How many Tablespoons in a Cup???

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I came across a recipe the other day for microwave cake
in a cup. I have seen these recipes all over Pintrest and to be honest I have been pretty skeptical of the recipes.

It just doesn’t seem right to eat a cake that was baked in a microwave…What does seem right
is the fact that there is only one portion…not 16! So I finally gave in and tried it, I even made them for my boys and they were a hit. The blogger who posted the recipe suggests multiplying
the dry ingredients by 10 if you chose to make this quick cake even quicker.

I have multiplied and divided so many recipes in my motherhood, but never one like this. I wasn’t about to measure out 20 T of flour, then cocoa. . I know how many ounces are in ¾ cup and how many quarts are in a gallon, I can tell you how many cups in a pint…but I really needed to know how many Tablespoons were in a cup.

That’s when I remembered I had this cute little cookbook, a souvenir from Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. This old fashioned cookbook, with 100 year old recipes laden in butter, lard and sugar also had very handy information
right in the back. I thought I would post some of these  conversions.  This post is more for my own record than anything else, but hopefully someone will find it useful!

Table of Equivalent Measures

A few grains

Less than 1/8 teaspoon

A Dash

Less than ¼ teaspoon

3 teaspoons

1 Tablespoon

16 Tablespoons

1 Cup

8 Tablespoons

½ Cup

6 Tablespoons

3/8 Cup

4 Tablespoons

¼ Cup

1 Cup

½ Pint

2 Cups

1 Pint

4 Cups

1 Quart

4 Quarts

1 Gallon

2 Gallons

1 Peck

4 Pecks

1 Bushel

2 Tablespoons

1 fluid Ounce

1 Cup

8 fluid Ounces

1 Pint

16 fluid Ounces

My next conversion post will be metric. In the meantime here is a Conversion Calculator!

With heart, home, and motherhood

Sarahliann

DIY Chocolate Syrup

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Not really sure if I mentioned this before or not, but my boys love
chocolate milk. I used to get them the powder mix because for some reason I had convinced myself if was better for them. (I think it was just self-preservation… don’t want to be caught squirting it directly into my mouth.) Anyhow, there are actually less ingredients (which usually means better for you) in store bought syrup than the powder mix.

When my little one switched to soy milk the powder would not mix and dissolve as well in the soy as the skim milk. For a while I just bought cartons of chocolate soy milk and cut it with regular soy milk (there is a lot of chocolate/sugar in already flavored milk). And because I like to control the amount of sugar (or at least think I’m controlling it) I needed to start making my own alternative because I was holding firm on the fact that I had never bought chocolate syrup for my boys and I never would.

So here is the super simple Chocolate
Syrup
.

Basically, you make a Simple Syrup and flavor it.

Ingredients

Water

1 cup

Sugar

2 cup

Cocoa Powder

½ cup

Vanilla

1 tsp

Salt

½ tsp

  1. Start by combining Water, Sugar and Cocoa into a large sauce pan (you want a little bigger pot than you think, when it starts to boil it gets bigger).
  2. Over medium heat bring to a boil turn heat down a bit and stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved (about 2-3 min).
  3. Take pot off of heat and stir in Vanilla and Salt.
  4. Let cool and pour into squirt bottle or jar for storing in fridge. (I use condiment squirt bottles, they are about a dollar, but an old chocolate syrup bottle would be great!)

And that’s it! You can use it on Ice Cream or anything else you may want a touch of chocolate in/on!

With heart, home and motherhood

Sarahliann

DIY Pancake Syrup

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We use a lot of pancake syrup. A. LOT. And because I need to cut corners, I recently went in search for a recipe or some sort of alternative.

As much as I would love to, I just can’t afford to feed my children real maple syrup all the time…I would have to get my own tree…

Anyway, the answer is in the spice isle close to the vanilla somewhere. I got this bottle of Mapleine for about $4.25. For cost of 2 generic bottles of pancake syrup you can flavor a lot of pancake syrup…A. LOT.

The recipe is right on the bottle…

And just like my Chocolate Syrup recipe (coming soon) the syrup is Simple…What I mean is you make a Simple Syrup.

A Simple Syrup is 1 part water and 2 parts sugar. The sugar is completely dissolved into the water by heating; I gently boil while stirring constantly.

Simple syrups are great for making cold drinks, such as Iced Tea, sweet drinks…Sweet Tea. But they have other great uses as well.

Back to the syrup at hand, all you do is flavor the simple syrup with Mapleine and voila! Pancake syrup!

WHAT and HOW?

1 Cup Water

2 Cups Sugar

½ teaspoon Mapleine

Pour all into saucepan, gently heat to a boil and stir until all sugar has dissolved. Cool and pour into squirt bottle. (Old honey bears work great)

With heart, home and motherhood

Sarahliann

DIY Brown Sugar

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Up until a couple of months ago I thought there was some secret way brown sugar became BROWN. I knew that molasses was involved, but really there had to be a secret method right? So WRONG! And so glad I was wrong. Living on a shoestring budget has this girl looking for ways to cut back. Not only does this save money, it tastes better.

So how easy
is it? Let me tell you what you need: Sugar
and Molasses… (You may want a bowl and fork or a mixer and something to store it in as well…but I digress.)

Here is what you do. Place sugar in bowl. Pour molasses in bowl. Stir.

That’s easy peasy!

