Recipes

24
Jul
2014

Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

07/24/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe and a free printable label

If your family is like mine, you might look forward to taco night.

We love tacos and it always guarantees a pleasant evening meal without complaints or arguing from my darling little angels.

We usually buy the bulk taco seasoning at Costco and I have never really taken a look at what is inside the container- I just assume spices and stuff to make my tacos yummy. Enough said.

But I ran out of seasoning a few weeks ago and decided to play around making seasoning from scratch.

If taco seasoning is not something you already made, I would encourage you to give it a shot!  It is so easy and very cheap and I personally liked it better then what I used to buy.  I know exactly what goes into my food and I can adjust the recipe to suit out tastes perfectly.

Plus what I found really interesting is that I took the tiny bit of seasoning left in the container and smelled that versus what I had just mixed together and it was a huge difference in aroma.  The homemade seasoning just smelled very vibrant and fresh and the packaged stuff smelled really artificial.   (Give it a shot and see if you agree!)

So if you want to whip this up yourself it is extremely fast.  And you don’t need to stockpile the pantry with tons of jars if you don’t have all the spices needed for the recipe.  My bulk bins at the grocery store have these spices that you can buy in small quantities for pennies.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

The important note is that this is just a sample recipe to use as a springbaord.  You can add in some extra spice for more of a kick, increase certain flavors or omit things you don’t like to get a perfectly customized homemade seasoning.

Here is what I used:

Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Seasoning
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Homemade taco seasoning.
Ingredients
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (add up to 1 tablespoon depending on how spicy you like your seasoning. We like ours very mild.)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt (omit or decrease for a low sodium version)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: for a spicier version you can also add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a container.

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This recipe makes enough for (2) taco nights for our family of 4.  If you like the recipe you can always double or triple the recipe so you have it on hand in larger quantities.

AND if you are interested I have a cute little free printable label for the seasoning.  I found this little jar for $.99 at World Market and you can add the seasoning into your jar and then print the label out and tie it on with a ribbon.

taco seasoning label

This might be a fun little gift for someone inside a grilling gift basket.  My go to for delivering meals to friends that have had babies or are sick is always a taco meal kit.

This is one I put together recently for a friend recovering from surgery.  Just shredded chicken, tortillas, homemade salsa, avocado, limes, cheese, olives, lettuce and the homemade seasoning.

This was so easy to assemble and tacos are always a crowd pleaser.

New Mom Meal Ideas

 

You can download the free printable label for your seasoning here. 

And since we are talking tacos– you might also like these recipes:

Fresh Homemade Salsa RecipeFresh Homemade Blender Salsa (Holy cow this is good!)

Guacamole RecipeCilantro Lime Guacamole (I could eat that entire bowl myself- yum!)

Recipe lightly adapted from: All Recipes 

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21
Jul
2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats

07/21/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats- so easy and so delicious!

 

My girls just love Rice Krispies treats- it is possibly their favorite treat so it is usually our go to dessert for parties and such.

We are always playing with variations on the classic and here is another variation that turned out to be really delicious!

If you are a Reese’s fan (which I am!)- you might give these Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies a shot and see what you think!

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18
Jul
2014

Quick & Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe

07/18/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

10 Minute Strawberry Jam-- this is so easy and absolutely delicious!  A perfect quick homemade gift!

Oh I have a really delicious recipe for Strawberry jam for you!  This is not really a freezer jam recipe or for canning.  Sometimes in summer I find myself with too many berries or I just want to make a little gift for someone or I just want something quick and easy.

This is a perfect recipe as it only calls for 1 pound of strawberries and it takes like 15 minutes or so in total to make.  And you just won’t believe how delicious this jam is- it is really heavenly and only 3 ingredients needed!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do:

Quick & Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Fresh and easy Strawberry Jam Recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1 lime
  • ⅓ cup sugar
Instructions
  1. Wash your berries and slice off the stems.
  2. Place in a medium sized bowl and use a fork or potato masher to start mashing them up.
  3. Add ⅓ cup sugar and mash a bit more.
  4. Add the juice from one fresh lime and stir into the berry mixture.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  6. Once the berries start to bubble increase the heat to boil.
  7. Stir the jam frequently for about 6-10 minutes until it starts to thicken.
  8. Don’t let it burn! Once the berries start to have bubbles all over and it feels thicker to stir, remove from heat and immediately transfer to a jar.
  9. If you prefer chunky jam you are good to go! For a smoother jelly just add to a food processor for a minute or two.

