My love of cookbooks is widely known, yet when I have browsed through small batch cooking; cook books, often times I have been disappointed with the quality of the recipes. Frequently a book in this category will call for half of an ingredient (like a beaten egg) leaving a portion of food that ultimately leads to waste. And while I know these authors worked hard on the content, those books stayed on the shelf at the store, instead of coming home with me.
I have been cooking long enough to cut a recipe down mathematically and come up with my own version of a smaller batch. But I also know from experience that while doubling a recipe works very well, cutting one in half, often does not. I was looking for formulated small batch recipes, that cooked or baked up just as well as full sized recipes have always done. You know quality food, not this will do food. This area of cooking is really a specialty, and after all these years plus my own failed attempts, no one can convince me otherwise.
You might be asking why I did not come up with my own versions of small batch recipes, and the short answer is, I did not want to have the food waste that recipe testing can produce. In our small family we already eat leftovers frequently and there is some wasted food. There would be more waste with recipe testing. Plus multiple repeats of the same food.....
It is also widely understood (especially in my own family household) that I hate food waste. I believe food waste to be the number one area any household can save wasted money. Wasted money! Yes, if you are wasting food, you have also wasted the money used to purchase the food.
Once we started growing a garden, I noticed a new awareness developing in me. I began to respect the food we grew in ways that I did not respect the food purchased at the grocery store. And I realized that I had an investment in our garden harvests. We invested land, time and hard work to produce that crop, and now those vegetables had intrinsic value to me. Where as the produce I purchased was simply a product. In that process of growing a garden, I began to define and understand myself better. And that is the long version of why I did not begin recipe testing for small batch cooking.
|Banana Muffins, fresh from the oven.|
NOTE: This is a basic, subtle flavored, not too sweet muffin. Perfect to enjoy for breakfast or with soup or salad at lunch. If you like a sweeter muffin, you could increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. This will be a fun (and easy) recipe to adapt for different flavors!
adapted from: The Gourmet Toaster Oven
2 banana, coarsely mashed
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c oil
1/3 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 c chopped walnuts, if desired
Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl, set aside. In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients to distribute the salt and soda evenly.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, fold in, taking care to not over mix.....(unfortunately this is also an area I am trying to improve on).
Divide into prepared muffin cups, bake 350 degrees 20-25 minutes or until done in your oven.
|Toaster ovens are excellent for small batch cooking!|
KITCHEN TIP: While I used the standard two bowl method in photographs for this recipe, in real life I would use only one bowl. Starting with the dry ingredients, combine in a large bowl, make a well in the center, add wet ingredients and fold together. Divide into prepared muffin cups, then bake. Easy and the clean up is quicker!
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this post shared with:
full plate thursday @ miz helen's
cookbook count down #4 @ kitchen flavors
our simple homestead hop @ on the home front
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice