Sunday, February 21, 2010

Betty's Carrot Cake

Hello all! Today I am sharing with you another family recipe that is a classic in the Lippert household. My mother's dearest friend, Betty, passed this recipe along to my mother while they were working in real estate together in Tulsa back in the 80's. This is a timeless cake, and this recipe truly makes the best I have ever had. Be prepared though, grating carrots by hand is quite a chore - but it is imperative that you get them fine enough not to interfere with the consistency of the batter (think a little finer than the coconut that you add). Also, the homemade frosting is NECESSARY. Please do not debauch this cake by using store bought cream cheese frosting from the container. This recipe is very simple, but it goes a long way! Also, I have not added the pineapple before, but my mother usually does, so I assure you that either way - the cake turns out wonderfully. I made the one pictured below for my friend Matt's birthday, and as usual, there is extra batter left over if you make the three tiered version (which doubles the recipe), so I also made a batch of 12 cupcakes (also pictured below). Lastly, I don't add the pecans to the frosting, but rather garnish the whole cake with them instead, but it looks beautiful anyway that you do it! I hope you enjoy! :o)

Betty's Carrot Cake
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
3 cups finely grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup pecans

Mix all ingredients in order given. Pour into greased and floured pans and bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before removing from pans and frost with recipe below.

Bake appx. 40 minutes for 13 x 9 rectangle cake pan.
Bake appx. 50 - 55 minutes for Bundt cake pan.
For 2 round cake pans - estimate 35-40 minutes baking time.

Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup softened margarine
8 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese
1 lb. box of Powdered sugar
1/2 cup pecans

Mix margarine and cream cheese with a mixer, then mix in powdered sugar with mixer. If you prefer frosting to be thinner, dilute with a small amount of water or canned pineapple juice. Stir in nuts with spoon and frost cake. Sprinkle with a few pecans on top for decoration.

Optional: (I have added a small can of drained crushed pineapple to the cake batter before and saved the juice for the frosting and it is a nice variation. I think the pineapple juice adds a nice complimentary taste to the cream cheese. Also, it's nice to have a little extra powdered sugar on hand to add if needed for just the right consistency, so you might get a 2 lb. bag.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Restaurant Review: Trailside Cafe & Tea Room

Megan and I have been driving by the Trailside Cafe & Tea Room for almost a whole year now saying, "We need to eat lunch there sometime." We were usually on the way somewhere else though, and because it's tucked away off of Center Street, it just didn't come to mind when contemplating places to eat. WELL, we finally went yesterday, and it was wonderful! Our waitress Katie was adorable, super sweet, and so helpful! We started off with pot of tea - White Chocolate Green, which was superb. The pairing of white chocolate with the green tea seemed a bit odd to me, but the subtle scents and tastes of white chocolate in the tea complemented really well! It was heavenly. Then we each ordered up a bowl of chili, although the decision was difficult with so many wonderful menu options - including a daily special plate lunch. So Megan paired hers with a apple and cream cheese tea sandwich. We giggled at the combination with the chili, but Megan said that it worked out just fine, haha. Well, and if you know anything about Megan or I, we are suckers for dessert, so I had to sample the homemade apricot turnovers that had just come out of the oven and Megan (with her odd distaste for cooked fruit) resorted for the Valentine's Day cookies - both were delicious. We are so excited that we found this little treasure, and we are definitely going to become regulars very quickly and so should you!

Also, I wouldn't be doing the Trailside Cafe & Tea Room justice if I didn't mention all of the other exciting tea adventures to experience there. I got really excited to discover that the owner actually hosts free tea talks and tastings once a month on Saturday afternoons at 2pm. Sadly, Megan and I missed the first one last month, but we will definitely be making an effort to attend the rest! The restaurant was so peaceful and relaxing, and it made a great break to a busy day. The tea options are limitless, but here are just a few that strike me as interesting: Catnip, Red Rooibos, Autumn Harvest, Fine Lung Ching or Dragon's Well, and Smoky Russian Caravan. Megan and I decided that we would take recommendations from Katie as to what type to try when we come in each time - so if you don't know where to start either, just ask! Anyhow, for more information and whatnot, check out their website at or better yet, stop in for lunch today. You'll definitely be glad that you did!

