Monday, July 15, 2013

A base for many dishes

As I was standing in the kitchen making dinner, I realized how I could turn my go to base into many different dishes. The base is meat, onion, garlic, tomatoes and tomato sauce. It is my go to dinner when I am in a pinch or wanting some homemade goodness. So simple and easy and the leftovers can be made into other dishes to keep kids interested.
1 pound of ground meat (beef, venison or whatever you like)
Diced onion (you pick the amount)
Chopped garlic (again you decide how much)
1 can or jar of diced tomatoes (drain if you want)
2 cans or jars of tomato sauce

Simple huh? From here I can add elbow noodles for goulash, Italian spices for spaghetti, or turn it into chili with beans, cumin, and chili powder. Tonight I will serve it with corn on the side, if there are enough leftovers, it will all go in one pan and become chili mac tomorrow. You could even make leftover sauce into meat loaf. I am sure I could go on and on about different dishes to make from it. What is a favorite base your family loves to eat?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Brownie Pudding

This recipe is out of a recipe book my Mom put together when she was in school. I found this recipe next to the squash relish and let me say that they are both awesome! It is super easy to put together and very easy to eat, lol.
Brownie Pudding:
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 T cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp salad oil or melted shortening (I used coconut oil)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts (I used half pecans and half chocolate chips, because that is what I had, it rocked)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coca powder
1 3/4 cup hot water
Sift together first 5 ingredients. Add milk, oil, and vanilla, mix until smooth. (its kinda thick) Stir in walnuts. Pour into greased 8 x 8 x 2 pan. Mix together brown sugar and cocoa, sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over entire batter. Bake in oven at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve warm. It ends up having a layer of brownie on top and pudding underneath it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

You make your own what?

 When it comes to being self sufficient and economical, making your own things for the household tops the list of things to do. Weather its making peanut butter or laundry soap. Nearly, if not all things for your home can be made instead of bought, given you have enough land and everything needed to support it. When I started to realize that bad chemicals were in the things my children used I wanted to get stuff without chemicals. When I realized the price of said things, I decided I could make it myself. When I started making things myself I realized I cant make it all and some things are better left bought from the store. Now this doesn't apply to everyone, but when you have 5 boys and work your time is short when you get home. I try to add new things to make and I try to keep somethings around that we like better homemade. Some things are cheaper to make, but cheaper isn't always better. I keep in mind the price to make versus the price to buy and somewhere in the middle I ask if we actually like it better homemade.
  To start making my own stuff I picked something simple, laundry detergent. My boys and I have sensitive skin and can only use certain kinds of detergent. They are also dirt loving children. When I made my own detergent it worked for a bit, then clothes didn't come clean. Then I got married to a mechanic and his clothes really didn't come clean. So the best choice for us at the moment is store bought detergent. I have found out over the years that we love homemade bread. I try my best to make it, but I cant always find the time. I have even tried the bread in 5 minutes a day thing. While I liked the prepared dough in the fridge, we didn't like the taste that happened when the dough was there a few days. So I make bread when I can and we eat it like we have never seen bread before.
 I suggest when the feeling strikes to start making something homemade that you research it. I look all over for recipes and comments of how it has worked for others. When I finally decide to commit to a recipe I check and see if its cheaper than buying said product at the store. If it is or relatively close I make it and see if the family likes it. Somethings are not well accepted and some only a few like. One of the biggest obstacles we have faced is peanut butter. The biggest peanut butter fans did not like the texture of homemade. When I make it I just use a food processor and no extra oil, so its a little gritty. My husband and I love it, but the boys have taken a little longer to convince. By using it in recipes more and more they have come around to the idea.
 You also have to realize when making your own that some things will be a bitter failure, but don't get discouraged with it. I have made stuff that the boys and husband have raved about how wonderful it is, only to find it not eaten later. Granola bars top this list, we all loved how they tasted, but no one wanted to eat them after the first try. Its a trial and error kind of thing. Finding what you like to make, have time for, and what you actually like. Some things we stick to now that are completely homemade, Ill never buy again if I can help it are:
Peanut butter
Syrup- I use Mapleine, the directions on the box make wonderful syrup.
Chocolate Cake
Jelly and Jam
Counter Cleaner/Fresh spray-Vinegar/Water with Peppermint oil
Some things we love homemade, but I cant always make are:
Vegetables from the garden- Hey its homemade, but I can only grow so much at our house
Cinnamon Rolls
Venison-Since we hunt I can consider this brought in homemade.
Spices- I only have so much room for herbs, so my store runs out fast. I dehydrate them to save them.
Things I want to try or I am learning to do:
Sewing Clothes/dish towels and such
Make Marshmallows
Make Herbal Medicines
Make Vanilla Extract
Things I will never, ever make again:
Laundry Detergent
This is just a small list, I am sure I could add more if I sat for days trying to remember everything. I hope you get an idea from this. If you have never even thought of making things homemade now is a good time to start. My favorite place to look is my facebook newsfeed, I also like pinterest. What items do you like to make homemade and what items will you never make again?