What’s for Dinner? Cheesy Steak Fries

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One of the menu ideas in Simplified Dinners is a baked potato bar. It’s a filling dinner and can also be a great way to use up leftovers: a bit of ham, a bit of beef, a bit of cheese, a bit of sour cream. When I make chili, if there are leftovers, but not enough leftovers to make a second meal, I freeze it to use on top of baked potatoes. In fact, we had a baked potato dinner … Read More

Simple Homemade Frozen Yogurt – Easy Recipe

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While my husband and I were in Walla Walla, Washington for our tenth anniversary, we stopped in at a little frozen yogurt shop called Peach and Pear. I had never had anything like the “European-style” frozen yogurt (plain, with fruit sauce) she was serving. It was not very sweet, tangy, and absolutely delicious. When we returned home, I went on a mission to figure out how to make my own European-style frozen yogurt, and I discovered it was actually incredibly … Read More

Make Your Own Peanut Butter Easy Recipe

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Yes, you can quickly and easily make your own peanut butter. I learned this from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, among a mirad of other fascinating things. It’s a great book. I highly recommend it. It is a fun read, not simply a cookbook. How to make your own peanut butter Put non-salted peanuts (roasted or not; I prefer roasted) in a blender with a tad oil (any neutral oil you have on hand) and a pinch salt. Blend. … Read More

Easy Recipe Pantry Dessert: Caramel Sauce

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I have discovered a too-good treat that is quick and simple, made from pantry items, and tastes like a gourmet dessert. I made caramel sauce for the weekend. I’ve made it before, but the recipe calls for heavy cream, which I don’t normally keep in my fridge. I love caramel and it was very tasty, but calling for heavy cream makes it a “special occasion” recipe, more because I would have to go to the grocery store with that specifically … Read More

Essential Kitchen Tools

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While we all have our own little favorite kitchen gadgets, there are only a few real kitchen essentials necessary for a smooth-running, productive kitchen. A pared-down kitchen tool drawer is easier to keep organized, clean, and useful. The fewer tools you own means your reliable stand-bys are at hand, not buried in a quagmire of random doodads. At least half the knives on the market, as well as a good percentage of the rest of the kitchen equipment sold for … Read More

Do-It-Yourself Iced Chai Latte Easy Recipe

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Have you ever ordered a chai latte at a coffee shop? They are delicious! Perhaps you’ve tried the boxed concentrate? Many coffee shops are only using the concentrate anyway. But there’s an even cheaper option, and you can decide how strong and how sweet you like your beverage. You can easily and quickly make a single cup or a whole jar of tea concentrate. Easy Homemade Iced Chai Latte Bring a pot of water to a boil, about 1 – … Read More

Essential Kitchen Tools: Pastry Scraper

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One of my favorite lesser-known kitchen tools is a pastry scraper. I bought mine only a year or two ago and don’t know how I lived without it. It’s the sort of tool you’d find in any professional bread-making or pastry-making operation, but only rarely find in home kitchens, even though Target and Amazon have them cheap. This handy-dandy little tool cleanly divides bread dough on the counter (it’s not sharp, so it’s ok to use straight on the counter); … Read More

Simplified Homemade Granola Easy Recipe

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While oatmeal is the winter breakfast of choice in our household, we switch to granola when the weather warms up (or as soon as we hope it will start warming up). I have made innumerable batches of granola, and finally pared it down to a fast, simple process that I can knock out quickly on Saturday mornings. There are loads of recipes out there for fantastic, delicious granola. This, however, is a simple granola. It’s good, it’s tasty, but it’s … Read More

Easy Recipe Fried Rice: A Great Way to Use Leftovers

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Fried rice is a tasty and easy way to make leftovers into a whole new dinner. Homecooked leftovers-based fried rice might not compete in authenticity with take-out, but don’t let that put you off any more than you are put off making homemade burritos. Leftovers to use: leftover rice (can be frozen for future fried rice use) leftover chicken, diced leftover roast (beef or pork), diced Other potential ingredients: frozen peas or peas & carrots shrimp (fresh, frozen, or canned) … Read More

English Muffins Easy Recipe

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One of the recipes I was quick to try from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter was her recipe for English Muffins. On her English muffin experiment, she writes: English muffins are fun to make — they rise straight up in the skillet like the flat-topped towers of storybook castles. I’ve never been able to match the nooks and crannies of a Thomas’ muffin, but homemade muffins easily trump lesser brands like Orowheat. I love English muffins, toasted and slathered … Read More

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