Last week, I watched Oprah's show entitled "Food 101." Some of what they discussed really bothered me. The fact that chickens have been bred so their breast meat is bigget than it used to be surprised me.Is there really a need to morph chickens into these huge breasted birds? Then I started thinking about how portions on just about everything have increased in size. Think about it! If you go out to eat,the portions are gigantic! Do we really need this much food? Half of it goes to waste because the portions are ridiculous. No wonder we are an overweight nation.
I refuse to buy margarine. For years I did,because it was considered healthier than butter. However,when I actually thought about what margarine basically is (whipped vegetable oil,the kind one uses in the bottle)I came to the conclusion that there cannot be much nutritional value in conglealed vegetable oil. So now,we buy regular old butter. If it was good enough for the pioneers,it is good enough for us.
My Dear Friend Michelle has been on the "homemade is better" bandwagon for as long as I have known her,which would be four years.She would tell me about preservatives,and how she didn't want her children eating anymore of it than they had to,so she makes what she can. I heard her message,but for some reason never felt the need to pick up the torch and carry it with her.
Then,my son asked if I would buy Devil Dogs that week and Oprah came on.
A light bulb went off.
I could MAKE Devil Dogs. Well, they wouldn't be Devil Dogs precisely,but couldn't I make devils food cake,cut it in half,and put frosting in between the two layers? Devil Squares! No boxes,no plastic wrappers,no preservatives! And while I was at it,why didn't I just make cookies? Why buy the packaged kind that have addtiives to "maintain freshness?" Not from a mix,either,mine would be HOMEMADE from SCRATCH,baby!!!
My torch has been lit......
So my attempt at Devil Squares,while they did not come out perfectly square,was a good start. The only thing I had to buy was cocoa. I got the Devil's Food cake recipe from the New Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. What I should've done was use 2 8x8 pans-instead I used a not quite 9x 12,which required more baking time,and which made the cake hard to get out of the pan. So even though some edges came off,I was able to slice the cake down the middle lengthwise,and put the homemade confecttioners sugar frosting inbetween the two layers. I cut them up into squares,and they were very good,if I do say so myself.
I explained to Zach that I wanted to make nice,homemade treats,and that I made him my version of Devil Dogs. He tried one,and pronounced it better than a Devil Dog,and that he really appreciated that I made them from scratch "just for him." It made me feel great. They lasted a whole week,whereas the Devil Dogs would've been gone in a couple of days because there aren't many in the package and they aren't very big.
Yesterday I made homemade walnut chocolate chip cookies ( also from Better Homes and Gardens). I have made cookies before from scratch,but for some reason,these were the best I have ever made.Amazing! I wonder if part of it is because I WANT to make them,for good reasons,not because I HAVE to.
So....no more bought treats. It's from scratch all the way!