Monday, April 25, 2011

easter dinner

yesterday, amy and i headed to brooklyn to have a lazy easter sunday with our friends greg, delia, and matt.  greg and delia made a delicious ham with rosemary red potatoes, amy and i were in charge of salad and carrot cake, and matt brought a yummy corn pudding that reminded us all of home.  caroline made a great salad for easter last year and we replicated it: baby spinach, sliced almonds, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.  it's such a tasty spring-time salad and was perfect for eating out on greg and delia's deck on their new patio furniture.  we actually timed our meal just right, because even though we saw clouds rolling in, it didn't start raining until we were all adequately stuffed and enjoying our second (or third) glass of wine.

we then gathered all of our dishes and glasses and headed inside to play a round of taboo, before having our first slices of carrot cake.  i've never made a carrot cake before, but after using caroline's mom's recipe, this is definitely a keeper!  the cake was moist and packed full of carrots and pecans, with the perfect amount of cinnamon, and the cream cheese frosting was just sweet enough without overwhelming the rest of the cake.  after playing some cranium and catching some (over)coverage of the pending royal wedding, we all had a second slice.  no shame.  enjoy the recipe below thanks to caroline's lovely momma.

Joan's Carrot Cake
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 eggs 
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

beat sugar and oil together. add eggs and mix well. sift flour with salt, soda and cinnamon, fold into mixture. slowly mix in carrots and pecans. pour into 2 greased and floured cake pans. bake at 300 for 30-40 minutes.

1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz.) (let soften)
1 box (1 lb.) confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup butter (soften)
2 tsp. vanilla

cream cheese and butter until well blended. add vanilla and sugar. spread on cooled cake.

optional - mix 1/2 cup crushed pecans in icing. 

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