Homemade Frappuccino

(pictured: Chocolate Dulce de Leche Frappuccino)
After reading about all the “wonderful” ingredients that Starbucks so lovingly puts into their drinks, I thought that I would share my recipe for a homemade Frappuccino, which is wonderful to whip up on a hot summer day, but could easily be enjoyed year round.  This could probably be easily adapted to create any number of flavors that you can dream up!  Please note that, since we are eating whole/real foods, the ingredients we use are as natural as we can get, which is why I’ve used whole milk & heavy whipping cream.  I also make my own sweetened condensed milk from whole milk & sugar.  (Be sure to check out Kitchen Stewardship for lots of great recipes!)

Homemade Dulce de Leche Frappuccino

  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbs Turbinado sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 Tbs Dulce de Leche (caramel can be substituted)

Place all ingredients in blender & blend on medium speed until mixed well.   Pour into glass, topping with whipped cream & drizzled Dulce de Leche if desired, & enjoy! 

Makes approx. 4 (8 oz.) servings

*Chocolate is a nice addition to this drink – just add a little to the mix prior to blending & continue as instructed.
*Milks & sugar can be adjusted to taste.

*How to make Dulce de Leche:  You need 1 can of sweetened condensed milk.  Open can & pour into glass jar, cover with lid.  Place jar is saucepan with just enough water to cover the contents of the jar + about 1/2-inch.  The whole jar does not need to be submerged.  Place over medium high heat until the water begins to boil.  Loosely cover & turn heat down to maintain a good simmer. (Lid can sit on top of jar without touching pan.)   Cook until condensed milk becomes a medium caramel color. 

**The darker the color, the thicker, more caramel-like it will be. 

I haven’t done a lot of experimenting yet, but I can foresee many different flavor possibilities in the future! 

This post is linked with:

Foodie Friday
GCC Recipe Swap
Ultimate Recipe Swap
Comfy In The Kitchen
Foodie Friends Friday
The Peaceful Mom (Show & Tell Saturday)
Homemaker By Choice
Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

Pantry Challenge Week #2 Update

Sorry to be so late updating this week.  It’s already been a busy week.  But, for us, that’s the way summer goes. 



Last week, my order from Azure Standard came in so I spent most of Wednesday trying to deal with it.  I had ordered 18 pounds fresh cherries, 96 oz. fresh Crimini mushrooms, 8 lbs fresh garlic, & 40 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes.  The cherries were starting to go bad (7 lbs worth), which Azure was wonderful about & gave me a nice credit back to be used on my next order.  Well, the kids & I halved, pitted, & placed the other 11 lbs into my dehydrator for dried cherries.  The next day, we sliced & dried all the mushrooms.  I still have to deal with the garlic, and I plan to get it done in the next couple of days.  I was planning to can a majority of the potatoes, but I only got 1 round done before I managed to drop my canner lid & ruin my gauge.  I did order another gauge & it arrived on Saturday.  I borrowed a canner from my father-in-law that belonged to my sweet mother-in-law before she passed away a few years ago, but the seal was so old that it wouldn’t hold pressure.  The other 2 rounds of potatoes that I had cut up & blanched did not get canned, but I have 7 quarts in the refrigerator & the other 7 divided up & in the freezer.  I wasn’t about to let them go to waste.  I also fixed a pot of pinto beans in my Crock Pot ™ on Wednesday, which did not want to get done until the next day (not sure why), so we ended up grabbing some chicken tenders & fries  from our local grocery deli.  Definitely not what I had planned.  It was not a good canning/cooking week for me, but I’m not giving up!  I jumped right back into cooking. Canning has had to wait due to our crazy schedule & us not being home much. 

Last Thursday (the day of my canning disaster) was my daughter, Katie’s birthday.  We ended up having the pinto beans on her birthday along with some homemade cornbread from freshly milled corn (delicious!), and I made a batch of homemade ice cream.  On Friday, the day I was retrying to can the rest of my potatoes I had prepped & blanched, she was due to have some friends over to spend the night.  Since I ended up “trying” to can again that day, which was not originally in the plan, we ended up buying 4 pizzas to feed everyone for supper that night.  Definitely NOT planned.

The rest of the week went okay with no unplanned spending taking place.  I did some grocery shopping on Friday morning, but it was mostly for party foods, which was planned & counted separately. As far as grocery spending last week, I spent $62.32 on Milk, heavy cream, frozen peas, bacon, pepperoni, marked down zucchini, vinegar, oil, & fresh fruits.   That leaves me with $161.86 for the rest of month.

As for my menu plan this week, well, I haven’t even really given it much thought.  We were gone to Dollywood on Monday, which is what Katie wanted for her birthday & that WAS planned, even the eating out.  Tuesday, we had leftover homemade chicken noodle soup, and today we had spaghetti.  Overall, I still feel like things are going well.  Even though things did not go according to plan on Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday, we still made the best of things & kept costs down.  Did I really want to have to buy the chicken tenders & fries for my family – not really, but since Brian had to leave for work in just over an hour & I was still neck deep in dealing with the canner & potatoes, there was no way that I could things cleaned up, cleared away, thawed, & fixed in time for him to leave.  Next time I can, I’ll have something already either thawed or already prepped & ready to be cooked.  I know to do these things but, since I hadn’t canned in a while and I wasn’t planning to go as long as I did, that was the price I had to pay for my poor planning.  Lesson relearned! 

