My Favorite Simple Recipes for the Basics

Here are some of my favorite simple recipes for the basics, I’m talking a short list of ingredients and simple prep.  The cool thing about these recipes is that you are putting all good stuff into them so it will taste wonderful and be top-notch at a low price.

No worrys about any ingredients on packaged food that you have to Google to figure out what they are.  Also, I filed this under ‘reduce’ because you can make as much as you need and you won’t need to have bottle for this and a bottle for that.

A side note – I usually just use regular vinegar for any recipe where ‘rice vinegar’ or ‘red wine vinegar’ ect… is called out and it seems to turn out fine.  Personal (lazy) choice.  Also, I usually substitute sweeteners for what I have on-hand (honey – agave – sugar).

Easy Basic Recipes:

Salad Dressings:

Vinaigrette 1        Vinaigrette 2


Teriyaki Sauce     Enchilada Sauce

Ketchup                  BBQ Sauce  (within a recipe)

Spice Mix:                Scroll to the bottom of these links for the simplest recipes

Chili Spice Mix       Taco Spice Mix

Great From-Scratch Cooking Websites:

Also, here are a couple of my go-to sites for from-scratch and frugal cooking:

Money Saving Mom Recipes

Tammy’s Recipes


Are there any basic recipes that you routinely make?  Please share your recipes!


Why Avoid GMO Foods?

So, recently I have been learning more about genetically modified foods (GMO).  I knew the term ‘GMO’ had some negativity associated with it and honestly, it made me think of this:

Well, the foods won’t actually bite you back, but you should be afraid, be very afraid.  Here are the main GMO crops – which is a surprisingly short list but ingredients made from these crops are used in most products at the grocery store: (sorry, this super-stylistic list is the best graphic I could find…)

My particular concern is with the GMO corn, specifically the kind that is it’s own pesticide.  The BT toxin in the corn bursts open the stomachs of bugs  (barf) when they try to eat it. The Evil Empire of Monsanto claimed it was not toxic to people although it surprise-surprise bursts open cells in our gastro-intestinal tract – not enough to kill us obviously but enough to cause inflammation and pathways for undigested proteins to enter the blood and produce an immune response. Oh, and the toxin kills kidney cells.  If that’s not enough to freak you out, it is in cord blood and breast milk.

Yeah.  Stick that in your pipe and smoke it…

I actually developed two new allergies this year to advil and pecans.  That sucks, seriously – advil, right?  Oh, and fate – why are you taking pecans away from me – WHY???  So, I am totally on board with avoiding something that has the potential to cause new allergies.  I needs to keep me my acetaminophen!!!

This film is a little corny for the first few minutes, but it will teach you everything you need to know about why you should avoid GMOs.

My philosophy isn’t really to completely avoid every single crumb of GMO – not because it isn’t a good idea but because in this market it really isn’t possible for the average consumer.  I can at least try to make small and reasonable changes to get rid of the biggest offenders.  Here’s some good advice on how to avoid the GMOs (since The Evil Empire of Monsanto has been pushing against labelling).

Here are some good ways you can avoid buying GMOs.

Also, you can use this handy free shopping guide (click for the link)

Personally, I love corn chips – I don’t buy them every week but when I do, I’m down to eat the whole bag.  My plan is to buy the corn chips that are certified non-gmo.  Yes, they are usually a brand which is a dollar or so more expensive but I think I’m worth it.  Also, since the GMO corn is fed to the cows, pigs and chickens – my plan is to buy more organic chicken and grass-fed beef from Trader Joes (when I can, that is).  Organic meats are usually twice the price, although in general I try to use less meat in my recipes.

So, that’s my plan…

Do you avoid GMO foods?  What kind of changes have you made (or plan to make) in your buying habits?