Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pizza Hut style Bread Sticks

Boy, these are good!

Pizza hut style bread sticks

1 stick of real butter
1 Tablespoon of oil
3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of salt
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
optional : 1 tablespoon of yeast

3/4-1 cup milk (I have used water if I ran out of milk)

Melt butter and oil in a 9x13 cookie sheet.

Stir together dry ingredients first. Add milk. Knead very little. Roll into a flat rectangle (you can do this on wax paper or aluminum foil). Place rectangle into pan and cut into strips (like Pizza hut's bread sticks). Sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle again with shredded cheese if you have it and dip in marinara (pizza or spaghetti sauce!)


Homemade Glass Cleaner

Homemade Glass Cleaner

I got this recipe from:
http://housekeeping.about.com/od/environment/qt/cs_glassclean.htm Ingredients

1 cup rubbing alcohol

1 cup water

1 tablespoon vinegar

Using isopropyl alcohol and white vinegar together makes a quickly evaporating spray glass and mirror cleaner that competes with national brands. This can also be used to give a nice shine to hard tiles, chrome, and other surfaces.

Newspaper works great to eliminate streaks! We don't get the paper, but we do get weekly classified ads free. Anything with that texture works great!

Tortilla Chip Pie

If you need a quick, inexpensive meal this is the one! It makes a great weekend treat.

1 bag of corn or tortilla chips
1 or 2 cans of beans (chili beans or pintos work great, but you can try anything)
1 can of tomato sauce (aroud 14-16 oz)
spices: chili & cumin (either or... or both!)
1 bag of shredded cheese

Microwave beans. Layer on a cookie sheet:
corn or tortilla chips, heated beans, tomato sauce. Sprinkle with spices (however spicy you want!), and then top with shredded cheese.

Broil until cheese melts (don't leave the room! This only takes 1-2 minutes... set your timer!)

Replace chips with Rice,
Add any or all of the following:
diced chilis on top of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, lettuce,sour cream, & black olives.

This is a good vegetarian (translate CHEAP) meal!!! We all love it!

Stir fry Ideas

I am crazy about stir fry dishes. They are really easy to make if you have some fresh veggies on hand.

First you need to decide if you want to have a home-made sauce or pre-made. I like to do home-made.. it's cheaper.

My sauce recipe:
To a couple of cups of water add the following according to your taste:
Soy sauce or bullion cubes, ginger, garlic, lemon juice
Thicken with cornstarch. I usually add 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch to a cup of water and mix. Then add that to the boiling sauces to thicken. Cover and set aside.

Daddy used to just use cream of mushroom soup. I remember that was pretty delicious too!

Brown meat: You can use beef, chicken, shrimp, crab or lobster or if you want a huge cut in your budget, go vegetarian! The peanuts will replace the protein!

Remove meat from pan and add around 2 tablespoons of oil.

Saute any of the following fresh vegetables (or whatever you have on hand):

bell peppers
snow peas or sugar snap peas

Or you can buy a frozen mix.

I like to add peanuts or water chestnuts for crunch.

Pour over rice, cooked spaghetti (called lo mein), or chow mein noodles.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Laundry Soap (Home-made)

Home-made laundry soap

I have been making home-made laundry soap for awhile now. I doubt I'll ever go back to the other kind.

There are a lot of recipes on the internet but this is the one I use.

You will need:

Five Gallon Bucket

Hot water
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 bar Soap (grated) (I use either Castille Soap or Fels Naptha)

  • In a pot, place grated soap. Cover the soap with water. Heat until melted.
  • Fill a five gallon bucket half full with HOT water
  • add melted soap mixture
  • stir
  • add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved
You may use it right away. It will gel overnight. I use a soup ladle and 1 cup per load.

This site has a GREAT tutorial and analysis and even a video! Check it out. He is really detailed.


Here is another link for 10 different recipes. You may find another you like better than mine or one that is more detailed. Play around with it and have fun!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chocolate Syrup

One great way to save money is to make your own syrups. From Amy Dacyczyn's The Complete Tightwad Gazette

Here is one for Chocolate Syrup.

This recipe is very easy to make and tastes much better than store bought chocolate syrup. I can make three bottles of it with one can of cocoa!

Ingredients -

  • 1/2 cup of cocoa
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Stir cocoa into the water until dissolved. Start heating on high and add the sugar. Stir well while the syrup starts to boil. (watch it so it won't boil over)

Boil for 3 minutes. Then add the salt and vanilla and stir well. Cool and then store in the fridge for several weeks. I use a canning jar but you could use any type of container (old syrup bottle is great too).

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Blondies are basically like a giant brownie (or giant chocolate chip cookie!). My men absolutely love them. Here is my favorite recipe:


(makes 8x8 pan-double recipe if you want 9x13... I triple mine for a giant cookie sheet!)

