Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Homemade Ingredients

This is my new favorite thing. I am really trying to work from my pantry so this just fell in line. It started with a new category on my favorite online recipe site - Tasty Kitchen ( You will notice my new badge to the right. I'm so proud of that, don't know why, just am.

I was browsing this new category a few weeks ago and I saw stuff like making your own goat cheese or yogurt. That sounds cool and all but, I don't know it that's really something I would do on a regular basis and I moved on.

A week or two passed and I was browsing again. I came across a Cream Cheese Enchilada recipe (OMG!!!) that sounded like something I could make for dinner. As I ran through the list of ingredients I saw things I did not have in my pantry such as Enchilada Sauce and Taco Seasoning. DARN! I remembered the homemade ingredients category and strolled on over. There it was, a recipe for enchilada sauce and another for taco seasoning. I had most of the ingredients. I had to replace the tomato sauce for some tomato soup. A little subbing here and there and I had the best enchilada sauce I had ever tasted. It was SO YUMMY! The taco seasoning had cocoa in it? Oh well, it' worth a try. YUMMY again!

This has sparked an interest in me. I am making simple and yummy dishes without packets of MSG or sodium filled 'who knows what'. The other night I made a Taco dinner, everything from scratch except the taco shells. It was so simple yet so delicious. The spanish rice was made from 1 cup of rice, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of tomato juice (it's what I had... you could use sauce, diced w/ juice) a sprinkle of chili powder and cumin, fresh onion and garlic, a little salt. I let it simmer and had a finished product that was so fresh - nothing like what you find in a box or seasoning packet. The beans were, well, beans - two kinds, white and brown. They were cooked on the stove top with chicken broth and onions, smashed up and I added a little butter at the end of the smashing process to smooth them out. I used Perry's Taco Plate seasoning on the beef. My Husband told me over and over how delicious it all was. Alexus CLEANED her plate. SUCCESS!

I love that if I have my spice pantry well stocked, and if you really know me you just chuckled, I can make almost anything.... Ranch Dressing Seasoning, Chocolate Syrup and Breakfast Sausage with ingredients I can actually pronounce. It tastes better, it has saved me multiple trips to the store for just one item and it's really not that hard!

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