Homemade food

We’ve gone to several carnivals and fairs this summer. The latest was in the small town closest to us. The kids love to get lemon shake-ups, which is basically lemonade that is shaken, I guess. I suspect these are made with corn syrup, but I am not sure. It’s some kind of sugary water with ice, squeezed lemons, and cut lemon. The vendors also sell lime and strawberry shake-ups. The kids love these so much that they’ve been asking us to make them at home. To my surprise and delight, Aidan said the ones that his dad makes are much better than the ones at the carnival. Tom usually makes them with stevia, water, and lemons. Sometimes we use honey or cane sugar. I really think that better ingredients make better food, and it seems that the kids agree most of the time.

The one exception seems to be Taco Bell. Aidan has commented that Taco Bell has the best taco meat. I just cannot make taco seasoning like Taco Bell. However, I saw a packet at the store and looked at it and figured out why I can’t compete: MSG. Using MSG is cheating. It’s saying that you can’t make your food flavorful, so you have to cheat by giving it an extra boost. Needless to say, we try to avoid MSG. So now it’s time to avoid Taco Bell (not that we go often, but they just built a new building in our town so it’s been a treat for the kids, though I’ve pointed out that the food is not new, just the building.

Yesterday I bought some tomatoes from the farmer’s market and combined them with the ones from our garden. The sauce is halfway done since I peeled and seeded the tomatoes yesterday. The last time I made the sauce I also used fresh basil and parsley from our garden and it was super yummy. Tom ended up using some of it with some ground beef, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, peas, and green beans. It was like Hamburger Helper from scratch and it was delicious, not to mention way more nutritious.

I also made my own honey mustard dressing yesterday. I had considered buying more honey mustard dressing at the grocery store yesterday, but then I looked at the ingredients again and saw high fructose corn syrup was listed second or third. I figured it would not be hard to make my own and that mine would be completely sweetened with honey rather than high-fructose corn syrup. It had three ingredients: plain yogurt, dijon mustard, and honey. That’s it! Easy and yummy.

The other foods I would like to cook today are chicken noodle soup and curried butternut squash soup. We have a defrosted chicken in the fridge and some chicken stock that Tom made from the last chicken we roasted. These chickens are from a lady that lives nearby. Eventually we will be eating chickens we’ve raised ourselves. I expect our flock of 23 will reproduce nicely come spring.

As far as the curried butternut squash soup goes, I will be using the following from our garden: butternut squash, celery, and chives. The onions will be either from our garden or the farmer’s market (it’s hard to keep track of where it’s from once it’s piled together on the table!). I’ll post the recipe later, once I test it out again. It’s a recipe I found online and modified. I haven’t made it in a while so I’d like to test it again before I post the recipe. I might have to make it in steps since we are heading out of town for the night. I’ve found it works well to do things in steps, like peeling and seeding the tomatoes and then putting them in the refrigerator until I’m ready to make sauce. I think I will probably cook the onion, celery, and garlic part up and put it in the fridge so I can finish the rest later. After all, the squash isn’t going to go bad any time soon!

This post is part of Fight Back Friday.

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11 Responses to “Homemade food”

  1. Kristin Says:

    We make honey mustard too! Tried to make bbq sauce once but it didn’t turn out too well. One thing that gets me upset is that EVERY bottle of ketchup in the grocery store as HFCS in it. I have to go to our tiny health food store to get it. I have never tried the smooth veggie soups aside from tomato. I’ve seen so many photos of butternut squash soup lately and it looks divine!

    • hippygirl Says:

      Well I might just take a picture of my soup and post it next week. I think you could just as easily not puree it at the end and then it wouldn’t be smooth, but would still be tasty. And I hear you on the ketchup. I usually buy organic just to avoid the HFCS. I’m lucky to find it at the grocery store in my town. It’s a college town, so that might be why it has a good selection of organic/gluten-free type stuff that you can usually only find at health food stores. If only they had a better selection of dark chocolate…. πŸ™‚

  2. b kinch Says:

    One thing I’ve tried for good taco meat (according to my 11 year old son) is to add way more cumin than I would imagine it needs, and a dab of tomato paste from a tube. Somehow that does the trick for my kids. A lot of salt helps too πŸ˜› Your dressing sounds great! I made kefir-based ranch yesterday. I saw a recipe but it called for onion powder and garlic powder, which I lacked, so I grated a tiny bit of fresh onion, a bit of fresh garlic and then added some minced herbs to the kefir. Pretty good!

    • hippygirl Says:

      I haven’t done anything with kefir yet, but I have some friends in Phoenix who have been trying it out. I’ll have to keep that in mind about the taco seasoning. I did make some from scratch last week as we were out of the packages. Next time I’ll make a huge batch of it to last the winter. πŸ™‚ Extra cumin sounds good. I think the recipe I had was a bit too salty already.

  3. motherhen68 Says:

    I tend to make all of my dressings and sauces from scratch now as well because of the HFCS in everything. Organic ketsup uses cane sugar though, so I still buy that!

    I am making buffalo chicken sandwiches tonight, but the package of prepared seasonings for buffalo sauce which has been in my pantry for a few years contained tons of “stuff” including corn syrup, soy letchin, and HFCS. I tossed it and made my own from a recipe online.

    • hippygirl Says:

      It is amazing how many things have corn syrup or HFCS in them. I really need to watch that documentary King Corn, I think it is called.

  4. Confession « A Hippy Girl in the Country Says:

    […] By hippygirl Ever since I posted something last Friday for Fight Back Friday, I couldn’t wait for this Friday to arrive so I could write a new post […]

  5. Monkey brains and other things « A Hippy Girl in the Country Says:

    […] called her meal Wild Rice Stuffed Squash. I took her idea and changed it a bit, making it more like Tom’s hamburger helper and calling it Monkey Brains. Tim called it “Monkey Brains,” I guess because it looks […]

  6. Chicken noodle soup « A Hippy Girl in the Country Says:

    […] Hippy Girl in the Country chickens, gardening, and striving for sustainable living. « Homemade food Curried Butternut Squash soup […]

  7. jpatti Says:

    Healthy AND yummy taco meat:

    Brown 2 lbs grass-fed hamburger.

    In 2 cup measuring cup, measure 1 1/2 cups bone broth (beef is best, but whatever you have on hand). Then add 1 TB dehydrated onion flakes, 2 tsp unrefined sea salt, 4 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp cayenne powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 2 TB sprouted flour (or equivalent other thickener).

    Pour contents into pan with meat and heat until thickened.

    ********************************************************************
    We eat this over salad, rather than in tacos, to get more veggies in.

    While not IDEAL, we tend to top the salad with Fritos. Yes, they’re GMO crap, but the ingredients are corn, corn oil and salt… which is one of the shortest ingredient lists I’ve ever seen on junk food. So for us, it’s a compromise food.

  8. benefits of organic farming Says:

    benefits of organic farming

    Homemade food | A Hippy Girl in the Country

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