Going grocery shopping tomorrow

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Things have been tight around here lately so grocery shopping has been very planned.   I've been thinking back on my old shopping trips and lists...wondering how much more it costs then in previous years.    So this week I'm hoping to start keeping track.   It'll be fairly accurate since my pantry and freezer aren't well stocked.

What I've been doing is making a shopping list at of things we need, even though I know I'll probably buy things on the list cheaper at Save-A-Lot or Aldis.   I figure if I can keep my list in the vicinity of my budget then buying things should bring me under budget or allow me some extras.   I keep track of how much less money I'm spending on the margins of my list.  So if I have $2.00/lb for chicken breasts on my list but find it for $1.70/lb and I buy 5lbs I'd write + $1.50 in the margin.   Then if I buy something extra I cross off the margin amounts to total the price of the extra thing.   It's been working out well.   I love that I  don't have to keep a running total in my head when I'm going through the store.  I do have to remind myself that I can always come back another day and pick up more extras if I come in under budget at the end of the shopping trip.  And also to leave some $$ for restocking perishables since I have to go 2wks between major shopping trips.

So hopefully on Monday (won't be home this weekend) I can come back here and let you know how things went.  

Banana Bread

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cream together
1 cup butter 
1 1/2 cups brown sugar 
4 eggs  
24 oz overripe bananas  (4 2/3 cups)


4 cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 

mix until  well combined

Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake 50 min at 350ºF

Anniversary Cupcakes

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Yesterday was my parent's 50th wedding anniversary.  My sister, brother and I threw them a reception.   I volunteered to make the cupcakes for the party.   We had....

Lemon Lovers White Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate with Raspberry Frosting 
Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting
Carrot with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

And here's my notes/thoughts....

Lemon...  I needed more lemon zest in the frosting.  If I'd filled them with French's lemon pie filling they'd have been perfect!   I need to use an open star piping tip when I have zest in the frosting.  It clogged up the one I used (2D)  and made the job very difficult.

Chocolate...  I realized after making another batch of the frosting that I'd doubled the first batch but only put in a single batch of the jam.  The frosting was still good but would've been fantastic with all the jam in it.    I tried the chocolate cake recipe I did because it had more chocolate in it.  Everyone loved them and I thought they were ok.  Although it's claimed that the recipe makes a good stacking cake.  I'm tenative on that claim.   I originally planned on making the linked raspberry filling (smitten's) in the recipe but decided I didn't want the extra work.  I think if I'd made the frosting as I was suppose to AND filled them it would've been too much.

Vanilla... I wouldn't call this vanilla but almond which is fine by me because I LOVE almond.   The cake was delicious.  The frosting was ok.   I made it because everyone raved about it and said it was very workable.  I agree with the workable part.  I could see it being used for decorating a cake.  For all the frosting though, I'd prefer a frosting with some real butter in it.   I'll use the frosting recipe again, as decoration purposes only.

Carrot...  I added crushed pineapple and used pecans instead of walnuts.   It was  good cake but next time I'd substitute the yellow cake for a carrot cake boxed mix.   It didn't have enough spices as I'd like, even after adding allspice to it.   The frosting though was out of this world!!!!  Allison suggested we tell everyone the carrot cakes stink so they'd leave them alone and we'd have tons to bring back home.  lol   I told her we COULD make more in the future.  I was eating the frosting on the chocolate and almond cupcakes and it was yummy too.   This coming from a person who doesn't care for  most orange flavored things.  Again, a note about the zest clogging up the tip...change to a more open tip... 1M perhaps?

I made 2 batches of batch regular size cupcakes and the next mini cupcakes.  We frosted 66 or so of the minis to take.   I came home with just enough.  Allison took a tray of them to a cookout today and we had them for breakfast.  I think there are about 6 large ones left and 10 mini ones.  If there's a next time I think I'd consider just mini each guest a plate to take a sample of each.  They didn't have plates at the reception and I didn't think to ask for them until it was almost over.

As I mentioned above we used the 2D tip to frost them.  We started from the inside and went to the outside so it made the cake tops look like roses.   The mini ones were actually harder to frost them the regular sized ones.    For decorations I used white chocolate.  I piped an outline of a heart for the large cupcakes and made solid hearts for the mini ones. I then hit them with gold pearl dust.   I tried the wilton's edible spray paint but it didnt' adhere to the chocolate very well.   Thinking I might have wanted yellow colored chocolate instead of white.  But it still looked good.