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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Creating a Carrot Cake

I had the day off today for Veteran's Day. I filled a couple of hours with my favorite past time, baking, by making a carrot cake. I have made it a couple of times, and I think this time I have perfected the recipe. I am posting the recipe and pictures below.

Lauren's Carrot Cake

For the Cake:
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup natural applesauce (no added sugar)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t nutmeg
1 t vanilla extract
3 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup walnuts (finely chopped)

Mix the sugar, oil, and applesauce together. Add eggs one at a time, blending well in between. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt together. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix. Add carrots, vanilla, and nuts and finish mixing. Spray 2 round cake pans w/ Pam. Divide the cake evenly between the 2 cake pans. Bake on 325 for 40 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the Icing:
2 8 oz blocks of 1/3 fat cream cheese (room temp)
1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)
4 cups powdered sugar
zest of 1 orange
scrapings of 1/2 vanilla bean
1 t vanilla extract

Mix the above ingredients together in a mixer until creamy. Ice the cakes when cooled completely and store in the refrigerator.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Spooktacular Party

Last night was my friend JR's Halloween Party. I took great care in taking pictures of all the costumes for you to enjoy.

Hillary came over early to do my makeup. Didn't she do a great job?

JR - a creature from a video game. I'm not really sure of the name of the character, but isn't he creepy?

Loi and Christine - Shake and Fries

Paul and Hillary - A character from the Princess Bride and a New Kids on the Block Superfan.

Roiann - A beer wench. Very nice.

JR's wife, Jennifer - The creepy character from Saw. I don't like scary movies, so I am not familiar with this character, but everyone thought it was a very good costume.

Jason and Melinda- The Blues Brothers

Chris - The monk from Monty Python The Holy Grail

Ahmed - An "undecided voter". How very clever.

Gail and me - Witches, how fitting.

Chris - Uncle Sam, also a very fitting costume for the personality.

JR had a nice DJ booth setup and everyone took turns choosing the music. Hillary and I got our dance on. Isn't she crazy?