What’s Cooking: Carrot Cake

No one knows where of when carrot cake originated and there are as many stories as there are recipes for this favorite moist cake. It may have originated with carrot pudding, in the Middles Ages when sugar and sweeteners were hard to find or too expensive. Carrots have been long been used as as sweetener. The World Carrot Museum says that a recipe for carrot pudding called T’Khabis al-jazar (Carrots) was found in a 10th century Arabian cookbook. George Washing was served a carrot tea cake at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan on the occasion of British Evacuation Day on November 25, 1783. You can find more about the history of Carrot Cake and recipes at the Carrot Museum website here.

My favorite Carrot Cake recipe is from the Betty Crocker Cookbook that was given to me over 50 years ago by my aunt who couldn’t cook to save her life. It calls for the cake to be baked in a 9″ x 13″ sheet pan but I have baked in two 9″ round cake pans, two 8″ loaf pans and a bundt pan. I even have baked it in a specialty pumpkin shaped cupcake pan and a large round pumpkin shaped sheet pan. You just have to adjust cooking times. All methods call for a 350°F preheated oven.

Pineapple Carrot Cake


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups grated raw carrots (medium grate)

4 large eggs

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained

For the cream cheese frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened

1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13×9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add grated carrots and toss to coat. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, using medium speed of electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla. Add oil and pineapple, mix well. In batches on low speed, add carrot mixture, mix until combined. Pour into your pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

3. To make the cream cheese frosting, run a dry whisk or fork through the powdered sugar to break up any lumps and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, using electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until very smooth. Turn the mixer on low speed and add in the powdered sugar in batches.

4. Cool cake completely, about 1 hour. Frost with the cream cheese frosting.

Expert Tips

To ensure even distribution, coat shredded carrots in flour before stirring into the batter.

After the cake is generously frosting, dust with cinnamon or sprinkle with chopped pecans for a showstopping final look. If you’re really creative set aside some frosting in two small bowls; color one orange and the other greed using Wilton’s food coloring that can be found in stores like Michael’s or Bed Bath and Beyond. Using a pastry back and a round tip large #12. Instruction on how to do it can be found here at the Wilton site. It’s really very simple.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Jeffrey Frankel: Joe Biden looks like a safe pair of hands for the US economy

Contrary to popular belief, Democratic presidents have been better for the economy than Republicans

In a few days, Americans will choose a president. Opinion polling suggests that voters favour former Vice-President Joe Biden when it comes to social policy, foreign policy, the environment and managing the pandemic, not to mention personal character. But until recently, some polls indicated that on the economy, voters favoured Donald Trump.

The general impression that the US economy does better under Republicans than Democrats is long-standing. But the facts do not support it.

In the 16 complete presidential terms since the second world war, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, annual GDP growth averaged 4.3% under Democratic presidents, versus 2.5% under Republicans. Trump’s presidency has pulled down the Republican score further. In fact, average annual growth during his term to date has actually been negative.

Cecile Richards: Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment is a wake-up call for female voters

It’s not only Roe v Wade on the line. Parental leave, affordable childcare, equal pay, the Affordable Care Act – all are under threat

The pandemic and its collateral economic crisis have illustrated like never before that women are the backbone of America. Before Covid-19, women made up more than half the workforce, nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers, and the majority of caregivers. One in three jobs held by women has been designated as essential. Right now, millions of women are pulling off an impossible balancing act: working while trying to keep their families safe and healthy during a terrifying time. Others have lost jobs, have had their wages or hours cut, and more than 800,000 women have left the workforce.

This crisis is disproportionately burdening women, especially women of color. They need immediate relief, but instead of solving this crisis, Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have focused on one thing: pushing through a supreme court nominee who wants to take away healthcare for millions and strip away rights women have had for decades. And they’re doing it against the will of the majority of Americans, who believe that voters should decide who makes the next appointment to the court.

