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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.

jeni on 3.10.2010

Thank you! Thank you! How convenient to have all of these in one spot! I love the idea of being able to make the things at home we are forced to believe we can’t live without!

Ali on 3.10.2010

Wow, who knew!!! Thanks for sharing!!

Sharon D on 3.10.2010

Great post! Thanks for enlightening us!

Kaitlin on 3.10.2010

Awesome! Thanks for link to the garam masala recipe!

Great post!

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jennybobenny426 on 3.10.2010

I love this!

My life is………I don’t really know. I knew I wanted to be married and to have kids. Now, I don’t really remember how I pictured it when I was younger. I love it though, either way. :-)

Cindy on 3.10.2010

I have discovered some neat recipes here that allow us to make baking powder, powdered sugar, etc.

I made my own taco seasoning from this site a week ago because I had none.

I also love that I can make my own self rising flour. WHO KNEW???

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Nicole Bojtos on 3.10.2010

This is an AWESOME post. I pass by many things in the grocery store due to the fact that if I cannot pronounce AND recognize an ingredient I’m not feeding it to my family. This is beyond terrific!!!

julie on 3.10.2010

I often need cream of chicken soup or chicken broth for recipes so I just keep a container of Knorr chicken base in my freezer and make them. Cream of chicken soup (the concentrated kind that comes in the can that most recipes require) is easy, just make a butter and flour roux, add concentrated chicken broth (chicken base and hot water) and some milk and you’re done! The chicken broth is even easier, just add hot water to the chicken base. I buy the low sodium chicken base so it’s not too salty in recipes.
I also had to make corn tortillas one time because I didn’t have them but I had the masa harina. They were very easy and tasted great!

Acher on 3.10.2010

I recently made my own homemade veggie bouillon paste! I started with a recipe from 101 Cookbooks and tweaked it to make it my own. It is AWESOME, and is perfectly scoopable right from the freezer! I’ve since found a recipe for a powdered veggie bouillon (from a website that I can’t remember now) that I can’t wait to try out.

Lauren Nixon on 3.10.2010

This is SUCH a great post! I linked from my blog ’cause it’s SO fabulous! Love the ideas, can’t wait to try some…. ironically I’ll have to buy molasses.

Pamelotta on 3.10.2010

I love these! So much cheaper and healthier. For my homemade ranch, I use buttermilk instead of sour cream. That way, even if I’m out of buttermilk, I can make some with vinegar and milk.

Here’s a tip if you’re out of powdered sugar. Put regular sugar in the blender and blend away. You’ll have powdered sugar in no time!

And this book,, will show you how to make all the popular mixes you find in stores with your own pantry ingredients. It’s a life saver!

Kelly in PA on 3.10.2010

I’m wondering about the brown sugar – is there any reason you couldn’t just put the white sugar and the molasses in whatever you are making instead of mixing it up first?

Jo F. on 3.10.2010

I am a big fan of homemade spice mixes. I am lucky to live in an area where there are Amish bulk food stores, so obtaining the ingredients is easy and inexpensive. It is so much better to know exactly what went into my taco seasoning, poultry seasoning, cajun seasoning and pumpkin pie spice! I want to try making my own grill seasoning too.

Kristin on 3.10.2010

Homemade Buttermilk! I use Emeril’s recipe:

Deb on 3.10.2010

Wonderful post, love this kinda thing too! I make my own butter now that we have a cow and some cheese, but it’s nice to know how to make all the other things too. :)

Buttercup on 3.10.2010

I think my biggest “homemade ingredient” triumphs involve making ingredients from their larger counterparts: need bread crumbs, but only have hot dog buns? Light toasting and a whirl in the blender! Need powdered, but only have granulated sugar? A whirl in the blender with a small dab of cornstarch! Nothing Earth shattering, but I have been pretty relieved to not have to go BACK to the grocery for something.

Regina on 3.10.2010

I’ve spied several of these recipes here recently…
Especially the homemade pasta one since I received a pasta roller for a birthday present! Thanks Pastor Ryan!

It never occured to me to make my own vanilla extract! Can’t wait to try it!

I can ride just down the road to the store…I’d rather know exactly what’s in my food. ;-)

Kristi on 3.10.2010

WOW! I am amazed! I can’t wait to try the homemade butter and marscapone!

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Erica Lea on 3.10.2010

Thanks for featuring my Pizza Sauce! I’ve always wanted to try making my own vanilla extract…the mascarpone cheese looks surprisingly simple!

Bluemoondogs on 3.10.2010

How about buttermilk! I never seem to have buttermilk when I need some. You just add about one tablespoon of lemon juice or even vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit for about 10 minutes until it thickens a bit. Wahla!! Hope this helps someone. I love Pioneer Woman and Tasty Kitchen websites!

lauren on 3.10.2010

This is one of my favorite food-blog posts ever. Thank you!

Emily F. on 3.10.2010

I used the homemade brown sugar recipe just this weekend! Saved me a trip (back) to the store and it was so easy. I’ll have to remember this post for later use.

