Sunday, May 16, 2010

Muffin Monday


I have posted over the years that I organize menus in my head according to the day of the week, otherwise I find the task of feeding a family of six, three times a day, extremely overwhelming (if not impossible). Tomorrow is "muffin monday". Normally, I would be whipping up the ever-popular "pumpkin muffins a la sombar", but much to my dismay, there was a disaster with the pumpkin crop so the shelves of canned pumpkin are E-M-P-T-Y!!! As a substitute, tonight I was busying myself with my favorite carrot cake recipe. Believe me, people, this is THE BEST carrot cake there is, no bakery can touch it. I've made it about a hundred times in the last seven years, and will always have one or two folks (be they the more uncooth in the group), licking their plates. I even had a friend's daughter demand it for her seventh birthday (kids have the most critical pallets)!

There were a number of minor emergencies with this baking feat- namely trying to shed seven carrots in my wonderful Cuisinart (a most excellent gift from my mother-in-law Rose), which I'm am sadly out of practice in operating. If you've never used a food processor, and you are used to the more manual way of doing things, your first several experiences with the machine will make you feel completely brain-dead. Then, of course, we were short on eggs, and though I live in a neighborhood of divine citizens who would give me a dozen eggs if I so requested, I decided that at 8:45, the bedtime witching hour, I would spare them the interruption. Thus, my batch will have half of the required amount.

With fingers crossed, tomorrow morning my babies' tummies shall be nourished with some extra beta carotene in cupcake form.

For all of you readers who love to bake, and have about 30-40 mins. to spare in your day, here is the recipe (courtesy of the magazine Cook's Illustrated, Number 61, April 2003):

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. (6 to 7 medium) carrots (around 3 cups once grated)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 X 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Whisk together flour, bkg pwder. bkg. soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside
In Food Processor fitted with large shredding disk, shred carrots- transfer to bowl and set aside
Process granulated and brown sugars and eggs until frothy. Add oil thru feed tube in steady stream- process until mixture is light in color.
Scrape mixture into medium bowl
Stir in carrots and dry ingredients
Bake 35-40 mins.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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