Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

I’m at church camp this week, loving life, swatting bugs, and trying to stay hydrated. While I’m gone, you can enjoy a re-posting of some of our most popular time-saving, money-saving, healthier eating mix recipes

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Originally posted April, 2010

Save money by making your own taco seasoning mix. It is SO easy! And healthy!  And you can put it in a jar (my favorite part)! Actually, even if you don’t have a jar obsession like I do, I recommend putting this mix in a jar as the flavors are strong and will absorb into a plastic container, or mingle with other items it may be sitting beside in your pantry.

Homemade Taco Seasoning MixYum

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup onion powder
  • ⅛ cup ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a jar and shake!

Um, after you put a lid on…then shake. The jar. Shake the jar. With the lid securely on the jar.

Taco Seasoing Mix

Three Tablespoons of Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix is equal to one 4-ounce package of taco seasoning mix. I would recommend adding 3 Tablespoons of mix to one pound of browned ground meat for tacos.

I would also recommend shaking again before each use to make sure the spices are well distributed throughout the mix.

The jar. Shake the jar. You can shake all you want, but if you don’t shake the jar, your spices won’t be distributed evenly.

Just wanted to be sure I made the instructions clear in regard to the shaking.

Great. I can see it now. Husbands everywhere will walk into the kitchen and see their wives shaking (boogie down).

He will look questioningly at his wife, smile and say,

“Taco night again?!”

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Recipes that use Taco Seasoning Mix

As you can see, having this seasoning mix on hand is super helpful. Just grab it, shake it, and stir it into whatever you are cooking. Love it!

Fun Groupon Coupons (I didn’t know about these!)

I’ve decided this is the time of year to buy stuff. Time to buy school supplies, books, shoes, and food. (Always food. Always.)

As I’m searching around for the best deals on all of these so that I can be prepared for a new school year without going broke, learning that there is such a thing as Groupon Coupons piqued my interest.

groupon

Groupon Coupon has partnered with many other businesses to offer coupons for places like Barnes and Noble, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Footlocker, JCPenney, Kohls, and the list goes on and on.

It’s very exciting, so if you shop online, before you make your final purchases be sure to check your coupon options at Groupon Coupons to see if you can score extra savings. I’m finding coupons for just about every store I typically purchase from. Scoring extra savings on top of sale prices is really helpful! There are also plenty of printable coupons to be had, so before you head to out the door to do in-store Back-to-School shopping, be sure to click over to Groupon Coupons to see what you find.

Yay for more ways to save money!!

This post is sponsored by Groupon Coupons.

More Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes! Italian and Thousand Island

I’m at church camp this week, loving life, swatting bugs, and trying to stay hydrated. While I’m gone, you can enjoy a re-posting of some of our most popular time-saving, money-saving, healthier eating mix recipes

Originally posted June, 2009

After sharing the Ranch Dressing Mix recipe, several of you asked for different varieties of healthy salad dressing recipes. I’m excited to share my recipes for Italian Salad Dressing and Thousand Island Dressing!

What makes these salad dressing recipes better?

  • These use real food ingredients – choose to use healthy oils and other ingredients you feel good about feeding your family. I use olive oil for these.
  • These save money – they cost much less than buying them pre-made! The price of Italian Dressing Mix can add up!
  • You can make Italian Dressing Mix ahead of time so all you have to do when you need dressing is mix it up!

Italian Dressing MixYum

More Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes! Italian and Thousand Island
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried celery flakes
Instructions
  1. Shake ingredients together and store in a jar.
  2. To make Italian salad dressing: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with ¼ cup vinegar (I prefer red wine vinegar), 2 teaspoons water and ½ cup olive oil.

Homemade Italian Salad Dressing

Besides salad dressing, use the Italian Dressing Mix to make:

Use Italian Dressing to marinate chicken for the best grilled chicken!!

And now for another of our favorite salad dressing recipes:

Thousand Island Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise (I use Hain Safflower)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup pickle relish
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1 hard boiled egg, chopped (optional)

Mix ingredients, cover and chill.

