February 15, 2009

Yes, Grumpy came through....

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Raspberry cream in white chocolate - February flavor of the month at St. Lawrence Chocolate!

But so did HoneyB! A few people remembered my last year valentine....and had asked if Grumpy came through this year. Last year I found my valentine present in his lunch box when I went to clean it out that evening. This year, Grumpy "knew" that the internet world had seen and heard about what he had done and this year he told me the pressure was on, that he couldn't disappoint his "fans". he he. You would think he thought he was a celebrity or something! ;o)

I really didn't expect another gift like I received last year. Grumpy and I recently had gotten ourselves some things we had wanted and honestly, I wouldn't have been upset if he hadn't come home with anything. I have Grumpy, I have my family, I have my kitties, a warm home, a good job - for the both of us.....what more could I ask for? I'm happy and that is what is most important! (shhh, but don't tell Grumpy I said that!)

What's that? Oh, you want me to get on with what he did?! ;o)


I have been making something by hand for one of my Pay it Forward recipients. I have been doing this every evening and Grumpy knew it. On Friday night I didn't open my craft box for the first night all week! lol. It never crossed my mind when Grumpy asked me if I was still working on my "craft" what he may have done!

Saturday morning I woke up early (as usual) and about an hour after I was awake I decided to open my craft box and there inside sat a jewelry box! Grumpy had bought me a black diamond necklace! Of course, he wasn't awake to see me find my gift, but I let him know about it as soon as he came down stairs! So for all Grumpy's "fans", he came through for me!


Just so you all know Grumpy didn't get left out....His birthday is just the week before Valentine's Day, so this year I bought him an extra special gift! Grumpy only has a desktop computer, but not anymore! Grumpy received a laptop as a combination gift (birthday/valentine) but I also brought him home a box of chocolates from St. Lawrence Chocolates :o)


The cake above was Grumpy's birthday cake. We only had it yesterday as I wanted to make it when his Step-mom could be here to enjoy it also. She had requested a carrot cake back at her birthday, but the time and opportunity to make it hadn't ever come along until this weekend.

I looked and looked at carrot cake recipes. I didn't like the 1 to 1-1/2 cups of oil that almost every recipe I looked at called for. I also didn't want to strain applesauce (as some of the Cooking Light recipes called for you to do) and I didn't want to use crushed pineapple. I finally went with the carrot cake recipe in my Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From my home to yours cookbook. The TWD group had already made this cake in the past before I was a member, so I wasn't going to be making something that we hadn't already made!




Bill’s Big Carrot Cake
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (pgs 253-255)
Yields 10 servings (let me tell you these are HUGE servings!)

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) (I did not use this)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) (I did not use this)
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil (I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
4 large eggs

For the frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I just kind of guestimated the sugar - poured it in a little at a time from the bag)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon lemon extract (I went with refridgerated lemon juice, that was all I had!)
½ cup shredded coconut (optional) (I did not use this)
Finely chopped toasted walnuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional) (I went with the nuts)

Getting ready:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients.

Divide the batter among the baking pans. Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans.

Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the frosting:

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy.

Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice.

Frost and decorate as desired!



38 comments:

Jessie said...

You found a wonderful carrot cake recipe! it came out great and looks delicious too!

Grumpy is a good guy, such a sweet valentine's day surprise :)

WiseAcre said...

I'll have to make sure I keep my sweetheart away from here until this post drops from the main page.

I bet you didn't call him Grumpy when he came downstairs :)

Maria said...

Glad you had a nice V-day! What a nice surprise! The cake look wonderful!!!

CookiePie said...

That is one gorgeous cake!!! Sounds like it was a wonderful birthday/Valentine's celebration all around! :)

Olga said...

That carrot cake looks amazing: the layers look perfect!

Congrats on a pretty necklace.

Joie de vivre said...

Oh, Grumpy sounds cute. I'm glad he was able to surprise you.

tardevil said...

What an awesome Grumpy you have! Could I borrow him to teach my husband a thing or two???

tardevil said...

What an awesome Grumpy you have! Could I borrow him to teach my husband a thing or two???

shellyfish said...

I'm so happy for you - that was sweet and thoughtful to have put it in your craft box! Monsieur Fish could come and pick up a few pointers...ok, I did get flowers, so I'm not complaining!
Thanks for that sweet comment the other day! I think it's so amazing the way our blogging community touches & inspires us! And that includes you, too!

Barbara Bakes said...

