Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bits & Bobs

Applesauce As Replacement For Oil

Have you ever used applesauce instead of the oil in a recipe for baked goods?  I've done this for recipes in the past, but just the other day I read that you should add an extra ½ teaspoon of baking powder to make up for the loss of leavening power.  Why have I not heard that until just now??  Especially since I love cooking tips/advice and have read tons of them. 

Read The Directions!

I had a disappointment last week because I wasn't paying attention... I attempted to make bean soup in the slow cooker, but when we got home it didn't look right.  I tasted it and it wasn't done at all.  I forgot that bean soup needs to simmer to properly rehydrate those dry beans.  Last time I made it, it cooked in a pot on the stove on a weekend afternoon, which I had completely forgotten about. So a couple days later I got the soup on the stove in the morning to simmer for an hour and let it finish in the slow cooker all day.  It turned out fine, but that was really frustrating, especially since I was looking forward to soup for dinner that night.  We ended up having a frozen Jack's rising crust pizza instead, which made Husband Jeff happy.

I'm Currently Reading...

Right now I'm reading The Science of Good Cooking from Cook's Illustrated magazine.  This book is hefty but a really good source of information.  It's a good primer on why things cook the way they do but without being too in depth in the science and over my head.  I love books like this because I like understanding a recipe, mainly so I know how to modify it since I can't seem to make a recipe as written. 

Restaurant Incubator

Last week I read this awesome NPR article about a Dallas restaurant incubator.  Business incubators are pretty common and on the north side of Madison we've got a food business incubator called FEED Kitchens.  A restaurant incubator is a neat concept, it allows restauranteurs an opportunity to try their creative new business ideas to see if they'll work.  This could revitalize an abandoned area of town.  Plus I love the idea of several eateries all in one location, similar to the mall food court, but way classier!  it would be perfect for when you're going out with several friends but nobody can agree on where to go.   And it should hopefully attract others to the neighborhood, like artists.  Another grand vision the investors have is that the area will be set up with New Urbanism development in mind, a mix of commercial businesses and residential housing in a walkable landscape.  This isn't without it's detractors though.  The people that originally lived in the area are unwilling to let the developers come in and take everything over.  I understand their reticence, gentrification could push them out of the way, but it would probably be appreciated to have a nicer neighborhood with better amenities.  Here's an older-but-longer article from D Magazine if you want to read more details about it.  I would love to visit Dallas to eat at the restaurant incubator just to see the space and check out the restaurants that have made the cut.

So Much Cereal!

Yesterday I counted 12 unopened boxes of cereal at home!   I figure you've gotta get it when it's cheap and it's usually pretty cheap at Target, so when I was there last week I picked up a few boxes.  And this weekend the grocery store was having a 4/$10 special. You don't have to buy four boxes (unless specified) but I figure why not go for four, it lasts forever!  So now we have a lot of cereal hanging out.  Only a few boxes fit in our pantry at one time, so the rest is stacked precariously on the basement stairwell shelves Husband Jeff built for me a couple years ago, among the canning supplies, stand mixer, bread machine, etc. 

Smell My Hands!

Vanilla Creme Method hand soap. 
I love the Method seasonal foamy hand soaps.  I found the dulce de leche on clearance last fall and pulled it out right before our soup party last month and it smelled amazing.  That's finally gone so I replaced it with the vanilla creme scent for summer and it smells like yellow birthday cake!  Yum!  If you can find it, get your hands on it!  :)

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) gmail.com. It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!