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Rachel

Printable Fall Soup Recipes

Written by
Nov 12, 2012 | Printable Recipes, Topics |

It’s been a long time since we’ve posted anything here.  I started homeschooling my five boys this year and so it may not surprise many of you that blogging has gone by the wayside.  My business remains active, thanks to the help of my long time side kick and talented  friend, Becky (I really need to come up with a better title for her than that, she deserves much better).  I won’t speak on behalf of my sister, but I do know that her master’s degree classes and three-year-old daughter are really keeping her on her toes these days.

If there’s still anyone out there in the Tidy Tangle audience, then you are faithful friends, and to thank you I’m going to throw a couple fall soup recipes your way now.  I already shared the Creamy Tomato Soup recipe in the past, but just realized that I didn’t  offer it in a printable format for you.  I  try to offer my recipes as printable when I can, because we want you to have something with which to fill your rbt bags’ mini binder/recipe books!

These soup recipes are sure to warm you up this winter.  They’ve become great stand-bys in our house.  Both recipes are combinations of various ones that I’ve tried over the years; after a lot of trials, taste tests, and changes, I wrote these versions down and made them official.  The creamy chicken and wild rice is very versatile–you can substitute ham for the chicken and it’s a great way to use up ham or chicken leftovers.  You can also omit the cream from both recipes for a healthier option.

Just click on the link below the picture to view and print the recipes.  Each recipe also includes directions for making in a slow cooker.  I hope you enjoy!

Creamy Chicken (or Ham) and Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Tomato Soup

Creamy Tomato Soup




Rachel

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes

Before I head out on a camping trip with the boys, and while I try to get myself psyched up about sharing a tent with five boys for two nights, I thought I’d divert my attention from packing for a few minutes and leave a quick post with some homemade salad dressing recipes that we love in our house.  I’ve included a printable version of the recipes at the bottom.

Homemade salad dressings in old coffee creamer containers

I’ve tried a number of different salad dressing recipes and narrowed it down to three that I’ve found to be worth the effort of making and notably tastier than their store-bought counterparts.  I’m not going to claim that any of these are healthy.  As a matter of fact, a couple of these are loaded with sugar, which I’ve actually reduced slightly from their original recipe.  But, they are good!

I’ve tried lots of different containers for serving homemade salad dressings and have had mixed results.  Then we discovered the usefulness of an empty plastic coffee creamer container–reduce, reuse, repurpose!  A friend of mine, and self-defined coffee addict, hooked us up with a few of the coffee creamer containers she’d held on to (thank you, Sandra!) and we now use them for our homemade dressings.

My caesar salad dressing was recently voted “best salad dressing” by A.T. and the boys, that was quite an honor, I must say.  Because it’s a favorite, it gets eaten the fastest, so I actually double the recipe when I make it.

Caesar Dressing

  • ¼ c lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ c oil
  • ¼ c grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1 tsp mince garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
Next is cream poppy seed dressing.  This recipe originally called for 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds, but we felt like we were picking seeds out of our teeth for  hours when we used that much, so I just use 1 tablespoon now.  If you really like your poppy seeds, and don’t mind the risk of failing a drug test (this article will teach you about the risks of eating poppy seeds in the event of a random drug screening at your work place, but I’m kidding, mostly), then you might like to keep it at 2 tablespoons.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

  •  1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup white whine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 T poppy seeds

I saved the best for last–Whatever Vinaigrette.  I adapted this from a balsamic vinaigrette recipe given me by my sister-in–law years ago.  It originally called for balsamic vinegar, but over the years have discovered that you can use nearly any type of vinegar and end up with an amazing salad dressing, so I affectionately named it Whatever Vinaigrette.  I make this every time we have company, and just use whatever flavored vinegar I have in the kitchen at the time, and always get asked for the recipe–it’s that good!  (It tastes especially good on romaine lettuce with shredded mozzarella cheese and toasted pecans.)

Whatever Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ c red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white balsamic raspberry blush vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp white or black pepper

I could lie and say that I make our ranch dressing from scratch too, but Hidden Valley does it so well already, I decided not to reinvent the wheel.  So, I buy their ranch powder from Sam’s instead and mix it with mayo and milk according to the directions on the package.  But, if you’d like a made-from-scratch recipes, Smells Like Home offers one here.

I’m still looking for a good honey mustard dressing recipe, so if you have one, please share! And, of course, below are the printable recipes I’ve included to fit in my oilcloth mini binders.  Enjoy!

printable salad dressing recipes





Rachel

Natural Flavoring for Snow Cones and other fun things to do with frozen juice concentrate

We love a good snow cone in the heat of summer, but we don’t love all the artificial dyes and flavorings in the versions that you can buy at the store.  So, we came up with our own, natural version of this traditional summertime treat.  The secret ingredient?  Thawed frozen juice concentrate.

