We just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Labor Day to all.
Have a great and safe holiday.
By: Nathan Willow
Among the many edible root crops, the most versatile by far is the carrot. Unbeknownst to many, it comes in a variety of colors such as purple, red, white and yellow. The most common, of course, is the orange variety. A lot of cake recipes include the carrot because it is incredibly easy and fun not just to cook and bake, but also to savor and digest. Not to mention the nutritional value of carrots, this carrot cake recipe is exceptional. The truly amazing thing, though, is that the beta carotene in carrot is further increased when cooked or baked rather than when eaten raw! Carrots are usually used in bread, juices, puddings, soup, jams; it is also a staple ingredient to stir fried vegetables, most stews and a wide array of food, including the following healthy carrot cake recipe. Treat yourself to this veritable treasure trove of health.
– Whole wheat flour – 3/4 cup
– Cake flour – 3/4 cup
– Packed brown sugar – 1/2 cup
– Cinnamon powder – 1 tablespoon
– Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
– Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
– Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
– Molasses – 1 1/2 tablespoons (optional)
– Canola oil – 1/4 cup
– Eggs – 2
– Medium-sized orange, juiced – 1 piece
– Orange zest – 1 tablespoon
– Lemon zest – 1 teaspoon
– Raisins – 1/2 cup
– Dried figs, chopped – 5 pieces
– Sesame seeds – 2 tablespoons
– Grated carrots – 2 cups
– Chopped cashew nuts – 1/4 cup
– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C.
– Grease spray a 9-inch Bundt pan.
– In a large mixing bowl, sift together the whole wheat flour, cake flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
– Dig a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the molasses (if you will), canola oil, eggs and orange juice.
– Mix until the dry ingredients are thoroughly blended then stir in the orange zest, lemon zest, raisins, dried figs, sesame seeds, carrots and cashew nuts until all are incorporated.
– Pour into the greased baking pan.
– Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Another indication that the cake is done if the cake springs back once it is lightly touched.
– Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
– Remove from the baking pan using a spatula to ease around the edges of the cake.
– Gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Anukriti Parsai uses traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation.
Anukriti’s Healthy carrot cake recipe is deliciously indulgent and is definitely not for weight watchers!
Anukriti is a contributing member of the Cake Recipe Secrets team.
By: Gretchen Scalpi
According to Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition by Packaged Facts “Over the five-year period ended in 2014, sales of gluten-free products in traditionally grain-based categories posted a compound annual growth rate of 34%.”
There are more gluten-free products in the grocery store than ever but many of those are packaged foods that may not include healthy ingredients. Other options are gluten-free grains, fruits and vegetables. It’s all so confusing so how do you choose? Follow the tips below and you’ll be well on your way to purchasing and eating a healthier gluten-free diet.
*Start by going through your kitchen and your refrigerator. Read labels and keep what you can and get rid of the rest.
*Carry a list of safe foods and foods to avoid every time you shop. Plan ahead and create a list of food you do want to purchase.
*Stay away from processed food and be prepared to do more cooking at home.
*Check the labels on everything before you purchase with the exception of fresh produce.
*Purchase gluten-free grains including quinoa, rice and rice flour, corn, buckwheat, millet and teff.
*Meat and seafood products without marinades are gluten-free such as beef, chicken, turkey, fish and shellfish.
*Dairy products including yogurt, cottage cheese, cream, milk and butter are a safe choice.
*Miscellaneous foods to round out your diet include honey, oils, hummus, seeds and seed butters and nuts and nut butters.
*Purchase drinks like bottled water, hot cocoa, coffee, tea, fruit juices and carbonated drinks after checking the labels to make sure they are gluten-free.
*Canned and plain frozen vegetables and fruit are a good choice. Check the labels on any items with sauces.
*Purchase separate containers of peanut butter, jams and jellies for yourself to avoid cross contamination.
*If you have a smart phone try looking for a phone app that can scan bar codes of packaged foods. This makes it easier to determine if the item you want to purchase is gluten free.
*Try shopping at ethnic markets and health food stores to give yourself some more options and to vary your diet.
*Purchase bulk items such as gluten-free flour, baking mixes and other staples online in order to save money.
To learn the intricacies of the gluten free diet, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian who has experience working with this challenging diet.
© 2015 Gretchen Scalpi. All rights reserved. You are free to reprint/republish this article as long as the article and byline are kept intact and all links are made live.
Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, author and Certified Wellcoach® who has celiac disease and know the challenges of eating right with this condition. If you are new to the gluten-free lifestyle for medical or health reasons, you’ll want to attend Gretchen’s new free webinar “Five Things You Should Know Before Going Gluten-free” at http://www.gflifestylelearning.com/?p=401.
I don’t know about you, but those sweet Girl Scouts and their addictive cookies sure did a number on my waistline this year! And they’re not alone. I’ve never so enjoyed packing in the calories as I have taste-testing the oodles of fantastic homemade cookie recipes that have been turning up! And I’m not talking about your everyday chocolate chip variety (which I WOULD gladly eat every day, by the way.) No, what I’m seeing is an outbreak of awesome: in the form of ooey, gooey, one-of-a-kind cookie recipes in the recipes club Just a Pinch!
