Garden Plan 2010

Well, its that time of year again!  Time to plan and plant the garden.  We started last weekend by planting strawberries, 3 rows of white onions, 3 rows of red onions, 3 rows of peas, a couple rows of carrots, and a row of lettuce.

Soon, we will plant sweet corn, green beans, melons, sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs.  Maybe cucumbers and squash too.

For reference, or in case you weren’t reading this boring blog last year…here’s the link to last year’s garden post {click here}.  And here is a follow up post {click here}.

Chocolate Glazed Donut Muffins

Um, wow…these were really good and sooo quick and easy to make.  They are a perfect treat for dessert or breakfast.  They definitely have the flavor of a donut without all that greasy fried business.  The chocolate glaze = major heaven.  And whatever you decide to do with any leftover glaze is your business so do what you gotta do to get rid of it.  😉

Chocolate Glazed Donut Muffins

{Source:  Originally from Elle’s New England Kitchen, as seen at Milk & Honey and Elly says Opa!

Make 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS:

For the Muffins

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • scant 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1-1/4  tsp. vanilla extract

For the Glaze

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • sprinkles (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a standard muffin tin.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the canola oil, butter, milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, combining gently by hand until just moistened.
  3. Spoon the batter in the prepared muffin tins {they will be very full!} and bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.
  4. To make the glaze, combine the chocolate chips, butter, corn syrup and vanilla extract in a double boiler (or in a stainless steel or glass bowl over some simmering water). Stir until the chocolate is melted and everything is incorporated.
  5. Dip the tops of the muffins into the glaze and immediately top with sprinkles, if using.

Carrot Cake

Happy Easter!

To celebrate Easter I decided to make my first carrot cake.  I really had no idea what recipe to use, so I just grabbed 4 or 5 cookbooks off my shelf and compared the carrot cake recipes.  I eliminated any that called for raisins or pineapple.  I’m sure they would have been perfectly tasty, but I was in the mood for just plain carrot cake.  And this one turned out great!  It is one of the moistest cakes I have ever had.

Most of my changes were to the frosting.  I chose to make a layer cake instead of 9 x 13, so I knew I would need extra frosting.  See below for my changes.

Carrot Cake

{source:  adapted from Paula Deen Celebrates!, page 82}

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups sugar

1.5 cups vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 cups ap flour

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt {I used 1/2 tsp}

2 cups shredded carrots, about 4 medium carrots

1/4 cup chopped walnuts {I used about 1/2 cup}

Icing Ingredients:

1 stick of butter, softened {I used 2 sticks}

3 cups powdered sugar {I used at least 4 cups but just kept adding until the consistency was right.}

one 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup chopped walnuts {I omitted}

splash of vanilla

gel food coloring – optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 baking pan with Pam and dust with flour. {I used two 8″ round pans.}

Combine sugar, oil and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and combine at low speed until smooth.  Stir in the carrots and walnuts by hand.

Place the batter into the prepared pan(s) and place on the middle rack in the oven.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan(s) for 15 minutes.  Then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by beating the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla together with electric mixer until smooth.  Slowly add the sugar. {If you are using the walnuts, stir them in now and ice the cake while it is still warm to improve spreadability.}  I did not include the walnuts in the icing, so I cooled my cakes completely, frosted, and layered them.

I reserved a small amount of icing to color for decorating.

Refrigerate the cake before serving.

Next Newer Entries