Saturday, April 4, 2009

To Bake or Not To Bake?

Today I have an author chat at my local library. All Library Friend's Members who are attending were asked to bring a snack to share. Last night, as I thought about what to bring, I decided I had a choice. My husband and kids were out for the night. I could call them to buy something at the supermarket bakery...or I could bake something myself. Did I really feel like baking? It takes some time and it messes up the kitchen.

Obviously, the frugal choice was to bake something. This is also the healthier choice. No preservatives and I control what goes into my creation. So I shuffled to my kitchen to take inventory. I always have basic supplies; flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, yeast (bought by the pound and stored in the freezer), cocoa powder, etc.

Perusing my kitchen, I noticed some spotted bananas. My husband only likes greenish bananas (yuck) and my daughter has a smoothie every morning with bananas. I just bought another bunch of green bananas that day for next week. The decision was made...banana bread! Going to my trusty Betty Crocker Cookbook (someone bought me it at my wedding shower 22 years ago); I went to the well worn page with the Banana Bread recipe. Stained with oil from many, many years of use; I viewed my favorite bread recipe and got to work.

Fifteen minutes later, my bread was in the oven. With the addition of Flax Seed Meal and oil not butter, my healthy and delicious bread was doing its magic in the oven. But banana bread takes 50 minutes to cook and is in a very small loaf pan. My family will be walking in and smelling the bread and wanting some. There is a problem. I am taking that bread to the library tomorrow.

Grabbing my recipe box, I knew I needed something for them when they walked in the door. I went to my mother's recipe for Wowie Cake (also know as the Crazy Cake, Depression Era Cake or Cocoa Vinegar Cake). This cake is the best chocolate cake! Everyone who has tried this cake has wanted another piece. It is my "go to" cake. In 10 minutes, I was able to get the chocolate cake in the oven with my banana bread.

In less than 30 minutes of hands on work, I was able to get two treats in the oven. As expected, my family walked in the door and immediately went to the kitchen and all ate a piece of cake while telling me about the events of the evening.

Everyone needs a few "go to" recipes to whip up quick meals and quick treats with little work. Look over recipe books and recipe sites (my favorite site is You will be glad you have an small inventory of quick, easy favorites.

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