Difference between baking powder and baking soda

Both baking soda and baking powder are leaveners that cause baked goods to rise and give them a light texture. Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, an alkaline. When combined with acidic ingredients, such as buttermilk or sour cream, there is an immediate release of carbon dioxide gas; this causes baked goods to rise. The soda also neutralizes acidity; which tenderizes cake or bread. Batters and dough’s that only use baking soda as a leavening agent should be baked immediately to keep the texture light and ensure proper rise.

Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda; an acid, such as cream of tartar; and a moisture -absorber, such as cornstarch. Double -acting baking powder is the most readily available type and is used in most recipes. Double-acting baking powder produces carbon dioxide gas in two stages: when mixed with liquid and when heated, causing baked goods to rise.

Lydia Critchley

608-240-9773

creativecook@sbcglobal.net

Creative Cooking By Lydia, LLC

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Tips for Potato Salads

To cook potatoes for salads, scrub and wash potatoes (red potatoes work best); remove any eyes or sprouts. Place whole unpeeled potatoes in a large kettle. Cover with cold water; add 1-2 teaspoons salt for each quart of water. Cover and boil until fork-tender, yet firm. (Cooking times vary with size and variety – small potatoes may cook in 15 minutes (these are best) while larger ones may need 30 minutes.) Drain potatoes; allow to cool enough to peel. Use a knife to peel if desired. Slice or cut potatoes into chunks or slices.

Chill salad overnight for best flavor – so the dressing and onion flavors can penetrate the potatoes. Be generous with the dressing, as the potatoes absorb dressing and you do not want a “pasty” salad. Add lots of boiled eggs for good flavor. Chopped chives or fresh parsley gives it a nice touch of color. Paprika over the top of the finished salad is pretty.

Red potatoes are especially good for salads because they don’t absorb excess dressing or break apart as easily as other varieties. Because of their thin edible skin, they don’t need to be peeled, if so desired.

Lydia Critchley

608-240-9773

Creativecook@sbcglobal.net

Creative Cooking by Lydia, LLC

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LYDIA’S DATE NUT KRISPIES BARS

LYDIA’S DATE NUT KRISPIES BARS

 3 Tablespoons             Butter (do not substitute)

10 oz.                             Marshmallows

8 oz.                            *Dates, pitted and chopped (can use the pre-chopped version for ease in preparation)

Optional: ½ cup        Almonds sliced or pecans chopped small

1 teaspoon                   Vanilla extract

4 cups                          Rice cereal (Kellogg’s Rice Krispies is the brand I use)

¼ cup                          Wheat germ (honey toasted is best, but can use either kind)

 

Spray baking pan with cooking spray.  9”x13”x2”

In a large kettle, melt together the butter, marshmallows and dates, stirring often. Add vanilla extract and mix well.  Add cereal, wheat germ and nuts, mix until all are coated. Remove from heat and spread in prepared pan. Tip: if you spray your hands and/or plastic spatula, generously with cooking spray, the mixture does not stick to your hands or spatula.

Cool in the refrigerator until set.  Cut and enjoy. These bars can be stored at room temperature once set. They are easier to cut at room temperature.

I created this to make a healthier and more flavorful version of the standard Rice Krispie’s Bars, with the added dates, nuts and wheat germ.

* You could also use chopped pitted prunes or raisins (I recommend chopping them a bit so the bars are easier to cut). Other dried fruits can be used, as desired.

Lydia Critchley

608-240-9773

creativecook@sbcglobal.net

Creative Cooking By Lydia, LLC

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
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depends on size of bar as cut
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
depends on size of bar as cut
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How to make a rain gauge easier to read

It’s easy to read a rain gauge if you put a few drops of food coloring into the tube. Even if the colored water dries up, there is enough residue to help read the next rainfall.

Lydia Critchley

608-240-9773

creativecook@sbcglobal.net

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Tips for Better Gelatin Salads

Always use canned or cooked pineapple in gelatin salads. Fresh pineapple and kiwi fruit will prevent the salad from setting (getting stiff).

For easy removal of gelatin salads from mold, moisten the interior of the mold with cold water, rub vegetable oil inside or coat with  nonstick cooking spray before filling.

Lydia Critchley

608-240-9773

Creativecooking by Lydia.com

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Roman Apple Cake

ROMAN APPLE CAKE

1/2 cup            Flour

1 cup               Sugar, granulated

1/4 tsp.            Salt

1 tsp.               Baking soda

1/4 tsp.            Baking powder (I use Rumford brand – no aluminum in it – saves bitter taste in                                 baked goods)

Optional:

1 tsp.               Cinnamon

1 tsp.               Nutmeg

1/2 cup            Raisins

 

Mix and add:

1                      Egg, beaten

1/2 cup            Milk

1/2 cup            Butter or margarine, melted

 

Mix well together.  Add:

3 or 4               Apples, peeled and sliced

Pour into 7″x11″ glass pan – greased.

 

Topping:

2 Tbl.              Flour

2 Tbl.              Butter, soft

1/2 cup            Brown sugar

1/2 cup            Nuts (optional)

 

Mix and spread over top of cake.  Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.

Best served with real whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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Tasty and moist and so easy to make. Great for brunch or lunches.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
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pan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
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pan
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Creative Cooking

By

Lydia Critchley

608-240-9773

Spiced Squash Muffins

Spiced Squash Muffins Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min.
BAKE: 15 min.
YIELD:12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or 2 cups organic unbleached flour minus 2 tablespoons (unbleached and unbromated flour is not sifted, so you need to remove 1 tablespoon per cup used to make up for the sifted  (fluffing) of regular flour)
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar or a scant 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp. molasses
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup mashed cooked butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • TOPPING:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons cold butter

Directions

  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, squash, corn syrup, butter, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • 2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourth full. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.
  • 3. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 296 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated fat), 49mg cholesterol, 259mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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Chocolate Banana Muffins

Chocolate Banana Muffins Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min.

Bake: 20 min. + cooling

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YIELD:18 servings

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla. In another bowl, combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture just until combined. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
  • 2. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

Easy poached fish

Easy poached fish (cod, walleye, etc.): sprinkle with lemon pepper wrap in waxed paper, put in microwave dish and microwave until fish is flaky. Do not over bake, fish gets tough and dry if over- baked.

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