Day 2: Make Something You Would Typically Buy

Hey guys!  Welcome to Day 2 of our Challenge!!  This is a really wide open challenge.  You can pick anything that you would normally purchase and make it yourself.  It will save you a trip to the store (hopefully) and it will definitely save on the packaging.  Less waste and more family time….yes sir!

Here are a few of my go to recipes that I make at home instead of purchasing premade:

Homemade Chocolate Syrup (for my mochas of course)

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (buy in bulk if possible)
  • 1 cup organic white sugar
  • 3/4 cup water (if you like it thicker, just decrease a small amount of the water)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt (do NOT omit!!!  The salt totally makes it!)

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Combine your cocoa powder, white sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan.  Give it a good whisk and then bring the mixture to a boil.  Let it boil for a minute, while stirring, but do not let it boil over (big mess).  Take it off the heat and let it cool.  (If your life is similar to mine, this means making it in the morning and letting it ‘cool’ all day until you get back to it when your children are snoozing.)  When it is cool, add the vanilla extract.  Stir it up and put it in jars.  I store mine at room temp, but frig it if it is going to last more than a week or so.  Enjoy!

Homemade Granola

I wrote about this one a little while ago and if you missed it, you should totally go back and get this one cooking.  Playing around with various ingredients in granola is fun and yummy too!  You are welcome!

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

I bet you have all of these ingredients in your pantry right now.  Cream of Chicken Soup is a go to ingredient for a lot of casseroles and one dish meals.  You are able to control the quality of ingredients and I guarantee that this is a lot more tasty and appealing to the eye than what you may have in your pantry.  Try it and see what you think.

Homemade Chicken Broth or Beef Broth

  • Beef or chicken bones
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Other seasonings of your choice
  • Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Carrots, Onions, Celery

We throw chicken or beef bones into our slow cooker.  Then, we simply add the rest of the ingredients.  There really is no exact measurements to this.  Let it simmer on low for 24 hours, strain, and place in jars.  We let it cool on the counter after we put it in jars.  After it cools, place the lids on and you can put it in the frig or freeze it.  If you are freezing it, make sure to allow some space for the broth to expand.  You can use the broth in all of your favorite recipes.  It is an amazing go to helper to heal you when you are sick.    20151103_172625This broth has all the goodies in that your body needs to start healing!  Enjoy!

Can you tell that I love food?  If I could make dark chocolate, I would!  Give me a shout if you try any of these.  Please share your favorite things you make, food or not, that you would typically purchase.  I am SOOOO excited to hear what you come up with for Day 2!

 

 

Come and Get It….Before It Is ALL Gone

Breakfast! It really is the most important meal of the day. Lately though, I have been neglecting it for myself. The girls need to get their grub on to start the day, but I have just been meh about it myself lately. Do you ever get that way?

As I was looking through my meal plan inspiration recipes, I came across a granola recipe I used to make a lot a few years ago. I remembered it being good, but man, have I been slacking on the breakfast lately. Something has to give sometimes, and breakfast had been taking a hit. It was like the chore you leave to do until you have guests coming over. It just was getting the minimal attention so that I could focus my attention on other stuff. I have been reading good books lately, reading to the girls more intentionally again, homeschooling, painting, knitting, and tackling a Photo Book from 2014. Sometimes you just need to do what speaks to you and let some stuff slide. Really, do it, it is so amazing!

But, this granola recipe from Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes From My Natural Foods Kitchen was calling to me and so is my inner homemaker. I want to make the time to be more intentional about our nutrition again. I want to stop buying the boxed cereals and feed the kiddos stuff that is more substantial for breakfast. I feel the need to move back to my all from scratch cooking, mostly. Don’t fret, I will not give up late night frozen pizza in bed with the hubs while mindlessly watching TV.  Anyway, the granola recipe went on the meal plan and the ingredients were bought. Life is full here still, and I think always will be, so I have somewhat mastered (hmmmm, wishful thinking) cooking in spurts. I’ll post the recipe below and you can play with it to figure out how to fit this into your life, because you need this yumminess to start your morning. And, I always double the batch….always!

So, here it is, with the double ingredients already listed, because that is how I roll!  Please check out the full recipe book.  It has a lot of deliciousness in it!  You are welcome!

Granola (The ONLY granola recipe you will ever want or need)

  • 8 cups rolled oats (You can use the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats)
  • 3 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups large flake coconut
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/3 cups dried currants (We have used raisins, but we prefer currants.)
  • Zest of 4 oranges
  • 20 Tbsps. butter (Don’t use margarine….I am watching!)
  • 2 cups maple syrup (REAL Maple Syrup, not the fake stuff)

Combine rolled oats, chopped walnuts, coconut, salt, currants, and orange zest in a super large bowl.  Set that aside and heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and then stir in the maple syrup.  Pour the butter and maple syrup mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to make sure everything is well coated.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and make sure your oven racks are towards the middle of your oven.  Throw some parchment paper on 2 separate baking sheets.  This helps to speed cleanup and is an easy way to transfer the granola into large canning jars for storage when  the granola is cooled.

Give your granola a mix and divide it fairly equally between your 2 baking sheets in a thin layer.  Mine takes about 40 minutes to cook in our gas oven.  I stir it every 10 minutes until it reaches a nice golden brown.  Sometimes I rotate the sheet pans or take one out early if one of the pans is getting golden brown faster.

Once it is nice and golden you will take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely.  Take your parchment paper and make a little funnel out of it to help you get every little piece of that delicious granola into your jar.  Seal tight, store in your pantry, and enjoy over the next few days or give some to a friend.  They will love you for it!