Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Homemade Ranch Dip & Dressing Mix

Long ago, I discovered that my children will eat all kinds of fresh vegetables if they've got ranch dressing to dip them in! 

My kids love dipping carrots, celery, cucumbers, and more in ranch dip. When I was a younger mom, I thought this was a great idea and bottles of cheap, store-brand dressing were a necessary item on each week's grocery list. Now that our family has become more health-conscious, I'm trying to replace much of the processed, chemical-laced, sugar-filled products we used to use with things that are homemade. This saves money, uses a safer recipe with ingredients that I've put in myself, and gives me a sense of accomplishment knowing I've taken the time to make a healthier alternative for my family.

A couple years ago, I started making my own ranch seasoning mix and I use it whenever I need dressing, dip, or a ranch flavor in a meat or salad recipe. I buy very inexpensive seasonings at Walmart or Aldi for less than a dollar each---but I don't scrimp on my dill. The dill is what makes or breaks it, in my opinion, so I use the best quality I can find. If you grow your own, that's even better! When I'm ready to mix up a dressing or dip, I use sour cream, liquid cream or milk, and lemon juice. 

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix
1 1/2 c. dried parsley
3/4 c. onion powder
1/4 c. each of salt, pepper, dill, and garlic powder

Mix all dry ingredients together (I use a whisk) well and store in an air-tight container (I use a Mason jar with a screw-on lid). Do not store dry mix in the refrigerator or freezer.

Homemade Ranch Dip
2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk or liquid cream
1 TB. lemon juice
2 TB. ranch seasoning mix 

Homemade Ranch Dressing
1 c. milk or liquid cream
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 TB. lemon juice
2 TB. ranch seasoning mix

Both recipes must be stored in the refrigerator. You can substitute mayonnaise or yogurt for some of the sour cream, if needed. I've even used water for some of the liquid, in a pinch. As far as expirations go, I just use the closest expiration date between the dairy products.

I like to use full-fat dairy products in my home. Often times, fat is replaced with sugar in low-fat products and healthy fats can be very beneficial to our bodies---definitely more so than sugar! The recipe will turn out fine whether you choose to use full-fat or nonfat products, so don't let that keep you from making your dips and dressings in a way that suits your unique family.

Thanks for stopping by The Homemaking Party! I can't wait to see what you've got to share!
Classical Homemaking
Make sure to grab a new button!

Linking with:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Easy Meatloaf from Your Pantry -- Family Frugal Recipe

Grab some fresh ground beef and you're ready to make this Frugal Family recipe. You likely have everything else you need on hand already!

Welcome to The Homemaking Party! As you can see, I've rebranded from Hope In Every Season with a new name and look that I feel better portrays what I'm wanting my blog to be. Thanks for stopping by and make sure to grab the new party button at the bottom of this post! Can't wait to see what you've got to share!

My kids aren't picky eaters---well, they'd like to be but this mama only makes one meal for everyone. Around here we've adopted the mantra, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit". Still, it's rare to find a recipe that pleases everyone. 

But this. This meatloaf makes everybody happy! It's simple, frugal, flavorful, and the leftovers make great sandwiches. You probably have everything you need to make it already in your kitchen---minus the meat, maybe.

I make enough to fill two bread loaf pans but have found that serving is easier if I just press the mixture into a 13x9 pan instead. I use my fingers to make a little well all the way around so it's easier to remove the grease as the meatloaf cooks. Use a turkey baster to suction up the juices several times while this is baking. It will make for a nicer tasting meatloaf without all that grease and I think it helps it cook faster, too.

Easy Meatloaf
3 lbs. ground beef (you can use other ground meat, but at least one pound of it should be fattier beef to hold it together)
3 eggs
2 sleeves saltine crackers or 2 cups oats
2 c. milk
2 TB mustard
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1 TB sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Mix everything together very well---you'll likely need to use your hands to mash it all up. Form into two loaf pans---or one 13x9 baking pan. Bake uncovered at 350º for one hour or until meat is cooked completely through. Check on it after the first 30 minutes, and again at 45 minutes, to suction off any extra grease. The combination of ingredients in meatloaf often makes the meat look pink, even when it's cooked through. If you're unsure, use a meat thermometer to test it for doneness. 

Make sure to grab a new button!
Classical Homemaking
Linking with:
So Much at Home

Kids in the Kitchen: Nesquik® Memories and Nourishing Possibility #Nesquik #ad

One thing I love about being home with my kids is the opportunity it gives me for facilitating their creative dreams and nourishing possibility. My mom was the same way with my brother and I and, like her, I try to say "yes" more than "no".  I want my kids to have happy memories of our simple home life so I try to give them lots of time to use their imaginations and have beautiful adventures---right here at home!

Six year old Avalon has always loved to help me in the kitchen. Her curious nature leads her to pull up a stool and peek into the mixing bowl when I'm baking---and she always wants to know what's for dinner and whether she can help prepare it. When we bought this container of Nesquik last week, she knew it was something she'd be able to mix up easily on her own.

I have happy memories of my mom serving us Nesquik at breakfast time. It was always a special thing when she'd purchase it on grocery day and surprise us in the morning. It made breakfast time fun! With 45% less sugar than the leading syrup brand and no artificial colors or flavors, I like to surprise my kids with it too.

Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Powder is a nutritious beverage mix that contains 7 essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Iron. When you mix it with lowfat milk, you're giving your kids 8g of protein per 8oz. serving. In fact, research shows that lowfat chocolate milk may contain the perfect 3:1 ratio of carbs and protein that help restore and refuel your kids' tired muscles. That's why it's also great to serve after school or sports practice. 

Making breakfast fun can be super simple. There's no need to spend a lot of extra money---you can be creative with the things you're already serving. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the center of a piece of buttered bread and then cook them, butter side down, in a pan. Crack an egg into the center of the bread and it will cook right onto the bread. You can serve the center with peanut butter and raisins.

When Avalon gets creative in the kitchen, she likes to wear her homemaking uniform. I have an assortment of aprons for my girls to wear while they're cooking, but Avalon is the only one who also has a hat! She made one of my childhood favorites, ants on a log.

When I was little, my mom taught me how to make my sandwich look like a butterfly on my plate. Who says you can't play with your food? Sailboat eggs and ants on a log were two snacks she made special for my brother and I. I'm thrilled to share them with my kids too.

Many thanks to Nestle for sponsoring today's story and reminding me of some of my fun times as a kid. You can find a lot more creative ideas on Nestle's Pinterest page. Check it out!

How will you inspire creativity in your home this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Linking with:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Saving Money & Making Memories with Homemade Pizza

Today my mom, Christy, is guest posting with some great memories and a yummy recipe you can get the whole family involved in making. 

Some of my favorite memories as a kid are when the entire family was together in the kitchen making fudge, popcorn and Kool-Aid. Spending quality time together is the best way to keep strong family ties. I believe you should encourage your children, especially your teens, to join in the fun!
Both kids and adults will enjoy this money saving way to have pizza night without ordering out for an expensive pizza---and make happy memories to last a lifetime! Why spend big bucks to have your pizza delivered, when in the same amount of time you can make your own and eliminate the stress of spending more than your budget allows?

Here is an easy pizza dough recipe that can be ready to top and bake in an hour. Your family can choose whatever topping you like. One of my favorite and least expensive combinations is cheeseburger with mushrooms, black olives and green peppers.

Kneading dough is a great stress reliever! I also make my own sauce instead of buying the processed, expensive kind in the jar. I use 12 ounces of tomato sauce and add my own spices such as, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, basil, and crushed dried peppers.

I always put a little grated cheddar cheese on the pizza after the sauce, add toppings and then use grated mozzarella on the very top.

Pizza Dough
Dissolve 1 package or 2 1/4 tsp yeast in 1 cup hot tap water. Add 2 TB oil and 1 tsp salt. Mix in 2 cups of flour and knead until smooth (you might need a little more flour so dough is not sticky). Let the dough rise, lightly covered with kitchen towel, for 45 min. in a greased bowl. Knead again on a floured board and roll into the size of pizza pan your using. (You can roll out on a cookie sheet if you don't have a round pan). Add sauce and toppings and bake at 425º for about 20 minutes.

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Cocoa Raisin Cookies

Today my mom, Christy, is guest posting with a great recipe she developed last week. Enjoy! (photo courtesy Christy Virgil)

Now that I am working full time, it is harder to find the time for homemade cookies! Recently, I made up a recipe from items I had in my cupboard. They turned out soft like brownies. It is amazing how much more we appreciate the little things when we take the time to enjoy them!

Cocoa Raisin Cookies

3/4 cup butter
6 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup raisins

Cream butter, cocoa, and sugar together, then add egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Then stir in raisins. Drop by large spoonful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375º for 10 minutes. Frost as desired.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The {Not Just} Homemaking Party

Good morning! I recently took this picture very early one morning when my 3 and 4 year olds came in to say hello! Does it get any better than this? I don't think so.

Thanks for linking up! Hope you're having a beautiful week!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Oven Barbecued Chicken 1960s Style --- From Great Grandma's Kitchen

Welcome to The {Not Just} Homemaking Party! I've been going through my great grandma's recipe boxes and having a blast making some of the recipes she cut from magazines and newspapers in the 50s and 60s. It's fun to imagine her at her table, planning her weekly menu based on the fun new things she wanted to try out on her family.

I've made this Barbecued Chicken recipe twice this month and my family loves the way it tastes. I love it because I know what's going into the sauce mix. I think I'll move from using canned soup to using tomato sauce, though. It will be less expensive and that way I can say I made it completely from scratch!

Oven Barbecued Chicken--1960s Style
2 lb. chicken parts (I use legs)
2 TB. shortening
1 can tomato soup (or 10 oz. tomato sauce + 1 TB sugar)
1/3 c. each chopped onion and celery
1/2 tsp. minced garlic (1 clove)
2 TB. brown sugar
2 TB. Worcestershire Sauce
2 TB. lemon juice
2 tsp. mustard
2-4 drops red pepper sauce

Brown chicken parts in shortening and mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. When chicken is browned, stir in sauce, cover, and simmer 45 minutes or until the chicken in tender, stirring occasionally.

I served ours with mashed potatoes and salad. Yum!

Thanks for linking up with The {Not Just} Homemaking Party! Have a beautiful week!

Linking with: These great parties
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...