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My motto is: “Time is money.” While I love to DIY, as a mom with two jobs, I often outsource tasks. I either don’t have the time, or I’d rather be spending it with my family. However, there are some things that I insist be homemade. It’s non-negotiable, and 100% worth it. Today, I’m sharing five things you should be making yourself.
While each of these items can be bought at any old grocery store, taking the extra time to put them together yourself will pay off in a huge way. When quality ingredients are put together with love and effort, the result is better than anything that comes in a jar.
Five Things you Should be Making Yourself:
- Vanilla Extract
- BBQ Sauce
- Whipped Cream
- Alfredo Sauce
- Pie Crust
1. Vanilla Extract
Making your own vanilla extract is so simple, I don’t understand why anyone buys the stuff! The process takes a couple minutes–minus the aging time–and tastes incredible. Take this package of vanilla beans, slice them down the center, add them to a half-gallon of vodka, and let it sit for six months in a cool, dark place.
All you need to do is turn the bottle over a couple times once a month, and that’s it. Seriously. SO EASY! For an even deeper flavor, you can use whiskey instead of vodka. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest liquor store.
2. BBQ Sauce
There’s nothing wrong with Sweet Baby Ray’s, but homemade BBQ sauce is to die for. Once you go homemade, you’ll never go back. It takes about 20 minutes, but it stores well in the fridge for a couple months. If you know how to make canned goods, you can extend the shelf life even more.
3. Whipped Cream
Ok, if you’re using the garbage from a can, what are you even doing with your life? At this point it’s pure laziness and your taste buds are SUFFERING. Whipped cream from a can is maybe the worst thing a person can do to an innocent, unsuspecting dessert.
Be good to your pie, make your own whipped cream. 1 TBS sugar to 1/2 Cup of heavy whipping cream, and you’re set! You can even make it in a blender–but be careful because it will quickly turn to butter. I like to add vanilla extract to mine, but that’s totally up to your personal taste.
4. Spaghetti Sauce
This one is a kicker, because it really is time consuming. I’m not going to pretend it’s not. But, homemade marinara is just so damn good. It’s healthier, because there’s less sodium and processing to rid the vegetables of their nutrients.
I use Gordon Ramsay’s Bolognaise tutorial, because he simplifies the process, and uses ingredients readily available to most home cooks. There are plenty of sauce recipes that take days, but this one is the fastest, tastiest option I’ve found.
5. Pie Crust
Again, this one is definitely not a time saver, because it certainly is much easier to purchase a ready-made pie crust from the store. And again, I say to you, HAVE SOME SELF-RESPECT.
Ready-made pie crusts are flavorless, starchy, cardboard molds that don’t belong on anyone’s Thanksgiving dessert table. Homemade pie crust is flaky and delicate, melts in your mouth, and is the perfect base to any filling.
I was taught to make pie crust by my mother, using four simple ingredients. Instead of re-writing the wheel, here’s a great recipe for all-butter (my favorite) pie crust from a food blogger I love. There are so many different crust recipes out there, don’t be afraid to try them all!