Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mango/Carrot Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups refrigerated mango juice blend ( Naked Juice Mighty Mango)
3 cups finely shredded carrot
Carrot ribbons*
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8x1 1/2-inch round cake pan; set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add granulated sugar; beat until combined. Beat 2 minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and 3/4 cup of the mango juice; beat on low after each addition just until combined. Stir in shredded carrot. Pour into prepared pan.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Place remaining 1/2 cup mango juice blend in a small saucepan; bring to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered, 3 to 4 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat; cool. Frost top of one cake layer with Cream Cheese Frosting. Top with remaining cake layer; frost as desired. Drizzle with reduced juice; top with carrot ribbons.

4.  In a large mixing bowl  beat cream cheese & 1/4 cup butter until smooth.  Beat in vanilla.  Gradually beat in powder sugar.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How to Grill a Pizza.

Left: fresh tomato, chicken & purple onion, middle: pepperoni & cheese, right: teryaki chicken, bbq sauce, cheddar and mozzerella cheese.
Pizza dough (your favorite recipe)
Olive Oil
Standard toppings / or not so standard
Some corn meal/flour for dusting

1. Make the pizza dough, or use prepared pizza dough.  I make 4 individual pizzas as there are 4 of us.

2. Prepare the grill for high direct heat.  Prepare a small bowl of olive oil
for greasing grates and for brushing the pizza.  Prepare the toppings so they are ready to go on the pizza - whatever you wish.  (Note:  I had my family put their toppings they wanted on their pizzas on a paper plate, and tell me what sauce they wanted as the base ie: pizza sauce, bbq sauce, alfredo, etc.)

3. Shape the pizza dough by flattening it with your hands on a slightly floured surface. Either use your fingers to stretch the dough out, or hold up the edges of the dough with your fingers, letting the dough hang and stretch, while working around the edges of the dough. Once you've stretched the dough, let it sit for 5 minutes and then push out the edges with your fingers again, until you have a nice round shape, you will notice mine are not round. Do not make a raised rim, it will interfere with the grilling process.

4. Once the grill is hot (you can hold your hands an inch over the grates for no more than 2 seconds), dip a tightly folded up paper towel in olive oil and use tongs to wipe the grill grates. Then place a pizza dough round on a lightly floured (or you can use cornmeal) rimless cookie sheet (or pizza peel if you have one). Let the dough slide off the cookie sheet onto the hot grill grates. Close the lid of the grill and let cook for 2 minutes.

5.  After 2 minutes, open the grill and check underneath the dough to see if it is getting browned. If it is on one side, but not another, use a spatula or tongs to rotate the dough 90 degrees and cook for another minute. If it is not beginning to brown, cover the grill and continue to cook a minute at a time until the bottom has begun to brown. It should only take a couple minutes if you have a hot grill. The top of the pizza dough will start bubbling up with air pockets.

6. Once the pizza dough has browned lightly on one side, use your cookie sheet or pizza peel to remove it from the grill. Use a spatula to flip the dough over so that the grilled side is now up. Keep the grill covered so it retains its heat for the next step.

7. Paint the grilled surface of the pizza with a little olive oil, then cover lightly with of sauce – no more, or you'll end up with a soggy pizza. Sprinkle on your toppings, ending with Mozzarella cheese.

8. Slide the topped pizza back onto the grill. If you are using a gas grill, reduce the heat. If working with a charcoal grill, close the vents on the cover almost all the way. Close the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes more, or until the bottom begins to char and the cheese is bubbly. Pull off the grate with a spatula onto a cutting board or other flat surface and let rest for a couple minutes before cutting into slices.

chicken, fresh tomato, purple onion grilled pizza