I didn’t know how to categorize these recipes, so I’m just putting them in a generic “other” category. A cookbook writer, I am not.
These three things are things I had never made before moving overseas. And, my goodness, I was missing out. I told you before and I’ll tell you again, cooking from scratch is dangerous…you may never go store-bought again!
For the first several years we lived here, I brought ranch packets and made my dressing that way (because every good American has ranch in their fridge, amIright?). But then my mother-in-law introduced me to this homemade ranch and I’ve haven’t bought a ranch packet since. Even when we were in the U.S. a few months ago, I made this from scratch. It is totally worth the extra effort!
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk (for my overseas friends, you can either bring buttermilk powder from the U.S. or order it on Vitacost, or you can substitute with regular milk mixed with a little vinegar)
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp minced parsley (or 1 Tbsp dried)
2 Tbsp minced chives (or 1 Tbsp dried)
2 Tbsp minced green onion or scallion
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Mix together all ingredients. Enjoy! (This should be stored in the refrigerator. The original recipe says it will last for 3 days, but I’ve kept it in there longer than that…that is if you have any left after taking ranch shots because it’s that delicious)
Crockpot Chicken Broth
This is another one of those things that I put off learning to make for years. And I really don’t know why because it is SUPER easy and bone broth has some great health benefits that you don’t get from bouillon.
Chicken bones (I usually roast a whole chicken and then use the bones after we’ve eaten all the meat)
1-2 carrots, cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, quartered (I used green onion in the picture because that’s what I had, but any onion will do)
2 cloves garlic (I don’t even peel them)
2 sticks of celery, chopped (I use celery seed for the flavor since we can’t get celery easily)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste
1.Place chicken bones into crockpot, along with carrots, onion, garlic, celery, and bay leaf. Add enough water to fill crockpot. Cook on low for 8-12 hours.
2. Drain, reserving liquid. (You could eat the veggies at this point if you so desire) Add salt and pepper to liquid, mixing well. Pour into gravy separator (you can skip this part if you don’t have a separator, the fat will rise to the top and you can scoop it out with a spoon later) and then pour into jar for storage. I keep at least one jar in my fridge and the rest go into the freezer for later use.
I definitely never imagined making yogurt from scratch…because who does that? Missionaries, that’s who. Homemade yogurt is super yummy and doesn’t have all the preservatives that store bought yogurt has. And, guess what?! It is also super easy to make (especially if you have an amazing husband that buys you a Yogourmet, but that’s definitely not required).
4 cups hot water (110* F)
2 cups full cream powdered milk (I have never made this with fresh milk…I suppose you could if you heated it to 110*F)
Yogurt starter (there are many places to buy yogurt starters…but the easiest thing to do is to ask your neighbor for a little bit of yogurt to use as a starter. Once you have made a batch of your own yogurt, freeze a small portion to use the next time. But this does always leave me wondering how yogurt ever came to be without a starter. Where did the starter start?)
sugar, honey or other sweetener if you prefer your yogurt to be sweet
vanilla extract, because yum.
1. Mix together all ingredients (including sugar/honey, etc.)
2. Pour into Yogourmet and leave it alone until it reaches desired thickness (about 4 hours for me). If you do not have a Yogurt maker, you can also put the mixture into jars and then keep the jars warm in a water bath (but you’ll have to keep changing the water). Some friends have also make the water bath in an insulated ice box to help keep the water warm longer.
3. Once it’s reached your desired thickness, place in fridge to cool.
Get out there and get cooking from scratch! You won’t regret it (and neither will your tastebuds!)