Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Making Mixes

One of the easiest ways to save money is to avoid convenience foods and make it yourself. If you are a SAHM(stay at home mom) and can follow a simple recipe, this is usually not a problem. I keep a running list of what I need to make and when I have free time, I knock them off my list. The nice thing about making your own products is that often its a healthier alternative. Unless you purchase organic products, most convenience products have either MSG, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, food colorings, GMO foods, or all of the above. None of that is good for you or your family. You can control the amount of sugar and salt that goes into the recipe as well. If you are trying to reduce sugar in your child's diet, reduce the amount called for or better yet, try a sugar substitute or honey. You are in control when you make it at home!
Below are some simple recipes that taste great and can be used instead of the grocery store equivalent. These are recipes that I use frequently and find to be just as good, if not better than the store's equivalent.
If you like the idea of making your own convenience products, check out the book Make-A-Mix
at your local library or find it at Amazon.com. The book is packed with not only spices and sauces, but freeze and bake cookies, bread mixes, and other items that rival the quick-fix foods at the store.

Seasoning Salt
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch(prevents caking)
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Pour blend into an empty spice bottle with shaker top to store. Makes 1/4 cup.

1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
Pour into a bottle with a shaker lid

BBQ Sauce
This is awesome on chicken!

1 cup water
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup tomato paste
2/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
1 1/4 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
cayenne pepper to taste(if desired)

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat and whisk until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes or until thick. Cool, then store in a covered container in the refrigerator overnight. Makes 1 1/2 cups

Mild Taco Sauce
3 cups water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more for a spicier version)

Dissolve cornstarch in water in a medium saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and cover until cool. Keep in a covered container in the refrigerator to store. Makes 3 cups

Taco Seasoning Mix
½ cup flour
2 T chili powder
1 T dried minced onion
1 T salt
1 T paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3 beef bouillon cubes, crushed

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into a shaker bottle or air tight container. You use about 1/3 cup of the mix for 1lb of ground beef. Brown the meat, drain and add 1/3 cup of the mix and ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Serve on your favorite taco shells or tortillas.

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