It was St. Patrick’s Day a few days ago. My original plan was to make some sort of Irish Car Bomb cupcakes to celebrate, but I’m trying desperately to reduce my refined sugar and alcohol intake, so I opted for a less decadent baked good instead: Guinness quick bread. Why quick bread? Because I am hungry and impatient and didn’t want to wait for a rise and a proof and a second rise, etc. I typically have good luck with these easy bread recipes, however on Wednesday luck’ o’ the Irish was not with me — even despite my Irish heritage and the fact I was wearing green. Quick bread is designed to be simple and provide near-instant gratification. You can literally throw everything into a bowl, stir it about 50 times and shove it in the oven. 50 minutes later you have steamy fresh bread to slather with your sweet fresh butter!

Guinness Quick Bread with fresh homemade butter, yum!

If only it had been so easy on St. Patrick’s Day… Having all but one of my ingredients on hand, I set off to find one can of Guinness. In London this would have taken me about five minutes because around every corner a news agent is selling singles of the Isles’ finest booze. (more…)

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Back in Colorado, buried deep in a box in my parents’ attic, my carrot cake recipe is stashed and collecting dust. Sadness. Oh how I wish I had had it today. I have been craving a bite of moist and spicy carrot cupcake with perfectly tangy cream cheese frosting. So I made up a little half batch today, but because I don’t have my recipe with me, I borrowed a recipe from Martha — and I’m disappointed to say that while the felon’s cupcakes look a treat, they fall far from being perfectly moist and spicy and delicious.

carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

One thing Marf and I do agree on, however, is that these little cherubs cost just pennies to make. And once again I only had to go to the shop to get coconut (100g for 89p), walnuts (100g for £1.29) and cream cheese (200g for 75p). So this is a good one to make if you’re cleaning your cupboards. I made half a recipe but to make the full recipe it costs only about £3 — £1 for the cake mix ingredients; 20p for the carrots; 45p for coconut; 65p for walnuts; 75p for cheese — that’s only 25p per cupcake! (Now don’t you hate those trendy posh cupcakeries charging £2.50 per cake now??)

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