Monday, October 5, 2009

Baking Supplies - Check!

The last few things I’ve cooked or baked were made from ingredients I had on hand (save for the almond flour in the Macarons a couple of weeks ago), but that’s not always the case, especially with ‘baking season’ nearly here!. When I find a recipe I want to make, I go through my cupboards to see which ingredients I have on hand. While I am sometimes surprised that I have as much as I do, it’s no fun to find have you heart set on a dish only to find you need to buy over half the items necessary to make it.

So – instead of actually making anything this weekend, I got ready to make anything – and everything! I cleaned out what I call my ‘baking cupboard’. It’s a two-shelf cupboard that’s inconveniently high and deep requiring a step stool for any item that isn’t darn close to the front. Needless to say, when I have to stretch and reach for something now and again, when it’s time to put the item back, it pretty much just gets lobbed back up there. Hence – the clean-out. I didn’t think about taking a picture of said cluttered baking cupboard pre clean-out ‘cuz, dude, you do not need to see that first thing on a Monday morning but I did snap a few pics of what I came across…

Who has this much corn syrup and molasses?! I had 5 partial bottles of Karo (well, one bottle was ‘Jim’s Brand’) in various flavors and two bottles/jars of molasses. I DO like making caramel corn – that explains the Karo but I must not have inventoried my molasses before I made Shoo-Fly cupcakes several months ago because there’s no reason to have more than one bottle of molasses in my kitchen. I just don’t use it very often. And dang that stuff is strong, eh?!

What a find! I whole, unopened jar of Macadamia nuts! That’s practically like gold! Macs are spendy so to have them on hand for an upcoming holiday treat is super fun. The Quaker corn meal was a bit of a surprise as well. I never woulda known this corn meal was in my house as I have a box of corn meal. It’s the cornmeal I always use when I make homemade pizzas. I didn’t even know Quaker made corn meal, I wouldn’t have bought a brand new corn meal ‘cuz I have corn meal and I know I have corn meal! Can you tell I’m a bit bothered by this corn meal?!? How in the heck did it get there?! I know it’s not a huge deal….but it freaks me out a little. See behind the corn meal (that I didn’t buy)…Hooters wing breading. Musta been the Hubs’ way to get SOME fraction of Hooters into our house. It’s unopened and like 5 years old. No, I didn’t toss it – I’ve seen it every time I’ve cleaned out the cupboard since we bought it – it’s like an old friend now.
Here’s my corn meal! In the pic at 10:00!! And that’s just one of three partial bags of powdered sugar that I was able to consolidate into one container. I love my big box full of Jell-o! I keep all my Jell-o pudding and gelatin mixes in one big box so I can pull the whole thing down and choose exactly what I want. Oh and look…..Craisins! And what you cant’ see in the pic is that there are TWO, brand new, unopened bags full! I remember buying them to make white chocolate bark with pecans last Christmas but I never got around to making it. So now, I have them to make into a scrumptious treat this season! SOMEthing tells me they just might end up in some white chocolate macadamia oatmeal cookies! Y-U-M! Don’t know how long those dry-roasted peanuts had been I the cupboard, but they took a dive into the trash and their container into the recycling. How a giant Hershey bar was left partially eaten is beyond me – and even further beyond me is how it managed to get back in the cupboard after the cleaning, rather than in my belly!
I was able to empty two half bags of sugar into my tried and true, one-thumb-closeable, Tupperware, sugar canister and I did the same for a half bag of flour. I found two empty boxes in my arts-n-crafts closet and, like my ‘Jell-o box’, filled one with cupcake liners, birthday candles and my Pampered chef flour & sugar shakers etc. The other box held things that make cookies chunky! The mac nuts, two bags of coconut and the two bags of craisins, various chocolate chips and the like. I put items I don’t use very often in the back of the cupboards then slid in the more frequently used items in front so I can take them down and inventory them easily before shopping trips.
Now I know off the top of my head what I have and what I don’t. Not only does that make it way more fun to pick which recipe to make but it gives me ideas for my own creations as well! Most of all, I feel organized, and ready for a fun fall baking season and nothing is better than that!
I hear caramel corn calling! Let’s get cookin’!

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