Make Your Own: Instant Oatmeal Packets

 

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These are so simple & quick to make & they can save you quite a bit of money, depending on what all you add to them.  If you’re like my family, we like all kinds of varieties.  These can be customized to your family’s tastes and preferences, AND you won’t have all of the additives and preservatives in yours that you find in the ones that you would buy prepackaged in the stores. 

My 8-year-old (very soon to be 9) son loves oatmeal but has trouble remembering what all the measurements are, so these are easy for him to grab and fix himself with a little supervision with the hot liquid (usually milk).

The ones that I mixed up today are just brown sugar and cinnamon because that I what I have on hand right now.  But you could add chopped dried fruit, or even fresh fruit after it’s been mixed up, plus any other spices or flavors that you love. 

I got the original recipe from Frugal Families, but I almost always customize it to our tastes & what I have on hand at the time.

Instant Oatmeal Packets

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  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 Tbs ground oatmeal
  • pinch of salt

For the ground oatmeal, I place 2 heaping tablespoons of oats in my mini food chopper and process:

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Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container, label, & store until ready to use.

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A few variations:

Dried fruit & cream:  1 Tbs. dry milk or nondairy creamer & 2 Tbs. chopped fruit of choice.

Raisins/Craisins & Brown Sugar:  1tsp. packed brown sugar & 1 Tbs. raisins/craisins. 

Spiced Oatmeal:  1 Tbs. Sugar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and scant 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Brown Sugar & Cinnamon:  1 Tbs. packed brown sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Possible Additional Toppings: Fresh fruits, peanut butter, maple syrup, butter, jam/jelly, apple butter, etc.   The possibilities are endless! 

The cost?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  For me, the cost is  about $0.09/packet vs. $0.18-$0.20/store bought packets.   Again, with dried fruits and other toppings, the price could increase to about $0.12/packet, but it’s still cheaper than buying store bought & adding additional toppings to that, which we usually ended up doing.   This time, I mixed up 26 packets (ran out of baggies) in about 10 minutes time.  It really takes very little time to do this. 

I hope this inspires you to MYO oatmeal packets.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you do. 

 

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Thanksgiving Pot Pie

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I put this together after looking at a few different recipes.  I will say that it turned out to be very good.  A definite keeper for helping to use up holiday leftovers!

(**Will Post Pic Later Today!**)

Thanksgiving Pot Pie

There is no exact science here, but I will walk you through what I did.  You will need a 9×9 baking dish. 

Layer in:
Turkey, cut into bite size pieces
Leftover cooked veggies of choice (I used corn, green beans, & peas).
On top of veggies, place small (teaspoon-size) scoops of mashed potatoes ( or peel, cube, and cook 1 to 2 medium-sized potatoes until fork tender)
Pour about 1/2 cup of turkey gravy on top of this (eyeball it) (can use a cream soup mixed with a little milk in place of this)
Sprinkle about 2 tsp of dried thyme on top of this.
Sprinkle layer of shredded cheddar cheese on top of all of this.

Mix together:
3/4 cup flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
about 1 cup of milk

Whisk until smooth and pour over top, making sure to gently push out to all the edges and corners.  Batter should be runny & will thicken while cooking. 

Bake at 350* for 45 to 55 minutes or until dish is hot & bubbly, & the topping is a nice golden brown.  If it browns too quickly, cover with foil.  

I served this dish to my family of 5 with some rolls and there is enough left over for another meal.   This is a great way to use up those leftovers that are your family is starting to get tired of.   

For more great recipes, head on over to Blessed With Grace for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

Recipe: 6-Layer Country Casserole

I guess I should say that Grandma’s Kitchen is just about my favorite Gooseberry Patch cookbook that I own right now.   Here’s another recipe from that cookbook.

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6-Layer Country Casserole

3 potatoes, sliced 14-1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 stalks celery, chopped 1 green pepper, sliced
1 lb ground beef, browned Granish: bread crumbs
1 onion, chopped  

 

Layer all ingredients, in order, in a lightly greased 13” x 9” pan.  Cover and bake at 325* for 1 hour.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs; return to oven for additional 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown.  Serves 6 to 8. 

This is what we’re having for dinner tonight.

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It smelled a lot better than it tasted.  It wasn’t bad, but it could use a little something else.  I’m thinking maybe mozzarella cheese and a little seasoning (maybe rosemary and thyme)?  It’s a recipe that I will definitely be trying again.  A little tweeking and it could be a really good recipe.

