Carrot cupcakes

The hardest part?


Grating the carrots.


But I used my food processor this time.  The grated carrots were a larger grate than I wanted but the cupcakes still turned out fine.

Actually the hardest part is not eating all of them at once!


2 c. flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups cooking oil
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Add eggs and oil to all dry ingredients.  Beat till smooth.  Add carrots and nuts, if using.  Place in a greased 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Cool before icing.

For cupcakes: Fill cupcake pans with liners and fill 3/4 full.  Cake is dense and doesn’t rise as typical cupcakes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Cream cheese icing:
1 pound powdered sugar (approx. 4 cups)
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.  Ice cake or cupcakes.

For icing carrots and stems: reserve 1/4 cup icing and add orange (5 drops yellow, 1 drop red) food coloring and place in a zip bag.  Cut small hole in a corner and make carrots.  For stems: take 1 tablespoon icing and add 1-2 drops green food coloring.  Place in zip bag and pipe two stems at the top of the carrots.

Another substitution

In the United States we just celebrated Thanksgiving.  The traditional meal consists of turkey.  The trimmings vary from home to home and region to region.  Do you still have any leftover turkey?

Last year I posted a chicken corn chowder recipe that I threw together.  The post was about substitutions in recipes.

Well, I substituted again using the same chicken corn chowder recipe.

I used some leftover Thanksgiving turkey instead of the chicken.


In a jam

Free time has been practically non-existent this week with the twins at our house.  I took a personal day from work yesterday so we went on the Great Strawberry Hunt to get strawberries for jam.

Our Spring came early this year as did the flowers and early summer fruits like strawberries.  It took some time to find fresh local berries but we were finally successful.

We used the recipe from the Sure-Jell box for freezer jam.  First the quart of berries were cleaned.  Then the twins used potato mashers to “kill” the berries and sample them as well.  They took turns adding the four cups of sugar and stirring it in.  I “cooked” the Sure-Jell (pectin) with 3/4 cup of water on the stove.  I poured the hot solution over the sugary berries and they stirred it.  And stirred it.  And stirred it.

Here’s the only photo from the Jam Session with them stirring everything together:

They really like licking the spoons and bowl when we were finished.  In fact they wanted to drink the jam.  Don’t worry Mom, they didn’t.

This recipe was just the right amount to do with children.  We made 5 1/2 jars of freezer jam.  I have enough berries to make another batch.  Maybe tonight.  Or not.