I have always liked to cook and usually from scratch. Things slipped a little bit with the arrival of kids. Then I became a stay at home dad with a tight budget and I started getting back to scratch way of cooking. Now the budget isn’t as tight and things have started to slip again but for health reason as well as the budget I want to get back at it.
I love making my own bread and it is one of the items that I consistently make rather than buy. The recipe has under gone some changes over the years and is currently undergoing another refit. The bottom line is that it cost me 60 cents for a large loaf and I know what is in it.
Sauces is one I have never done a blog post on mostly because I almost always just eyeball all the ingredients. Some like spaghetti and cheese sauce I had long since learned from my mom. Both of those can be modified to many more. An example is that my recipe for Chicken Cacciatore is pretty much the same as my spaghetti. Other I have picked up over the years mainly by looking on the backs of bottles that I used to buy and breaking it down to the few ingredients it actually is.
Pancakes are so easy to make, they freeze well and you can reheat them in the microwave or toaster. These replaced the boxes of Eggo waffles. I’m not sure that they are cheaper but I know what goes into them and we can slip in some whole wheat.
One of the rules that we had growing up was that we could have anything for dessert as long as we made it ourselves. So cakes and cookies were high on our lists of things we need to learn how to cook. The only box my mom allows is for Angel food cake and only because it takes so many egg whites otherwise. I have recently rediscovered one of my favorite cakes from my youth thanks to Google. Wacky Cake is a chocolate cake that I can’t even imagine how many times I have made and it is always delicious.
The first cookies that I can remember cooking are Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies. I have made those so many times that I can make them without a recipe. I have a set of Christmas cookies that I make every year. I need to post the recipe for two of them as they are naturally gluten free. In university I got the nickname Cookie man as I frequently came with cookies to share. One of those cookies that I must of made for my then wife to be was Chocolate Crinkles. I lost the recipe somewhere along the way and my wife found it again. I did not remember making them for her and though I had lost the recipe before meeting her.
6. Mac and Cheese
The next still have store bought equivalents that sometimes come in to the house. They are not as good but sometimes it is what we crave. For my wife and sometimes kids it is KD. I have taught my daughter how to make her own Mac and cheese. With her homeschooling this year it is quite often what she makes for herself at lunch time. Still KD comes into the house through mysterious channels. It is eaten quickly as the kids discover it.
7. Chicken pot pie with Baking Powder Biscuits
My guilty one is frozen Turkey Pot Pies. I can make Chicken Pot pie with Baking Powder Biscuits and that is a great way to stretch leftover chicken to another dinner. However those days that plans go astray the pot pies make a return. Particularly if it is a night that mommy is out as they are ‘Not my favorite’.
Overall I feel that we are eating healthier. There is more natural ingredients, more fiber, less salt. I would like to get more veggies into everyone but I am a meat and potato guy myself so it is a stretch. It is also cheaper overall. There are a few things that I spend more on but the health benefits justify the costs.
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