Carrot Cake 15 Ways

To me carrot cake is irrevocably tied to spring as the perfect transitional sweet – am I alone here? It’s like the hope of warm weather that’s to come all tied up with a bow and (in most cases) a layer of cream cheese icing. The classic flavors involved can be incorporated into more than just cake too, delicious dishes like scones, oatmeal, and a gin fizz to name a few. Check out all fifteen takes on carrot cake below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring Inspiration

Mandi Nelson // Roasted Mixed Potatoes with Spring Herbs and Burrata // Our Food Stories // Dinara Mirtalipova // Valencia Glass Set // Magnolia Tree Print

 

Tall Hunter Boots // Orange Almond Cake with Orange Blossom Buttercream // Cavallo Linen Duvet Cover // Beehive Birdhouse // Meadows // Moscato Strawberries

 

Ira Heuvelman // Peach Hibiscus Rose Iced Tea with Fresh Mint // Robin’s Egg Carrot Cake Donuts // Moxi Suede Roller Skates // Shilashon // Yulia Longo

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Meatballs 15 Ways

When it comes to comfort food – which is just what I’ve been craving lately – meatballs are highly underrated. They’re easy to pull together for a meal, so versatile, and can be jam packed with vibrant flavors. If you’re still a doubter just have a look at the 15 recipes below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegetable Beef Soup

 

For weeks now it seems like if it hasn’t been snowing, it’s been raining. (It’s happening even now as I type.) My usual meals of chicken and Brussels sprouts or kitchen sink salads just haven’t been comforting enough, so there’s been plenty of warming soups and stews on the menu. This Vegetable Beef Soup is easy to pull together on either the stovetop or in a slow cooker, with plenty of tender vegetables to fill up your belly.

 

 

Vegetable Beef Soup

• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1.5 lb sirloin steak (or stew meat)
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 C carrots, diced
• 1 C celery, diced
• 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
• 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (optional)
• 8 C beef stock
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
• 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp black pepper

In a large stockpot heat 1 Tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat. Add half of the steak, stirring frequently until well browned. Remove and transfer to another plate. Repeat with remaining steak. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the remaining olive oil along with the onion, cook while stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and potatoes and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, as well as the steak, to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pot, simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until steak and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves and serve.

(This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Follow the above directions through the browning of the steak, then combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours, until vegetables are tender.)

 

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Nachos 15 Ways

Last week we shared a bunch of basic vs fancy foods for the Super Bowl, and today we’re narrowing it down even further with some of the most amazing nacho recipes I’ve ever seen. Lots of borrowing from other statement dishes and turning them into the most brilliant of snack foods! Out of these fifteen surely there’s at least one to peak your interest…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Super Bowl Party Foods: Basic + Fancy

Now that we know it’ll be the Philadelphia Eagle and the New England Patriots facing off in Super Bowl LII, we can get onto the very important task of party planning. Or more specifically menu planning. Because if either of those teams aren’t your favorite – this Pittsburgh Steelers fan included – then the most important thing happening at the Super Bowl party you’re hosting or attending will likely be the food.

I’ve only been to two types of SB parties in my lifetime – the kind that includes paper plates and cans of beer, and the type where it would be frowned upon to throw the plates or glasses into the trash. In other words, basic and fancy. Basic parties include the old standbys while fancy parties step outside the box a bit more. Both types of party foods are fantastic and delicious, and I wouldn’t turn down an invitation to either!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dutch Banket (Almond Pastry)

 

Years ago when my stepdad was a resident in Grand Rapids, Michigan he discovered Dutch banket (pronounced bahn-KET) at a local bakery. The combination of almond paste and pastry dough was seemingly unforgettable, and a few months ago he tracked down the recipe and baked some up. Airy and flaky with a dense filling, the resulting long rolls are sliced up into individual pieces before serving. A slice makes for the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea, or so I’ve heard!

 

 

Ingredients

Dough
• 2 C all-purpose flour
• 1 C (2 sticks) cold butter
• 1/2 C cold water

Filling
• 1 C almond paste (8 oz)
• 3/4 C sugar
• 1 tsp almond extract
• 1 egg
• dash of salt

Topping
• 1 egg white
• 1/4 C sugar
• sliced almonds (optional)

 

 

Preheat oven to 425º. In a medium sized bowl, cut the butter into the flour and combine until mixture is crumbly. Make a crater in the center and slowly add the cold water to the mixture. Mix well and add small amounts of additional flour until dough becomes smooth and forms a ball. Chill in the refrigerator.

Onto the filling. Combine almond paste, sugar, almond extract, and egg together in a mixing bowl. Using either a stand or hand mixer, combine until mostly smooth.

Divide dough into four parts. Roll on portion into a ball and place it on a flour-covered surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a long rectangle that measures about 12-inches by 3-inches. Spoon one fourth of the filling into the center of the dough, leaving about an inch on all sides. Fold the ends over first, then bring up the sides and pinch the dough together (you may want to wet your fingertips with water for a better seal). Repeat the process three more times for the other portions of dough and filling. Place the rolls onto a greased baking sheet, sealed side down.

Whisk egg white, then brush generously over each roll. Sprinkle with sugar and add sliced almonds if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a light golden brown.

 

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New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas + The Best Cornbread

 

I know I said I wouldn’t be back until after the new year, but I couldn’t let it slip by without sharing this recipe! My mom makes a big pot of black-eyed peas and a piping hot pan of cornbread every New Year’s Day. Superstition has it that eating a bowl will bring you luck in the coming year, and I’m not one to mess with that kind of science! This dish is one she has stored in the recipe box of her mind and has never been shared before, so this is *kind of* a big deal. It’s also very versatile. Add more beans, leave out the sauerkraut, cut back on the meat? All totally doable. We like to place a piece of cornbread in the bottom of a bowl and cover it with the beans before digging in. Here’s to a fantastic 2018!

 

 

New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas
• 1 bag dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in a large pot of cold water
• 1 large sweet yellow onion
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2-3 large ham hocks
• 1 ring of Polish Kielbasa or Polish Sausage, sliced into 1-inch quartered pieces
• 1 ham steak, fried and cut into small 1/2-inch pieces
• 12 oz sauerkraut, drained
• red pepper to taste

Drain peas and rinse well, removing any bad ones. Combine black-eyed peas, onion, garlic, ham hocks, Kielbasa, and ham steak in a very large stock pot, then fill with water to cover. Set on low heat, stirring occasionally. Mixture will thicken as it cooks. Cook until black-eyed peas are tender and ham hocks are cooked through and falling apart. Remove ham hocks from pot and remove meat from bones, then add meat back to the pea mixture. Discard scraps and add sauerkraut and red pepper to taste. Cook for additional 15 minutes. Total cook time varies, but is usually in the three to four hour range.

 

The Best Cornbread
• 1 C butter, softened
• 2 – 8 oz cans corn, drained
• 2 – 8 oz cans creamed corn
• 4 eggs, lightly beaten
• 2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 – 8.5 oz boxes Jiffy cornbread mix

Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl stir together all ingredients until blended (do not beat with mixer). Pour into a greased and floured 9” x 13” cake pan. Bake one hour or until the top is lightly browned. Enjoy!

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