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A few notes about this recipe- first I use amazing strawberries from the Farmer’s Market.  They are small and just packed with sweetness and flavor.  If your berries are not as flavorful you might consider adding a little more sugar.

I prefer the lime juice in this recipe which makes the jam so fresh and vibrant and just a little different.  You can substitute a lemon if you prefer.

This makes a small jar of jam that will last in the fridge for about 2 weeks.   I love to serve this with buttered french bread and a small fruit salad for breakfast.  Absolutely delicious!

I made this for a neighbor as a little gift.  The jar above is a double batch of the jam and I included a little pint of berries from the farmer’s market and a loaf of french bread.

Perfect gift for summer!  If you are headed back to school soon wouldn’t this be a lovely idea for the teacher for the first day of school?

Homemade Strawberry Jam - so fast and you won't believe how delicious!

I hope you give this one a shot for a super fast and easy homemade jam.  If you do try it, please come back and let me know what you think!

And here is another recipe you might like for Strawberry lemonade

Quick and easy Strawberry lemonade recipe- so refreshing!

And here is a variation on jam with a quick Blackberry Jam recipe.

Easy Blackberry jam Recipe

And a yum-o 3 ingredient Watermelon Sorbet recipe!

Easy Watermelon Lime Sorbet Recipe

 

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17
Jul
2014

Copycat Sonic Ocean Water Recipe

07/17/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Copycat Sonic Ocean Water Recipe

It has been a really hot summer this year so I have found myself stopping by Sonic here and there for drinks in the afternoon.  I normally try to avoid sodas but the one thing I just can’t resist as a very occasional treat is Sonic’s Ocean Water.

Have you tried it?

It is a crazy concoction and I think most would probably love it or hate it.  I love it :).

Since Sonic is on the other side of town, I decided to see if I can recreate the recipe myself at home.  Turns out it is so easy to do!

You only need 5 minutes and a few ingredients to make this yourself.

At Sonic the way they make Ocean Water is to add Sprite to a cup with the yummy crushed ice and then a little shot of a special Blue Coconut syrup.  I have never seen the Blue Coconut syrup at a retail store but apparently it is just like the stuff they use to make snow cones.

So you probably need to make the Blue Coconut syrup yourself and that is super easy- just coconut extract and sugar and water.  The coconut extract I have is JR Watkins and it was something like $2 at Walmart in the spice aisle.  I actually had this on hand from making a Coconut Cake for Easter.  I also like to get the Mexican Sprite at Walmart or Safeway or whatever- it is a buck per bottle.

copycat sonic recipe for ocean water

So here goes the recipe I think tastes pretty darn similar to Sonic:

Copycat Sonic Ocean Water Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverages, Copycat
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Super simple copycat Sonic Ocean Water recipe.
Ingredients
  • ½ Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • 12oz bottle Sprite
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice (optional)
  • blue food coloring (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add ½ tablespoon sugar to a small bowl and 1 tablespoon of water.
  2. Mix for just a second and pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds- just to dissolve.
  3. Set the mixture aside to cool.
  4. Fill your glass with crushed ice- or pop some ice cubes into a food processor for a few seconds. (This is optional but darn if those ice chips don’t make things taste better.)
  5. Add your 12oz bottle of Sprite to the glass and set aside.
  6. Come back to your cooled sugar mixture and now add ½ teaspoon coconut extract. Stir.
  7. Add 2 drops of blue food coloring- stir again.
  8. Dump into your glass of Sprite and mix well.
  9. Enjoy!

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Very easy and then I like to finish mine off with a little squeeze of lime.  If you are a Sonic Limeade fan you can also order a Blue Coconut Limeade and that is almost the same as the Ocean Water except a tiny bit cheaper.

Now one last note is that the coconut extract has a strong flavor so you might try a little less then 1/2 teaspoon for your first glass and you can always add more to suit your tastes.   My husband can’t stand coconut and I made him try about 7 different variations of this recipe and he liked the version above.

If you want to try another really easy Copycat recipe at home- check out this Homemade Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade.  Delicious!

Copycat Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade

Or another really yummy Copycat recipe is this two ingredient homemade magic shell.  It goes on top of ice cream like a decadent hot fudge and then hardens after a few seconds and it is really heavenly.

Homemade Chocolate Magic Shell-- so fast and SO good!

