Today I am writing my 500th blog. It is hard to believe I have written so many. I started the blog in the fall of 2009. I was such a blog follower myself, and often passed the time leap frogging from blog to blog. After a phone conversation with my cousin about blogs, she said we should have a blog, and wouldn't it be fun? Sure I thought so too, and the next day "Cheers to Happy", was born. It has always been my happy place. It is very personal to me. So much of "me" is in my happy blog. My love of cooking, creating and family. When I look back at older posts, it is like a journal. It takes me right back to where I was and what I was feeling when I wrote it.
I have had really good guest bloggers...that makes it so fun. I have a great sister Mary who has written many blogs and edits many of my blogs. I type like I talk, and sometimes the grammar could be better, and well the spelling too....I will work on that.
To Celebrate the big 5-0-0, I decided to make my favorite dessert of all time, Carrot Cake. I have been a carrot cake lover for years. I like all carrot cake. Good and ok carrot cake. There is no bad carrot cake. Carrot cake falls in the same category as crab, shrimp, avocados and mushrooms in my house. If someone doesn't care for it, it is fine with me, I will eat my piece and theirs too!
2 generous cups grated carrots
½ cup crushed pineapple
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 cups flour or gluten free flour
2½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar
1½ cups coconut oil, melted
1 1/4 cups applesauce
FOR THE ICING:
12 ounces (about 1½ packs) of cream cheese, room temp
½ cup (1 stick) soft butter
1⅓ cup powder sugar
2 Tablespoons freshly grated orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep two circle 9 inch cake pans by lining with parchment paper and spray with Pam.
In the first bowl, toss together the carrots, walnuts and pineapple. Add ½ cup of flour and set aside.
In a second bowl mix together the dry ingredients: the remaining 2½ cups flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, soda, powder and salt.
In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs and sugar together. Watch for them to lighten and become thicker, at least 3-5 minutes of beating. When it reaches this point, add the applesauce and coconut oil while softly beating.
Gently add the dry ingredients next. Fold in the carrots/pineapple/walnut mixture from before to create a light loose batter.
Divide batter between the two pans and bake for 35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and they are springy in the middle, not jiggly.
Let the cakes cool in the pans, on a rack, for at least 15 minutes. Remove and let them finish cooling out of the pan on the racks. Frost when completely cooled.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING: beat together the cream cheese and butter for 3-5 minutes, until it lightens up. Add the sugar and vanilla next until reached desired sweetness. Beat another minute until light and fluffy. Throw in the remaining ingredients and gently mix.
gather all your ingredients...this really is a healthy cake! It would be fun to substitute bananas or pureed carrots for the applesauce...
beat eggs and sugar until it looks like this...
cool...this is a really dense cake...The coconut flavor comes from using the Coconut oil...
Today is a sad day at my house. My beloved chicken friend 'Buttercup' died. A Coyote I believe murdered her. He is now on my hit list. I don't think my pellet gun will do much damage to him.
I never thought a chicken could be such a pet. She was a 3 year old, Plymouth Rock. She was my own groupie. She would run to me when I called her or she met me at the door of the house when I came home. She ate out of my hand and never bit me once. She laid beautiful big eggs and never went broody. She laid those eggs for me. I always thanked her, and she seemed to understand. I can't pull myself together quite yet. I wail when I cry, an all and out wail. And I today am crying for every loved one I have ever lost. Does everyone do that? Is that normal behavior? If you are on the fence about getting chickens, please get them. They will make you happy. They are very sociable, talk to them as your little friends and feed them special treats, and they will adore you like no other.
The best brother buried my little friend for me, and made her this grave maker. I know there must be chickens in heaven. And she is surely there.
Bird seed and bird feeder is a real stretch here...this is really a recipe for bird, chicken and squirrel treat. I started out buying bird food and filling a clay pot every day for the wild birds. My chickens and the squirrels were feeding in the dish more than the birds. This led me to think I needed to make my own combination of food for the little darlings, since I was eating the chicken eggs. (you are what you eat?) I started gathering my supply's at Trader Joes. They have the best prices for sunflower seeds. Then went to Grocery outlet for dried fruit. After that stopped at the Mexican store for dried corn. It is the one that is used by Hispanics for soup. It has a puffiness about it and is a little softer. the squirrels love it.
Mix together, dried corn, sunflower seeds both shelled and unshelled, (not salted) dried bananas, dried cranberries and chicken scratch, I tossed in all the old frozen nuts out of my freezer, pecans, walnuts and almonds...make any combination you like. Have fun with this!
I store mine in a bag out in the shed with the feral kitten food, and chicken feed......and Uncle Franks chair....
I made the super pretty feeder for the new buffet line. I found a pretty painted happy plate and a really pretty margarita glass. I super glued the glass to the plate.
The treat dish is ready! Put water in the margarita glass...just in case they need a drink...
the little tiny birds found it first...they like the water glass, this one was sitting on the rim until I disturbed him.
The jay was taking notes....probably calling his jay friends...don't look at the moss.
but all three chickens came running when I called them...why did I go to all this trouble?
For these two goof ball eddies....Elsa and Jack...
It is for their viewing pleasure!
When I am at work they sunbath and watch the world outside the window...they have a picture window view of the feeder....
This is Trisha Yearwoods recipe...Did you know that she is a great cook as well as a singer? She also has a cookbook I believe...This is a fantastically easy recipe! Perfect for every guest...it is gluten free, and vegetarian...it has just the right amount of zing with the peppers....You will love this!
1 11oz can corn, drained
1 4.5oz can chopped green chilies, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (1/2 of an 8oz block)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the corn, green chilies, mayonnaise, Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheese in a mixing bowl.
Spread the mixture into a greased 8" baking dish. Bake in a 350° oven for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Serve hot with corn chips
I baked mine in little pots that are I think made for French onion soup....but they made great individual servings of corn dip...great for double dipping!
Hot out of the oven!!!
You will love every last bite....Guaranteed Great!!!
This is a picture of 'us' the gang, while we were on a trip to San Francisco. There is myself, Debbie,and guest bloggers: Trina, Mary and Susan. Each has their own talents...Trina is a professional quilter...Mary a published photographer....Susan an Award winning wine specialist....and well me, I guess I could say I am a Food Specialist and wannabe Food Stylist.