Italian Seasoning Mix

Italian Seasoning Mix

If your household is a fan of Italian dressing, this Italian Seasoning Mix is going to save you a lot of money over time!  It’s perfect if you’re on a budget and you keep finding yourself buying the expensive bottles at the grocery store.

While this recipe is meant to be mixed up as a liquid dressing, I’m sure sprinkling the spice mix over veggies or meat would be just as wonderful.  We like to use Italian dressing as salad dressing (of course) and even as a marinade for chicken!  Hint: throw some chicken breast into a freezer bag, pour this Italian dressing over top, then seal the bag and toss it into the freezer for a really quick freezer meal! It cooks up well in the slow cooker.

Italian Seasoning Mix
 
Ingredients
  • Dry Mix:
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • ¼ tsp Ground Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Parsley
  • ¼ tsp Celery Salt
  • 1½ tbsp Salt
  • For dressing:
  • 2 tbsp Dry Mix (above)
  • ¼ cup Cider Vinegar
  • ⅔ cup Oil
  • 2 tbsp Water
Instructions
  1. Combine Dry Mix ingredients and store in airtight container.
  2. To make dressing, combine ingredients in a bottle and shake well.

 

Check out my easy recipe for homemade Ranch mix. Do you have any creative uses for Italian seasoning/dressing?
DIY Italian Seasoning Mix

Simple Snack: Apple Sandwiches

Simple Snack Apple Sandwiches

Summer calls for delicious simple snacks.  Okay fine, I’m not opposed to simple snacks all year long. After all, simple is one of my meal prep motto’s so if I think it’s going to take too much time, I move on.  Or even if it has too many ingredients that I don’t keep on hand.

These apple sandwiches fall under the category of simple, delicious and budget-friendly.  They’re a hit with both me and Sienna.  (Though for Sienna, I just do one slice of apple with the peanut butter and granola on top to make an open face sandwich.)  While we use peanut butter, I think these would be delicious with almond butter, apple butter or any kind of nut butter!  As for the granola, I like to always have a batch of this homemade granola on hand.  And for the apple corer, I really like this Cuisipro apple corer.

Here’s how to create Apple Sandwiches:

Apple Sandwiches
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Apples
  • 2-3 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 3 tbsp Granola
  • handful Raisins
Instructions
  1. Remove cores from apples and cut into ¼-1/2" thick slices
  2. Spread apple slice with peanut butter.
  3. Top with granola and raisins.
  4. Place another apple slice on top and gently press together.
  5. Repeat with remaining apple slices.

What is one of your favourite go-to simple snacks?

50 Perfect Popsicle Recipes

50-Perfect-Popsicle-Recipes

I have grand plans to make all sorts or yummy popsicles this summer.  So when I came across this list of 50+ Perfect Popsicle Recipes on A Night Owl, I couldn’t resist sharing with you! If you’re on a budget, homemade popsicles are a delicious alternative to the expensive store bought brands.

Do you have any favourite Popsicle recipes to share in the comments?

Tasty Hummus Recipe

tasty hummus

I’ve been bound and determined to create a delicious hummus recipe that compares to the store bought versions that I love.  My personal favourites are Tribe and Summer Fresh brands.  I really like Tribe for the lemon flavor so lemon was an essential addition to make this recipe work for me. Another goal with this recipe was to create something that the Little Girl would eat.

With those things in mind, the hummus recipe below is what I came up with.  Also?  The cumin, paprika and oregano sprinkled over top really make this snack delicious!

Tasty Hummus
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dry oregano
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your food processor, add the chickpeas, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, sea salt and the garlic clove, and mix for about one minute to combine well.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the ¼ cup of olive oil while the food processor is running.
  3. Keep the food processor running until the dip is creamy and completely smooth.
  4. Once the hummus is smooth and creamy, spoon it out into a serving dish and sprinkle the cumin, the paprika and the dry oregano over top.

 

Easy Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe

thin crust pizza dough1

Have you got a pizza night coming up this week?  Do you need a new pizza dough recipe? You’ve got to try this Thin Crust Pizza dough recipe!  This recipe is our go-to recipe when it’s pizza night around these parts.  It makes enough for four 10″ – 12″ pizzas so that means two dinners and two lunch leftovers.  Mmm, leftover pizza!

