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.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A 70-calorie cake slice! Who, after sampling Autumn Spice Cake, can argue with that?

We had just finished Hubby’s regular eye exam and had wandered in to pick up some recipes before we hit the road. The Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services building, across the street from the eye clinic, always has some intriguing new recipe cards laid out in its kitchen demo area. I usually sweep through, see what offerings are new since our last visit to the Ardmore, OK, campus, and with my free recipes in hand make a quick exit.

To my surprise a cooking demo was under way. Food Demo Specialist Kathy Bean was in the demonstration kitchen area and was stirring something in a bowl. A small audience on several rows of chairs was intently absorbed. Wonderful aromas invaded our nostrils the moment the door into the building opened. We slipped to the back of the room so we could peek over heads to see what was cooking. When I heard the words, “70 calories a slice”, my ears definitely perked up.

Kathy was mixing the batter to Autumn Spice Cake and was describing to the listeners the ingredients. Part of Kathy’s job is to help citizens of the Chickasaw Nation, of which Hubby is a proud member, to learn to cook and eat healthier. She was promoting the benefits of using skim milk instead of whole, using applesauce as a sweetener, and using sugar substitute instead of regular sugar in the cake batter. Also into the batter went bran flakes, raisins, orange peel, mashed carrots, grated carrots, and whole-wheat flour, among other ingredients.

The mixture was poured into a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan to bake. Once it was removed from the oven, Kathy used a fork to poke holes into the top of the cake. Then she drizzled orange juice on top and sprinkled the top with chopped pecans. Cutting the cake into 24 servings (the cake square I sampled was a tiny bit larger than 2 inches on all sides) each square contained 70 calories (as well as only 2 fat grams, 0 cholesterol, 70 mg sodium, 12 carbs, and 1 gram fiber). The orange-juice topping made it plenty sweet. (We can live without that traditional cream-cheese frosting that so often appears on carrot cakes!) Seventy calories! Just as I was, other members of Kathy’s audience were murmuring about how sweet the cake tasted when they sampled it. Clearly no one felt deprived at all.

Kathy’s assistant, Rhonda, let me take a photo of the demo cake (pictured above left) just before she cut it. Hubby and I certainly were glad we made the little detour to pick up recipe cards before we headed back to the Metroplex. (In the next few days I’ll share with you two more healthy recipes that Kathy taught us while we watched.)

Autumn Spice Cake

cooking spray
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup margarine
1 cup bran flakes
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canned carrots, mashed (could use fresh)
3/4 cup carrots, grated
1/3 cup raisins
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar substitute
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray. Place milk and margarine in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute or until margarine is melted. Add cereal and let mixture stand for 5 minutes. Add applesauce, mashed carrots, grated carrots, raisins, orange peel, and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl mix flours, sugar substitute, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture. Mix well. Spread into the 9-inch-by-13-inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Using a fork poke holes into the cake in 1-inch to 2-inch spaces. Drizzle orange juice on top of cake. Sprinkle top with pecans. Makes 24 servings.

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