Hold on, man. We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted,"
or "forbidden" in the title.~From Scooby-Doo

Oct 28, 2008

Out of Eggs????

I don't know about you, but there's been many times I set out to bake something only to discover that I was out of eggs. (And too lazy or not enough time to go buy some more) Here's some substitutes and tips that were given me by a friend. I'm planning to print it off and stick it in my favorite cook book!

Preparedness Tip - Inexpensive Eggs for Food Storage: Eggs are essential basic cooking ingredients, but have a short shelf life and powdered eggs are expensive. Wendy DeWitt, who created food storage recipes for the Mesa LDS cannery, said unflavored gelatin mixed with water makes inexpensive eggs, and cornbread I made with unflavored gelatin that was over 10 years old was delicious! 1 lb of gelatin will make 192 eggs (16 doz). It's much cheaper if you buy in bulk; I get mine from bulkfoods.com.

To Make One Egg: Stir 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin with 3 Tbsp cold water until dissolved, then add 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp very hot water and stir. Decrease liquid called for in your recipe by about one-fourth cup to compensate for the added water from the egg.

Other Egg Replacement Options:
1 egg = 2 Tbsp. potato starch
1 egg = 1/4 cup mashed potatoes
1 egg = 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or squash
1 egg = 1/4 cup puréed prunes
1 egg = 2 Tbsp. water + 1 Tbsp. oil + 2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg = 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed simmered in 3 Tbsp. water
1 egg white = 1 Tbsp. plain agar powder dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water, whipped, chilled, and whipped again

Egg Replacement Tips• If a recipe calls for three or more eggs, it is important to choose a replacer that will perform the same function (i.e., binding or leavening). • Trying to replicate airy baked goods that call for a lot of eggs, such as angel food cake, can be very difficult. Instead, look for a recipe with a similar taste but fewer eggs, which will be easier to replicate.• When adding tofu to a recipe as an egg replacer, be sure to purée it first to avoid chunks in the finished product. • Be sure to use plain tofu, not seasoned or baked, as a replacer. • Powdered egg replacers cannot be used to create egg recipes such as scrambles or omelets. Tofu is the perfect substitute for eggs in these applications. • If you want a lighter texture and you're using fruit purées as an egg substitute, add an extra 1/2 tsp. baking powder. Fruit purées tend to make the final product denser than the original recipe. • If you're looking for an egg replacer that binds, try adding 2 to 3 Tbsp. of any of the following for each egg: tomato paste, potato starch, arrowroot powder, whole wheat flour, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, instant potato flakes, or 1/4 cup tofu puréed with 1 Tbsp. flour.

Oct 21, 2008

The New 'Brady' Bunch

We are the von Pingel bunch! 3 kids + 3 kids = 6 kids. 3 boys + 3 girls = 6 kids. Only difference? no Alice to help me out!!!

The first few days have been full of ups and downs. The kids got here Thursday night and it was eerie how quickly the little ones fell into calling us "mommy' and 'daddy'. Even though it makes us feel good, it is a red flag that they are not more confused and distressed - at least about living with a new family.

All of the school-aged kids were out of school for 3 days so we have been nice and cozy 24/7. There has been quite a bit of rivalry between the 2, 8-year old boys and the 2, 3-year old girls. Apparently I should have predicted the need for two of every princess, Dora and My Little Pony item I've ever bought! Big D is adjusting to not being the only boy any more plus sharing a room and his toys for the first time. Our baby girl is also having a hard time adjusting to not being the baby and having to share her parent's attention. We are all adjusting to a little guy in diapers and needing lots of care while eating and getting places. I spend most of my time playing referee. A close second is cooking and cleaning up. (My groceries have never disappeared this fast!)

The newest additions have attachment issues and most likely been exposed to things in their little lives that no child should ever have to be exposed to. They cry easily and the oldest is very stubborn and the pickiest eater! The younger two have a hard time responding to and being cared for by Daddy sometimes...somewhere they have been hurt by a male adult. I know the oldest has a 'shell' for protection and it has served him well thus far. We are praying that love, consistency, togetherness, therapy and good boundaries will help them all do a little healing while in our care.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I'm not going to get a thing done for myself for awhile. I have also resigned myself to the fact that I'm happy and content to be mothering 6 children and receiving even more kisses, hugs, "Mommy!" calls and laughter than I thought possible. Just call me Carol Brady!

Oct 14, 2008


Remember the old way ketchup used to come out of bottles?? Slowly and took its own sweet time. Sometimes you'd have to pound on the bottom of the bottle, shake it, stick a knife in it - turn it over to see if it was near the edge and pound yet again. But oooohhh...it was worth the wait!

Life is like that for me lately - ever since hubs and I decided to become foster parents. We've been waiting, pounding, prodding, hoping, looking and pounding again in anticipation of children being placed in our home. Just when we were about to give up (and go for mustard) we got 'the call'.

The wait is going to be over on Thursday - 3 kids are coming to join the clan. Now that they're on their way I'm nervous, scared, excited, hopeful, fearful and happy. We will be doubling our children and they will by far outnumber us! It will be an adventure in parenting and loving - and while this is only the beginning, I'm sure that when I look back on this time it will have happened all too suddenly and will have been definately worth the wait.

Just like ketchup always is!

Oct 13, 2008

Happy Morning!

I'm off today to a cottage warming party! (It's virtual and anyone is invited!) Click the button to the right to see some delightful quilted cottages, get some tasty recipes and warm your toes by the fire!

Oct 6, 2008

I love pencils! The smell, the look, the unsharpened ones, the sharpened ones, plain No. 2's, colored ones, red ones for marking papers, decorated and designed ones...they're all good! I saw this article and learned a lot - hope you do too!

