Archive for DIY Food

Blueberry Sauce

Hi Everybody!

I hope all’s going well for you & yours. My family & I are doing well. I can’t believe how fast this year is going by! Before we know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving already! Boy, am I looking forward to that!! But, more on that later!

Lately I’ve really been crazy about blueberries. Besides being yummy, they’re really good for you! They’re a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, copper and even fiber. They are one of the highest antioxidant foods, which means it helps fight free radicals that make us get wrinkles and age spots. (I, for one, am very happy about that attribute of blueberries!)

Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Blueberry Sauce that I came up with recently. I love it on biscuits with my breakfast. You can also use it on ice cream and yogurt. (Or whatever your heart desires.)

In it, I use date sugar but if you’d rather, you can use cane sugar. I haven’t tried it that way but I’m sure it’ll still be delicious. You can also blend it using a stick blender if you prefer a smoother texture. (I like it the way I like my mashed potatoes…a little lumpy. LOL)

I hope you like it as much as I do!

Happy Cooking!

~Renee

  

Adding the water to my blueberries.

Now, I’m putting in the date sugar…

…and the lime juice.

Beginning to cook the blueberries.

It helps the process if you mash the berries as they’re cooking.

After the sauce is simmered a while, it gets pretty thick.

It’s a pretty dark purple color.

Got it on my biscuit with breakfast…so yummy!!!

Blueberry Sauce

1 (heaping) cup Fresh Blueberries

1/3-2/3 Cup Water (depending on how thick you want it)

1/4 Cup Date Sugar*

1/2 tsp Lime (or lemon) juice

  1. Put 1 heaping cup fresh blueberries in a saucepan.
  2. Add 1/3 cup water and lime or lemon juice. You can add more water at any time if necessary.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring and mashing the berries occasionally.
  4. When the sauce is the desired thickness, remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
  5. Put the sauce on biscuits, ice cream, yogurt or whatever you’d like. Enjoy!!

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2017

All rights reserved.

#blueberry #sauce #diyfood #breakfast #delicious #yummygoodness

 

 

Wholesome Muffin Mix (with recipes)

Hello Friends!

I know…I’ve been MIA for a while…sorry! We’ve had so much going on lately it’s been CRAZY! (and a little overwhelming!) 

Today I’m sharing a recipe with you for Wholesome Muffin Mix and recipes to go along with it. This mix is versatile because you can change around the flours and sugars used. If you’d rather, you can use whole wheat flour instead of spelt flour or if you only have all-purpose flour on hand, you can use all of that type flour. (It just won’t be as “wholesome”.) You can also experiment with different fruits and/or nuts in your muffins to your taste.

Since I was in a hurry, I only have pics of the blueberry muffins for you. But, the steps are the same with the other muffin recipes.

I’m sure you’ll love these as much as we do!

Happy Cooking! 🙂

~Renee 

Whisking together all the muffin mix ingredients. I love the different colors and textures.

Putting the muffin mix into a large bowl.

Putting the eggs and almond milk into a bowl to whisk together with the vanilla.

I had added the melted coconut oil to the egg and almond milk but forgot it would become solid again…that’s why the directions say to melt it and set it aside. Maybe I’ll remember next time! 🙂

Mixing the batter just til it beginning to get incorporated. If it’s mixed too much, the muffins will be “tough”.

Getting ready to fold in the blueberries.

I like to use my ice cream scoop with a lever…it makes the muffins pretty much the same size. It’s so easy…and less messy too!

The yummy finished product! These muffins freeze well too. (Use within 3-4 months for best quality.)

Wholesome Muffin Mix

4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 Cup Spelt Flour (or whole wheat)

1 Cup Oatmeal (I used quick oats)

3 1/2 Tbls Baking Powder

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Date Sugar (or regular sugar)

3 1/2 tsp Salt

Place all ingredients in a very large bowl and whisk to mix thoroughly. Use mix to make different muffin variations. (Recipes follow)

Blueberry Muffins

3 Cups Wholesome Muffin Mix

2 Eggs

1 Cup Almond Milk

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

3/4 Cup Fresh Blueberries

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Pour the muffin mix into a large bowl; set aside. 

Melt the coconut oil over low heat or in the microwave 15 seconds at a time til melted; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk and vanilla.

Add all the liquid ingredients to the muffin mix. Stir just til combined. (Batter will still have lumps.) Fold in the blueberries. 

Divide batter into the 12 cups of your muffin pan. (I like to use an ice cream scoop that has a lever. It simplifies this task and makes for more uniform muffins.)

Bake muffins at 400°F for 18-20 minutes or til muffins are light golden brown and tops spring back when lightly touched.

Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool slightly in the pan, approximately 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

ENJOY!

Variations:

**Apple Walnut Muffins: Same as Blueberry Muffin recipe, except omit blueberries and add 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 apple (peeled, cored & chopped) and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Bake as directed in recipe above.

**Strawberries & Cream Muffins: Same as Blueberry Muffin recipe, except omit blueberries and add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 (heaping) cup chopped strawberries. Also, in place of the 1 cup almond milk, use 1/2 cup almond milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Bake as directed in recipe above. 

**RECIPES AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2017

All rights reserved. 

#healthy #wholesome #muffinmix #muffins #flour #speltflour #oatmeal #sugar #datesugar #almondmilk #coconutoil #blueberries #apples #strawberries #nuts #cream #yummygoodness

 

Basic Cookie Mix

Hi Everyone!

It’s day 4 of my 7 Cookies in 7 Days series. Today’s installment is a 2-parter. I’m sharing a basic cookie mix recipe as well as one of the recipes that can be made with it. I’ll also be sharing a recipe that goes with the mix each day for the next 3 days.

The basic cookie mix makes about 16 cups of mix and each recipe calls for 3-3 1/2 cups mix. Keep it in an airtight container in a cool place (like a cabinet) for around 10 weeks.

It’s always nice to have this on hand to whip up a batch of cookies in no time!

Don’t forget to look for the separate recipe coming today and the other recipes for the next 3 days!

Until tomorrow…

Happy Cooking!

~Renee

Gathering the ingredients for the cookie mix.

Gathering the ingredients for the cookie mix.

I'm making this in two bowls to make it a little easier to handle. Then, I'll mix them together in the giant bowl.

I’m making this in two bowls to make it a little easier to handle. Then, I’ll mix them together in the giant bowl.

Whisking the dry ingredients together first...

Whisking the dry ingredients together first…

...then adding the shortening. I forgot to take a picture while I was blending it in with my pastry blender...sorry!

…then adding the shortening. I forgot to take a picture while I was blending it in with my pastry blender…sorry!

Here it is all mixed together and ready for those other recipes!

Here it is all mixed together and ready for those other recipes!

I store it in a giant Tupperware container.

I store it in a giant Tupperware container.

Basic Cookie Mix

8 Cups All-Purpose Flour

2 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar

2 1/2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar

2 Tbls Baking Powder

1 Tbls Salt

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 1/2 Cups Butter Flavored Shortening

1 1/2 Cups Regular Shortening

In a very large bowl, or two large bowls, whisk together all the ingredients except the shortening til well combined. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender til mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Keep in an airtight container in a cool place (such as a cabinet) for about 10 weeks.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved. 

#cookiemix #cookies #DIY #DIYfood

Honey Granola

Hey there everyone,

Lately I’ve been really busy with canning peaches and freezing beans and corn…lots of garden stuff! But, I’m finally ready to share another recipe with you. It’s the one I had mentioned before that needed tweaking a little more.

I’ve tweaked it and I think you’ll love it! It’s Honey Granola. You can use the recipe as is or you can also change it around however you’d like…use different nuts to your preference…add about a cup of dried, chopped fruits (after it’s cooled down)…your choice!

We all LOVE this granola…it’s disappeared FAST! I hope you love it too!

Happy cooking!

~Renee

This is just SOME of what's been taking my time lately...canning peaches. There's also been corn, green beans, butter beans, tomatoes...

This is just SOME of what’s been taking my time lately…canning peaches. There’s also been corn, green beans, butter beans, tomatoes…

Here are the dry ingredients. Look at all those yummy nuts!

Here are the dry ingredients. Look at all those yummy nuts!

Melting the butter in with the brown sugar and honey.

Melting the butter in with the brown sugar and honey.

Then, adding in the vanilla.

Then, adding in the vanilla.

Spreading butter to grease my cookie sheets.

Spreading butter to grease my cookie sheets.

I'm pouring the wet ingredients into the dry.

I’m pouring the wet ingredients into the dry.

After I mixed it all up, I spread it on my cookie greased sheets.

After I mixed it all up, I spread it on my greased cookie sheets.

The YUMMY finished product! It's also good to give as gifts...IF it lasts long enough to get there...

The YUMMY finished product! It’s also good to give as gifts…IF it lasts long enough to get there…

Honey Granola

5 Cups Rolled Oats (NOT quick cook)

1/2 Cup Pecans, coarsely chopped*

1/2 Cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped*

1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds*

2 1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

1/2 Cup Honey

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Butter

2 tsp Vanilla

1 Cup Dried Fruit, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease 2 big cookie sheets by spreading butter over them.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, cinnamon and salt; set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter with the honey and brown sugar, stirring occasionally til the sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the into the dry ingredients and toss to coat all the oat mixture.

4. Spread the granola into a thin layer on the cookie sheets. Bake at 300°F for 25-35 minutes or til it’s golden brown.

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Crumble it apart and add the dried fruit if using. Store in an airtight container.

*I prefer heaping half-cupfuls! 🙂

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

#granola #healthy #yummygoodness #oatmeal #diy #breakfast

Mug Cakes

Lately I’ve run across some recipes for mug cakes. Before that, I hadn’t ever thought about such a thing. They’re really neat! They make wonderful gifts that aren’t expensive. I played around with it to make my own. You can adapt it to your taste or what you happen to have on hand when you decide to make it. (If you’re industrious, you can even make your cake mix from scratch!)

When you do give these as a gift, you can give the person the mug with the cake mix and glaze mix inside and include the directions or, like I did, you can bake it in the mug, frost it and decorate it first. Either way, they’re gonna love it!

I experimented with with different amounts of ingredients. My first attempt didn’t “rise to the occasion” but the second did. If you have an over sized mug, just add more ingredients.

This recipe is easily adapted using whatever cake mix and pudding you want. I used these because, well, that's all I had on hand at the moment.

This recipe is easily adapted using whatever cake mix and pudding you want.

I put the cake mix and pudding mix into a bowl and whisked them together really well. This serves as the mug cake's batter. It'll make approximately 8-9 mug cakes.

I put the cake mix and pudding mix into a bowl and whisked them together really well. This serves as the mug cake’s batter. It’ll make approximately 8-9 mug cakes.

Separating the egg yolks from the whites. I use the left over yolks for another recipe or microwave it for our lil Dachshund Scooby. He LOVES that! ;)

Separating the egg yolks from the whites. I use the left over yolks for another recipe or microwave it for our lil Dachshund Scooby. He LOVES that! 😉

With a fork, I mixed together the cake mixture, egg white, vanilla, oil and water. (Don't over-mix this or it'll be a little "tough".)

With a fork, I mixed together the cake mixture, egg white, vanilla, oil and water. (Don’t over-mix this or it’ll be a little “tough”.)

Here's my first attempt in the microwave...

Here’s my first attempt in the microwave…

It had cooked up nicely but, when it cooled, it kinda shrank. Back to the ole drawing board...

It had cooked up nicely but, when it cooled, it kinda shrank. Back to the ole drawing board…

Beginning my second attempt...in this one, I used a lil more ingredients.

Beginning my second attempt…in this one, I used a lil more ingredients.

Attempt one is on the left, attempt two on the right. Different sized mugs will need different amounts of the ingredients. They ALWAYS taste good though! (Is it true that the mistakes have fewer calories?? I wish!)

Attempt one is on the left, attempt two on the right. Different sized mugs will need different amounts of the ingredients. They ALWAYS taste good though! (Is it true that the mistakes have fewer calories?? I wish!)

Mug Cakes

1 Cake Mix (any flavor)

1 (4-serving size) Instant Pudding Mix (any flavor)

Zip Lock Baggies 

Glaze Ingredients (for each serving):

1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 1/2 tsp dry flavoring (cocoa powder, dry lemonade mix, dry instant breakfast drink mix, etc.)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake mix and pudding mix. Measure 1/2 cup of the cake mix into each plastic baggie.

2. For each mug cake, you’ll need a baggie of glaze ingredients. Mix (in each baggie) 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 1/2 tsp dry flavoring of choice.

3. In a coffee mug, put 1 cake mix packet and 1 glaze mix packet. Include a small card with the directions: With a fork, whisk together the cake mix packet, 1 beaten egg white, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1 Tbls oil, and 1 Tbls water. Microwave for 2 minutes. Whisk together the glaze packet and 1 1/2 tsp water. Pour glaze over cake in mug. Enjoy!

*NOTE: For flavor variations, you can use:

*Devil’s Food Cake Mix with Chocolate Pudding

*Lemon Cake Mix with Lemon Pudding

*Butterscotch Cake Mix with Butterscotch Pudding

*Pineapple Cake Mix with Coconut Pudding

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

Homemade Vanilla Powder

I’m finally posting again! Things are getting a little easier since my mother-in-law’s passing….thank goodness. It’s still hard, and probably will be for a while.

But, now I’m finally in the mood to cook/bake again…and share with you!

I decided to post on how to make your own vanilla powder because I love it!!! It’s extremely easy to make and it has even more flavor than vanilla extract, so you can use a lil less in your baked goods.

Chopping my dried vanilla beans into pieces.

Chopping my dried vanilla beans into pieces.

This is after I had ground the vanilla bean pieces a lil bit.

This is after I had ground the vanilla bean pieces a lil bit.

After grinding the beans some more, it looks kinda like ground coffee. And, it smells SOOOO GOOD!!!

After grinding the beans some more, it looks kinda like ground coffee. And, it smells SOOOO GOOD!!!

Some folks put a lil cornstarch in their vanilla powder to make it more of a powdery consistency, instead of looking like coffee but I don't.

Some folks put a lil cornstarch in their vanilla powder to make it more of a “powdery” consistency, instead of looking like coffee but I don’t.

Homemade Vanilla Powder

Take your vanilla beans (a little or a lot, depending on how much powder you wanna make) and leave them out to dry for a couple weeks, til they’re really dried out. 

When they’re nice and dry, cut them into about 1/2-inch pieces. Put the vanilla bean pieces into a spice or coffee grinder and grind them til they’re all chopped up. If the beans weren’t dried all the way through and it isn’t very “powdery”, you can allow it to sit and dry a lil longer, then grind them a lil more.

Use it in all the baked goods and recipes where you use vanilla extract. It’s yummy!!!

*You may need to add the amount of water equal to the vanilla extract called for in your recipe. For example, if your recipe calls for 2 tsp vanilla extract, you can use 1 tsp of your vanilla powder plus 1 tsp water.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS** 

DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets

Busy morning before school or work? Want a fast but filling breakfast? (or snack any time) And, want to save money at the same time?? Then, these do-it-yourself oatmeal packets are for you! They’re super easy and delicious! And, you can customize them however you like.

Measure 6 cups of quick oats into a really big bowl.

Measure 6 cups of quick oats into a really big bowl.

Then, in batches if necessary, grind the remaining 4 cups of quick oats til they're pretty fine.

Then, in batches if necessary, grind the remaining 4 cups of quick oats til they’re pretty fine.

This is the oatmeal after I ground it. In the next batch I made, I ground it a little finer.

This is the oatmeal after I ground it. In the next batch I made, I ground it a little finer.

Mixing up all the ingredients with my whisk.

Mixing up all the ingredients with my whisk.

Next, label the snack bags and put the oatmeal mixture into them. 1/2 cup is a good amount for each bag.

Next, label the snack bags and put the oatmeal mixture into them. 1/2 cup is a good amount for each bag.

I ended up with 20 bags.

I ended up with 20 bags.

I store the packets in the oatmeal container. I've seen people online put them in a basket where they can see the flavor name and choose which one they want.

I store the packets in the oatmeal container. I’ve seen people online put them in a basket where they can see the flavor name and choose which one they want.

DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets

10 Cups Quick Oats

1 tsp Salt (or to taste)

1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar (1 1/2, if you like it sweeter)

2 tsp Cinnamon

Snack-Size Zipper Seal Baggies

1. Measure 6 cups of the quick oats into a really big bowl.

2. Put the remaining 4 cups oats into a blender or food processor and grind them up til they’re pretty fine, almost powdery. Pour into the bowl with the un-ground oatmeal.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a whisk til well combined.

4. Write the oatmeal flavor on your snack bags. (You’ll need 20-22 bags.) Measure 1/2 cup of the oatmeal to each baggie and seal. 

To use oatmeal packets:

Pour contents of a packet into a bowl. Add 1/3-1/2 cup boiling water; stir. Oatmeal will thicken as it sits a minute. I like mine pretty thick so I use 1/3 cup water. You can adjust the water as you like it.

*For creamier oatmeal, you can add 1 cup powdered milk or powdered coffee creamer to all the other ingredients. Just keep in mind what I’ve read online…that powdered milk sometimes becomes moldy if the oatmeal isn’t eaten in a relatively short time.

*For fruit and cream oatmeal, you can add dried fruit (blueberries, raisins, etc) when you put in the powdered milk or creamer. Or, you can put the dried fruit into each bag as you fill them. If desired, you can omit the cinnamon for the fruit variety.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

 

Oats (Part 1) Oat Flour

Lately, I’ve been finding a lot of things to do with oats and this is a 2 part (at least) post about some of them.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to experiment with oat flour. I ran across somebody’s post about making your own oat flour and decided to give it a try. It’s really easy! All you need is whole oats and a blender! I used my Ninja Kitchen System…it worked like a champ! Here goes…

I started with good ole Old Fashioned Quaker Oats.

I started with good ole Old Fashioned Quaker Oats.

I blended the oats, a couple cups at a time, for about 30 seconds or so in my Ninja Kitchen System's bowl attachment. This got a good start on making the flour...

I blended the oats, a couple cups at a time, for about 30 seconds or so in my Ninja Kitchen System’s bowl attachment. This got a good start on making the flour…

...and to make it a finer consistency, I used the single serve attachment. This took a lil longer because I had to do the batches a lot smaller but it was DEFINITELY worth it!

…and to make it a finer consistency, I used the single serve attachment. This took a lil longer because I had to do the batches a lot smaller but it was DEFINITELY worth it!

Oat Flour 3

The clear bowl contains the whole oats, the blue bowl has the first grind, and the white bowl has the finer grind.

All you have to do is take the whole oats, in batches, and blend in your blender, food processor, or Ninja Kitchen System til they’re as fine as you’d like. That’s it!

Low Sugar Peach Butter

As I’ve said before, I don’t like peaches but my family does. I’ve been searching for some good peach recipes to make for them. Every peach butter recipe I found used like 4 cups of sugar! So I made this one that has very little sugar.

That night, I handed my husband a small cup of it and said, “Try this.” (I was surprised that he didn’t even ask what it was.) He took a bite and said, “OH!” I wasn’t sure what to think so I asked if that was a good “oh” or a bad “oh” and he said, “This stuff is GOOD!” (Whew!)

I hope y’all enjoy it too!!!

Chopping up the peaches on a beautiful cutting board that was hand made by a friend of ours.

Chopping up the peaches on a beautiful cutting board that was hand made by a friend of ours.

Using my Ninja to puree the peach pieces.

Using my Ninja to puree the peach pieces.

Adding the remaining ingredients to the pureed peaches in the bowl of my slow cooker.

Adding the remaining ingredients to the pureed peaches in the bowl of my slow cooker.

I didn't have enough half-pint jars that day. I just used one pint jar, four half-pint jars, and I just put the rest in a container in the fridge for the fam. :) (And, I gave away some too.)

I didn’t have enough half-pint jars that day. I just used one pint jar, four half-pint jars, and I just put the rest in a container in the fridge for the fam. 🙂 (And, I gave away some too.)

Here's a close up of some on a piece of my homemade bread.

Here’s a close up of some on a piece of my homemade bread.

Low Sugar Peach Butter

17 Large Peaches (about 13 cups chopped peaches)

1 Tbls Cinnamon

1/8 tsp Nutmeg

1/8 Cup Stevia (Stevia blend that’s used cup-for-cup like sugar)

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1. Peel peaches and coarsely chop them. Using a food processor or blender, puree the peach pieces. 

2. Put the peach puree and all remaining ingredients into a slow cooker or crock pot. Cook on low at least 6 1/2 hours, or til it gets pretty thick. (Can be cooked overnight.) If desired, use a stick blender to make it nice and smooth. (This step is not necessary unless you want really smooth butter…I wish I’d had mine when I made this!)

3. If you’re canning your peach butter, have your jars clean and sitting in hot water. Also, have your lids in hot water. Ladle the hot butter into the hot jars, wipe any off the rim, and put lids on with rings, making sure to tighten them. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Take jars out to cool. You may hear that “pop” as they cool when the jars seal…that sound is music to my ears! 

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

Homemade Vanilla

The pic on the left was taken April 4, 2013. The one on the right June 17, 2014 (after I used a lot Lol)

The pic on the left was taken April 4, 2013. The one on the right June 17, 2014 (after I used a lot Lol)

Easy Homemade Vanilla

All you have to do is take a 750ml bottle of cheap vodka (or even rum) and put at least 7 vanilla beans in it that have been split down the middle. (Don’t scrape out the seeds.) Just give the jar a gentle shake every few days. Then, you just wait…you can begin using it when it’s been sitting at least 6 months. Longer is even better…I waited a year! 
As you use other vanilla beans, you can also add the scraped out shell into your vanilla. The more, the better! 
**RECIPE & PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**
#DIY #Vanilla #easy