Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Little bites of carrot-cake heaven in this "lighten-up" recipe

I adore carrot cake but know the gooey cream-cheese frosting that’s part-and-parcel of it somewhat defeats the purpose of all the carrots’ nutritional value. I loved the fact that in its “Lighten Up” feature recently Southern Living produced a lighter version of a traditional carrot cake recipe; this included a frosting utilizing the 1/3-less-fat (such as Neufchatel) cream cheese. But it still seemed too much. Besides, who needs a whole cake sitting around as a temptation? 

This same magazine feature also offered this option: carrot cake muffins—identical recipe but in a muffin format that included the addition of pecans (and golden raisins, too, which I opted out of). Muffins could be enjoyed and then frozen and reheated for later dining. The recipe called for three cups of grated carrots and an 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained.

I wondered whether the muffins without the frosting would be stand-alone good or a little bland. I shouldn’t have been concerned. The muffins were majorly moist and sweet and were like dining on mini-carrot cakes. By themselves they made a great Sunday-morning breakfast or as an add-on to my usual breakfast cereal. 

Southern Living tub-thumped its recipe with the headline, “You can thank us later, when your mouth isn’t full.” Via the Internet I can tippy-type my thanks even with my mouth full, which it indeed was this weekend as I enjoyed these bites of carrot heaven.

Carrot Cake Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used sugar substitute)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 (8-ounce can) crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs (or egg substitute)
2 egg whites (or egg-white substitute)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place about 15 paper baking cups in muffin pans; coat baking cups with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine first 5 ingredients; in the center of mixture make a well. Whisk together pineapple and next 4 ingredients; add pineapple mixture to flour mixture. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in carrots and pecans. Spoon batter into baking cups. Fill cups about 2/3 full. Bake as directed. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 15 muffins.

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