Jun 062012
 

Remember that time I promised discussion on the cost of beef?

Remember that other time I promised to stop making promises about the timeliness of my posts. Ahem. Do you see where this is going?

It’s finally time! HOORAY! Let’s get BEEFY. [ok. that just sounded…weird.]

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Jan 052011
 

Disclosure: Musselman’s sent me a jar of applesauce. This is my honest opinion, and the company is not paying me to write about their product.

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Musselman’s has partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation in their mission to raise awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing mammograms to those in need.

Throughout the month of January, Musselman’s will donate 10¢ to the foundation for every package of Musselman’s Natural and Healthy Picks Apple Sauce purchased. You can learn more about Musselman’s relationships with the NBCF by visiting their website.

The NBCF is dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing mammograms for those in need. Early detection is extremely important , and I want to encourage you to take moment right now to make one more resolution for the new year: schedule a mammogram in 2011.

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I love that Musselman’s has partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation: it shows me that the company is committed to the community and the cause.  I also love the ingredients list on the Musselman’s Natural Unsweetened Apple Sauce.

As someone who is actively trying to lose weight, natural, no-sugar added apple sauce is a great snack or baking ingredient alternative.  I put this to the test when I made a batch of carrot cake cupcakes over the weekend. 

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The recipe I used called for 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, which is about 640 calories and 75 grams of fat.  The difference in the apple sauce is HUGE: 1/3 cup of Musselman’s Natural Unsweetened Applesauce has 33 calories and 0 grams of fat.  That is a BIG difference when it comes to numbers!

Using apple sauce in place of oil in baked goods does change the science behind the recipe a bit. 

Here are some tips for making the trade a successful one:

  • In most recipes, your substitution will be an exact 1:1 ratio.  If the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of oil, you can usually use 1/4 cup of apple sauce. 
  • The exception is cookie recipes. You want to use a little bit less apple sauce than the amount of oil the recipe is calling for; for example – 1/4 cup of apple sauce would be a good substitute for 1/3 cup of oil.
  • If a recipe calls for more than 1/2 cup oil, than only substitute for half of the oil.  Baking with more than 1/2 c of apple sauce can really change the texture of the baked good.
  • You may notice that using applesauce will increase the baking time your recipe calls for.  With these cupcakes, I had to let them bake an extra 3-4 minutes for them to set.
  • You also may want to increase the cooling time by 10-15 minutes before removing cakes, brownies, etc from the pan. 

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With this batch of cupcakes, I also used egg whites rather than whole eggs and didn’t go over board with the frosting, making this indulgence a little bit more “weight-loss goal” friendly. 

To further help me stay on track, I only allowed myself to keep two cupcakes for my own immediate enjoyment.  The extra cupcakes I split into two batches, some of which I froze pre-frosting to enjoy later on.  The other batch I dropped off at the neighbors house Sunday morning as a Happy 2011 treat!

These cupcakes came out moist and delicious! Using the applesauce didn’t ruin the cupcakes at all; I only needed to be attentive to the time in the oven, using the old standby tooth-pick trick, to see that they needed more time.  These healthier substitutions made this celebration the new year treat a bit more enjoyable and in line with my goals!

Squash Cutting

 Posted by at 11:16 am  Kitchen Tips, SGIKS
Oct 082010
 

104_5317How to cut a long island cheese squash.
How to cut a pumpkin.
How to cut an acorn squash.
How to cut any fairly round squash, in general.
There are probably lots of ways to go about getting to the flesh of the squash for your cooking needs; Here is how this single girl in the kitchen handles the situation.

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Cut squash in half.

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Using a spoon, scoop out seeds from each half of the squash.  [I keep the seeds for roasting :) ]

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Turn fleshy half of squash face down onto cutting board and slice into wedges.  Pick up one wedge and hold it like, well, like this: 

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Position self over trash can or bowl used for scraps.

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Using a vegetable peeler, scrape away skin of squash.  [I’m going to go ahead and let you guess how difficult this was to photograph on my own. ahem.]

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Cut peeled pieces into wedges or cubes as recipe instructs.

104_5417Easy as Pie Macaroni and Long Island Cheese Squash.