Monday, July 28, 2014

46 Life-Changing Baking Hacks Everyone Needs To Know

46 Life-Changing Baking Hacks Everyone Needs To Know

We do a lot of baking around here. Making things from scratch is cheaper, healthier and generally tastes better to boot. The only thing sratch cooking isn't is easier and faster.

Some good ideas above.

Vacation time is coming up soon. Generally we just buy a bunch of per-prepared foods, but with the price of gasoline, well, we arent even sure we get to do vacation this year. So anywhere I can cut, I need to.

And truthfully, it has always bothered me the far less heathy food. I just figured it was only one week a year and that won't make a lot of difference in the long run. And though that's true, it does make a difference in the short run. During and just after vacation we suffer from more constipation, unexplained crankies, lethargy, etc. So I think over all it will be worth learning to cook while camping.

Hubby, as he ages, isn't as concerned with making good time, or covering a lot of territory anymore. Our trips have become much more relaxed. (Our "normal" is something like

  1. Get up at 5 the first morning.
  2. Be on the road by 6
  3. drive for 9 hours
  4. set up camp as quickly as possible
  5. take a walk, go to a fair, of what ever the local attraction is we are there to see.
  6. Come back to camp and whip up enough whatever to fill tummies.
  7. sleep as soon as it's dark enough to be possible.
  8. wake up and leave as soon as its light in the morning, eating a quick breakfast [cold cereal] somewhere down the road. 
  9. Repeat from number 3)
Not doing this will leave a great deal more time for cooking as long as I don't pick things that take hours.

Though I have (and have read) a dutch oven cookbook I just didn't really feel comfortable trying it. But this weekend at a local event we met a woman cooking a dutch oven...with nothing but hot coals. Desert, too!

This inspired me to ask a lot of question and come home and give it a try. I made a meatloaf in one dutch oven while baking potatoes in a second one on top for supper (I own 3, including my grandma's which is the work horse of my cookware). The meatloaf was not only cooked to perfection, it cooked FASTER  than in my 450 degree oven! (I can't cook any hotter than that in my oven. It starts smoking if I do. Always has. Even when brand new.)

And all that heat was OUTSIDE-  40 feet from the house!

My husband is threatening to throw the oven away and put a cupboard in instead :-D

Since winter will come back eventually I don't think that's a good idea, lol.

But the thought of not heating up the house again until it freezes is tempting.

Tonight (if it doesn't rain) I think I will try frying chicken in my 15" cast iron skillet, set on coals, covered with a pizza pan (the only "lid" that I have that fits this skillet!). I'll put my daughter's rolls (Heavenly!) in a dutch oven on top of that (with coals between), and put an iron pot of beans and ham on that (with a couple of coals on top). Should be interesting:-)

I have discovered the only way to truly keep my house as clean as I like is to clean it myself. Takes about 2 hours for me to do this, calling each child to help as I hit their zone or (part of the) bedroom. It's a lot of work, but I am hoping it gets better as I get things back under control from being at my parents so much lately (dad had back surgery, mom had heavy duty chem, my brother came to visit from southern California). Hopefully the kids get the idea and begin keeping it cleaner and we all get faster.

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