Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back from Vacation and a new Blog Series!

I'm back from our little camping vacation and we had a great time. We ate every meal at the campground except for one lunch which we ate out at a restaurant while we were out doing some outlet shopping. We brought a lot of food from our last freezer cooking day and it really worked out well for us. We placed everything in the cooler still frozen and by the time we were ready to eat it had thawed out and was ready for the grill! Oh, and did I mention that our children enjoyed their very first s'mores by the camp fire?

I remember going camping as a child and other than s'mores and maybe a few hot dogs, we never cooked at the campground. We ate out at a restaurant for almost every meal. I'm guessing it was just more convenient to go out than to go through all of the "hassle" of trying to cook over a fire. That got me thinking about my goal of eliminating processed foods from my family's diet. The thing that everyone loves about processed foods is that they are more convenient, right? So, I decided to take this opportunity to teach you all some easy ways to make home cooking from scratch more convenient. Not only is it healthier because you know what is going into your body, but it will also save you some money in the long run!

I've decided to start a weekly blog series on homemade substitutes for pre-packaged foods. It will be called "Conveniently Homemade".

Today, we're going to discuss Cake Mix.

Everyone loves the ease of making a cake from a boxed mix. Here is a way to create your own prepackaged cake mix using ingredients from your cupboard. Not only is it delicious, it costs less than $1 per bag (mine cost about 68 cents) to make it yourself vs. anywhere from $1 to $3 for a store bought mix!

Yellow Cake Mix

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut shortening into the mixture until it becomes crumbly. Store mixture at room temperature in a labeled plastic bag or other airtight container.

When you are ready to prepare your cake, you will need the following ingredients:
  • 3/4 Cup of Milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
To prepare a cake using your homemade cake mix, follow these directions:

Pour one package of cake mix into a large mixing bowl. Add milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add eggs and beat until well mixed. Pour batter into greased pan (note this will make two 8 inch round cakes or one 9x13 rectangle cake). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

For other cake variations, see below:

White Cake
  • Follow the same directions as for Yellow Cake replacing the 2 eggs with 3 unbeaten egg whites. Use an electric mixer for beating.
Spice Cake
  • Add to the package of Yellow Cake Mix: 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, and a pinch of ground allspice. Follow Yellow Cake directions.

Orange Cake
  • Pour 1 package of Yellow Cake Mix into a bowl; add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel (1 teaspoon dried). Squeeze the juice from 1 large orange and add to it enough water to measure 1 cup. Add this orange juice to the mix, beat for 2 minutes as directed previously; add 2 eggs; beat and bake as directed.


M @ Betty Crapper said...

Sounds like a great blog series. There's lots of cakes that are just as easy to make as boxed cake mixes.

I love that I recognize all the ingredients. Good for you!

The Atwoods said...

Mmmm...I love cake! :) And I really love your new blog layout--so fresh and fun!


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