*This recipe is adapted from Food.com.  I tried to cut way back on the added sugar :)

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09
Jul
2014

Monkey Cookies {Banana, Oatmeal and Chocolate Chips!}

07/09/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Monkey Cookies - perfect low sugar lunchbox treat!

I have a really yummy cookie recipe for you today.  These cookies are very low in sugar- 1 cup for 3 dozen cookies- and I think they are a perfect after school snack for kids or lunchbox treat.

I love these as well- sometimes in the morning with coffee.  These cookies are not really for when you are craving a super sweet sugar cookie or gooey chocolate chip cookie.  These are more like when you want something bread-y and comforting.  Like warm banana bread.  Absolutely delicious but not super sugary and sweet.

These cookies will actually get softer after a day or two- so perfect to make a batch to eat all week.  It does make a lot of cookies so these will also freeze really well.

The recipe does call for fresh pureed coconut.  Don’t let that scare you away because I have two easy substitutions if you don’t want to bother with fresh coconut.  It is super yummy and adds a delicious texture if you do try it :)

Here is the recipe:

Monkey Cookies {Banana, Oatmeal and Chocolate Chips!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 36
 
Monkey cookies- so delicious and a perfect low-sugar lunchbox treat!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup pureed fresh coconut* (substitutions listed below)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 very ripe medium bananas
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1¾ cups quick oats
  • Select from the following ingredients, (mixing and matching if you wish) to equal 1 generous cup total:
  • • Chopped nuts – peanuts, pecans, or walnuts
  • • Raisins or other dried fruit
  • • chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. *To puree coconut, put small chunks of fresh coconut meat in a food processor and process on high for approximately 3 minutes. Coconut will be slightly chunky, and feel oily if you rub it between your fingers.
  2. Heat oven to 375 F.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, coconut, and brown sugar until light.
  4. Add the egg and ripe bananas (if they are very ripe there is no need to mash them first) and beat until well combined.
  5. Mix in t flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until thoroughly combined.
  6. Stir in the oats and your selected additions.
  7. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to drop cookies at least 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. (or use parchment) Do not flatten the cookie dough.
  8. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. The bottom of the cookie will be brown, but the top should be just beginning to show some color.
  9. Move cookies to racks to cool.

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So fresh coconut can be a little bit of a pain but it is super yummy.  I got a whole coconut at Walmart for $1.98 and a small coconut is enough to make this recipe twice.  So you could do a double batch or you can have some extra for snacking- which is what I did.

If you don’t want the bother you can either use 1 cup of dried coconut (either unsweetened or sweetened- depending on your preference).  A second option would be 1/2 cup dried coconut and 1/4 cup coconut oil.  Either way works great!

If you aren’t a huge fan of coconut the flavor is very mild with fresh or dried coconut.  I love coconut but I find the banana and oats to be the most pronounced flavors.

If you decide to make these please come back and let me know what you think!

Here are a few other recipes you might like:

Cinnamon Swirl Bread RecipeCinnamon Swirl Bread

Skinny Mocha Smoothie - perfect pre workout drink or afternoon pick me up!Skinny Mocha Smoothie 

Homemade Slow Cooker Spaghetti SauceHomemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe- dump in the slow cooker and you are done!

 

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07
Jul
2014

Mango Green Smoothie Recipe {Delicious & Packed with Vitamin C!}

07/07/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Easy Mango and Pineapple Green Smoothie- so easy and so delicious!  Full of vitamin C to prevent colds and flu + a variation that is perfect for kids.



Here is one of my favorite Green Smoothie recipes.  I absolutely love green smoothies because they are so easy and so filling and you can get so many nutrients in one cup.  Plus they taste great!

I am an especially big fan of green smoothies because it is the easiest way to get kale or spinach into the tummies of my little girls.  I like to make these as an afternoon snack for something not too filling and to give you an extra kick of energy.  This really is a power food.

This recipe is crazy easy- it takes about 2 minutes to whip up and it is one of my favorite green smoothie recipes. No fuss just 3 ingredients and delish every time.  I have a few variations on this smoothie too so you can make it with whatever you have on hand.  The smoothie as listed is packed with Vitamin C to help ward off colds and flu – so this is a much healthier alternative to orange juice when you are feeling under the weather.

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03
Jul
2014

Easy Red, White and Blue Drink Idea

07/03/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Red, White and Blue Drink Idea- perfect for 4th of July!



I have seen some cute layered red, white and blue drinks in the past that are perfect for 4th of July.