Heather Digby Parton: Progressives and power: If Trump is defeated, the real fight begins

With Amy Coney Barrett, the right won a huge victory. It will take focused, long-term activist power to defeat them

After seeing the spectacle this week of a Supreme Court justice installed just before an election for the express purpose of tilting the result in Donald Trump’s favor — and watching Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s evil threat of “what goes around comes around” take shape — it’s clear that the political battles we’ve been fighting for these past few years won’t be over once the election is decided even if Trump is defeated. The fight is just going to continue on new terrain. [..]

The question, of course, is what happens to all that if they win. You’ll recall that there was a ton of grassroots energy in the center left organized around Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, which was promptly squelched by a combination of top-down direction from the administration and a foolish belief among many of the faithful that their work was done and they could just trust Obama. That’s the natural consequence of a “movement” that’s based upon a charismatic leader.

That’s not going to be an issue this time. Joe Biden is not a charismatic leader, and while people are enthusiastic about ousting the worst president in American history, they are also primed for change in a substantive way. Trump and the Republicans have exposed the rot in our system in a way nothing else could have done.

Amanda Marcotte: Justice Barrett: Culmination of the right’s five-year misogynist temper tantrum

Five long years from “blood coming out of her wherever” to Justice Barrett — but women can finally defeat Trump

It was five years and two months ago that candidate Donald Trump became livid that a mere woman — Fox News host Megyn Kelly — had the temerity to talk back to him, and responded with a vile sexist dig. Kelly is no friend to feminists, but for once in her miserable career as a right-wing troll, she had done the right thing: Standing up to Trump’s sexism. [..]

Now, five-plus years later, Trump and the Republicans are still at it, swearing in Amy Coney Barrett as the newest associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. Barrett isn’t there because she’s especially qualified or intelligent. No, the entire purpose of her nomination in the last days of the campaign is to get in one more giant fuck-you to feminists before the women’s vote throws Trump out on his butt.

It’s all part of the same project: The right is using Trump’s presidency as a weapon to punish women for speaking out against sexism, and to put women in their place.

Of course picking Barrett over any other cookie-cutter right-wing ideologues was about trolling feminists. The “joke” is that they’ve replaced a legendary feminist — the recently departed Ruth Bader Ginsburg — with a woman who believes husbands are the “heads” of their wives and who refused to agree with the 1965 Supreme Court decision that legalized birth control.

Lynn Stuart Parramore: Trump’s ’60 Minutes’ interview underscores America’s ongoing manterrupter problem

Lesley Stahl, like women everywhere, knows that gaining a seat at the table doesn’t mean much if you can’t be heard over the din

The entitled male is hard to shut up. Recent displays of infuriating “manterrupting” illustrate how tough it can be to manage the problem. CBS News journalist Lesley Stahl, in her “60 Minutes” interview Sunday with President Donald Trump, was interrupted, talked over, instructed and lectured about how to speak. Despite — or perhaps because of — her unrattled persistence, Trump finally cut her off completely and walked out of the interview early.

As every woman who has sat seething through a meeting knows, “manterrupting” is real. Social science studies suggest that men interrupt women 33 percent more than they interrupt other men.

Researchers who study this offer three basic categories of response tactics: aggressive, polite and a combination of the two. Effective strategies, ranging from “verbal chicken” to “pause and resume” and the “question sneak attack,” can up women’s chances of having their say among verbally hostile men.

Michael Moore’s Michigan

Michael says it’s ready to rumble.

I give up.

Not who you think.

Trump Is Giving Up
By Ross Douthat, The New York Times
Oct. 20, 2020

Trump has really acted like a Black Sox ballplayer trying to throw the World Series. There are two major issues for voters in this election: the pandemic and the economy. Trump’s numbers on handling the virus are lousy, but his numbers on handling the economy are still pretty good, presumably thanks to both the memory of where the unemployment rate stood before the coronavirus hit and the fact that the flood of Covid-19 relief spending kept people’s disposable income up.

This context suggested an obvious fall campaign strategy: Push more relief money into the economy, try to ostentatiously take the pandemic seriously and promise the country that mask-wearing and relief dollars are a bridge to a vaccine and normalcy in 2021.

