Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fake Baking for the Summer

Nope. I'm not talking about going to a tanning booth all summer long. I'm talking about faking up some popular mixes to be more frugal and have some fun.

The summer is upon me... school will be out in less than a month! Now, my summer is not that different from the rest of my year these days - I mean, except for the fact that I don't have to TA a class this summer, I still have my two part-time jobs (10 hours per week each) and of course that giant paper that I've been working on. I'm hoping to have my data by the end of June, so I'll be back to working regularly on my dissertation with a goal of finishing by November/December of this year.

My favorite activity/craft to do is sewing, but in our current apartment situation, there is not really a place where I can leave a workstation out - and that means that if I want to sew, I have to get out all the equipment and get set up, and when I'm done, I have to get it all put away again. Its not that easy to do and it probably takes 15 minutes minimum on each end. So my sewing has really tapered off since Curby moved in, because when I only have an hour or so to do my hobby, and 30 minutes is taken up by getting set up and put away.... you can imagine that its sort of discouraging. Who wants the set up and take down to take as much time as the fun times themselves?

So until we get that solution solved, my solution is cooking and baking.  With a little planning in advance, I can figure out new fun meals to try and also create some mixes that I can then use as gifts or when company comes over, or just have around in case Curby and I want cookies. :)

On Pinterest yesterday, I found these G.R.E.A.T. recipes for "fake frugal mixes" - basically the author decided that she was going to make homemade versions of those cookie and corn bread mixes. Now, I often make extra cookie dough and keep it mixed up in my freezer, and then I just cut off slices to bake up when I have company or want a couple cookies. But I thought that this was a great way to have the dry ingredients ready to go at any time. I also like that this is a way to avoid a lot of the filler that you find in conventional packaged goods. (especially, since I would not normally make cornbread from scratch, for example) And I'm thinking about doing it for a bunch of different recipes, not limited to just those which are posted below.

So anyway, here's to trying to do things that bring me great joy over the summer - even if that means less sewing and more snacks.

Fake-it-Frugal Cookie Mixes:

Fake-it-Frugal Jiffy Corn Bread Mix:

Finally... I would use homemade vanilla ice cream with this, but.....
Fake-it-Frugal Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream!