Homemade Convenience Foods

Enjoy making and using these recipes!  I hope to continue to add to this collection as I stumble across other recipes.

Taco Seasoning Mix
6 tsp. chili powder
4 1/2 tsp. cumin
5 tsp. paprika
3 tsp. onion powder
2 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Mix ingredients together. Use 1-2 tablespoons per 1 lb. ground beef.

Onion Soup Mix
3/4 cup minced onion
4 tsp. onion powder
1/3 cup beef bouillon powder
1/4 tsp. celery seed, crushed
1/4 tsp. sugar

Mix ingredients together.  Use 2-3 tablespoons.

Chocolate Syrup
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 cup water
1/8 tsp. salt

Mix cocoa and water. Heat and stir to dissolve.  Add sugar, dissolve.  Boil 3 minutes. Add salt and vanilla.
Let cool and pour into container.

Spaghetti Sauce Mix
1/4 cup celery salt
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbps. pepper

Combine ingredients.
To use:  Add 1/4 cup of mix to 8 oz. of tomato sauce. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes.

Hot Cocoa Mix
1/3 cup dry milk
1 tsp. cocoa
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup hot water

Heat 1 cup water and add ingredients.

1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

I'll make these up ahead of time and freeze in ziploc bags. Just pop them in the microwave to reheat.

Chili Mix
3 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix ingredients together. Use 1-2 Tbsp.

Homemade Yogurt
Turn crockpot on low and pour in a half gallon of whole milk.
Heat on low for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
After the 2 hours and 30 minutes, turn crockpot off and unplug. Let the milk cool with the lid on for 3 hours.
After those 3 hours, remove 1-2 cups of the milk from crockpot and put in a bowl.  Add 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and mix well. (I used Dannon plain yogurt) The live cultures from the yogurt are needed, kind of like a starter.
Pour the yogurt/milk mixture back into the milk in the crockpot and mix well.
Put lid back on and cover enitre crockpot with bath towels to insulate.
Let set to culture overnight or 8-12 hours.
After 8-12 hours, stir and pour in glass jars in refrigerator.
Refrigerate 8 hours before serving for best texture.

OR for strawberry yogurt read on...
Blend or puree 2 cups of frozen strawberries. 
Add 1 1/2 cups Splenda or sugar to strawberries and blend.
Add to the strawberries/splenda to yogurt and blend well.
Then pour into glass jars.
Refrigerate 8 hours before serving for best texture.
(I couldn't wait 8 hours, so I stuck a bowl of the yogurt in the freezer and ate as soon as it started to freeze! Yummy!)

Homemade Mayonnaise
1 whole egg
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup oil
dash of paprika (optional)

3/4 cup oil

Add all the ingredients into a blender except the 3/4 cup oil. Blend on low for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  Then, while blender is still running, take off the cap and slowly pour the remaining  3/4 cup oil into blender in a thin stream.  If you pour too quickly, the mayo will be runny.  I have to warn you, this will splatter a bit. Blend for a few more seconds until thickened.  And there you have it - your very own homemade mayonnaise! Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. 

Homemade Maple Syrup
2 cups water
4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp maple extract

Bring water to rapid boil.
Pour in all of the brown sugar at once and stir until completely dissolved.
Remove from heat and stir in maple extract.
Pour into sterilized jar and let stand for 24 hours at room temperature before using.  Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Easy Beef and Cheese Burritos
1 lb. ground beef (or turkey, or venison)
2 Tbsp. homemade taco seasoning or 1 envelope of store bought
8-10 Tortillas (haven't tried making these yet)
1 cup shredded cheese (I use cheddar)

Brown ground beef, add taco seasoning and simmer for a few minutes.
Spoon ground beef mixture onto tortillas.
Sprinkle cheese on top of ground beef mixture.
Roll up tortilla, making sure to "close" the ends.

To freeze:  Place them on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper about an inch apart.  When frozen, place in ziploc bags or some other freezer-safe container.

To reheat, grab out of the freezer and pop them in the microwave for a minute or two.
To reheat in oven:  If thawed, heat in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
                             If frozen, heat in 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.
                             (They may be a little crispy if using the oben to reheat)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 - 12oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream softened butter, shortening and sugars together.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat until smooth.  Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix together sifted ingredients and sugar mixture. Add chocolate chips and mix again.  Use spoon to drop onto cookie sheet.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.

Or drop onto wax paper covered cookie sheet and place in freezer until froze and then put in ziploc bag to store in freezer for future baking.

Homemade Bread Machine Wheat Bread

1 1/3 cups warm water
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp. and 2 tsp white sugar
3 tsp. yeast (or one packet)

Pour the water, oil and salt in the bread machine.  Add the flour on top of the liquids.  Pour sugar into one corner of the machine.  Make a "well" with your finger in the center of the flour and pour the yeast into it.

Set the machine for Regular Bread - Light Crust.