This dough can also be made by hand or in a KitchenAid mixer which is a big plus in my books.  I love putting my mixer to work for me!

Thin Crust Pizza Dough
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 9 fl oz Warm Water
Instructions
BY HAND:
  1. Place flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Add yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil and water and stir until combined.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5–10 minutes or until a smooth ball forms.
IN KITCHENAID:
  1. Place flour into a stand mixer bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Use dough hook.
  3. Add yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil and water and turn on low until combined (about 3 minutes).
  4. Turn to medium and knead for 5–10 minutes or until a smooth ball forms.
BOTH:
  1. Place dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or clean cloth. Set in a warm place for 30 minutes or until dough has doubled.
  2. Turn dough out on a floured surface and punch the dough to remove excess air, knead lightly.
  3. Divide dough into 4.
  4. Makes enough dough for 4 10-12" thin pizzas.

Thin Crust Pizza Dough recipe!

Easy Vegetable Chowder Soup Recipe

This easy and delicious vegetable chowder soup will be a hit with everyone!

This vegetable chowder soup is a hit with all three of us!  Even the little one who has decided lately that she will mainly eat only orange vegetables. (She eats everything in this soup!)  This is also a great soup to make if you have a bunch of vegetables that need to be used up.

It’s really quick to make and is paired wonderfully with a baguette and salad.  I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do!

Vegetable Chowder Soup
Serves: 6 - 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup each of diced potato, celery, cauliflower, carrot and broccoli
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp minced parsley
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Saute the onions in the butter until soft.
  2. Add vegetables, chicken broth, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat.
  4. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Combine flour and milk until smooth in a medium bowl.
  6. Stir into pan with the vegetables.
  7. Bring to a boil and cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  8. Add parsley.
  9. Just before serving, stir in cheese.

This easy and delicious vegetable chowder soup will be a hit with everyone!

Easy Appetizer: BBQ Bacon Chestnuts

BBQ Bacon Chestnuts

BBQ Bacon Chestnuts

Since we’re talking about hospitality this month, or more specifically, how I want to be a better hostess, I thought an easy appetizer recipe would go over well!  This appetizer recipe for BBQ Bacon Chestnuts is delicious and easy on the budget!  Win win!

So, if you are in need of a quick appetizer, these BBQ Bacon Chestnuts are the perfect solution. Using just three ingredients, this is one easy to make and even easier to enjoy recipe your guests will love. Take a peek below at how to make up an easy and inexpensive batch of your own so the next time the need hits, you will be ready!

BBQ Bacon Chestnuts
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package of bacon
  • 1 can of water chestnuts
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce
  • Toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Begin by cutting the bacon into two inch sections. Set aside.
  2. Place your water chestnuts in a strainer and drain any water.
  3. On a plate, lay a piece of bacon flat. Place one water chestnut in the bacon, right in the center. Fold over one side of the bacon, then the second side. Place a toothpick directly into the center of the wrapped chestnut. This should hold the bacon tightly to the chestnut.
  4. Repeat the process until all of your chestnuts are wrapped. Transfer the wrapped chestnuts into the baking dish.
  5. Use a pastry brush or spoon to apply BBQ sauce to the wrapped chestnuts. Cover each bundle generously.
  6. Place the baking dish into the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. When the bacon is brown and crispy, you may remove. Don’t be alarmed if your toothpicks start turning dark brown or black in the oven, this is normal.
Notes
Allow some time for the BBQ Bacon Chestnuts to cool before serving. You can serve with an additional side of BBQ sauce if you desire.

You have quite a few options when purchasing the ingredients, so buy according to what works for you and your tastes. For example, it doesn’t matter what kind of bacon. I usually get whatever is cheapest. It also doesn’t matter what variety of BBQ sauce you buy, so generic or your personal preference works fine. (We like Diana’s.)

These BBQ Bacon Chestnuts are so tasty and the perfect party food. Whip up a batch to take to your next party or gathering and be the star of the show!

