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17 January 2008

Homemade from the cupboard

There is no rhyme or reason for this list of simple homemade recipes. If you are stockpiling, they're all recipes you could probably make with what's in your cupboard right now. If you've never tried cooking from scratch, these recipes are a good starting point. You'll find, especially if you taste as you go, that the results will be much better than the same thing bought from the supermaket. Please experiment. If you like more spice, add more, if you don't like it so sweet, add less sugar.

Peanut Butter
Place two cups of raw peanuts and salt (to taste) in a food processor. If the nuts are too dry, add a small amount of peanut or olive oil. Blend until smooth and store in the fridge.

Baked Beans
This is an excellent recipe for the slow cooker if you have one.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped large onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 x 400g cans cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained. OR - if you use dried beans, soak overnight and drain.
2 x 400g cans tomatoes OR 800 grams (one and 3/4 lbs) of fresh very ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard
¼ cup molasses or golden syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil and drop in onion and garlic. Cook on low heat until tender.
Add beans, tomatoes, molasses, worcestershire sauce, mustard and sugar. Add salt and pepper and stir until well combined. Bring to the boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently for about one hour, stirring frequently. This will taste better the following day, so make it one day ahead.

Condensed Milk - this is the sweetened milk
Place 1 cup powdered milk, 1/3 cup boiling water, 2/3 cup white sugar and 3 tablespoons butter in a blender and process until the sugar dissolves. This will make the equivalent of one can of sweetened condensed milk.

Evaporated Milk - unsweetened
1 ½ cups warm water
1 cup powdered milk
2 tablespoons butter
Mix milk powder and warm water together. Add the butter. Heat the mixture in a small pan. When thoroughly combined, beat with hand beater, cool and store in the fridge.

Quick Vanilla Ice Cream
250ml (½ pint) cream
Can condensed milk (see above recipe)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Put in the fridge to cool. When cool add to ice cream maker and make according to manufacturer's instructions. Or click here for instructions for making ice cream without a machine.

Baking Powder
Two tablespoons and cream of tartar to one tablespoon of bicarb will give you three tablespoons of baking powder. Don’t make too much at one time as the reactions between the two elements cause the powder to go stale in a few weeks. Just make up what you need at the time.

1¼ cups plain or all purpose flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 large teaspoon baking powder - see recipe above
¼ cup melted butter
Mix the above ingredients (except milk) together. Add enough milk to make the mix the consistency of heavy cream. Put the mix in the fridge for 1 hour (this will relax the gluten in the flour and make soft and fluffy pancakes). Pour the mix thinly over the base of a non-stick pan and cook until golden brown. Flip and cook other side.

Milk Kisses - a quick sweet biscuit/cookie
1 and 1/3 cups (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups shredded coconut
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine ingredients thoroughly. Place teaspoon portions of the mix on a greased baking sheet, making sure they aren't too close together. Bake at 180 C (370 F) for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Finely crush water crackers, corn flakes or plain biscuits with a rolling pin, or crumb day old bread in the food processor.

Brown sugar
White sugar mixed with a little molasses or golden syrup.

Sour cream
Add the juice of a lemon to a cup of cream. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Add one tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to each cup of milk. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. OR a cup of yoghurt added to a cup of milk and allow to stand 30 minutes.

graphic from


  1. Thanks for the list, Rhonda, I've add the link to my recipe bookmarks.

  2. Thanks for the alternative to evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk-those can be so pricey these days!! I have used a buttermilk powder for baking bread but would prefer to use the yogurt and milk- it sounds so much better!

  3. Some of those make it seem simple. Why do we buy the processed stuff? Thanks.

  4. Sour cream is presumably meant to read lemon added to cream - you've left out a word

  5. Rhonda, just a simple THANK YOU for post your blog every day. I do so enjoy reading it!

  6. Adding my thanks to the others for the recipes and your wonderful blog. Thank you.

  7. Thanks, you are a wealth of information. Congratulations on your article in Warm Earth too.

  8. Nice collection Rhonda, will have to give the baked beans a try once it starts to get wintry here. Can you freeze them?
    I will also print out and add the "milk" recipes to my cookbooks as I don't always have cans of these in my cupboard and it seems a lot cheaper to make them myself anyway :)

  9. Thank you everyone. : - )

    Leanne, you're a Warm Earth reader! It's a great magazine, isn't it. I'm starting another article for them today, it will be in the next edition.

    Lis, yes, the beans may be frozen. I noticed some of the canned milk is from Asia now. It's just as easy to make your own. : )

  10. Hi Rhinda Jean,
    Thanks for sharing ,and for all the time you put into your posting.
    Some of these I use ,some I've never heard of .
    Have agreat wk.

  11. I can't believe I've never thought of making my own peanut butter!

  12. I'm definitely going to try those baked beans. Do you know if I could make a large quantity and bottle them?


  13. Rhonda,
    If you've bought some buttermilk,you can make a culture just like you do yogurt.

    I use a clean glass canning jar quart size. I use whatever milk I have around - fresh, powdered, canned, frozen(thawed out). I mix 3 1/2 cups of my regular milk that I've warmed a little with 1/2 cup from the cultured buttermilk "start" (buttermilk I've purchased). Put it in the jar, stir it together and let it sit overnight. Next morning it's buttermilk.

  14. Thanks for the recipes. Especially for the alternatives to the store bought items. Sometimes I don't have it in the pantry and I could mix it up instead. Your blog is so very comforting to me. I read it everyday. Thanks, Terry

  15. From the brown sugar recipe: "Golden Syrup"--I miss this! Best stuff ever for oatmeal! Can't buy it here in my area of the USA.

  16. Thank you great knowledge to share.

  17. Rhonda I wanted to tell you just how much I am enjoying your blog! Am learning sooooo much from it. I printed out some stuff so I can make it. Printed some out so my husband can read it as well. He's a little too shaky to use the mouse so I print things out for him to read.
    I shared your link on my blog so others can see your blog!
    Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to do your blog! I can see from all you do just what a busy lady you are! Thank you again!

  18. Just tried the recipes for the buttermilk and the condensed milk. They both worked wonderfully!

  19. visiting from beecreative and taking special note of that condensed milk -- thanks!

  20. Hello I just found your article in the oct. Womens Weekly and although it's way past bed time I just had to get on and read a lot more about you and what you've been doing I am so impressed and look forward to learning so much from you. Thank you for your wonderful hints on how to live frugally. Noelle

  21. Hi Rhonda, Just read your tips for making condensed milk very nice.
    Thank you Regards Jenny.S


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