Easy Homemade Salsa

This homemade salsa is so easy and delicious. It takes 5 minutes to dump it all in the food processor or blender and whip it up. Give it a try.

2 – 16 oz can (or 1 – 32 oz) diced tomatoes (crushes or whole tomatoes work as well)

1 tsp sea salt (1/2 tsp table salt)

1 lime, juiced

1 tbls chili powder

2 tbls garlic powder

1 tbls cumin

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Dump it all in and blend it up. Your salsa is done! I have to give credit for this recipe to my mom. She taught me well. This is just too good. I refuse to eat store salsa. There’s no going back after you taste this!

Mexican Skillet – Still a Family Favorite

Mexican Skillett

I first posted this recipe on the Family Favorites page 10 years ago and it stands the rest of time. I made it again last week. It’s still a family favorite. 😊

It’s still pretty basic. I fry potatoes, and add some cooked beans and meat to the mix and dinner is done!

I change the ingredients sometimes. Sometimes I do chicken, or ground beef, leftover roast….. I’ll replace the black beans with pinto if that’s what I have. It’s a very flexible recipe.

Sometimes I grate the potatoes and make hash brown patties, rather than the fried potatoes in the original recipe and top them with the bean and meat mixture.

And topped with chopped onions, cilantro and homemade cilantro, it’s especially delicious. ❤️

Blueberry, Banana, Carrot Muffins – dairy, sugar, egg free!

On my quest to come up with yummy snacks and desserts that fit our current diet, I came up with these and they are yummy!

All my kids, blueberry loves and haters alike enjoyed them and asked for more.

Blueberry, Banana, Carrot Muffins:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat, spelt, flour of choice

1 tsp salt

2 tbls baking powder

1 tsp stevia or 1 tbls monk fruit (optional if you want it a tad sweeter)

Stir together. Then add…

1/2 cup mild flavored oil

3 very ripe bananas mashed

1 cup finely grated carrot

1 cup blueberries

1 3/4 cups liquid (mix of milk, water, or milk substitute)

Mix until dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Spoon into muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 20-24 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen muffins.

Cool completely and then store in the refrigerator. Best stored in the freezer if not eaten within 3 days.

Enjoy!

Allergy Friendly: Spiced Harvest Bread – egg, dairy, sugar free

This is a great healthy snack. It’s sugar free, egg free, and dairy free. Read on…

Two of our family are taking a break from sugar at the moment, and another can’t do dairy and eggs. This means it’s time to develop a new recipe, and Fall is a great time of year to try this one.

Carrot Spice Bread:

Makes 2 loaves.

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat, spelt, or your flour choice

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

2 cups finely shredded carrot

2 ripe bananas, mashed

2 cups orange juice

1/3 cup oil

Mix all dry ingredients. Mix all wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the wet to the dry. Mix well. Pour into greased bread pan. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until the center tests clean.

Cool on wire racks.

* Note: You could also make this in cake form if desired. Just cook in two greased and floured cake pans instead. I also sometimes make it in a 9×12 casserole as well. And if you aren’t avoiding caloric sweeteners all together like we are, add 1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup to make it that much better.

This bread is just slightly sweet so it’s a great snack any time.

And stayed tuned for the sourdough version in a couple of weeks.

DIY Trader Joe’s Garlic Salt

We love Trader Joe’s spice grinders. We like the Lemon Pepper, Everyday Seasoning, and Garlic Salt. If you haven’t tried them, you really should.

What what do you do when you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a pandemic, and you can’t run out and buy more? You get creative and make your own.

Garlic Salt is the seasoning I use the most. It’s basic and I find it to be the most versatile. I use it on the kids chicken strips that they eat every day for lunch, and I REALLY like it on our sourdough crackers. If you want to try to craft your own, save an empty grinder and mix the following together.

Homemade Garlic Salt:

3 tsp parsley flakes

3 tsp dried minced garlic

2 tsp onion flakes

2 tsp salt

Sourdough Waffles

It’s a tower of waffles. Sourdough this time. Using my favorite cast iron waffle makers.

