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cooking from scratch

Cooking from scratch sounds so intimidating. I don’t make everything from scratch, but I’ve experimented with various things over the last year and a half. Some things are worth it to me. Other things…not so much.

Taco seasoning mix:

taco seasoning

I actually didn’t know that most people buy the little packets from the grocery store until after I got married. My mom always made her taco seasoning from scratch. She gave me the recipe at my bridal shower, along with some other favorite family recipes. Taco seasoning is simple to whip up yourself, and the store bought version has unnecessary additives. Verdict: Make from scratch.

Chicken bouillon mix: The Trim Healthy Mama cookbook has a recipe for “Trim Healthy Bouillon.” Since it’s copyrighted material, I can’t repeat the recipe here. I will say that it was very easy to make though! Verdict: Make from scratch

Refried beans: I started using more refried beans when I was dairy free. Making them myself sounded intimidating, but it’s actually really easy. Dried pinto beans can be purchased inexpensively at most grocery stores. I put 2 cups of dried pinto beans into my crockpot along with 6 cups of water, a little bit of diced peppers and onions, and salt to taste. I left the crockpot on high for 8 hours. Once they were done, I mashed them and then froze them in individual servings. Verdict: Make from scratch

Boneless skinless chicken breasts (rather than buying a whole chicken): I have purchased whole chickens and processed them myself a couple times now. The second time was less gag-inducing than the first, but dealing with a whole chicken is still pretty nasty. I use a crockpot liner to contain the mess and let the whole chicken cook until it’s tender. Then I let it cool and take apart the meat.

On my last trip to Aldi, I found a whole chicken from their Never Any brand that was $5, which made the price $3.15. The Never Any brand has no added hormones, no antibiotics, and no animal-byproducts. Typically it’s also a good bit more expensive, but the mark down made it a great deal this time. Verdict: Whole chickens are worth it for nicer meat, but not for conventional meat.

Chicken broth: Making chicken broth is straightforward if you’ve just cooked a whole chicken. If you haven’t just cooked a whole chicken, it would be more of a pain. I’ve only made homemade chicken broth once. As with cooking whole chickens, I’m not convinced that this is beneficial enough to do all the time. Verdict: I’ll take my chances with the low sodium chicken broth from Aldi.

Tortillas: I have never made tortillas from scratch in my life. Honestly, I’m intimidated. We do buy the 100% whole wheat version.I might attempt making them myself someday…but honestly, 100% whole wheat tortillas straight out of the package are just so convenient. Verdict: I’m scared.

What do you make from scratch? Do you have favorite family recipes?

8 comments on “Things I Make from Scratch (and some things I still buy!)”

  1. I make my taco seasoning too! It’s so much better than the stuff caked in those little packets. I make my own fajita seasoning too, and ranch seasoning.

    We buy the uncooked tortillas from the refrigerated section, and I cook them myself, but I haven’t yet made my own. I want to, though! I think they would be amazing.

  2. Haha!! I’ve tried tortillas a few times and you are right to be scared. I’m really wanting to try your taco seasoning mix. My hubby is super picky about taco seasoning, but I don’t like the corn in most of them, it makes my stomach upset, and I can’t do gluten in them either.
    I need to try the THM chicken boullion too. Thanks for reminding me of that! I just got the new cookbook, but haven’t made many of the recipes yet.

  3. I make all my chicken broth because I buy whole chickens and want to use up every last piece. But, I’m with you, I think it’s up to each person and their comfort level. some people make their own marshmallows. Yikes. I don’t think I will ever do that. 🙂

  4. I was inspired by your sharing of how your mum passed you family favorite recipes at your bridal shower, and finally got myself a proper recipe binder so I can start curating recipes to pass to my little one next time! thank you for the inspiration! 🙂

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