#Mema’s Famous Carrot Cake

Happy Valentine’s Day! First of all let me apologize for not getting to as many Valentine’s crafts & recipes as I’d hoped. If you like me, you are a full-time mom & work as well, you know how hectic life can get. Add a sick kid, Valentine’s day parties at school, helping your child make valentines for their classmates, a much-needed date night, & a candy gram fundraiser to your already busy everyday life & you just can’t fit everything you planned in. I will be doing a Valentine’s Day post later today, but while I’m waiting for my turn in the shower (one bathroom with 4 people in the household = nightmare), I thought I’d share one of my absolute favorite desserts of all time! My Mema is famous for her carrot cake! Everyone wants her to make one for their birthday! Everyone wants seconds and will fight over the last slice if necessary! It’s just that damn good (Excuse the language, but the situation called for it!). If you’ve read my blog before, you know that my love hates veggies & most fruits. Getting him to eat anything remotely healthy is a chore, more like a puzzle to be solved. I’ve started finding ways around it like pureeing veggies before putting them into recipes. Having said that, when we first started dating, I assumed carrot cake would be a definite no for him, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! It has a full pound of carrots in there, but it is so good that even he can’t get enough! I always make my family little “I love you” baskets full of their favorite candies as well as non-food treats like Itunes cards, nail polish (obviously only for the girls), a movie they’ve been wanting, etc, but this year I decided to make my hubby one of the coveted carrot cakes to have all to himself! Home-made gifts are always the best anyways!

IMG_2611[1]Beautiful huh?! Now on to the recipe…

Mema’s Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 lb. carrots (peeled & grated)

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Grease 3 round cake pans
  • Line cake pan bottoms with wax paper then grease the bottoms again
  • Sugar the greased pans
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  • In your large mixing bowl, mix oil & sugar
  • Add eggs
  • Slowly add dry ingredients, a little bit at a time, with the mixer still going
  • Add your grated carrots & mix until they are distributed nicely
  • Divide evenly into your 3 waiting cake pans
  • Bake for 30 minutes
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the pan
  • Carefully flip your cakes on to cooling racks
  • Remove the wax paper & allow to cool completely

While those are cooling, it’s time to make the frosting…

Cream Cheese Frosting with Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional 1/4 cup for decorating the top)

Steps:

  • Whip all frosting ingredients minus the nuts in a small mixing bowl
  • Slowly add in your pecans
  • Frost between layers & on top of your cake
  • Add those extra chopped nuts on the top

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Mine was for Valentine’s Day so I used a large heart cookie cutter to add a pecan heart to the top of mine to make it extra fancy. This cake is gorgeous to look at, super moist, & just a confectionery delight but was completely made & assembled in about an hour, a great cake for both experienced & beginner bakers! Believe me your family or whoever you make it for will be completely impressed by your culinary skills! Now to let you in on this weird little family secret to make this cake even more delicious… make it ahead of time, completely assembled, & freeze it until 30 minutes before you are ready to serve. I’m not sure what scientific process happens to that carrot cake in the freezer but it is pure magic. If and I mean a big IF there happens to be any leftover cake, I eat it straight out of the freezer! So say you read this and are like “I’ve tried carrot cake before, but it isn’t my thing,” then you didn’t have my Mema’s carrot cake! I’m so spoiled that I can’t even look at store-bought or restaurant carrot cake; it just isn’t the real deal & should be eliminated from human consumption from now on! Try this recipe! Let me know what you think! If my directions weren’t clear or if you have any questions, I’m here to help! Ok time to get ready to head to my dad’s & cook dinner for the 7  family member that were able to get off today My hubby has to work ;( but we did have a very nice date-night last night!

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Love, love, love him!! ❤

 

#Valentine’s Puppy Chow

Hey, guys! We started February out with my youngest starting to run a 102 fever during her field trip today! Yay! So instead of the Valentine’s Day craft project I originally had planned to make & share today (don’t worry we’ll revisit that one shortly), I decided to go with an easy family favorite: Chex’s Muddy Buddies also known as Puppy Chow in this household. This is a great, inexpensive, quick, & easy recipe perfect for any occasion! Not only is it a perfect thing to bring to events (I’ve mentioned before that I can’t be invited anywhere without bringing something lol) like the Puppy Bowl party we went to this weekend (if the party’s host Got Cache doesn’t share it soon, I’ll be bringing that adorable idea to you very soon), it makes a perfectly sweet gift in a mason jar or festive tin. Ok that was not a grammatically correct sentence in any way, but anywho… While I’ve made it tons of times & know the recipe by heart, I double checked the Chex website to make sure I quote it perfectly, and oh my goodness, Chex Party Mix & Muddy Buddies have exploded into so many cool flavors, styles, & varieties! Definitely going to revisit that recipe treasure trove again soon! Can you say endless possibilities?? Check some of them out by clicking here! Gosh I’m scattered tonight… must stay on point! The traditional Muddy Buddy recipe is simple, only 6 ingredients necessary, most of which you probably have on hand. Now if you haven’t noticed, I love holidays & enjoy tailoring recipes to fit the occasion so we’ll add one more thing to … so without further ado…

♥ Valentine’s Puppy Chow ♥

 

♥ Ingredients:

  1. 9 cups Chex cereal (the recipe doesn’t specify a variety, but I use Rice Chex)
  2. 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  3. 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  4. 1/4 cup butter or margarine (normally I use margarine for cooking, but I’ve made this recipe with both options & definitely would go with the butter)
  5. 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  6. 1  1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  7. Valentine’s sprinkles &/or pink or red colored sugar

♥ Steps:

  1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
  2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
  4. Pour into a 2-gallon Ziploc bag.
  5. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated.
  6. Spread on waxed paper & add those festive sprinkles.
  7. Let cool then store in airtight container in refrigerator.

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So in less than 30 minutes including cooling time, you have a delicious snack perfect for a Valentine’s Day party, sweet gift for a loved one, or a special lunch box treat for the littlest valentines on your list! So that’s my Valentine’s idea of the day… hope you liked it! I’d like to challenge you to think beyond your significant other & kids this year! Remember to show everyone you care about a little extra love this Valentine’s Day! Grab a couple of your brother’s favorite candies & put them in a cute gift bag! Make your coworkers some brownies! Bring your mom some flowers or have them delivered if you live too far away! Let’s spread the love and remember, when in doubt, chocolate always works!