Friday, February 12, 2010

German Chocolate Cake with Aunt Christine's Coconut Pecan Frosting

One of my family's favorite cakes is a good German Chocolate Cake. It just so happens to be my good friend Will's too. So for his birthday (yeah, it was way back in November...), I made him one. I think he liked it. :o)

Anyhow, to make the cake, I just use a box mix, and it tastes pretty good too. It's the frosting that really makes the difference, and I am sharing a family recipe below - so get excited!

Aunt Christine's Coconut Pecan Frosting
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned evaporated milk
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 1/2 cups of flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar & egg yolks, then vanilla flavoring & evaporated milk. Continue cooking and stirring over medium heat until thick, about 12 minutes. Stir in coconut and pecans and beat with spoon until thick enough to spread. Ice cooled cake while frosting is still warm.

If you can't tell, I forgot to get a picture of the cake for the blog before we cut into it, but we made a pretty good sized dent in it real quick. And besides, this view gives you a good vision of the inside construction. :o)

Also, like most three-layer cakes that I make, I always wind up with extra batter, so I made a batch of cupcakes too - see below.

More Fun Pictures!

Just some more fun cooking and food pictures - there have been a lot of birthdays lately!

More Mellow Yellow Cupcakes via Hungry Girl. They were tasty. :o)

Angela's Better than Sex Birthday Cake. It was gone super fast - the CLCE must have liked it too!

Megan's Rick's Birthday Cake! Their chocolate butter cream icing is her favorite, and it looks really pretty with brightly colored flowers. :o)

My ASG Exec Birthday Cake from Rick's. Yummy as always! Thanks Mattie! :o)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Featured Chef: Mattie Bookhout

One of my besties Mattie got her hands on our very favorite chicken salad recipe - and it's the best EVER. Enjoy. :o)

Chicken Salad
3 cans of shredded chicken (2 ½ cups)
¼ cup celery
½ cup mayo
4 tbsp of sour cream
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of onion powder
¼ tsp of pepper
¾ tsp of salt
¼ cup of bacon bits
¼ cup candied walnuts
¼ cup diced craisins

To candy walnuts, melt butter in skillet pan. Add diced walnuts. Coat in brown sugar until candied. Mix all ingredients. Mattie adds an extra bit of brown sugar. Serve on croissant with provolone. #winning :o)

Featured Chef: David Brophey

For our Super Bowl gathering last night, Brophey made these AMAZING red velvet chocolate chip cookies. See the recipe below:

Red Velvet Cookies! OMG, heaven in a cookie...

1 Box cake mix (your choice of what kind...I used Red Velvet)
1 Stick of Butter (1/2 cup)
2 eggs
However much of whatever you'd like in the cookies (I used just about a bag of mini chocolate chips)

1. Cook in a 350* oven for sometime between 12-17 minutes.
Note: The time depends on how soft or firm you'd like them. I usually tend towards 17.

Thanks Brophey for sending me the recipe to share!


Ooh, Brophey and Matt made this legit cocktail last night - 1 part gin, 2 parts sparkling white grape juice, and a splash of lime. I love me some Tanqueray, so this just might be my new favorite alcoholic beverage!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Featured Chef: Jaime Nelson

Hello everybody! Meet Jaime Nelson! One of my favorite people in the world. On Friday, we were all getting together to have game night, and while at work during the day - I got a craving to cook! AND, I found this wonderful recipe via Twitter and Southern Living's "What's for dinner" special post. So I texted Jaime, and she was game for cooking in before our gathering. Here is the documentation of our cooking adventures, and the delectable results!

