Monday, June 8, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
(I promise this will be the last pita post this week. Try them. You'll get addicted, too.)
I secretly prefer the taste of white bread, even though I always make wheat.
This whole wheat pita recipe uses 1 part whole wheat flour to 2 parts all purpose flour. If you want a fully whole wheat pita, you would need to add gluten to the ingredients. (I haven't figured out exactly what gluten is...let alone found it in the store yet)
Whole Wheat Pitas (8 whole pitas, 3 hours)
1 1/4 c warm water
1 tsp honey
**If you have a bread machine, put all ingredients into bread machine in order listed. Use the dough cycle. Then skip to Step 3.**
1. In large bowl, combine yeast, honey, and 1/2 c warm water. Let sit for 5 min until foamy. Stir in oil, salt, and remaining water. Gradually mix in flour until a dough forms. Knead 8-10 min until you have a smooth, elastic ball.
4. Place 2-3 rounds at a time, side-by-side, on a cooling wire rack. Bake for 5 minutes or until puffy.
*This recipe can be halved with great results.
Cost: Storemade: $2.98 for 6, Homemade: $0.50 for 8
I will now be making whole wheat pitas instead of white pitas. These were delightfully soft and chewy, yet wholesome. As with the white pitas, they are much cheaper and higher quality than storemade pitas. There really is no comparison when it comes to taste. Of course, storemade pitas are convenient and I'm sure I'll still buy them occasionally. Now I just need to try freezing these!
And yes, the whole wheat ones puff up in the oven just like white ones.
My inspiration: epicurious.com recipe significantly modified directions
Today's Lesson: Always remember to put the blade back on the bread machine. It doesn't work without it. (Yup, had the dough cycle running and randomly noticed the blade sitting on the counter)
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
It doesn't seem like it. Snacking is my downfall.
Pretzels, candy, cookies, pretty much anything on the counter can end up in my stomach during the afternoon.
I've been trying to find healthy snacks. I like dried fruit, but it is so expensive!
Here are my apple chips - a tasty snack - and a good way to use up some of the 10 lbs of apples I bought on sale a couple weeks ago.
I'm such a sucker for sales.
Apple Chips a la Martha Stewart (1 serving (about 20 chips), 3 hours)
1 apple, unpeeled (preferably Granny Smith or Ida Red)
1 c sugar
1 c water
1/2 TB oil
1. Preheat oven to 175. Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, until sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile, core and halve apple. Slice into almost paper-thin pieces using knife or mandolin.
2. Place 5-6 apple slices in sugar water. Simmer for 20 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and place on wire rack to drain. Repeat with remaining apple slices.
3. Lightly brush 1 baking sheet with oil. Arrange apples in single layer. Bake apples until crisp, about 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
*Store chips in airtight container for up to 2 days.
*You can double this recipe by using two apples. You do not need to increase the sugar water solution when doubling the recipe.
Cost: Storemade: $2.98 for a bag (3 servings), Homemade: $0.10 for 1 serving
Homemade apple chips are a satisfying snack. These chips are sweet, yet retain some of the tartness of Granny Smith apples. I was impressed with how the chips did not curl or discolor. In the future, I would make more apples at the same time to make the process more worthwhile. Plus, these are definitely cheaper than storemade chips!
Today's Lesson: Always cook with contacts in or glasses on. Otherwise you might end up putting in only 1/3 the amount of flour needed for chocolate chip muffins and 3 times the amount of lemon juice needed for an apple pie. The muffins turn into buttery, sugary blobs. The pie tastes more like lemons than apples.
You will not be getting either of those recipes.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
2. Place dough in bowl, lightly oil the top, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, until almost doubled.
*Pitas can be refrigerated in a ziploc bag for 2-3 days.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
These were definitely best eaten warm. The brownie is moist and rich. The peanut butter middle just melts into the brownie. I loved the look of the chips on top. Since I had extra melted peanut butter, next time I will drizzle it over the brownie cups to add a fancy touch These would be perfect to take to a party. Clearly there are no health benefits and not much of a cost savings, but the taste makes me forget about that stuff anyways!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
(Lots of people do this, right?)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 c oil
2 tsp vanilla
4 medium bananas, mashed
1 c crushed pineapple, drained
2. In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Add oil, vanilla, banana, and pineapple. Mix.
3. Add flour mixture to large bowl. Stir until combined. Do not overmix; batter should be lumpy.
4. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake regular loaves for 60 min, mini loaves for about 40 or until toothpick comes out clean.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
3. Dip chicken in egg mixture; coat with corn flake mixture. Place chicken on baking sheet. Spray chicken with nonstick spray. Bake 20 min or until golden and cooked through.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
They make me feel all excited like I'm getting a bargain.
