Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Copycat Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper Mix

Car repairs loom on the horizon and in an attempt to save money we're eating everything in our freezer and cupboards before we buy too much more. I have a HUGE amount of ground beef in the chest freezer and am tired of every recipe I have. I considered buying some Hamburger Helper until I read the box and saw what was in it so instead I'm working on a new series of copycat mixes like...

Copycat Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper Mix

1/2 cup powdered milk
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt (use 1 teaspoon if you want it to taste like 'real' hamburger helper, which is ridiculously salty. Use 1/2 if you don't want to die of hypertension)

What else you'll need

1 pound ground beef browned
3 cups cold water
1.5 cups uncooked macaroni
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a saucepan combine mix with cold water and stir well. Add in macaroni and cooked beef and simmer until pasta is cooked and sauce thickens. Stir in 1 cup of cheese until it melts.

Top with 1/2 cup of cheese and serve.

This was SO delicious! It won't be so hard using up all our food if I can make things like this.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Copycat Epicure Cheese Dip Mix

I have both attended and hosted an Epicure party, and both times the sales person served their extraordinary baked cheese dip to everyone. That stuff is like crack and it's all part of their plan- because to make it yourself you have to buy not one but THREE overpriced jars of seasoning. That ends up coming to around $30 just for seasonings alone (then you have to buy all the cheeses too!).

I was determined to crack their cheese dip, so what I did is individually conquer each of the three dip mixes it's made of, and then combine them. Here it is...

Copycat Epicure cheese dip mix (single use)

1 1/4 teaspoons chives
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon bacon bits
3/4 teaspoon parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch thyme

What else you'll need

1 package of cream cheese (8 oz)
1 cup mayo, yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Combine mix with wet ingredients in a small covered casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes. I stirred mine halfway through so the spices would mix once the cheese had begun to melt.

Serve hot with veggies, sliced baguette or corn chips. Or in my case all 3...

Don't worry about leftovers. There won't be any. I just saved you $30, as well as from a pushy salesperson trying to get you to host a party. You're welcome :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Caramel Apple Muffin Mix

We've had a few cold rainy days mixed in with the warm and sunny ones this spring and on those days I like to warm up the house and our moods with a bit of baking. Last week I decided to try out some...

Caramel Apple Muffin Mix (single use)

2 cups flour
12 caramels unwrapped and chopped in 4 pieces (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup chopped dried apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

What else you'll need

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

Combine mix with wet ingredients and stir well.

Pour into muffin tins (it makes about 10-12 muffins) and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the tops are starting to turn golden.

Eat them hot out of the oven if you want runny caramel or eat them cooled if you want them chewy. Either way they're delicious!

This one makes a great gift in a jar if you want to layer your ingredients in a large mason jar.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Montreal chicken seasoning

BBQ season is here! (Well some days. It just keeps on randomly snowing around here). I like this seasoning because it's great on the grill or in the oven (depending on if we have snow or sun).

Montreal Chicken Seasoning Mix

1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Combine seasonings in a spice jar with a shaker lid.

Shake it on top of chicken before grilling or baking.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sun dried tomato and basil tuna mix

I'm a big fan of sandwiches but don't like all the crap they put in lunch meat. But if I don't have any leftover meat on hand the next best thing is.. tuna!

Sun dried tomato and basil tuna mix

2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon paprika

What else you'll need

1 can of tuna, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar

Combine mix with tuna, oil and vinegar and stir well. Chill in the fridge to let flavors infuse.

I enjoyed my sandwich with some salad and fries. It was a perfect lazy lunch.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Chili Garlic Stir Fry Sauce Mix

I was craving stir fry the other night and wanted to try something new, so I came up with this:

Chili Garlic Stir Fry Sauce Mix (single use)

2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch (not shown in picture, I added it later)
1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/8 teaspoon dried chili flakes (more if you like it hot, this was mild)

What else you'll need

1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound boneless chicken or other meat
oil for frying
veggies for stir frying

Combine mix with water and soy sauce and stir well.

Quickly stir fry the chicken in oil and then add veggies. Once veggies are cooked add sauce and simmer until sauce starts to thicken.

Serve on a bed of rice or noodles. Delicious!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chocolate cream cheese mix

When I heard recently that they came up with a chocolate flavored cream cheese that tasted just like chocolate cheesecake without the crust I thought 'count me in!' But when cream cheese went on sale for $1.99 a tub and the chocolate kind remained priced at $4.50 for a tiny tub I thought 'I can buy some plain and mix it up...'

Chocolate cream cheese mix (single use)

2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
pinch salt

Big Batch (makes 4 uses)

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

What else you'll need

I small package or tub of cream cheese (250 grams)

Combine 3 tablespoons of mix with cream cheese and stir well. The flavors will mix well if you let it sit in the fridge for a while, but you can also eat it right away.

I had mine on a toasted bagel but it's also really good on rice cakes and crackers or as a no bake cheesecake filling or right out of the bowl with a spoon.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chicken wing seasoning mix

My husband and I love to order wings (we actually went out for some while I was in labor with my second daughter. I ate them in between contractions and banged on the table during them), but they are SO expensive. I've tried buying the slightly cheaper boxed versions at the grocery store that you can bake in the oven, but those are 14 kinds of disgusting. But recently I discovered giant packages of fresh plain wings for sale at Costco and tried many different variations of...

Chicken wing seasoning mix (single use- coats about 20 wings)

1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

What else you'll need

20 fresh raw chicken wings

Toss wings in a covered bowl or bag with mix until evenly coated.

Bake in the oven at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit until fully cooked (about 45 minutes in our oven but it may vary)

These wings are much healthier (and cheaper) than restaurant wings but much better tasting than the frozen boxed ones. I can buy a package of 60 wings for about $18 ($14 if it's on sale), so an 'order' of 20 wings only costs me $6 or less. This means we can have wing night in our house a lot more often now.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sweet onion teriyaki sub sauce mix

I really love Subway but I find it's way too expensive (especially for the specialty subs!) and also the processed meat doesn't agree very well with me. I was in there yesterday trying to think of why it tastes so good when all it is really is a bunch of sandwiches. It didn't take me very long to realize it's the SUB SAUCES!

Today I had a bunch of cooked chicken thighs left over from last night so I decided I was going to make my own...

Sweet onion teriyaki sub sauce mix

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

What else you'll need

3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce (more if you like it stronger. I don't like a strong 'soy' taste).

Combine mix with wet ingredients in a bottle or jar and shake until well mixed.

Use as a sauce on cooked chicken or lunch meat sandwiches, or even as a salad dressing. I made a nice chicken sub with a shredded leftover chicken thigh and some mixed greens. It was delicious, healthier and MUCH cheaper!