We’re getting our homemade on around here. That’s really my version of whole foods living. If I can make it myself, I do. I’m hoping this counts is a baby step toward cutting back on refined sugar and maybe even less grains.
But maybe not. We’ll see.
In the meantime, here’s ten easy recipes for homemade versions of everyday goodness. Enjoy!
Honestly, rice-a-roni isn’t one of my favorite dishes, but my husband and kids love it. Yes, it’s already pretty cheap and coupons abound, but I’m giving that control up, remember? And they eat it in such great quantity the couple of times a month I rotate it into our menu (usually alongside a saucy piece of chicken) that I was having to make at least two boxes to keep up with the demand. Then I stumbled upon this recipe from The Prudent Homemaker and was hooked. So easy, ingredients I already keep on hand, and the best part? Smashing the vermicilli is a great stress reliever.
Chicken Flavored Rice
Mix equal parts white rice with vermicilli broken into tiny bits. (I make a large quantity of this to have on hand). Saute one cup of the rice mix in 2 tbsp butter. Add 2 cups water mixed with 5-6 tsp chicken flavored bouillon granules (depending on your taste) and 1 tsp dried parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Coffee Creamer
This one is still in the experimental stage although we’ve gone through an entire bottle of hazelnut syrup in the past six weeks trying to find the perfect ratio of cream-milk-flavoring-sugar to suit our highly caffeinated and super sweet taste buds. (This would be where trying to cut the sugar comes in.) I’ve pinned several recipe pages, and my friend Abigail swears by the one with sweetened condensed milk (which is my next experimental homemade recipe), but so far, what I like best is blending equal portions of milk and cream with sugar and flavoring to taste. The best part is, again, these are usually ingredients I have on hand anyway, so I no longer feel the stress of being out of International Delight and needing a grocery run at 10 p.m. before the 5 a.m. alarm.
3. Cream Soups
I’m loving this one. In the past year, I’ve probably bought canned cream of chicken soup twice just because I was in a hurry to get a meal done and didn’t have ten extra minutes. But this recipe is definitely better!
Cream of Chicken Soup (adapted from Simply in Season)
2 cups dry milk powder
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken flavored bouillon granules
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp onion powder (optional)
Mix ingredients together. Store in a tightly covered container in fridge until ready to use. To prepare amount equal to one can, mix 1 1/4 cup cold water with 1/3 cup of mix in a saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. (Will take about 10 minutes and will burn if it gets too hot.) **I like to use a saute pan because I can achieve consistency faster and often I’m adding in other ingredients to make a casserole, so I’m conserving my dirty dishes.
4. Alfredo Sauce
I don’t make a lot of white sauces, but one pizza night Joshua had a friend coming who doesn’t like tomato sauce, so I gave this one a try. Oh my goodness. It was awesome. So easy, so cheesy, so delicious on the homemade pizza dough.
Alfredo Sauce (adapted from Simply in Season)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
Heat butter in saucepan and then add flour. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes then remove.
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg (optional)
Add and return to heat. Bring to a boil, stir constantly until thickens. Add 1/2- 1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese. Remove from heat. Spread on pizza dough or if too thick, add more milk and serve with pasta.
5. Pizza Dough
The Pioneer Woman will show you how to make this with great photographs and witty comments. Or you can wait for me to get around to posting a tutorial, but you’ll probably have to order takeout a few more times first because I’ve had a draft for this post in my account for a year. This is the simplest and most foolproof pizza crust recipe ever. Sometimes I even use whole wheat flour and pretend it’s very healthy under all that cheese. If you really want to know how to do it and you live local to me, just stop by one Friday night and we can knead together. Or you can check out some of my pizza recipes here.
“Affle” was one of Gus’s first words. Might be a commentary on how often I make this recipe. Honestly, at least once a week. So lego my eggo and give it a try. Yes, it really is better with whole wheat flour. I like to slice fruit and top the waffle but my kids just prefer syrup. Or a fried egg. Or a piece of sausage. Then they eat the unwashed strawberries straight from the container while I’m cooking. Seriously, mornings at my house require coffee with lots of cream (see #2).
Whole Wheat Waffles (from Simply in Season)
2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt OR 1 cup milk and 1 cup yogurt
Beat eggs and stir in yogurt mixture in large bowl.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Mix in a small bowl and then add to wet ingredients. Stir until just moistened.
1/4 cup oil or melted butter
Add and stir until just blended. Overstirring makes tough waffles. I bake mine in a Belgium waffle maker that makes four 4×4 waffles at a time using about 1/4 cup batter per waffle. I usually get 16 waffles out of this recipe. I usually have none left.
As in baked with lots of goodies like blueberries or peanut butter or chocolate chips for a special treat. My family loves instant oatmeal but can eat through a box of ten little packets in two days, so I started trying this. Jane over at Thy Hand Hath Provided has a great recipe that they all like and is quick to whip together. It makes a lot, too, so I usually just half it. This is the perfect breakfast for chilly mornings!
|Might I recommend a bib before feeding the baby?
8. Tomato Sauce
This is another one of those things I almost never buy anymore. It’s so easy to make a homemade version and it’s good even if tomatoes are out of season and I use canned. I’ll be making huge batches of this all summer to freeze. We use it as our pizza sauce as well. Sometimes I even use it as a base for vegetable soup. Or best of all, I just dip a hunk of homemade bread right in the pot. It’s awesome and worth the time. I promise. You can find the recipe on a post I did right here.
9. Salad Dressing
With all the varying recipes out there, why wouldn’t you make your own? I like the simplest versions and am forever stuck on this version of balsamic vinegarette. Yes, sugar, I know. That’s what makes it good.
Balsamic Vinegarette (adapted from Thy Hand Hath Provided)
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup sugar or honey
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Mix together well and serve with spinach salad and homemade bread. Or drizzle over bruschetta.
10. Apple Dip
This is one of our favorite snacks right now and I feel like super healthy mom when I serve it. So simple that the recipe was told to me by my friend Kelly on the yogurt aisle of Ingles one Saturday morning. Super yum.
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
1-2 tbsp honey
Mix together and serve with sliced apples. May need to adjust quantities to taste. The first time I made this I used vanilla flavored yogurt. That was really good, too.
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