Using some squeeze bottles that I found at the craft store, I keep a couple different flavors of thawed, frozen juice concentrate in the door of my fridge.  Using the ice function of my Ninja blender (which turns ice into snow in mere seconds), we blend up our ice and scoop it into some snow cone cups that I found at Walmart in the seasonal isle.  So, when we’re ready for a snow cone, we just pull out our squeezy bottles, pick the flavor of our choice, and squirt it right onto the snow cone.  Voila!  Instant natural snow cones that might even have a few vitamins and nutrients included!

 


(more…)




Rachel

Chocolate Chip Strawberry Muffins

I found a recipe for Chocolate Chip Strawberry Bread on Pinterest and was immediately intrigued.  I liked the idea of combining chocolate and strawberries, and banana bread had grown a little tiresome for me lately, so this seemed like a fun, new twist.  I adapted the recipe to be slightly healthier by substituting coconut oil for the vegetable oil and raw honey for the sugar.  I prefer to make muffins rather than bread as they cook faster, stay moister, and are easier and less messy to serve to kids than slices of bread.

I will not claim that these muffins are low fat, but if you wanted a lower fat version, I would substitute apple sauce for the coconut oil–I’ve had great results with that with my banana bread, just have found that it’s not as moist.  But, if you’re looking for an indulgent treat that has healthy fatty acids and is naturally sweet, this recipe with the coconut oil (can be found at Walmart with the vegetable shortening and cooking oils) and raw honey is for you.

If you take out the chocolate chips and strawberries, this could be a great base recipe for any kind of muffins.  You could make your own variation by substituting bananas, blueberries, nuts, raisins, apples, oatmeal and any other number of things–just have fun with it.

**A fun little tip that I’ve discovered for pouring batter into muffin tins without the mess is to spray a 1/4 cup measuring cup with nonstick spray and then use it to scoop the batter and pour into the muffin tins.  1/4 cup is just about the perfect amount for each muffin and with the nonstick spray, the batter just slides right out of the measuring cup.**

Here is my recipe, adapted from the original at Dash of East.  I’ve also included a printable version below for my oilcloth mini binders.  Enjoy! 

Chocolate Chip Strawberry Muffins

(Adapted from dashofeast.com Chocolate Chip Strawberry Bread)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 cup half whole wheat/half white flour
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
  • 1⁄2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1⁄2 cup raw honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1⁄2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1cup strawberries, diced

Baking:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tin. Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. In separate bowl beat eggs, then add oil, honey and strawberries and mix well. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into muffin tins filling each approximately 2/3 full. Bakes for 15-18 min. till brown on top and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Chocolate Chip Strawberry Muffins




Rachel

Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese

Photo courtesy of macaroniandcheesecake.com

Good ole fashioned boxed mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, but in recent years I discovered that the made-from-scratch version is not only tastier, but dare I say, easier, to make than the boxed.  Okay, maybe not easier, but its definitely not harder, I promise.  With just three ingredients–milk, shredded cheese and noodles–you’ve got a wholesome, hearty meal in minutes flat.  Just keep a bag of shredded cheddar cheese in the fridge and plenty of dry noodles in the cabinet (I use whatever I have on hand, penne, elbow noodles, pasta shells or sometimes egg noodles), and a batch of hot, homemade, creamy mac and cheese is always just fifteen minutes away.  Of course we still keep a few boxes of the instant stuff around for emergency situations, but the “real cheese” version, as we call it in our family, is always a crowd-pleaser.

But, with the help of this pinteresting find, homemade mac and cheese just got even easier.  The secret twist?  Boil the noodles in the milk!  No need to strain the noodles.  The milk makes a nice warm, creamy base so that the shredded cheese instantly melts when added to the noodles.  We  just whipped up a batch of it for dinner and were not disappointed.  The added surprise of a little dijon mustard in this recipe is the icing on top.  I even made it with whole grain noodles and my kids didn’t even notice.

Below is the recipe, but be sure to head over the Macaroni and Cheesecake for the original post.  I’ve adapted it a little according to my experience with it.  I found that it didn’t take a full twenty minutes for the noodles to cook, and I didn’t let it sit for five minutes before serving–whoever suggested that didn’t have five “starving” boys breathing down their necks ready to eat! (:  Also, I borrowed their photography (been feeling a little lazy lately about pulling out my camera), so all credit for the beautiful picture above goes to my original source.  Enjoy!

