DIY in the Kitchen: Save Money and Make This Yourself…
Posted on September 2, 2011
The rising cost of food is putting a healthy dent in commercial and home chef’s wallets (and pantries.) At times it seems as though we are all at the mercy of an ever changing market…or are we? There are quite a few staple recipes that will help you save money at the grocery store, and the majority of the recipes take little to no time at all.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 wallet friendly staples you can make yourself:
Salsa: Quick salsas can be whipped up in 20 minutes. Ingredients can range from tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro to mango, red onion and avocado. The most challenging part of this dish is deciding what delicious recipe to follow. A great chef’s knife will assist in quick chopping and using a food processor on pulse can speed up the process even further. Here is a great collection of recipes to choose from: Salsa Recipes
Pesto: The traditional way of making this tasty spread is with a mortar and pestle, but it can be made just as easily with a food processor. Pesto is great for spreading on sandwiches, using as a dip or adding as a base to pizza. The most basic of ingredients to make pesto are olive oil, basil, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. For even more flavorful pesto creations, click here.
Hummus: This tasty delight from the Middle-East is best when served fresh. Eat hummus with pita points, cut vegetables or spread onto a falafel sandwich. All you need is a food processor and a knife and you are on your way to enjoying global cuisine on a budget; cook your own with this hummus recipe.
Guacamole: Nothing compliments a huge stack of nachos quite like guacamole. Whip up a batch for burgers, burritos and chips. Guacamole can be frozen, but will require some care. Store in a zip-lock freezer bag and squeeze out all the air. Zip up and throw in the freezer for future use. Be sure to release the air to avoid oxidization, which will brown the avocado. Here is a great 10-minute recipe to try: Guacamole Recipe.
Seasoning:Stop buying the little packets of taco seasoning and jars of Mrs. Dash. You can easily make these at home with very common spices you may already own. Combine the ingredients and use now or store in a spice jar for later. Check out this recipe to make your own version of Mrs.Dash and Taco Seasoning.
Freezer Jam: With the end of summer closing in, it’s time to find crafty ways to use all the end-of-season fruits to the fullest extent of the dollar. Freezer jam presents an easy and tasty way to preserve all the sweet flavors of summer. Check out this series of recipes on raspberry, strawberry, peach-mango and tomato-roasted garlic jam.
Vinaigrette Dressing: The basic vinaigrette recipe calls for only four ingredients, a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk and measuring spoons. Vinaigrette’s will keep forever, needing a little more vinegar as it ages to loosen it up. Try this basic vinaigrette recipe.
Fondant: Decorate cakes with style, even while on a budget. Fondant is a cinch to make, but does require the use of a countertop mixer. If you make more than needed in one sitting, store the fondant in an airtight container and place in the freezer for future use. Try making your own fondant with any of these recipes.
Simple Syrup: The name says it all. This recipe is as simple as owning a measuring cup, saucepan and funnel. Used in cocktail recipes, this mixture is often sold at liquor stores for $7-$14 for 12-16 oz. Make it at home for the cost of a pound of sugar instead. Measure one part sugar equal to one part water and boil over low heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves. When the syrup is clear, take off of stove to cool. Pour the mix though the funnel into a bottle and your done!
Ricotta Cheese: This easy to make cheese adds a definitive flavor to fresh pasta dishes, most notably lasagna. This is a winning recipe to keep on hand as it’s easy to make, requires cheap ingredients and can be made in large or small batches. Start making your own ricotta cheese with this recipe.