Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Glorious Day!

I put the oven out at 1pm to heat up.

30 minutes later, I put in a new recipe: Whole Wheat & Wheat Germ Orange Cranberry coffee cake.

After it had been in the oven 1 hour, I turned the pan around, so that the front would get browning from the reflector.

At 4 pm, I snapped this shot and pulled it out.

Yes, it seems over done, but with the whole wheat flour and raw wheat germ, the recipe needed to cook longer to toast these ingredients.

Yes, it was quite yummy.
OH, and I am having much better luck with batter recipes, if I use parchment paper, instead of cooking spray, to prevent sticking.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Frozen to simmering in 2.5 hours

I've been fighting migraines for over a week now, and haven't felt like cooking much. Between the pharmacy switching one of my meds to a different generic and the hurricanes and cold fronts blowing through... I've been a zombie for a week.

I bought some frozen dinners this week, just to have some instant food in the house, when I don't have energy to actually cook. Today was absolutely perfect for solar cooking... no wind, no clouds, a very comfortable mid 80's air temp.

At 1: 30pm I put my roaster oven in the sun to heat; 30 minutes later, I got my food ready.

I grabbed my new Stansport Black Granite bowl (a bit of a disappointment, since it only holds one quart). Dumped a frozen Marie Calendar's Chicken Pot Pie into the bowl, put a glass lid on it and put that into the roaster oven. I readjusted the oven a couple of time through the cooking stage... the oven topped at almost 300F.

At 4pm, the roaster lid was completely covered in condensation, so I pulled the lid off and wiped it down; checked the inter temp of the pie (200 and simmering). I left the lid to the bowl off, and put it all back into the sun for a while to let the crust get crispy... I may have waited too long for that, but it looks beautiful!
OH, removing the roaster lid, dropped the interior temp by 50 degrees... gotta learn to not do that very much.
Added the next day: I left the pie in there for about 30 minutes longer, without the lid on the pot. The soft and gooey crust got beautifully crisp in that short time.
Yes, I will do this again! Effortless meals are a blessing when you don't feel like cooking.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rainy Day Blahs and Future Plans

With the hurricanes in the gulf, we've had a very mild summer... for us, that is.

Instead of having 45 days straight of triple digit temperatures, we've had only a handful... which makes for a pleasant summer, but not so good for solar cooking. Maybe I should have taken this up (for the second time) sooner!

The news I have for now is that I will be offering a class on solar cooking through our local university's continuing education department.

And I will be doing demos at our local Eco Fair in October.

I am still waiting on a Stansport 8" granite/enamel bowl... since the retailer didn't have three in stock. I'll keep everyone posted on how well this works... as soon as I receive it.