pantry basics

all-purpose baking mix

Jennie’s All-Purpose Baking Mix

makes a little more than 4 cups (619 grams)

3 3/4 cups (525 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated natural cane sugar

2 tablespoons (32 grams) baking powder

1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda

1 teaspoon (6 grams) fine sea salt

Add the ingredients to a large bowl; whisk to combine. Store in a tightly sealed container or plastic zip-top bags for up to 2 months. Ingredients will settle, so be sure to shake well before using.

Recipes using my All-Purpose Baking Mix:

preserving cherries {part one}

This blasted heatwave has me worried, and not for the reasons any sane individual would think. Frankly, it's cramping by canning schedule. Who wants to boil pots of water to properly seal jars?

Not me.

Next week we'll talk about making maraschino cherries and an irresistable cherry conserve, which is the base for making homemade cherry slushies. Today calls for something that doesn't require adding more heat to fan the flames of the sun's rays.

Thankfully there's more than one way to preserve a cherry (and strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, really the list goes on and on). When I remodeled the kitchen a few years back, I purposely sought out a fridge and freezer that could hold my half sheet pans. I'm really glad I thought ahead, because right now chances are you'll find a tray in my freezer, similar to the one you see above, at any given moment.

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preserving a way of life

This past Saturday started somewhat normal. I rose at an abnormal hour for a weekend day, this time feeling a bit more tired and slow-moving, having played cruise director to Isabella. Since the whistle blew last Tuesday at noon, my life has been kids, kids and more kids.

Wednesday we trekked to Harlem to visit Kim. I think I was more excited about this playdate than Isabella. I was happy and at peace, sitting across from one of my best friends while the girls played.

Thursday we walked the High Line and cooled off with some stracciatella from L'Arte del Gelato and plum syrup soaked shaved ice from People's Pops.

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lazy girl chickpeas

A few years back a good friend, who happens to be Armenian, said my hummus reminded her of her mother's. She wasn't alone in her enthusiasm recently. The hummus was a hit at the girls' birthday party last weekend. Another friend's husband said I should open a shop selling it. While I'm not ready to make that move just yet, I did decide to share the secret to making really great hummus.

It's all in the beans.

More precisely, in how you cook the beans. Sure, you can just use water. But adding a few aromatics to the pot transforms them above and beyond the canned variety. Thanks to Olga, I started adding a bit of olive oil too—my heavens talk about upping the ante folks.

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white bean hummus

Would you think me totally crazy if I said hummus has become a comfort food?

The simplicity of homemade flatbread and a creamy bowl of hummus quickly cures hunger pains when I'm in the midst of a crazy work day.

In the early evening, a smear along with some cut up carrots curbs my pre-dinner snacking (I recently tacked a photo on the fridge from my skinny days for swimsuit season inspiration).

And the kids finally love it too. I've written lots of articles about snack foods for kids, and hummus inevitably makes its way into them, but until a few weeks ago Isabella would dab her finger in the bowl, then wrinkle her nose.

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homemade whole grain mustard

While shopping today, I had another one of those moments.

You know, the kind where insanity takes over and beats all reason and sense into the recesses of my mind.

I added mustard to my pantry shopping list after noticing there was just a teaspoon or two left in the jar. I've been quite happy with Maille for years. That was until today, when faced with forking over $3 for a jar, I decided to put the mustard seeds I had at home to good use.

I'd been meaning to make it ever since I came across the recipe in Heidi's new book Super Natural Every Day. By the way, this book has not left my countertop since the review proofs came in January. Now that it's officially released, you must scoop up a copy for yourself.

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