A No-Buttermilk Solution

While I love the taste, low cost, and satisfaction that come with cooking and baking from scratch, it often involves a lengthy list of ingredients, some of which I don’t keep on hand.  Sure, I’ve got the basics:  flour, eggs, pasta, chicken broth, and more than a handful of spices…but buttermilk?  Not so much.  While buttermilk can be easily frozen (in 1 cup amounts, or whatever amount you usually use at one time) and thawed to use later, sometimes we’re still left without that important ingredient and no one to blame but ourselves – or the person who was supposed to buy more buttermilk.

Don’t sweat it.  As I promised last week, there’s a simple solution for the lack of buttermilk.  Here it is:

Lemon juice or vinegar + milk.

Technically, this makes sour milk, which is a replacement for buttermilk, but it’s much simpler than making real buttermilk.  I found that making your own buttermilk is possible, but it requires either cultured buttermilk as a starter or another ingredient that I rarely have in my fridge:  heavy cream.  Therefore, I’m sticking with the sour milk method.

Sour Milk/Buttermilk Replacement

Makes:  1 cup

  1. Place 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup
  2. Add enough milk to fill to 1 cup total liquid; stir
  3. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes before using
Easy peasy.  Now you don’t have to be angry at your designated buttermilk-buyer when you run out in the middle of making a cake.  You can make this in any amount, as long as you keep the same ratio of lemon juice/vinegar to milk.  Happy baking!

Breakfast, Twice

Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal.  This is perhaps because the experts say it should be your biggest meal of the day, so I feel no guilt loading up on eggs, fruit, and my favorite food group:  carbs.  Yum.  It could also be because I always wake up starving, my stomach immediately growling for a bowl of cereal.  Anyone else here go to bed already thinking about breakfast?  It can’t just be me.

In honor of my favorite meal, I’m here to share two simple forms of homemade fruit + carb deliciousness, neither of which are required to be consumed in the morning.  At my house we affectionately call that “brinner.”  Yep, breakfast for dinner.  And as much as I love breakfast in the morning, brinner really is a beautiful thing.  Don’t you think?

Whole Wheat Waffles

Makes:  about 8 belgian waffles

  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 t. sugar
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients
  2. Add egg yolks to dry ingredients, place egg whites in a small mixing bowl
  3. Beat whites until moderately stiff, set aside
  4. Stir butter, milk, and vanilla into dry ingredients
  5. Fold in egg whites
  6. Pour batter into hot waffle iron
While your waffles are cooking, you can make this:

Strawberry-Peach Syrup

Makes:  about 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of sliced fruit (mine was about 1/2 strawberries and 1/2 peaches, but you can use any combination of these or other fruits)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending on the fruit you use and how sweet you want the syrup to be)
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • dash cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 t. cornstarch (optional)
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine fruit, water, sugars, and cinnamon (if desired)
  2. Stir occasionally until fruit softens and mixture is heated through
  3. For a thicker syrup, mix cornstarch with a small amount of water and stir into fruit mixture
Note:  This recipe is very easy to adjust to your taste by modifying the type of fruit and the amounts of water, sugar, and cornstarch you use – it nearly always turns out well (I have to say “nearly”, just in case).
Alex loved this homemade syrup and said it was better than maple syrup or fresh (uncooked) fruit.  He even chose it over peanut butter on his waffles, which, if you know him at all, is a pretty big deal.  So, I decided to try it again the next time I was craving a carbohydrate-heavy breakfast, which is where the following recipe came into play.Whole Wheat-Buttermilk Pancakes

Makes:  8 pancakes

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 T. oil
  1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and make a well in the center of the mixture
  2. Combine egg, buttermilk, and oil; pour into flour mixture and stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy)
  3. Adjust to desired consistency with additional buttermilk or flour
  4. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto a lightly greased griddle or skillet over medium heat; cook until golden brown
And to top the pancakes…Cinnamon-Apple Syrup
  • 1 medium apple, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. cornstarch (optional)
  1. In a small saucepan, combine fruit, water, sugars, and cinnamon
  2. Stir occasionally until fruit softens and mixture is heated through
  3. For a thicker syrup, mix cornstarch with a small amount of water and stir into fruit mixture
Did that recipe sound familiar?  I told you it’s easy to modify!
If you’re feeling fancy, top your waffles or pancakes and syrup with a little powdered sugar or whipped cream to make them pretty.  As for me, I wasn’t feeling very fancy, just hungry.  Speaking of which, I could go for a little second breakfast right now…
P.S.  If you don’t have any buttermilk for the pancakes, don’t worry – I’ll be back soon with a quick fix for that!
P.P.S.  Been dying to know what’s going to happen with our headboard? It looks like the “tufts” have it!  I’ll share the details as soon as I finish breakfast the project.