Lucia’s Survival Guide and Cookbook

I finally downloaded pictures from Easter and am trying to decide what I want to do this weekend.  I am heading back to Indy again and am really looking forward to having a more relaxed weekend compared to last weekend.  Saturday my sister and I are going to look at invitations for her wedding.  I can’t believe it is approaching so quickly!  I don’t think these kitchen adventures are helping me get into great shape for her big day, but oh well.  You do what you gotta do!  Hopefully I can come up with something great tomorrow…maybe I will go back to basics and make meatballs.  Sunday’s are spent sitting around my Grandparents kitchen table eating and catching up, so normally I could have made something to bring there, but it is my cousins baby shower, so that is not an option.  Hopefully something inspires me tomorrow….

Tonight for dinner my roommate heated up some of her homemade matzah ball soup and in true Italian fashion….I tried to top it off with some parmesan cheese.  Apparently only Italians add parmesan to their soups!    I got another present for my Kitchen Adventure!!  My Grandpa found a cookbook called “Lucia’s Survival Guide and Cookbook” and on the inside…the book is dedicated “To Gina, who was the inspiration for writing this guide.”  How ironic,  Lucia’s survival guide dedicated to Gina…Gina is my sisters name.  Gina is also my best friend and someone I would dedicate a book to because she is someone I admire most.  The book was not only meaningful because it came from my Grandpa, but it was extra meaningful because it has some irony to it!

Here are the pictures from the weekend and the recipe for the Italian Cream Cake!

Italian Cream Cake

Preheat oven to 350°

Grease and flour three 9 inch cake pans

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter, softened

2 cups of sugar

5 eggs – separated

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups flour, sifted

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup coconut

1 cup pecans, chopped

Beat softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg yolks, oil, flour, vanilla and buttermilk. Mix until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of the coconut and 1/2 cup of the pecans. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy (hint: they should form peaks). Fold egg whites into batter.

Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Ice with cream cheese icing (recipe below)

Cream Cheese Icing

**Makes enough icing for 1 cake (3 layers)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 boxes of Philadelphia Cream Cheese

1 1/2 boxes Powdered Sugar

1 1/2 sticks softened butter

2 tsp Pure Vanilla extract

In a mixer, add cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla.  Mix well until creamy and light.

Batter from the Carrot Cake…not including all the ingredients though!

The Italian Cream Cake requires egg whites – you can tell they are finished when they form peaks!

After a long day of baking – here is half of the mess

Italian Cream Cake

Carrot Cake

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