So, that’s where we’re at so far in our month-long challenge.  I don’t feel that we’re doing too badly.  Most of our foods have been fresh/frozen/whole foods.  I can tell you that I can tell a difference in the way I feel in the last few days.  I don’t have as much energy and I feel more sluggish.  I’ll be glad to get all the “junk” foods out of the house again & not eat out again for a while.

Confessions of our frugal failure & Our Personal Challenge….




I’ve briefly mentioned that our family is working our way to eating more whole/real foods.  Well, I’ll admit that we’re having a harder time than I thought breaking our old habits.  Granted, we had already started  eating less store packaged/canned foods & had been doing this for a while, but over the last year, we’ve managed to fall back into some old habits of not planning ahead enough that we’re not stopping to grab something “quick” to eat through a drive-thru a couple of times a week.  Being a frugal person, this always kills me to know how much we were spending each time our family of 5 did this, but I was  at a loss as how to stop this vicious cycle since our schedule would remain the same for quite some time.  I know better.  I think we’ve all fallen back into bad habits & then felt at a loss as to how to get back out of them again.  Right? 


Well, Brian & I were discussing this very thing yesterday & have decided that we have GOT to change things.  And we’re going to to just that.  Since I do the majority of the grocery shopping & cooking of meals, I know I can do this.  I just have to change my thinking again & get back into my frugal mindset.  I love cooking/baking for my family, so this is not a problem.  The problem comes in when I don’t plan ahead and make the best use of my time to prioritize making sure that dinner is always prepared ahead of time so that I can either throw it together quickly that evening or in the Crock Pot™ in the morning. 

So, for the rest of the month of July, we are going to pledge to not eat out and to keep our grocery budget, including mostly whole/real foods (with as much as possible from the farmer’s market).  Our normal grocery budget for our family of 5 is around $400/month.  I try to keep under this as much as possible and would love to get it down to $300 during the summer months with all the fresh fruits & veggies available playing a more vital role in our meals.  This is always an issue since I have a husband & 2 out of 3 kids that prefer to have meat & potatoes over fresh fruits & veggies.   This amount will no include our bulk food order that we will place at the end of the month.  Since we are still trying to build up our whole grains, healthy oils, etc., this is still planned for separately.   I also do not use coupons since most of what I buy is either Aldi’s store brand, dairy, fresh/frozen fruits/veggies, or from the Dollar Tree™ (toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoos, etc.).  That being said, we should be able to easily stay under our budgeted $400.   So far this month, I’ve spent $105.26 on:

10 lb russet potatoes

10 lb frozen chicken breasts/thighs

10 lb frozen wings

3 gal milk

4 lb carrots

2 bunches of celery

3 lb onions

4 pints blueberries

3 green bell peppers

10 (8 oz) blocks cheese (different varieties)

4 bags frozen peaches(for smoothies)

3 qts. Heavy whipping cream

1 small container of Greek yogurt (to use as starter for my homemade yogurt)

1 bunch romaine lettuce

1/2 gal buttermilk


Yesterday, I went to the farmer’s market & spent $25 on:

fresh corn on the cob




Grand total for the month so far:  $130.26.

What we’ve eaten so far this week:  Taco salad, spaghetti with sauce with fresh mushrooms

Plans for the rest of the week: Still up in the air, but I’m planning to use some of the chicken I just bought as well as some beef we already have (a grass-fed beef we had slaughtered last fall), plus some of the fresh corn, carrots, mushrooms, etc. 

I will need to pick up some more lettuce at some point because I plan to incorporate a few more salads during this hot weather.  I want to keep my oven/stove time down to a minimum to keep from heating the house up any more than necessary.  I will also be utilizing my Crock Pot™ as much as possible, which I will set outside on the back porch to cook so that it will heat up the outside & not the house.


July Goals/Challenge Recap:

  • No eating out
  • All Brian’s lunches will be from home (he will have a small allowance for picking up drinks on the way home this week & next week since he is working 3rd shift & sometimes needs a little boost to get him home – this will not be included, but I will track it)
  • Utilize the Farmer’s Market for fresh fruits/veggies
  • Keeping at or below our budget of $400.
  • Pack snacks to take in the car if I think we’re going to be gone long enough for everyone to become hungry
  • Buy as little prepackaged items as possible, including fruits/veggies in the stores with their plastic packaging, to keep down on waste



One thing I haven’t really discussed, but should, is the fact that our local county FINALLY has a decent recycling program!  Now, instead of just paper, cardboard, some glass, & cans, we can recycle most plastics, glass, etc.  It’s wonderful seeing more than half of our waste going to recycling now like it should instead of just to the landfill.  I always tried to reduce/reuse/recycle as much as possible, but I can only do so much.  Now, we should average about 1 bag of garbage to every 2 bags of recycling.  I also now have a compost bin (Yay!), so I’m hoping to continue to reduce our waste even more!  There is so much that is either recyclable or compostable that our waste should be almost nothing. 

So, follow my family & I as we embark on this journey & challenge.  We’ve done it before & used to be very good at it, so I know we can do it again!