Well, it’s kind of hard to believe, but this food blog has officially been in existence for one whole year! Yay! Happy birthday a rented kitchen!
I started this project about a year and a half ago as I started collecting recipes and taking pictures of everything I cooked. I figured if nothing else, I’d at least have created a really cool online recipe book for myself. However ideally, I was hoping to at least have a few regular viewers- mainly family and friends- who may be inspired to be more intentional regarding their diet and how it affects the environment.
I am so shocked and honored to report that the blog now has 86 individuals following updates by e-mail, over 16,150 views, hundreds of re-pins on pinterest, and visitors from 86 different countries around the globe. These numbers are more than I ever thought they would be, and constantly inspire me to keep learning and growing in my culinary experiences.
To those of you who found this blog by chance and now regularly follow it- thank you. To those of you who have been following since day one- thank you. To all of you who just stumbled upon this post for no reason at all- feel free to stay, and thanks for stopping by!
As is appropriate for a birthday celebration, I had to share a cake recipe with you all today. While on vacation last week I made this delicious Apple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It is truly delicious- fresh, moist, flavorful, rich, everything you’d want in a good carrot cake!
However, since this post celebrates not only a birthday, but a reflection on the past year, I also thought I’d do a little one year review of the recipes I’ve done. In January of 2012, around the New Year, I posted the viewer’s top 20 favorite recipes. I had a blast compiling that list and seeing what y’all really enjoyed. Today, I thought I would do something similar, but instead post My top favorite recipes. Some of them may be ones you all enjoy as well, and some that may have been overlooked.
One Year Review:
So, here it goes, my top 20 favorite recipes, in no particular order, of the past year.
- Crispy black bean fritters with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce
- Graham cracker crumb fruit dip
- No-bake energy bites
- Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
- Baked Chana Masala Flat Bread Pockets
- Blueberry Orange Muffins
- Baked Fruit and Chocolate Oatmeal
- Chocolate Mint Puddle Cookies
- World’s Best (Vegan) Fudge Brownie
- Caramel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting
- Fruit Salsa
- Personal Portobello Pizzas
- Southwestern Salad with Avocado Dressing
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Goat Cheese, and Cranberries over Barley
- Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Parmesan Zucchini Chips
- Southwestern Egg Rolls
- Vegan Italian Vegetable Casserole
- Superfood Guacamole
- Tortellini Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
And in honor of the one year birthday, here is that delicious carrot cake, as promised. Enjoy!
Apple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 cup oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup coarsely chopped (pared) apples
- ¾ cup golden raisins or craisins
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 7 ½ cups confectioners sugar
- 1 stick melted butter
- 1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup almond milk
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Once smooth, stir in the carrots, apple, raisins, and pecans.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In increments of three, add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture, stirring well after each addition.
- Evenly pour the batter into the two prepared baking pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
- Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 5-20 minutes, and then remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- While the cakes are cooling, combine the icing ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well. Add the confectioners sugar in increments- beating after each addition to maintain a smooth icing consistency.
- Once the cakes are completely cool, ice the cakes with a thick layer of icing in middle and all sides covered. Garnish with chopped pecans or coconuts (optional). Enjoy!
Notes and Tips!:
- Like this recipe? Check out these other delicious desserts from ‘a rented kitchen!’: Three Tier Chocolate Stout Cake, Caramel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting, and a family favorite- the Ice Cream Sunday Icebox Cake!
- Love the year end review? Check out what recipes the viewers most loved on the 2012 Year End Review!