Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Handy Housewife Hint

We use twisty straws as a part of Emmett's therapy regime. They help strenghten his oral-motor muscles. Sometimes grunge gets stuck in the twisty bits and doesn't want to rinse free. I have found that soaking the straws in warm water with a denture cleaning tablet easily loosens dried on milk or juice so it easily rinses free. This works with dirty sippy cup valves too.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

This recipe was given to me by the mom of one of Emmett's preschool classmates. I need to get it down so I don't forget it--she literally just rattled off the ingredints while we chatted at the wind up party today.

In a food processor place:
  • equal parts cream cheese and goat cheese (I used a 140 gm package of goat cheese and around 1/2 of a 250 gm package of cream cheese)
  • 1 300-ml jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 scant 1/4-1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Blend until smooth. Serve with your favourite crackers, pita chips and raw veggies.

I was told this is also fantastic as a burger topping and sandwich spread.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Carrot Cake

Mama Bear asked me for my favourite carrot cake recipe. This is the one I swear by. It tastes fantastic, and if you don't tell anyone they will have no idea it is low fat to boot. I call this Anniversary cake because we had carrot cake as a wedding cake so I make it every year on our wedding anniversary now.

Jen's Anniversary Cake

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup drained, crushed pineapple
3/4 cup fat-free egg substitute or 3 whole eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk (you could also pour 1 tbsp vinegar into a measuring cup and top off with plain milk to measure 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pineapple, eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir in grated carrots. Add flour mixture to carrot mixture and stir until well blended. Stir in nuts.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Set pan on wire rack and cool cake completely.
  • While cake is cooling prepare your favourite cream cheese icing. When cake is cool, slather with cream cheese love . If cake is not devoured in one sitting, store leftovers in the fridge.
If you need more slices this cake can easily be made in a 10 X 14 inch rimmed sheet pan. You may need to adjust your cooking time. I lined mine with baking parchment to prevent sticking.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened (regular or low-fat)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 3/4 to 6 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • Beat first three ingredients with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in additional powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.
If you bake your cake in a 9 x 13 pan you will have leftover frosting. Do not despair. Spread it on graham crackers and top with fresh fruit slices. Dip cookies in it. Lick it off of a spoon. Use your imagination.