Carrot cake is the essential Easter dessert. I originally planned on making a small Easter lunch for my parents this Sunday, but I’m back in eastern Iowa for an interview today, so we’re celebrating Easter tonight with a yummy spring dinner. We dug into this dessert last night (and I might have had a slice for breakfast) and it did not disappoint.
It’s a total pain to sit down and shred almost a pound of carrots–but its so worth it! I considered using my Kitchen Aid grinder attachment to shred them, but wasn’t sure if it would work. Let me know if you have any carrot shredding secrets! Oh and when making homemade cakes I always use cake flour.
I found a tip a while back to make your cakes bake flat, and I was so delighted to find out that it works great! Just wrap very wet dish towels around the cake pans while baking and they’ll come out even on top.
I made the cake layers last weekend and froze them. Whenever I make a layer cake–even if I don’t make it that far in advance I always freeze the cake before frosting it. It’s much easier to frost frozen layers, they’re firmer and less likely to crumb.
After seeing Inspired by Charm‘s adorable cake banners a few weeks ago, I just had to try my own!
I’ve been on the hunt for a new scent for so long! I picked up a random scent at the last VS semi-annual sale that was just ok, and it ran a few weeks ago so I’ve been 100% sans-scent for a while now. Last weekend I did some serious scent perusing and found several that I love! And even picked up a sample of a few of them to test out. Now I just have to pick my favorite.
Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh is in fact oh-so-fresh. It’s a lovely, light floral scent–which is always a win in my book, but at $89 it’s going to take a serious chunk out of my monthly shopping budget.
French Lavender Honey, from Bath & Body Works is a better fit for my budget at $40. It’s one of the samples I’ve been using this week and its a nice sweet-but-not-too-sweet scent. I am a serious lavender-lover so I was a little disappointed that the lavender is a pretty subtle aspect of the scent, but still a serious contender.
Mad About You had me at first sight. I love everything–the name, the colors, the bow! The base of the scent is peonies–my very favorite flower. I’ve been sampling this one all week to and its a very sweet scent, but I actually really like it. It’s also from Bath & Body Works and comes in at just $35.
Tocca Simone is pretty and elegant, just like its bottle. The bright tropical hints in the scent are something I’m usually not attracted to but mixed with a bit blonde wood its just perfect! But at $68 its quickly inching to the top of my very modest budget.
Bombshells in Bloom is just what it sounds like–a fun, sultry scent with sweet floral overtones. Add “in Bloom” on to the back of pretty much any scent and I’m going to love it! The $52 price tag makes it a very manageable splurge.
I love this enchilada recipe from Skinnytaste! But the last time I made them, I felt like they were just a little sloppy. I didn’t roll them tight enough, and storing the leftover gets a little messy–long skinny enchilada in a square container just doesn’t work that well. So my solution? Enchilada pie! It’s a little less messy to put together and so much easier to dish out and store leftovers! Traditional enchilada will always have a place on my menu–but this is a fun, simple twist on a favorite dish!Follow the Skinnytaste recipe with a few tweaks. Swap out the sour cream for plain greek yogurt and use pepper jack in stead of Mexican blend cheese. Then when it comes to putting the enchiladas together, forgo the rolling and grab a 9 inch pie pan. Start with the white sauce on the bottom, then layer tortilla, sauce, chicken mixutre–I used 5 tortillas. Then top with the final tortilla, remaining sauce and pepper jack. Bake according to recipe.
Since the fitness portion of my 3 Week Cleanse was a total flop (I worked out 5 times–my goal was 15-20 workouts) I decided it was only fitting for the second installment of ReCreating Healthy Habits to be a fitness challenge! The challenge is simple, complete 1000 minutes of fitness in 30 days. That averages to about 33 minutes a day, which is totally doable! I’ll be tracking my progress every day on my Fitness Challenge page and posting updates periodically here too.
And I’m going to try to complete all 1000 minutes without going to the gym.
Angela!? that’s a terrible idea!!
Now hear me out–Back in the day when I used to religiously frequent the gym, I had access to a huge, state-of-the-art gym with loads of natural light, all the equipment you could ever want and plenty of eye candy to enjoy. yeah I do that…
The gym I have access to now is decent–but its small and in the basement. And its at work. I enjoy my job and its a wonderful environment to work in, but when I’m done with work I want to leave work, not go hang out in the basement for another hour.
So my plan is yoga and running–I’m going to do Couch to 5K again. Read about my first Couch to 5K experience here.
As always, feel free to join in!
My favorite thing to do when I bake is make a recipe that I’ve made a million times before and tweak it just slightly. I pulled out my trusty ol’ red plaid cookbook and flipped to the well-loved banana bread page. I swapped out half of the flour for whole wheat flour (that makes this healthy right?) and added cocoa to half the batter to make these lovely little loaves.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
4-5 medium bananas
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup cocoa powder
Combine all dry ingredients except sugar in a mixing bowl and make well in center. Mash bananas in a decent sized mixing bowl. Beat eggs and add to bananas. Add oil and sugar too, mix well. Add wet ingredients all at once to dry ingredient. Stir just until combined, don’t over stir. Split batter in half and add cocoa to one half of the batter. (I put one half back into the wet ingredient bowl and added the cocoa–that way there was a tish extra moisture to make up for the dry cocoa.) Layer chocolate and plain batter into two mini loaf pans. Use a butter knife to swirl slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Be sure to check every few minutes during the last 10 minutes or so to prevent over baking. Let loaves cool for 10-15 minutes in pans, then run a knife along the edges to loosen, remove from pans and allow to cool completely. You can easily make one large loaf too, just adjust baking time.
adapted from this recipe