Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Voila the carrot cake. I think I need a class in cake decorating, I am so bad at the whole piping frosting, etc. I can't even make those orange and green carrots that usually decorate carrot cakes! To compensate for this, I sprinkled leftover grated carrots over the top for a festive look.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Tomorrow is my sister's birthday. Usually when someone tells me of their impending day, or if I happen to know, I ask what kind of cake they would have if they could have any cake. My hopes are that someone will come up with some big challenging cake that I can try, the reality is I usually end of making carrot cake. What is it with the popularity of carrot cake? No one eats my carrots at dinner time, why ask for them in the dessert instead? Do carrots taste better
with lots of sugar and frosting??? Well, of course they do, doesn't everything? I have a feeling that its my frosting that brings people back for the carrot cake. Come to think of it, my sister didn't seem to want the cake as much as she wanted the frosting. So here it is.. use it with your favorite carrot cake recipe or try it on something else. It really is good.
12 oz. of Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
one stick butter, softened
3 teaspoons orange licquor
zest of one orange
juice of one orange
2 cups of confectioners sugar + more if nessesary, added gradually.
Place all ingredients except sugar in a large bowl. Add about a cup of the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Taste. If the mixture tastes mostly of cream cheese, add another 1/2 cup of sugar and repeat taste. Use the remaining sugar to get the frosting to be tangy, tasty, but not overly sweet. (I hate that in a frosting) Beat until smooth, really smooth and creamy. Place frosting in a smaller metal bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold. Its like frosting with attitude, it sticks well on cake or cookies and should have the consistancy you see in the photo above.
This frosting spreads perfectly when done correctly. It has the added festiveness of white frosting with orange zest bits in it like confetti. Your dessert guests will rave.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
We saw friends of ours the other day and invited them to dinner tonight at 6pm. Around 3pm I get a call asking to reschedule. I'm a bit bummed, I thawed this big pork roast and was going to marinate it in shallot, sea salt, and rosemary infused olive oil (good thing I didn't) I guess that we'll just carve off a few pork chops per the next few days. I did, however, make the dessert and since I have my camera ready, I thought I would try something new and add pics of some of the things I am cooking here...though you'll only get the pretty things. Voila, a carmelized upsidedown pear tart. What the heck am I gonna do with this? The recipe for this is somewhere in the archives, this time I added a bit of port to the caramel to infuse some strong flavor. I'll probably give this away tomorrow to some friends who just got into town and will only be here a month before they return to Saudi Arabia. If you can't find the recipe for this tart and you are dying to try it out, let me know and I'll post the recipe...its super easy, but has a big bang appeal for guests....they think I worked for hours making it. Once you get the recipe down, it can take as little as a 1/2 hour prep time.
After about 4.5 miles and 2 plus hours we all started fantasizing about having warm grilled cheese sammies with crispy fries..mmmmmm :-) I think we stepped up the pace a bit and put on our thinking caps as to where we could get such fare. We ended up deciding that we could live without the grilled cheese, but the fries were a definite must. Bath is the closest city and so we wheeled on over to the Beale Street Bar-b-que an Grille. We had a huge booth with very high backs for privacy that made me feel very hemmed in after 3 hours in the open. The special board touted a cheeseburger wrap with fries that sounded great! Ann and I both had that and Greg had a chesseburger with peppers and mushrooms. I ordered a small ceasar salad for the table too. The interior of the grille is just as expected, very bare bones with a definite grille/ bar feel to the place....there were lots of kids there though.
The food arrived and I must say, I got exactly what I ordered. A cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato in a tomato tortilla with great skinny fries. After a few bites though, I wished I had ordered a big heaping bowl of mac and cheese (I had order envy after I saw it delivered to another table) I think on another day my meal would have been satisfying, but after all that hiking, all I wanted was carbs and calories...and lots of creamy cheese! What I ended up with was pretty much shreaded lettuce with some meat and cheese in a wrap...nice, but not my brain wanted. The ceasar was excellent, nice strong cheese and dressing flavor..top notch. Greg loved his burger and his fries and Ann agreed with me that her wrap wasn't what her brain wanted. She also craved the mac and cheese. The menu also included lots of ribs and smoked stuff, so I can only imagine how the place is for bar-b-que fans. The bill came to about 13$ a person for lunch.
We skipped dessert in favor of chocolate bars from Reny's next door.