Monday, February 11, 2008

a question, a recipe, an experiment and an idea

First, does anyone know what you can substitute for shortening? I don't like using it (the whole hydrogenated oil thing) but I don't know what to use for a substitute (Shanna I like the idea of using applesauce whenever it says to use liquid oils). So that leads me to the next thing...our favorite breakfast food around here...which is why I was asking about the above question -

Grandma's Banana Bread Muffins (with some added nutrition):

1 cup sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup flour (unbleached)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed
3 medium bananas
2 eggs
4 T sour milk*
pinch of salt

Put bananas in mixer and mash, then add the rest of the ingredients. Bake 12-15 minutes in muffin tins at 325 degrees.
*In 1/4 cup put 1T vinegar and then add milk to fill.

My experiment (which I will have to wait to make until I get back from my trip to St. Louis) is to make my own yogurt. A friend gave me a recipe and it is so easy. All you need is a candy themometer. So I will fill you in on how it turns out. It would be so much cheaper and so healthy. I have been buying plain yogurt lately for the kiddo's and myself and adding my own fruit and little honey to sweeten it. And yogurt here is so expensive. So I will let you know in a few weeks when I try it out.

And lastly my idea is similiar to the idea that Lisa has started with posting your weekly menu. I found this magnetic paper pad at Wal-Mart for a dollar and have used it to jot down my menu for the week...leaving a couple of days for leftovers. And it's flexible (like Shanna said you can just switch meals around or move it to the next day if you happen to go out for dinner, etc.) The nice thing is I look at the menu and know what I need to take out to defrost that morning or have the day to get extra ingredients that I don't have...rather than waiting an hour before dinner and not having enough time to defrost anything or run to the grocery store last minute because I don't have a certain ingredient. Although I am not consistent in using it (because I forget) but the weeks I have remembered, I actually enjoying cooking that week.


Tabitha said...

So I was researching online about what to use instead of shortening. Some people think using applesauce is still a good substitute for shortening if the baked good does not need to be super light but can be a little dense.
Other say margarine but I just think YUCK because that's pretty much plastic.

shanna said...

Yeah, that's a great question Erin. I have pretty much just looked for another recipe if it called for shortening b/c I wasn't so sure about the applesauce. The muffins tonight were pretty light (even though they had applesauce in them) but it does seem like it makes things a little more dense sometimes. Anyway, maybe you could try it and let us know?
I would love to hear about the yogurt. It is really expensive. We use plain yogurt as a substitute for sour cream (on things-like mexican food, and in things that I cook.) I haven't had a problem so far and now, sour cream is too rich. Weird how you get used to things.

Joc said...

My sister-in-law in Brazil makes yogurt every morning with her fresh cow milk. Actually, my 14 yr old nephew does it most of the time, and it was so good when we were down there. It tasted better than the store-bought stuff, of course! Especially with fresh tropical fruit.
Oh, and I use shortening. Not even once a month, but a few times a year I splurge on my favorite recipes that use it. My grandma's banana bread even calls for it. I haven't found anything at all that will react the same texturally that it does. So I say, if you don't want to use it, try a different recipe! Otherwise, very little in moderation is my motto!