Zippy Crunchy Salad

We bought too many apples for use in a somewhat successful apple pie experiment this weekend. We bought too many carrots for use in a partially satisfying falafel/veggie burger experiment this weekend. I bought a bag of lemons on a whim this weekend and they are already starting to look questionable (Bio-Zitronen…).

So I invented a salad.*

I pulled on my Microplane Kevlar glove purchased at Pryde’s Old Westport, hauled out the mandoline from my mom (thanks Mom!) and julienned up three or four Yellow Delicious apples, crinkle-cut one big carrot’s worth of discs, squished in the juice of one lemon and dumped a little sugar (I’d guess about a teaspoon and a half) to take the edge off the citric acid.

Hol. E. Kau. That is some tasty stuff. Make sure you haven’t burned the roof of your mouth on anything recently though — you’ll be reminded of it during the consumption of this salad.

*I found some recipes online calling for yogurt or mayonnaise and raisins and stuff like that. I’m sure those would be fine, but I’m more than happy with my version. Probably almond slivers would be a nice touch, too. Maybe next time on those.

Killer Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups (300ml) vegetable oil
2 cups (420g) white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (276g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups (720ml) grated carrots
1 cup (240ml) chopped pecans
1/2 cup (105g) butter, softened
8 ounces (227g) cream cheese, softened
4 cups (600g or less) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch rounds or a 9×13 inch pan.

  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

  4. In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Frosting variation:
Cliff isn’t a huge fan of frostings. The amount of powdered sugar it takes to make a buttercream that will have that dry-to-the-touch, crisp-outside-creamy-inside texture makes him a little ill. And every time I made this frosting, I had way too much of it, as I always make it in a 9×13. Here’s a less sugar-intensive frosting. It will be harder to transport, as the frosting remains somewhat flowier. But I think the flavor makes up for the extra mess. And I skip the nuts, due to laziness.

85 g butter, softened
175 g cream cheese, softened
2 t vanilla extract
250-300 g powdered sugar

Blend all ingredients on medium until combined, then whip on high until completely smooth. Frost cooled cake immediately.