The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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The Theme Is … Homemade Ingredients!

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: Homemade Ingredients (Ranch Dressing, from Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman)

A long time ago, Ree posted the recipe for her Homemade Ranch Dressing that you see above. It was a recipe born of necessity, considering the vast distance she’d have to drive just to get a packet of ranch dressing mix.

The result was not only yummy but undoubtedly healthier to boot. No benzopropenoleumfragillistic acid in it—just good ol’ herbs, garlic, sour cream, and mayonnaise. And the recipe has saved me a few trips to the (in)convenience store myself.

Which brings us to today’s theme. Tasty Kitchen has a wealth of incredible recipes for all kinds of dishes, and we love that it’s becoming a regular resource for recipe ideas and meal planning. But we also have a number of homemade ingredient recipes that members have shared, just for those emergency situations when you’re out of something that you need. Or maybe you just want a homemade alternative, which often is also the healthier alternative.

Let’s start with baking. To give you an idea of what we have in here, take a look at these:

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Homemade Ingredients (For Baking)

We’ve got Homemade Baking Mix (Bisquick, anyone?) from Noshings, Homemade Butter from Jerseycook, Homemade Brown Sugar from damselindisdress (who knew it was so simple?), and bell’alimento’s Homemade Vanilla Extract.

(I think I’ll stop typing the “homemade” part of the recipe titles now, since that is the theme for today.)

All we have to do now is throw in some baking powder and powdered sugar and you pretty much have all you need to make something yummy in the oven.

What if you’re making lunch or dinner, and need something for your dish? Some ricotta cheese maybe? Or perhaps pizza sauce? Maybe you want to make some pasta but don’t have any of those boxes of noodles. Yep, we’ve got you covered there too.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Homemade Ingredients (For Pizza and Pasta)Clockwise from the left: ericalea’s awesome-looking Pizza Sauce, Ricotta Cheese from whatsgabycooking, and Pastor Ryan’s incredibly easy and amazingly yummy Pasta.

Oh, and if you’re like me and you never have wonton wrappers around when you need them, we’ve got those too. (Thanks, Bob.)

Doing Mexican night instead? Now there’s no need to fret anymore if you run out of taco seasoning, hot sauce, refried beans, or even flour tortillas. (You can even take those flour tortillas and make your own tortilla chips. Then dip them in your homemade sour cream. Which would add mucho, mucho points to your awesomeness factor.)

What if your missing ingredient is a bit harder to find, and the problem isn’t so much the distance to the store but whether or not you can actually find what you need? From marzipan to mascarpone, Nutella to Kahlua, you may be surprised at the list of ingredients you can make at home.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Homemade Ingredients (Hard to Find)Clockwise from top left: Garam Masala from ilikemonkeys, Ree’s Cranberry Sauce, Nutella from elanaspantry, and Birgit Kerr’s Mascarpone Cheese.

So whether it’s marshmallows that you need, or mayonnaise, or even yogurt, next time you think you might have to make a quick trip to the store just for one item, come visit here first! You just may save yourself that extra drive.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have any ingredient substitutions to share? Any secret tips that you don’t mind making not-so-secret anymore? We’d love to hear them all!

Update: We have a new Homemade Ingredients category at Tasty Kitchen! Check back for new additions from time to time. Keep those suggestions and tips coming!



Comments are closed for this recipe.

Tara on 4.27.2010

Thank you!!!!! I’m such a fan of doing things from start to finish LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

Cat on 3.16.2010

I’d add Saveur’s homemade Worcestershire Sauce ( Vastly improves your bloody marys, caesar salad, stroganoff, etc.

Traci on 3.16.2010


1 cup unbleached all purpose flour – 1 tbsp
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder

Sift together and use in recipes calling for cake flour.

Nicole on 3.16.2010

THANK YOU so much for this. I’m an American living in the boonies of the developing world, and I’ve been doing without most of my favorite baked goods for lack of brown sugar. Or vanilla extract.

Oh god, and the sour cream and riccota cheese recipes- my god. So simple. So easy. I’ve been doing without those things, too.

Though I must say- I’ve been making my own jams here for a while, as fresh fruit is abundant (and cheap! less than a dollar for a kilo of strawberries!)- and there are a million different ways to do this, depending on the fruit you use. I’m excited to have new things to cook.

