Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Real Deal

I certainly don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but over the years people have come to think of me as a good baker. It's been fun for me to bake things that people like! People sometimes ask me why my stuff turns out so yum-e (and trust me, it doesn't always.)

Here's one thing that I think makes the difference between good baking and great baking...real ingredients! I almost always use real ingredients. At the risk of sounding like a snob, I need to tell you that I NEVER use margarine. I never even buy margarine. I only use real butter. It is a bit more expensive, but I buy it at Costco and it's so much cheaper than at the grocery store. Trust me on this, it's worth the extra money, and remember that you're getting that advice from a cheapskate! Real butter makes a difference in cooking and baking, true and simple.

I also always use pure vanilla extract, and again, I buy it at Costco. A bottle will last you a long time and you can't compare the flavor of imitation vs real. I honestly believe it makes a difference.

If you've ever made a recipe that called for lemon juice and used the bottled juice you may have been disappointed in the final result. Real lemons are the only way to go.

I'm not over the top crazy when it comes to real ingredients. I'm a reasonable girl. I use ground nutmeg instead of grating it. I also have never ever used a real vanilla bean, the stuff in the bottle works just fine for me.

Here's my thinking, if you're going to go to the time and expense to make something, use the best ingredients available and make it as yum-e as possible. People will notice a difference, and you will become more popular than you ever knew possible! And isn't that what life's all about? Being popular? No? Well, either way, you'll make friends, and friends are worth having, that's for sure!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

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