You may have been concerned, with this long silence, if I had, in fact, survived the cupcake making. I did. Proof:
79. Carrot-Cheddar Casserole, pg. 227
A dairy-lovers dream. Chock full of milk (I used some leftover cream from the cupcake adventure), super cheesy (used a little bit of cream cheese, also leftover from cupcakes, as well as some herbed cheddar), topped with Cheez-Its...And mix that all with some sweet, mashed carrots. Pretty good stuff, though I'm not sure it could ever classify as "healthy", unless you're on an all-dairy diet.
Overall: 3.3 out of 5 I would rate it higher, but felt guilty while eating it ...
80. Cream of Carrot-Cheddar Soup, pg. 204
Mmmm another carrot and cheddar combo...I had extra carrots that needed to be used up :) Apparently, I over-ordered a little bit for the cupcakes, but better safe than sorry, right? Especially when it's for someone's wedding!
I'm a sucker for "cream of" whatever soups. So, I was pretty excited about this one. I had a few sweet potatoes on hand, so I decided to sub them for the regular white potatoes. Shredded the carrots and and potatoes in a food processor (what a time saver!) and dumped everything together. I had neither Tabasco or worcestershire on hand, so used a spicy steak sauce instead. Since I was using sweet potatoes, I nixed the added sugar. (And carrots are so sweet to begin with...not sure why it would need to be in there at all.)
After adding some Old Bay Cheddar (seasoned with Old Bay spices) and milk, the soup was ready. It was a little disappointing. Not as thick as I expected, or as creamy. I'm thinking that it might be good pureed -- breaking up the veggies would make a thicker soup. Spice-wise, it was okay, but I needed to add more of the hot sauce to be satisfied.
Overall: 3 out of 5 Average, as written, but could be improved upon.
81. Three-Flour Bread, pg. 60
Nothing like realising at dinner time that there's no bread in the house for your husband's lunch for the next day. Suddenly you have a choice: save yourself the trouble and go to the grocery store and buy the most nutritious loaf you can find (while resolving not to feel guilty) or change your evening plans and whip up a batch. I go back and forth between these options when I find myself in this situation (it's happened a couple times.) Sometimes, when I'm too tired, I will just go to the store and buy a loaf and resolve to make the next bread. This time, I decided I had it in me to do some aggressive kneading. And to even branch out beyond oatmeal bread, no less!
So ingredients started getting dumped in my Kitchenaid. I left out the dry milk and upped the soy and wheat germ, and added about a 1/4 c. of potato flour and 3 T. vital wheat gluten. Otherwise, I mixed just as written. I put the dough in the oven with the light on, hoping to slightly speed up the 2 hour rising time. At about an hour and a half, I took the dough out and shaped the loaves. They rose speedily, and after about a half hour, I was happy with their size so I slashed them down the middle and set them in the oven. Now, I'm not sure I completely understand the 450 start temp, considering it takes my oven longer than 10 minutes to reach 450. Anyways, it worked out, and I still turned the oven down to 350 after 10 minutes. The bread looked really lovely, and baked high and light. It tastes wonderful as toast, and it's definitely worthy of being made again!
Overall: 4.0 out of 5 Solidly tasty.