Friday, February 28, 2014

Homemade Tomato Soup

Last year, in a desperate attempt to get caught up on preserving chores, I decide to can a bunch of whole tomatoes in addition to my typical salsas and sauces. I didn't know exactly what I would do with them but I figured this winter I'd figure out SOMETHING to do with them. 

Because let's face it- when your kitchen looks like this for the day: don't need to have anything in mind.  You just need to get to work.  And fast.

Well, winter is here and I just so happened to find a great use for them.  Homemade Tomato Soup.

I never thought that I would prefer homemade tomato soup because I grew up on Campbells and my tastebuds have grown used to the sweet, vague taste of tomato that the can of Campbells provides. 

I didn't stray too far from the Plain Jane version (you may add dill or cilantro or other herbs if you like) only because I wanted to try to recreate the storebought version.  I was pleasantly surprised that even a properly brainwashed tongue like mine would appreciate and love the taste of this homemade soup.

This soup is creamy.  It is fresh tasting.  It does not contain high fructose corn syrup.  It uses up those quarts (and quarts) of whole tomatoes.  And it is ready to eat in five minutes flat.


(This soup does have seeds in it- which I thought would bother me but it doesn't at all. There is your forewarning. )

Homemade Tomato Soup
(this recipe makes enough for four bowls of soup.  Double it to feed 6-8 people.)

~ I QT jar of whole canned tomatoes
~1/3 cup tomato paste (or 1/2 of 6 oz. can)
~1 cup water
~1 t. minced onion
~ 3 t. lemon juice
~ 1 T. sugar
~ 1 1/2 c. milk

Combine all ingredients except milk in a saucepan over medium high heat until boiling.  Add milk.  Use an immersion blender to blend the tomatoes and make the soup smooth.  


Homemade Ketchup

For the month of February, I gave myself a challenge: Don't buy any groceries except dairy products for the entire  month.

And then, within just a few days...I had run out of ketchup and I was cursing myself for being so dumb.  WHAT was I thinking?

Then, I realized that trying out homemade ketchup has been on my to-do for a very long time and I just had never gotten around to it.  Now seemed the perfect time since it was either go without for an entire month or get it done.

I got it done. 

And then Matt tasted it.

And now I will probably have to 'get it done' for the rest of my days.

This is a winning recipe...tastes delicious.  Lacks the high fructose corn syrup. Whips up in about five minutes or less.  Uses simple ingredients that you likely already have in your cupboard. 
Makes about 1 1/2 pints.

I give you~

Homemade Ketchup


  • 12 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup honey (you can also just use sugar)
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat; whisk until smooth.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Homemade Toothpaste

Because you asked:  my recipe for HOMEMADE TOOTHPASTE

There are a ton of recipes out there, with a ton of variations, but this is mine.  I don't actually follow it anymore (because then I would have to find the paper it is written on!) but rather add things until it tastes 'right' and you should do the same.  Taste the sweetness and +/- xylitol or stevia.  Taste the peppermint oil and +/- the concentration.  Start with my base and make it to your liking!

1/2 c baking soda
1 t. salt 
1-3 T. of xylitol or a few drops of liquid stevia (many people don't use this, but I think it tastes a WHOLE lot better!  And homemade shouldn't equal torture in my book.)
15-20 drops of peppermint oil.  (Minty fresh breath is an essential for me.  If my toothpaste ain't minty, it just aint' toothpaste.  I like my toothpaste VERY minty so I hover around the larger number.  When I first began making toothpaste, I didn't know where to find peppermint oil so I tried peppermint extract instead.  I used a LOT more of it and it worked ok.  Then I found true peppermint essential oil and tried that out and it rocked my world.  SO MUCH BETTERDo yourself a favor and just invest in some essential oil.

3-4 T. Vegetable Glycerin (use as much as needed to make a thick paste!)

Stir it up and use it up!

All ingredients can be found at your local healthfood store or grocery.

* I may try to replace the vegetable glycerin with coconut oil in the future... coconut oil is good for you and your teeth and I happen to have a bunch of it (so I won't have to buy more glycerin)...but in the meantime, I love this recipe just the way it is.