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~Chocolate Cream Crepes~

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I received a recipe for Chocolate Cream Crepes from Eagle Brand recently and, being a chocolate lover, I knew that I had to give them a try!

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 (4-serving size) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 (4 1/2-ounce) package ready-to-use crepes (10 crepes)
  • Powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced or cut up fresh fruit, such as strawberries, peaches, nectarines and/or kiwi fruit
  • White chocolate curls

Instructions

  • BEAT sweetened condensed milk and water in large bowl with electric mixer. Beat in pudding mix and cocoa powder. Fold in whipped cream. Cover and chill 15 minutes.
  • PIPE or spoon a generous 1/3 cup filling into center of each crepe. Roll up each crepe. Place on serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • SPOON fruit over crepes. Garnish with white chocolate curls, if desired.

While my crepes may not be picture perfect like theirs is, I can tell  you that they are melt-in-your-mouth delectable!  The recipe called for store bought crepes (blech) but I used my own recipe.  You can find it here

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For more great recipes, please check out:

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Dry Onion Soup Mix

I seem to be on a roll lately with sharing several homemade mixes.  But, it’s because I’m having to mix up more of the ones that I need because I’m running out of the ones I already had mixed up.   So, what better time to share them with my friends that when I need them myself?

If you buy premade mixes, they are loaded down with lots of salt.  When you make your own, you can control the amount of salt that goes into what your eating even more.  This is especially important for those that have family (or even themselves) with heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. 

 

Dry Onion Soup Mix

4 tsp instant beef bouillon
8 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp all-purpose seasoning salt

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Combine all ingredients and mix well. Makes the equivalent of 1 package of dry onion soup mix.

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This picture is just 1 batch of onion soup mix.  I mixed up a couple more in my glass jar.  I’ll be mixing more once I get some minced onions.  When making a large batch of this mix, 1/4 cup mix = 1 package of onion soup mix.

This post is linked to Blessed With Grace.

Homemade Baking Mix

 

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As promised, here is the homemade baking mix that I use in place of the store bought ones.   I originally got the recipe from Frugal Families

This mix has saved me tons of money over the years since this is quite a bit cheaper.  I can’t remember the original cost when I first starting making this, but I’m sure the prices have increased anyway.  I’m guessing that the total cost for this mix is roughly 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of buying the name brand stuff. 

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Homemade Baking Mix

9 cups flour (can be 1/2 all-purpose & 1/2 whole wheat)
2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup dry milk
1 cup shortening or 1/2 cup shortening & 1/2 cup butter*
3 Tbsp baking powder

Mix flour and other dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Store in an airtight container up to 6 months.  I use my food processor and divide the recipe in half and process half at a time.  It does a wonderful job mixing all the ingredients and cutting in the shortening. 

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This recipe doubles easily, or you can even divide it in half, depending on how much you are able to store.   I store mine in a 5 quart ice bucket. 

 
*Refrigerate if using butter.

 

 

The Best Brownies Ever!

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I followed a link from Organizing Junkie and found THE BEST brownie recipe I’ve ever tried!  And, believe me when I say that I’ve tried A LOT of them over the years.  We love brownies that are not too thin and not to hard but have that slight crust on top after baking but they’re extremely moist and chewy on the inside.  These are perfect!  Not too sweet and not too bitter.  You can find the recipe itself here.  At the bottom of her page, she has a nice little recipe card that you can print out with the recipe on it.   Don’t forget to check out the rest of her site.  There are a lot more great recipes there. 

 

**FYI:  I used a 9 x9 pan to get thick brownies the way we like them.  To me, there did not seem to be enough batter to fill a 9 x 13 pan.  **

 

The Moistest Brownies E.V.E.R

Ingredients below are for a double batch

1 cup canola oil

2 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs

1 cup flour (I used 1/2 cup all purpose & 1/2 cup whole wheat)

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 Inch Baking Pan (30 x 20 x 3 cm Cake Pan) Combine oil, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, mix until well combined. In a separate bowl add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add to egg and sugar mixture, and combine just until moistened. Pour into greased pan and bake for 25-35 minutes (I usually bake for about 30 minutes) or until brownies pull away from pan.

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I hope you enjoy these as much as we have! 

This post is linked to:  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday