A cold night…you are just coming home from work or a long day… and you want a nice warm bowl of soup? That’s what I like to do on a Fall or Winter evening. But normally I find that I don’t have the time to whip something up on the day that I want it. So instead I make large batches of soup 4 – 6 times a year and freeze them for when I need a quick hot meal with not a lot of fuss.
Onion Soup….so simple to make and so simple to enjoy!
Here is my recipe that I make…I hope you enjoy this!
(BTW this recipe is very forgiving….so a little more of this and a little less of that, based on what you have in your pantry is fine)
2 bag of onions (3 – 5 lbs)
2 containers of Beef Broth (homemade is better if you have some stashed in your freezer)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ stick of butter
2 cloves of garlic
2 tables spoons of parsley or basil (your choice)
My secret ingredient is Marmite – one heaping teaspoon
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
Melt butter and garlic in a sauce pan
Once melted, add onions (slice onions very thin)
Add spices to onions
Sauté onions until a gold brown
Pour onion mixture into crock pot and add broth and bay leaves for 2 hours on high or on stove top on low for 2 hours.
Take out the Bay Leaves
Grab a bowl, pour in some soup, get some bread or crackers and enjoy!
I happened to see this recipe on “Jamerrill Stewart” YouTube channel the other day and it looked yummy so I decided to give it a try.
I wasn’t sure about making pasta in the instant pot… But she said her kids liked it so I figured why not try.
I will leave the recipe below… And pictures of each step I took. I will tell you my husband had three bowls of it, and my youngest son who is a very picky eater… came out said “this is to die for”. So I guess if you were to ask me if it was good… There is your answer!
2 pounds of macaroni
2 cans of evaporated milk
8 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups of cheese – of your choice
1 stick of butter
Stewed Tomatoes – optional
1. Pour 2 pounds of macaroni into the instant pot.
2. Add 8 cups of water
3. Add salt and pepper to taste
4. Close lid, set to seal, set on manual for 5 minutes.
5. As soon as it is done… Do a quick release
6. Open immediately
7. Stir in your two cans of evaporated milk, one stick of butter, and your 4 cups of cheese. Stir gently until it is all mixed together.
8. Add one can of stewed tomatoes if you like an extra yummy taste… And any extra salt and pepper you need.
9. Grab a big bowl and spoon and enjoy!
This is definitely designed for a large family meal… or if you have a small family like mine you’ll have lots of leftovers for snacks and an extra meal or two during the week.
At one point we became members of a 4H group… for a fund raiser they would make pumpkin pies to sell at a annual fall festival. People swarmed over to our table to get these homemade pumpkin pie’s as if they were something really special. Being new to the group I couldn’t figure out what was so interesting about these pies… since it didn’t looked any different from any other pumpkin pie I’ve seen in the local supermarket. So I had to ask them what the secret was… and they shared it with me, it was Hubbard Squash.
First of all I have never heard of that style squash… and when I went to look for it here in New Jersey I had a hard time finding it. One fall afternoon we were in Pennsylvania… and I spotted this weird looking blue colored squash, when I asked them what the name of it was lo and behold it was “the Hubbard squash”. Absolutely overjoyed that I found it… I picked it up for just a couple of dollars and brought it home.
At first glance I thought I would just cut it into chunks and cook it down like I would for a pumpkin. There was no way in the world unless I got an axe that I could actually cut into this thing. So I decided to put the whole thing in the oven and cook it down and it took about 12 hours. So I have continued doing this for the past 12 years or so.
One of our favorite outings is to go to Pennsylvania and hit the Amish farm markets in the Fall. There I can get a 5 to 7 pounds Hubbard Squash… anywhere from $3 to $5 dollars. This is a good size to make several loaves of bread, muffins, soup and or cookies. It freezes well… And taste just like pumpkin but even better!
Here are a few pictures of it going into the oven, what it looks like coming out of the oven, cutting it open and scooping up the pulp etc. I will put it in freezer bags… and freeze it for when I need to bake. Check out this funny looking squash… try it out and taste and see how delicious it is! Let me know if you have any good pumpkin bread recipes to share!
