Friday, April 8, 2011

Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

YIELD: 12 servings (serving size: 1 piece)
  • Cake:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 (2 1/2-ounce) jar carrot baby food
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups finely grated carrot (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • Cooking spray
  • Frosting:
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted (DIDN'T USE)
  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a food processor; pulse 6 times or until well blended. Place flour mixture in a large bowl. Combine granulated sugar, canola oil, baby food, and eggs; stir with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Stir in grated carrot and raisins. Spoon batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • To prepare frosting, combine cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating at low speed until smooth (do not overbeat). Spread over cake; sprinkle with coconut. Cover and chill.
**I made this cake a while back, and had good notes written on the recipe!  Quick, easy, had most ingredients in the pantry, and very moist!  Doesn't taste "light!"

Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 262
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 8.8g
  • Saturated fat: 2.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.6g
  • Protein: 3.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 44.1g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Cholesterol: 44mg
  • Iron: 0.9mg
  • Sodium: 201mg
  • Calcium: 47mg

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Steak and Pepper Tacos

4 servings Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 25 minutes View Nutrition Facts


  • 1  pound  flank or hanger steak
  •     Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 2    garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2  teaspoon  mild chile powder
  • 3  teaspoons  vegetable oil
  • 1/2    red onion, sliced
  • 3    bell peppers, 1 each red, yellow and orange, thinly sliced
  • 1/2  cup  fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 8    small corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1/2    avocado, sliced
  • 1/4  cup  grated low-fat Monterey Jack
  • 1/4  cup  salsa verde or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2  tablespoons  sliced pickled jalapenos
  •     Reduced-fat sour cream (optional)


Marinate the steak in the lime juice, salt, garlic and chile powder in a sealed plastic bag for 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil to the pan. Add the red onion and bell peppers; cook, tossing frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the corn and continue to cook until the peppers are charred and soft, about 3 more minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and keep warm.
Wipe the skillet with a paper towel and heat for another minute. Add the remaining teaspoon of vegetable oil. Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Lay the steak in the pan, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook about 8 minutes for medium-rare, turning once halfway through. Transfer to a board and let rest for 5 minutes. 4. Slice the steak across the grain and arrange on a platter with the peppers and lime wedges. Make tacos with the warm tortillas, avocado, Monterey Jack, salsa, jalapenos and, if desired, sour cream.

**Awesome recipe!  Easy, but a little challenge keeping everything hot before serving!  Delicious!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pasta Pomodoro

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. fresh oregano
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 lb spaghetti or linguine
Basil leaves
1/4 c. grated Grana Padano (or any other hard Italian cheese) 

1.  Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute until golden brown, 2 minutes.  
2.  Add tomatoes.  Simmer over very low heat for 30 mnutes, adding water by the 1/4 c. to keep sauce from becoming too thick.
3.  Season with salt and pepper and reserve. 
4.  Cook pasta in a large pot of heavily salted boiling water; reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water.  
5.  Add pasta to reserved tomato sauce in saucepan and finish cooking pasta, 2-3 minutes, adding 1/4 c. pasta water to moisten if necessary.
6.  Divide among 4 plates and garnish with basil leaves and grated cheese. 

**Absolutely simple and delicious!  Wonderful recipe and had everything in the pantry.  (I just used Parmesan since I was using things from the pantry.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Four Cheese with Bacon

1 lb cavatappi
6 slices bacon, diced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
1/2 tsp onion flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded colby-jack cheese (4oz)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4oz)
8 slices Kraft Deli Deluxe American cheese
1.  Heat oven to 350.  Coat a 3-qt broiler safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.  
2.  Cook cavatappi 8 minutes in boiling water, then drain.  Meanwhile, in med-size saucepan, cook bacon over medium until crisp, 6 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels.  Carefully pour off drippings, returning 2 tablespoons to pan.  Add butter.
3.  Whisk in flour until smooth.  In a thin stream, whisk in milk.  Stir in oinion flakes, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil over med-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.  In large bowl, toss together cheddar, colby-jack and mozzarella.  
4.  Remove milk mixture from heat; whisk in American cheese and 1 1/4 c. cheddar mixture.  Toss bacon pieces with remaining cheddar cheese.
5.  In pasta pot, combine cooked pasta and cheese sauce.  Pour half into prepared dish.  Sprinkle with a generous cup of the bacon-cheese mixture.  Repeat layering.  
6.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Increase oven temp to broil and broil 3 minutes until top is lightly browning.  Cool slightly before serving. 

12 servings, 404 calories, 21 g fat.

**Awesome!  Great recipe to freeze for later! 

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 (8oz) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup hazelnut spread (Nutella)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup pecans, chopped/crushed
1 prepared piecrust (I used graham cracker, also could use OREO if you want it REALLY chocolaty!)
1 cup whipped topping
2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips

1.  Heat oven to 325.
2.  In large bowl, combine cream cheese, hazelnut spread, and 1/4 c. sugar.  Beat on medium for 3 minutes or until well blended.  Add egg and 1/4 c. pecans and beat until blended.  Pour into prepared piecrust.  
3.  Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes or until center is just set.  Remove pie from oven and cool completely on wire rack.  
4.  Once pie is cooled, spread whipped topping over pie, and sprinkle with remaining pecans and chocolate chips.  

**This was a wonderfully easy recipe that really satisfies a chocolate craving!