We actually tried to make the drinks a year or maybe two ago and I always found it tricky to get the layers to look right.  Also I was never crazy about the flavor of the drinks (usually you mix Sprite with Powerade and Cranberry Juice).

So when I saw this cute idea from Family Circle magazine- I thought it might be a perfect alternative.  Plus it is crazy easy.

I thought the drink tasted good too .

So I just used little star shaped ice cube trays- I believe these are from the Target Dollar Spot and maybe Ikea?  (I actually have 2 of them.)

I just used red and blue Powerade to fill the ice cube trays.

I froze them and then poured Sprite into a glass (sparkling water would be great as well).

Once the ice cubes were frozen, we popped them in the glass.  They were really pretty and the Sprite and Powerade mix together nicely.

This is how it looks- I found the red did turn the drink a little pink after a bit but the blue did not.

Also these ice cubes will melt into your glass obviously but I thought they were cute while they lasted.

My kids thought this was the most exciting thing ever.  They don’t get soda very often so that made the drink super exciting and then they loved the little blue and red stars.

Very cute and fun!

Patriotic Drink Idea

 

And here are some other ideas you might like:

Patriotic mason jar vases

Cute Patriotic Mason Jar Vases

Easy DIY Finrecracker Pinatas

Firecracker Pintatas for Kids

 

 

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02
Jul
2014

15 Infused Water Recipes {Perfect Healthy Summer Drinks!}

07/02/2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

15 Infused Water Recipes- great way to stay hydrated this summer

So we just returned from vacation and on our trip we stayed at a W Hotel. The W has a lovely ice pitcher in the lobby with self serve water cups. Each day the water was infused with a few fruits or herbs and my girls just thought it was so cool. I usually struggle to get them to drink enough water but every time we went to the lobby they helped themselves because they were so impressed with the infused water.

So now that we are home, I am trying to continue the practice and I have been playing with some infused water recipes. It really is so simple and a great way to make things seem a little more special.

You can grab a case of Mason Jars and make these ahead and store them in the fridge for grab n go drinks OR keep a pitcher in the fridge. Just a small thing but considering the prices and deliciousness of produce in the summer- well why not do something extra good for you and your family.  You can continue to refill your water and use the same fresh ingredients a few times.  As the flavor gets weaker just toss out the old produce and add some fresh stuff.

I have an easy citrus recipe for infused water for you and then I am including ideas for 14 more water recipes you might want to try. Really there is something for everyone and a way to use pretty much whatever you might have on hand!

Some produce is supposed to work for certain things.  I am not a Doctor but from what I understand, you might take the following into consideration:

  • Citrus can be good to prevent colds and sickness and also aids in digestion.
  • Cucumber can be good for weight loss.
  • Grapefruit is also supposed to help with fat flushing and weight loss.
  • Lemon is good for energy.
Citrus Infused Water Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverages
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Quick and easy citrus infused water recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 16 oz. canning jar
  • ½ of an orange, cut into slices
  • ½ of a lemon, cut into slices
  • ½ of a lime, cut into slices
Instructions
  1. Add the orange, lemon and lime slices to your jar and use a spoon to mash them up a bit to let the juices out – this will help infuse your water.
  2. Since the peels and everything are going into your water, I try to use organic citrus.
  3. If organic isn’t an option you might wash the produce really well.
  4. Add water and chill overnight for the strongest flavor.

 

I think citrus is a great way to start with infused water because almost everyone likes these flavors but here are a few more fun ones you might try:

  • Strawberry, Lime and Mint Water
  • Blueberry or Raspberry and Orange Water
  • Grapefruit Infused Water
  • Watermelon and Mint Infused Water
  • Watermelon and Cucumber and Lime
  • Orange and Lime and  Cucumber Water
  • Mint Water or Lemon and Mint Water
  • Cucumber, Lemon, Mint and Rosemary
  • Pineapple Water
  • Mango and Raspberry Water
  • Rosemary, Mint and Cucumber Inspired Spa Water
  • Raspberry Orange and Kiwi Infused Water
  • Raspberry and Lime Infused Water
  • Peach and Blueberry Infused Water

I’d love to hear what combinations you try this summer!

Infused water recipes

And here are a few other things you might like:

Lemon Detox Drink- try this first thing in the morning!Quick and Easy Morning Detox

10 Amazing Smoothie Recipes via My Frugal Adventures10 Amazing Smoothie Recipes

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