Homemade Thousand Island Salad Dressing

So…what’s your favorite kind of salad dressing? (mine’s ranch)  Have I come up with enough healthier dressings (aka dressings with NO high fructose corn syrup or MSG) to tickle your fancy…or should I keep playing?

I’m determined to come up with Caesar and Blue Cheese. But my attempts at these so far are not share worthy!

Whole Wheat Quick Baking Mix

I’m at church camp this week, loving life, swatting bugs, and trying to stay hydrated. While I’m gone, you can enjoy a re-posting of some of our most popular time-saving, money-saving, healthier eating mix recipes

Originally posted February, 2013

Over the past few years, I have had many requests for a mix recipe which will replace boxed “Bisquick”. I had never used bisquick very much before we started our healthy eating journey, therefore I didn’t know that I’d have much use for a healthier version. And so, this recipe request continued to get pushed to the bottom of my “to-do” list.

Whole Wheat Quick Mix

For shame.  I didn’t know what I’d been missing!  Last summer, I finally gave this recipe a try. Once I figured out the right combination of ingredients, I learned that it takes just a few minutes to put this mixture together. And the recipes you can quickly whip up once you have this convenience food on hand? Every single one we’ve tried has been a hit! I love this!  It is inexpensive, is made with real ingredients I feel good about feeding to my family, it saves time, and the food prepared with it tastes great. Does it get any better than that?

Whole Wheat Quick Mix

Yum

10 cups whole wheat flour (I use flour made from freshly ground hard white wheat)
1/2 cup baking powder
1/4 cup sucanat (optional)
2 teaspoons sea salt (I use Redmond Real Salt)
2 cups organic palm shortening or butter

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, sucanat and salt. Thoroughly cut in palm shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Store Whole Wheat Quick Mix in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer.

Here are several of the recipes you’ll find here at Heavenly Homemakers to use along with the lovely mixture you just put together. Think of how much time and effort you’ll save!

 Quick Mix Biscuits

Quick Mix Fruit Pizza

fruit_pizza_3

Quick Mix Honey Cinnamon Muffins

Quick Mix Very Vanilla Cookies

Quick Mix Pancakes

Beyond those, I’ve come up with a pie crust, waffles, and more muffin and cookie recipes. I’m telling you, this mix is so versatile and easy.

It’s recipes like this that make my Oh, For Real! Real Food, Real Family, Real Easy book so much fun. It’s all about making your life healthier and easier. Anytime you can take one recipe and adapt it to make many other healthy food recipes, we have a winner!

Like what you see here? We’d love to get to know you better! 

Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing Ideas

I’m at church camp this week, loving life, swatting bugs, and trying to stay hydrated. While I’m gone, you can enjoy a re-posting of some of our most popular time-saving, money-saving, healthier eating mix recipes

Originally posted March, 2009

Lookie what’s growing in my garden! Those cute little lettuce leaves will soon be cute big lettuce leaves. I can’t wait! I’ll be needing my homemade salad dressing before we know it.

lettuceingardenmay09sm.JPG

I don’t actually have an exciting salad recipe for you. I’m not terribly creative like that. My salad recipes almost always look something like:

  1. Wash and tear up a bunch of lettuce or spinach and put it in a bowl.
  2. Add whatever other raw veggies you have.
  3. If you’re feeling especially crazy, throw in some dried cranberries or raisins.
  4. If you want your salad to be your main dish, add some chicken, cheese and hard boiled egg.
  5. Grab a fork.

Homemade Salad Dressing Ideas

This is why I’m so excited about the above carnivals. However, I do have a fun idea for a salad dressing that I discovered one day when I was dinking around in the kitchen. Are you ready? It’s a novel idea.

Orange juice.  The juice from an orange. Fresh squeezed orange juicy goodness.

It’s refreshingly simple. And yummy. And it contains no high fructose corn syrup or MSG.

