Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist, rich, and packed with homey flavor, this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is perfect for any day of the year.Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot cake seems like a popular Easter dessert.  I’ve occasionally wondered why – I suppose the Easter bunny likes carrots? – although generally I just eat it with a blissfully blank mind and happy stomach.  But truth be told, this carrot cake recipe does not conjure up memories of spring and Easter celebrations in my mind.  No, this recipe will always make me think of Thanksgiving.

That’s weird, you say?  Carrot cake is not a traditional Thanksgiving dessert, you say?  All right, ten points for reading comprehension skills.  But the particular Thanksgiving which introduced me to this carrot cake was non-traditional in a number of ways.  Carrot cake might be the least of them.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Ever wanted to do a shot and a beer at work?  (Like, maybe everyday?)  Now you can do it with car bomb cupcakes!  Rich chocolate Guinness cupcakes with decadent whiskey ganache and buttery Baileys frosting.
Car Bomb CupcakesBrace yourselves, readers, this is the cupcake recipe you’ve been waiting for. Honestly. We use the cake part of this recipe as the base for pretty much any chocolate cupcake we make. It’s delicious, moist, and with a touch of Guinness, it’s just different enough to separate it from other chocolate cakes. Combined with a filling of rich Jameson chocolate ganache and a delicious Baileys buttercream frosting, this is the perfect St. Patrick’s day treat.  Or any other time.  We’ve definitely made this for no other reason than it’s just really, really good.

In case you don’t know, this cupcake is named after a drink known as an “Irish Car Bomb,” which consists of a shot glass filled half and half with Jameson and Baileys that is dropped into a glass of Guinness.  The person ordering the drink then has to chug the whole thing as fast as possible as letting it linger will result in the shot curdling.

It’s delicious.

And through some bizarre alchemy, the end of the drink ends up tasting like chocolate milk.  But since it is often “socially unacceptable” to be downing pints at work or in front of your kids, we’d recommend these cupcakes as a substitute.

Car Bomb Cupcakes

I mean.  Whiskey ganache.  Baileys buttercream.  Guinness chocolate cake.  C’mon.

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Irish Coffee with Bailey’s Whipped Cream

Irish Coffee with Bailey’s Whipped Cream is hot, cool, bitter, and sweet: an all-around perfect drink.Irish Coffee with Bailey's Whipped Cream

My junior year of college, I studied abroad in Ireland.  It was amazing and beautiful and generally good craic.

I don’t think I ever drank Irish coffee in Ireland.

I can’t say why.  Recent research leads me to believe that Irish coffee IS actually made and served in Ireland (unlike, say, the Irish carbomb, which seems to be delicious yet extremely American).  And I have since learned to love the Irish coffee.  But it was only post-Ireland that they really came into my life. This, obviously, disappoints me.

I can say I’ve had Irish coffee.  I can’t say I’ve had Irish Irish coffee.  Different?  Maybe, maybe not.  But I always like to add adjectives when I can.

Am I allowed to say it’s an Irish Irish coffee when I make it, and I am, in part, Irish?  Close enough?

Irish Coffee with Bailey's Whipped Cream (more…)

Moroccan Spiced Carrot Soup

This Moroccan spiced carrot soup combines fresh veggies with a touch of honey, lemon, and toasted cumin in a unique and satisfying bowl full of flavor.

Moroccan Spiced Carrot SoupWhile the weather here in Houston skips spring (come to think of it, it pretty much bypassed winter as well) and goes straight to summer, I hear that there are parts of the country that still experience something known as “cool weather”.  Yeah, we had that once.  And we used that opportunity to make a delicious carrot soup.

We made this soup for our annual “Jan-Boree” party.  It’s our own tradition dating all the way back to 2015.  Ah, memories…  It came about because Liz observed that everyone seems to be in a bit of a doldrums in January.  All the holiday festivities have come and gone (and to her immense displeasure, the Christmas tree has been taken away), people have forsaken delicious cakes and decadent meals in the pursuit of New Year’s resolutions, and people have to drag themselves from vacation and shuffle to work.  So she thought it would be fun to host an elegant dinner party at the end of January.  For this meal, we pull out all the stops: I’m talking multiple served courses with wine pairings.  It’s a ton of work, and several tons of dishes, but it’s a good time, and we plan on continuing the tradition.

Moroccan Spiced Carrot Soup

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Colorful Chocolate Cups with White Chocolate Mousse

Rich, creamy white chocolate cups get a punch of any color you like.  Fill them with fluffy mousse and they’re perfect for a party (or any lovely spring day).
Colorful Chocolate Cups with White Chocolate MousseThese are not cupcakes.

I know they look like cupcakes.  That puffy white frosting, that colorful cupcake paper…they’re obviously cupcakes, right?

These are not cupcakes.

They may be such convincing cupcake-body-doubles that Ross pulled them out of the fridge and asked me, “When did you make cupcakes?”  “I didn’t.”  And in spite of my denial, he waved them around and insisted, confidently, “Then what are these?” —  not in a curious tone, but in a you-clearly-forgot-you-baked-cupcakes tone.

Nope.  Not cupcakes.  They are just as pretty and just as delicious, but there are a couple crucial differences.

#1 – That thing that looks like a paper cupcake liner?  Pure chocolate.  OH YES.

#2 – That “frosting”?  Light and fluffy chocolate mousse.  And it actually fills up the entire chocolate cup.  OH YES.  The whole cup.  This entire baby is edible from top to bottom — and boy did I enjoy eating it.

Colorful Chocolate Cups with White Chocolate Mousse

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