If you want to give this recipe a try, follow my basic waffle recipe here, but use half the oil, omit the buttermilk (or soured milk), and add 1-2 cups of sourdough starter.

Happy breakfast!

No Knead Sourdough Sandwich Loaf

This has become my favorite loaf to make. It’s so big, and tall, and luscious. Give it a try with the recipe below and let me know how it turns out. Post a picture of your loaf in the comments!

Sourdough Sandwich Loaf:

Begin with approximately 2 cups of activated sourdough starter. This means that the starter should have been fed within the last 2-3 hours. I don’t specifically measure. I just eyeball it.

Add the following…

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tbls honey

1 1/2 cups water

Stir all this into the starter.

Activated starter with salt and honey. Water is next.

Next add your flour. If you are using an all purpose starter, add the all purpose flour first. If you have a whole wheat starter or other whole grain add the whole grain flour first. You want to be sure that the flour that your starter is used to being fed is mixed into the starter well before another type of flour is added. So….

2 cups all purpose flour

1 3/4 – 2 1/2 cups whole grain flour

The whole grain flour could be whole wheat, spelt, etc. I use freshly milled flour.

The reason I give a range here on the flour is that this can vary for you depending on how thick/thin you keep your starter. I typically use about 2 cups of whole grain flour.

The other thing to keep in mind is that this is a fairly stiff dough. For those of you used to high hydration loaves, you may feel like you are over flouring here.

After you have mixed in the flour that your starter is typically used to being fed, then mix in the other flour one cup at a time. You need to read your dough after the first cup of flour. You are going for a dough that is fairly stiff and just cleans the side of the bowl.

This is after one stretch and fold.

After you think you have added enough flour, covet the bowl with a wet towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

After the first 30 minute rest, you want to perform 4-5 sets of stretch and folds every 20-30 minutes. To execute a stretch and fold, reach under the dough and pull a section of the dough up and fold it toward the center of the dough. Do this all the way around the circumference of the ball of dough. Let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes, and perform another stretch and fold until you have done it 4-5 times.

Now give the dough a final 20 minute rest and while you prepare your loaf pan.

I use an Emile Henry Italian Baker. As you can see, this is an extra-large loaf pan. You could use an oval Dutch oven to make this loaf, or divide the dough into two regular sized loaf pans. You could also cut the recipe in half if you only want to make one loaf in a regular sized loaf pan.

If using loaf pans, butter or grease your pans well.

After the dough has completed its final rest (divide it in half if using two loaf pans) and then flatten it into a rough rectangle just slightly smaller than the length of your pan. Roll it into a log shape, pinch the seam closed, and place it in the loaf pan for its final rise. If you have the EH Italian baker, cover the dough with the lid while it rises. (Note: if baking in a Dutch oven, let your dough rise in a covered, oblong banneton, and use parchment paper to line your Dutch oven with rather than greasing it.)

A peek at the bread rising. This dough needs to be a little closer to the top before it’s ready.

Let the dough rise until it reaches the top of your loaf pan or banneton.

Once it had risen to the top of the pan, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Once the oven is hot, place your loaf pan in the oven and bake covered for 30 minutes. Then remove the cover and bake for 15 more. If baking in regular loaf pans, you can bake uncovered, just watch the loaf for the last 15 minutes to be sure that it is not browning too quickly. If you find it browns too fast, reduce the heat to 350 for the last 15 minutes.

Cool completely on a wire rack and enjoy your beautiful loaf!

Printable Recipe:

2 cups sourdough starter

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbls honey

1 1/2 cups water

2 cups of flour (same as starter)

1 3/4 – 2 cups flour of choice

Mix all ingredients well. Perform 4-5 sets of stretch and folds. Shape and place in loaf pan for second rise. Preheat oven to 400 when bread reaches the top of the pan. Bake for at least 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Orange Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

I needed a new cookie recipe today. Something that would be healthy enough for a snack.

Here is the result.

Let me know if you try it out.

Orange Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies:

In a large bowl combine the following:

1 cup light tasting oil

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp salt

2 eggs (or 4 egg yolks)

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbls orange juice

Whisk until combined and mixture is slightly thick.