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Now that I’ve shared that enlightening salad tid-bit, I’m very excited to share another healthy homemade salad dressing idea!

Rhonda sent me a wonderful Ranch Dressing Mix recipe!! I used to use Simply Organic brand because I trust it more than other brands. But now, thanks to Rhonda, I can make a super healthy (and much, much less expensive) Ranch Dressing any time I need to!

Ranch Dressing MixYum

Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing Ideas
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 5 Tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 7 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Mix together and store in an air tight container.
  2. For dressing: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream.
  3. For dip: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 2 cups sour cream or kreme fresh.
  4. Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend nicely.

I use Hain Safflower mayo and Homemade Buttermilk.

Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix
The jar on the right is the mix, which costs pennies compared to a packaged mix! The jar on the left is the ranch dressing all made up and ready to go on our salad.

ranchdressin2sm.JPG
You HAVE to try this dressing! It tastes so…so real. And fresh. And pure. It’s delicious, simple and healthy! Obviously, you eat it on lettuce and other veggies – so that gives you wonderful, healthy…healthiness. (And of course, great servings of more fruits and veggies!)

Rhonda even suggested using this ranch dressing mix in my Ranch Potato Wedges recipe. It works GREAT!

I shall never buy another ranch dressing packet again. Rhonda – you rock!

And try squeezing an orange onto your salad sometime! See what you think! (Ever tried it before?) 

Homemade Onion Soup Mix (with No MSG!)

Save money and use real food ingredients when you make Onion Soup Mix!

I’m at church camp this week, loving life, swatting bugs, and trying to stay hydrated. While I’m gone, you can enjoy a re-posting of some of our most popular time-saving, money-saving, healthier eating mix recipes

Originally posted March, 2011

So far in this Heavenly Homemakers Recipe Challenge, we’ve come up with recipes for Homemade Tator Tots, Healthier Chocolate Milk and Teriyaki Sauce. I attempted a recipe for corn tortillas and while they tasted pretty good…they were NOT easy to make, they fell apart and looked ugly. I’m going to keep working on that one until I come up with a corn tortilla recipe that doesn’t take the whole afternoon to make. :)

This new recipe in The Challenge was super easy to put together! Vicki, one of our readers, sent me an Onion Soup Mix recipe to try and WOW is it simple! I tweaked it a teeny tiny bit, but really, this recipe is more Vicki’s than mine.

What I love about this recipe is that I didn’t have to look high and low for the ingredients.  Many onion soup recipes I found call for some sort of bouillon. Almost always, bouillon has MSG. There are MSG free bouillon varieties out there, but what if they aren’t easily accessible to you? And so…I was very happy to see this recipe that contained just dried herbs and spices!

Onion Soup MixYum

Homemade Onion Soup Mix (with No MSG!)
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup dried, minced onion
  • 3 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sucanat (or sugar if you prefer)
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a jar, then give the jar a good shake.
  2. I'd recommend shaking the jar to mix the ingredients well before each use.
  3. Use 4 Tablespoons Onion Soup Mix in a recipe in place of 1 packet of onion soup mix.  (I actually found that 2 Tablespoons was plenty in a beef stew recipe I tried.)
  4. Store this in a dry, cool place.

onion_soup_mix

I used the Onion Soup Mix in this simple, one dish stew and YUM!
Find the recipe for Simple One Dish Meat and Potato Meal here.

And with that…I have to ask:

SO many of you requested this recipe that I’m guessing you all must have tons of wonderful ways of using Onion Soup Mix? I would LOVE for you to share what you do with this mix!!! I have exactly two recipes that call for Onion Soup Mix. I’m so excited to use this mix in those recipes because I’ve not made them for years. But what else??? What do you make with Onion Soup Mix??

Attention: Everyone With Hands and Feet! FREE Pocket Size BeeSilk Hard Lotion!