Combining the richness of turtle candy, the cuteness of a cupcake and the bite-size ease of a cookie is the recent recipe posting for scrumptious Turtle Cookie Cups on the site Just a Pinch by club member Valerie Johnson.
“These little cookie cups are very easy to make,” assures Valerie. “I made them for Super Bowl Sunday and they were a big hit. If you like chocolate and caramel, I’m sure you will like these.”
That’s one safe bet! These chocolate cookies are filled with soft caramel and topped with a pecan for the perfect crunchy finish. And since each cookie cup is baked in its own little wrapper, they’re ideal for bake sales and party trays.
Now, if ever there were a dessert whose very name screamed “party”, it’s the aptly named Whoopie Pie. Growing up in the South, I’ve had to be taught the art of the Whoopie Pie from some New England bakers. These filled, cake-like cookies are said to have originated in Amish kitchens as a way to use leftover cake batter. Goodness, those were some smart cookies!
The Whoopie Pie is a tough dessert to classify – Is it a cake, a cookie, an honest to goodness pie? – but it’s got universal appeal! Angie Walker of Stryker, OH (also a Just a Pinch member) adds her own spin to the traditional chocolate Whoopie with her Serene Sunday: Oh, the Sadness of Parting Pumpkin Cookies. With a big name and equally big flavors, Angie’s cookies are a spice-filled, pumpkin-packed treat. Is there such a thing as “classic innovation”? If so, I think Angie’s got it down to an art!
On the other hand, Kathleen Kulinski, another club member, has perfected what has to be one of the most decadent no-bake cookies of all time. With ingredients to satisfy every craving imaginable – from salty to sweet – I urge women everywhere to whip up a batch for those times when you need a little extra indulgence.
“This [cookie] is a little bit chocolate, a little bit salt, a little bit peanut butter and then there’s the fluff” exclaims Kathleen!
These chocolate dears are perfectly freezable, too. So make a lot, eat a few, and save the rest for your next “take me away” moment.
Kudos to all the crafty cooks out there who are coming up with such inventive ways to satisfy our collective sweet tooth! Thanks to you, our tables are a much sweeter place. Now, pass the milk, please…
If you enjoy these recipes, be sure to dip into some of the amazing recipe contests hosted by Just A Pinch. Or, if you haven’t done so, go ahead and join any recipe club and start exchanging YOUR ooy-gooy ideas with other cooks from around the world!
By: Janet Tharpe
Born in Lexington, Ky., Janet first developed her passion for cooking and recipe club groups at the early age of 14. As a child, she loved cooking for her grandfather and his workers. Now she shares her culinary skills by participating in church socials and a recipe club as she adds to her own recipe box.
1. Good baking requires patience. If you try to rush it, you will end up with a mess. A good cake, pie, cookie, the list goes on and on, cannot be rushed. Things tend to turn out half-baked (yes, literally) or so badly that they are not edible. People tend to frown at you when serve them burnt cookies. (Hey, at least I tried.)
2. You do not have to always follow the recipe. I have started to learn to cook and bake by feel and taste more than by following a recipe. If you do not like one thing that is in the recipe but you do like everything else that is in it, take out the thing you do not like. I tend to add more of things I like into a recipe (chocolate) and take out things I don’t (not chocolate). I have been known to add double the amount of chocolate chips to a cookie recipe and omit the nuts entirely. (Really, who needs all those nuts getting in the way of a good chocolate chip cookie!)
3. The devil is in the details. Little things like adding ingredients in the proper order can make all the difference. I have learned from very painful experience that putting the ingredients in the wrong way can easily ruin a baking recipe. The baking powder has to go in before you put it in the oven. (Who knew?)
4. It does not have to be complicated to taste good. Some of the best baking recipes that my mom ever made were ones that had five ingredients or less. If you are like me and do not have the patience to squeeze a million tiny dots onto a cake in order to make pretty frosting, it is nice to know that I can make something that is simpler and still tastes good. (Anyone have a recipe for dipable (yes, I just made up that word) frosting? Lets skip that whole thing of having to frost the cake entirely.)
5. Always mix in some love. I am convinced that this is why store bought sweets never taste as good as homemade ones. Machines do not know how to inject this special ingredient. All baking recipes at the very minimum need at least one cup of love to be any good at all.
I wish you all happy baking with lots of love baked in!
By: Jill Seader
Jill Seader is the founder of Your Baking Story. Her website shares her baking stories and recipes and also allows visitors to share their own baking stories and recipes. Come visit and share your own stories.
Thank you to our friends and family.
Thank you to all of our customers that have made it so much fun working on such great baby shower cakes, birthday cakes, wedding cakes, cupcakes and cookies.
Thanks to everyone who liked us on Facebook, viewed our photos on Flickr, repinned a picture on Pinterest, or followed us on Instagram.
