Tag Archive | Easy

Homemade Taco Sauce


 

 

Homemade Taco Sauce

Happy Cinco De Mayo! What better day to share this recipe? 🙂 This is incredibly easy and probably the best taco sauce I have ever tasted. The best part? Nothing nasty added in, like preservatives. My five-year old was licking this off of her plate tonight at dinner lol. I found the original recipe here but I did not follow it exactly.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 cup tomato sauce (I used organic)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, whisk together. Cook on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, whisking occasionally. That is all, could not be easier! This is a very mild sauce, if you want to make it spicier you could add more chili powder, maybe some cayenne or red pepper.

This sauce would probably be even better made a day in advance so the flavors have more time to meld together. Store in the fridge.

We had it on homemade Mexican pizzas tonight, YUM!

Mexican Pizza

 

Enjoy!

❤ Ashley

 

Homemade Shaving Lotion


Homemade Shaving Lotion ~ Ashley's Homemade Adventures

Finally an alternative to store-bought shaving cream! I have tried using plain soap or body wash (can we say razor burn?!) and also plain conditioner (worked fine but not silky enough for me) So yes I will admit I was still using store-bought, but now I can kiss it goodbye! I was using lotionized shave creme, but looking at the label makes me cringe. Sulfates, parabens, and a whole bunch of other crap I can’t even pronounce. I am so glad this homemade shaving lotion can be made without all that! Not to mention it works great and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth.

I found this recipe here but I did modify it a bit to make it more natural 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shampoo (I used 1 cup of my homemade liquid castile soap)
  • 1 cup conditioner (I used Simply U sulfate and paraben free conditioner)
  • 5 tablespoons baby oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • 5 tablespoons lotion (I used 1/2 cup of St. Ives with natural moisturizers, but I plan on using homemade lotion in the future)
  • Essential oils (optional, I did not use any in this batch but probably will in the future)

Wisk all ingredients together, pour into a bottle and you are done! I am absolutely in love with this stuff and never plan on buying any chemical laden shaving cream from the store again! I store mine in a pump bottle, which makes it super convenient. Enjoy!

I will leave you with this bonus tip… Dry your razor blades off when you get out of the shower. They will last longer, seriously! 🙂

❤ Ashley

Homemade Electrolyte Drink (Homemade Pedialyte)


Homemade Pedialyte Recipe - Ashley's Homemade Adventures

The flu is going around like crazy! We have been dealing with it in our house for several weeks now. My daughter and I are past the worst part now, thank God! There was one day we were both very weak with very high fevers. I was so happy I had made some of this homemade Pedialyte the day before. This is a great way to save yourself some money and a trip to the store. You can also flavor this any way you want! I know there are quite a few recipes out there but this is how we do it:

Homemade Pedialyte:

  • 8 cups water (I prefer to use distilled water, I always have some on hand)
  • 1/4 cup honey (you can also use sugar but we try to stay away from extra sugar and the honey has added benefits)
  • 1 teaspoon SEA salt (contains important minerals that table salt does not, you could also use Himalayan salt which would be even better)
  • Juice of an orange, lemon or lime (optional but has even more benefits, like Vitamin C)
  • Crystal Light or Kool-aid powder for flavor (also optional, we love the lemon Crystal Light with Stevia)

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, stir until salt and honey have dissolved. Store in refrigerator.

We also love to make this into popsicles, great for when you or your child is burning up from a fever. When my daughter is sick I make sure she takes a sip of this every 10 minutes or so. Best served chilled.

Warning: Honey is not considered safe for children less than a year old.

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Also a quick update on my cousin Joe… (I mentioned in the First Birthday post about how he had a massive heart attack) Miraculously he has no serious brain damage, his heart is working on its own and it looks like he will be okay! He still has to get through heart surgery on Thursday so he is a long way from full recovery, but I am just so happy and thankful he is still with us. If anyone could send some positive thoughts or prayers his way I would really appreciate it 🙂

Homemade Garlic Knots


Homemade Garlic Knots Recipe

These garlic knots are to die for and incredibly easy to make. The first time I ever had a garlic knot was at an Italian restaurant in Florida, and I was hooked! I wanted to go to that place all the time just for the garlic knots, lol! When we moved to Massachusetts I started having garlic knot withdrawals! There is not a single place near us that serves them, and even if they did I highly doubt they would be as good. So I was determined to make my own, and dare I say these might even be better than the ones we loved so much in Florida. You might want to make a double batch because everyone will be begging for more, at least that is what happens around here 🙂 You can also freeze leftovers (if you have any) and then reheat in the oven.

I started by looking for an easy pizza dough recipe, and found an awesome one on The Fauxmartha. I just made a couple of changes and had my perfect dough.

GARLIC KNOTS: (Makes 8)

  • 1 cup WARM water (about 110 degrees, you don’t want to kill the yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (olive, grape seed, whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp instant yeast, or one package
  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together warm water, oil, honey and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, you should see bubbles/foam forming from the yeast.
  3. Add flour, parmesan cheese, and sea salt.
  4. Stir together until it gets tough to stir, then knead in the bowl with your hands until you have a smooth dough ball (should only take a minute or two).
  5. Oil a flat surface, I use a flexible cutting mat sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Transfer dough to oiled surface, turn to coat.
  7. Divide into 8 equal sections.
  8. Roll into long “snakes” and then tie into a knot. (don’t worry if they don’t look perfect)
  9. Place knots on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown.