I’m kind of in love with you for this post. Thanks.

amy on 3.16.2010

these look outstanding, can’t wait to try!

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audreystyle on 3.12.2010

What a great idea to have a homemade ingredients category! Thanks.

Charlene on 3.12.2010

This is a terrific combined effort for all these recipes. I don’t know if anyone has posted it or if it’s on this site since I’m new but I do my own laundry detergent and have been for a couple years – saving me loads of money!! I love homemade stuff!!

Kara in China on 3.11.2010

Wow! This will be so useful to all those of us overseas in places where these ingredients are unavailable! Thank you so much!

Sasha on 3.11.2010

Cool! I’m definitely going to have to remember to check all those out!

LadyG on 3.11.2010

YAY! i am always looking for and using substitutions!! now, i’ll have to check my files & see if i have anything worth contributing!

ooh…fruit puree for oils/fats is a great one – in baked goods, mainly. keep the eggs, use any fruit puree for the rest. crushed strawberries, applesauce, pureed prunes, etc!

Katy on 3.11.2010

LOVE THIS POST! Thanks for all of the great info!

Lori Cormier on 3.11.2010

This is going to come in handy!! I just read on a “green” website that one of the hugest recalls on food is about to hit. Something called HPV(???) that is in almost ALL processed food. check out “the daily Green” website and it will be more reliable on me for information.
We can all use to eat less processed foods!!

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iamval on 3.11.2010

Great Post!!! Thanks for sharing….

Katie F on 3.11.2010

This is so interesting! And homemade (or restaurant made;) ) ranch is so much better than bottled!

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freckles2stars on 3.11.2010

Oh my goodness. Thank you for the recipes. I needed a reminder that things can be homemade. All these are wonderful recipes to have handy. I have an old book with recipes like this and now I am going to go and find it and put it on the cookbook shelf in the kitchen. You have enlightened my day!

Sandy on 3.11.2010

When you need 1 cup of buttermilk, put 1 T. of vinegar (plain white) in a measuring cup and add milk to the 1 cup line. If you start with 1 cup milk and add vinegar, then you’ve got more than 1 cup of buttermilk.

Heather Dreith on 3.11.2010

When I went away to college, many, many years ago…I said Iwould not return to my small Kansas hometown, I would not work in my family business and I would not marry a farmer. Well, guess what! I did all three. I am no longer working in my family business, but I did for a while, and that’s where I met my Marlborough Man-like husband. (He calls himself a rancher, but compared to P.W.’s ranch…that’s laughable.) Just this morning, we went out to check for newborn calves through about a foot of mud and other unspeakable materials. Never did I picture I would be doing this!

Dori Moltzen on 3.11.2010

This and the canning catagory are my favorite areas to visit. Thanks to everyone who postes such interesting and clever recipes. I know that I will be working with them over the summer and fall for sure.

Tina Waldher on 3.11.2010

Thank you! I use to live out in the sticks and we only had “the basics” (salad dressing made out of mayo and ketchup anyone?).

Now I’m in-town, and although It’s easy to run to the corner market for anything at anytime – I do miss making my own ingredients.

Heather in KS on 3.11.2010

I love the new addition. Thanks for making a blog post about it.

KLabmom on 3.11.2010

I try my very hardest not to buy pre-packaged foods, so posts like these help me out! So many good ideas, keep it up!

Michelle on 3.11.2010

“How different is your life now than how you’d always pictured it?”

I assumed I would marry right after college and have 2 or so kids before I was 30. Instead, I married at 35 and am preggo with my 1st at 39. SO grateful I held out for the true love of my life. To hell with timelines! I’m deliriously happy. Bliss.

annie56 on 3.11.2010

the piggly wiggly is w/i walking distance if i so desired to actually walk there – but some days i am even too lazy to get in the car and drive the 1.4 miles to get there. i L.O.V.E. making things from scratch – esp. things most people think you have to buy at the market!

Ani on 3.11.2010

OMG thank you thank you! I live in Africa and have desperately wanted so many of these ingredients, but didn’t know how to make them (because I sure can’t buy them here)! What a life saver!!

di (TX transplant) on 3.11.2010

Great blog today Erika – love the pictures. The whole thing is inspiring.

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sarachic2 on 3.11.2010

Thanks for this post! I didn’t realize how many homemade ingredient recipes there were on here… I now live in Southeast Asia where I can’t get many of the ingredients I’m used to anymore – this will help me out a TON! :)

Parita on 3.11.2010

Fantastic post!! I too make mascarpone cheese at home and its the best!

