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.

JeanneW on 3.10.2010

Thank you for this category, Erika and Ree. One of my New Years resolutions was to cook more food from scratch and rely less on processed food. Less preservatives, less additives, less artificial flavors and colors, less chemicals….more real food.

Emily on 3.10.2010

Wow, what a great new category! I know I’ll be exploring this one over the next few weeks.

Barbara in Texas on 3.10.2010

This is a great post!!! I can’t wait to try the recipes.

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everydayisgourmet on 3.10.2010

I DO THIS ALL THE TIME. Most of the “homemade” stuff I can’t get here at all.
Now I just have to think through what I make that someone hasn’t already put on here : )
Maybe cream cheese…

Cricket on 3.10.2010

I love this post. People are always shocked when I make things that are typically bought premade- even something as normal as granola bars. But I’ve been known to whip up some butter or baking powder, too, so this list is just – delicious – to me.

Lindsay on 3.10.2010

I make my own yogurt all the time. It became a necessity since my family consumes about 1/2 gallon of yogurt a week. And since I have so much sitting around, i will substitute it for sour cream or mayo. I don’t have cheese cloth, or I’d drain it and sub it for cream cheese too, but oh well. There are some dairy products I just can’t give up!

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countrychickengirl on 3.10.2010

Ya HOOOOO! I love this post. I am so tired of buying everything in a box. It is more expensive, loaded with preservatives and other things I don’t even want to know about. I’m trying to get away from packaged foods and this is going to really help! Thanks for all the great recipes! My pocketbook will look forward to the savings and my body will be forever grateful! Also, I too live 20 miles from town. Hate when I don’t have a simple ingredient and don’t want to go to town just for it.

Katy P on 3.10.2010

This is awesome! Thanks to all!

jennifer menke on 3.10.2010

I’m constantly ‘making do’ with what I have. Not going to the grocery store is one of my main recurring themes! I’ll be bookmarking this post…

Kerri on 3.10.2010

I don’t live in the country, but I do live in a different country – Lithuania – this is going to be a great reference page for those hard to find items. Thank you!

Amanda on 3.10.2010

great post, thanks! We live out in the country and it seems like everytime I go to the store, there is something like this I don’t have.

Kristy on 3.10.2010

LOVE this!! I live overseas and can’t get many sauces, spices, etc that I was used to having in the US. Also glad to see some homemade solutions to seasonings with additives. Will definitely be using many of these!

Mary Lou on 3.10.2010

God I love this site!

Andrea on 3.10.2010

This is Great!! Can’t wait to try some of these out! Thanks for saving me money, gas and time !

Dulcimer on 3.10.2010

JUST what we all need! Thanks so much.

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grammie24 on 3.10.2010

I so love this post…I’m definitely making homemade butter, then pizza sauce….I love me some pizza.

[email protected] on 3.10.2010

Home made granola, home made yogurt, home made bread with natural sourdough starter… when you think about it and read this great post, you realize how little you really need to purchase “processed”. That’s my challenge these days, try to make as much as possible from scratch….

megs on 3.10.2010

Who knew?!!! I can’t believe you can make some of these things at home! Great post…….thanks!

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mycookingmyself on 3.10.2010

Sign me up for these great ideas. It makes me feel less dependent on the store bought counterparts.

Julie on 3.10.2010

LOVE this post! So many things are so easy to make, and so much tastier/healthier.

How about Homemade Bisquick?: blend 2 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt; cut in 1/2 cup butter. (You could cut it back to 1/4 cup butter for a lower-fat version.) Pulsing the lot in a food processor will blend it completely, like the real thing – you can then store it in a ziplock bag in the freezer until you need some.

Amanda Morgan on 3.10.2010

I love stuff like this! First, because making stuff from scratch is fun. :) Second, because my local Indonesian “grocery store” doesn’t exactly carry all your heart might desire. Yay for the vanilla extract idea!

For those of you wanting SWEETENED COCONUT as used in baking recipes: simply shred your coconut, toss in powdered sugar to taste (you might be suprised how much sugar it takes to make take it to the level of sweetness of storebought stuff), and bake at a very low temperature until turns white. Toss the coconut every few minutes to keep bottom layer and edges from toasting. Fresh coconut is very moist and a bit more translucent, you want to dry it out just slightly but not too much. I was worried that the preservatives, ect in storebought stuff would make the flavor hard to immitate but really coconut and powdered sugar is all you need. Sorry I don’t have measurements for you, but hopefully it’s helpful.

Don't Burn the Garlic! on 3.10.2010

This is fantastic. I will definitely be utilizing some of these DIY recipes. Thanks!

Molly on 3.10.2010

So…cool… *favorites page* I’m going to try out the Nutella one, because after trying Nutella for the first time last week I seem to be mildly allergic to the storebought stuff. (nothing serious, just a headache when I eat it, but still…)

Raicheyray on 3.10.2010

Awesome! Gracias!

Mary Kate on 3.10.2010

While my life is truly incredible – it’s about to take me so far away from where I’d thought I’d be. I’ve spent my whole life in Appalachia and in a couple months I’m getting married and moving to Montana – something I never thought I’d do. It’s not where we thought we’d end up, but it’s going to be an adventure.

Krazymom (aka Kristie) on 3.10.2010

Hot Fudge Sauce

1/2 C butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Place first three ingredients in a quart jar and microwave on high for one minute, remove jar from microwave and stir. Microwave fudge sauce for an additional minute, remove from microwave. Add salt and vanilla and stir. Enjoy!

