Monday, February 25, 2013

Mix It Update- new blog

I started a new blog this week- unrelated to cooking and food. I just got tired of all the ridiculous things I was seeing online, ideas that looked lovely, but just wouldn't fly in my world.

We live in a small semi detached house. So do most people. We don't have a 'mud room'. We don't even have a bathroom on our main floor!

We aren't very handy. My husband doesn't just whip up a set of bunk beds in the shape of a pirate ship as a fun weekend project. He can hang a picture if I ask him, but even assembling a bookcase from IKEA prompts a lot of yelling and crashing.

We are a family of four living on one small, modest income. We need to make the most of what we have.

I'm lazy by nature. When I see ideas for elaborate themed birthday parties for toddlers I shake my head. My kids get a cake and a watermelon in the backyard.

Instead we make do with our small space and our small income. I think of ways to make life easier without spending a lot of time or money. I make things fit. I find ways to entertain the kids. We're never going to win the lottery, and you probably won't either. So I decided to start a blog of the systems and solutions I have when it comes to raising kids when you have what you need, but not much else.

You can check it out here at: I gave up by noon.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Caesar salad dressing mix

Everyone seems to love Caesar salad, but I never get to eat it because of my egg intolerance. But lately I've been making all sorts of things using Greek yogurt in the place of mayonnaise, so I thought it might work for this too.

Caesar salad dressing mix (single use)

1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoons dried garlic flakes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

What else you'll need

1 cup mayonnaise (or in my case Greek yogurt!)
1 tablespoons oil
1.5 tablespoons lemon juice

You can also add a tablespoon of anchovy paste, but who does that really? Shudder.

Combine mix with wet ingredients and stir well. If it's too thick you can add a tiny bit of water.

My husband said it tasted just like 'real' Caesar salad, despite using Greek yogurt, so if you use mayo if will definitely be authentic tasting. I made my crouton mix as well to I could top it with something crunchy.

It was delicious on salad. Later on I poured it on some sole fillets and baked them in the oven and it was the most delicious fish ever.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blueberries and Cream Oatmeal Mix

Some people are seeing bits and pieces of spring- not us. We live in a place where it snows until April. Last week was incredibly cold and in this weather we eat a lot of oatmeal. Like...

Blueberries and Cream Oatmeal Mix (single use)

1/4 cup quick oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon powdered milk
1 tablespoon dried blueberries
pinch salt

Combine mix with 1/2-2/3 cup of water (depending on desired thickness) and cook in the microwave on high for 1 minute. You can also add boiling water and cover it for 5 minutes instead.

Stir and enjoy a hot, healthy, easy breakfast!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sweet Potato Fries Seasoning Mix

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I'm going to try and post this quickly so I can go watch a movie and eat chocolate croissants with that handsome husband of mine.

I love sweet potato fries, but I was never able to make them from scratch in the oven and have them turn out crispy like regular potato ones. That is until I read the package of the sweet potato fries I sometimes buy from costco... and then a lightbulb went off in my head for...

Sweet Potato Fries Seasoning Mix (single use)

2 tablespoons corn starch
1.5 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Big Batch (makes 4 uses)

1/2 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne

What else you'll need

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
2 tablespoons oil

Toss the sweet potato pieces in oil and seasoning mix (I use a bowl with a lid and shake it) and then spread them out on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until fries begin to brown (about 20-30 minutes).

These fries were so good! Sweet and salty, crispy and chewy! They are a new favorite here in this house!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Buttermilk Pancake Mix

Tomorrow is mardi gras aka fat Tuesday aka PANCAKE TUESDAY! Which is perfect for...

Buttermilk Pancake Mix (single use- makes a dozen pancakes)

2 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk powder
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Big batch (makes 4 batches)

8 cups flour
2 cups buttermilk powder
1 cup sugar
8 teaspoons baking powder
8 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt

What else you'll need

2 cups water
1/4 cup melted butter
(2 eggs are optional. They work fine without any)

Combine 2 3/4 cups mix with water and stir, then stir in melted butter until it swirls a little.

Cook on medium heat until batter begins to bubble then flip.

Cook the other side for slightly less time than the first.

Drizzle with syrup or other delicious toppings and enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Honey Sesame Chicken Mix

Chinese New Year is this weekend and it's my year (year of the snake!). You can celebrate by ordering Chinese take out... or you can make your own and save money...

Honey Sesame Chicken Mix

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

What else you'll need

1 pound boneless chicken thinly sliced
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 cup soy sauce
oil for frying

Combine mix with water and soy sauce and stir well.

Fry the chicken in oil until fully cooked. I like to dust my chicken with flour before frying to make it taste breaded like take out does.

Pour sauce into wok and simmer until sauce begins to thicken.

Serve with rice.

If you're concerned about sugar content you can halve (or omit) the sugar and replace the water with pineapple juice. It won't taste as much like take out but it will be a lot healthier.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Double Onion Dip Mix

My 2 year blog anniversary was on Sunday and I completely forgot about it because I was home alone with both kids and things were hectic. But the past two years have been so much fun, and with hundreds more mixes brewing in my brain I know I have many years left. So happy birthday Mix It Up!

My daughter really likes carrot sticks lately, and my husband will tolerate them if they are smothered in dip. So these days I've been experimenting with lots of different dip mixes. Like...

Double Onion Dip Mix

1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried chives
3/4 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon thyme

Big Batch (makes 4 uses)

4 teaspoons dried onion flakes
4 teaspoons dried chives
3 teaspoons parsley
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme

What else you'll need

1 cup sour cream, mayo or yogurt (or a combination of them equal to one cup)

Combine 4 teaspoons of mix with your choice sour cream/mayo/yogurt and stir well. Let the dip sit covered in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving for full taste to emerge.

Delicious and healthy too!