If you have hands or feet that tend to get dry and cracked – you are really going to want to perk up to this. Come to think of it, if you have hands and feet at all – you need this. After all, who of us doesn’t from time to time struggle with dry skin? And then there are those of us who have chronically dry skin that can result in cracks in the fingers, toes, and heels.

If you’ve been around here long, you know my story. I suffered from terribly dry, rashy hands for my entire life until I was sent a sample of BeeSilk Hard Lotion Bar to try. I rubbed it on and immediately that little bar changed my hands and feet forever.

You know how I get sarcastic every once in a while around here? (Ha. Every once in a while.) Well when I say BeeSilk saved my hands there is zero sarcasm or exaggeration. I love this stuff and will never be without it.

Guess what’s happening today and tomorrow? We can all get a free lotion bar! (Offer expires at midnight Tuesday, July 19.)

BEESILK-HARD-LOTION-BAR-POCKET-2T

How To Get a Free Pocket Sized BeeSilk Lotion Bar:

  1. Click here to get to the special “BeeSilk Hard Lotion Bar” page.
  2. Put the bar (regularly $6.95) in your cart. Use the code HHJuly at check-out and the entire amount will turn to $0!
  3. Pay a minimal shipping fee when completing your order.
  4. Wait anxiously for your bar to arrive.
  5. Rub on your BeeSilk and watch your hands and feet become soft and smooth right away.
  6. Be very, very happy and relieved and love BeeSilk forever.
  7. Or even better…

How to Get Free Shipping with your Free BeeSilk Lotion Bar

I love freebie deals like this, but I much prefer to avoid shipping fees. Here’s what I’m doing:

MadeOn offers free shipping on orders over $45. Since I already know I love and use many MadeOn products, I will fill my cart with a few other of my favorite items to go along with the free lotion bar. Then I can get the freebie with free shipping too! I’ll get…

  • BeeSilk Refills
  • BeeSilk Sticks (for my purse)
  • Natural Lip Balm

I have to have plenty of these products on hand at all time because our whole family uses them – plus our oldest takes his own stash to the dorm.

Enjoy your freebie!! Don’t forget that this offer ends Tuesday, July 19 at midnight, so don’t put it off!

Get the FREE BeeSilk Pocket Sized Lotion Bar here.

This post includes my affiliate links.

Easy Crustless Skillet Pizza

My profound conclusion after eating grain-free for three weeks is this:

No matter who we are, we could all stand to eat fewer grains. But no one should have to give up pizza.

Pizza is what I’ve missed the most, which is funny since I don’t typically eat much pizza anyway. I’ve given up on trying to figure this out.

I haven’t been very interested in finding lots of substitutes for many grain based foods and have instead focused on eating many meals that are naturally grain free (like egg and veggie scrambles, roast with veggies, grilled chicken with veggies, or loaded chef salads). That type of meal is very simple, so working three times as hard to make a grain free pizza crust didn’t appeal to me at all. But I did really want some pizza.

What’s a girl to do?

Aha! I have a Crustless Pizza Pie recipe right here on my site that is so easy my 11-year old can make it without help. But of course.

With that “problem” solved, I then had to figure out how to avoid heating up the house. Could I make this Crustless Pizza without turning on the oven on a super hot day? But of course.

Cast Iron Skillet to the rescue. (I have one like this that I use daily. You never know how long sale prices will last, but this one is 79% off right now!!!)

I began by “baking” the cream cheese layer over low heat on my stove-top. I almost got distracted and let it get too hot, but caught it just in time before it scorched. Phew.

skillet pizza1 (1)
In the meantime, I browned hamburger meat in a small pan. I kept the pizza pie veggie-less this time, knowing we would be eating salad and veggies on the side.

After cooking the cream cheese layer for about 10 minutes, I topped it with sauce and meat, then covered it for a few minutes to heat through.

Skillet Pizza

Then I piled on the cheese, covered it for about 2 minutes so it would melt, then we dug in. It completely met my need for pizza. Who even needs crust?? Especially when there is cream cheese involved.