Here are the measurements:

Light Brown Sugar

1 Cup Sugar and 1 T Molasses or

5lb Sugar and ¾ cup (6oz.) Molasses

Dark Brown Sugar

1 Cup Sugar and 2 T Molasses or

5lb Sugar 12oz. bottle of Molasses

Thanks for stoppin’ by and let me know your favorite way to use molasses!

With heart, home and motherhood,

Sarahliann

PB&J No Bake Granola Bars

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My youngest son H is a snacker, a grazer if you will. He eats constantly yet never really seems to eat a lot. He would also consume a massive amount of milk until a few months of stomach cramps (that he would happily suffer through bc of his love of milk) led us to the fact that he had become intolerant or allergic to milk.

After talking to the Ped we were to detox him from dairy products for at least 2 weeks. About 5 weeks later we had successfully made it two whole weeks with no dairy. This was no easy task; did you know there are dairy products in many BBQ flavored potato chips…why? Anyway, I started to make him his very own special granola bars because paying $6.00 for 4 allergen free snack bars was out of the question…not to mention we tried one box and nobody would eat them.

Thankfully my son is intolerant to lactose, not allergic to milk protein, which means we don’t have to be as strict with things like snack food. However, I continue to make granola bars and both of my son’s continue to eat them.

The other day I asked my youngest what he wanted in his next batch of granola bars. He did not hesitate to say Peanut Butter
and Jelly.

I have learned a few things about making no bake granola bars. The First, but second most important, is that you need to have enough “sticky” wet ingredients to completely coat your dry ingredients. Secondly, and most
importantly, you have to SMASHSMASHSMASH…them! And just when you think you have smashed them enough you should smash them again! These two very important tips make the difference between tasty granola bars or tasty granola…I’m okay with both, but the satisfaction that comes with a perfectly cut granola bar is grand…or maybe I just feel that way because of my many mishaps.

So on to the food.

PB&J No Bake Granola Bars

Wet Ingredients

  • ½ cup Peanut Butter (or your preferred nut or soy butter)
  • ½ cup Jelly

Dry Ingredients (The core)

  • 2 cup quick oats
  • 2 cups cereal (I used a combination of brown rice cereal and grape nut flakes)
  • 1 cup nut of choice (I used ½ sliced almonds, ½ cashews)

(The following ingredients are optional, but I used all of them. You can easily use whatever nutrition boosting ingredients you find fit)

  • ¼ cup milled flax seed
  • ¼ cup oat bran
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips

Usually I add shredded coconut because my sons love coconut so much, but I forgot. Just remember if you continue to add dry ingredients, you may have to add more sticky wet ingredients.

  1. Spray or grease a square baking dish. (I think mine is 8×8)
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a BIG
    bowl. (Do not mix any peanut butter or chocolate chips in until the end.)
  3. Gently heat Peanut Butter
    and Jelly
    in saucepan or microwave until melted and combined. (Be careful not to overheat, the peanut butter will separate…take my word on this one.)
  4. Mix the wet and dry together making sure all dry ingredients are no longer dry.
  5. Add peanut butter chips and pour into prepared pan.
  6. Now it is time to SMASH
    and SQUISH! (I bring the pan to the dinner table to get more leverage; the counter is too high for me. Use your body weight!)
  7. Let cool. If you are impatient like me put it in the fridge for 20 to 30 min.
  8. Cut and wrap your bars. (Use a sharp knife and cut skinny strips one way and one cut down the middle perpendicular to the skinny cuts. The depth of the pan will be the width of the bar…not sure that made sense, but there you go. I cut wax paper squares to wrap my bars in; I roll them in the paper and twist the paper on the ends, like a tootsie roll.)

Okay, so maybe my son had a different idea when he said he wanted pb&j in his granola bar, I think he wanted a granola sandwich, but using the pb&j as the sticky wet ingredients for a granola bar made perfect sense. Great idea H!

What are some of your favorite granola flavor combinations?

 

Crock Pot Chicken Broth

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I hate buying chicken broth, but love to use it. Recently I began reading how easy it is to make. Some people have fancy recipes but the fact is, it is so easy that it is hard to mess up.
Ingredients
 Chicken (or turkey) Bones – (I also save any skin, tendons, or fatty parts that don’t get used)
 Vegetables
 Water
 Cider Vinegar (optional)
Okay, this week I bought a whole 4.2 lb. chicken for $3.77. I roasted it myself, took the meat off the bone for a recipe later in the week and put the bones/carcass in the crock pot. If you choose not to roast your own chicken you can buy one roasted for about $5.00.

Next I look for vegetables. You don’t have to get fancy here, use what you have on hand. I almost always have onion, carrots and celery. But you could put anything you want. Clean and cut veggies and put them on top of your bones.

Then I fill the crockpot with cold water until the bones and veggies are completely covered. I like to measure the water before and then compare how much I have when it is done. If you are using cider vinegar, add it with the water, about a tablespoon. I am not sure the science behind this, I have read a lot of recipes but one in particular said to soak the bones without heat for about an hour.
After the soak turn your crockpot on. I cook my broth for 18 – 24 hours. I start on Low heat and turn it to Warm sometime before I go to bed.

 

After the broth is finished let it cool. (It’s hard to wait, but you don’t want to burn yourself.) Strain the liquid to separate it from the bones and veggies. You can strain it one more time through a cotton/linen towel if you choose.
I measure it out in 2 cup increments and freeze it flat in a quart size freezer bag or refrigerate it for about a week.
I hope you can see how much money you can save and how much healthier it is to make your own chicken broth. So don’t throw out those bones, throw them in the crockpot!
With home, heart and motherhood
Sarahliann