Delicious Breakfast Crepes

We love crepes!  Crepes make breakfast all the more wonderful!  We make crepes several times each month, sometimes once a week and I don’t think I’ve made them the same way twice. 

You can top crepes with most any type of fruit topping.  I usually use frozen fruit, like strawberries, add a little water and sweetener and let them boil into a wonderful smelling and great tasting fruit syrup crepe topping.  Today, instead of sugar, I added small amount of black strap molasses as the sweetener.  It wasn’t as “sweet” as sugar, but it was still delicious as well as much more nutritious than sugar.  Black strap molasses has a high iron content and I have been using it whenever I can to help boost my iron levels. 

I took a basic crepe recipe and embellished it a bit by adding a bit of cinnamon, a dab of vanilla, a bit of molasses and just a tad more flour to thicken them a bit more so they weren’t paper thin.  Allrecipes.com has a lot of crepe recipes to choose from.  I also found several crepe recipes in cookbooks I had as well.  Basically crepes are eggs, milk, flour, a bit of oil and salt.  Crepes are a great thing to make when you need to use up eggs!

I also skimmed some cream off of our raw cow’s milk and made whipped cream by shaking it up in a mason jar for a few minutes.  I rolled cream cheese in the crepes, added the strawberry fruit topping and the raw whipped cream….it was delicious!  Just what I needed…all without sugar and using basic ingredients that I had on hand.  (Except the cream cheese–I haven’t figured out how to make that yet!)

  Little overboard on the whipped cream don’t you think???   

 I splurge on it…a lot!!

Using Up Excess Squash and Zucchini

With summer time here, squash and zucchini are abundant.  We’ve been eating a lot of squash and zucchini lately!  In addition to canning and freezing squash, here are some ways I have been using it up:

  1. Steamed:  Squash and zucchini are great vegetables to steam.  I add some crushed garlic and sliced onions and steam it tender.  These steamed vegetables are wonderful to pair up over rice as a great side dish. 
  2. Added to omelets:  Chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and peppers and chopped squash or shredded zucchini are great additions to add to omelets. 
  3. Fried:  Ok…so maybe not the healthiest of options, but we had a great time last week making fried okra, fried green tomatoes and fried squash.  For making the squash, I sliced them, coated them in egg and dipped in a flour, cornmeal, salt mixture.  I then fried them in my iron skillet.  They were delicious! 
  4. In the skillet:  I sauteed squash and zucchini this week with a little butter and had with our breakfast.  I made grits, sausage and the sauteed veggies for a yummy southern breakfast.  Sauteed vegetables are great additions to supper meals as well. 
  5. In casseroles:  We love squash casseroles!  For a 9 X 12 pyrex glass dish, I use 4 or 5 eggs, three large dollops of mayo and about 1 cup of milk.  I pour this over chopped tomatoes, onions and sliced squash in my 9×12 pyrex glass baking dish.  You can add chopped ham, sausage or hamburger or chopped up bacon.  You can also add shredded cheese.  I like to make sure my egg mixture completely coats the squash, so sometimes I whip up another egg with some milk and mayo and add it if the dry ingredients outweigh the wet.   I then bake it at 350 for about 25 minutes.  Check the middle to make sure the egg mixture is done. 

I made two squash casseroles last week and added hamburger to the mix.  Here’s the picture before baking.  I also made two iron skillets full of corn bread to go along with the squash casseroles. 

Thoughts on Making Old Fashion Root Beer

As I mentioned before, we made homemade root beer this week.  For the cost of a little over a cup of sugar and and whatever a teaspoon of vanilla  and yeast costs, we made 1 gallon of root beer.  Now, it wasn’t like the A&W Root Beer you buy in the store!  But it did have a distinct root beer taste all of its own without the syrupy sweet taste like commercial soda pop. 

Because of our efforts this week in trying to figure out how to make root beer, we ended up learning a lot about the history of root beer in America which shed some light on old fashioned homemaking.  In the book, Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Popthere were several historical references about old fashioned homemaking and old fashioned living: 

In years gone by, self-sufficiency was the goal on American farms.  The small cash income went for land purchase, taxes, and a few exotic products such as coffee and cinnamon.  Farm families aimed to produce their own clothes, furniture, rugs, brooms, brushes, harnesses, animal feed and fencing.  They would also strive to make and preserve virtually all food for their own use — from bread, milk and cheese, to canned vegetables, fruit preserves, dried apples, and smoked bacon.  An integral part of this self-reliance was the making and bottling of refreshing beverages for year-round use. 

For many families, these beverages included wine and cider from apples, grapes and other fruits; beer made from barley, sorghum molasses, and hop; and nonalcoholic drinks flavored with the roots, bark, sap and leaves of local wild plants. 

The book goes on to offer insight into the old fashioned cellar. 

The root beers were not truly nonalcoholic, of course, but the alcohol content was low.  Small amounts of alcohol are also produced in the making of apple cider, bread and other common food products.  Several million American root cellars and spring houses were filled with the bottles of beverages, made from the harvest of farm and meadow. 

