While I don't typically count making sandwich as a recipe, but this was pretty worthy and was much more labor intensive than ham and cheese on white. This Peppered Beef Sandwich was pleasing combination of flavors I never would have thought of on my own. I had thought about REALLY making the whole thing from scratch - the bread and the mayo base - I cheated and it turned out just fine. Actually I did try to make a mayo but the recipe I found was not good and I wasted a cup of olive oil. Anyway, for the bread I used a flax seed ciabatta from Trader Joe's. I think sour dough would have been good too but Rebecca did not agree with me on that one! The bread was pretty flavorful, and very sturdy. The beef was thanks to Rebecca, who brought me extra filet from a family party. I pretty much never ever cook beef, and also very rarely eat it, but I do love a good piece of steak! And then there was the mayo. I usually hate mayo. Mayo is nasty, unhealthy, and texturally displeasing. It pained me to buy it but somehow the recipe sounded so good to me - even with mayo, red onion, capers, and lemon juice? These are not things I really love (except lemon juice). But the flavors complimented each other so well!
Here's the big hunk of beef, doesn't it look huge on my mini iron skillet? So peppery that the smell of it made me sneeze!
After searing it, I had to chill it for awhile before slicing and then pounding the crap out of it. That was super fun. So rare, I love my beef still mooing.
After the cheese was melty and the bread was toasted, we added arugula (aka rocket, I love that word) and caper red onion mayo. Here's the final product...the beef was just juicy enough to soften the bread but yet it was still crisp. The tanginess of the mayo matched the peppery beef just perfectly.
So onto the old favorite. Carrot cake. While I prefer most of my baked goods to revolve around chocolate and/or peanut butter, this is a worthy exception. I adapted the recipe from Allrecipes.com years ago and it always gets rave reviews. I actually healthed this up as much as you can without compromising flavor - cutting out some of the sugar and oil in the original recipe. But since it's a vegetable cake I'm assuming it's as nutritionally beneficial as a bowl of broccoli.
Anyway, my mom really loves carrot cake so I'm assuming that's why I started making this in the first place - at least 3 or 4 years ago. One time I even baked it here in California, flew back to Michigan for a weekend, and surprised my mom. I waited to make the frosting until I got to my parent's house but the cake survived the flight quite well! Here's how to make magic:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
12 oz package cream cheese - I used 8 oz of regular & 4 oz light
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar