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Old 09-23-2010, 12:26 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
in fact, i'm making my own tomato sauce from scratch tomorrow, as well as freezing fresh basil ice cubes, and making my own chili powders.
Fresh basil ice cubes? never though of that. do you then just put them in the pan first & let the water evaporate out before adding other ingredients? I've tried to freeze basil in the past & it started tasting bad before I could use it all. This may be the idea I've been looking for...
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:13 PM   #22
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Does anyone make homemade food anymore or do most people cook from a box or frozen food?
Very interesting first post and question.

For instance, that's like asking members on a golf forum if they only play video golf or if they actually go out and play rounds of golf.

Perhaps you should rephrase your question. :))
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
Very interesting first post and question.

For instance, that's like asking members on a golf forum if they only play video golf or if they actually go out and play rounds of golf.

Perhaps you should rephrase your question. :))
I don't think it is necessarily a bad question. Like I tell people when I'm talking to them about DC, we have everything from professional chefs to people who can barely open a can (and that all are welcomed).

I do a lot of my stuff homemade, but I also do a lot of what I term "half scratch," like adding canned cream of mushroom soup to a meat dish to make sauce. My husband buys taco kits when they are on sale. I don't like to add taco seasoning to my taco meat, but I save it and add it to other things, such as chicken cooked with canned tomatoes, and served with rice.

Once in awhile I like to have a TV dinner or pot pie for lunch. Sometimes I make macaroni and cheese from scratch, and sometimes I use packaged macaroni and cheese. When we can afford it, we go out now and then.

I think I'm pretty typical of many of the people here at DC. I also know that I cook a lot more than most of the people I know personally. But I'm not going to feel weird about grabbing an occasional can of soup or a TV dinner.

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Old 09-23-2010, 09:54 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
in fact, i had to try hard to think of what boxed foods we use. shake-n-bake ...

You can make your own shake and bake for much less than the packets. The packets run about $2.85 here for two bags and the mix.

Here's what I use:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread crumbs (I used panko for a crispy crunchy)
2 Tablespoons salt (less if you don't want to use a lot of salt)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
2 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil. (I omit this and put a bit of butter in the baking dish instead).

Mix all this up and put it in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Use a quarter cup or a few tablespoons from the mix with your meat in a ziplock bag. Shake it up, bake at 450 F for 25 minutes or until done.

Like I mentioned, instead of mixing the oil into the mix, I will put a sliver of butter on top of each piece of meat just to give it a touch of fat to brown while cooking.

The main thing is to watch to make sure the coating mix doesn't get too browned.

You can add different spices and herbs to your basic mix to match your choice of meat and complement your meal. A pinch of oregano is nice, and rosemary would be nice. You can use a shot of hot salt to kick it up.
Once you make the basic mix, you've got a great base and it will last a long time in the jar in the fridge.

When I buy pork chops, chicken breasts in bulk, I split them into ziplock bags in meal-size portions and freeze. I just thaw them in the same bag, toss in the coating mix, shake it up and it goes straight in the baking dish.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:21 PM   #25
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thanks atho. i think i'll give that a try. i normally don't like a lot of processed food because it always tastes so salty, but i've been addicted to shake-n-bake since childhood. your recipe looks good for a replacement, and i can control the amount of salt as you'd suggested.

sprout, i don't worry about the little bit of extra water when adding the basil ice cubes to a dish. i guess you could melt them and strain seperately if it really matters.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:50 PM   #26
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I make cilantro cubes. We only use a tiny bit of cilantro in salsa and it can be hard to find off season around here. So I use the cubes if I want to make a fresh salsa at other times of the year. I think this way I never need more than one good sized bunch of cilantro a year but none of it goes to waste.
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:56 AM   #27
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Thanks Tom & Joe! I think I'll start making fresh herb cubes. I happen to have a large amount of oregano right now, so this is perfect timing!
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:18 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
i've been addicted to shake-n-bake since childhood.
BuckyT, I would not eat pork chops no way no how when I was young. My Mom would make me eat 5 small bites and even that was torture....Then she got a sample of this new product (yes, shake and bake) and I never looked back. Funny thing is, I will eat them any way except WITH S&B now!
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:07 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Athometrixie View Post
You can make your own shake and bake for much less than the packets. The packets run about $2.85 here for two bags and the mix.
I replicate several mixes as well and keep them sealed up in the cupboard. I don't like all the salt and unidentifiable ingredients in products like taco seasoning.

Write the recipe down and tape it to the inside of a small tupperware. Fill it up with you homemade mix and seal it. It'll last you for quite awhile if you make a large batch and you won't ever forget where you put the recipe. :D
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:37 AM   #30
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I have a couple of the "Make-a-Mix" cookbooks (can't remember the author offhand). There are recipes in them for all kinds of mixes, including baking mix (like Bisquik), cake mixes, taco seasoning, dry salad dressing mixes, as well as meat mixes, butter balls (you freeze them to make white sauce), etc. When my daughter was little, I made some of the cake mixes and divided them into small Ziploc bags for her to use with her little baking set.

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