There are many different buzz words that explain this phenomenon: flexitarian, semi-vegetarian, and week day vegetarian; where you only eat meat on the week-ends. But anyway you want to say it, you are cutting back on the meat you eat. Some do it for health reasons, animal rights, the environment or all of the above!

Removing high fructose corn syrup and preservatives from our table.
This is my on-line recipe book with my adventures into finding healthy food for my family to eat....
Trying to cook more from scratch with less prepared foods.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Real Vanilla favoring


    2 vanilla beans 
    8 ounces vodka


Split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds from the bean using a knife, and place both the seeds and the beans in a glass jar with a lid. Warm the vodka to 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the warmed vodka over the beans and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, seal the jar. Store at room temperature for one week, shaking the jar every other day. Strain the mixture, then store in a sealed container. Flavoring will keep for a year

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Caramel Sauce.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla


In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter on low heat.
Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and milk, stirring to combine. Increase heat to medium heat.
Stir constantly bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
Serve warm or cold with apple slices, or drizzle over ice cream.

Pop tarts...

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tbsp. cold water

Jam (your choice)
1 cup powdered sugar
Milk to thin

1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add shortening and butter and blend with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Blend until mixture is fairly coarse. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time, gently mixing dough after each addiction until dough forms a ball.
2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a square/rectangle. Cut out long strips about 2 inches wide and 3 inches long. Repeat until dough runs out.
3. Take one pie crust rectangle and lace 1 tsp of jam on top. Cover with another piece of pie crust and crimp all four edges. Repeat with the rest of dough. Place pop tarts on a baking sheet with parchment paper, and bake for 7-8 minutes.
4. While pop-tarts are baking, make glaze. Place powdered sugar in a bowl. Pour milk slowing until it has a consistency of really thick syrup. 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp might be enough.
5. Once pop-tarts are done and cooled, top with glaze. Sprinkle and decorate with colorful sprinkle.

Monday, January 18, 2010

National Soup Month

I made veggie stock from scratch the other day.  It is pretty easy to do.

Hint cut your veggies into big chunks. It will be cooking for a long time!

About 1/2 to 1 cup (of each) chopped vegetables of choice.
  potato peels
celery (can add some of  the leaves)
tablespoon of  parsley
tablespoon garlic powder 

First I got a big pot.  Add a little olive oil to the bottom, just to coat it.

Chop one onion and saute until tender.
Add celery,  potato peels, carrots, mushrooms and squash into pot. Season with salt and cook until tender. About 30 minutes.

Add water to cover and almost fill pot. Add tablespoon of  parsley
Bring to boil.   Turn down to simmer and reduce to 1/2. 

Vegetables plus some of the stock made a great vegetable soup for that evening.  The rest of stock was frozen in cup cake pan for easy use later.

Homemade Biscuit Mix

save money with making your own biscuit mix.

Biscuit Mix 


* 9 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup baking powder
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 2 cups shortening

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place or in the freezer for up to 8 months. 

Copy cat recipe for Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits Yum

The girls love these biscuits. Very simple to make

  • 2 cups Bisquick (or homemade version)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Mix Bisquick, milk and cheese until a soft dough forms.
Drop by spoonful onto an ungreased cooking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown.

Mix butter and garlic powder. Brush mixture over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Taco Seasoning

1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. crushed dried red pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
                                                     1/2 tsp. garlic powder
                                                      2 tsp.  onion powder

Add to browned ground beef.  Add 1/2 c. water.  Simmer 10 Minutes.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Chocolate Syrup

* 1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
* 2 cups sugar (can use 1/2 dark brown sugar and 1/2 granulated sugar)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup cold water
* 1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine cocoa and sugar and blend until all lumps of cocoa are gone. Add water and salt and mix well. Cook over medium heat, bringing it to a boil. Keep boiling until thick, stirring to keep from overflowing. Remove from heat and let cool. When cool, add vanilla. This is great for chocolate milk, hot cocoa, and ice cream topping.

Note: This is NOT fudge sauce. It is fat-free syrup and will not be as thick as fudge.

Hot Fudge Sauce

1 c. white sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1/3 c. cocoa
2 tbsp. butter
1 c. milk

Mix together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil until sauce thickens. (Hot fudge sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.)