Thursday, August 16, 2012

An empty fridge breeds creativity in the kitchen!

I am always in need of something from the grocery store.  Maybe I don't do my shopping well enough, or analyze my pantry or fridge to prepare well enough.  It's probably something I need to work on but in the meantime, I have to come up with ways to get around my lack of preparation.

Here are three that I've used lately:

Quick fix buttermilk:  When you need buttermilk for a recipe, you can add a little vinegar to milk.  Let it sit for 5 minutes and it becomes a good substitute:
  1. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a measuring cup.
  2. Add milk to the same cup to bring the liquid to 1 cup.
  3. Let it sit for about 5 minutes at room temperature.  It might get a curdled look to it but that's okay!
  4. Stir it up and add it to your recipe!
Quick fix powdered sugar:  I'm a big baker and cupcakes are my thing.  Because of that, I generally keep powdered sugar as a staple in my pantry but sometimes I run out.  Last time I ran out when I was making cinnamon rolls and I needed it for the icing.  You can't have a cinnamon roll without icing, right?  I've tried to make icing with granulated sugar before and it just doesn't work.  I discovered you can create your own powdered sugar in your blender!
  1. Add a cup of granulated sugar to your blender (1 cup of granulated for each cup of powdered).
  2. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch for each up.
  3. Pulse it and blend it and you can magically watch your crystals become powder!  
Quick fix for milk for coffee:  So I should never run out of milk with 4 boys in my house but maybe that's why I run out of milk.  That and my love for coffee and the fact that I can't drink it black and must have at least a cup of milk a day in my coffee! 

Evaporated milk makes a great substitute for milk and you can get it lowfat too!  I ended up buying evaporated milk when a recipe called for sweetened condensed milk and it has been sitting in my pantry for a while.  This was a great way to use it and not let it go to waste!  I've also heard that the sweetened condensed milk is a great substitute too if you like your coffee sweet!

I tried to have my boys use it for cereal but apparently it's not the same in cereal.  They said it tasted funny.  Eh, it was worth a try!

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