2 cups finely grated carrot

Fold the carrot into the wet ingredients. Then add…

2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups oats (or spelt flakes)

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients until combined. Add…

1 cup chocolate chips (or raisins)

Fold the chocolate chips or raisins in until mixed well.

Spoon onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookies

We’ve finished our first week of school and I’m making these cookies as a treat. Try them out this weekend. They are worth it!

Try the recipe here!

Instant Bone Broth

I’m so thankful for these little homemade chicken bullion cubes. My son has been sick the last two days. He won’t eat much when he’s ill, but he’s always up for chicken soup. I can feed him homemade bone broth in an instant any time I need to by just reconstituting with boiling water. This is one of the most rewarding things I make. And if dehydrated it’s shelf life is a good long time if refrigerated. You can specific instructions on how to make them by taking a peek in the Pantry.

Quick and Easy Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Frosting

We have lots of birthdays in the fall. So, I’ve been working to develop a frosting that works for our allergies as well as those of our friends so that we can all enjoy the same dessert. I think I’ve landed on a keeper.

It has very simple ingredients, and comes out smooth and creamy. And unless you are allergic to chocolate, it should work for almost any allergy except for corn, because it does require powdered sugar. I’d prefer to substitute another sweetener, but haven’t come up with an option that adds sweet and bulk at the same time.

Ingredients: Cocoa powder, oil (I use light olive oil), water, pinch of salt, 1/8 tsp vanilla, powdered sugar.

Now, you’ll note that I didn’t give measurements on lots of the ingredients because it all depends on the yield you need. So, here are some ratios, and sequences to follow. This is a good recipe for just eyeing it, and when it looks right, stop.

  • To determine your approximate measurements, decide about how much icing you want to end up with. If you want a yield of 2 cups of icing/frosting, then start with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and estimate that you will add about 1 cup of sugar.
  • Note: I do not recommend using dark chocolate cocoa powder. It’s too strong and requires too much sugar to balance out the bitterness.
  • Start by mixing the cocoa powder and oil. This is essential to mix these first.
  • Use half the amount of oil as you use cocoa powder.
  • Use twice the amount of sweetener as you do cocoa powder.
  • Add water in very small amounts (as small as 1/2 tsp at a time), alternating with adding the powdered sugar, until you get the consistency you want.
  • If you need to add more bulk, but your icing is sweet enough, add a little cornstarch.
  • Add the salt and vanilla at the end. Just a bit of both. Not much.
  • Mix by hand with a wire whisk for best results.

This icing is rich, and chocolatey, and delicious.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This was dinner tonight. Give it a try.

Start with enough sweet potatoes for the size of your family. I did one per person and had leftovers as they were large and not everyone ate a whole one.

Wash the sweet potatoes and prick all around with a fork.

Bake at 400 for 1-1.5 hours depending on the size of your potatoes.

While they bake, assemble your filling.

Filling: ground turkey, chopped onion, garlic, celery, cabbage, red bell pepper, salt, pepper, seasoned salt, sage, oregano, olive oil, flour, and water.

Brown the turkey meat. When cooked through, add a little olive oil to your pan and sauté the onion, celery, garlic, cabbage and red bell pepper. Now add the salt and pepper to taste, a sprinkle of seasoned salt, and the oregano and fresh sage. I used about 1 tbls. of fresh sage but you could use about 1 tsp of ground as well.

Next, a couple of tablespoons of flour into your meat mix and stir until the flour has absorbed. Then add about 2-3 cups of water. The addition of the flour and water will create a sauce which will keep the ground turkey from becoming too dry. Turn off the heat once the sauce has thickened.

When you’re sweet potatoes are soft when squeezed, remove them from the oven and place on a cookie sheet and slice open. Butter and lightly smash the insides. Then top with the meat mix. I sprinkled buttered homemade crumbled bread on the top. Return to the oven on 400 for about 15 minutes until the bread topping is toasty. Sprinkle with feta cheese crumbles to serve.