1 J. Jill floral print skirt, chiffon overlay
1 10 and 1/2 inch Lodge Cast iron skillet
1 white rubber spatula (stained a bit yellow from the last time I made curry)
1 pair pink and white striped pajama pants
1 Henckels paring knife
1 white eyelit blouse
1 small jar crushed red chile peppers
1 adorable blue and yellow apron from dear reader Lynn Dickens
1 75 square foot roll tinfoil
1 dark denim jacket, newly acquired from Tar-jay
1 dark green padded oven mitt
1 Ireland Rugby T shirt, for good luck
1 camera, extra battery and charger
3 novels (Outliers, Comfort Food, The Laws of Harmony), plus scriptures
5 NYT crossword puzzles, cut from this week's newspaper
All this inside of an extra large borrowed (thanks, Dad) suitcase. What will airport security think of me? And if they open my bag to rummage through, will they be able to get it closed again without my help?
I'm on my way to Tennessee for the National Cornbread Cook-Off. I wish my two little charges and the Quiet Man were going with me, especially since the festival promises to be full of small town fun, like the buttermilk chugging contest and watermelon seed spitting contest. I'm not sure if I made the watermelon contest up, but it sounds right. I'll be in South Pittsburg, TN, pitted against nine other amateur cooks, making my Four Cheese and Italian Sausage Lover's Pie with a Parmesan Cornbread Crust. I'll be home late Sunday with pictures and a full report.
In the meantime, I'm sharing my favorite carrot cake. It's a not too sweet cake-before the glaze, that is-baked in a loaf pan, then split and coated with a syruppy buttermilk glaze, then frosted with a cream cheese frosting. The glaze makes this cake extra moist and especially luxurious. It would be a perfect Sunday afternoon dessert. Have a wonderful weekend and wish me luck!
Money Saving Tips:
Skip the baby carrots and buy the full size carrots here. They're cheaper and they have better flavor. Swap the carrots for garden zuchinni in the summertime. The cake itself is fantastic on it's own, without glaze or icing, so if you're being extra frugal just dust it with powdered sugar. If you don't have buttermilk for the glaze, use regular milk.
Buttermilk Glazed Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing:
Estimated Cost: $5.00
Notes: This recipe is adapted from the carrot bread recipe in Bon Appetit.
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon EACH baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon
3 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup chopped pecans, if desired
4 tablespoons each buttermilk, sugar, and butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
about 2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, and salt, blending well. Add flour and soda, powder, and cinnamon. Stir until just combined. Add carrots and nuts if using. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for ten minutes, before turning out onto rack. Let cool an additional ten minutes. While still warm, slice in half lengthwise, and place on rack with cut sides up. Prepare glaze by combining in a small saucepan, the butter, sugar, and buttermilk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Spoon warm sauce, tablespoonfull at a time, over cut sides of cake, allowing the glaze to sink in. When all of the glaze has sunk in, let cool to room temperature. Prepare icing by combining butter, cream cheese, and lemon until smooth. Stir in powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Frost middle of cake and put together; frost sides and top and sprinkle with nuts if desired.
My Italian Sausage and Cheese Pie with Parmesan Cornbread Crust