Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Blessings, Darlings!

Being broke is one thing - feeling deprived is another.  The Chubby Hubby is happy that I'm making sure he doesn't feel like he's broke AND on a diet.  Instead, I'm 'medicating' our stress by baking nummies.  Lots of nummies.  From scratch.

But now that we're several weeks into Even Harder Times, my recipes are changing.  Last week I had to decide if I was going to buy butter or shortening for baking with.  I went with shortening.  In recipes that call for butter I'm now using half butter and half shortening.  For recipes that call for shortening, I'm using shortening.

The shortening container (all vegetable shortening, BTW) does creative measuring, using a serving size just small enough that they don't have to say it has trans fats in it.  I'm not falling for that trick, but I'm still buying the stuff.  Even if I wasn't using it in the baking now, I'd still use it in pie crusts, because having been raised Jewish I just can't do leaf lard crusts.

Back to the baking at hand:  the first cupcakes I baked to perk him up was from a recipe, probably from America's Test Kitchen.  It called for four eggs and two sticks of butter, among the other ingredients.  The Chubby Hubby LOVED them.  The spawn and I found the distinct egg flavor and stiff - even rubbery - texture off-putting.

To keep the baked goods going, and keep all of us happy, I'm switching cookbooks.  Farewell, America's Test Kitchen, hello Betty Crocker!

The Betty Crocker cookbook is probably the oldest cookbook we own.  The Chubby Hubby bought it when he was still single (along with some Sunset Cookbooks). We still use it heavily.  It contains the duct tape of cooking - the standard recipes that hold a kitchen together.

From Betty, I decided to do the One Egg Cake recipe, in cupcake form.  Only one egg, not four eggs, only 1/3 cup of 'soft shortening' (that means regular vegetable shortening to you and me), not two sticks of butter.  The recipe DID make 3 less cupcakes than the other recipe, but the taste and texture made the Spawn and me happier, and the Chubby Hubby was content if not ecstatic.

Neither recipes cupcakes needed any frosting, BTW.  They rocked standing alone.

Oh, the Spawn has made his first yeast dough baking - soft pretzels - and he did a WONDERFUL job.  He followed Alton Brown's recipe.

Next, we will either bake brownies (both America's Test Kitchen and Betty Crocker have easy cheap ingredient recipes) or I'll add chopped semisweet chocolate to the one egg cupcake recipe.

On a TOTALLY unrelated note - I've dropped 3 pounds since moving.  I think it's all the stairs. It's certainly not my diet....

Frondly, Fern

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