The Best Carrot Cake

There are people out there who don’t like carrot cake, but we don’t know what they’re thinking. While it may not be the prettiest cake you’ll ever lay eyes on, (and yes, its main ingredient is a root vegetable) carrot cake is as flavorful and delicious as the day is long. It’s been around for eons, which means that there has been plenty of opportunity for carrot cake recipes to be tweaked and perfected over time. Like this one here. It’s our go-to carrot cake recipe. Moist and speckled with flavorful bites of carrot, pineapple, spice, and nuts, we think it’s just about perfect.

Carrot cake evolved from carrot pudding, which dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. Of course, it was a much different dessert than the one we know now, but inventive cooks have been using carrots in baked goods for centuries. They provided moisture and sweetness when sugar and other baking staples were hard to come by. Carrot cake hails from England and was probably brought over to the United States after WWII.

From there, it became popular throughout the country and developed sort of a following because it was thought of as a “health conscious” cake. We don’t know about that… it does have veggies, fruits, and nuts, but it still has sugar and oil and usually some pretty amazing frosting too. But, hey, whatever gets you to sleep at night.

Speaking of frosting, nothing goes with carrot cake like cream cheese frosting. They’re the perfect pair. You can find our favorite Cream Cheese Frosting recipe here.

Carrot cake may have its critics, but we love it through and through. A little bit chewy, a lot delicious… it’s funny because it’s really not about the carrots at all. It’s about the spice and the sweetness and the chewy quality that other cakes don’t have. The ingredients work together to make one tasty unique dessert. It’s a cake of synergy!

INGREDIENTS
3 cups carrots, finely shredded
8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the oil and white and brown sugars and beat with an electric mixer on medium until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add orange zest and vanilla and continue beating until light and fluffy.
Slowly add in the flour mixture, beating until batter is even and smooth. Fold in carrots, pineapple, and walnuts and pour batter into the prepared pans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Adorn with your favorite cream cheese frosting and enjoy!

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The Easiest Banana Bread Ever

We all love homemade banana bread, right? It’s so, perfectly sweet, never dry and always hits the spot. Definitely one of those things that we almost forget how much we love, but then we take a bite and are reminded that it’s AMAZING. Well, we’ve just made the process of getting that homemade flavor that much easier, but with a fraction of the effort involved. You’re welcome!

Instead of gathering 10+ ingredients from your pantry, reach for these five instead: one box of yellow or butter pecan cake mix, three bananas, one stick of butter, two eggs and vanilla extract. That’s right, let’s let some store-bought cake mix do the heavy lifting, while you just spruce it up and make it totally delectable. Trust us, know one would ever guess that this wasn’t from-scratch, and frankly, we don’t feel the need to inform them anytime soon!
Mixing together these five ingredients gives you a light, moist bread that’s amazing for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (because who are we to limit this dish to just one?!) and everything in between! Feel free to add chocolate chips to this tasty treat if you want to, but it really doesn’t need ‘em…you’ll see, one bite of this and you’ll be adding this recipe to your weekly docket in no time.
INGREDIENTS
1 (15.25 oz.) box yellow cake mix or pecan cake mix
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with butter or non-stick spray.
Place bananas in a large bowl and mash them until mostly smooth. Stir in melted butter.
Sprinkle cake mix on top of banana mixture and mix until incorporated, then mix in eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.
Pour batter into loaf pan, then place in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Black Forest Dump Cake

Cake is an easy thing to love. It’s even easier when that cake is so easy to throw together that you don’t even need a mixing bowl! This cake here just might be the easiest cake recipe in the world, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s downright delicious too. It’s full of sweet and juicy cherries and rich chocolate flavor and it’s perfect with a scoop of ice cream and a sprinkle of sliced almonds for crunch. This Black Forest Dump Cake is ridiculously simple to make, and so delicious no one would ever guess how little time you spent in the kitchen.
This cake is full of flavor but there’s really not much more to it than dumping a few things in a baking dish. You start by spreading out a can of cherry pie filling and a can of pitted cherries, and then you top that with a box of cake mix. (Like, you just dump the powdered mix on top… you don’t even need to mix anything into it first.) Then you just top it with some butter and sliced almonds and pop it in the oven. As it bakes, the juices and butter combine with the dry mix to form a chocolatey, tender cake. It’s like magic!
INGREDIENTS

1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
1 can (15 oz) pitted dark sweet cherries, undrained
1 box chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup almonds, sliced (optional)
3/4 cup butter, cubed

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Spread pie filling into prepared dish, then top with undrained cherries.
Pour cake mix evenly over cherries and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Top with cubed butter.
Bake until topping is set, 40-50 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

Vinegar Pie

We love a good pie: cherry, sweet potato, bean pies, and of course apple pie. One pie recipe that is lesser known but no less loved is one with a much more unusual name: vinegar pie. It’s hard to imagine how a pie flavored with vinegar could be sweet and delicious, but it is! And we find that apple cider vinegar – such a useful kitchen item on its own – is the perfect ingredient in our vinegar pie. The final result is a rich and creamy pie that will knock your socks off. The unusual name piqued our interest, and we had to give it a try.

