Eating homemade…well, I have always tried to feed my family healthy. Each year I try to add a new step. I am a “take it one step at a time” kind of gal. This past year (with 3 of my kids now eating gluten free) I gave up all processed soups (I only had a few of my old stand by recipes that called for cream soups), spaghetti sauce from a jar, pancake mix (I finally bit the bullet and only buy delicious, though spendy, real maple syrup) and canned broths. Now I make large batches of both cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups and freeze them in 2 cup containers, as well as fresh broths laden with deliciousness that I also freeze in 2 cup containers. And I haven’t bought pancake mix in over a year! Once I get used to doing something, it seems so simple. But if I try to completely convert to a new idea, it seems overwhelming.
This year I am doing homemade kefir flavored with fruit and honey and kombucha flavored with pureed fruit. There are a few only things that I still buy pre-made: cereal (because my kids are not overly fond of oatmeal) and I only do homemade bread occasionally (though I wish I did it every week). I really want to learn to make cheese and I try not to use deli meat (most of it has gluten in it anyway) by replacing it with leftover meat from the night before in sandwiches. I have made mayonnaise, but haven’t gotten into a habit yet of doing it weekly. Though I initially made my food changes for health reasons, I was pleased to find that it costs a lot less to make most items from scratch also!
So, I decided to share a day at the table in our home! These recipes are quick and easy…you could say “Homemade Fast Food!”
Heart Waffles and a Pancake Pencil!
This is my Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle batter. I make a batch on Monday morning and can then wake my kids up to homemade pancakes or waffles for 2 or 3 days! This recipe is protein rich, so the pancakes stick with them for most of the morning. Plus, they are gluten free and still taste yummy!
Gluten Free Pancakes or Waffles
2 cups gluten free flour mix (can be found here on the blog)
1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend in a separate bowl:
4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
3 beaten eggs
1 3/4 to 2 cups milk (depending on desired consistency)
4 tablespoons cooking oil
Add liquid ingredients to dry and combine with a whisk. Use a thicker batter for waffles and a thinner batter for pancakes, cooking on a buttered griddle.
Notice the heart shaped waffles! They make me smile every time I serve them. I remember how much I wanted a heart shaped waffle iron when we got married 22 years ago. This gift has brought me much delight over the years♥
Okay, if you have walked past the pancake pencil that you think might be a cheesy waste of about $4…grab it! Making pancakes has never been more fun! You too can be a pancake artist with this little gadget. Add a little more liquid to your batter for ease of artistic design. Everyone loves the pancake pencil at our house! Kyle got to eat a Lego Man for breakfast!
Kyle loves helping in the kitchen. I get my kids cooking as soon as they can hold a spoon to stir! I think they are more apt to eat unique ingredients if they help prepare the dish! Kyle has now become the official guacamole maker at 7!!! In fact, if he even sees an avocado in our home, he tags it and I cannot use it for any other reason! I don’t enjoy making sandwiches, so I will try to avoid it if possible. So, this is a quick lunchtime recipe!
warm 1 can of black beans and 1 can of corn
In the center of the plate place a scoop of black beans. Place a smaller scoop of corn on top of the black beans. Add a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Garnish with cilantro. Usually I add olives, but I was out on this day. Then take tortilla chips to create your sunshine! Festive, quick and I didn’t have to make sandwiches for lunch!
Matthew has been a dedicated mushroom hater. So, when I put him in charge of chopping mushrooms for Crockpot Beef Stroganoff, he wasn’t thrilled. BUT…I let him chop them as small as he wanted. This made him happy and he chopped them so small, his mushroom hating little brother didn’t even notice them in the meal until we told him. And Matthew ate mushrooms that night!
Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
Add to your Crockpot:
2 pounds trimmed stew meat
4 cups beef broth
1 julienned sweet onion
1 pound sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Cook on high until your stew meat is tender. I put it in in the morning and let it simmer all day. Just before serving, turn heat off and mix in a container of sour cream. Serve over rice or noodles! Easy and tasty!
Now I couldn’t leave out dessert could I? This is a cake recipe I discovered my first year married and have used 100’s of times over! Once you make this, you will never have to buy a chocolate cake mix again. All you have to do is keep cocoa on hand and you can whip up this cake in just a few minutes. I have also been able to make it gluten free and it is just as decadent. We don’t frost it, unless it is for a special occasion, because a sprinkle of powered sugar is all it needs. It looks so pretty topped with powdered sugar, I call it…
Snowflake Chocolate Cake
2 cups all purpose flour OR gluten free flour mix
1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum if using gluten free flour mix
2 cups sugar
1 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
Pour in 2 cups hot water and stir until well combined.
1/2 cup melted butter
Pour batter into a buttered 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees. Serve warm squares sprinkled with snowflakes (powdered sugar). Isn’t my little baker so cute?
~Homemade and Frugal Foodie~
*For more frugal ideas, click on this link “The Frugal Homeschool” or at the very top of this page!*