Before going in the oven…
After cooking on 200 for about 10 hours…
The first cut before cleaning out the pulp…
Cleaning out the seeds….
all cleaned out….
yummy pulp for pumpkin pie, bread, soup, muffins and cookies….
This was something new for me to make… an essential oil candle. I have joined an essential oil’s club where you receive a check each month. The kit usually includes a project, four different oils, and about six recipes and any extra ingredients that you might need to make them. My kit is through a company called “Simply Earth”… and so far I have really enjoyed using all of their oils.
They included the recipe, a candle, and Himalayan Sea Salt to make this candle. They recommend that the candle does not sit directly on the salt… So I was able to find a candle holder at the dollar tree and also one at Michael’s crafts.
The recipe was easy… take the Himalayan sea salt, are used 10 drops of orange oil and 10 drops of fennel oil. I mixed it together in the salt. I then put the salt at the bottom of the glass jar… attached the glass jar lid with the extended candle holder, added the candle to it and then lit the candle. The fragrance in the kitchen was excellent and we really enjoyed the scent of the mix of the two oil’s.
Here’s a copy of the recipe card and some pictures of what I used and how I put it together.
I used to watch people make their own detergent and I thought that they were nuts!!!! I could not understand why anyone would take the time to do this when you could go to your local grocery store with a coupon in hand and catch a good sale and purchase some that was already made up in a pretty bottle.
I am on a kick to make everything homemade these days…that I can make for our home. I really enjoy making things for my family whether it be for a delicious meal, something pretty for the house… or even laundry detergent.
We struggle with hard water/ high iron and my wash has never looked better after making this detergent. My cloths stay newer looking. I love the simplicity of it…simple to make, simple to use and no fragrances to deal with.
When I make a batch it seems to last me about 6 months or so and it costs about $7 to make. I tend to use a little more in my wash since I usually only do extra-large loads and also I use a little more than normal due to the hard water. (Normal amount would be 1 tablespoon per size of load… For example 1 tablespoon for small, 2 tablespoons for medium load.) But all in all for $7 and it lasting 6-8 months, I think that is pretty good deal. As well as I just down right like it!!!! When is the last time that you only paid $7 dollars for laundry detergent that lasted you six months?
Here is my recipie….hope you enjoy it. Let me know in the comments below if you make your own and if you like it. Also do you have any other different recipes to share?
Homemade laundry detergent recipe:
I will let you know I get a big tub and I dump all the ingredients into it. I then store it in an airtight container… and I put some in a smaller container to use on a daily basis. On the larger container that I store the bulk of it in… I have the recipe written on the lid of it so that I always know where to find the recipe.
How many times have you wanted some homemade tomato sauce or as some would call it …homemade gravy for your pasta? The thought of letting it cook all day in a pot, even though the smell wafting through the house would be so yummy… is just too much for a busy mom. So what we end up doing is opening a jar of sauce and calling it a day.
My friend Janelle… From Parsnips and Parsimony YouTube is the one that shared this yummy recipe on her channel. Check out her website for this delicious recipe the way she originally made it and many other wonderful recipes.
Her recipe calls for basil which I did not have but I did have green peppers, so I tweaked the recipe a little bit as well as I used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. When creating a recipe it’s not always worth running out to the store for one thing when you can improvise with what’s already in the pantry and create something similar.
Janelle took her delicious roasted tomatoes and put them in a blender to make a sauce… I will be putting mine in bags and place them in the freezer to add a delicious fresh taste to my crockpot recipes.
This was a great way to use up a bunch of ripe tomatoes that we picked at the Amish gardens in Pennsylvania. We will have some wonderful meals made throughout the winter months using these tomatoes.
Give it a try… and let me know what you think. It’s a whole lot quicker and easier and less bother to roast them up in the oven… then to make homemade tomato sauce on the stove top.
Thanks to my friend Janelle for this inspirational recipe!
