Thursday, July 02, 2009

Today's economy may call for some wartime tactics at meal time

I'm sure we are all tired of hearing about the State of the Economy, after all we are the ones living in it. Trying to keep food on the table & shoes on our kids feet. Tightening our belts to make ends meet this all has become a part of everyday.

As mother of five making my dollar stretch is something thatI do every day, making every cent count is a must. Now the kids are home on summer break & making three meals a day is something I must to do everyday. This makes the dollar stretching task even more challenging. How do I make something that everyone will like, is quick & easy & will not cost me a lot or require special ingredients?

Those of you who know me, know that cooking is not one of my favorite tasks to do. Oh every now & then I might get a Donna Reed whim, but for the most part, I would rather pass the spatula to someone else. So something that is quick & easy is required if I'm going to prepare the meal.

I have turned to my collection of cookbooks & the internet to help me make this task more enjoyable. After trying many recipes, some we liked & some not so much, I thought I would share in my blog some of the best I have found. I will also share other tips for stretching your dollar & places to look to get a good deal. I hope these various sources & ideas will help you make the most out of the little income you have. Oh and if you have tips or ideas you want to share, please by all means send them my way.

To start this off I thought I would share a recipe that is one of my favorites, because it's Q&E, tastes great & requires very few ingredients.

Growing up during War time & the depression mean supplies were rationed amoungst the families. Being that you had a certain amount of Sugar, eggs & milk you would reserve them for essentials. This caused ppl to become creative in the ways they would make their favorite recipes & caused the to invent new recipes.

One such recipe to be born from war time was "Wacky Cake". This recipe requires no dairy and no eggs, yet it's still delicious.

Wacky Cake

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted shortening
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift all dry ingredients into an ungreased 9x9-inch cake pan. Make a well in the center and pour the oil, vinegar, vanilla and cold water into it. The combination will start to bubble. Mix with a fork until well combined. Don't worry if there are a few lumps, avoid overmixing. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cake cool completely in the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Cut into squares to serve.
If you bake in an 8x8-inch pan for 35-40 minutes.
For a 9x13-inch pan, double the ingredient amounts and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour.
Be sure you insert ingredients in order & you add the vinegar BEFORE the water. I have found that the smaller size pan works better. The large cake seems to be dryer that the smaller one.

I will be back tomorrow with recipes to make a whole meal in about less than a hour.

Jalapeno Mama

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