Tags Posts tagged with "recipes"


Traditional Carrot Cake

By Heidi Sutton

In honor of National Carrot Cake Day, Feb. 3, here is a traditional take on the timeless treat using everyday ingredients. This cake is so easy to make, perfectly moist, and topped with an easy homemade cream cheese frosting. Then try this cream cheese bar recipe that combines the spiced sweetness of traditional carrot cake with creamy, smooth cheesecake for an irresistible dessert.

Traditional Carrot Cake

Traditional Carrot Cake

YIELD: Makes 10 to 12 servings


2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegetable oil

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded

1 cup crushed pineapple with juice

2/3 cup walnuts


2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Heat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. In mixing bowl, cream together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Gradually add in carrots and crushed pineapple. Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and beat until smooth. Fold in walnuts.

Pour batter into two lightly greased 8-inch round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely. Remove cakes from pans and slice off tops to level cakes.

To make frosting: In mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually add in powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Spread two large spoonfuls frosting over top of one cake and stack second cake on top. Frost entire cake with remaining frosting.

Carrot Cake Swirled Cream Cheese Bars

Carrot Cake Swirled Cream Cheese Bars

YIELD: Makes 24 bars


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided

2 cups sugar, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs, divided

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon lemon extract


Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix 1 cup each of flour and sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Add oil, 2 eggs, vanilla extract and carrots; mix well. Spread 1/2 of the batter into greased and floured 13×9-inch baking pan. Reserve remaining batter. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar in another large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add milk, remaining 2 tablespoons flour and lemon extract; beat until well blended. Add remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended.

Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture and reserved carrot cake batter, alternately, over carrot cake batter in pan. Cut through several times with knife for marble effect.

Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Vegetable soup and flaxseed bread

By Heidi Sutton

Homemade soup and home-baked bread are the most basic cold-weather comfort foods. Life doesn’t get any better and lunch/dinner doesn’t get any easier with the following delicious tried and true healthy vegan and gluten-free recipes to start the New Year on the right foot.

Vegetable Soup

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


2  stalks celery,

2 carrots, sliced.

1medium onion, diced

1 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups vegetable broth

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup farro

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

1 15-ounce can chili beans , undrained

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed


Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil in a 5-quart pot. Add celery, carrots, onions and salt. Saute for 10 minutes. Add garlic. Combine vegetable broth, tomatoes and enough water to make 6 to 7 cups. Add liquid to pot. Stir in farro and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add mixed vegetables and beans, and cook, uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve with flaxseed bread.

Note: This soup freezes well.

Flaxseed Bread

YIELD: Makes 1 loaf


1 package rapid rise yeast

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup ground flaxseeds

1/3 cup old fashioned oats

1/3 cup toasted sunflower seed kernels ( to toast, put on cookie sheet and bake for 7 minutes at 350 degrees)

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup lukewarm water, about 110 degrees

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons honey


Let yeast bloom in warm water in a small bowl. Combine dry ingredients in stand mixer bowl. Add all liquids. Mix with dough hook to make soft, slightly sticky dough. Do NOT add more flour.

Put dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled.

Punch dough down. Roll into a 9” by 14” rectangle. Roll up tightly from 9” end. Put roll into a greased 9” by 5” loaf pan, smooth side up. Cover with towel or plastic wrap. Let rise until dough is 3/4” above the pan.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake bread for 33 minutes. Turn out unto a rack immediately. If desired, rub a pat of vegan butter over the hot bread to make crust shiny.

Note: Flax seed is high in Omega-3 and-6, and is know to reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

These recipes were originally published in TBR News Media’s Prime Times supplement on Jan. 26.

Mint Brownies

Lucky Mint Brownie Perfection

Courtesy of Family Features

How lucky you must be to come across this recipe just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! This one is a twisted combination of mint and sweet chocolate that’s sure to have almost anyone’s taste buds screaming “yum.” This dessert might just be the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow this year.

