Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Everything is better homemade.  Homemade chicken noodle soup has the ability to cure a cold.  There is nothing more refreshing than a glass of homemade lemonade.  And I think I piece of homemade chocolate cake can make any day better.

Over the last few months, I have realized that this is more true than ever.  Not only is it less expensive to make your own, but it is much healthier.  I am almost 30 (seriously??) and suddenly I've realized how important it is to think about everything that is going in my body.  Making things on my own means I know exactly what is in it and I can be sure I am not filling myself with weird chemicals and preservatives...and SUGAR!!  Plus, I've been in Norway for 2 years and I've learned what things that I just can't live without and have to make on my own.

Here is my new list of things you should make at home if you can. Simple, delicious and oh so much better for you.

1. Chicken broth
Chicken stock flavor in that you get in the grocery store almost always contains MSG.  I haven't been able to find any without.  That stuff is not good for you.  And it is so easy to make at home!! I made a big batch and freeze single serving bags of it.  That way, I can just pull out one bag when I need it for whatever recipe I am making.  Here's how I do it:
- chicken bones (the bones of a whole chicken) or sometimes I just use some chicken legs or thighs.
- Chopped onion, celery, carrots
- pepper, salt, thyme, bay leaf
This simple: put it in a pot and fill with water.  Simmer on low for a few hours and strain. Done!!

2. Yogurt
This is my favorite homemade item.  Store bought yogurt is full of sugar and in Norway, it is expensive!! It is so good for you and can be used as a substitute for sour cream, or regular cream.  And the live cultures inside are so good for you!! I made a big batch and it is gone by the end of the week.  If you strain it a little, it turns into Greek Yogurt, which is also expensive here in Norway.  And this is how I do it:
- 1 liter of milk (I use 1%)
- 1-2 tbsp of plain yogurt with live cultures
- Make sure all of your cooking items are sanitized (went through the dishwasher on hot).  Heat the milk in a saucepan until it is just about boiling but don't let it boil.  Stir it for about 20 minutes (or up to 1 hour, the longer the thicker and creamier it will be).  Take it off the heat and let it sit until it is just warmer than body temperature (a little warm to the touch).  Add the plain yogurt (at room temperature).  Put the yogurt into a bowl and put in the oven with the light on (or at 40 degrees C) for about 6-8 hours until it is thickened.  Then refrigerate overnight and its done!  If you want to make greek yogurt, just strain the yogurt (I use a coffee filter).  Delicious!!!

3. Bread
This is a hard one for me to fight for in Norway, because the bread here is so tasty and fresh!! The only reason I have is that a good loaf can cost around 30kr, that is over $5.  It is cheaper to make at home, and tastes yummy!! My favorite is honey whole wheat with flax seeds.

4. Speghetti sauce
It is not hard to make, and contains much less sugar than store bought sauce.  Plus, you can mix in lots of veggies and it is so yummy!! And it is easy to freeze.  Here's my recipe:
- onion, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tbsp brown sugar, seasonings
- sauté the veggies until soft, add meat if desired.  Then add tomato sauces and seasonings and let simmer for a while. Done!

5. Salad dressing
This is absolutely something that is cheaper and healthier to make at home.  You an make nearly any dressing at home with basic ingredients.  My most favorite is a balsamic vinigerette, and maybe lately, honey mustard.
balsalmic: olive oil, half as much balsamic, garlic, dash of mustard, dash of sugar, salt, pepper. Mix.
Honey mustard: 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp mustard, homemade yogurt (instead of mayo), salt and pepper. Mix

6. Breakfast burritos
I miss these so much! In Colorado, these are everywhere.  It is so easy to pop this in the micro and have a healthy, hot meal.  They are really not hard to make on your own, then package and freeze. This is how I do it:
- Tortillas, potatoes, bell pepper, onion, ham, beans, eggs, cheese, salsa spices.
- cube potatoes and boil.  While boiling, saute onion, potatoes, bell pepper until soft. Add potatoes and brown with veggies. Add ham, eggs and cook. When cooked, add cheese, salsa and spices.  Fill tortillas, place in individual plastic bags and freeze.  Then just pop in the micro for 1-2 minutes and eat whenever!

7. Pizza
This is almost a national dish in Norway and I can't believe how expensive it can be!  If you buy the make your own, it is 50kr for the dough, 20kr for the sauce, then the toppings.  It is much cheaper to make on your own and so yummy!!  Plus, there is a lot of sugar and just stuff in the crust and sauce that I'm not sure is great for your insides.
Pizza dough: find any recipe online. My favorite it honey wheat
Pizza sauce: tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, paprika, garlic powder.
Romme dressing (expensive at the store): homemade yogurt, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika.

8. Breadcrumbs
I just can't find these in Norway.
What I do: Use the cheese grater with stale bread. Done.

9. Croutons
I miss these and they are very easy to make. What I do:
Cube up some bread.  Warm a non stick pan with olive oil.  Put bread cubes in and add salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary.  Mix around until toasted and cool. YUM.

I can easily say that I have taken full advantage of my big kitchen.  I love it, and so does my belly.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely need to make those croutons, it might even happen tomorrow if I get my wife on, they look so yummy!

    Glad to see you back blogging, I notice this post went up in feb and I cant help but hope you'll be back again with another shortly :)