Saturday, May 30, 2020

ChezCindy: Corn & Quinoa Salad with Roasted Carrots & Mint

Try this lovely salad as a simple lunch, or serving it at a small gathering for brunch. You can roast the carrots ahead of time, even using left-over carrots roasted for last night's dinner.  Use fresh corn cut from the cob for best results. If cutting corn from the cob is new for you, follow the link for instructions on how to do so.  Fresh mint adds a refreshing finish to the salad.  And it gives you a second use to go along with the mojitos you might serve with the salad.  The recipe for the salad dressing is my standard vinaigrette.

Corn and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Carrots and Mint
2 cups fresh corn cut from the cob
4 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups roasted carrots, cut in pieces
4 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
salt & pepper to taste
Agave vinaigrette salad dressing

Combine the cut corn, cooked quinoa, roasted carrots and fresh mint into a large bowl.  Gently stir to combine.  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and a small pinch of black pepper over the ingredients.  Spoon on 1/3 cup of vinaigrette, stirring to combine.  Taste, adding more salt or dressing as desired.

Friday, May 15, 2020

ChezCindy: Carrot Cake Tea Cakes

Happy Spring!  Make this elegant yet comforting cake to celebrate each day for the gift it brings.

Carrot Cake Tea Cakes
The Cake
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup dried currents
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1-pound carrots, grated
1/2 cup crushed pineapple

The Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese
1/2-pound unsalted butter (2 sticks) 
1 teaspoon vanilla
a pinch of kosher salt
1-pound powdered sugar

Makes 12 large 3/4-cup cupcakes*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 3/4-cup cupcake trays by spraying thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray oil with flour. 

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, using medium-low speed, cream the sugar, oil and eggs together until pale yellow in color and well combined.  Mix in the vanilla.  

In a separate medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; whisk together to combine.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed to combine.  Add in the dried currents and chopped walnuts, stirring until combined.  Add in the grated carrots and the crushed pineapple, mixing until combined.  

Using a large spring-loaded ice cream scoop, transfer the batter into the prepared cupcake holders, filling each cupcake well nearly full, about 3/4 full.  Place the trays on the center rack in the oven, bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from the oven to cool completely.  When cool, invert the cupcakes onto a wire rack.   

Make the frosting while the cupcakes cool.  Using an electric mixer, mix the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and a pinch of kosher salt until combined and creamy.  Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, on low speed, mixing well.  When most of the sugar has been added, taste for desired sweetness.  Add more sugar, or stop, to your preferred taste.  Frosting should be smooth and creamy.  

Frost each cake generously.  Enjoy.

*Recipe can also make a large cake using 2 8-inch round cake pans.  Adjust bake time to 55-60 minutes.