Tag Archives: cooking

Baking at altitude

The last time I lived in Colorado, I bought a great book about baking at altitude. I still have that book, and it would sure come in handy now that I’m back. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the box of books that contains my cookbooks. It’s in our storage unit, and I can’t bear to tackle that right now.

However, I have been really excited about cooking and baking again. In the desert, it was too hot to turn on the oven or to boil water. We kept the toaster oven outside and sometimes cooked in that, but the heat made even the food prep indoors difficult.

Since the move, I’ve been on a cooking and baking binge. I’ve made a lavender sour cream cake, several batches of brownies, pancakes, cookies, and more. Much of it tasted good, but none of it was bakery quality.

I love a challenge, so I am going to try to conquer cooking & baking at 5280 feet. In addition to the book I own, there are web sites with guidelines for adjusting recipes for altitude. I’ll work on cakes, pies, and such first. The cooking will be easier; a few adjustments in liquids, salt, and cooking temps/times should do the trick. Then I’ll move on to bread, which has never been my strong suit, even at sea level.

Of course, I also need to pay more attention to more subtle changes in height. While making cookies, I thought I’d speed the process by putting both trays in the oven at the same time. As you can see below, rack placement gave me two very different trays of cookies. Looks like I need to learn to use my new oven correctly, too.




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Frugal shopping

Finding bargains is a thrill for me. I won’t spend hours clipping coupons and planning my shopping trips like some–but if I can avoid paying full price it’s a good feeling. Shortly after moving to the desert, I figured out that our local grocery store marks down produce every week. I’ve started shopping on that day and have scored some great stuff. The prepackaged vegetables, like salad mix, herbs, and steamer bags of veggies, are marked down to 99 cents if they are about to reach their sell-by date. Most items are still good well beyond their sell-by date, so this makes them a great deal. (Beware the lettuce greens, though. I only buy what I can use within a day or two.) I score heads of hydroponic lettuce (which keeps for a long time since it’s still got roots), bags of green beans, cut and peeled sweet potatoes, and more. Continue reading

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The bargain Dutch oven

I forgot to include a pic of the Dutch oven in my previous post. I could have updated the post, but by posting the pic now means you get a bonus post today. Everybody wins!

My thrift store bargain

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Exciting stuff in the kitchen

Last weekend was a bonanza of shopping.  I’ve moved and set up house so many times in the past few years that you’d think I would have everything I need. Yet I find myself shopping after each move. Shelves don’t fit the new place, I need a differently shaped shower rack…there’s always something. Plus, with each move comes a lot of marketing mail, and that means coupons. That means I can sometimes find some good deals on stuff I never got around to buying.

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