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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

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 Cleaner Recipes

Homemade cleaners--add the recipe to the outside of your bottle and they will always be there when you are ready to make more!

A few months ago, I would’ve called you crazy if you told me that three months from now, I’d be making all my own cleaners.  But, here we are, a few months later, and I’m making my own hand soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener, soft scrub, all-purpose cleaner, oven cleaner, window cleaner, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wash and toilet bowl cleaner–and I don’t ever plan to go back!

If you get on Pinterest these days, homemade cleaner recipes are a dime a dozen.  But, most of the work involved in the transition to homemade cleaners for me was the research that went into collecting recipes for different cleaners and the trial and error of testing them and figuring what worked best.  Since I’ve done all that work now, I thought, why not go ahead and share them with all of you?  Maybe I can take the guess work out of it for you and make it even easier for you to make the switch.  

So, I will do a list of cleaners and detergent recipes in this post, tested and approved by yours truly.  For those of you who know my cleaning habits, that may not give you much assurance.  I don’t keep a spic and span house, and you would never want to eat food off my floor, but I do have a decent standard of cleanliness.  Mostly, I don’t like to spend a lot of time cleaning, so when I do, I want my cleaners to work well and make my job easier.  All these recipes fit this bill.  As well, I’ve made sure these recipes are as all-natural as possible, that the base ingredients overlap as much as possible, and that the ingredients are as easily accessible as possible–this way, these recipes are good for the environment, your family, your time, and your budget!

(more…)




Rachel

Cinnamon Rolls from Canned Biscuits

Written by
Mar 12, 2012 | Pinteresting Finds | Tags: , ,

AT has been out of town and I decided to step outside of the Sunday morning box yesterday and make some cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  Inspired by a Pinteresting find, I tried this recipe, compliments of The Jones Way, which uses canned biscuits for making warm, gooey cinnamon rolls.  If I was feeling really Pioneer Woman-ish, I’d go all out and try her recipe, which is truly from scratch.  That’s inspiring and all, and looks sinfully delish, but I can’t quite muster up the energy to go through that many steps.  Maybe someday after a full pot of coffee and a really, really good night’s sleep, I’ll find that pioneer woman within, but for now, I’m sticking with the canned biscuit recipe.  They took me all of ten minutes to prepare, and were met with praises from all five of my boys, and as the pictures can attest, they all but licked the platter clean.  So, if I make them again when AT is in town, I might need to break into a third can of biscuits.  Follow the link to her recipe to try and Bon Appetit!

Ready to go in oven

Out of the oven and ready to serve

This is what the platter looked like on our way out the door to church, I guess it was a hit!