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Cooking at Home

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My husband (Aubrey) and I very rarely go out to eat anymore. It just tastes so much better at home and I know exactly what I'm eating.

That is, except for those random things in my condiments and store-bought sauces : soy lechiten, modified food starch, mononitrate, etc. etc. etc.

So Aubrey and I have been trying out some truly homemade recipes. We made our very own "refried" beans and I made my own ranch dressing! I have no idea how long it will last, I am totally new to making my own sauces!

Do you make any sauces? Have a good spaghetti sauce I should try? I gotta stop just buying Ragu just because it's convenient!

Homemade "Refried" Beans

I followed this recipe except I halved the salt and it was STILL too salty. We're also going to use half as much onion next time so the beans will come through more.

Homemade Ranch Dressing
So this actually turned out really good! I didn't have any buttermilk, so I left that out. I found the consistency to be just fine without it. And I find it funny that it is half the calories of the "light" ranch dressing that I was buying.

1 clove garlic
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used Organics)
1/4 cup sour cream (I used Daisy, pure and natural)
Buttermilk, as needed to desired consistency (I left out, but feel free to add!)

I also didn't add any of the following, but they were suggested :

Fresh Dill (optional, To Taste)
Cayenne Pepper (optional, To Taste)
Paprika (optional, To Taste)
Fresh Oregano (optional, To Taste)
Tabasco (optional, To Taste)

Preparation Instructions
Mince the garlic with a knife and then sprinkle about an 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoons of salt on it and mash it into a paste with a fork. Chop the parsley, chives and any of the optional herbs very finely and add to the garlic.

In a bowl combine all ingredients, adding other optional ingredients as you wish, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thin with milk or buttermilk if desired.

I tried without chilling first and it was great!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm just lurking on all ur blogs and thought I'd make a little mention in regards to buttermilk. You can make your own. I use skim milk and either vinegar or lemon juice. Take one cup of milk (we use skim milk-I'm not sure if you can use soy/almond milk instead but its worth a try)-add one tablespoon of either vinegar/or lemon juice. Let sit for 5 min til the 'milk' is separating a bit. VOILA!
    Buttermilk without all the fat!
    2954 days ago
    Good for you, cooking at home not only gives you control over the ingredients you eat, but also saves you money. (We were such big fans of eating dinner out that we still get a kick out of how little it costs us, comparatively, to make it at home, and we always end up adding up the savings when we're finishing dinner!) My hubby makes a great from-scratch spaghetti sauce, and it doesn't take long at all. You can look it up under my name (NEWMOMOVER40) in SparkRecipes.
    2978 days ago
  • DNJEN471
    Thanks for sharing!
    2980 days ago
    Thanks for the recipe. I saved it in allrecipes. I am eating a high fiber diet and cooked pinto beans this month for the first time. I cooked them plain, then pureed them with cumin and beef broth. I use my crock pot a lot. I will try to make my own salad dressing too. Thanks for blogging!
    2981 days ago
  • PAUL7931
    It can seem expensive to start with but after a while you can have a healthy looking cupboard full of herbs, spices, flours and other goodies. Plus half the fun for me is trying a new recipe. It might not always work out as I'd hoped (like my wholemeal loaf that had the consistancy of a house brick) but at least I can laugh about it. Am going to save the ranch dressing recipe to use in the future.

    2981 days ago
    Nice ideas! Thank you. The freshness sounds so delicious. emoticon emoticon
    2981 days ago
  • *AMBER512
    So far it hasn't been cheaper. Buying all of the ingredients to make everything has been more expensive than just grabbing a jar of whatever. But I'm thinking making a big batch and freezing would be a lot cheaper. I just wish I knew a bit more of what I'm doing!! lol
    2981 days ago
    I agree and its cheaper
    2981 days ago
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