One of my favorite things to do is cook and bake. I love trying new recipes and coming up with my own recipe. I can remember growing up that my mom loved her Betty Crocker Cook Book. She had I spent endless hours in the kitchen. My parents honestly taught me everything I know about cooking and I really am thankful for that.
Lately I have been on a baking spree. The kids and I have been baking treats at least three times a week. Just a few weeks a go the church we attend had a family fun day that included a cake walk. I signed up to make a cake for it, when I dropped it off the lady that took it commented on how good it looked, I told her it was really easy to make and she asked what mix it was. I said not a mix, it was made from scratch, including the frosting. This lead into a rather long conversation on how baking from scratch was so hard and she just does not know how I do it. Needless to say this blog post has been inspired by that conversation.
While baking from a box may be more convenient it is not nearly as tasty or fun! In an effort to cut down on my grocery bill and make sure that my kids are eating a really healthy diet I have been making everything from scratch. Last week I came up with my own recipe for banana, apple spice and blueberry muffins. Each of the recipes used wheat flour and fresh fruit. They were delicious, fairly easy to make and the kids loved them. Below is the recipe for the apple spice muffins.
Apple spice muffins:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 large baked apple
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon of apple pie spice
Start by baking an apple, I simply slice in half, removed the seeds and bake face down on a cookie sheet with a little bit of water on 250 degrees until the apple is soft. After baking you will want to get out the food processor and using the pulse setting, pulse about four times, you want it to be a little chunky still.
Using a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry items and mix well, next beat in both eggs, then add your apple sauce and apples.
Bake the muffins at 350 degrees for about 30 mins or until a tooth pick comes out clean, enjoy!
Another thing that is super easy to make and will save you money is pancakes. I make them in large batches ahead of time and freeze them. Simply throw them in the oven for about 5 mins at 250 degrees and they are good to go. I use this pancake recipe:
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
I usually add blueberries into mine and if you like pumpkin pancakes you can also use the above recipe and add a can of pumpkin and a little cinnamon, they are very good that way.
Once you get into the swing of cooking from scratch you will be surprise how easy it really is. One of my husband’s favorite breakfast dishes is biscuits and gravy. I made some for him last week, first time making them at home (normally he treats himself once a month and gets them at a local cafe) and he said it was the best he has ever had and will not want to buy it anymore.
Start by making a simple buttermilk biscuit. I usually start my gravy while they are baking. Using a good breakfast sausage and a large skillet, cook the sausage like normal. When it done pour in four cups of whole milk, two tablespoons of butter and 4 tablespoons of flour. The trick to stop your gravy from getting lumpy is to add the flour one tablespoon at a time, if after four tablespoons it is thicker then you like, simply add a little more milk. Use pepper to taste. Pour over warm biscuits and enjoy.
I really recommend that everyone tries their hand at cooking and baking from scratch, you will be very pleased at how easy it really is and how much better everything really is when home made.