Decadent Carrot Cake

Most of us generally serve the traditional pies over the holidays and even though Carrot Cake is a popular item, many stay away from it because it's high in fat and calories.  I found a recipe you won't feel guilty about using some great substitutions and it's just as delicious.



  • 20-ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots, (4-6 medium)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)
  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut chips to sprinkle on top if you like


To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Drain pineapple in a sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids. Reserve the drained pineapple and 1/4 cup of the juice.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and the 1/4 cup pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and 1/4 cup coconut. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare frosting & finish cake: Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk. Whole-wheat pastry flour is lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour which has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods.

Scrumptious Honey Oat Bread

Thanks to my friends over at here's a bread recipe you might want to consider baking up this holiday season because it's not only different but, quick to prepare, sweet, moist and nutritional.

2 tablespoons plus 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, or quick-cooking (not instant) oats, divided
1-1/3 cups whole-wheat flour, or white whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
8 ounces (scant 1 cup) nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
1 large egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup clover honey, or other mild honey
3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat milk

1. Position rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°F. Generously coat a 9”x 5” (or similar size) loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon oats in the pan. Tip the pan back and forth to coat the sides and bottom with oats.

2. Thoroughly stir together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, beat the remaining 1 cup oats, yogurt, egg, oil and honey in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in milk. Gently stir the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture just until thoroughly incorporated but not over-mixed (excess mixing can cause toughening). Immediately scrape the batter into the pan, spreading evenly to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon oats over the top.

3. Bake the loaf until well browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes. (It’s normal for the top to crack.) Let stand in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a table knife around and under the loaf to loosen it and turn it out onto the rack. Let cool until barely warm, about 45 minutes.


Protecting Your Skin This Winter


Don’t know about you, but the thought of Jack Frost nipping at my nose, contending with frigid temps and snow drifts higher than my 5 foot frame does not make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  

I wouldn’t say I was a “Humbug” about this changing season as there is nothing more beautiful than an untouched landscape of pristine, virgin snow that glitters like diamonds in the sunlight.  Winter does a heck of a number on our skin, however, and if not cared for properly, can cause some damaging effects.  Frigid air lacks humidity and dries up natural oils in your skin, causing it to lose its moisture.  Blustering winds can cause chafing windburn and indoor heating systems can prove a culprit as well. 

So what’s a girl to do?  Here are some tips on protecting your skin this winter.
  •  Suppose to be doing this anyways – water – water – water – at least 8 glasses a day
  • Use a soap for sensitive skin this time of year
  • Wet clothes can irritate so, change right away from winter activities & exercising outdoors
  • Use laundry detergents pure of perfumes and dyes
  • Don’t soak/shower long in hot water
  • Moisturize your skin while it’s still damp after bathing
  • Use petroleum jelly on skin exposed to long periods of cold, wind and sun
  • UV rays are just as strong so, protect your skin with at least an SPF 15