by tomorrow and those that actually are is terribly disproportioned as of this moment.

Which is why I'll close up script right now. 

But not before I send you some greetings.

And assign you this insanely moist carrot cake. Which looks more like a carnival, circus and garden show rolled into one.

Still.. it is rank, my friends.

Just like your Sunday should be.

Happy Easter!
He is risen❤️

(Cake recipe adapted from foodandwine.com)
Ingredients:
For the cake~
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp powdered cloves
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pound grated peeled carrots (about 4-5 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs

For the frosting~
  • 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup salted butter at room temperature
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
Directions:
For the cake~
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 9" inch  round pans.
  • In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer or with hand mixer whisk oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Add sugar and beat well. 
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the dry ingredient mixture until just combined.
  • Divide the batter between prepared pans and bake on middle rack of oven for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F  and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until cakes are done and toothpick inserted in middles come out clean.
For the frosting~
  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese with butter and beat in mixer on medium-speed just until blended. 
  • Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth between each addition.
  • Beat on high for about three minutes until soft and fluffy.
  • Spread on a thick layer on top of one cake. Place second cake over this and cover sides and top of second with remaining frosting. 

** I've updated with some new pictures. Got to show you how good it really is. Right?
******
"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you." Romans 8:11

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mixed berry coconut chia smoothie


I have a friend who uses exactly half a tub of vanilla ice cream to make blended drinks. Servings can be anywhere between 1 to 3. If that possibly weren't enough to call in the fat police, she anoints it with a good pouring of sugar, half canister to be precise. Fruit is optional, though, as a prerequisite to slotting it fruity, we've seen the few strawberries that wheedle their way through. Needless to say, this is the best drink I've ever tasted and probably ever will in my entire life. She calls it a smoothie, which by any beverages and drinks mandate, it is not.

Did that deter us from replicating and consuming copious amounts in titan mugs on summer days where water just wouldn't, couldn't do the trick? Though I, in those rare halo moments, and without fail, would always throw in cups of frozen fruit, for the sake of my conscience. And posterity. 

It didn't help that all the love I was running in the blender was wreaking havoc on my get-fit-wellness regime, namely, afternoon treadmill trolls, while watching queued episodes of Netflix flicks, having me a bit more "prosperous' than I'd like. To make matters worse, when heat demands shorts and tshirts, I'd be dressed for the Artic, creatively covering up, newly-formed folds, flab and handles. The painful outcome of coma-esque drink pureeing showed, forced an end to my addictive spiralling towards darkness. I really had to find a less sinful way to contentment  smoothie making.  

Point also to note, the liquid food column here had been in serious need of an update. I mean, on better days I probably would've journaled all the stuff I throw in my Ninja jar. Though it might surely fail to leave you in a state of overawe, unlike the one time my spirit fruit blended into a milkshake, or even when I colored lemonade coral.

When agave nectar tries to recreate what barrels of sugar has done, it's a miracle of sorts.  Certainly so when it affirms much more than the prior could possibly achieve. You see, agave nectar is pure sugar. It tastes good. Yet, it has a low glycemic index. Which in layman terms means it's really good for you.  None of the thigh expanding drama that would otherwise happen if you had made smoothies like my gluttonous, nutritionally unbalanced self always did, and probably still desires to do.

This fuchsia frosty is as pure, precise, and prettier than anything you would see in a glass.  The speck/ snip of fresh/ frozen berries, bites of chia,  and whiffs of coconut transport you to island beach fronts and holiday settings that you've been to or are much needing to go on.

I could see this happening in your kitchen right now. With some necessary provisions and a little determination you could too. So, then...what are you waiting for?
The past weeks have been seeing this as part of my afternoon pick-me-up-off-the-floor plan of action. A 12 ounce mug gives sensational pep to my afternoon runs, having me (truly) believe I may be several years younger than the past birthday went out to try and prove.
Do you see the halo? Having several antioxidant and digestive benefits, ingredients become almost ethereal.
Do both. Fresh and frozen fruits create unbelievable texture and an unbeatable pure flavor.
Beauty in the bits. Snippets of fruit are welcome surprises while sipping the Smooth.
Why chia? Just that it gives texture and tons of nutrition. Is there any more to say?

Ingredients:
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • ½cup fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into halves
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (fat free if desired)
  • 2-3 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut slices or chips slices for garnish (optional)
Directions:
  • Stir chia seeds into milk and keep aside for a couple of minutes.
  • Blend ingredients, from coconut milk to nectar with the chia mixture until smooth, or desired consistency.
  • Top with coconut slices.
Notes~

For smoothies, I use the unsweetened carton coconut milk, found in the refrigerated dairy section. The canned milk can be an option, but will have a stronger coconut-y flavor.

A smoother smoothie? No worries. Blend longer until silky, and totally free of fruit grit. Strain if desired

Serve immediately or store refrigerated for up to 1-2 hours.

This makes 4 cups, or 3 generous servings. Need more? Double ingredients.

Coconut slices come frozen at Asian specialty groceries or you can buy the dried unsweetened coconut chips. 

******
2013~ Palappam 
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11