This was how Kristine announced on Facebook that we would be getting together for our annual “3B weekend”, basketball, beer and bad food.
I just got back from my annual trip to Virginia to visit daughter, Kristine and enjoy the first weekend of March Madness basketball. We always have a great time watching one basketball game after another, probably imbibing a little more beer than we need to, and eating foods that are so very, very good but probably not really good for the waistline.
Throughout the weekend we do try to balance our caloric intake with good, waistline friendly foods with Kristine preparing dishes using Cooking Light or Weight Watchers recipes. So to start off our weekend we combined both ideas.
Once Kristine got home from work, we were off at one of my very favorite places to go on the night I arrive, the Fairlington Pizza Shop. I always order the turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato sandwich on toasted white bread and Kristine orders a yummy gyro. I know, I know, but the sandwich has become for me a wonderful comfort food after a long day of getting to the airport, sitting for hours on the plane, getting luggage, and taking a taxi ride to Kristine’s house. I don’t want to cook, I don’t want Kristine to cook, just sit with our sandwiches and work on our brackets!
Sandwiches done, Kristine decided to make a sweet treat from her Weight Watchers cookbook, for later. What she prepared was a delicious five-spice carrot cake that was just yummy.
Five-spice carrot cake-Weight Watchers
1 ½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
¼ cup of reserved pineapple juice
2 carrots, shredded
¼ cup raisins
¼ pound fat-free cream cheese
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon low-fat (1%) milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Sift flour, baking powder, five-spice powder, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl.
- Combine granulated sugar, egg, egg white, oil, and ginger in large bowl. Add flour mixture and stir just until combined. Stir in pineapple and reserved liquid, carrots, and raisins. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on rack.
- Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and milk in medium bowl just until blended and smooth. Spread on top of cooled cake. Cut into 12 squares.
Nutritional information: (1 square): 171 Calories, 3g Total Fat, 0g Sat Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 19mg Cholesterol, 304mg Sodium, 33g Carbohydrates, 18g Sugar, 1 g Fiber, 4g Protein, 62mg Calcium.
I watched as Kristine prepared the cake and wondered what ‘five-spice powder’ was. She explained that it was a combination of spices primarily used in Chinese cooking. It was very pungent and aroma in the kitchen as the cake was baking was wonderful. Kristine and I both are not big fans of cooked raisins, so she decided not to add to the batter. The cake turned out moist and, I loved the tiny piece of carrot and pineapple throughout the cake.
Dinner and dessert done, we glanced over the sports page and started working on our brackets but not sharing our picks. After all, we enter a yearly pool and did not want to reveal who we thought would take the top prize until after we posted.
The weekend was just starting and already I was having a great time and the madness is just beginning. Stay tuned.