Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Maximizing oven energy (and Mom energy)
On Sunday I was trying to keep a four-year-old entertained, so we decided to bake banana muffins for breakfasts this week. Here is the recipe I like for banana muffins:
1-3/4 c. flour (wheat or white)
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. sugar (I always cut this down to 1/3)
1 large egg, beaten
1 c. mashed ripe banana (usually 2 medium-ish bananas)
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. oil (vegetable, canola, coconut, they all work)
Mix the dry ingredients together. Mash the banana in a separate bowl and add the egg, milk, and oil. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and stir just until moistened. Pour batter into greased muffin pan and bake at 400 until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Makes a dozen, depending on how big you want your muffins.
Since the oven was already hot, I turned the heat down to 300 and made crutons and bread crumbs. I had a full bag of bread in the freezer. I save the heels of the bread or other bread we won't eat before it goes bad. For the crutons, you just butter the bread, cut it into cubes, add seasonings if you want and dry them in the oven on a baking pan. You don't want your oven to be hotter than 300 or so. For the bread crumbs, I just dried the whole pieces of bread out, pulled them out, put them in a ziploc bad and crushed them with a rolling pin.
And then....(you thought I was done using my oven, didn't you?), I made yogurt. I have one burner on my stove that gets really hot when the oven is on...to the point where it will simmer liquid. I use that burner first whenever the oven is on, so I used it to heat the milk for the yogurt. I turned the oven off and used the warm oven to incubate the yogurt.