A vinegar pie is a recipe growing in popularity with other Depression-era baking recipes. We love the idea of using what you have in the pantry to whip up something wonderful, and when there isn’t much in the pantry, then a little imagination and creativity help to fill in the gaps. This pie comes in many forms, with different measurements and steps – some are baked, while some are refrigerated. We went with a baked version for our first go, and we loved it! A sweet and slightly crunchy top blanketed a creamy filling and the subtle sweetness of the apple cider vinegar really added dynamic flavor.

Vinegar Pie Horizontal 2Vinegar Pie Vertical 3 We know it sounds a bit unusual, but this is a pie you must try! It’s unexpectedly delicious and super creamy. Use regular white vinegar, but we definitely recommend apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar already has so many different health benefits and household uses, why not throw it in a pie for great flavor! We’re sure that there’s a science lesson that can be worked in here too – one that would explain how and why the vinegar works in this recipe. We just like how good it tastes – a little food chemistry baked into one delicious pie.

Reviews : Celeste Brooks
This is a very old pie, probably invented by people who had little access to fresh supplies such as lemons or cream. Some say that it was the pioneer women who first thought up the idea. The lemon extract in this recipe is a my addition. The original recipe calls for regular vinegar which, for me, gives a bland pie. You can substitute apple cider vinegar, leaving out the lemon extract, for a very good taste. Be sure to let the pie crust cool before filling.
INGREDIENTS
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch salt
1 (9-inch) pie crust

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Beat eggs, vinegar, sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt until well combined and slightly thickened.
Pour batter into pie crust and bake for 25 minutes. Center should be set. Cool before serving.

Brussels Sprouts In Garlic Butter

Ingredients

15Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
11⁄2 tablespoons butter
11⁄2 tablespoons olive oil
3cloves garlic, smashed with the flat of a knife
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste


Directions:
Melt butter and olive oil in a medium skillet (over medium-high heat) until butter is foamy.

Reduce heat to medium, add smashed garlic and cook until lightly browned.

Remove garlic and discard.

Add sprouts cut side down, cover, and cook without stirring on medium-low heat 10-15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.

The cut side of the sprouts should get nice and browned, with a nutty, buttery flavor enhanced by garlic.

Top with freshly grated parmesan and salt& pepper to taste.

NO BAKE LEMON PIE

Ingredients

1 Pie Crust
2 Can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup lemon juice

Directions
Pour two cans of sweetened condensed milk into a mixing bowl
Add Lemon Juice and Stir
Pour into the Pie Crust and refrigerate for a couple hours
Whipped cream for garnish

Source: Allrecipes.com

Great Cocktail Meatballs

Ingredients
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons minced onion
1 (8 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
3/4 cup chili sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice


Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, water, bread crumbs, and minced onion. Roll into small meatballs.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once.
In a slow cooker or large saucepan over low heat, blend the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Add meatballs, and simmer for 1 hour before serving.

White Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients:
2 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) packages powdered sugar, sifted…
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (12 ounce) white chocolate baking bar, melted
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Instructions:
Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well.
Add vanilla and melted white chocolate to cream cheese mixture, stirring until blended.
Stir in chopped pecans.
Spread into a buttered 8-inch square baking pan or dish.
Cover and store in refrigerator.

RumChata Cheesecake Pudding Shots

1 small pkg. Cheesecake pudding (instant, not the cooking kind)
¾ Cup Milk
¾ Cup Rumchata
8oz tub Cool Whip


Directions
1. Whisk together the milk, liquor, and instant pudding mix in a bowl until combined.
2. Add cool whip a little at a time with whisk.
3. Spoon the pudding mixture into shot glasses, disposable ‘party shot’ cups or 1 or 2 ounce cups with lids. Garnish with graham cracker crumbs if desired. Place in freezer for at least 2 hours.


Source : desperatehouselife.com

Fresh Blueberry Pound Cake

Ingredients
1 C. butter-softened
4 eggs
3 c plain flour,divided (I use self-rising as I don’t keep plain on hand)
1 tsp baking powder
2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 c fresh blueberries

Directions
Cream butter & sugar.Add eggs one at a time & beat until fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Sift together 2 c. flour, salt,& baking powder. add to creame mixure & beat well. Drede blueberries in the remaining 1 cup flour. Fold into creamed misture.buter & sprinkle sugar in 10″ bund pan. pour batter in pan.Bake in preheated oven @ 350* for 1 hour & 15 min..
GLAZE::2/3 c.confectioner sugr 1-2 T Real-Lemon juice..stir o blend..drizzle over cake
I use a spaghetti strand to check for doneness in bundts