Instead Trump has ended up with the opposite approach. He mostly ignored the negotiations over relief money for months, engaging only at a point where he had become so politically weak that both Republican deficit hawks (or the born-again variety, at least) and Democratic free-spenders assume he’ll soon be gone. And meanwhile he’s let himself be drawn ever deeper — especially since his own encounter with the disease — into the libertarian style of Covid-19 contrarianism, which argues that we’re overtesting, overreacting and probably close to herd immunity anyway.

As politics, meanwhile, even more than the mixed messaging on Biden and the missed opportunities on relief spending, the retreat to corona-minimizing is a case study in how the Trump of 2020 has ceded his biggest general-election advantage from 2016 — his relative distance from the ideological rigidities of the anti-government right — and locked himself into a small box with flatterers and cranks.

From these follies the God of surprises might yet deliver him. But every decision of his own lately has been a choice for political defeat.


The Breakfast Club (Country Of The Blind)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

The Statue of Liberty is dedicated in New York; Benito Mussolini takes control of the Italian government; The Cuban Missile Crisis ends; Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and actress Julia Roberts are born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

In the country of the blind the one eyed man is king.

Desiderius Erasmus

Continue reading

When to pull the plug.

“Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

I think about Canada a lot. I could take a canoe from Lubec to Campobello, it’s only about 20 yards and an easy paddle at slack tide.

The ultimate goal would be to gain French Citizenship and end up in Tahiti.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: Trump Tells Coronavirus, ‘I Surrender’

The president plays the climate-denial playbook on a pandemic.

As we head into the final stretch of the election, Covid-19 is on a roll.

Coronavirus cases keep hitting records — among other things, five aides to Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive. Hospitalizations, which lag behind cases, are soaring. And deaths, which lag even further behind, are starting to rise, too. Put it this way: Just between now and Election Day, we’re likely to lose almost twice as many Americans to Covid-19 as died on 9/11.

So how is the Trump administration responding? Actually doing anything about the pandemic is apparently off the table. What we’re getting instead is a multilevel public relations strategy: We’re doing a great job. Anyway, there’s nothing anyone can do. And besides, doctors are faking the numbers so they can make more money.

These are, of course, inconsistent stories, and the smearing of health care workers who put their lives on the line to save others is just vile. But none of this should surprise us.

This is, after all, Donald Trump. Also, we’ve seen this combination of denial, declared helplessness and conspiracy theorizing before: Trump and company are following the same strategy on Covid-19 that the right has long followed on climate change.

Ruth Marcus: Amy Coney Barrett joins a Supreme Court that’s largely out of step with the national consensus

In adding a sixth decidedly conservative justice, the court is slipping further out of sync with the national consensus.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett joins a court dangerously out of sync with the country. The nation is roughly evenly divided politically and has been for decades. Yet the court — now even more so with Barrett’s arrival — is dominated not only by Republican-appointed justices but also by muscularly conservative ones. [,,]

The court serves an important counter-majoritarian role in preserving constitutional protections; we don’t want it to slavishly follow the election returns. But neither is it good for the court to be sharply out of step with the national consensus. That’s bad for the institution and bad for the country.

The court’s makeup is determined by the electoral landscape (control of the presidency and the Senate). But its rulings — on gerrymandering, on campaign finance, on voting rights — help define the contours of that landscape.

As Lederman put it, “there’s a strong — and not coincidental — symbiosis between the Republicans’ long-term, successful efforts to shape the Court and the ability of the GOP to secure success in the political arena beyond what its popular support would naturally produce: the entrenchments are mutually reinforcing.”

Mutually reinforcing, and distinctly unhealthy.

Eugene Robinson: The Trump administration’s covid-19 message: You’re on your own. Try not to die.

The White House’s surrender to the pandemic is the most urgent reason to vote Trump out.

“We’re not going to control the pandemic.”

There you have it from President Trump’s chief of staff, announcement of failure, incompetence and cold indifference. You’re on your own, America. Try not to die.

