Sunday, March 01, 2009

Salad Cancels Cupcakes, Right?

Tonight, I was in a cooking mood (see what happens when I finish a book?) and decided to make Ina Garten's Carrot Cake Cupcakes. That's what I get for skimming an issue of Better Homes and Gardens just before I go to the grocery store ;-)

Anyway, because I decided to make something so rich and decadent for dessert, I had to cancel those out with something with less calories. Like salad. :-)

I had come across a recipe for Insalata Rustica in Bon Appetit--on that page where people write in about their favorite place they ate at, and ask for the recipe. I had most of the ingredients, but needed to go to another store to get the rest (remember, my Kroger doesn't carry anything as "unusual" as pine nuts). I ended up at Meijer. Which led to me finally finding polenta (!) and potato gnocchi (!) and so many other goodies I've been looking for (lots of fresh garlic! Sundried tomatoes! SHALLOTS!! Gruyere cheese!) that I spent three times my normal grocery budget there. Ummm...after already spending my regular grocery budget at Kroger two days earlier. Yeah. Had to tell DH I spent 4 times the normal amount this week. But I did use coupons ;-)

Anyway, long story short. The Insalata Rustica was AWESOME. The only change I made was adding chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese (not the soft white kind, the firmer kind you buy in a hunk). I like cheese and I like cheese with my prosciutto. So I added extra. It's a really good entertaining recipe, too. Looks GORGEOUS on the plate (my pic doesn't do it justice) and is just the right combo of sweet and savory.

The carrot cupcakes...I can't even begin to say enough good about them. They were worth every step. Even the little decorative carrot shavings on top (which get cooked in maple syrup!) were worth it. If you like carrot cupcakes or carrot cake, you MUST try these. I know my picture there is a bit blurry, but that's because I was in such a hurry to eat them ;-)
This was an Ina Garten recipe, as I said. The review on BHG said that person had burning issues with their stove. I had no such trouble, so I wonder if it was their stove, or what. Mine turned out perfectly, with just the teeniest bit of crunchiness on top. Perfection. Link to the recipe here.
FYI, the recipe says it makes 22. I got 24 out of the batter, and had extra frosting leftover. Yeah, I know, real bummer on the frosting. Really had to force myself to eat it ;-)
I think I can pretend these are good breakfast foods. I mean, they have raisins and carrots in them. Cream cheese is a dairy. That's good, right? :-)


  1. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Do you have a Sam's Club near you? They have pine nuts and they are a DEAL compared even to Meijer's.


  2. I do have a Sam's Club but we don't have a membership anymore. Those would be some might expensive pine nuts if I joined just to buy those, LOL. Now that we have the bigger house, though, I'm thinking about rejoining. I finally have room to store all the extra food ;-)


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