Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

This recipe goes out to Jane and her 5 furry little white friends (hey, they should have a treat now and then too!)

Carrot Cake... Need I say more? You either love it or you hate it. I can safely say I can count, on one hand, the number of people I have met in my lifetime that do not like carrot cake.

What makes a good carrot cake? the carrots, the spices? Nope, the ICING !! The more icing the better but what makes carrot cake icing so darn good? The answer is simple: CREAM CHEESE !

I have baked many a carrot cake in my day but Anna Olson's one is the winner. Moist and tender with a kick-ass icing. No need to even layer it. An 8inch square pan is all you need.

Rather than reposting here I will simply redirect you to the recipe link. Give this one a try, you will NOT be disappointed.

A word of advice, use crushed pineapple vs diced. Trust me on this one.

Anna Olson's Carrot Cake

Banana Sour Cream Muffins with Brown Sugar Streusal Topping

How often do you enter your kitchen to be greeted by the smell of overripe bananas? And then spy them, sitting there growing darker by the moment. I experience this weekly. My kids have great aspirations to "eat their fruit" yet the bananas always seem to fall by the wayside....or perhaps this is all a plan of theirs. Overripe bananas = muffins, cakes, quick breads. No wonder they let them be !!

I usually use 3 medium sized bananas and whip up a banana bread but recently I decide to try muffins instead. I was glad I did (and so were the kids!).

It all began here:

And in a flash they were ready for the oven !

They rose up perfectly during baking time. The aroma was divine !!!!

To be truthful, these barely had a chance to cool before we started digging in! They were fantastic - light and fluffy with a crunchy brown sugar topping. A wonderful way to start the day.



2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 cup sour cream (full fat only!)
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
2 - 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter (cold and unsalted)


PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F

GREASE 12 muffin cups

In a large bowl, SIFT together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In a small bowl, gently beat eggs, sour cream, butter and bananas until combined.

STIR wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened.

FILL greased muffin cups three-fourths full.

STREUSAL: with fingers, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter until mixture is coarse crumbs (pea sized is fine)

SPRINKLE Streusal over muffins.

BAKE 20-25 minutes.

Note: These muffins are best eaten the same day and left uncovered. Covering them will cause the streusal topping to soften and lose that CRUNCH !

* Top photo of Ripe Bananas by Kenn Stilger

Ahhh, the smell of baking french toast.....

Who doesn't love a lazy Sunday morning? coffee brewing, the smell of vanilla permeating the house, the crackle of frying bacon. Sunday morning faves around here range from homemade cinnamon buns to french toast. Today I would like to share the ultimate french toast recipe with you and encourage you try it out soon (sooner if you can !!).




1 Italian or French bread (always go with a crusty crust loaf so it will stand up to soak time)

1 pkg (250 g) cream cheese, softened (easiest is to leave out at room temperature for 1/2 hr)

3 x-large eggs or 4 large eggs

1 cup milk (I have used full fat, buttermilk and 2 %... but my personal fave is 3/4 cup 2/% and 1/4 cup 10% cream)

1/4 cup maple syrup ( go with the real deal)

cinnamon 1 tsp

vanilla 1 tsp (PURE vanilla, no artificial vanilla PLEASE !)


Cut bread into 15 thick slices ( or approx. 1" thick slices).

BEAT cream cheese with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Add eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon.

DIP bread slices in mixture and place in large casserole dish. Pour remaining liquid over bread ensuring the liquid gets under bread as well as on top of the slices so all areas will get soaked as it rests. Cover with wrap and let stand 1 hour or overnight in refrigerator.

PREHEAT oven to 425°F and grease 2 baking sheets (greasing well is a MUST or they will stick!)

PLACE slices of soaked bread on the baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown. Serve immediately with maple syrup, fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream.

But above all else: ENJOY !!!!

Photo by MarkHryciw

Nothing as sweet (or sour) as a lemon

Given the title of my blog, I thought it only fair to kick it off with a lemon recipe.

Yesterday I made, by far, the most delicious dessert ever. My family rated it their top 10 as did I. And no, it doesn't fall into the "healthy food" category. Oh well, so be it.

Because I don't want to get slapped with a copyright lawsuit, I am simply going to post the link here and I encourage you all to try it. Don't be intimidated by a "water bath" either. It simply involves placing your ramekins in a roast pan then filling the pan with hot water until the water is midway up the sides of the ramekins.

This recipe turned out perfectly. The sponge cake was moist and light. The surprise of pudding underneath was tangy, sweet and divine !!!! Top it with sweetened whipped cream for a true taste of heaven.

If you love lemons, try this recipe. You will NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT, be disappointed.