I continue to be amazed at the incredible lack of knowledge and dependency we modern people have about basic life skills that once were common knowledge. Not that making root beer is a basic life skill, the point being that modern homemakers know more about consuming than they do about producing.  As we sat on the porch sipping our root beer, one of my boys marveled at how amazing it was that a root in our woods produced the drink he was enjoying.  It is truly amazing when you stop and consider where food and drink really come from, whether it be milk from the dairy cow or root beer from the sassafras root!

 

Easy, Inexpensive Honey Mustard Dressing Sauce

I’ve been posting a few recipes on making your own homemade sauces and homemade seasonings.  You do not need Taco Bell Taco seasoning to make good taco seasoning for your taco meat and you can make delicious healthy salad dressings in a snap without relying on Hidden Valley!  Commercially made dressings and dips are filled with all sorts of bad for you ingredients.  Homemade sauces, dips and seasonings are much healthier and cost much less than buying the commercial versions.  We are getting in the habit of supplying our pantry with the needed supplies to be able to make our own sauces.  My little girls love to mix and stir ingredients together and they make fine taste testers.  My 4 year old is always ready with her opinions on what we should add…”a lot more honey, mom!”

This week we made a very simple Honey Mustard Sauce.  It was a big hit around here.  I altered the recipe just slightly because instead of a thick dip, I was wanting to turn the sauce into Honey Mustard Dressing.  By adding a little bit of olive oil, it easily converted to a nice dressing. 

Easy Honey Mustard Recipe 

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • For salad dressing, add olive oil to desired consistency.

I put all the ingredients in a small mason jar and stirred together with a fork.  If you have any sauce/dressing left, you can store it in the refrigerator. 

Honey Mustard sauce and dressing goes well with these foods:

Chicken – on baked chicken or for a chicken dip.
Dip for raw veggies like carrots and celery
Dressing for a variety of salads
Use on sandwiches

Here are some other articles that talk about homemade salad dressings:

Homemade Salad Dressing is Easy, Thrifty and Tasty!

Save Money on Seasonings:  MYOM (make your own mix)

 

Easy, Cheap, Healthy Coleslaw Recipe

On Thursday’s each week, I’m posting about recipes, bulk cooking and freezer cooking.  This week, I’m posting a few things about the ultra healthy, really cheap amazing head of cabbage!   I’ve been using a lot of cabbage lately.  It’s so cheap!  I’ve paid .44 cents a lb and under for it lately.  I have some baby cabbage plants growing in my garden (not the cabbage pictured above unfortunately!!!) so hopefully I’ll save even more and use my garden cabbage here in a few months!
You can use this inexpensive, healthy food to add variety to your meals all the while cutting costs at the same time. 

Don’t buy prepackaged shredded cabbage!  It is 10 times the cost of a plain head of cabbage and doesn’t contain the nutrients that a whole head cabbage has.  You can check out this article about Commercializing Cabbage and the craziness of packaged vegetables for some interesting price comparisons of buying whole real vegetables as opposed to packaged salads and other pre-cut and pre-shredded vegetables. 

Here is also a recipe I posted several weeks back on how to make healthy pro-biotic sauerkraut

Recipe: Beth’s Easy Coleslaw

Summary: Super easy and yummy mayonnaise coleslaw!  My kiddo’s love this slaw.  It’s a great side dish with supper and also goes well with barbecue sandwiches!

Ingredients

  • 6 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 or 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I love Braggs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, oil, honey, celery seed and salt.
  2. Stir in shredded cabbage and shredded carrots and mix well.
  3. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  4. You can make coleslaw several hours in advance of your meal or even the day before.

Variations

You can add shredded apple.

Prep time:  10 min
Serves 6

Save Money, Eat Healthy, Make Homemade Salad Dressing

We love salad!  Even better, we love homemade salad dressing.  Making my own homemade salad dressing was so intimidating to me…so I never tried it.  Little did I know how easy and CHEAP it is to make your own homemade salad dressing.  Now I wonder how the salad dressing market stays afloat.  It must be because a lot of people think the same thing I use to think about making my own dressing.

Here’s a few simple and easy recipes to get you started.  Most of these ingredients may already be in your pantry too!  Try a few salad dressing recipes out  and start to store the basic ingredients in your pantry so you can whip up delicious, fresh, healthy, homemade dressing anytime you need it!


French Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 small onions, grated  (it still tastes good if you leave the onions out)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional, add if you have it)

Add ketchup, sugar, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, salt, paprika, onions, garlic and blue cheese to a glass jar.  Use a mason jar with a lid and shake really well and refrigerate.  If you end up doubling a recipe, sometimes it is easier to use the blender. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for quite a while.


Ranch Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  This makes just under 2 cups of dressing.


Russian Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish, drained (if your unsure about horseradish, start with less and work up to your own liking.)

Mix yogurt and mayonnaise with a wire whisk.  Mix in the ketchup and horseradish.  You can also add a splash of Worcestershire to it too.  
Makes 2 cups.


I have lots more yummy dressing recipes and mixes that I will post soon.  Like some oil and vinegar based ones and dressing spice mixes… enjoy ;-)


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