Easy Crustless Skillet Pizza

Easy Crustless Skillet Pizza

Easy Crustless Skillet Pizza
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella, cheddar, or colby jack cheese
  • Any meat or veggie toppings you like
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl mix cream cheese, eggs, pepper, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese until creamy.
  2. Spread mixture into a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet.
  3. Cover and cook over low heat on the stove-top for about 10 minutes, checking every few minutes to be sure it isn't scorching.
  4. In the meantime, prepare pizza toppings.
  5. Spread pizza sauce over hot cream cheese layer.
  6. Top with any meat, veggies, and cheese you like.
  7. Cover and cook over low heat for 5-10 more minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

No matter if you are a grain-free eater or not, I encourage you to make this easy skillet pizza! This was a great meal for our entire family and easy to serve with a tossed salad, fresh fruit, and raw veggies.

My Grain-Free Journey Update

The latest visit with my doctor assures me that I’m on the road to great health and will not have to eat grain-free forever!!! In the meantime, I’m learning that eating grain-free allows a person to eat loads of vegetables and other nutrient packed foods. So even when I add the grains back in, I’m going to continue on with many of the new habits I’m learning because they are so nourishing.

I’m heading to church camp next week (packing a lot of my own food), and afterward hope to find time to share some great new (to me) nourishing food tips I’m learning!

Low Sugar Chocolate Ice Cream – No Churn!

If the Low Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream would work with three ingredients without being churned, I figured a Chocolate version would work.

I was right!

Low Sugar Chocolate Ice Cream Bowl

Several suggested that if we added whole milk to the cream/sweetener/vanilla combo it would scoop out nicely. I tried that on my round two of ice cream and didn’t find it to work as well as the milkless version. I’ve decided to stick with only cream and not add milk. I’m curious what you discovered if you tried the recipe!

The only adjustment you need to make to make a chocolate version is to simply add cocoa powder to the vanilla ice cream recipe. (And if you want Chocolate Mint, just switch the vanilla extract with some mint extract. Easy!)

Low Sugar Chocolate Ice CreamYum

Low Sugar Chocolate Ice Cream - No Churn!
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup (more or less to taste)
  • 3 heaping Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Blend ingredients together with a hand mixer or in a high power blender until they have thickened - but have not yet turned into stiff whipped cream. (The mixture should still be runny.)
  2. Pour mixture into a small casserole dish.
  3. Cover and freeze for about three hours.
  4. Scoop and serve right away.
  5. If ice cream has been in the freezer overnight, you may need to let it sit out to soften for a few minutes before serving.

Low Sugar Chocolate Ice Cream

If you didn’t guess already, this ice cream tastes delicious in my favorite Coffee Milkshake. Follow the recipe here, scoop in some of this chocolate ice cream, and you’ll have a Chocolate Mocha Milkshake.

Still to come as I continue to experiment – Low Sugar Peaches and Cream, Strawberry, and Peanut Butter Ice Cream! Hmm, while I’m at it, I suppose I should try a Mocha Ice Cream. This is too much fun.

That One Time I Tried to Make My Own Dishwasher Detergent

It was such a good idea. I was going to make these and give some away and use them always as a way to save money on dishwasher detergent.

Yep. It was a great idea.

dishwasher soap fail

I’m not sure what I did wrong. I’m sure it had nothing to do with how I skimmed over the recipe and rushed to get it done before leaving for a trip. It probably wasn’t that I tried popping the tabs out of my ice cube tray before they were fully dried.

Now I have a solid rock of dish soap on a plate. Once I get it to ever dissolve off of there, that is going to be the cleanest plate ever. But let’s just say, Laura won’t be sharing this recipe yet with you because something went terribly wrong.

Do you make your own dishwasher detergent? I want to!!! But I don’t want to use Borax. I’d be happy with a recipe for any form of liquid, powder, or tabs. I just think it will be a nice way to save money and avoid toxins.

If you have a great non-toxic dishwasher detergent recipe idea, will ya share?