Monday, May 6, 2013

Homemade Savings and Favorite Pins

I am going all domestic in this post.  I really do love cooking.  With the crazy schedule that we keep, I will say, cooking has lost some of its enjoyment for me. I have tried some new recipes lately that I wanted to share.

I have started making some things that I used to buy.  I resisted trying these recipes for a long time because these days, it feels like time is almost as valuable as money for me.  I have found these recipes to be really easy, they are way less expensive, taste equivalent or better to me than the store-bought versions, and are more natural than those same products that have additives and preservatives.

Here are my latest favorites:

These first two recipes are from the book "Miserly Moms" by Jonni McCoy

Chocolate Syrup
1 C. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. cold water
1 T. vanilla

Combine cocoa and sugar and blend until all lumps of cocoa are gone.  Add salt and water and mix well.  Cook over medium heat, bringing it to a boil.  Remove from heat once it boils.  When cool, add vanilla.

I had an old Hershey's syrup container that I cleaned out and store this in.  It really tastes yummy.

Maple-Flavored Syrup
2 C. sugar
1 C. water
1 tsp. maple extract

Bring water and sugar to a slow boil over low heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat before it comes to a rolling boil(to keep crystals from forming).  Add flavoring as it is cooling.  Store in the fridge.

Once again, I store it in an old syrup bottle.  The kids cannot tell the difference and it is way cheaper than any pancake syrup from the store.

I found the next one on Pinterest.  If you use canned beans in any recipes, these are so perfect, cheap and easy.  I especially use black beans a lot in my Mexican recipes.  This is has been a great way to save money and I cannot tell the difference!!

Click on this link to find out just how easy it is:  Get rid of canned beans.

I had the next recipe for the first time in Hawaii.  Now, I did wonder if being in Hawaii made it taste so good, but since that time I have made it several times and it continues to be delicious.  The thing I love the most about this recipe is that you can use real bacon bits in it without having to deal with the mess of cooking bacon.  I must give my friend, Nicole, credit for this one.

Crustless Bacon and Egg Quiche
Real Bacon Bits(I just kind of eye it.  I don't know an exact amount)
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. Bisquick (you can also us GF Bisquick to make this gluten free)
3 eggs
1/4 C. butter, melted
dash of pepper
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese (I use whatever cheese I have)

In blender, combine milk, bisquick, eggs, butter and pepper(15 seconds).  Pour into greased 9" pie pan or square baking dish.  Sprinkle bacon and cheese on top of egg mixture, gently press below the surface with  a fork.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until knife in center comes out clean.  Stand 10 min. before serving.  Makes 4-6 servings.  You can double this recipe to make a 9 x 13 pan size.

I also have a few pins that we have recently tried that I wanted to share:

Copycat Chick-fil-a Nuggets - I was really skeptical about this one, but had some chicken pieces I needed to use up.  It was very messy to make, but Oh. My. Goodness!  They really did taste like Chick-fil-a to me.  So yummy!

Cha Cha White Chicken Chili - Yummy with some sour cream.  Next time I will make cornbread to go with this.

Whipped Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes - The orange juice was too strong for me in this recipe.  I will leave it out next time.

Happy Cooking!!

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