Cakes and More Cakes

Over the weekend I had planned to make a carrot cake. Even though our weekend travel plans changed, I still had all of the ingredients and wanted to make the cake.

I actually ended up having to make the cakes twice. The first time I under-baked them and they ended up totally falling apart as I took them out of the pan. It wasn’t a total loss, though, since we ate that cake for breakfast (without frosting)! Another bonus of vegan baking is that there aren’t any undercooked or raw eggs to worry about if you slightly under-bake things!

On my second attempt, I baked the cakes for about 35 minutes (rather than the 18-20) in the recipe. They held up perfectly when I took them out of the pans. They weren’t too dry even with the extra baking time.

TKA was my frosting assistant, which meant that I put the mixing bowl on the floor and used the hand mixer on the ground while he crouched over to supervise. He was far more interested once the frosting started to be applied to the cake. He might have stuck his fingers in the frosting more than once…

All in all, even though I made the cakes twice, I really only had my own impatience to blame for the first round issues. It was a delicious cake and even the non-vegans declared it “the best carrot cake” they’d ever eaten. I have never claimed to be a cake decorator, so the palm tree looking carrot was my best attempt with the limited cake decorating tips that I have!

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Trying Miso At Home

Today TKA and I took a walk with our next door neighbors to Whole Foods. I managed to leave with a bill of only $27, which was pretty good for us. Of course we only bought 7 or 8 things, but I try not to dwell on that part! One of the things we bought was miso – my first time trying it out!

Even though my mom doesn’t love cooking, she has always been a big fan of looking at all the shelves in the grocery store and finding interesting products. She often gives me a hard time for missing things on the bottom
shelves! She recently told me that miso was one of her new finds at the store. Since I have also seen a handful of recipes with miso recently I wanted to try, I was excited to finally have some in the fridge!

I had a couple pounds of CSA carrots to use up so we tried out a carrot-ginger-miso soup for dinner tonight (substituting olive oil for butter). I am not much of a recipe creator, but I am always up for trying out new recipes so I will be sure to link to all those we make.

Our CSA was cleaning out their winter storage vegetables in our last box so we ended up with more onions than we could use quickly. We ended up freezing them (pre-chopped) so we could be sure that they didn’t go bad. We used our first bag of frozen onions on this recipe (I sautéed them rather than roasting) and somehow TKA got his hands on the bag before I was ready to use it. There was a bit of water that escaped from the bag onto the floor, which made for a bit of a slip and slide on our hardwood floors for my barefoot baby! It was a bit funny to see him sliding around on onion juice (not an everyday occurrence, I assure you)!

In stark contrast to the onion “helping” my tiny kitchen assistant was actually helpful with the carrots today. I peeled and chopped them up. He taste tested one while I was working on those tasks. After I put some olive oil and salt and pepper on the carrots to roast, TKA though his taste-test carrot was tasty and should be roasted up as well! As soon as anything goes into the oven, I will turn on the oven light for TKA to watch the cooking process.

Once everything was sautéed and roasted, TKA was also essential in the blending of the soup. He loves to turn on the Vitamix and he now knows when I get it out of the cupboard that he will be able to help!

As usual, TKA was my first taste-tester and found the soup good, but enjoyed it more paired with oyster crackers. Husband and I paired our soup with simple green salads. I was really excited to try miso in my own kitchen, but overall we thought the soup was fine. We will eat up the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, but I don’t know that I would make this particular soup again. I am still excited to work with miso some more!