Happy New Years and Best Wishes to All…
It’s been said that babies are a gift from Heaven, and that’s never been more true than when a precious child is being adopted. Arriving in a slightly less traditional way, the beauty of bringing a baby into your life through adoption is a wonderful time of celebration that has been captured so eloquently in this adoption poem:
For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn’t give you the gift of life
LIFE GAVE ME THE GIFT OF YOU!
If you’re welcoming a perfect little person to your family through adoption, a Heaven Sent theme for the baby shower is a great way to surround the family with love. Here are some ideas to help you plan it!
Invitations: Look for an invitation with clouds or angels and customize it with a saying like the poem above or one of these favorites from other adoptive parents:
“We were not separated at your birth. It was the moment at which we begun our journey toward each other.” (Nancy McGuire Roche)
“Not flesh of my flesh or bone of my bone–but still so miraculously my own.” (Unknown)
“Adoption is Love. Love is Family. Family is Forever.” (Unknown)
Decorations: Soft tulle and angel wings are simply divine! Drape some iridescent fabric around the room and add some twinkling stars dangling from the ceiling. Angel-themed diaper cakes make an excellent baby shower centerpieces (and gifts) for the celebration. Add to the decor with plenty of fluffy, glittery, shimmering accents. Just think of all the holiday decorations you might already have that can work well with this theme. Those clear Christmas lights look amazing underneath white tulle. To really jazz it up, add a few feathers to resemble angel wings or use the wings from that old angel costume to create a “cherub chair” designated for Mom.
Menu: There are lots of fun, fluffy ways to make the dinner divine. Try making some Heavenly Hash (which is really just ambrosia) to start with a heavenly ham dish as the entrée and angel food cake or angel-shaped cookies for dessert!
By: Karen Sullen
Thank you Facebook fans! We are at our 1100 likes and we have a winner for the 1100 likes. Please visit our Facebook site for more information.
Please call me for your free cake!! 561-383-8957
Congratulations to the winner!
We also have just surpassed the 500 photo mark on Flickr. If you are looking for any cake or cupcake for a special occasion, please stop by and take a look there as well. Click here to go to our page there.
We wanted to just take a moment and tell everyone about a milestone that we just passed today. Thanks to you (and Pinterest) we have just surpassed 1000 repins on this baby shower cake we did a while ago. So far, it has been our most repinned cake on Pinterest. If you would like to see our gallery on Pinterest, please click here. Thanks again for your support and happy pinning!
There could be no other way to make those cupcakes more appealing than decorate them with attractive designs. There are several cupcake ideas that you can try when decorating cupcakes at home. Try this easy guide on how to decorate cupcakes.
All you need for a butterfly cupcake are the following: candy coated chocolates, chocolate stick cookies, 2 regular size cupcakes, licorice strips and 2 small-sized cupcakes.
First up is to coat the cupcakes with frosting. Try to use a different frost for each of the sizes. You can cover the small cupcakes with orange colored frosting and the regular cupcakes with yellow colored frosting.
Assemble the cupcakes to look like a butterfly, regular cupcakes right above the smaller ones. Decorate the cupcakes with candy coated chocolates around its edges. Decorate as well the center piece of your assembled cupcakes. Put in cookies across the butterfly’s body to cover the whole. And lastly, use the licorice strips for the antenna.
A snowman cupcake is perfect for the holiday season. You can check this simple guide in making a snowman cupcake that would look stunning and spectacular. Ingredients you would need are as follows: black chocolate covered candy, 1 regular size cupcake, gel icing, orange jube, 1 piece red colored fruit strip, 2 white marshmallows, 1 pretzel stick, 1 chocolate after dinner mint and cupcake frosting.
Coat each of the cupcake with frosting. Stick the marshmallows together using icing. Then, stick these marshmallows on top of your icing covered cake. As for the snowman’s arms, break the pretzel into two equal lengths. Attach these pretzels on each side of the snowman.
Form a circle shape for the snowman’s hat using the chocolate after dinner mint. Attach the chocolate coated candy on top of the snowman’s hat using the frosting. Stick now the snowman’s hat on top of the snowman’s head.
As for the nose, cut a small portion of orange jube. Use a stick or a toothpick to make a hole in the marshmallow. Cut the fruit strip forming a scarf to be placed around the snowman’s head. As for the eyes and buttons of the snowman, use a black gel icing.
A bee cupcake can be very appealing to children. Here is a simple guide on how to make your very own bee cupcake.
Ingredients needed include the following: 11 cupcakes, butter cream frosting, 11 yellow jubes, black decorating gels, 11 square after dinner mint slices, yellow food coloring.
First thing is to color the icing to come up with a bright yellow hue. Using yellow colored icing, completely cover each cupcake. Cut each after dinner mint slice into half and place each of these slices right in the middle of each cupcake.
Cut the licorice strips into short sizes and position them under each wing. Use yellow jubes for the head of the bee. Lastly, apply two dots for the eyes. As for the nose, apply a longer stroke using black gel icing.
With this simple guide, you can certainly learn how to decorate cupcakes that would look alluring to children.
By: Daniel Stanley