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Monday, October 21, 2019

Homemade Cajun Seasoning

     Cajun seasoning is very versatile and livens up your meals.  It is easy to make and you probably already have all you need in your pantry right now to whip up a batch!


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Homemade Cajun Seasoning

1/4 c. salt
1/4 c. garlic powder
1/4 c. paprika
1/4 c. black pepper
1/4 c. Cayenne pepper 
2 T. oregano
2 T. thyme
2 T. onion powder

     Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix together.  Put into airtight container or canning jar.  It fits into 2 Pint sized jelly jar(s)


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     It is great on shrimp, Jambalaya, or even dirty rice. It is great on so many things!

     Making your own spice blend is cheaper than buying it, and it tastes better too.  You wont have the all the fillers or weird chemicals that the stores add in it so it is better for you too.

      Because Cajun seasoning blackens as you cook it, it makes a perfect rub for steaks and burgers!  It's also nice sprinkled on popcorn.  What all ways do you like to use Cajun seasoning?

     
      Other spice blends that I like to make include:  Ranch dressing mixDry onion soup mix; and my Southern dry rub for chicken.



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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

      Forget about the store-bought envelopes of ranch seasoning mix...make your own!  You can make it with real ingredients so you know exactly what is going into it.   It is super handy to keep in your pantry and it also makes the best tasting ranch dressing for your salad too!  It is perfect as a dressing, dip, or just add some extra flavor to your favorite recipes and meals!

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         I love making things from scratch like my version of shake 'n bake, fajita seasoning and even an au jus mix.    Making your own mixes and spice blends not only saves you money but it is healthier for you and your family.

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

 2 T. powdered buttermilk
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried chopped onion  
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chives (optional)
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of black pepper

    Put all the ingredients together into a bowl.

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        Stir well.

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    Pour into a baggie or jar until you are ready to use. 
    Makes 1 serving that is equal to one store bought envelope.

     To make into salad dressing:  Add in the mix, 1 cup of mayonnaise, and 1 1/3 c. buttermilk (or sour cream).  Stir well and refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.

     To make into dip:  Add in the mix and 2 cups of sour cream.  Mix well and then refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.  Goes great with vegetables or crackers.  

     To make a large batch, which equals to 10 envelopes of store-bought mix, combine the following:

1 1/4 c. powdered buttermilk
1/2 c. dried parsley
1/4 c. onion powder
1 1/2 T. garlic powder
1 1/2 T. chives (optional)
2 1/2 tsp. dill weed
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

     One envelope is equal to 5 tablespoons of my mix.  This can be stored up to 6 months.  


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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Warm Up with these Cold Weather Comfort Foods

       There is nothing more comforting than a hearty and hot meal on a cold day.  If you are looking for ideas on how to feed your family and help you all get through those cold and long winter nights, look no further!  Plan ahead and make some (or all) of these meals over the next week or two!





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    Pot roast is a favorite of most families.   It is the most flavorful, comfort meal that is a staple Sunday evening meal for so many of us in America!  It takes a bit of work to make this but it is TOTALLY worth the effort.  Quick and easy is not always best and this is one recipe that proves that fact.







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       Chili mac is a mash up of two great foods...chili and macaroni and cheese!  Yum.  It is the ultimate casserole in my opinion.  It has so much flavor because it pairs two comfort foods together.  Your whole family will go crazy for it.









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           I have several chili recipes but this is, by far, the best one I make.  It was over 100 degrees yesterday here in SE Oklahoma and I still made chili and we all tore it up.  In other words, it was delicious!





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     I don't know about your family, but my family LOVES goulash.  It's one of those "feel good" kinda meals.  It ain't fancy but it sure is delicious and filling.  Anyhow, here is how I make it.




 
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      My family loves Chicken & Dumplings.  If they had their way, they would eat this 3-4 times a week and never tire of it.  I know everyone makes theirs differently but this is the way I have been cooking mine for years and people always swear this is the best they've ever tasted. Hope you'll try it out for your family and they love it too. 





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      It is really hard to beat the combination of cheesy, crispy tater tots and chili dogs.  It is pure and delicious comfort food.  It's an easy meal to make and is sure to become a family favorite.






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       This is my recipe for Old Fashioned Beef Stew.  I have nurtured and tweaked this recipe over the past 30 years and have it perfected.  It is hearty and delicious.  Mmm.  A true classic.  Nothing is more inviting! 




