Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekly Dinner Challenge - Week 3 - Adventures in Baking

The past two weeks have been a crazy blur of business with this little family. It seems like we have been here, there and everywhere lately. And with that comes a lot of eating out and quick, easy meals at home.

I have to admit that I have not been the best "Frugalista" these past couple of weeks. I am keeping up with couponing but I just haven't been able to get to the store as much to use those coupons to my advantage. I also haven't been meal planning as well and because of that I haven't planned any of my dinner challenges lately. I am hoping that the week ahead will be a little less hectic and I can get back to my goals of planning, eating better, cheaply and from scratch.
I did however, have some interesting adventures with my beloved Kitchenaid mixer the past couple of days. Let me share!

Thursday: I knew my sister's birthday was Friday and wanted to try baking a cake from scratch. Something I have never done. I have made brownies, cookies, you name it from scratch but some how a cake has never been one of those things. I took stock of my pantry and realized I needed sugar and baking powder. Off to Albertsons I went! I bought 5 lbs of Sugar and 2 lbs of Powdered Sugar for about $5. Not a great deal, I even had a coupon, oh well, this is why planning and stockpiling is a good idea. When I stock up on necessities at rock bottom prices then I don't risk last minute grocery store trips and end up spending more on something. At any rate, those were the only two things I needed to buy and Whoops - forgot the baking powder! I ended up scraping the bottom of the old jar and it was definitely past it's prime and therefore - my wonderful idea of baking a cake from scratch was a total FLOP! It was so so so bad! The cake didn't rise and looked like flat bright yellow cornbread. EEW!
Friday: I was so disappointed with the way my 1st cake turned out, but I wasn't about to let it stop me. It was time to try again! I picked up some baking powder from Safeway for $1.25 and that should last through the holiday season and beyond, not too bad. Got home and took out all of the ingredients I needed to make these Vanilla Cupcakes! I didn't need eggs because when we went to my dad's in Idaho last week he gave us a dozen, so nice! Naomi even got to gather them herself, she has been obessed with "Nickens" ever since! Here is a photo:

Then when I pulled out my flour I realized that I had used the last of it the day before for that aweful yellow cake. Thank God that I have a lovely neighbor next door who was willing to lend this terrible planner 3 cups!

Into the mixer everything went and I was AMAZED - this time the batter actually looked like cake batter and not some weird yellow science project! I put the batter into the cupcake cups and when in the oven they actually rose up! They were fluffy and moist and just like real cake! SUCESS!!

I had also never made buttercream before so I mixed up a batch of this Chocolate Buttercream and piped the icing on the cupcakes just 1 hour before my sister's party started! Whew!

All in all, it was a little stressful, a lot rushed but a lot good too and now I am hooked!

Those were my adventures in baking this week! How was your week? Feel free to leave a comment as always!


  1. I baked pumpkin muffins this afternoon which turned out really yummy. Funny thing about the backing powder....ask I was mixing it up I thought to myself, I think this powder has been around for a long time! I flipped the can over and expired in 2004! Think I need myself some new baking powder for sure!!!

  2. I think this can that I had was about 6 years old, it was literally coming out in chunks... not good!! Pumpkin muffins sound yummy! I love anything pumpkin, especially in the fall!