20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Pencils
By Dean Christopher Discover Magazine

1. There is no risk of lead poisoning if you stab yourself (or someone else) with a pencil because it contains no lead -- just a mixture of clay and graphite. Still, pencil wounds carry a risk of infection for the stabees, lawsuits for stabbers.

2. Also, bad juju for anyone linked to Watergate: In his autobiography, G. Gordon Liddy describes finding John Dean (whom he despised for “disloyalty”) alone in a room. Spotting sharpened pencils on a desk, Liddy fleetingly considered driving one into Dean’s throat.

3. Graphite, a crystallized form of carbon, was discovered near Keswick, England, in the mid-16th century. An 18th-century German chemist, A. G. Werner, named it, sensibly enough, from the Greek "graphein," meaning “to write.”

4. The word pencil derives from the Latin “penicillus,” meaning -- not so sensibly -- “little tail.”

5. Pencil marks are made when tiny graphite flecks, often just thousandths of an inch wide, stick to the fibers that make up paper.

6. Got time to kill? The average pencil holds enough graphite to draw a line about 35 miles long or to write roughly 45,000 words. History does not record anyone testing this statistic.

7. The Greek poet Philip of Thessaloníki wrote of leaden writing instruments in the first century B.C., but the modern pencil, as described by Swiss naturalist Konrad Gesner, dates only to 1565.

8. French pencil boosters include Nicolas-Jacques Conté, who patented a clay-and-graphite manufacturing process in 1795; Bernard Lassimone, who patented the first pencil sharpener in 1828; and Therry des Estwaux, who invented an improved mechanical sharpener in 1847.

9. French researchers also hit on the idea of using caoutchouc, a vegetable gum now known as rubber, to erase pencil marks. Until then, writers removed mistakes with bread crumbs.

10. Most pencils sold in America today have eraser tips, while those sold in Europe usually have none. Are Europeans more confident scribblers?

11. Henry David Thoreau -- American, but a confident scribbler all the same -- used pencils to write "Walden." And he probably got them free. His father owned a pencil-making business near Boston, where Henry allegedly designed his own pencils before becoming a semi-recluse.

12. In 1861, Eberhard Faber built the first American mass-production pencil factory in New York City.

13. Pencils were among the basic equipment issued to Union soldiers during the Civil War.

14. The mechanical pencil was patented in 1822. The company founded by its British developers prospered until 1941, when the factory was bombed, presumably by pencil-hating Nazis.

15. "Je suis un crayon rouge." After the 1917 Soviet revolution, American entrepreneur Armand Hammer was awarded a monopoly for pencil manufacturing in the USSR.

16. More than half of all pencils come from China. In 2004, factories there turned out 10 billion pencils, enough to circle the earth more than 40 times.

17. Pencils can write in zero gravity and so were used on early American and Russian space missions -- even though NASA engineers worried about the flammability of wood pencils in a pure-oxygen atmosphere, not to mention the menace of floating bits of graphite.

18. Those concerns inspired Paul Fisher to develop the pressurized Fisher Space Pen in 1965. After the Apollo 1 fire, NASA banned pencils in favor of his pen on manned spaceflights.

19. The world’s largest pencil is a Castell 9000, on display at the manufacturer’s plant near Kuala Lumpur. Made of Malaysian wood and polymer, it stands 65 feet high.

20. At the other extreme, engineers at the University of California at Santa Barbara have used an atomic force microscope as a kind of pencil to draw lines 50 nanometers (two millionths of an inch) wide. Just because they could.

Oct 4, 2008

Who Knew!?

It's the little things that count...makes a day/week/month/year/life easier! Try this and see! Happy Weekend!

Oct 2, 2008

What is it about them???

Doughnuts or donuts - I love them! I prefer Krispy Kreme over Dunkin Donuts. I like filled donuts but not with custard, only creme frosting. I like cake/old-fashioned type donuts the best, especially blueberry or spice. There are two places in town that make amazing doughnuts: the Lehi Bakery and a locally-owned grocery store, Kohlers. I can't walk into the store with Sophia without her asking for a donut (and boy am I glad she does - it gives me an excuse to have one too!)
Today they had fall-colored icing with sprinkles. Sophia said the plain part looked like a pumpkin. They were soft and melt-in-your-mouth. I have to admit that I've never made donuts. I guess it's too quick and easy to buy them in the store (oh yeah, and they're not good for me! did I mention that!?) But, I found a recipe that I think I'll need to try - maybe for a cool autumn day when I have some extra time. Just hope they turn out as good as they sound and maybe I'll give Krispy Kreme and Kohler's a run for their donut money! (let me know if there are any adventurous donut makers out there)

Apple Cider Doughnuts

For the doughnuts:
1 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (low-fat or nonfat work fine)
Vegetable oil for frying

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider

For the doughnuts: In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a standing mixer) beat the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat until the eggs are completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or wax paper and sprinkle them generously with flour. Turn the dough onto 1 of the sheets and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is still wet. Transfer the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes. Pull the dough out of the freezer. Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter, cut out doughnut shapes. Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second sheet pan. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes. (You may re-roll the scraps of dough, refrigerate them briefly and cut additional doughnuts from the dough.)
Add enough oil to a deep-sided pan to measure a depth of about 3 inches. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Have ready a plate lined with several thicknesses of paper towels.

For the glaze: While the cut doughnut shapes are in the refrigerator, make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners' sugar and the cider until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

To fry and assemble: Carefully add a few doughnuts to the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds. Turn the doughnuts over and fry until the other side is golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Drain on paper towels after the doughnuts are fried. Dip the top of the warm doughnuts into the glaze and serve immediately.

The Bad News (Don't look if you don't want to!) Per doughnut: 201 calories, 3 gm protein, 33 gm carbohydrates, 6 gm fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 2 gm saturated fat, 200 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber