Saturday, February 1, 2014


My teens love anime, and inspired by their favorite anime, Naruto, we decided to try making our own ramen. It was incredibly filling and yummy. Way better both taste-wise and health-wise than the packets you can buy in the grocery store.

We started with 2 pork roasts which were on sale for 99 cents a pound. I placed each one in a crock pot, added a bit of salt, and turned on low for 24 hours. After the initial 24 hours, we strained the pork from the broth, let cool, and pulled the pork apart, making sure to discard any bone.

We made two different recipes. The first one:

The pork we just pulled apart

1 tsp ground ginger

4 T soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 cans Japanese stir-fry veggies

The Second one is Barbecue Pork Ramen:

The pork we just pulled apart

2 C ketchup

1/3 C brown sugar

3 cloves garlic

1 T apple cider vinegar

1 T worcestershire sauce

1 T mustard

We put some hard boiled egg halves and chopped green onions on the table to top it with, along with some homemade noodles.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Making homemade noodles is ridiculously cheap and easy, although it takes a lot of time.

3/4 Cups Flour

1 egg

~1/2 tsp salt

~1 tbsp water (If dough is too dry, you can add a few drops more)

Mix ingredients together. Let sit for about half an hour.

Put plenty of flour on the table and on the rolling pin. Roll it out with a rolling pin. Cut into noodle shapes with a knife. To make cutting the long noodles go quicker, you can fold the dough in half and then in half again, cut and unfold. It's ok to use plenty of flour. It will just come off in the pot when you boil them.

I put noodles in a single layer to avoid them sticking together.

Boil like you would any noodle, 5-6 minutes. If you get them very thin, you might only need to do 4 minutes. I take just one noodle out when I think they might be done and taste to make sure. I added them to the boiling water one at a time, and stirred them occasionally with a chop stick.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Doughnuts (vegan and gluten free)

We often do two versions of the same recipe when we make gluten free, because non-gluten free people don't always enjoy gluten-free foods. But these are so good that everyone likes them. LOVES them, actually! Even with the slightly more expensive gluten free flours, they're cheaper than buying them at a doughnut store.

Here's the recipe:

Baked chocolate doughnuts

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup rice flour

3 tablespoons potato starch

1 tablespoon tapioca starch

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Bake at 325 for 13 minutes in a doughnut pan like this one:

Sprinkle with powered sugar when cool.

Makes six doughnuts

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dog Biscuits

Store-bought dog biscuits are often filled with a lot of preservatives that aren't good for dogs. And they're expensive.

I had a jar of all-natural peanut butter that I had bought at a surplus grocery outlet for $1. We had gotten some really awesome natural peanut butters there, but no one liked this particular brand very much and it was just sitting in the cupboard uneaten. So my son and I made dog treats with it. We doubled this recipe so we had plenty for our two dogs and some to give my parents' dog as a gift.

8 oz peanut butter

2 cups flour

1 T baking powder

1 C milk

Roll and cut out into shapes like you would with sugar cookie cutouts. Some people use Dog bone shaped cookie cuttersbut we just used some Christmas shaped ones that we had.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wax Paper

It's been years since I've bought wax paper. When we empty a box of cereal, I open up the cereal liner, rinse it off, hang it over a chair to dry, and save it for the next time I might need wax paper.

Here are no-bake cookies sitting on cereal box wax paper (and evidence that a chubby toddler hand swiped some cookies)

And layers of chocolate chip cookies separated by cereal box wax paper:

Cereal box wax paper is what I usually use first, because I don't have to wash it once it's used. But we don't buy that much store bought cereal, so when we run out of cereal box wax paper, I get out the sheets that I bought for my dehydrator, which double nicely as re-usable wax paper. They clean off nicely and can be used over and over again.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vegan Egg Nog

My family enjoys homemade egg nog during the Christmas season, which I often make when there's extra milk to use up. But the vegans in the family feel a bit left out, so I like to make a vegan version to go along with our regular egg nog. Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 cups vanilla-flavored soymilk

1 1/2 tablespoons vegan vanilla instant pudding mix

1/2 banana, sliced and frozen

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Blend 1/4 C soy milk and pudding mix and let stand 3 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and blend well.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Photos

When my kids were little, we dragged them to a portrait studio, spent hours trying to get them all smiling and cooperating at the same time for a picture, and paid an arm and a leg.

With my grandchildren, I used my iphone to take the pictures, and we didn't leave the house. We still had a hard time getting them to pose. We didn't end up getting a picture with both boys at the same time, but we got some really sweet ones.

Here are our attempts to get them all in the same picture:

Here are my favorite three. I love them as much as any we've ever had done in a portrait studio or by a professional photographer.

Toddlers are really rough to photograph, especially the super-busy, wild and crazy types. I'm aware that there are toddlers out there who you can sit down and tell them to look at the camera and they do. Not this guy! That's why we found interesting things to show him on the tree and on the fireplace in order to capture his interest. I think what makes these so cute is that he wasn't posing. He really was interested in the ornament he was looking at on the tree.