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    I LOVE potato soup.  To me, it is one of the most satisfying; most comforting of all soups.  This recipe makes a huge pot of creamy, delicious, and amazing potato soup.




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     There is nothing like a big pot of beans with ham to warm you up.  It is a real staple each winter in our home.  It is filling and makes a great meal when served with some of my cast iron skillet cornbread!




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    This makes a really satisfying dinner and is not just for cold days.  I make this all year long because it is so hearty, rich and smells divine.  It has so much flavor that you will want to make it again and again.





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      My husband loves anything with pumpkin and recently he went out to do some errands with his mother.  When they were done, she stopped at a coffee shop and bought him a pumpkin spice latte and he loved it. 

 I tinkered around a few days and came up with this recipe. My hubby said it tastes even better than that high dollar one that his Mom bought for him.


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Friday, October 18, 2019

Swiss Mocha Coffee Mix

      This Swiss Mocha Coffee mix makes the perfect gift for your coffee loving friends.  Or just mix up a batch to enjoy a tasty treat without all the costs of a coffee shop.  it tastes just like it came from a fancy cafe!



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Swiss Mocha Coffee Mix
1 1/2 c. nonfat dry milk
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 c. instant coffee
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/4 c. powdered coffee creamer


     Stir ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  Makes 4 cups of mix.  Fits in a quart sized jar.


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     To prepare a cup of coffee:  Use 1 cup of hot water and 2-3 tablespoons of coffee mix and a drop of vanilla extract for each cup of coffee.

     For an extra treat, top the drink with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Easy Barley & Lentil Soup Mix In A Jar

     This is an incredibly tasty soup.  It's super inexpensive to make and is high in protein!  Make some for you and some for a friend.  You both will be happy!



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 Easy Barley & Lentil Soup Mix In A Jar


1 c. barley or brown rice
2/3 c. lentils
2/3 c. yellow split peas
2/3 c. green split peas
3 T. beef bouillon granules
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder


      In a quart sized jar,  place the spices in first and then layer in the rest of the ingredients. 

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     To make the soup:  Combine the contents of the jar along with a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes and 10 cups of water in a large soup pot.  

Bring to a boil and then cover the pot with a lid and turn stove to simmer.  

Cook for about an hour or until the lentils and barley are soft. Serve and enjoy!


Serves 8-10 people.



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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

      My husband loves anything with pumpkin and recently he went out to do some errands with his mother.  When they were done, she stopped at a coffee shop and bought him a pumpkin spice latte and he loved it.  Well, he loved it so much that I just had to come up with a recipe that came close to matching the taste of that coffee for him.  I tinkered around a few days and came up with this recipe.  My hubby said it tastes even better than that high dollar one that his Mom bought for him.  Yes, he could be biased but even my 21 year old son said it was super yummy.  You'll just have to try it out for yourself and see if you agree or not!


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Ron enjoying some Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte




Homemade Pumpkin Flavored Coffee Syrup

 1 1/4 c. water
1 c. sugar or sweetener
1/3 c. pumpkin puree
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. ginger

     Combine the ingredients into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Once it boils, cook over medium heat, stirring occassionally.  Don't let it burn!  Keep cooking and stirring until it begins to turn into a syrup and it coats your spoon.  It will probably take about 10-15 minutes. 

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    Once it is coating your spoon and you are satisfied with the thickness of the syrup, remove the pan from heat.

    Allow it to cool and then pour it into a canning jar.

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     To make a Pumpkin Spice Latte, heat up 1/2 cup of milk and pour into your coffee cup.  Add in 2 tablespoons of the syrup and fill up the rest of your cup with hot coffee.  Stir well and enjoy.  Add some whipped cream and sprinkle with some cinnamon for an extra special treat!  

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Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cookies

    My husband and I are both insulin-dependent diabetics but we both also love peanut butter cookies.  It is definitely a weakness of ours.  Instead of doing without, I decided to come up with a sugar free version instead.  My recipe produces delicious and soft sugar free peanut butter cookies that will have you reaching for more.  

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Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cookies

 2 c. natural peanut butter
2 c. Splenda granules
2 lg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet.  
    Mix all the ingredients together and then grab a small amount and roll it into a ball and roll in some of the Splenda.

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   Lay each "ball" onto the cookie sheet and using a fork dipped in the Splenda, make criss-cross marks out on each cookie.

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     Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

   Makes 2 dozen.

   There is one cookie per serving with 5 grams of carbs per serving.

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