Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Cream Cheese

There is nothing better on a spring day than a great big dollup of cream cheese frosting topping a wonderfully moist carrot cake.  This cake is gluten free, but you’d never know it.  This treat is packed with flavor and will have you coming back for a second or third slice if you’re not careful.  My nine year old son who usually doesn’t like any kind of cake gobbled down a slice and asked for more.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 3 cups freshly grated carrots
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups gluten-free powdered sugar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350° F

Use two round 9-inch cake pans, one 9×13 pan or 36 muffin cups for this recipe. If using round cake pans, lightly grease and place a circle of parchment in the bottom of the pan for easy removal. Use paper lining cups if making cupcakes.

  1. Cream sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric beater or stand mixer. Add oil and vanilla and beat just until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl combine gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until blended.
  3. Stir in grated carrots and nuts. Pour the batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. While cake is cooling place butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
  6. When cake is cool frost all over.
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Uncle Maddios Gluten Free Pizza

Maddios Pizza

A new Uncle Maddios opened near my office and when I visited their website I noticed they offered gluten free pizza dough. Today I decided to give them a try for lunch.  When I walked into the restaurant I smiled because they were playing Frank Sinatra over the speakers, good taste I thought.  I was also met with a nice welcome greeting as I entered (similiar to Welcome to Moes!).  I placed my order and was impressed at how the staff handled the gluten free aspect.  The female employee who took the order immediately announced to her team “Gluten Free.  Changing gloves.”  Everyone on the line communicated they heard the order and then she proceeded to get the crust and make the entire pizza with her fresh gloves.  The pizza was placed in the oven and in about 5-6 minutes I had my gluten free pepperoni, portabella mushroom and extra cheese creation.  What’s interesting about Maddios is that you choose your crust, sauce and toppings so it’ s all custom made to order for you.

Now was it the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had?  No, the crust was thin and crispy, but I could definitely tell it was gluten free.  The sauce was a little bland and the toppings were decent.  If you are in the mood for a decent quality gluten-free pizza on the go I would say try out Uncle Maddios.  The service and staff I experienced will definitely bring me back.

Maddios 2

Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint on Urbanspoon

Stinky Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Raclette

 

I made two versions of scalloped potatoes for Easter.  One was the normal cheddar cheese variety and the other was a fancier scalloped potatoes using a cheese I had never heard of that didn’t smell all that great.  We called it “stinky cheese.”  Adults and children agreed that the best potatoes were the “stinky cheese” variety so I thought I would share the recipe with you here.

Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
1/2 clove garlic
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup shredded asiago cheese
1/3 cup shredded raclette cheese (I found it at Whole Foods)
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 fresh bay leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Generously brush a large skillet with butter, then rub with the garlic. Combine the mozzarella, asiago and raclette in a bowl.

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the potatoes, spreading them out. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, half of the cut-up butter, half of the shredded cheese blend, and pepper to taste. Arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the cream over the potatoes, then add the nutmeg and bay leaves; simmer 3 minutes. Dot the potatoes with the remaining cut-up butter.

Generously brush a shallow baking dish with butter; slide the potatoes into the dish; arrange with a fork, if desired. (If your skillet is ovenproof, you can skip this step and bake the potatoes in the skillet.)

Sprinkle the potatoes with the parmesan and the remaining shredded cheese blend. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Discard the bay leaves.