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Archive for February, 2009

Moist Carrot Cake

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Make one 13 x 9 x 2-inch cake

Carrot cake conjures up images of a small restaurant with mismatched chairs, rickety tables, and thick white coffee mugs. (Sounds like my kitchen table, now that I think about it. One of my sisters describes this as the “beat all to hell” -style of decorating. I digress.)

This cake is so homey. moist, and earthy. I just love it, so let’s have a group hug. My recipe uses golden raisins and applesauce. If desired you can substitute 1 cup of coconut for the raisins, and 1 cup drained, crushed pineapple for the applesauce.

2 cups all-purpose flour or 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 carrots, peeled and grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour, or grease and flour the pan.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl stir together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the carrots, nuts, raisins, and applesauce. Fold in the flour mixture until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and using the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula spread evenly. Bake for about 50 minutes until the center of the cake springs back slightly when pressed in the center with two fingertips. Cool completely in the pan. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. ( OK, one more group hug.)

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What’s the Deal with Kale?

kale1A few days ago I participated in an interview for a radio program about Kale – purchasing kale, types of kale, and of course, tips for cooking kale. The interview will air on Saturday February 28, 2009 at 8:30 am CST in Chicago on the radio program 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life hosted by Dave Grotto, RD. You can listen to the show one of these three ways:

 

1. Listen live in Chicago on WYLL 8:30 am CST

2. Streaming live WYLL.com 8:30 am CST

3. Enjoy the podcast on Dave’s website

Kale guru, friend, fellow RD, Diana Dyer (visit her blog about kale) spoke with Dave about the health benefits of kale. I can’t wait to hear the program. Several of Diana’s delicious kale recipes, along with a few of my own, Quick Vegetarian Vegetable Soup and Black-Eyed Peas and Green Soup, will be posted on Dave’s website.

Incidentally, I did forget to mention, when talking to Dave, about a more convenient form of kale sold in a bag, washed, trimmed, and ready to use. On Fat Tuesday I cooked a bag of such kale with a little water, then dressed it with vinegar, sugar, and a bit of bacon – sort of a sweet and sour treatment. The color was spectacular and it made quite a tasty side dish for our Cajun Red Beans and Rice. So,when you’re shopping for kale, don’t forget the convenience of these ready-to-use bags.

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You Talkin’ To Me?

black-and-white-pot-ladyNot that I’m telling you what to do or anything, BUT if you are reading my blog and have never commented this post is for you. Over the past several months the number of daily visitors and subscribers to my blog has steadily grown. For that I am extremely grateful. I’d like to encourage everyone to comment. Whenever anyone comments it not only adds to the discussion but it also enhances the community around My Kitchen Table. And, your comments make me think more about what I’m writing or going to write. Take a chance and post a comment. Don’t be shy. Let’s get this party started.
 

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Monday – Slow Cooked Ale-8 Pulled Pork, Bourbon Barbecue Sauce, Broccoli Slaw, Baked Beans

Tuesday – Spinach Lasagna, Bread and Butter

Wednesday – Black Bean and Rice Burritoes, Green Chile Sauce, Corn

Thursday – Leftover Spinach Lasagna,  Broccoli Slaw

Friday – Frozen Pizza (I’m dead serious)

Saturday –  Leftover Pork Barbecue, Leftover Baked Macaroni and Cheese, (I had both frozen), Green Peas

Sunday – Vegetarian Vegetable Soup, Chopped Avocado, Gethsemani Trappist Cheese , Wasa Crackers.

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I’m proud to present, for the very first time, One Pan Blondie. This nutty companion to our brunette favorite – One Pan Brownies –  is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of tea.

Makes one 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1  1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk to blend well and set aside. 

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Remove pan from the heat and whisk in the brown sugar until well combined. Let cool to the touch. Stir in the eggs, milk, and vanilla until well blended. Using a rubber spatula fold in the flour mixture, chocolate chips, and nuts. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Be sure not to overbake. Cool on a rack. Have one or two before they’re gone. Just like the brownies, these don’t last long at my house.

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Monday – Whole Wheat Spaghetti Primavera (with Surimi), Sliced Peaches

Tuesday – Skillet Red Beans, Quinoa, Turnip Greens, Silver Dollar Corncakes

Wednesday – Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Corn, Mixed Green Salad

Thursday – Oven-fried Chicken, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans

Friday – New York Strips, Mixed Green Salad, Baked Potatoes, Carrot Cake

Saturday – out to dinner for Valentine’s Day. Kids ate pizza.

Sunday – Grilled Salmon, Spinach Salad, Lyonnaise Potatoes

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From Our (rented) Cottage, Summer 2008, Grand Traverse Bay, Northport, Michigan

1.

Watch the sunrise.

2.

Play a musical instrument.

3.

Laugh – until you cry, or pee in your pants. Now that’s funny.

4.

Make homemade brownies.

5.

Whistle.

6.

Go bowling, but not alone. (Have you read the book Bowling Alone?)

7.

Wave at children on school buses or in passing cars.

8.

Lie on your back and look at the stars.

9.

Kindle new friendships.

10.

Reread your favorite poem, out loud.

11.

Try everything offered by supermarket food demonstrators.

12.

Tell someone you love them.

13.

Tell someone thank you.

14.

Begin the day with your favorite music and a lit candle.

 

 ps: Hi- if your RSS feed reported 20 ways to relax I apologize. I can’t count late at night. Have a great weekend!

 

 

adapted from H. Jackson Browne

 

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