Friday, March 29, 2013

Poppy seed dressing mix

I've been on a fruit topped salad kick lately (you know, sliced strawberries, mandarin pieces, ect). I wanted a sweet dressing to compliment them, so I made this:

Poppy seed dressing mix (single use- makes about one cup of dressing)

1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

What else you'll need

3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar

Combine mix with wet ingredients and mix well. I put mine in an empty BBQ sauce bottle that I use for homemade salad dressings and shook it hard.

It was delicious on mixed greens with strawberries. I also like to use it on salads with mandarin slices, avocado slices, baby spinach, sliced almonds or candied nuts.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

BBQ sauce mix

My husband is OBSESSED with BBQ sauce. He practically drinks it. He puts it on almost everything and it's starting to get expensive! I've been working on a homemade version for months now and this one is his favorite:

BBQ sauce mix (single use)

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

What else you'll need

1 can tomato paste
1 cup water
1/3 cup of vinegar
(up to 1 tablespoon each of lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce are optional but I found they didn't make a lot of difference)

Combine mix with wet ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer on low until sauce thickens a little. This can take a while.

I put mine in an empty BBQ sauce bottle but I often just put it in the covered bowl in the fridge because he uses so much so fast.

He puts it on everything but I only use it on chicken.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rosa Maria bread dipping oil mix

My grandma once gave me a container with 4 kinds of bread dipping mix. I wanted to replicate the one I liked best, so I searched online for the product came up with this:

Rosa Maria bread dipping oil mix (single use)

1 teaspoon dried garlic flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon parsley
pinch pepper

Big Batch (makes 8 uses)

2 1/2 tablespoons garlic flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons rosemary
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine 2 teaspoons of mix with 1/4 cup olive oil and stir.

Enjoy with bread! Leftover dipping oil can be used to season chicken, fish or potatoes.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mediterranean chicken and fish mix

I've been on a real fish kick lately, but unless it has a lot of flavor nobody wants to eat it. Too many white fish recipes are loaded with dairy, and rubs for fatty fish just taste too bland on lean fish. So I came up with this:

Mediterranean chicken and fish mix

1 tablespoon dried chives
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

What else you'll need

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine mix with oil and lemon and either use as a marinade (up to 2 hours for chicken or 20 minutes for fish). I like to brush it on with a pastry brush right before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes (depending on thickness of the fish), until fish flakes off easily with a fork. If using chicken bake until chicken is cooked all the way through.

I served ours with broccoli and sweet potato fries. Even the baby loved every bite.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Yellow cake mix

All week my oldest daughter was begging me for a triceratops birthday cake, but her birthday isn't for 4 1/2 months. I knew I couldn't handle months of pestering, and we were having people over for dinner last night, so I invented a holiday- dinosaur day!

I noticed boxed cake mix on sale for 88 cents when I was shopping yesterday morning but when I read the box I saw a horrible list of chemicals and trans fat. Not worth the 2 minutes it would save me, so I decided it was time to mix it up.

Yellow Cake Mix (single use)

2 cups flour
1.5 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon powdered milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

Big Batch (makes 4 uses)

8 cups flour
6 cups sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 teaspoons salt

What else you'll need

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs (or substitute)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend wet ingredients and then add in about 3 1/2 cups of mix and mix well (I've discovered using an electric mixer makes the cake much more fluffy. Who knew?).

Pour mixture into a greased cake pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until cake begins to brown and the center is fully cooked.

To celebrate 'dinosaur day' all I did was ice the cake green and buy a package of plastic dinosaurs from the dollar store and stick them on top.

Our guests played along perfectly and we all sang 'happy dinosaur day' when it was time for dessert.

The cake was delicious and today my daughter can't stop talking about dinosaur day as she plays with the toys that were on top.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Mix

After a fairly warm week it was -19 with wind chill this morning. Ugh. Spring, you can come any time now. The only upside to the lingering cold weather is that we can keep enjoying hot oatmeal for breakfast. Like...

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Mix

1/4 cup quick oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped dried apples
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt

Combine mix with 1/2-2/3 cup of water (depending on desired thickness) and cook in the microwave on high for 1 minute. You can also add boiling water and cover it for 5 minutes instead.

If you want to make packets just put each mix into a little baggie (the pieces of apple and brown sugar will clump too much for a big container of mix).

Delicious! Enjoy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cajun Pulled Chicken Seasoning Mix

I love super fast crock pot meals on days when I know I'm going to be too busy to make anything later on. This one is a new favorite of ours.

Cajun pulled chicken mix (single use)

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Big batch (makes 4 uses)

1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons paprika
4 teaspoons onion flakes
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon pepper

What else you'll need

1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound chicken breasts or thighs

Combine 3 1/2 tablespoons of mix with all other ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours until chicken shreds and everything becomes nice and saucy.

This is a great meal for us because my husband eats gluten free these days so I put mine on a bun and his on a baked potato (our oldest daughter usually wants a bit of both). I usually serve it with a salad on the side.

You can make it as pulled pork too, but we love chicken so we always use that. The leftovers are even better the next day!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix

This recipe is a favorite of mine for when I want something semi healthy and semi sweet.

Apple cinnamon muffin mix (single use)

2 cups flour
1/3 cup dried apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

If you want to make a big batch of these I would suggest making several single batches in ziploc baggies as the different sized ingredients would make it hard to measure out for each use.

What else you'll need

1 cup water
3/4 cup oil
1 egg (or substitute)

Combine mix with wet ingredients and stir.

Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until tops begin to brown.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Bacon chives and cheese dip mix

My husband goes back to work on Monday after 8 1/2 months paternity leave (I know, I've been spoiled!) and I've been loading up on groceries to pack in his lunches. I like to send him with a lot of healthy food, because I know he's more likely to eat vegetables when he's a captive of his cubicle with only what's in his lunch box to choose from. Lunches are perfect for dip mixes, because you can make individual servings. This one is one of his favorites:

Bacon Chives and Cheese Dip Mix (single use)

1 1/2 teaspoons bacon bits
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon chives
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion flakes

Big Batch (makes 4 uses)

2 tablespoons bacon bits
4 teaspoons onion powder
4 teaspoons parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons chives
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion flakes

I would store the big batch in the fridge because of the parmesan.

What else you'll need

1 cup of mayo, sour cream or yogurt (or any combination of the two)

Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons mix with wet ingredient and stir well. Let it chill for at least 30 minutes prior to serving to infuse the flavors.

Serve with veggies or as a baked potato topper. To make an individual 'dip cup' for lunches, use 1 teaspoon of mix with 1/4 cup of wet ingredient in a small container. This way you can have fresh dip every day without it going bad by the end of the week (or have a different dip every day using a different dip mix). A dip will only last 3 days in the fridge, but an opened container of mayo/sour cream/yogurt will lasts weeks.