1/3 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 egg
7/8 cup of flour (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup of chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter. Blend in sugar and egg. Cool. Combine dry ingredients and then add to the wet mixture. Add chocolate chips & vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon.

Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes.

* Substitutions: You could substitute about 1/4 of the flour for oats. You could do flax-seed or wheat too.
I use maple flavoring sometimes instead of vanilla, and sometimes I use different types of "chips" (butterscotch, white chocolate,etc).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mock recipes: Arby's sandwich

Michael LOVES Arby's so I thought I'd try to "mock" their sandwich. The absolute closest I have come is this:

I make a venison meatloaf (you can use lean beef). Slice it very thin and place it on a bun.

Ingredients for sauce:
Brown sugar
Apple-cider vinegar
ground cloves
garlic salt or powder
onion powder

Start with the ketchup and add about a teaspoon of brown sugar and vinegar. Then sprinkle the rest of the ingredients little by little and mix and add until you are satisfied with the taste.

Write it down if you "get" it perfect and put it in your recipe box!

You could also add slices of cheese if you like.

One of these days, I will get the exact measurements. But alas, they are never the same.... and I keep forgetting to write it as I make it!

Coffee Cake using potato dough

I made a coffee cake last night from the Potato Dough I had in the refrigerator.

Before you make a coffee cake you need to decide how much you want. My coffee cake was huge :-) But you may want a regular loaf-size.

Pinch pieces from potato dough and pat down into pan. Allow dough to rise (I allowed mine to rise for 2 hours).
Poke holes into dough. Melt 1 stick of butter and pour it over the dough.

Bake in a 375* oven for 25 minutes.
While bread is baking, decide what kind of glaze you want? I made a maple glaze:

1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
2 tsp of maple flavoring
2 tbsp of milk (or more) for desired consistency.

Pour glaze over warm bread! Yum!

All Purpose Potato Dough

I recently read in The Tightwad Gazette where the author made potato dough. The potato added acts as sort of a preservative so that you can refrigerate the dough and use it for several days. The author said that she was able to make a variety of goods throughout the week. I believe she made bread-sticks one day, cinnamon rolls another day and I think she made some rolls on another day. Since breadmaking takes so much time, it would be a big time-saver to make one huge batch and use it all week. This is very helpful for a busy housewife!

I would much rather have home-made bread around than store-bought. It is healthier and you can add your own flax-seed, oatmeal, wheat flour, soy flour, or whatever you like.

I found the recipe below, halfed it (since my mixer isn't big enough for a full batch).

I made some biscuits one day and a very large coffee-cake for Michael's breakfast for today. It was very helpful for us today because Michael had to get up at 1:30 a.m. for work! I normally get up with him at 5 a.m., but he told me to stay in bed this time.

I made the cake last night and it was waiting for him when he got up to go with his coffee.

My variations were to substitute some rolled oats & ground flax. He told me how good it was when he kissed me goodbye this morning. :-)

I found the recipe at


Below is the halfed potato dough recipe. I halfed everything to make it a smaller batch:

Edna Ruth Byler's Potato Dough Baked Goods

You can bake goods all at once (saving time and energy) and freeze baked goods to warm up for future meals or treats.OR........They can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Immediately after kneading, oil top of dough lightly, cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Refrigerate, punch down occasionally as needed. When you're ready to bake, simply take what you need for desired recipe, shape accordingly, let rise until doubled and bake.Usually about 2-2 1/2 hours for cold dough.

Dissolve: 1 1 /2 tablespoon dry yeast in1 cup lukewarm waterMix in large bowl 4 cups scalded milk

1 cups mashed potatoes (no milk added)

1 stick of real butter

1/2 cup sugarLet Cool to luke warm, then add:Yeast mixture 3 cups FlourLet stand until mixture foams up (about 20 minutes).Add:1 Eggs, beaten

1/2 Tbsp. Salt

5 1/2-6 Cups additional flourA little more flour may be needed, but dough should be soft. Turn out on floured board and knead until satiny (I just kneaded mine for a few minutes in my KitchenAid! around 7 minutes). Let raise in warm place until doubled (2 hours) in bulk or refrigerator for later use as stated above.


To my "little" sister Erin.
As one of my wedding gift ideas,I have decided to start a blog so I can share home-making ideas and recipes with you.We can converse in the comments section and of course everything on here is printable.Some of the things I plan to do:Share recipes, menu ideas, and various home-making tips. I hope you enjoy this; I think it will be fun!If you want to, I can add you as a contributor so that you can share your recipes on here too!I love you!~Kim~
P.S. I am leaving this blog open to the public. Some other ladies may want to read and share too.