Make it Yourself and Save a Little Dough ;)
The following are from Mary Hunt's "Everyday Cheapskate" newsletter. How many others of us have "homemade" recipes to share?
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
4 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons molasses
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons corn syrup (like Karo light)
2 1/2 cups water
Mix all ingredients and place in a saucepan over low heat; simmer gently until you get the consistency of ketchup, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Taste and adjust salt if necessary before serving.
Clean your empty ketchup bottle, then pour this mixture in for a cheap and much tastier alternative to store-bought ketchup. Yield: About 3 cups; 24 ounces.
You should be able to make this ketchup for about half the price of the commercial variety. And once you taste homemade, chances are you wonít go back to any brandóitís that good. Note: Heinz Ketchup at this writing: $3.56 for 32 ounces.
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup raspberry wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all the ingredients. Shake well. Yield: 1 1/2 cups dressing; 12 ounces.
Note: Marieís Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing at this writing: $4.49 for 11.5 ounces.
Never-Fail French Pastry Pie Crust
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
5 tablespoons ice water
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Mix well, then cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, combine egg, vinegar, and 4 tablespoons of water. Whisk together, then add gradually to flour mixture, stirring with a fork. Mix only until dough forms a ball. Add one more tablespoon of water if necessary. Do not overwork or crust will become tough.
Allow dough to rest in refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling out. Yield: 2 pie crusts.
Note: Pillsbury Pie Crust at this writing is $4.19 for 15 ounces which contains two crusts.
I always make my own pie crust, and I will definately be trying the Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing. I'm going to substitute canola oil for the vegetable oil for a healthier option.
Spices and Spice Blends
EASY HOMEMADE APPLE PIE SPICE
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Combine all ingredients. If you make extra, store in an airtight container.
If your recipe calls for taco seasoning and you don't have a package handy, use this easy-to-make substitute.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of minced dried onions in a small bowl or cup.
Add 2 teaspoons of chili powder.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Mix it all together well and use in place of packaged taco seasoning.
A delicious mixture for Italian dishes, including sauces, meatballs, lasagna recipes, and more.
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried sage
Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container.
ALL PURPOSE SEASONING:
Use this seasoning blend on meat and vegetables.
1 teaspoon dried leaf basil, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon leaf oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Mix together and store in air tight container.
You can make these up to keep in the pantry for "emergencies," or give as gifts. Be sure to include the instructions!
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
Combine dry ingredients. Cut in shortening thoroughly with a pastry blender. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Makes 8 cups, or enough for 4 one-pint jars yielding 4 batches of brownies.
HERE ARE THE INSTRUCTIONS TO MIX IT UP OR TO INCLUDLE WITH YOUR GIFT:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups brownie mix with 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Stir until just moistened. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until center is set.
Makes 16 brownies.
Homemade mayonnaise is fast and easy to make in a blender or food processor. You can make flavored variations by including various herbs.
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 cup oil, peanut or corn
1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Place everything but the oil and lemon juice in the blender or processor container. Process 5 seconds in the blender; 15 seconds in the processor. With the motor running, add the oil, first in a drizzle, then in a thin, steady stream.
When all the oil has been added, stop the motor and taste. Add lemon juice to your taste. If the sauce is too thick, thin with hot water or lemon juice. If too thin, process a little longer.
Yield: 1-1/4 cups
Make-your-own Brown Sugar
If you are in the middle of a recipe and realize you are OUT of brown sugar, give this a try: Add a tablespoon of molasses to one cup of white sugar. Mix together with a fork until thoroughly incorporated, and you have instant brown sugar. Add more molasses if you want it darker or less if you want it lighter.
A few more "Tips" (Not really make-it-yourself stuff)
NO SLIDING BOWLS. Put a small piece of rubber shelf liner under your bowl when using a hand held mixer. It will keep the bowl from sliding around on the counter. This liner also works well under your cake or pie to keep it from sliding to one side in your cake or pie carrier.
COFFEE POT STAINS. Got a stained coffee pot or thermos that canít go in the dishwasher and even vinegar wonít clean? Drop a smidgeon of dishwashing detergent and follow with boiling water. Just swish and wipe, and that build-up washes away.
CANDLE WAX REMOVER. Instead of scraping candle wax out of potpourri burners, votive cups, or wax tart warmers, just pop the whole thing in the freezer for 10 minutes. The wax gets cold and hard and slips easily away from the surface to which it was stuck. You can reuse the candle tarts later.
EASY WATERING. When watering indoor plants, use ice cubes that melt slowly and do not drench the plants. This is a good tip for seniors who do not want to carry a heavy watering can to the plant location. This technique also works for children who are learning to water in moderation.
WINDOW WASHING. When washing your homeís windows, try using windshield washer fluid. It removes bugs, tree sap and bird droppings. It is also fast acting and streak-free. One gallon can cost as little as $1. Just pour some in a spray bottle, spray on your windows, and wipe off with newspapers.
FRESH BREAD. Want a way to keep bread fresher longer, or have it come out of the freezer like the day you bought it? As soon as you get home, open the loaf and wrap a paper towel around the end. Re-close the bag and either freeze the loaf or store on your counter or in your bread box.
You will need:
a clean 1 gallon plastic jug;
1 pint of rubbing alcohol (buy when on sale)
1/4 cup of non sudsing ammonia
3-4 drops of dishwashing detergent
Put the ingredients into the jug and fill it up with water. Fill some into a spray bottle and you are in business for about 70 cent p gallon.
This will clean windows, cabinets, counter tops, washable walls, stove top and spray a light film on my kitchen floor (laminate) before damp mopping.
i always make my own italian seasoning. some of the other things i will have to try. groceries are starting to get real expensive these days.
Homemade Corn Syrup Substitute
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan.
Uncover and simmer, stirring often, until it reaches the soft ball stage.
Cool and store in a covered container at room temperature.
Your syrup should keep for about 2 months. (Makes about 2 cups.)
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