Tiera Schulz on 3.10.2010

This is lovely. I have been looking for more homemade recipes for things that are bought at the store and this just takes the cake! Thank you for putting them all together! So excited to try homemade butter on my homemade bread!!!

Jeela on 3.10.2010

Love the Tasty Kitchen blog today, you said 2) Is stranded in the country, desperate and alone, with no way to get to civilization, you could also add 3) Is stranded in A country, desperate and alone, with no way to get to civilization. Rural life in the US isn’t that different than life in another country as far as grocery shopping goes. But, we do still have a Starbucks on every corner! :)

BTW, has been my bible for learning about ingredients and subs. Thanks for the great post!

Sara on 3.10.2010

This is going to be awesome to help me build my food storage and have things to help me make other meals work! You are so smart and I appreciate you taking the time to post things like this!

Aparna on 3.10.2010

I love this!! I also got excited when I saw my Garam Masala recipe was on there!! Another substitution I do is: when making mattar paneer (a cheese and pea Indian curry), the healthier alternative is to use tofu instead of paneer! You cut out a ton of fat and cholesterol and substitute in some real nutrients! Plus, it tastes awesome!

Jane B. on 3.10.2010

What an awesome post! I am working on a gift for my son’s 18th birthday–I’m putting together recipes that I know he loves and also new ones for him to try, so he can strike out on his own (eventually) with some knowledge of cooking. (Or at least something he can refer to.) I’m definitely adding some of these to the collection!

Jeanette Mc.from Everton Terrace on 3.10.2010

OMG – homemade Nutella! I might die right this minute.

Brooklyn on 3.10.2010

This has been one of my favorite things about this site. All sorts of ideas for the “homemade” necesseties! Thanks Erica, Ree, and all the Tasty Kitchen folks! You RULE!

AliciaC on 3.10.2010

I printed almost all of them! Yay! I never knew you could MAKE brown sugar! How dense am I?! LOL


Jessica @ How Sweet on 3.10.2010

Love this! I am really wanting to make some homemade extracts and butter – butter filled with lots of goodies like lobster and gorgonzola!

Gayle in GA on 3.10.2010

Yes, this is a neat post. I made the taco seasonings last night and it was really good…better than what comes in the little packets and cheaper too. I’m trying the pizza sauce tonight. Yippee.

Leigh on 3.10.2010

Thank you so much for gathering all of these into one place! I love making up my own things…

Sharon in Tulsa on 3.10.2010

Best post ever!!!!!

Ally @ Sweet & Savory on 3.10.2010

What a great post, I can’t wait to check out these links! Especially the ranch dressing, nutella and pizza sauce!

Katie on 3.10.2010

This is a great article! Thanks so much! I’ve experimented with mayo and creme freche and really want to try the cheeses! I am starting with ricotta – heard it’s sort of no fail!

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Star on 3.10.2010

What a life saver to have so many ingredient recipes here! Thanks for pulling a bunch of them together in one post :)

Aimee on 3.10.2010

Thank you, thank you, thank you for listing all of these in one post! I can’t wait to try all of them!

moon on 3.10.2010

I’m all about homemade but my favorite–noodles. I like noodles a bit thicker than you can buy them. My grandmother always had them drying on the dining room table on a sheet. Ever so often she’d go by and give them a toss.

Beef and noodles are my favorite and so good the next day, yum.

Christy on 3.10.2010

Can’t wait to try some of these – I’m bookmarking this post!

Amy from She Wears Many Hats (missamy) on 3.10.2010

I want to make some homemade butter. I used to long ago at my grandmothers and thought it was the coolest. It certainly was the tastiest!

Also, Ree would have great interest in a “Pastor Ryan Pasta Demo at the Ranch” weekend – yum!

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terriab on 3.10.2010

Wow, who knew? Great post – can’t wait to try some of these. Might save some space in my pantry!

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tequilacupcake on 3.10.2010

;) Am definitely saving some of these in my box!
I have made my own Ranch Dressing with homemade sour cream for many years- thanks to my grandmother for teaching me to make sour cream. However, I lost the recipe for homemade mayo, though. I needed that one!
Will definitely mark these (wonton wrappers!) for later use!
Thanks for the links!

Sandra :) on 3.10.2010

Best. Topic. EVER. Thanks for this – I can’t wait to check out all the links!

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Ree | The Pioneer Woman on 3.10.2010

This is my favorite post yet, Erika. I love it!

Alexandra on 3.10.2010

Thank you so much for sharing such great recipes! I think I bookmarked atleast 10 to try later! Tasty Kitchen is great and I love this blog for pointing out some of the great options I should try. Ree is a genius and thanks Erika for putting this together! Can’t wait to try some of these myself!

Carol on 3.10.2010

Great post! I too live a distance from conveniences and my grocery options are limited in the country so homemade is perfect for me. That, and I like to have control over the ingredients my family consumes.

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jennabyars on 3.10.2010

I. LOVE. this.