During the week I usually make for myself soft boiled eggs or a quick sunny-side-up to go with a side of avocado after a workout and go on with my day of chores and errands before school pick up. Then Friday rolls around and I’m feeling splurgier and more carb-centric (not that I don’t eat carbs during the week, definitely hard to resist) and I want a little something extra without too much fuss. Less fuss has been my mantra this year. Not only is it comforting and filling, it’s really easy to make.
Oh have I got a cake for you!
Carrot cake is an all-time favorite in my house and it’s about time I made it as a layer cake. If you have missed carrot cake you need this in your life – it’s a carrot cake lovers dream!
I usually make it as a quick and easy sheet cake but thought with my teenage son turning 16 (he LOVES carrot cake) last week why not make it fancy, shmancy for his birthday with layers and completely studded with pecans. My birthday boy was over-the-moon happy. He’s still a boy to me even though he’s nearly a head taller. I’ll admit this cake needs a good chunk of time but no need to reserve it at once – I never do. I made the frosting a couple of days prior, baked and chilled the cake the day before his birthday and assembled the cake the morning of his birthday while he was sleeping (until noon!) then hid it away in our garage fridge and managed to get a few photos before we dug in. And what better for Easter OR Passover? Actually, any day is a good day for carrot cake. No?
Many weeks ago, at dinner, I asked the kids’ what kind of pie they would like for Thanksgiving dessert. My teenager began with I don’t know… then was quickly interrupted by his younger brother, Michael who chuckled, then blurted out, I want pumpkin pie (for those of you new here, Michael, 12, has a twin, Ely, they both have the neurological disorder autism with moderate expressive language.). We all looked at each other, shocked. Then Ely chimed in, with perfect eye contact, to say I want apple pie cake. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I know it doesn’t sound like anything much, but for us, these moments are a big deal. You see, Michael and Ely don’t usually take part in group conversation, so to help with this we prompt speech or sound out the first letter of the word in conversation. It was another glimmer of hope that we are getting through, we are breaking through, more so every day (we, as in my husband and me. I could never manage it all without him.).
Thanksgiving is almost here, are you as excited as I am? I bet you are! I’m going to keep it short and sweet since I have many recipes to share with you. Say hello to balsamic brussels sprouts. Oh how I love thee.
I love, love the taste of balsamic, especially on brussels sprouts. Have you ever had brussels sprouts this way? Goodness gracious does it make this classic Thanksgiving veggie come alive … the tangy, the sweet, the sour pucker … then drizzled over perfectly roasted sprouts with just a touch of snap for texture. Just goodness. Please ignore my overuse of the word goodness – some habits are hard to break and this really is goodness I tell ya.
With the cooler weather we were having a couple of weeks ago, and all sorts of squashes making their way onto the stands, I thought a braised chicken dish would seem fitting since fall has arrived. I served it over cauliflower rice, with a side of roasted carrots tossed in rosemary, and a new bread recipe (good enough for sauce-dipping) that was a hit (will share soon). It was a delicious Friday night dinner for the suddenly chilly weather we were having and one I will be making again soon. And the spiced applesauce bundt cake, that I am still thinking about. Surprisingly, dinner wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be, with an inch of room for dessert (there’s always room for dessert).
I will admit, I love a good deal, even if that means buying more than needed. If you shop at Costco, you know this well. Tell me, who can resist the splurging reigns of Costco?? No one.
You know, when you go in for a few items and end up with all sorts of
necessary unnecessary things? Yep. So when I saw the big ginormous bags of frozen organic cherries on sale my eyes lit up. I had to buy some. My practical side was thinking where is she going to store all those cherries and enough with all those bags of sweet & salty kettle corn popcorn. My Costco side wins every time – besides, it’s for the kids (wink wink).
Passover is almost here (begins sundown this year on April 22nd) and, per usual, I’m itching to test out new recipes for the holiday, which got me thinking about the Passover staple food I used to love: gefilte fish. Something healthier, something tastier and something lighter was my thought process. This springtime salmon terrine – aka my take on gefilte fish – came to mind and it’s nothing like the jarred stuff.
If this weekend comfort food doesn’t provide any consolation from a long week, then I don’t know what will.
Can we just stop and stare for a minute?
I’m not one to initiate a stare but look at those crispy edges. And the clusters of caramelized crunchy goodness. And the specks of orange zest. YASSS. Wait until we slice… there’s an irresistible blend of citrus swirling around with vanilla and honey flavors, all infused into the most decadent custardy french toast under a golden brown exterior.
In recent months, cauliflower has been a front-and-center sale item here (“here” being Los Angeles suburbia). Purple, orange and white varieties – all of them – spread out at my grocery store ready for the picking and poking, reminding me that I don’t make nearly enough recipes with this smart looking vegetable.
Have you ever had a Shirley Temple? It was a popular kid’s drink in the seventies and eighties made up of ginger ale and grenadine and usually the bright red dyed kind. To make things healthier I made us a homemade dye free grenadine for our pomagritas cocktail. It is so versatile and easier than you think! Use it for Tequila Sunrises, Shirley Temples (kids love it), Rum and Cokes, martinis, anything really. It takes 20 minutes to make without any of the corn syrup, dyes or preservatives like the bottled stuff and stores for over a month in the fridge.