How to make garlic knots

While the knots are baking prepare your garlic sauce:

  • 1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (If you use salted butter you can leave this out but I personally like them a little salty)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, cook on low to medium-low for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully, you do not want your garlic to brown or else it will become bitter.
  2. Spoon over baked knots, making sure to coat each one with some of the garlic.

We love to sprinkle ours with grated parmesan cheese too, yum!

How to make garlic knots

Happy Holidays! Enjoy!

❤ Ashley

Homemade Glass Cleaner


Goodbye commercial glass cleaner! Who wants to pay more when you can make it yourself? Besides being cheaper it is much better to know exactly what you are using in your home. The kind sold in stores contains 2-Butoxyethanol, which can cause adrenal tumors in animals (not good if you own pets!). Moderate exposure in humans can cause irritation of the mucus membranes and heavy exposure can cause more serious side effects like hypotensionmetabolic acidosishemolysis, pulmonary edema and even coma. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be breathing that in or touching it, and certainly do not want it around my child. Luckily there is a solution and it is super easy!

Homemade Glass Cleaner:

  • Empty Gallon Container (I used a spring water jug)
  • 1/2 cup Ammonia (I used lemon because that is all I have)
  • 16 oz. Rubbing Alcohol (I used 1 and 1/2 cups of the regular kind and 1/2 cup of the mint kind because I ran out of the regular)
  • 1 tsp Dawn Dish Soap (I used the blue Dawn)

First fill your container halfway with water, add the remaining ingredients in the order listed, then fill the rest of the way with water. Give it a gentle shake and you have a gallon of glass cleaner! Pour some into a spray bottle and be amazed at how awesome it is!

I cannot take credit for this recipe, when doing a search for “How to make homemade glass cleaner” This was one of the top results. If this is not quite what you are searching for then check out Crunchy Betty’s Battle of the Homemade Glass Cleaners. I prefer this one because it cleans easier but the others are good if you don’t want to use some of these ingredients.

Here is a little secret to get streak free, fuzz free windows and mirrors…. clean them with NEWSPAPER! It works like a charm 🙂 I have been doing it for years!

Now get to work, those windows and mirrors aren’t going to clean themselves! 😀 Cleaning is a lot more fun when you make your own cleaners!

❤ Ashley

P.S.- You can use this on other hard non-porous surfaces as well. It is great for the outside of the toilet and bathroom counter tops!

Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


The best part about carving a pumpkin? Getting to roast the seeds! At least for me 🙂 I have memories of doing this with my mom and papaw as a kid, and this is how they did it. These have the perfect amount of saltines and crunchiness, and you can eat the whole thing… shell and all. Our family has literally been fighting over the bowl of these since we finished dinner lol. My daughter doesn’t even like the pumpkin seeds you can buy at the store so that says something! These are way better than the ones you can buy and are SO easy.

Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Pumpkin seeds, separated from pumpkin flesh and rinsed
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Cooking spray/oil
  1. Put your seeds into a bowl, sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. You don’t really have to measure but I would guess I use about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon per cup of seeds. I like to use sea salt but whatever kind you have will work great.
  2. Add just enough water to cover the seeds. Let soak 1-2 hours.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil, spray foil with cooking spray or rub with olive oil.
  4. Drain your seeds but do not rinse them, spread out evenly on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle with a little extra salt. I used kosher salt for this step.
  6. Place into preheated oven, stir seeds around every 5 minutes for even browning. The seeds are done when they are golden brown. It took about 15 minutes for our oven but could vary, just keep an eye on them.
  7. Remove from oven and enjoy!

If you want you could add herbs/spices when you sprinkle the salt onto these, but they are so good this way we have never tried adding anything else. I hope you enjoy this simple but yummy recipe from our family!

❤ Ashley

 

 

 

P.S. I found this photo being passed around on Facebook, many great reasons to eat pumpkin seeds! It mentions that they are high in magnesium, most Americans are deficient in magnesium and it is needed for over 200 functions in the body.

Soft Heath Bar Cookies


Today I fully intended on making chocolate chip cookies, but I ended up with these instead…. soft and yummy heath bar cookies. I wanted to try this recipe I found for The BEST-EVER Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. With a name like that they have to be good right?! Well I am always on a quest to make things healthier so I changed a few ingredients, and then I realized I was out of chocolate chips! My husband loves the heath bar candy so luckily I had some of that to use instead. I use crushed heath bar for a trifle that I make for the holidays, so I had some hiding in the cabinets shhhhh 🙂

I am sure these really would be awesome chocolate chip cookies, but you won’t be sorry if you try making them this way too. They were a huge hit, my husband and daughter both ate 7 cookies today! But before anyone starts making comments about letting my child eat that many cookies, she has a very healthy and balanced diet and we do not eat treats very often 🙂 She kept sneaking them when I wasn’t looking lol. My husband gave these a 9 on a scale of 1-10, yay!

So here you go, The Best-Ever Chewy Heath Bar Cookies  – Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened (I use salted but either would be fine)
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup Stevia In The Raw (or white sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp butter flavoring
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Heath Bars, crushed

1. Pre-heat over to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, mix in vanilla extract, butter flavor and egg.

3. Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.

4. Stir in crushed heath bar.

5. Drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, 1 tablespoon at a time.

6. Bake 8-10 minutes, until the edges are barely golden. Do not cook longer than 10 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, move to wire rack to cool completely.

8. Try not to burn yourself as you are shoveling them into your mouth!

 

Enjoy 🙂

❤ Ashley