The recipe that I found was for a crayfish etouffee, but we substituted shrimp for a lack of crayfish at Harps. We also opted to bake some cheese biscuits to complement the meal. We just bought the mix from the muffin and cornbread section at the store - all you have to do is add water, bake, and voila! We also paired the meal with a Malbec, which went quite well with the meal. See our pictures and the link to the recipe below:


This was a really yummy meal, and Jaime makes a really cute chef too. She's super fun to cook with. :o)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Daisy Cupcakes A-Comin'! :o)

For my birthday, my bff Megan McClellan bought me this adorable Daisy cupcake pan and supplies. I'm so excited about it that I couldn't wait until I actually get to bake them to post about it. SO! Just wanted to let y'all know that they are "a-comin!" Get stoked - because I am. :o)

These sound so delicious and look SO pretty! See the recipe included on the back of the pan packaging below:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Birthday Dinner by Featured Chef: Megan Francis

For my birthday, my best friend Megan hosted a very special dinner party with some of my closest friends to help me celebrate the big 24. Below find her menu and recipes. It was such a good meal, and it really meant a lot to me that everyone came together (especially with the poor weather conditions) to spend my birthday with me. Thanks to everyone who helped make it special.

Rendezvous Platter & Seasoned Cashews

Rendezvous Platter
2 pkgs of sausage links
1 block cheddar cheese
1 block colby jack cheese
Rendezvous (or cajun) seasoning

1. Heat sausage in the oven
2. Cut cheese into cubes
3. Cut sausage
4. Arrange cheese and sausage on plate
5. Sprinkle with seasoning (to taste)

Seasoned Cashews
1.25 lbs cashews
2 tbsp chopped rosemary
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp melted butter

1. Bake nuts on ungreased cookie sheet for 10 min
2. Combine seasoning in bowl large enough for all nuts
3. Add nuts, mix and serve

T-Lip Tip & Sip
Tip (Alcoholic)
2 cups rum
2 liters of ginger ale
1 quart Juicy Juice pineapple orange juice cocktail

1. Mix
2. Enjoy

Sip (Non-Alcoholic)
One part Tazo passion iced tea
One part Crystal Light lemonade

1. Mix
2. Enjoy

Note: Freeze pineapple orange juice in ice trays to keep cocktails cold without watering them down.

Pork Tenderloin
2 packages plain pork tenderloin
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil to taste
garlic powder to taste

1. Season meat
2. Add small amount of water to pan and set meat in pan
3. Cook in oven according to package
4. Let meat rest and slice before serving

Broccoli Corn Bread
3 eggs
1 package corn muffin mix (8.5 oz)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups thawed frozen chopped broccoli
1 medium onion (chopped)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Grease 9x9 Pyrex baking dish
3. Beat eggs and stir in all ingredients
4. Bake 25-30 minutes

Fresh Green Beans
5 handfuls fresh green beans
1 small package sliced almonds
1/2 stick of butter
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring salted water to boil
2. Cook green beans in boiling water for 10-15 minutes
3. Melt butter in skillet and add almonds
4. Add green beans to butter and blanche
5. Plate and serve warm

Cheese Grits
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp salt
1 cup quick cooking grits
1 stick butter
6 oz Owl's Nest garlic cheddar cheese spread
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add salt.
2. Slowly add the grits and return to boil. Stir for 1 full minute.
3. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Stir the grits and add the stick of butter, stirring until until it has melted.
5. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes until grits are thick and creamy.
6. Remove from heat. Add the garlic cheese and stir until melted.
7. Pour in beaten eggs.
8. Pour grits into greased 8x11x2 casserole dish. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
9. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the casserole for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

The finished plate! So pretty! And SO yummy! :o)

And my beautiful birthday cake from Rick's! Yummy! :o)

The group (minus Blake whose behind the camera and Megan who had to leave a little early). Thanks again everyone. Y'all made my birthday really special. I love each of you.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monster Cookies

So, Monster Cookies are the best cookies ever made - and who else would create the recipe for the best cookies ever other than the one and only Paula Deen. That's right, these even contain a whole 'stick a butter'. But no really, these really are great cookies. AND I baked them for a good cause too! Yup, tomorrow and Wednesday, Phi Alpha Delta and the Black Law Student Association are hosting a bake sale to raise money for the Haiti Relief Efforts. We are also selling sack lunches with a sandwich, chips, and a dessert for just $5. So if any of this sounds appealing to you (and it should!), feel free to stop by the kitchen area of the law school (right by the east doors of the law school building off of Maple street) between 12 and 1 either tomorrow or Wednesday. And... if nothing else, you should come by to support the cause because it is my birthday. It's the big 2-4. :o)

Anyhow, so here's the recipe link:

And the pitcha! Hehe.