Monday, August 17, 2009

Trip to the coast AGAIN??

This past weekend we packed our things away using HEB (our local grocery) canvas bags instead of actual luggage into our tiny itsy bitsy Corolla without a working radio and drove the 3 hour drive to Padre Island to celebrate the Father-in-laws birthday. I am telling you- we are so classy with our grocery luggage bags and gheoto-licious car, it is hard to beleive we aren't on one of those trashy reality shows!

It was a shorter trip than usual but as we had a DUMP (it's a cajun styled dish with red potatoes, shrimp, corn on the cob and sausage DUMPED on the table for finger-licking fun) and a delicious cooking light carrot birthday cake, we branded it a successful trip! It's all about the food- Why is it that I am always thinking of food!! Sometimes I think about writing sonnets to food expressing my love and devotion.

Right before we were to leave to go back, we were graced with the presence of a blue heron in the figurative backyard. Kyle's grandparents live on a canal so the "backyard" is actually a series of several decks. The beautiful snake-necked bird with the grace of a ballerina landed on the deck and preceded to stare into the abyss. We tip-toed around the deck taking pictures of the gorgeous oddity standing only a few feet from us. At one point when Kyle was inside looking for the camera, the bird turned his head eerily to what looked to be nearly 45 degrees to stare right in my direction. It was unclear whether he was actually looking at me or in my direction, but regardless of the truth, I felt that his calm stare was fixedly on my person, almost like he was communicating through his eyes that he was aware of my presence. The camera fogged up as soon as we began taking his photo as the humidity never ceases to lower below 90 percent. (We even went for a short run around 12:30 am and it was like breathing wet air. I was a little afraid of drowning)

You can see how foggy the lens was here.


He/she was so beautiful and elegant. Oh how I wish I possessed either one of those qualities!!


A beautiful end to our celebration trip!

And for those bakers out there, I thought I would provide you with this delicious recipe. It is certainly scrumptious and has two unusual ingredients: ground up oats and carrot baby food (to cut the amount of oil used)

I would also recommend doubling the recipe as it produces a rather small cake otherwise.

Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting


Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

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.


3 comments:

Sandy said...

That is a great blue heron...my absolute favorite bird! Thanks for stopping by. Mind if I follow?

Unknown Mami said...

Those photos are crazy beautiful!

SandyCarlson said...

Beautiful bird. Sounds like a great time.