April 26, 2011

Carrot Cake


It's back and I'm so glad I'm back to cooking and baking!  Rick's birthday was this past Saturday and the only dessert he wanted was a homemade carrot cake.  I've never made one before so I scoot on over to Food Network and try to find one.  I used this one from Emeril. OH.MY.GOODNESS!!!!  This was the greatest recipe and Rick said this was the best carrot cake he had ever had and he knows his carrot cake.  Spencer helped me every step of the way and even used the mixer all by himself!  I didn't change much, just a little something with the icing that I think is a must.

Ingredients
3 sticks, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots (I added another 1/4 cup)
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (Didn't add)

Pecan Cream Cheese Icing:
8 ounces cream cheese (added another 8 oz and I believe this is a MUST)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (again, didn't add)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter 3 (9-inch) cake pans with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add the sugar, and beat. In a medium bowl or on a piece of parchment, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the eggs, beating well after the addition of each. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Add the carrots and beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Fold in the nuts. Divide between the 3 cake pans and bake until set and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest in the cake pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove from the pans, and let cool.

For the Frosting: In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly. Add the vanilla and pecans.

When the cake is cool, place 1 cake layer on a cake plate or stand. Spread the top with cream cheese frosting and top with a second and third cake layer, spreading the icing between each layer. Spread the icing around the sides of the cake and let harden slightly before serving. To serve, cut into wedges.

I didn't take a picture and didn't even think to.  We ate it up so fast!

April 25, 2011

Easter

Easter 2011 = SUCCESS!!  Did I think otherwise?  Heck no!  We had a great time as always and we're so fortunate to be able to spend this sweet day with family.  We went to Dad and Dana's and had a great time.  We had lunch and Spencer got to play with his cousins Eric, Alex, Adrianna & Ethan.  Hunting eggs was a blast and all of them were so sweet to share with each other and it was such a blessing to see.  Kids these days just do not share like this.  I'm a proud mama of a sharer!!  ALL of them shared their eggs and candy without parents telling them to do so.  So sweet!  Spencer did not want to leave (imagine that!) and fell asleep on the way home.  Once we got home, we put him down in his bed and he woke up immediately and there was no napping after that. 



I found one!


Sweet PaPaw!

We had planned to hunt eggs with him again at the house later that evening and give him his basket from the Easter bunny, but we skipped the eggs candy (for obvious reasons).

Spencer has this sudden infatuation with Batman and Spiderman.  He already has a Batman and of course needs a Spiderman to go with it!  These trucks are for him to play in his sand table with and he loves them!


Hope you all had a fabulous Easter!

April 21, 2011

New Look!

My new blog layout is now down (as you can see!).  I LOVE it!  Major shout-out to Laura Jane Designs for my sweet looking blog!  What do you think??

I have tons of stuff to post because I have been holding off until I get this new lay out, so watch out.  Also, I'm going back to the recipe of the week because we finally have appliances and I can cook again!!!

Spencer has been just been growing like a weed.  He is pretty much potty trained and that took place in one weekend...not.kidding.one.bit!  He does major milestones on his own, but definitely in his own time.  Getting rid of the bottle was nothing.  He just quit taking it one night.  Switching him to his bed with rails was nothing.  He just did it.  Same thing with potty training.  Now, only if the paci could go that easy.  I just don't think that's happening.  We are also toying with the idea of switching him to his big boy bed.  His crib goes down into a full bed.  We're having some sleep issues, so we're thinking this might help him.

Here are some videos of the past couple of weeks.  Rick taught Spencer how to motion "I love you" and it's the sweetest thing ever.  He almost always does it when you're not expecting it.


video


And we still love our guitars...

video

April 16, 2011

Sand Table

We got Spencer a sand table and we picked it up yesterday.  We've wanted to get him a sandbox for awhile now, but I'm not crazy about a sandbox on the ground with stray cats and our neighbor's cat.  It just grosses me out.  So, we got him this:

And he loves it!!!


There was no time to even take off his pajamas! 






April 3, 2011

Sweet Shower

We had Angie's diaper and wipe shower yesterday at Stella's.  It was such a great place to have a small, intimate baby shower.  Angie didn't want a lot of people and a "big to do" for this shower since it was her second one and now because she's already getting contractions.  I think baby Cooper is coming early.  We had a wonderful time and I hope she did too!

Lindsey, Crystal, Paige, Angie, Me & Elizabeth



Lindsey, Bellamy & Angie



Elizabeth & Crystal



Oh the conversations were great!



Would you look at that tray of greatness?!?!?!

April 2, 2011

Name Blocks

These are so fun and easy to make.  I got this idea from my friend Jenifer & wanted to tackle it myself.  I made this set for my WONDERFUL friend, Angie and we used it on the table at her diaper and wipe shower.  She can then use them in baby Cooper's room.  I also plan on making a lot of these for Christmas gifts.  My friend Jenifer made these for her girls' teachers at Christmas and they loved them!

Materials
 1 - 2x4 board
scrapbook paper
paint
modge podge

1)  The blocks are 3.5" x 3.5".  One 2x4 makes 32 blocks.


2)  Sand each block with a medium grain sanding block or paper.  This literally takes 5 minutes max.

3)  Paint with acrylic paint.  Mine took two coats due to the dark color.  You could also stain them instead of painting.


4)  Cut scrapbooking paper into 3" x 3" squares and modge podge them to the blocks.  Use something to "scrape" the top of the paper so there are no lumps or bubbles of modge podge.  You want a level surface.

*Note: About 5 different types of paper works the best so you can have a variety of letters. You really have to lay it out and play with it to see what works best.  The more contrast you have, the better it works.  I tried to match his bedding the best I could.


5)  I used a die-cut to cut my letters because our scrapbooking store has them.  You could also use your Cricut or Silhouette machine.  Any way would work for whatever type letters you want.  Modge podge the letter to the scrapbook paper square. 


6)  Once completely dry, use a fine grain sanding block or paper to rough up the edges so it has a "worn" look about it.  Of course, this step is optional and they look great if you don't sand here.



Hope you can use this wonderful, easy and cheap idea!

April 1, 2011

Granite!!!

I promise I'm not slacking on posting, but my new blog will be up and running soon, so I want to hold off on some posts until the blog looks super spiffy!  BUT, I can't contain myself with this one...we have granite finally!  After a long fiasco with the granite not being available, oh we found it, you can choose from some other ones, blah, blah...we finally got it yesterday.  This is not the original granite that we had ordered (refer to the previous sentence), but this is so much better than the one we had ordered.  Guess it all happened for a reason! 






Where do we go from here you may ask?  Well, Tuesday or Wednesday of next week all of our new appliances (that are sitting in our garage) will be installed.  We'll put in new flooring, back splash and paint all within about 2-3 weeks.  As many of you know, we cook all the time, so not having an oven has about done us in.  Let's just say our Hamilton Beach grill has gotten quite the work out. 

Have a great weekend!!


 
Content © Kara Swindell. All Rights Reserved | Design © 2011 Laura Jane Designs
Unauthorized use of this site's design or code is strictly prohibited.