I have been a bad blogger these past few weeks. I apologize. I have my kids home and my husband around, and I just want to spend my time with them most days.
However, I am still solar cooking! Most things are oldies but goodies, but I should share how they are working out.
Chili – yet -just as good this time as it was the first day I solar cooked. I can’t recommend this recipe enough!
Cupcakes – I made the Bob’s Redmill Vanilla Cake ones this time, and they turned out better then the chocolate ones. I make them as cupcakes so that they will fit into the oven. I have to put a black towel over the muffin tin so that they will cook, and I’m having trouble with the towel getting into the batter. I may need to try toothpicks to alleviate this problem.
Rice – I bombed this. I have been cooking later in the afternoon as the sun is staying up longer and I have been able to cook after 3:00. However, the cooker just didn’t boil the water, so I had to regroup for this. Next time I’ll cook it earlier!
And then we went on vacation again (a bit a fiasco for another time) and once again the solar oven wouldn’t fit in the car.
The cooker itself is holding up well, though it is getting a bit dirty inside. I may need to try cleaning it again. Hopefully I will remember not to use vinegar, as the last time I ended up with vinegar tasting food! Yuck!
I couldn’t just leave those lovely packages of cupcake mix alone. I know they were supposed to be for the canceled birthday party, but they looked so yummy! I had to try them!
I had the Bob’s Red Mill chocolate cake mix, and I made it according to the directions for cupcakes. I preheated my solar cooker (which only got up to 300°F) and tried to bake them.
I must have something wrong. It took over an hour to bake one small tray of cupcakes. I did manage to finish two trays, but that is only 12 cupcakes and it took me about 4 hours. Perhaps I am angling it incorrectly?
My husband made squash afterwards and got it up to 350°F in the late afternoon sun, so it is probably just me…
Rating: mushy cupcakes. I will have to try again later.
I have been trying to post even when things aren’t going as solar-splendidly as I might like. Today is a good example.
I had purchased two bags of baking mixes to make cupcakes for my son’s birthday party tomorrow. It was going to be a candy theme (his choice) and we were going to have a table of toppings that you could put on your cupcake to decorate it. Today was going to be cupcake baking day in preparation for tomorrow’s sugar-fest.
However, we have come down with a stomach bug, and just had to cancel the party. I’m not really feeling up to baking, and I suspect I shouldn’t bake while sick anyway. So, alas, these two bags are the reminder of the solar cooking that I didn’t do today…
We were invited out unexpectedly yesterday evening, and our host mentioned that they had made a bunny cake for Easter, but that it was not gluten- free. Never fear, I thought! So I whipped up a small batch of carrot cake cupcakes to complement their bunny cake. I used the Betty Crocker recipe as a guide and then made vegan and gluten-free substitutions:
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
1/2 cup sugar (leave this out if restricted)
1 cup applesauce
3 Tbsp flax + 9 Tbsp water
2 cups rice flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups shredded carrots
Mix all together and bake in solar oven for about 45 minutes in lined muffin pan. I had to put a towel over mine, and some of the tops stuck to it, so I made a glaze from powdered sugar and a bit of almond milk to cover it up. They turned out fun and yummy! Next time I’ll try to curb the sugar more.
Rating: good and festive, even if not entirely pretty.