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Carrie Gaston on 3.11.2010

Love this post. Thanks

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terri on 3.10.2010

Love this post; so fun to make things I always use!

Chrys on 3.10.2010

Very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

Memoria on 3.10.2010

I’ve seen most of these recipes around the internet and have made some. I like that they have all been consolidated into one post! I think you should add adobo sauce to this hahaha.

Julie on 3.10.2010

As a mom of two living in Tajikistan in the Former Soviet Union, I found myself making many things from scratch. After over ten years in this region, I started my own blog as a way not only to allow family members to catch a glimpse into our lives, but also as a way to share these tips with other expats. Making things from scratch clearly isn’t limited by foreign country boundaries! There’s a sense of satisfaction that we all have when we make something from scratch, regardless of where we live. Thanks for the post, Erika!

ATinyMorsel on 3.10.2010

Wow! This is really amazing. I’ve seen homemade baking mix before, but Nutella? Ricotta? Wow. This is going to be a LOT of fun to try.

sink giril on 3.10.2010

ooh ooh ooh, i love this!!! how exciting. i absolutely love learning how to make [typically] store bought items at home. thanks so much!

Arrisje on 3.10.2010

I love it. I always like to make stuff from scratch !

greengranny41 on 3.10.2010

Finding your website today is like getting another birthday present,
because its just that. My birthday.
I know I will be back often to visit, it feels just that comfy.

KathyAnn on 3.10.2010

Great ideas, homemade might take a little longer but its worth it!
Steel cut oats for breakfast with dried cherries, raisins and walnuts yumm!

Homestead Kristi of WI on 3.10.2010

Baking Powder: 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cream of tarter, 1 tsp corn starch.

I run out of this a lot, but some how always have the others to make mine own.

Today’s blog rocks! We try to do as much as we can from scratch to avoid all those unnecessary chemicals, dyes and additives. It’s amazing how much you can make with minimal packaging. :D Thanks!

Sacha on 3.10.2010

So helpful! It’s amazing to have all of the homemade solutions in one place. Thanks Erika!

Erin F. on 3.10.2010

Thanks for sharing these… great ideas! Love “homemade”!

Lauralee on 3.10.2010

Wow, even this old dog learned some new tricks. Great post!

Shela on 3.10.2010

Awesome theme! I often rely on making things from scratch and I’m going to be trying some of these out.
I’ve never bought buttermilk, so when a recipe calls for it. I either balance the baking soda with cream of tarter or curdle regular milk with lemon juice or vinegar.
Another thing a lot of people seem not to realise is that sour milk can be substituted for buttermilk, as long as the recipe doesn’t rely heavily on buttermilk flavor. That has saved me from throwing out sour milk from time to time. :)

Amy in StL on 3.10.2010

I doubt I’ll ever try any of these since I live right behind Whole Foods and walking distance to two other grocery superstores. But should I ever fell the need; I’ll know where to go.

Jen Guarino on 3.10.2010

This is awesome! Thanks so much for putting this together! I have been trying to make more and more homemade and this just opens the options up for us. Some of this I never even considered trying before!

Grandma Jo on 3.10.2010

I did a class on wheat years ago and during my research found that in a pinch you can make your own sweetner for the yeast to grow on when you make bread…from wheat!

Sprout it until it has a thick little tail. The time it takes will depend on temperature. Be sure to rinse often – 3 times a day is good. Dry very well in a low heat dehydrater or at 150 degrees in your oven. Grind…there you have it! Diastatic Malt A little goes a long way.

Sansai on 3.10.2010

Dang I need to get out of podunk and do some shopping! So many times I’ve not made a dish because…oh dang I dont have any!! grr
thanks a bunch !

Kelly Garasha on 3.10.2010

I got to make my own Snickers bars, Fiddle Faddle and candied almonds (like they sell at the stadiums and craft shows) because of and! Thanks for keeping this theme rolling for me!

Janice on 3.10.2010

I make ‘Christmas Cheer’ every year for friends at Christmas. Sort of like Baileys–but with more of a kick! Jack Daniels, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, heavy cream, vanilla and hershey’s syrup. Mmmmmmmm

Melissa on 3.10.2010

This is my favorite post yet! Thanks!