Revolutionary Mac & Cheese
Adapted from: Macaroni and Cheesecake

Ingredients:
2 cups dried pasta
2 cups milk
1 cup loosely packed shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dijon mustard

Directions:

In a small saucepan, add pasta and milk.  Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook until the pasta is tender, stirring frequently and ensuring milk does not boil.

Turn heat off, add cheese, salt and mustard and stir to combine.

Printable Version for your oilcloth mini binder below:



Rachel

Blank Printable Recipe Dividers

I just had a customer request blank tabs for creating a recipe book with her mini binder, and thought that was a great idea.  So, I’m including them here for you  also so you can print and write in your own recipe headings.  These could also work great for organizing craft ideas, family planners, lesson plans, or whatever else you might want dividers for, since you can decide what to put in these tabs.  Just open these up, print them onto regular card stock paper, cut them out,  insert into mini page protectors and stick them in our oilcloth mini binders, or any half sheet binders.  My labeled dividers (pictured below) are available here.  Hope they are useful to you!

green blank tab

red blank tab

peach blank tab

blue blank tab

gray blank tab

purple blank tab

Our printable dividers that are not blank




Rachel

Easy Peasy Homemade Ice Cream

It’s been fairly quiet around Tidy Tangle lately.  Since my last post on making skirts from old t-shirts using a sewing method called shirring, I’ve contracted shirring fever.  Yes, I’m in my sewing room these days shirring up anything I can get my hands on.  I love to shirr!

But, it seems cruel to wait till I recover from shirring fever to share with you this fun, pinteresting find–homemade ice cream that doesn’t require rock salt, an ice cream maker, or hand churning.  Yes, it’s true!  And, it works!  I was as skeptical about this recipe as I was about converting a t-shirt to a skirt, but the boys and I tried it and loved it!

With only two basic ingredients, whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk, and whatever add-ins you want, you can now have your homemade ice cream and eat it too.  I didn’t get any pictures of our first batch of ice cream, even if I tried, I couldn’t take pictures as beautiful as the ones at Kevin and Amanda’s website.  So, I borrowed their pictures to get your taste buds revved up and ready to try this recipe yourself.

Here’s the recipe (I renamed it, btw, this name seems more fitting!):

Easy Peasy Homemade Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • whatever add-ins you want (we did 1 cup of crushed mint oreo cookies)
Whip the whipping cream on high until stiff peeks form.  In a separate bowl, mix the condensed milk with your add-ins.  Fold the whipping cream into the condensed milk mixture and stir till combined.  Then, put in the freezer for at least six hours and it’s ready to serve!

We used a container just like this one, it was the perfect size

This is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make, I promise, at least try it once!  And, include your kids on the process, they’ll love it.  My boys are already thinking of different flavors they want to try next.  The hardest part is waiting the six hours for it to freeze.  I caught my boys peeking in the freezer many times, checking on it’s progress.  I had to convince them the more they opened the freezer, the longer it would take to freeze–that seemed to work.

For many different flavor ideas, visit Kevin and Amanda’s post.  Some of the suggestions they offer are Cinnamon Bun, Nutella, Krispy Kreme Doughnut, and Hazelnut Mocha Fudge Swirl!  And, their recipes are all printable–woo hoo!  I will say, they are highly promoting the Eagle Brand condensed milk on their site, but we used generic brand with no difference in results.  So, feel free to use whatever brand you want, I conclude.

Be sure to let us know if you make some, and share your flavor varieties with us!




Rachel

Easy Blender Salsa

I received the Ninja Kitchen System 1200 for my birthday.  The boys and I pulled it out of the box today and for it’s first test run we whipped up a batch of this salsa recipe I found on Pinterest.  If you’ve been around this blog long, you know that my family doesn’t just eat salsa, we inhale it.  It just so happened that A.T. came home for lunch today, so this one batch was gone in less time than it took to make it.  We didn’t have the ambition to do our salsa garden this year, so I was excited to find this recipe calling for canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones.

Going from my $15 12-year-old Oster blender to the Ninja 1200 was quite the contrast.  The boys and I all crowded around as I pressed the start button for the first time, and when we heard that purring sound as its blades cut through onions, diced tomatoes and garlic like a hot knife through butter, an applause broke out.  Perhaps the boys are mostly just excited to know that they won’t have to listen to their mom cursing the blender under her breath as she beats it against the counter and splatters food all over the cabinets anymore.  Or maybe they’re excited that they won’t find shards of wood and plastic accidentally incorporated in their smoothies when she tried to shove all the frozen fruit down into the blade with wooden spoons and plastic spatulas.  Mostly, they’re probably just happy to see their mom happy–they’re sweet boys like that.

