I mentioned in my vacation part 1 post that I did a lot of baking for this road trip. I went on a crazy baking rampage for a few reasons. 1 I’m trying to limit and eventually cut out all processed foods from our diets, we’ve always been really good about this for Lily, but not so much for ourselves. 2 We are pretty careful what we feed Lily so by me baking my head off I was pretty confident that she would continue to have health-ish snacks. 3 I fricking love to cook/bake and this was an excellent excuse to go crazy. Pretty much any of those things would have done it for me, but when you put all 3 together I pretty much gave myself license to go buck wild.
For weeks before the trip I scoured Pinterest and pinned anything that fit the bill. Oh yeah, I had pretty tough criteria. Mostly healthy, little to no sugar, yummy and within the realm of what I could do with what I already had and my skills. Most of the time I’m very happy to try a new recipe if it looks great and especially if I get to buy a new gadget for it, but I was trying to keep the cost down because this vacation was already stretching our budget.
If a recipe fit into my list of requirements I’d print it and put it in a stack. I was shocked that I only printed 5 or 6 recipes and ended up making almost all of them. I also made two of my standby recipes, on planned and one last minute addition.
I had what I was going to make and when all planned out because I only have so much time that I can devote to the kitchen every day. The first thing I made were homemade wheat thin type crackers. I had never made this recipe before and wasn’t sure how well they were going to turn out. I mean they have vanilla and paprika in them. (Oh and the recipe calls for vanilla paste which I’ve used in the past and loved, but didn’t want to shell out $10 for at the moment, I just used vanilla extract and it worked out fine.) That just seemed too weird for me. Boy was I wrong and I’m so glad I was. I made my first batch (the only batch I had planned on making) and gave Lily one to try out. I then sat down to chat with Rita (my Mother in Law) and before I knew it Lily was back for more and then again back for more and again and again, till I cut her off. I took a few to Waldo while he was working (bonus point for him working at home, he can taste test recipes immediately) and he loved them too. I looked at the jar I had put them in and realized that about half of my batch was gone and I’d need to make more for the trip. If you even remote like wheat thins you should make these, you will thank me.
The next thing I made was the standby recipe that I had planned. I have been making the goldfish crackers from Smitten Kitchen for a few months now and they are a huge success. Don’t get me started on the quest I’ve been on for a reasonably priced micro cookie cutter, I don’t care if it’s a fish or not, I just don’t want to pay $15 for a 1″ cutter. So I ended up buying at least 4 different sets of cutters and spent probably around $20. I don’t understand my logic sometimes. But hey, I have like 18 really small cookie/veggie cutters. Oh and if you are interested the ones that I liked the best were Japaneses Bento veggie cutters, one or two of them are the closest to the real goldfish cracker size. I know, I bought a small box of real goldfish crackers and compared. I tell you, once I get invested in a quest for perfection I get a little crazy.
The standby recipe that I didn’t plan on making, but made anyway was my eggless banana bread muffins. Rita pointed out that I had some really old bananas on the counter so banana bread mini muffins happened. In the end I’m always really glad to have these little muffins around. Lily and Waldo love them, they have very little sugar in them and they are easy to make. Sorry I can’t find the recipe anywhere.
The last strictly healthy recipe I made was granola bars. I have been on a quest for great granola bars. Waldo doesn’t care much for regular broken up granola, but he loves them in bar form. I think I found the holy grail of granola bars with this recipe. I added a few things to the existing recipe and left out the sesame seeds (I forgot them, I didn’t leave them out on purpose). I added about 1/4 cup of quinoa flakes and about the same of unsweetened coconut shavings. Everyone that tried them (I made just about everyone we know try all of my treats) loves these the best of all.
The last thing I made has little to no health benefits to them. I wanted to make something easy, fun and delicious to eat for breakfast (or whenever) in the car. I’ve also always wanted to make scones and this was a perfect excuse. I made Glazed cinnamon scones. They are sort of like scones shaped cinnamon buns. Yum.
For me making all of these yummy snacks was a great way to prepare for and get excited about this vacation. I love making yummy food that my people will scarf up and if it impresses my friends all the better.
I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of any of these snacks in the making or finished stages. Lame.