Posts Tagged ‘baking soda’

Unrecipe of the Week: Banana Bread

December 2, 2013

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We eat a lot of bananas in our house, but inevitably, there is always a few that get too ripe, despite the techniques we have employed to avoid it.

No worries, banana bread is so easy to make, that we are happy to have an excuse to whip some up!

Banana Bread

Mash up 3 or 4 over ripe bananas in a mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup melted butter and mix. Stir in 1 egg,  3/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt over the mixture add 1 1/2 cups of flour. Mix well and pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan, slice and enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 12, 2013

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Sometimes simple things are best.  Every time I make Toll House chocolate chip cookies, they get gobbled up. The recipe has been around forever, and it never disappoints. The rich buttery dough with almost melted chocolate chips is so easy to make, that there really isn’t a good reason to buy packaged cookies. The dough actually improves if left in the refrigerator for a few hours, or even overnight. It can also be frozen in a log, and a few cookies can be sliced off and baked so that you can have a fresh out of the oven experience at a moment’s notice.

Trust me, these are so easy, you can make them with one hand. I did!

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Toll House Cookies

Beat together 2 sticks of butter, ¾ cup granulated sugar and ¾ cup brown sugar. Add a teaspoon of vanilla and beat until fluffy.

Add 2 eggs and mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl mix 2 ¼ cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. With the mixer running, slowly add it to the butter mixture until fully incorporated.

Stir in 12 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips. **

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Drop the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, using a tablespoon* and bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes, until they are golden brown. Allow them to sit for a minute or two in the pan before transferring them to a rack to cool. Enjoy!

* I use a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop to drop the dough onto the pan. It is so much neater, and the cookies tend to be more uniform in size.

** If you want to experiment with variations, try using white chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch chips in place of the chocolate chips, or use a combination.

Replace the chips with M&M’s for a fun look. If you like nuts, add a cup of the chopped nuts of your choice to the batter.

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Hot Tips Tuesday: Natural Whiteners

April 9, 2013

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There are lots of natural ways to whiten dingy fabrics, without using bleach.

Try some of these green ideas for your next load of laundry:

Add ½ cup of baking soda to your wash to whiten. (is there anything this powdered powerhouse won’t do?!)

Try a lemon and warm water pre-soak, before washing.

Distilled white vinegar will brighten up those whites, when ½ cup is added to the wash cycle.

Spring is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to “lighten up!”

photo: Glasshouse Images

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: How To Tell If Baking Powder/Soda Is Still Good

April 2, 2013

4093602237It seems that no matter how much I bake, I never seem to use up the baking soda or baking powder in my pantry. These products do have a shelf life, and lose their effectiveness over a period of time.

Baking soda has an expiration date on the box, often 3 or 4 years from the date of purchase! Baking powder has a shorter lifespan of about 9-12 months.

If you are uncertain that they still have the power to “poof your pastries”, here is how to test them:

For baking soda, add a little vinegar to ½ cup of very hot water and add a little of the soda. If it fizzes, you are good to go. No bubbles mean you are not likely to get a rise out of your baked goods. Get a fresh box, and save the old stuff for cleaning projects.

Baking power can simply be stirred into hot water, (sans vinegar) as above. If it bubbles, it’s still good. If not, it needs to be replaced.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Non-Toxic Oven Cleaner

March 12, 2013

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My self cleaning oven has stopped cleaning itself. There is no worse household chore that I can think of than scrubbing the oven. The fumes, the waiting, and the endless wiping, rinsing and wiping again makes for a miserable experience. And did I mention how toxic oven cleaner is?

A quick survey of the web has turned up an easy, natural way to clean the oven using household ingredients. I also tried it on the burners of my stove and it did the trick.

Make a paste of baking soda and water, and spread it in a thick layer on the bottom of the oven. Let it sit for several hours or overnight. If you can, spray it regularly with water to keep it moist.

When ready to clean it off, spray the dried soda mixture with white vinegar, which will not only rehydrate it, but it will also cause a chemical reaction that will cut right through that greasy grime.
Wipe it off with a damp sponge and enjoy your sparkling, clean oven!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Natural Relief

April 26, 2012

I was shopping at my local drugstore this week, and asked the pharmacist where the Maalox was. She replied that it had been voluntarily pulled from the shelves over a month ago. The most similar product, Mylanta, had also been recalled. Since different companies make the products, it couldn’t have been a manufacturing glitch.  This caused me to seriously question the safety of an over the counter drug that I have been using regularly for many years.

Armed with a bottle of Tums, I sat down to research natural remedies for stomach acid.  Surprisingly, most of them can be found in your kitchen cabinets.

Apple Cider Vinegar has been found to prevent and relieve heartburn.

Sipping a mixture of one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 4 ounces of water before meals, is thought to prevent the over production of stomach acid.

Drinking a couple of tablespoons of the vinegar has been known to neutralize stomach acid and relieve the burning sensation.

Gum: Chewing gum increases the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize the stomach acids and prevent reflux.

Bananas and apples are thought to have natural antacid effects.

Sipping chamomile tea, or ginger tea may also relieve heartburn symptoms. Ginger root capsules, or eating candied ginger are also effective.

Baking soda, mixed with water is another natural way to deal with stomach acid. Just mix ½ – 1 teaspoon in a glass of water, and drink it down. Be prepared to burp as the solution works it’s magic!

Health food stores carry papaya enzymes in pill form, which is a natural digestive aid. Papaya enzymes are also an anti-coagulant, and are not recommended for anyone with risk of stomach bleeding.

Always remember that even holistic remedies can have health risks if they are not right for you.  Consulting a doctor before taking any kind of supplement, is highly recommended.

photo: Glasshouse Images


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