Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More Homemade Sauce and Dip Recipes!

After posting my Homemade Ranch Dressing, I decided to post my two other favorite "sauce" recipes!  Most store-bought syrups are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, so these recipes are a much smarter choice! (and they are pretty easy too!)

Berry Sauce
3/4 Cup Frozen Berries
2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Water

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a light simmer.

Cook until the berries are soft 
(I cook them for about 10-15 minutes).

 Remove from heat and blend 
(I use a mini food processor).

Store in fridge.
Yummy on yogurt or oatmeal!

Chocolate Syrup
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Water
2 Cups Organic Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

Combine all ingedients in medium saucepan and whisk until smooth.
Cook over medium heat stirring frequently till sugar is well blended in and dissolved.
Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Boil for about 3 minutes until mixutre is smooth BUT watch it and stir fequently because it tends to boil over easily!
Remove from heat and cool before putting it in storage jar.

This mixture lasts 3 months and is great in milk, as a topping or as a dip!

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Best (and quick) "House Showing" Tips for Selling A House!

Recently someone asked me about moving tips...

Since my husband and I have been married, we've moved quite a bit!  We've moved 6 times in the past 10 years (and have only lived in 2 different cities)!  I know that's not much compared to others, but it was enough for me!  Especially when you consider that I've always had a newborn every time we've moved.  

This last move, I had 4 little kids and a 2 week old baby.  Showing the house was always a stressful even to say the least!

I managed to come up with some good strategies for getting the house ready in a jiffy!  Now, there were times I had a day (or a few days) notice and I could clean and confine the kids to one room for playing to keep the rest of the house nice and tidy.  But when a realtor calls and asks if they can show your house in 15 minutes, you've gotta work FAST.  Especially when you know 10 of those minutes will be spent getting loaded in the car!

So here are my quick tips for getting your house ready to show with a house full of littles:

-Laundry baskets are you best friend.  Look at thrift stores for laundry baskets of all sizes.  Keep these easily accessible and when you get "the call", throw everything that is on the floors into the baskets and load them up in your vehicle.  The kids think this is great fun and you can even have practice drills so they learn how to "play the game" quickly!  You can always throw stuff in the washer and dryer too if they aren't already full...people don't usually look there! :)

-Bleach works wonders.  At the time of our last move, I had three little boys so cleaning the bathroom had to happen DAILY although I couldn't always make it happen.  So when I would get a "can we show your house right this second?" call, I would run for the bleach.  If I could do nothing else, I would pour a little bleach in the toilet and in the shower.  Because if a bathroom smells sterile, the eye tends to not look so critically.  

-Let the sunshine in!  Humans love natural light.  So be sure to open every curtain and blind you can!  Then go the extra step and turn on every light and lamp in the house!  Maybe even light a candle.  I know some people say not to do this because certain people don't like certain smells, but I'd go for something delicate ("fresh linen" for example).  The point is, a bright place always seems like a cheery place! 

-Give it to the Lord.  Each time before I stepped out of the house I would just say something to the Father like "It's yours, you are here.  Speak and move.  And have your way."  And as I drive off I continue to pray for the right people to fall in love with not only the home, but the Spirit in the home too!

What are some of your favorite tips for moving or showing a house when you have a lot of littles? 

Linked to Works For Me Wednesday!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

In an attempt for our family to eat smarter, I've been making our own sauces, dips, syrups, etc. (and we've made some other pretty drastic changes to our family diet, but that's for another post!)

In order to stay away from high fructose corn syrup, food coloring, unnecessary soy, (etc.) it just seems you have to make most condiments yourself!  So I've been doing a lot of experimenting!

So far, I've made a yummy chocolate syrup, a berry sauce (to put on yogurt and oatmeal), barbeque sauce, a coffee creamer, and a ranch dip/dressing that is our new family favorite!

For the ranch sauce I've combined 2 recipes I found and now have the perfect mix!

Ranch Dressing/Dip
First, put these ingredients in a bowl or bag and get them all good and mixed up:

-  1 1/4 cup  Parsley Flakes (finely chopped)
-  3/4 cup Granulated Onion 
-  1/2  cup Garlic Salt
-  1/4 cup Garlic 
-  1/4 cup Pepper
-  2 Tablespoons Dill Weed 
-  2 Tablespoons Salt

Then, I transferred the mix into a large mason jar.

Whenever we want ranch dip, I take 1 Tablespoon of the above mixture and combine it with:
 - 1 cup (natural) Sour Cream
 - 1/2 cup (real) Mayonnaise

So, the dry mix lasts FOREVER since you are only using a tablespoon full when you make it!  I'm not sure how long the mixture lasts once it's made with the wet ingredients...maybe 2 weeks?  Ours gets eaten up long before then, so it's hard to tell!

This mix is great on salad (you can add a little water if you like it to be more runny) or as a dip!

Enjoy!  And let me know if you have some homemade recipes for dips or sauces!

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