Wednesday, January 30, 2008

scritch scratch

These recipes completely fit my worldview. We should be able to eat comfort food, delicious, not-particularly nutritionally admirable food (ok, not plants), without worrying about evil ingredients far worse than a little sugar or fat (what, really, is Velveeta? cheese food? and why did anyone create partially hydrogenated vegetable oil when sticks of butter are there for the melting? c'mon...PHVO! faux!). I so totally am going to make the following...

via A Mighty Appetite, a recipe for queso without the Velveeta

via not martha, recipe for homemade samoas at baking bites (you know, the most universally beloved of the Girl Scout Cookies? and depending on the caramels you choose to bake with, you can avoid trans fats despite the worthless Girl Scout cookie vendors who decided to stick with the original scary-ass artery clogging ingredients)

Just to rant, altho the Samoas cookie box may say "trans-fat free" that's just a loophole; anything under half a gram of trans fats doesn't count for labeling purposes. CSPI captures my dilemma nicely (emphasis mine):

That's something for cookie fans to keep in mind as they open a box, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"If it says zero grams, but contains partially hydrogenated oil, people should know it does contain a little bit of trans fat," Jacobson said. "If somebody ate several servings of those foods a day, someone could consume 2 or 3 grams of trans fat, which is significant."

If someone ate, say, a row of Samoas at a time? Because a serving of Samoas is only two measly cookies. If someone tended to purchase, oh, a case of Samoas at a time, much to the delight of the local Brownie troop? That someone should make their own Samoas! I hear that unlike PHVO! faux! untouchables, butter-laden cookies are best eaten in multiples. Ahem.

And since really I am just a hair away from Little House on the Prairie myself, here are a couple utilitarian recipes I want to share that I've used for the past five years (read: since kids) to save time, $, and stay whole-grain. I may love the (organic) Fatty McFat cheese dip (fats are good for brain development!) but I avoid the White Flour like the plague. Inconsistent, yes, I know.

I originally got these bulk recipes during a short-lived Flylady fascination, but the titles are links to the original recipes, which belong to Leanne Ely over at Saving Dinner. I've adapted them but they are pretty close to hers, which teach you how to make your own breakfast mixes. In general, I am indebted to Leanne for introducing me to whole wheat pastry flour -- substituting it for white flour in pretty much any recipe gives you the whole grains without the heaviness of plain whole wheat flour. I might even try to use it in the Samoas recipe....

Pancake/waffle mix:

8 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (stone ground)
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (blend in your blender till powdered)
5 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt

This will make four quarts. Mix all together in a very large bowl and divvy up into gallon sized freezer storage bags. Mark the date with a Sharpie pen and keep it in the freezer. Write the following instructions right on the bag.

To make pancakes or waffles:

1 cup pancake mix
1 egg
1/2 to 2/3 cup milk (start with the lesser amount first and add if you need to)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, stir mix with milk, egg and vegetable oil. Heat your griddle and make your pancakes as usual! To make waffles, double the batter. We are pretty big fans of adding a cup of frozen blueberries to the batter.

Basic Muffin Mix
Makes 11 cups

8 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg

Combine everything in a large bowl and divide into freezer zipper topped bags. Mark date with a Sharpie pen and store in the freezer or cool dry place. Write following directions on the bag:

To make muffins:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together 3 cups baking mix, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup berries, raisins, chocolate chips or whatever else you'd like.

Bake in a prepared muffin pan-that means lightly greased, filling cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Cool for five minutes in the pan then turn out on to a rack to cool. Makes about 12 muffins, depending on the size of your muffin tin.


Melanie said...

I'm a big believer in from-scratch. I saw that link for homemade samoas and wanted to make it! Did you make them yet?

MamaBird said...

Not yet! Soon -- whenever my children stop torturing me in the night with their demanding barfing and needing fever relief and whatnot.