Mini Fruit Pizzas

 Are you looking for a really simple dessert to feed your family or perhaps a crowd?  These Mini Fruit Pizzas might be just the thing!

Mini Fruit Pizzas

Are you looking for a really simple dessert to feed your family or perhaps a crowd?  These Mini Fruit Pizzas might be just the thing! You could assemble everything yourself or you could create a fruit pizza bar so everyone can create their own mini fruit pizza masterpiece!

While this recipe uses pre-made sugar cookie dough, and I usually prefer homemade, I think this is the way to go if you’re hosting a party.  Next month I’ll be making these again to serve at Sienna’s 2nd birthday party! Where does the time go?

Mini Fruit Pizzas
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Package Sugar Cookie Dough (Pillsbury)
  • ½ cup softened Butter
  • 8 oz softened Cream Cheese
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 1 lb favorite Fruits
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Roll out cookie dough and cut out circles with cookie cutter or drinking glass.
  3. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Place on cooling rack to cool.
  6. Beat butter and cream cheese in large bowl until light and fluffy.
  7. Add in powdered sugar and milk and beat on high until smooth.
  8. Ice cookies with icing and top with fruit.
  9. Serve immediately.

Are you looking for a really simple dessert to feed your family or perhaps a crowd?  These Mini Fruit Pizzas might be just the thing!

Easy Recipe: Salad in a Jar

salad in a jar

One of my favourite ways to ensure we get a decent lunch with veggies and protein is to make up a week’s worth of Salad in a Jar!  When these layered salads are layered correctly, you can enjoy fresh, crisp salad all week long!

Because these are made in a jar with a lid, all you have to do is give the jar a shake to distribute the dressing, then enjoy with a fork!

Salads in a Jar are great for:

  • Picnics
  • Quick at home lunches
  • School lunches
  • Work lunches

These salads are highly customizable, so usually I end up using what I already have on hand. I like to use a combination of fresh vegetables, fruit (I only add fruit if they “go” with the other ingredients I’m using), beans, nuts, seeds cheese and of course, lettuce and dressing.  Cooked chicken, diced ham, grains and even lentils would be a nice addition!  Just add what would make you happiest!  I would probably avoid using ingredients that emit a strong odour such as eggs, stinky cheeses, or raw onions.  (You could bring them along in a separate container if you must have them.)  If you’re looking for a tasty homemade salad dressing, I recommend this DIY Ranch Mix!

Here are a some tips for creating a week’s worth of salads that will last:

  • Be sure to use a clean wide-mouth jar that is 100% dry.
  • Always put the dressing at the very bottom of the jar.
  • Keep the lettuce wilt-free by adding it at the very end to avoid coming in contact with the dressing.

Here’s how you make Salad in a Jar:

Salad in a Jar
 
Ingredients
  • Salad dressing, use your favorite!
  • Fresh Vegetables (radishes, carrots, peas, cucumber, red/green pepper, celery...)
  • Fresh fruit (blueberries, mango, grapes, raspberries...)
  • Beans, legumes
  • Grains (quinoa, rice, barley)
  • Cheese
  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Lettuce
Instructions
  1. Start with your dressing of choice and put about 2 tablespoons in the bottom of your jar.
  2. Next, throw in any cheeses you may want.
  3. Now it's time to add whatever combination of vegetables and/or fruit you like.
  4. If you're wanting to add beans, grains or nuts/seeds, now is the time to do that.
  5. Top off your salad by filling the rest of the jar up with your greens.
  6. Put on the lids and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat!
  7. When ready, shake your salad up and enjoy!
Notes
Lasts up to 5 days in the fridge!

How do you enjoy a quick lunch?  What are your favourite portable meals?

Gluten Free Basic Muffin Mix

This delicious Gluten Free Basic Muffin Mix makes a large batch of muffins that are easily adaptable to your flavor preferences!

Lorraine has once again sent along one of her delicious gluten-free recipes!  This time it’s for a gluten-free basic muffin mix!  While I, myself, haven’t tried this recipe, it appears as though it’s quite flexible in regards to the ingredients you can add.

Here is the Gluten-Free Basic Muffin Mix recipe exactly the way Lorraine enjoys it:

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