The flagship salsa batch was such a hit that my 10-year-old actually thanked God for the opportunity to make it while blessing the food at dinner tonight.  Then, when A.T. went around the table at dinner asking everybody’s high-low for the day, several people mentioned the homemade salsa as their high.  Did I mention we like salsa in our family?  We definitely like this salsa.

Other things I whipped up in the Ninja 1200 today?  Two batches of salad dressing, one batch of chocolate-banana smoothie, one batch of fudge popsicles, and another batch of salsa for lunch tomorrow.  Hopefully those other recipes will come in another post.  I still haven’t done a frozen fruit smoothie in the Ninja 1200, so I can’t attest to its smoothie skills yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when I do.

For today, I’m including the salsa recipe, courtesy of Mountain Mama Cooks (pretty fitting name, since I’m a mountain mama myself) and adding a printable recipe for my mini binders.  FYI: I omitted the Rotel, used a teaspoon of jarred garlic instead of fresh, substituted basil and parsley from my herb pot for the cilantro, use hot chili sauce in place of a jalapeno, used curry powder instead of cumin, and used the juice of a lemon instead of a lime.  So, in other words, I used this recipe more as a guideline, but it was just because I didn’t have all these ingredients in my kitchen.  But, now you know just how flexible this salsa can be and still taste good!  Enjoy!

Easy Blender Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1- 10 oz can orginal Rotel
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed
  • juice of 1 lime

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with chips or over tacos.

easy blender salsa printable

Check out this link for my printable recipe dividers that will work in any half sheet binders, including my mini binders.




Rachel

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

It’s been such a busy week that I nearly forgot to share this recipe with you.  I’ve never embarked on making pudding from scratch before because I always thought that it required using raw eggs.  But, I stumbled upon this recipe last week and was intrigued because it didn’t use eggs.  The real name of the recipe is  Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding–I decided cornstarch isn’t an ingredient you want to highlight in a recipe, so I’m changing the name to Homemade Chocolate Pudding instead, it sounds much yummier.  The best part about homemade pudding to me is that it’s another way to cut packaged food out of our kitchen.  Once you try this recipe, I promise you’ll never want the instant stuff in your house again.

This takes about ten minutes to make and most likely, you have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen.  We chose to chill it before serving–it was a huge hit in our family.  Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe and enjoy!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding (from allrecipes.com)

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 Tbs margarine or butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Place over medium heat, and stir in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in margarine and vanilla. Let cool briefly, and serve warm, or chill in refrigerator until serving.

Printable version:

homemade chocolate pudding




Rachel

Homemade All-Purpose Mix Recipe

A pantry full of homemade mixes

Just to clarify any possible misunderstandings, the picture above is not my pantry.  I stumbled across another Pinteresting find recently–a list of homemade mixes you can keep on hand for baking and cooking.  I try to keep a homemade pancake mix and waffle mix always on hand, and have always aspired to keeping more mixes in the cabinets, but hadn’t gotten that far yet.  This list of many mixes is nearly complete, and a great resource.  It includes: biscuit mix, cornbread mix, maple brown sugar oatmeal mix (a personal favorite for me, we love instant oatmeal around here, but don’t love the cost or the long list of ingredients that we can’t pronounce), pancake mix, tortilla mix, brownie mix and more.

As I take the baby steps towards cutting processed foods out of our house, this is a logical next step.  When you make a mix yourself, it gives you complete control over what you’re eating, saves money, and you can usually pronounce every ingredient in it–that’s always a good thing.  Besides all that, since I’m not a morning person (that’s an understatement), having pancake mix available means my boys can just grab it out of the cabinet and make up their own pancakes in a jiffy in the mornings.  (Yes, my older boys make their own pancakes–unless it’s a Saturday morning and A.T. is in town, it’s survival of the fittest around here before 8 o’clock in the morning and my boys have learned to adapt.)

A quick word about vegetable shortening, which this mix calls for: if you, like me, have your doubts about the health benefits of shortening, consider using coconut oil (a solid form, like shortening, at room temperature) or lard.  Yes, you heard me right, there are some who say that lard is actually better for you than shortening and butter (check out this article).  And, you an find it on the grocery store isles in large tubs, though still not in it’s purest form…

I made a printable recipe card for the quick all-purpose mix, along with recipes that she includes that use the quick mix.  (I am excited to try the self-crusting quiche.)  I hope to add more printables of her other mix recipes in the coming days.

Enjoy the printable version, add it your your mini recipe book, I’m about to!  If you enjoy it, make sure to stop by her site and let her know–it’s always nice to know you’re appreciated!

quick mix recipes

 




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