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mtnpenny on 3.10.2010

I will have to dig out the pie crust mix now… It is a never fail recipe. I am also very excited about this post since I tend to try and live very frugally along with being self sufficient.

Lisa on 3.10.2010

This post is so eye-opening and will save me from making trips to the store!

naomig on 3.10.2010

This is great–I’ve done several of these… and we’ve ended up liking them better than storebought. :-)

Jeannene Walker on 3.10.2010

Home made buttermilk also!

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weldrbrat on 3.10.2010

Well… my goodness! This is a wonderful posting. All these items that can be made at home. There are two issues that I appreciate the most. 1. This provides a great grocery list of basics to keep for stocking my kitchen at all times. 2. Every one of these items are edible items that families can now enjoy without all those chemicals and preservatives in the processed brands bought at the stores.

Wonderful idea, Girlies!!!

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nyara on 3.10.2010

I feel compelled to go make cheese . . .

Cindy Miller on 3.10.2010

My life is totally and wonderfully different than I expected.

Laurie on 3.10.2010

Love this post! Thank you so much! Wish I had searched TK for homemade Taco Seasoning mix earlier… just yesterday I spent $4 buying Taco mix packets and now seeing the recipe here, I realize I have every single ingredient in my cabinet…. ahhhhhhhh!

Becca on 3.10.2010

I’m making the homemade baking mix, stat! Thank you Tasty Kitchen!

Karen C on 3.10.2010

When my summer tomatoes are ready and I have more than I can eat… I roast them and make my own tomato sauce. We use this on pasta, pizza, or anything that calls for a rich tomato sauce.

Some days I may pick Romas, Cherokee Purple, German Strip, Early Girl, Sun Gold Cherry and a red cherry. Use whatever your garden or the Farmer’s Market gives you in the way of tomatoes. Prepare a large cooking tray with n0n-stick foil wrap, toss in the washed and chunked tomatoes. Try to get the chunks all the same size. Cut the top off a whole garlic head, and place in the corner of the roasting pan, nearest the oven door. Drizzle with EVOO, coarse salt and freshly gr. pepper. This was a large juicy batch, so I roasted at 425° until the juice is almost dried up and they begin to brown. Remove garlic head after it has softened and starting to brown. Let cool, then squeeze out the cloves. Cool a little, toss into food processor with the cloves of roasted garlic and/or two to three anchovy fillets. Whirl away. Now you have the best tomato sauce, ever.

Roni on 3.10.2010

Thanks!! These will definitely all come in handy in the future!

Kristen on 3.10.2010

@Kelly, in baking recipes, brown sugar is measured by volume and packed into the appropriate sized container to do so. Most baked goods would work much better–and be more predictable–if you first make the brown sugar, then measure. It would be difficult to know exactly how much of the molasses and sugar you would need to create the appropriate measurement of brown sugar in the recipe. But why don’t you give it a try if you want and then let us know?

Daffodil Campbell on 3.10.2010

Great thread – I love this ! Just last week I had a customer ask for steak sauce at the restaurant I work at. We don’t have that……so I went in back and whipped some up. Ketchup, worchestershire sause, a dash of tabasco, and voila !

Erin Oscarson on 3.10.2010

Fabulous! I love it! I went from store bought all the way 5 years ago to a gardening/canning/cooking/baking fool!!

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Yennifah on 3.10.2010

Love it!!
I live in Germany, and we don’t have a lot of typical ingredients, like vanilla extract. Even our brown sugar is different and doesn’t work good for American recipes.
This is perfect!

SleeplessInKL on 3.10.2010

You forgot to mention homemade seasoned salt (to replace Lawry’s) ->

Pamm on 3.10.2010

Not for eating, but here’s my favorite non-toxic “soft scrub” style cleanser-great for sinks and bathtubs. I even use it on stainless steel cookware.

1 2/3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid castile soap (no substitutes)
1/2 cup distilled water
2 Tbsp. vinegar

Stir it all together and store in jar or squeeze bottle with big hole. Stir or shake before using. Seriously, don’t try to use other kinds of soaps (like dish soap) or you will have great clouds of suds that will be difficult to rinse away. Note that it’s preservative-free, so use it often and use it up.

Mary on 3.10.2010

Years ago I bought a cookbook called Make-a-Mix cookery. It is from HP books. Don’t know if it is still available, but mine is well used and loved. There are master mixes for Baking mix, cake mix, cookies, sauces, seasonings. It’s great!

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Heather on 3.10.2010

I make my own buttermilk. It’s so simple. 1 cup milk, 1 T lemon juice, let sit until curdled.

ChristineM on 3.10.2010

I love this post!

Mascarpone and Nutella…. Mmmmmmmm!

Andra on 3.10.2010

I am where I was hoping I would be. Getting married and I have a great job!

Southern Jill on 3.10.2010

The baking mix comes in handy! I just had to say, I love all those little jars. :)

Kris Smith on 3.10.2010

I am enjoying this website – not just for the tasty things I am looking forward to making, but for the idea that “good food” doesnt’ have to be fancy…

I’m not sure how my life is different from my expectations… I’m married to a wonderful guy, have two kids, am still working full time…but most days I love it! Still have time for the things I love to do – cooking, eating, quilting, reading and spending time with the family…

What I ate for breakfast??? Cheese & Egg Quesadilla from a local mexican place!

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mist32 on 3.10.2010

Sweet! Thank y’all very much!