Posts Tagged ‘Homemade Condiments’

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Monday, October 20th, 2014

From our food contributor, Diana Bauman.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice | In the Midwest, the fall is probably the most stunning time of year. The weather has cooled to a relaxing temperature and the vibrant colors of reds, yellows, and oranges are emerging in the canopy of trees while slowly taking their turn fading to brown and falling, one leaf at a time, to the ground below. It’s brilliant, heartwarming … comforting.

Of course, when the change in creation starts to become evident that yes, fall is here, it also signals to every woman that it’s time to pull out boots, scarves, chunky sweaters, and leggings. Yes, I love the fall. It’s also during this time of year that I’m sure every stew, soup, and treat is filled with pumpkin. Oh yes, I love to incorporate pumpkin into my dishes during this season and with the farmers market still open for another month, I’ll usually buy about 6-8 pumpkins and keep them in the coolest part of my home where they’ll last me into the winter. Pumpkin bars in January, oh yeah, stocking up is worth it!

With everything pumpkin during this time of year, of course one is going to need pumpkin pie spice. Now, one thing, pumpkin pie spice does not have pumpkin in it. Instead, it’s called pumpkin pie spice simply because it’s the blend of spices that is traditionally used in pumpkin pies. The spice blend can vary by brand but it’s usually a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Me, I like to add a bit of cardamom as well.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice |

I’m sure many of you may be thinking, why make your own when you can buy it already blended. Well, you can make a bigger batch for less money and you can grind your own nutmeg and cinnamon for an even brighter flavor profile. One of my favorite things about making my own spice blends is that I can also add or omit spices just like the addition of cardamom in this recipe.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice |

The pumpkin pie spice is very versatile. You can, of course, use it to spicen up your pumpkin pies, to sprinkle onto roasted pumpkin and other squashes, to incorporate into pumpkin custards, or to sprinkle onto coffee.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice | Really, you can use it in so many ways. So, this year, why don’t you give homemade pumpkin pie spice a try. I’m sure you’ll love to have it on hand during this comforting time of year.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pumpkin pie spice is a simple combination of sweet smelling spices including cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom.
  • 2 tbls ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  1. In a small bowl, Mix all spices together and store in an air tight container for up to one year.

Have you ever made your own homemade pumpkin pie spice? Tell me, what kind of dishes do you like to add pumpkin pie spice into?

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Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Homemade Enchilada SauceOne of our family’s favorite weeknight meals is a big batch of our favorite weeknight chicken enchiladas. The first recipe I ever tried instructed me how to make my own homemade enchilada sauce to go along with our yummy enchiladas. I had never made enchiladas before so I assumed that a homemade enchilada sauce was the only way to make this recipe. Once I made and realized how easy it was to make my own sauce though, I never once considered buying my enchilada sauce.

Making your own sauces and mixes is a fantastic way to save money and you also have the opportunity to control the quality of ingredients that go into your dishes. With a sauce like an enchilada sauce, for example, you also can control the spiciness of the dish to your own preference.

Once you make this simple and fast enchilada sauce, I guarantee you will never buy the pre-packaged sauces again. The best part about this recipe though is that it is made from items you already have in your pantry and spices that are likely already lurking in your cupboard.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

We serve this yummy sauce on top of my favorite chicken enchiladas. These enchiladas never last long in our house and are awesome reheated in the oven (I reheat mine at 400 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes on a baking stone) for an easy lunch. When reheated in the oven, they taste just like the day you made them and are delicious served with a little fresh fruit for a yummy side.

I hope you can give these recipes a try in your house! I just know you will love them as much as we do!

4.0 from 5 reviews
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Once you make your own enchilada sauce, you will never go back to buying it on the shelf. This recipe is both easy in preparation and frugal on your wallet.
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder (we adjusted to 1 teaspoon)
  • 3 garlic cloves,minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • Pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
  2. Add the onion and salt and cook until softened, about five minutes.
  3. Stir in the chili powder, garlic, cumin, and sugar. Cook until fragrant, about fifteen seconds.
  4. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about five minutes.
  5. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Be sure to visit my Make Your Own Mixes & Convenience Foods article on other easy and effortless recipes you can create in your own kitchen and save your family hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill!

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Basic Vinaigrette for Salads

Monday, June 11th, 2012

If there is one thing I love to eat in the summers, it is a delicious fresh salad. Making homemade salad dressing is easier than you think and this basic vinaigrette is the recipe I rely upon for dressing all of my salads. The best part about making your own salad dressing is that you can control the quality of the ingredients that go into it and how much sodium is in your dressing.

I prepare all of my dressings in a mason jar that I keep in my pantry for my salad dressing. Just a quick measure of ingredients, putting the lid back on, and giving the jar a shake will yield a perfect dressing every single time. No need to mix it in a bowl with a whisk, the shaking helps pull the dressing together quickly and easily, with minimal effort.

How long your dressings will last depends simply upon the ingredients that are used in your dressing. This dressing has vinegar and oil in it as its main components. This dressing can last for up to three months easily. A dressing that incorporates mayonnaise (like my Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad) though will last, at most, just three days in your fridge. Since this dressing lasts forever, I always use this one as my go-to and switch it up with different vinegar choices to personalize it for my salads.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Tomorrow I am sharing a great way to make salads part of your summer eating routine, that I think you will really love!

Basic Vinaigrette for Salads
Serves: 4
Once you know the secrets to making your own dressing, you will never buy the bottled stuff again!
  • ¼ cup good vinegar (you can use sherry, balsamic, red, or white wine vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper & salt to taste
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar.
  2. Shake, shake, shake
  3. Taste to adjust salt and add more oil or vinegar if needed.
  4. Store in the fridge
  5. Bring back to room temperature before using.

Want to make this for a salad for one? Combine 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon mustard, and 3 to 4 tablespoons oil.  Add pepper, then taste and add more vinegar, salt, or oil as necessary.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman (this is an affiliate link).

Have a favorite homemade recipe? Feel free to share your recipe or a link to one on your own blogs that you love to use on your summer salads?

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