When Mark Meadows said those words on Sunday morning to CNN’s Jake Tapper, he was stating the obvious: The Trump administration never mounted more than a halfhearted attempt to limit the spread of covid-19, and now has simply given up. Daily reporting of new cases has reached an all-time high, yet Trump flies around the country holding superspreader campaign rallies and claiming that we are somehow “rounding the turn” on the virus. What is that even supposed to mean? What could he possibly be talking about, except a turn for the worse?

There are many, many reasons Americans should vote Trump out of the White House, but perhaps the most urgent is his refusal — or perhaps his inability — to face the reality of covid-19. This election is literally a choice between life and death.

Amanda Marcotte: With one week left, Trump team rolls out new campaign message: Let the coronavirus win

Over 225,000 are dead, but Trump is still committed to his March theory that it’s all a hoax aimed at hurting him

In the last week before Election Day, Donald Trump and his team have decided the best possible message on the coronavirus pandemic is the same one Trump wanted back in the spring.

“I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Bob Woodward in a taped conversation on March 19. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” [..]

Now, with more than 225,000 people dead and 8.6 million infected, all trends make clear that the situation is getting worse, as the U.S. sets new records in transmission rates, dwarfing earlier peaks in the spring and summer. The virus has torn through the White House, infecting Trump and his wife and his son and dozens of others close to the president, including five aides to Vice President Pence whose diagnoses were announced over the weekend.

Despite this, Trump is still committed to the same lie he rolled out in February: The panic is a hoax perpetuated by Democrats and the media to hurt him.

Dean Obeidallah: Obama gives us one of the best reasons to dump Trump

There are just so many reasons why millions want to defeat Donald Trump this election. And now former President Barack Obama, who was back on the campaign trail last week in support of his former Vice President Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris, has served up one more.

In his speeches, Obama highlighted an array of issues that merit dumping Trump, including Trump’s incompetent response to the deadly pandemic and the questions about his business empire. Obama used humor to drive the point home: “Listen, can you imagine, if I had had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for reelection? You think Fox News might have been a little concerned about that?” Obama quipped, “They would have called me ‘Beijing Barry,'” eliciting a wave of car horns beeping in approval at his drive-in rally.

But the moment that deeply resonated with me — and I’m betting with so many others — was when the former President told the crowd that with Biden in the White House, “It won’t be so exhausting.” With Biden and Harris at the helm, said Obama, “you’re not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day.”

One in a Thousand

It”s not lucky at all. That’s the Death rate for Black people from Corona.

How shocked are we?

What Happened?

I’ve turned off the news.

In Animal News

The Breakfast Club (Conned In The USA)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

The Federalist Papers published in New York City; President Theodore Roosevelt is born; Egypian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin win Nobel Peace Prize; Boston Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy.

Fran Lebowitz

Continue reading

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: When Libertarianism Goes Bad

Liberty doesn’t mean freedom to infect other people.

A long time ago, in an America far, far away — actually just last spring — many conservatives dismissed Covid-19 as a New York problem. It’s true that in the first few months of the pandemic, the New York area, the port of entry for many infected visitors from Europe, was hit very hard. But the focus on New York also played into right-wing “American carnage” narratives about the evils of densely populated, diverse cities. Rural white states imagined themselves immune. [..]

Even as New York contained its pandemic, however, the coronavirus surged out of control in other parts of the country. There was a deadly summer spike in much of the Sunbelt. And right now the virus is running wild in much of the Midwest; in particular, the most dangerous places in America may be the Dakotas.

Last weekend North Dakota, which is averaging more than 700 new coronavirus cases every day, was down to only 17 available I.C.U. beds. South Dakota now has a terrifying 35 percent positivity rate. Deaths tend to lag behind infections and hospitalizations, but more people are already dying daily in the Dakotas than in New York State, which has 10 times their combined population. And there’s every reason to fear that things will get worse as cold weather forces people indoors and Covid-19 interacts with the flu season.

But why does this keep happening? Why does America keep making the same mistakes?

Donald Trump’s disastrous leadership is, of course, an important factor. But I also blame Ayn Rand — or, more generally, libertarianism gone bad, a misunderstanding of what freedom is all about.

