Carrot Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Note: I wrote this entry Tuesday morning, and not on whatever day I decided to post this.  Just wanted to make that clear so you didn’t think I took some sort of LOST-esque journey through time and space.  Although that would be beyond cool.

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Who knew the secret ingredient in a carrot cake would be pineapple?

I, for one, most certainly did not, so thank heavens the folks over at Canadian Living set me straight.  As of this post I am officially rediscovering pineapple, it’s delicious.

In preparation for my wisdom teeth removal tomorrow morning, I decided to make a dessert that I might actually be able to eat post-operation.  After all, what is more soft and capable of being gummed-to-death than carrot cake?  I also have been craving vegetable-infused cakes ever since I made my chocolate zucchini cake, so here we are.  Two birds, one cake.

I’m actually typing this post as my cake is in the oven.  It’s morning time in Sudbury, and my parents are at work and my brother is at school.  Our fabulous convection oven is whurring softly, as if reassuringly saying “don’t worry, I’m so much more reliable than your oven in Ottawa, I won’t burn things in a matter of five minutes.”  It’s so strange to be able to trust your kitchen appliances for a change.

Since I’ve been rambling quite a bit in my previous posts (yes, I’m very much aware that I go off on tangents, I’m an admitted word-aholic) let me, instead of talking more, just share a beautiful picture with you.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is the dream (and also, as it happens, my desktop background):

Now, did that not improve your day by a tenfold?  Ah well, it makes me feel swell.

But of course, I just need to quickly say what I thought of this cake.  It was very, very moist and full of taste.  I halved the amount of pecans CL told me to put in the cake, since I’m not a huge fan of nuts in baking, and it still turned out dandy.  If you’re wondering whether you need pineapple, you do.  It adds the most surprising subtle flavour and creates an unexpected (in a good way) texture.  Just do it.

One more thing, I’ve posted a link to the Canadian Living recipe below my pictures, but I didn’t use their cream cheese icing recipe.  The recipe I used for that was adapted from Annie’s Eats and was perfectly sweet.

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Homemade Beef Stew

Hello everyone, remember me?  I know, its been awhile.  No, my blog is not dying, so for all you shaking your head’s out there, stop it right now!!  Rather, I’ve just been really busy with classes and such.  I had two huge assignments due today and yesterday, and we’ve now started newsroom days for radio, which complicate things a tad more

But enough with my complaints!  Lets get on to what you actually want to read about…

Okay, so at this point I’ve finally accepted that the cold fall weather is here to stay.  Ever since the Halloween blizzard, it’s like some signal went off in my brain making me crave only two things: chili and stew.  Not having made anything decently healthy for awhile, I thought making my mom’s homemade recipe for the latter would be a great way to get my protein and veggie intake.  A more important factor contributing to this decision was that I forgot my grocery list when I went to the store (never a good mistake), and stew is a very good improvisation “I don’t know what the hell I’m buying” dish.

My dear roommate Brittany also coincidentally decided to make stew last night.  Bubbling away on the stove, our stews brewed and sizzled – creating a symphony of smells in our cramped kitchen.  Though the cooking time on a recipe like this is rather long (see instructions below, don’t plan on making this in a rush!), it turned out to be worth it in the end.  My improvised recipe ended up making five servings of warmth and love.  It pains me a bit to type this post, since I’ve now had stew for two meals in a row and am kind of sick of the thing.  Perhaps I’ll move on to chili next and leave my leftovers in the freezer for a bit…

Cute little freezer leftovers

Homemade Beef Stew
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 500 g stewing beef (basically beef cut up in squares at the grocery store, it’s amazingly cheap)
– 1 onion, chopped
– 2 cups beef broth, water or a combination of the two
– 4 carrots, sliced
– 2 large potatoes, diced
– 1/4 cabbage, chopped
– 1 zucchini, sliced
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme

The instructions for this one are pretty simple: fry meat with oil until brown.  Once browned, add onion and pour 1 cup of the liquid over the meat.  Bring to boil and let sit simmering for 45 minutes, or until beef is tender.  Add carrots, potatoes, cabbage and remainder of liquid. Let cook for 20-30 minutes.  Within the last 5 minutes of cooking, add zucchini.  Sprinkle with thyme and serve.  Enjoy!

Rosemary Garlic Steak with Potato, Carrots and Shredded Zucchini

The reason for making this dinner was pretty simple: I was craving steak SO badly, haven’t eaten potatoes in half a year and wanted to use up the rest of my farmer’s market carrots.  This meal took about twenty minutes to make, and allowed me to utilize our beautiful non-stick pan as a BBQ alternative.

I know this is a ridiculously short post, but I’m watching this show Hawaii Five-O with my roommate Amanda, and am too distracted by Daniel Dae Kim’s cheekbones to write anymore.  That’s right, Jin from LOST is in a new show.  It gets an A+ already.

Okay, one more Daniel Dae Kim girl crush moment.  Remember when he was in Seinfeld?  So precious!

PS: this dish was adapted from Canadian Living’s Grilled Rosemary Garlic Flank Steak recipe.