These Mint Brownies have three delicious layers. First, a supreme brownie on bottom. Then a fluffy, green mint layer that’s full of flavor and color. Last, but definitely not least, a chocolate layer on top made with chocolate chips, butter and a little whipping cream.

All of these layers create a smooth, sweet, minty, bite-sized dessert perfect for any occasion but especially St. Patrick’s Day. The green mint color really pops off the plate, giving it some extra flare and an appetizing glow.

Mint Brownies

Servings: 9-12

Nonstick cooking spray

1 box supreme brownie mix with chocolate syrup pouch

3 tablespoons water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg


3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup whipping cream

5 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

5 drops green food color


1/2 cup whipping cream

1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter


Heat oven to 350 F.

Spray 8-by-8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix brownie mix, water, oil and egg until combined. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 35 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

To make filling: In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, whipping cream, cream cheese, peppermint extract and food coloring. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until set.

To make topping: In saucepan, melt whipping cream, chocolate chips and butter until smooth. Cool until lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Pour over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate 2 hours, or until set.

Before serving, let brownies set 10 minutes at room temperature.

Tips: Cut brownies with wet knife for cleaner cuts. Store covered in refrigerator.

Fresh Pea Soup

By Barbara Beltrami

If you’re thinking of not bothering to read this because you have better things to do than shell peas, relax. This article is about those emerald green ones that are an early spring crop and that you buy, if you happen to be  into shelling peas, in the produce department. Otherwise, you buy them frozen, and they’re almost as good, certainly good enough for the recipes that follow. If you think peas are half of the vegetable called peasandcarrots that you grew up with, think again. This is about fresh pea soup with mint, a lovely spring dish served hot or warm and a refreshing summer dish, served cold. It’s about pasta with peas, asparagus and arugula and, yes, for nostalgia’s sake, it’s even about peasandcarrots but in a tangy rice salad.

Fresh Pea Soup

Fresh Pea Soup

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups chopped Vidalia onion

1 cup chopped fresh fennel

4 to 5 cups chicken broth

Two 10-ounce packages frozen peas or 5 cups shelled fresh peas

½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

½ cup heavy cream


In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and fennel and, stirring frequently, cook over medium-low heat until they begin to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth, peas, parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper; then cook 10 minutes over medium heat until vegetables are tender but peas are still bright green. Reserve two tablespoons peas. 

Let soup cool 10 minutes; puree in batches in blender or food processor until smooth. Return to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until just bubbling. Remove from heat. Ladle into soup tureen or individual soup plates; swirl in cream and garnish with reserved peas. Serve hot, warm or cold with soft rolls, tomato and cucumber salad and a crisp, dry white wine.

Spaghetti with Peas, Asparagus and Arugula

YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 bunches scallions, top third discarded, bottom two-thirds cleaned and sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

½ cup dry white wine

¾ cup chicken broth

1½ bunches asparagus, cleaned, bottoms of stalks removed, then sliced diagonally cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound thin spaghetti

One 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed, or 2 cups shelled fresh peas

One 10-ounce package sugar snap  peas, thawed

1 bunch arugula, washed, destemmed and torn into bite-size pieces

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; add olive oil. Add scallions and cook over medium heat until they are soft but not brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and white wine; cook over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced to a glaze. Add chicken broth, stir and remove from heat. 

Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling water until tender but still bright green about 5 minutes. Remove asparagus from water and set aside; reserve water. Cook spaghetti according to package directions in water from asparagus, then drain and place in skillet with scallions, garlic, wine and broth. Heat over medium low flame and toss with thawed peas and snap peas. 

When heated through, place in large pasta bowl, and toss with arugula, the one-third cup oil, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Serve warm with crusty Italian bread, sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

Cold Basmati Rice Salad with PeasandCarrots

YIELD: Makes 8 servings.


5 to 6 cups cooked basmati rice

2 cups thawed frozen peas or 2 cups cooked shelled fresh peas

2 cups cooked diced fresh carrots

2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves

2 scallions, finely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed    lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be served at room temperature or cold with meat, poultry or fish.