During the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been bittersweet celebrating my daughter’s graduation from high school, but we’ve done our best to celebrate in many ways, including making as many sweet treats as possible!
We love dessert in our family and, yes, we understand the need to balance healthy food with yummy treats. But, what I”m sharing today is purely sugar based! The best part about making these celebratory desserts was searching for some of the ideas, choosing a theme (pink and blue), and decorating the house.
We received a lawn banner from the school and bought and received balloons as gifts. We decorated inside with balloons, garland, and streamers on archways in the house. And, one night I spent quite a bit of time going through old photos of the first day of school, group school photos, and other fun school and family moments. I put these on poster boards in the hallway and put up a long ‘congratulations’ banner underneath the boards. She absolutely loved this idea and the photos and boards are still up!
We were still in the ‘shelter at home’ phase when my daughter had her virtual graduation, so it was a nuclear family celebration. My daughter helped me make and decorate these dessert menu items, and we had a lot of fun decorating and catching up together.
Gonna brag, because my carrot cake recipe is truly world famous! Everyone who tastes it, loves it. It’s the most requested cake by my family and friends. It’s always the birthday cake of choice for my youngest daughter. And, when my neighbor found out he had to follow a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, the first thing he thought about was missing my carrot cake!
You know what they say about needing 10,000 hours to perfect something? Well, I’ve put in the hours because I’ve been making this cake since I was 15. My roommate in high school’s mom made this for us when we first visited and I had to have the recipe.
What makes this carrot cake delicious is the simplicity of the ingredients (the only add-ins are carrots; there are no pineapples, walnuts, raisins, or coconut) as well as the generous 2 cups of grated carrots. It’s also made with 2 cups of sugar, so it’s sweet and moist. I’ve tweaked the original recipe by using 1/2 a cup of yogurt and 1 cup of canola oil, instead of the 1 1/2 cups of oil the original recipe calls for. I think this makes the difference in how moist the cake is. You can, of course, use 1 1/2 cups of oil if you don’t have yogurt on hand (and, if you want to keep the cake portion dairy-free.)
Get Your Kitchen Christmas-Ready With These 7 Festive Pieces!
(This post is sponsored by Kitchen Stuff Plus. You can read the original post that first appeared on November 21, 2018, directly on their website, here; all opinions are my own)
It’s time to get ready for Christmas and the best place to start is in the kitchen, the central meeting place of our home!
My kids and husband love all of the décor and enjoy every piece I put out. How fun is it to eat off of Christmas plates and to be surrounded by the colours and scenes of the season for a few weeks a year?
I recently picked up these 7 festive plates and tableware items at Kitchen Stuff Plus and they instantly put my family and kitchen into the holiday spirit.
1) Placemats and a Table Runner
After using mainly plain red placemats, I changed things up this year by going with printed placemats. I chose the Festive Tree pattern because I liked the different coloured trees on the beige background and because they go with the mini-tree decorations I have around the house.
When I moved to North America, it was to go to a boarding school to complete high school. My roommate’s mother made us mouth-watering cakes on each of our visits to her home. I fell in love with her carrot cake and still have that index card with the recipe on it, in my teenage handwriting. I have made slight modifications to the recipe like substituting yogurt for some of the oil and using light cream cheese and more icing sugar in the frosting.
I also make the cake in 2 eight inch round pans instead of 3 because I only own 2 round pans! I use a third pan – a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. We eat the loaf cake as soon as it gets out of the oven, or I ice it for a quick family dinner dessert. The cake is so good that my kids would think I was cruel if I made a big round cake for someone else and didn’t make something for them! Continue reading →