Archive for the ‘kitchen essentials’ Category

photo: Not Dabbling in Normal

In the beginning God created the….

Ok so I wont go that far back but I will ask you to think about what it would have been like to be in the kitchen a couple hundred years ago.  What items would have been in the ordinary pantry?  How simple would the ingredients have been back then?  Raw, unprocessed foods were the supplies in the kitchen except for some things like sugar, flour and maybe a few other simple cooking and baking ingredients we take for granted today.

Simpler times meant simpler ingredients and it was cost effective.  Today, we face the dilemma of trying to decide which can of soup is the healthiest without loosing all that flavor or which boxed cake is the easiest while still light and moist.  Plus, we could save a bundle if we think simple foods and avoid the center of the grocery store and probably be healthier for it too.

I was reminded, this morning, of those simpler times at Not Dabbling in Normal. This sight is full of simpler times, eating real food and growing your own.  Today, Baking Powder is the topic.  Have you ever made your own?  Did  you know you could?… It never even crossed my mind.  Surprise!  Simpler is putting it lightly.  I figured it’s like lots of other stuff that requires special ingredients an ordinary cook doesn’t have access to.

If you want to simplify your kitchen, save a little for the cookie jar, are going back to basics or just want to experience a new thing, try making  your own Baking Powder.  Visit Not Dabbling in Normal and see how simple it really is.  You wont believe your eyes!


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So you looked at the le Creuset, running your hands over the beautiful enamel and dreamed of your favorite color in your designer kitchen.  Then you gasped at the price, put it back on the shelf and scampered home with your tail between your legs vowing never to spend that much on a pot you put dead birds and veggies in.

I’ve mentioned, on more than one occasion, that I use cast iron dutch ovens and skillets for baking, searing and frying, among other things.  Not to mention that this secret chuck-wagon cowgirl would be cooking on the campfire with it if she could.  In my opinion there is nothing quite like good cast iron and today it’s making a big comeback.  

If you have been wondering which cast iron is the best product to buy, without cooking your pocket book, have a look at this video podcast created in America’s Test Kitchen by the publishers of Cook’s Illustrated.  They discuss and evaluate 12 cast iron skillets, include caring for, restoring and seasoning cast iron and talk about the “non-stick” value of cast iron.   (go here if you don’t use itunes to read write-up and see video)

After their tests they concluded that the Lodge Logic cast iron skillet was their favorite and the price is livable too!!!  

I started using cast iron in 1991 when my husband and I returned from living in Japan for a year and I needed to get some good cookware but had very little money to spend.  I ended up thriftstore shopping and luckily found someone’s old, used, and well seasoned, cast-offs.  I was so pleased to be able to pick up a set of fry-pans for under $10 and my dutch oven was about $8.  I’m still tickled to be able to cook on them and wouldn’t trade them for the best cookware money can buy.  

Cookin’ with cast iron and lovin’ it more than ever!!!


Numbers 11:7-8 (NKJV)  Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium.  The people went about and   gatheredit, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of pastry prepared with oil.

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