Friday, March 26, 2010

Morning Motivation

I've learned that, for me, the sun is a major motivator. So, knowing that the clouds were gonna be rolling in this afternoon, I took full advantage of the glorious morning sun and worked in the kitchen. I have accomplished three tasks this morning. Two of the "money-saving" kind and one of the "rewards and craving" kind.

It all actually started last night when I soaked the black beans. Now let me just preface this by saying that my husband, he don't eat meat, he eats a TON of beans. You would think that a can of beans, (and I buy the "cheap" .69 cent kind), wouldn't put such a dent in our wallets. I'd tend to agree with you, only my husband LOVES his beans and every penny counts. I discovered from the blog, A Year of Slow Cooking, that a bag of dried beans costs about $1.89 and that bag yields about an equivalent of THREE cans of beans. So, doing the math I realize I'm not going to be a millionaire from the savings, but EVERY penny saved is a penny earned! The other thing I learned and love is that the beans will keep in the freezer for 4-6 months...Did I mention my love for my Deep Freezer?

With the black beans doing its thing in the slow cooker, I moved on to the second "money-saving" task. Baking Bread. This, to me is intimidating, daunting, challenging; I mean, come on there's YEAST involved. I've NEVER worked with yeast. This task took a lot of research, prep work, and organization before actually trying, because that's what I do when I'm faced with attempting something new. Anyway, when there is nothing to do but bake the bread, that's what I finally did and did it pretty well. Of course, I have some modifications to make, but all in all, mission accomplished. With 5 cups of flour and a few other things I made TWO loaves of bread.  I have to tell you I am VERY proud of myself.  I made bread from scratch!
The inspiration to bake bread came from this post.

All this money saving, I deserve a treat! So I made this...

Cinnamon Roll Cake
(recipe found on A Southern Grace)

1 box of yellow cake mix
4 eggs
¾ cup oil
1 cup sour cream (I used 1 cup of yogurt + 1 teaspoon of baking soda)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2-4 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 13x9-inch baking pan.

Mix the first four ingredients by hand and pour into the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the cake batter. Swirl decoratively with a knife.

Bake for 40-50 minutes and let it cool briefly before adding the icing.

To make the icing, stir together the sugar and milk until smooth, adding more milk as needed. Pour over the warm cake.

Now if you'll excuse me for a bit, I've got some scrumpcious yumminess that needs my undivided attention.

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