My kids go through chocolate sauce at an alarming rate. At about $6 for a 700ml container I figured I could do better both on the price side and the contents. Searching the internet brought up a lot of options. I wanted simple and cheap. That meant cocoa, sugar and water. No milk, butter or dark chocolate brought the price down. I then modified from there
||Last Purchase Price
||Cost in Recipe
|1 cup Cocoa (~125g)
||$5.50 /500g bag
|1 1/4 cup sugar (~280g)
||$13 / 4.54kg bag
|1 1/2 cup water
Mix everything together in a pot over medium heat. Keep stirring or it will burn to the bottom. When it comes to a boil it is done. Remove from the heat and let cool. I store mine in glass jar in the fridge.
Total Cost $2.18 for about 500ml so about $3.05 for the equivalent 700ml bottle. That makes it about half the cost. Its very easy to make. You can vary the ingredients. I cut down a bit on the sugar and upped the cocoa. It makes it more chocolatey than the store bought. We use it mostly in chocolate milk but it also works great as a topping for ice cream. There is also no artificial flavors or colors in it so that’s a victory as well.
Another of my favorite ways to use up left over meat is to make a fried rice. It is particularly useful if you are a little short on the meat. I have used chicken, pork, and sausages. They have all worked out well. Two of the best were a Southern Asian fusion where I used leftover pulled pork. The other was not having enough chicken I add some leftover breakfast sausages.
Last nights started because I had some leftover pork. Again this isn’t some much a recipe as a starting point.
- Rice (Leftover is great and if I know in advanced I make extra. Otherwise I start with 1.5 cup uncooked and cook it normally)
- 2-3 cups of cooked leftover meat (cut up smaller to make it stretch)
- 2-3 cups of Veggies (Leftovers are great again. In this case all I had was frozen veggie cubes)
- 1 medium onion diced small
- 3-5 eggs (more if I’m shorting them on meat, less if I’m running out and sometimes I’m generous because I like scrambled eggs)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 TBSP Sesame oil (Optional, If you don’t have it don’t worry about it)
- 1/2 cup of water
- Pepper to taste
If the rice isn’t already cooked, cook it the way you normally do rice. Scramble the eggs in a wok with some oil. Remove. Dice and fry the onion over medium heat. Add the meat and stir together. Add the veggies and stir. Add the rice and stir. Turn the heat down to simmer. Mix together the soy sauce, water, sesame oil and pepper. Add and mix well. Add the scrambled eggs and mix. Cover until everything is warm through and the veggies are cooked. Add more water if needed and stir to keep it from burning to the bottom.
Today I have leftovers of the leftovers but not quite enough for another meal. I’ll probably pair it with some pot stickers on Saturday.
I like making my own oatmeal. One because it is far cheaper than the instant packets and second because I control exactly what goes in it. I use a digital kitchen scale in lots of my cooking because it makes it easy to experiment with amounts. I use grams because, one I’m Canadian and were metric and two I don’t have to deal with fractions like 1/8 of an ounce.
- 64 g Quaker quick oats (One of those brands that your mother used and probably grandmother too, and possibly great grandmother…)
- 20 g Brown Sugar
- 40 g Raisins ( I like lots of raisins)
- 4 g Cinnamon
That my basic recipe and its easy to alter, too sweet cut back on the sugar, like more cinnamon add more. Want to add different fruits go right ahead. I usually add:
- 10 g Chia seeds (high in omega 3s and fiber. Very good for you and add some crunch. Buy them in a bulk food store not online, much cheaper.)
- 10 g of sunflower seeds or walnuts.
Boil 3/4 to 1 cup of water (Depends on how thick you like it). I usually just microwave it till its boiling. Pour it over everything. Stir until everything is mixed together. Let it stand for a minute or two to let the oats cook. Generally the amount of time it takes me to put everything away, get a glass of milk and sit down. Enjoy. This is roughly equivalent to two instant packages.
I would be interested to hear other peoples alterations or creations.