Sunday, July 14, 2013

Making Butter

Maybe I should turn this into a cooking blog or something. At the request of a friend, I am blogging about making butter, which I did for the first time ever yesterday.  

What got me interested was a video I saw online where a guy made butter in a jar. So I did some searching and found some website where butter had been made using a mixer. To me, that sounded simpler than shaking a jar. 

While I was at Kroger Friday evening, buying some milk, I noticed the containers of heavy cream. The half-pint was on sale for $1.09, I think.  Anyway, I decided to go for it. 

Saturday was my first time making butter. What can I say? It was easy and the taste was so good! It is actually seemed to have a better flavor than the butter you buy. I usually get Land of Lakes butter and I have been using butter for years. I quit margarine years ago. Just look at the ingredients label. What is that stuff?  I much prefer what our ancestors used. 

You won't save any money by making your own butter because cream is expensive, but making your own butter and knowing exactly what is in it, plus the flavor has great merit.  

Briefly, here's how I made it. Total preparation time was about 10 minutes. I was baking biscuits at the same time.

Pour cream into large bowl. I used the ultra-pasteurized because that was the only kind available and it works fine for making butter. I used my hand mixer with the whisk tool. It might have been faster with the regular beaters. I'll try that next time. 

Turn mixer on high and beat cream.  After a few minutes, it will develop peaks and become whipped cream. Like Cool Whip. Keep beating a few more minutes. Soon, it will begin to separate. There will be clumps and liquid. Once your butter has formed, you need to strain it. Use your kitchen strainer and let the buttermilk run into a bowl. You can use that milk in other dishes. 

Mash butter against bowl with spatula. You need to get all the milk out of it. After straining again, it is time to wash the butter with iced water. This will help preserve. Pour iced water in bowl with butter. Mash butter to get out excess milk and water. Drain water and repeat a couple of times until water looks clear. 

Now you have butter! Spread on hot bread and enjoy! You can freeze it as well.  For more detailed information and photos of the process, go to this blog:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cake in a Cup: The Three Minute Dessert

Do you like hot fudge cake?  Or pineapple upside-down cake? Or any flavor for that matter? Would you like to make a super-easy dessert to go with your meal in less than three minutes? If so, follow these directions.

You will need 1 box of angel food cake mix and 1 box of regular cake mix (any flavor). For this post, I am using dark chocolate cake mix as well as pineapple.  You need to blend the dry contents of the angel food cake mix with the regular cake mix. Store this mix in a plastic container or bag. It is ready-to-use.

Next, you will need a round dish or coffee mug.  I use the red mug in the picture. DO NOT use any cooking spray or Crisco in cup.

To make hot fudge cake, I squirted fudge syrup in the bottom of the cup. For pineapple upside-down cake, I sprinkled brown sugar in the bottom of cup and topped with pineapple tidbits. You can make just plain cake and top it with fruit or whatever you want after cooking.

You mix 3 tablespoons of dry cake mix and 2 tablespoons water together. Stir and pour the mix into the cup. I poured the mix over the chocolate syrup.

Microwave for 1 minute!  That's it!

 Flip cup over onto plate. The fudge syrup will be hot and run all over the cake. So top with a scoop of ice cream and a strawberry.  It is delicious. See photo for pineapple upside-down cake. Tastes just as good as anything from a bakery. I was totally shocked by this when I first tried it.

Very easy and quick. You'll have enough mix to make dozens of these. If you don't add a topping to your cake, there is very few calories in it.  I have strawberry cake mix that I am going to try with no topping in the cup. Then, add fresh strawberries on top afterward the cake is cooked.