June 12, 2012

Roasted Carrots

I promised a friend I'd start posting recipes more often... that was at least two months ago. So I'm going to try to start posting simple recipes from my phone as I make them.

About six months ago, I joined Weight Watchers Online (lost 20+ lbs and counting!); so now most of my cooking is veggie heavy and low on fat. The plan allows you to eat unlimited fruits and vegetables so I've found some ways to make delicious vegetables with little else added.

Tonight I made some carrots. I added some spices, a little Splenda brown sugar, and some olive oil spray. Then I roasted them, because roasted veggies are yummy.

Here's an approximation of the recipe:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Peel and cut a bag of carrots (1 lb I think) into 1-inch chunks.
In a bowl, spray carrots with cooking spray; I used olive oil spray. Use just enough to lightly coat.
Sprinkle with (approximate measurements) 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp dry ground ginger, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 2 tsp Splenda brown sugar.
Toss to coat evenly.
Turn out into a cookie sheet (I roast all my veggies in a Pampered Chef stoneware roasting pan).
Cook for 50-60 min or until nicely browned, stirring occasionally.
Enjoy! I ate the whole batch for dinner, so maybe make more if you have a WW member on hand.

February 6, 2012

Root Beer Float Cake

There's a complicated story behind the "party" for which I made this cake, but basically I wanted to make an out-of-the-ordinary cake to reward some of the students I work with for a fundraising job well done. This cake was delicious but not a roaring success in terms of attaining the taste I was going for, but I took pictures, so it goes up on the blog.

This "Root Beer Float Cake" didn't quite taste like a root beer float but it was still very tasty. I convinced myself that I tasted the root beer but most samplers of the cake said it just tasted like chocolate cake. For the frosting, I found several sources that said making a vanilla buttercream with vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract would make it taste like vanilla ice cream. Having tried it, I can't vouch for the truth in that idea. I did come across a few recipes that actually listed ice cream as an ingredient and I'll probably go that route if I give this concept another try.

Chocolate Root Beer Cake
One 12-oz bottle strongly flavored root beer
One Box Devil's Food Cake Mix

Mix them together with a hand mixer or by hand until well blended. Follow instructions on cake mix box for time and temperature. My batter was pretty thick and I was only able to get one round 9-inch cake out of it.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 T vanilla bean paste
1 T milk

Beat together softened butter and sugar, adding sugar slowly until it reaches a frosting consistency you like. Then add in the vanilla bean paste and some milk to smooth it out.

Once cake is cooled, spread on frosting. I used this decorator bottle to make the top of my cake pretty.