Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

PBS recently compared healthy and unhealthy fruits and veggies to buy. Go to to see the details. How does this have to do with frugality? Produce as many on the dirty list as you can that your family eats - using no or little pesticides, then bottle them or freeze them and you've got your organic version. Good luck. Never too early to start thinking about that Spring garden. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Food Co-op

I'm sad to say I had to take the link to the Crossroads Urban Center Food Co-op off of my site. This is their last month. It's not financially sustainable; which is sad. Very sad. Thank you Food Co-op for many months of fun produce I may not have tried on my own; great local honey and wonderful Nutty Guys samplers. Our home will miss you.

Homemade Cake Mixes - good for dry mix on top too

I did some research to make cake mixes from scratch and got these two. You can do all the dry ingredients ahead of time and then mix them up - just like store bought- later.


Making Your Own Cake Mix
I never buy commercial cake mixes, but I do make my own cake mixes because they’re great for those times when I’m really in a hurry, need something for snacks or dessert, and have little time for baking. The from scratch cake mix I like best of all is for an easy but delicious chocolate cake. I double the recipe and make up several bags of this mix at a time. It’s as simple as measuring the dry ingredients — 3 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, 8 tablespoons of cocoa, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, and 2 teaspoons of salt — into plastic bags. To make the cake mix into cake, add 2 cups of cold water, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 3/4 cup of oil, and stir just enough so the wet and dry ingredients are completely mixed… and that’s it!
Each bag of this cake mix makes two dozen cupcakes or two eight inch square cakes. I hope you will try this, because although this recipe is simple, the cake is wonderful. It is everyone’s favorite chocolate cake here!
I like to heat-seal or vacuum-seal the bags because then they can be stored flat and don’t take up much space in the cupboard, but of course you could also use Ziploc bags or bags with twist ties. I put a label on each bag listing the wet ingredients to be added and the amounts.



How to make Homemade Yellow Cake Mix:(This is the standard size mix for recipes calling for an 18.25 ounce mix.)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and non-fat dry milk. Store in an airtight container or baggie. Keeps well in the pantry for months!

To replace in recipes calling for a standard-size 18.25 ounce store-bought yellow cake mix:
Use in any recipe calling for a yellow cake mix as a base (add 1 teaspoon vanilla to the recipe along with the cake mix as the recipe will assume vanilla was included in the store-bought mix).
Or to make a basic yellow cake, use the following instructions.

Cake mix directions:.
1 recipe Homemade Yellow Cake Mix
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs

Place Homemade Yellow Cake Mix in a bowl. Add water, vanilla, butter, and eggs. Combine with an electric mixer then beat two more minutes. Pour into a greased and floured cake pan. Bake at 350-degrees, using these baking times (watch carefully as your oven may vary–test for doneness using a toothpick):
8″ or 9″ cake rounds — 20-25 minutes
13 x 9 pan — 35-40 minutes
cupcakes — 12-15 minutes
tube/bundt pan — 45-50 minutes
Don’t over bake! You’ll dry out your cake.

Enjoy! No preservatives and additives and coloring included.

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