If you’re like me… Breakfast is one of the hardest meals to make. I am not a big egg eater… and neither are my kids, although my husband will enjoy one now and again. I find it hard to come up with some recipe ideas for something quick and easy. Especially when we’re always running out the door first thing in the morning most days.
So what’s a mom to do when you work full-time and you need to have a healthy quick breakfast that you can grab and go with? Breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos and many of these other types of quick breakfasts are good too, but I just found a quick and easy recipe that turned out to be very yummy and simple to make when you have a busy schedule.
Only three ingredients:
2 to 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats (I found 2 1/2 cups worked out better)
Half a cup of honey or half a cup of maple syrup (your choice and I preferred to only use 1/4 of a cup)
One cup of peanut butter (natural is better for less sugar)
Mix all three ingredients together, place a piece of wax paper in a baking dish, add your mixture to the dish and pressed down firmly to even out the mixture in the dish. Put it in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight, and then enjoy.
Let me know if you have any other ideas for a quick and easy breakfast. Send a comment below with your recipe.
Routine is something hard to create and stick with in our lives….but it is a necessary thing. I watch a You-Tube channel with “Andrea Mills”. She talks about doing things routinely if they are important enough to you. Check out her website and channel for this topic and more.
With any type of special needs and we have two types in our family, I find as a homemaker that I need to create a way of organization for them; and not necessarily for me. With epilepsy and Autism in our home, I find that this affects everything that we do! For example, just leaving the house to go out for the day…we need to make a list on the back door of what we need to bring with us. This way my husband who has Epilepsy, whether it be a good day or not, does not have to think about what to bring. Especially when it is an “off” day for him, he just looks at his list on the door.
(example list for the door)
For our son has Autism.…so for his needs we have created labels in the refrigerator and also a routine of where to put things. This way there is no frustration of where things go. We also labeled where all of our coats go. Again, this way it keeps things simple and organized!
We have created a “white board” system to help with all those daily questions that you find Autistic kids always asking. They want to know what the next days meals will be 24 hours ahead of time. Our board includes 3 meals, 3 chores, 3 school events (we homeschool), and whatever the special event of the day is also.
This has proven to relieve many meltdowns, and crazy evenings in our home. When he asks the questions that he always does by 5pm sharp, we can just refer him to the white board.
Special needs can be a struggle to the caregiver as well as the person who struggles with it. Why not make life as routine as you can to avoid any chaos and confusion. There will always be other issues to deal with, but when things are routine it helps out a great deal.
Grandma had the best outlook on life. More than anyone that I ever met in my lifetime! She loved life and her family and always wanted us to feel at home in her home. She did not come from money nor did she ever have a lot even in her later life. That never stopped her from always giving to us with the few pennies that she had.
She was known for her pot roast and potatoes ….I have never had anyone make it soooo good and delicious as she did. I can remember one Sunday afternoon we headed over to her apartment for Sunday lunch, and of course for the pot roast. After lunch she asked me to get the table set for dessert. Normally Grandma was not a baker of any type. Her best effort was a crumb cake from Entenmann’s bakery. But this day was different…she told me she had some brownies instead. ‘YES”…I was so excited since I love brownies.
I helped her get the table all set with coffee cups, the sugar and creamer, cake plates etc….As everyone gathered back to the table for dessert she handed me “the box”…yes a brownie box. Then she told me to put in on her special fancy flowered plate. My eyebrow raised….and I looked at her with a silly look. “Grandma did you bake these already”…she replied, “no they come all made in the box already”. Oh dear….as she called back again to me she said…”look at the picture on the box”.
Well lesson learned that day! Grandma learned that brownie mix is a mix only and yes it needed to be baked. The whole family had a good laugh about it over a cup of coffee. That day I taught her how to make the brownies and we enjoyed them all yummy and warm with some more coffee.
These precious memories are still with me even after almost 28 years after her passing. She was a remarkable woman and taught me so much about life and living and how to handle myself in tough situations. And I was glad to be able to teach her one thing….even if it was just brownies.
Do you have any funny stories to share about recipes with your grandma? Leave a comment below and share with all of us!