Heather Digby Parton: Will Trump supporters accept defeat? If he loses, it could get really ugly

Trump’s been telling his fans for weeks that there’s no way he can lose. So they’re primed for a vicious backlash

One of the more interesting (and somewhat confounding) polling results in this election cycle has been the belief among members of both parties that Donald Trump will win re-election, regardless of who they’re actually planning to vote for. His approval rating has been stuck in the low 40s throughout his term, which is unprecedented, and he’s been behind in the polls from the beginning of the campaign. Yet most Americans still remain convinced that he is going to win. [..]

How can this be? Well, of course it all depends on what the definition of “win” is.

The explanation for the Democrats and many Independents is obvious. With all of Trump’s talk about mail-in voter fraud and lawsuits and promises of intimidation at the polls, they believe it’s possible that he will pull out all the stops to create or fake a victory regardless of the legitimate electoral outcome. With his statements to the press that he wants the ninth Supreme Court seat filled in order to ensure a victory, it’s not being all that paranoid to assume it could happen.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are living in an alternate universe in which Trump holds a massive lead in all the polls and is heading for a landslide. They believe this because he tells them that every day.

It’s unlikely we will have full results on election night next week, since some states won’t even begin counting mail-in votes until that day, while others allow ballots to arrive some time after Election Day. There’s certainly the possibility of lawsuits if contests are close. Nonetheless, we will probably know the winner within a few days — Trump’s scenario that it could take “months” is hot air — and it’s worth pondering how the two sides will react.

Charles M. Blow: Trump’s Army of Angry White Men

This group will continue to fight for Trump and he knows that.

This election will test the country’s core.

Who are we? How did we come to this? How did this country elect Donald Trump and does it have the collective constitution to admit the error and reverse it? [..]

Trump is the president of the United States because a majority of white people in this country wanted him to be. Perhaps some supported him despite his obvious flaws, but others undoubtedly saw those flaws as laudable attributes. For the latter, Trump’s racism was welcome in the coven.

Still, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll, more white people support Trump than Biden. This is primarily a function of white men who prefer Trump over Biden 57 percent to 36 percent. Most white women support Biden, which is a reversal from the last election, when a plurality voted for Trump.

The white racist, sexist, xenophobic patriarchy and all those who benefit from or aspire to it are in a battle with the rest of us, for not only the present in this country but also the future of it.

Jennifer Rubin: The media never held Trump responsible for a mass atrocity

This administration has shown reckless indifference to human life on a massive scale.

The mainstream media have fallen short in covering President Trump in many respects — from playing along as if he were sane and coherent, to perpetuating false moral equivalences between Trump and his opponents, to refusing to call his lies “lies.” That’s how we get coverage of the final presidential debate that praises Trump for not interrupting rather than making clear that Trump showed indifference to the deaths of more than 222,000 Americans because of covid-19. Somehow that accurate, verifiable statement is verboten in straight news coverage.

The most extraordinary failure in presidential history — the attempt to disguise and downplay the deaths of more Americans than all the U.S. military deaths from World War I, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined — has not been laid at Trump’s feet. Put aside criminal law for now; this is a moral crime of unimaginable dimensions that should never be erased from the records of Trump and his enablers. What’s more, it is still going on. [..]

We talk about presidential blunders that lead to unnecessary wars, holding them politically and morally account for massive loss of life. Yet in peacetime, we do not apply that same exacting judgment to Trump. You would think the death of thousands upon thousands of Americans would top every story and be addressed in every interview with an administration figure and fellow Republicans. The failure to hold Trump accountable for one of the worst instances of civilian mass deaths in U.S. history stands among the greatest failures of American media.

A Ventilator In Every Pot

My microphone was stuck on my balls.

My entire personality is hating Donald Trump

What will I do now? Hate on Joe Biden and Democrats? Well, yes. The only people I hate more (other than Republicans) are craven, cowardly, mendatious Corporatist Institutional Democrats.

Well, and the Dodgers.


Fart Jokes

I felt the rains

Over the river


No David S. Pumpkins.

Oh, you want news.

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