Peach Ice Cream - This was super fun to try with the girls - what kid wouldn't want to make ice cream? I had gotten this large ice cream maker at a yard sale a while back, and we had never used it before. It is the kind that uses rock salt and ice, which, let me tell you, is a bit of a messy process. The resulting ice cream tasted fresh and delicious, but I had trouble getting it the right consistency. In the end I just put it in the freezer to harden it up. This project was one that was all about the experience, rather than about saving money and doing it on a regular basis.
Wheat Thins - This is a great recipe and shockingly easy. We have made them a number of times - whenever I can't get a good deal on store-bought crackers. My Silpat baking matis so helpful for rolling them out and transferring them to the cookie sheet.
Kale Chips - This was one of the many, many recipes using kale and other greens that we made during our CSA summer. I wouldn't say that anyone in the family was ready to replace regular chips with these, but most of us liked them. It is pretty great when all three of your preshool kids are asking for more kale!
Tomato Sauce - I had never really made homemade tomato sauce before, and I was excited to try it. The first recipe we made was this one from Jamie Oliver. I really liked the fresh taste, although my husband thought it was a bit bland. My 5 year old enjoyed getting to chop the tomatoes!
Fried Okra - When I was in kindergarten in North Carolina in the '80's, one of my favorite foods in the cafeteria was fried okra! It was fun to recall that memory and try making it myself. I think I was the member of the family who ate most of this, but I certainly enjoyed it. You do have to watch out for the tough, chewy pods though.
More Tomato Sauce - Near the end of the summer, the farm had an awesome deal on ten pounds of tomatoes! I decided to go for it and made another big batch of sauce. With this recipe I first blanched and skinned the tomatoes. This sauce had fewer veggies and I thought tasted more like a jarred sauce (in a good way).
Raspberry Lemonade - This one is pretty self-explanatory. I think I made this after our raspberries from the farm were a bit manhandled by "helpful" little hands!
Potato Chips - This was so much fun and something else I have always wanted to try. We had a great time harvesting potatoes at the farm, and then we came home and made potato chips. The key with these is of course to slice them as thinly as possible. I don't have a mandolin cutter, so I just had to do the best I could with a nice. The thinnest chips came out the crispiest, but all of them were absolutely delicious. Homemade chips do not stay crispy long, however, so this is something to make and enjoy on a weekend, rather than to stockpile for long-term snacking.
I really love trying new homemade cooking projects, especially with my kids. Sometimes I find that making the item is a great way to save money, and I incorporate it into my routine. Other times it is just a fun experience to see how something is made. It is really important to me that my children understand where their food comes from and that they are involved in preparing it.
What do you like to make homemade?