Except Wendy's 99 cent Frosties. They are pathetically small.
So I was intrigued when I came across a recipe to make them at home.
The ingredients are REALLY intriguing! No ice cream!
Frosty (Chocolate Milkshake) (4 10 oz servings, 5 min)
1 1/2 c cold water
1 1/2 c dry milk powder (the powder, not reconstitutued)
2/3 c sugar
1/4 c cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
2 TB oil
A 5-second squirt of cooking spray
1 to 1 1/2 trays of ice cubes
1. Put all ingredients into blender, including the 5 second squirt of cooking spray.
2. Blend for 2 full minutes. Pour and enjoy!
** 5/22 Update: If you have extra, freeze it in popsicle makers. It makes great fudgsicles!
Cost: 99 cents for a tiny one (6 oz?) at Wendys, 25 cents for a 10 oz homemade one
Homemade wins. They are cheap and easy to make with basic ingredients. They have a surprisingly rich chocolate taste. Plus, there are none of the inherent problems with milkshakes: the consistency battle and the icy chunks. This homemade Frosty doesn't have the exact smooth texture of a Wendy's Frosty, but it is definitely simple and delicious.
My inspiration: this site also gives variations and tips
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Cost: Storemade cost $2.29, homemade cost exactly $1.00
Overall: This homemade bread wins. I tried the Sara Lee loaf when it first came out and remember thinking, "Hmm, this is okay tasting, but nothing special." This homemade loaf definitely wins in both the taste and cost categories. It was best warm out of the bread machine.
Andy tried it. He said, "It's okay. It's still too dark." He is a man of few words when it comes to food. I thought it was excellent bread. It was soft, yet hearty - a perfect blend of wheat and white. Contrary to Andy's comment, it was a light-colored bread. It wasn't as good with grilled cheese as the white bread, but the honey in it made it a perfect compliment to peanut butter. I would be satisfied eating this bread every week. Time will tell if Andy will feel the same...
Sunday, May 10, 2009
All things in moderation. As much as I love cooking from scratch, there's definitely a time and place for storemade foods.
This weekend we had fast food, cookies made from a bag mix, and Pillsbury pizza crust.
All things in moderation.
But don't worry, you have much to look forward to this week! Banana-pineapple bread, stuffing, microwave popcorn, something with chocolate, and honey wheat bread, which I'm eating right now!
The honey wheat bread is so delicious, I'm going to go get a second piece.
And eat it plain.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Folded-over, half-empty packets of taco seasoning.
I used to find them all over my pantry, often hard as a rock from sitting behind the oatmeal for two months.
I've been making my own taco seasoning for a few months now.
Cost: .75 at the store, .20 at home
This tastes just like the packets of taco seasoning. It's cheap and easy, especially when made in bulk. I often cook only 1/2 lb of ground beef, which makes homemade seasoning even more practical. No more half-empty packets sitting in the pantry!
Most packets of taco seasoning also contain MSG (monosodium glutamate), a controversial additive known to trigger migraines. By making it at home, I don't have to worry about buying a brand without MSG.
Taco Seasoning (makes equal to 1 oz or one packet, which seasons 1 lb of meat)
1 TB chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
For taco meat:
Cook taco meat. Mix spices in cup or small bowl. Drain taco meat. Add spices to meat. Stir in 1/2 TB cornstarch or flour and 2/3 c water. Simmer until thickened.
*To save time, make the seasoning in bulk and store in an airtight container. Use 2 1/2 - 3 TB for each pound of meat.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Maybe that's why I gained 20 lbs in college.
These cookies taste like the Double Chocolate Chip ones.
Except they aren't perfect circles.
(Yes, I used chocolate & white swirled chips in the pictured ones)
Cost: Homemade (At college, I'd pay $1 for 3 little ones. I made 18 of them for $1.)
Not only are these good for rough days, they'll quench any chocolate craving. They have a wonderfully rich chocolate taste. They puffed up in the oven. I expected them to fall when I took them out, but they retained some puffiness. These cookies are best eaten warm, yet they stay soft for a couple days. Considering the price of Spunkmeyer cookies, these were a bargain!
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (4 dozen, 45 min)
1/2 c butter, softenend
1/2 c shortening
1 c white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
2/3 c cocoa
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 c chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In large bowl, beat butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy (at least 30 seconds).
3. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture until combined. Add chocolate chips and mix well.
4. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 min. Cool for 3-5 minutes before removing to wire rack
*It is easy to overbake chocolate cookies! Take them out when they appear mostly set.
*If you don't allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for long enough, they'll fall apart on your rack
*I use 1/2 c butter and 1/2 c shortening. I find it helps them retain their shape and softness, but you could sub any combination of margarine, butter, and shortening.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009