Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

This pesto has so much flavor - toss with pasta or spread on bread...

Yield: About 1 Cup

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 generous packed cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigianno regianno
  • 1 cup olive oil
  1. Drain your sun dried tomatoes, lightly rinse them, and then pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. Toast your almonds in a dry shallow pan. They will take about 10 minutes, and you will smell when they are done.
  3. In a large food processor, combine the basil, toasted almonds, garlic, lemon zest, and salt. Process until coarsely chopped.
  4. Add the sun dried tomatoes and parmigianno cheese and process until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped.
  5. Now stream in the olive oil slowly and process until the pesto comes together.
  6. Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Katie's 30th b-day carrot cake

3/4 pound carrots
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1.5 tsp. baking soda
1.5 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1.5 cups vegtable oil
4 large eggs
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup raisins, optional (I don't use them)

(2) 9" round by 2" tall cake pans

2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2.5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350. Butter and flour cake pans, knocking our excess flour.

Shred enough carrots on the smallest teardrop holes of a box grater to measure 2 cups.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in sugar, walnuts, eggs, carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts, and raisins (if using).

Divide batter between cake pans and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35-45 minutes. Cool layers of cake in pans for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edge of each pan and invert layers onto rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting: beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, add confectioners sugar, and beat until frosting is smooth.

Place 1 cake layer bottom side up on a cake plate and spread with some of the frosting. Place remaining cake layer right side up on top and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

I like to top it with some toasted coconut.

From The Gourmet Cookbook