Monday, December 13, 2010

Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

For my younger sister's birthday, I baked this delicious carrot cake. Carrot cake is carrot cake and you can't get too many variations from it. This basic carrot cake recipe is simply delicious as it is very moist and even somewhat healthy for you. =) We, in the Pena home, are of the opinion that carrot cake must always be frosted with cream cheese frosting. However, if one desired to decorate a carrot cake for someone's birthday, for instance, it would be of much import to use a frosting that would have more stability. Thus, our find of White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting which you can find below the instructions for the cake. Enjoy!!

1 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Whip honey, butter, and oil together in a medium-sized bowl. Add eggs. Mix dry ingredients together and blend into honey-oil mixture. Add vanilla. Fold in carrots and, if using, walnuts.
Bake in oiled 13x9-inch pan or two 9-inch pans for 40-45 minutes and 30-35 minutes, respectively, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and frost cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

10 ounces white chocolate, chopped
10 ounces cream cheese
10 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Remove from heat, cool until lukewarm, and set aside. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth in a large bowl with a mixer set on medium speed. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add sugar and mix until frosting is light and fluffy.

Makes 5 cups

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sausage and Kale Soup

About a year ago, Rebecca took me out for lunch at Olive Gardens for my birthday. I can't remember which of us ordered this soup but sisters we are, so we tried each other's soups and loved this one. When we returned to her home, Rebecca searched the web for a copycat recipe of this soup. A couple weeks ago, I pulled this recipe out again to see how my family liked it. I changed a few things to suit our family better and everybody loved it. When there's actually been leftovers, Dad asks for it to be saved for him for when he comes home from work. This soup tastes fabulous served with a crusty bread. Enjoy!

4 cups Yukon gold potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4" slices.
1 1/2 cup onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 Lb. Italian sausage (Hot is best as it gives a wonderful flavor)
2 packed cups kale, chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Brown sausage and crumble. Drain and set aside. Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, garlic in pot and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add sausage and bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat, then add kale and cream. Heat through and serve. 

Serves 8