Monday, January 9, 2012

Cook for 1 or a crowd?

I grew up as a Mormon girl.  And with that came the expectation that I'd need to know how to feed a family.  Cheaply... but still conscious of nutrition and taste.  And while that expectation has never come to fruition, I still find it more comfortable to cook for a crowd than just for me.  Cooking for 1 kind of intimidates me somehow.  Every now and again I try it, though.  This was my latest venture into single portion cooking.

Chocolate Cake-in-a-Cup

4 tablespoons self raising flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
Chocolate chips
A small splash of vanilla extract
2 big coffee mugs to cook the cake in

Mix dry ingredients together. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.  Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract, and mix again. Divide mixture between the two mugs. Micro-wave on high (1000 watts) for 60 seconds (for one cup, a bit more for two). Allow to cool a little and serve.

Ok.  It actually makes two rather large portions.  It was surprisingly easy and so good!  I'm thinking up variations with different flavors of chips and extracts and toppings now.  Definitely adding this to my dessert repertoire.

But... I'm digressing from the point I wanted to make about how it's easier to cook in family proportions.  Cooking from scratch can be a lot of work.  Hence the popularity of mixes that offer the opportunity to have part of the recipe pre-made.  So many of the convenience mixes from the grocery store (for example... Hamburger Helper, Bisquick, brownie mix) have ingredients that compromise on nutrition and rely on fat and salt for flavor.  Over many years, I've acquired a nice collection of recipes to make my own mixes.  And I want to share them with you.  I also want to grow this blog into something that generates some income from sponsorships, limited advertisement placements, workshops and speaking invitations... that kind of stuff.  Before that can happen I need lots more people to join.

So I'm asking for your help.


And I'm willing to make it worth something for you.

I've compiled these recipes into a nice booklet called Cooking with Homemade Mixes.  It's 16 pages  of simple to prepare mixes and ideas about how to use them.  Most are completely shelf-stable so they work well to meet your food storage goals. Plus the recipes for Casseroles, Desserts and Soups are designed to be packaged in 1-quart canning jars and are suitable for gift giving.  I've even included simple gift tags with the preparation instructions you can print and attach with a complimenting ribbon.

To get going, you need to join (or be one of the awesome and supportive people who've already joined) then post a message with a link back to my blog on your facebook, twitter, myspace or other social media account OR send emails to at least five of your friends with the link.  Ask your friends to join and post a comment with your name in it.  When I go in to approve comments, I'll just choose not to publish them... but it's a good way for me to keep track.  When 5 people have commented with your name (and anything else they want to say) I'll email you the booklet.  It's really that simple!  Then you can try the recipes out and see if you like them as much as I do.  See if they also taste better and save you money and time in the kitchen.

(Photo credit and recipe props to the blog crumbs: recipes to feed your family)

I've added this post to the Homestead Barn Hop #44

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