Monday, March 22, 2010

Where's the Butter?

Every Tuesday I have the opportunity to bake several desserts for the Wednesday night dinners for the church where my dad heads up the food ministry. It is so much fun to try new things! I really enjoy baking, but I don't get to nearly as often as I would like. This is a fun day for me because I can fine-tune my baking skills. I find myself discussing new recipes I've liked quite often, and I have shared them numerous times. So, I thought this might be an ideal place I could send people to when they request one.

Now, just a few explanations. Isaac and I are trying to shift our lifestyles to a healthier, more self-sustaining diet and lifestyle. I haven't bought processed food in awhile, and I'm trying to fix meals focused on whole, real food. Now this is a subject I could go on and on about, but I'll save that for another posting. Basically, I want you to know that in general, these are not low carb, low fat, low food, fake butter, fake sugar, processed baked goods. (As a matter of fact, if a recipe calls for 'Bisquick' or 'boxed mix cake' I pretty much snub my nose and keep on looking. Because really, how am I supposed to learn how to bake using those? But I digress...) My basic motto is 'everything in moderation' and I don't think real butter is what's making our nation fat - so I use it.

That being said, the church buys my supplies for their baked goods, and well, they're on a budget. So that stuff is made with the cheapest of everything, including using margarine. Therefore many of my recipes I've tried with various ingredients. I rarely have something bomb so badly I'm embarrassed to serve it though. Anyway, as you peruse any of my recipes, the modern-day person may guffaw at how fattening some of these things may sound, but in moderation, I really don't think a lot of this is as bad for you as McDonald's/Hamburger Helper/Trix/Ramen Noodles/Soda...blah blah blah.

Basically, make your own call, use whatever type of ingredients you prefer (processed or real). I've pretty much used them all when it comes to baking these recipes. In the end, I try not to let even eating healthy become an idol, but to be a way of living that brings glory to God. Now, without further ado, here are a couple recipes I tried this week:

Peanut Butter Cookies
(from Fabulous Cookies, by Hilaire Walden)
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Cup crunchy peanut butter
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In another bowl, mix the egg and vanilla, then gradually beat into the butter mixture. Stir in the peanut butter and blend well. Stir in the dry ingredients. Chill for at least 30 minutes, until firm. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 baking sheets. Spoon out rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough and roll into balls. Place balls on the prepared baking sheets and press flat with a fork into circles about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, making a criss-cross patter. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly colored. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

*I thought these were awesome! This is about the 3rd pb cookie recipe I've tried, and it wins hands-down. Also, I used creamy pb instead of crunchy and they were still great.

Peach Cobbler
(Paula Deen, Food Network)

This was soooo good! Now, I haven't baked that many cobblers, but it was wonderful. It was fairly easy too. (As easy as peeling peaches gets, anyway.) This week I substituted 4 cups of mixed frozen blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. The first time I made it I had less than 4 cups of peaches, so I used a flat 2-quart rather than the 3-quart she recommends. It turned out great. Then, when I actually had the 4 cups of fruit, I used the 3-quart and it didn't cook quite right. There were too many variables to know what went wrong, but it seemed to take forever to cook. It tasted fine, but wasn't nearly as pretty as the first one in the flatter dish as opposed to the deeper one. Just an fyi.


No comments: