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Stop Buying, Start Making

Why, exactly, did I start the “Stop Buying, Start Making” series?

No, it wasn’t out of some burning desire for “natural” or some environmental crusade. I live on the West Coast…we have a lot of “crunchy” people…did you know that is what people call them? No offense to crunchy people; embrace your crunchiness!

Anyway, back to the reason for this series.
1) Its cheaper- and I mean a lot…it adds up over time.
2) It tastes/works better…and I mean tastes a lot better. So much better you’re taste buds say “Oh! That’s what this is supposed to taste like! (or that’s how the restaurants make it taste like this!”). For cleaning items, it works just as well or better if I’m recommending it.

Spices:

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice recipe. Tastes better than store-bought; cheaper and easy. You’ll never buy store stuff again! And ways to use it.

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. ground ginger
1/2 Tbsp. allspice
1/2 Tbsp. ground cloves
1/2 Tbsp. ground nutmeg

Directions:
1. Mix spices together in a bowl. Store in air-tight container.

See the original post “Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice” for ideas of where to use pumpkin pie spice (besides pie, of course).

Homemade Apple Pie Spice. Tastes better than store-bought, cheap and easy. Plus ideas where to use apple pie spice (besides in apple pie, obviously).

Apple Pie Spice:
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon all spice
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 & ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:
1. Mix spices together in a bowl. Store in air-tight container.

See original post (Stop Buying, Start Making: Apple Pie Spice) for a ton of ideas of where to use it!

optional add-ins:
½ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Trust me...you will NEVER buy store-bought again. Plus ideas for where to use Cajun Seasoning.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2  & 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 & 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 & 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:
1. Mix spices together in a bowl. Store in air-tight container.

See original post (Stop Buying, Start Making: Cajun Seasoning) for a ton of ideas of where to use it!

Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning (aka: Montreal Steak Spice): easy to make, better than store-bought. Use on steak, pork, chicken, and more.

Ingredients: 
2 Tbsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. salt
1 & 1/2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. crushed coriander
1 Tbsp. dill
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 Tbsp. smoked paprika

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together. Store in air-tight jar.

See original “Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning” for various ways to use (including a fabulous pork recipe)!

Sauces & Dressings

Homemade Blueberry Lemon dressing. Delicious and easy. 2 minutes to make (including washing the berries!) . Toss on a lettuce salad or eat with berries.

Full blog post includes a printable version of the recipe, but here is the basic recipe:

Ingredients:
1/2 C. blueberries
1/3 C. lemon juice (preferably from fresh lemon)
1/4 C. olive oil (extra-virgin)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp.-1 Tbsp. Splenda (to taste)
Salt & pepper, dash each
Poppy seeds, optional

Directions:
1. Mix blueberries, lemon juice, olive oil, & honey in Magic Bullet until pureed.
2. Taste-test and decide if you want to add Splenda. (I usually add the full tablespoon). Add a dash of salt and pepper. Blend.
3. Add approximately 1 & 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds, if desired.
Note: if you don’t have a Magic Bullet, I recommend making a double or trip batch of dressing in regular blender. Then freeze whatever won’t be used in next 2-3 days. I freeze it in little 1/4 C. containers, then I have dressing for a couple of weeks!

Homemade Salted Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce. Ridiculously easy to make (honestly). Delicious. Step-by-step pictures and instructions.

Read the full blog post “Salted Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce” for the printable recipe & step-by-step pictures! But here is the basic recipe:

Ingredients:
1 & 1/2 C dark brown sugar
1 C heavy cream
1 stick butter unsalted
4 Tbsp. dark corn syrup
1 Tbsp. bourbon
2 tsp. vanilla
Large Pinch salt

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat dark brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, and dark corn syrup over medium heat. Bring to a boil. It will get very bubbly.
2. Lower heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring every 1-2 minutes. Do NOT stir constantly. If needed, lift pan off burner if it simmers too hard.
3. After 10 minutes, spoon a bit of sauce on a plate. Press spoon against sauce and scrape to make sure there is no graininess.
4. Remove from heat and stir in bourbon. It will bubble and foam. Keep stirring and let alcohol burn off.
5. Stir in vanilla and a large pinch of salt. Taste-test. Add more salt if desired.
6. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Homemade Oatmeal Flavors

Cooking Instructions: 
• Preferred method: add between 2/3 cup and 1 cup of water or milk. Heat in microwave 2 minutes, stirring halfway through.
• Boil between 2/3 & 1 cup of water (depending upon how much fruit in jars). Stir into oatmeal jars, mixing well. Allow to sit (covered) 5-10 minutes until oats cooked.

Instant Oatmeal Jars: Easy, Cheap, Filling, and Healthy. Over 15 recipes, directions, and calorie information. And free printable!

“Instant Oatmeal Jars” – I highly recommend visiting the original post. It has a TON of information about storage, oatmeal options, flavoring options, different fruit and nuts to add, etc. Below is a PDF of the various combinations suggested. Below that are the images included in said pdf.
(You can click on PDF to print. Or click on the image. It will open in a new window and you can either print directly or save to computer.)

 

Breakfast Oatmeal Combos_pdf

Instant Oatmeal Jars: Easy, Cheap, Filling, and Healthy. Over 15 recipes, directions, and calorie information. And free printable!
Instant Oatmeal Jars: Easy, Cheap, Filling, and Healthy. Over 15 recipes, directions, and calorie information. And free printable!
Fall Oatmeal Jars: Cheap, easy, pick your favorite flavors- over 15 options!. Calorie counts included. And free printable!

Fall Oatmeal Jars” – Again, I recommend visiting the original post. However, here is the pdf for the basic recipes:

fall-oatmeal-combos_pdf

Below that is the picture images.

Fall Oatmeal Jars: Cheap, easy, pick your favorite flavors- over 15 options!. Calorie counts included. And free printable!
Fall Oatmeal Jars: Cheap, easy, pick your favorite flavors- over 15 options!. Calorie counts included. And free printable!

Homemade Noodles (they're easy...I promise)

Easy Homemade Noodles. 4 ingredients is all you need! Step-by-step pictures included. It's much easier than you think. Easier and cheaper than store-bought.

While it is not hard to make homemade noodles, I still did 12 step-by-step pictures for those attacking noodles for the first time. I always prefer pics when possible!

But rather than copy them all over, and cause this page to take even longer to load, I’m going to direct you to the original blog post “Homemade Noodles“.

Never Buy Green Onions Again!

It’s easy to do. Take some green onions. I used the slightly wilted ones I had forgotten about in my fridge.

Trim off the roots just a little. Then cut about 1″ above the white part (see picture below).

Prop up in a pint mason jar with a couple of inches of water. Place in a window with sunlight.

The last picture is from about two months after starting. We’ve been eating a lot. I think I’m going to trim the roots and “start over” with the ones I have. That should encourage growth.

Take some green onions. I used the slightly wilted ones I had forgotten about in my fridge. Trim off the roots just a little.
Take some green onions. I used the slightly wilted ones I had forgotten about in my fridge. Trim off the roots just a little.
Then cut about 1″ above the white part.
Then cut about 1″ above the white part.
Prop up in a pint mason jar with a couple of inches of water. Place in a window with sunlight.
Prop up in a pint mason jar with a couple of inches of water. Place in a window with sunlight.
After about 1 week of growing.
After about 1 week of growing.
After 3-4 weeks of growing. I've been snipping off bits to eat whenever I want to.
After 3-4 weeks of growing. I've been snipping off bits to eat whenever I want to.
After about 2 months. Starting to get too many roots and growth slowed down. Going to repeat the whole thing with those left in the jar!
After about 2 months. Starting to get too many roots and growth slowed down. Going to repeat the whole thing with those left in the jar!

Homemade Vegetable & Chicken Broth

I freeze some of it in a larger container- for when a recipe calls for 2 cups- and the rest as “ice” (broth) cubes. Each cube is approx. 1 Tbsp., so it’s easy to thaw out exactly how much I need.

While it is not hard to make, I still did plenty of step-by-step pictures. I always prefer pics when possible!

But rather than copy them all over, and cause this page to take even longer to load, I’m going to direct you to the original blog post “Stop Buying, Start Making: Homemade Vegetable & Chicken Broth”.

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