What a beautiful necklace! You're a lucky girl. The carrot cake looks wonderful. Your layers are so perfectly even.

Bellini Valli said...

I always love the applesauce combination in carrot cake. Grumpy deserves this cake after what he did:D

Susie said...

awwwwww. I love heart jewelry! So pretty. The carrot cake is pretty good lookin' too!

BTW - I tagged you over on my little ol' blog. ;)

noble pig said...

Yeah Grumpy! What a beautiful treat and of course all the beautiful confection's involved! Beautiful!

Katie said...

First I love Carrot cake and this one is a good one! And Second how awesome is Grumpy that he got you that necklace its beautiful.

n.o.e said...

Great Valentines Day for both of you, from the sounds of it! And I'm loving that cake. I have a feeling I'll be baking it for my husband's birthday, too. He loves carrot cake.
Nancy

Melinda Joy said...

the hearts look delicious!

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

Shelby beautiful cake and so pretty necklace!! Happy you've had a wonderful V day!!

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

Awww, what a sweet Valentine's Day (and beyond!) at your house.

True love, and great goodies and delicious food ~ it makes my heart happy to read your blog S! xo~m.

Danielle said...

Lucky you! Mine forgot it was Valentines day :(

Laura said...

John's bday is the week before valentine's also and as a result, we usually don't celebrate V Day much. *Sigh* Just kidding, I am not a very mushy person (although I do like flowers). The pendant is gorgeous.

I am glad you made this the way you did because I have always skipped this recipe bc of the coconut and raisins. I guess now I know it works without them. ;)

HoneyB said...

Oh my, Grumpy's going to think he's the internet sweetheart. lol

Danielle, when your forgotten, that is when you stomp your foot, loudly proclaim that you deserved to be remembered AND do it all with tears streaming down your face. Like I told one of my other friends, It might make him feel bad, but it will make you feel better! he he.

Meg said...

Grumpy did an amazing job!!

Lovely carrot cake!

Carrie said...

Wow, I love that necklace - what a sweetie!! And that cake looks awesome!

pigpigscorner said...

aww he's so sweet...mine totally ignored v-day =(

Robin Sue said...

Oh good you left the raisins out! This cake sounds grand and very good with all your changes. Sounds like you all had a very nice Valentine's day for sure! The necklace is very pretty.

Val said...

You're such a cute pair!

Priscilla said...

What a beautiful necklace!! That is so pretty and your desserts look so good!

Bunny said...

What a great guy you have!! Beautiful gift and that cake is fantastic!

Linda said...

All I can say is "Go Grumpy!"
You cake looks really nice, Shelby.

JyLnC said...

Your Valentine's gift was so pretty. I really love the black and chocolate diamonds. The carrot cake looks scrumptious!

Christy said...

Oh Shelby..the necklace is absolutely beautiful! You're one lucky lady-and I'd say he's pretty lucky to have you too. :o)

Your cake looks great. What a weekend you had.

Medena (-Melitta-) said...

Wow! Way to go Grumpy! I'm going to e-mail you my hubby's phone number for Grumpy to call him, and give him some advice! :)
Kidding!
You sure had a great Valentine's day, beautiful necklace, and nice of you for treating him with a laptop! Great cake, so rich!

Elyse said...

Good job, Grumpy! He did real well!! And, as for that carrot cake, well, you did superb! The cake looks delicious!! If you ever want to try a different carrot cake recipe, you should check out Maida Heatter's carrot cake (so delicious)!

Marthe said...

You're such a lucky girl!!! What nice gifts Grumpy bought you!!

I love the chocolatehearts, I can imagine that they taste amazing: raspberry and white chocolate, a gret combination!

Oops... I knew I had forgotten something: Pay it Forward... I also won something from Natalia and have to pay it forward... Now I know what my next post will be about ;)

abby of Mia Picolli Piaceri said...

What a feast in the eyes for heart afficionados like me! I like your carrot recipe as well, I'm thinking of trying it out some time after school work eases up ;)

just in case, feel free to visit my blog at www.justsweeterthansugar.blogspot.com

keep posting ;)

much love, abby

Pam said...

What a beautiful necklace - good job Grumpy.

I must say, that is the most beautiful carrot cake EVER! Love it.

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

I think I'm more touched by his thoughtful hiding of it than I am the diamonds, although they are gorgeous. What a sweet, ole Grump! ;o)

Your food photos are just awesome Shelby...I wish I had a bit of your talent & skill.

Tangled Noodle said...

Looks like you both came through for each other!

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