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ethalfrida

Making Your Own?

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I have become addicted to making homemade sodas totally from scratch, ginger ale to be more specific. With the recipes that are used there are no reasons to add forced carbonation. All you need is fresh organic ginger, sugar and spring or distilled water to make what is called a "ginger bug". That is similar to making a starter for bread.

 

Since it is warm right now I made some hibiscus/rose hips ginger ale on Sunday, bottled yesterday and it is ready today. When I opened the bottle, I had to strt drinking immediately because it had enought fizz to shoot out of the top. But that is because it was only one day old. Any longer than that and a bowl and bag has to be used... (set bottle in bowl, cover and grasp top with with plastic bag, open slowly). The bowl makes sure you can recoup what spills out and the plastic bag keeps it from shooting to the ceiling which happened the second time I made it.

 

There are also recipes for ginger beer which is strong and lovely if you like ginger.

 

Anyone else doing any home healthy brewing?

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I've wanted to try it, but I've just dipped my toes into home fermenting. I have some preserved lemons and pickles going, and I have done wine before. For some reason, kombucha or other fermented beverages are a little intimidating.

Edited by starving artist
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Would love to do lemons but all recipes have a very high salt content. Which recipes did you use? Would love a great dill pickle recipe. Ginger ale is the simplest of them all. I can post a recipe.

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Would love to do lemons but all recipes have a very high salt content. Which recipes did you use? Would love a great dill pickle recipe. Ginger ale is the simplest of them all. I can post a recipe.

The lemons do have a high salt content - 1 tablespoon per lemon. Cut it in wedges, stuff inside, mash them down. Let them ferment for about four weeks before refrigerating. You get about four lemons per mason jar. From what I understand, most recipes with preserved lemon tell you wash the salt off the peel before using, if that helps?

I don't have a dill pickle recipe - I'm trying out some sweet bread and butter style. If I stumble across a good dill one I will post it here.

http://www.lovingourguts.com/lacto-fermented-bread-and-butter-pickles/

Edited by starving artist
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From what I understand, most recipes with preserved lemon tell you wash the salt off the peel before using, if that helps?

 

Oh, yes.  I have a Meyer lemon tree from which I make preserved lemons, and I can't imagine using them without rinsing.

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So, I have started fermenting. The first projects are apple cider vinegar from fresh apples. They produced a lot of alcohol! Phew. Then you strain and bottle and let sit for about 4 weeks. The second project is grape tomatoes with rosemary and garlic. Started those yesterday. The other project is sprouted lentils which I will ferment also. They have just started sprouting. Anyone else?

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Has anyone made their own starter for sourdough bread? Years ago, a bunch of my friends were passing around starters, but I don't know of any currently circulating. It's too hot to bake bread now, but this fall, I might think about starting a starter, per this site's instructions:

http://www.sourdoughhome.com/index.php?content=startingastarter

 

I have a starter that I made from scratch. I also did some research and mine was just organic WW and organic rye flour with distilled water. That's it. It didn't take long at all to ferment. It smelled the worse the first couple of days. I attempted sourdough about 4-5 times. The first three times were a dud. They were barely edible. I had success making a sourdough epi on my fourth attempt, but as a seasoned bread baker, I found sourdough difficult. It's less predictable and not as consistent when compared to normal store bought-yeast.

 

My starter lives in the back of my fridge and has not being moldy or bad. Every couple of months, I will dump out the hooch and feed it. Someone told me their mother would keep the started at the back of the fridge for years and it would still revive when brought to room temp and fed.

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Something I like to do in the summer is make compound butter for the freezer to preserve fresh herbs.  Mainly I do chives or parsley from the garden with a bit of olive oil, maybe a touch of garlic and whip it up, then stir in the herbs.  Roll it up in waxed paper in a log and cut it into 1T slices and drop one on a potato in the middle of January.  I'll also blend fresh basil and olive oil into sort of a loose paste and freeze them in ice cube trays.  Perfect to drop in to a marinara or pizza sauce.  You could also add your garlic or cheese and thin it out to make a proper pesto.  Chives and basil are not great dried so this is nice to have on hand.

 

Someone asked about chicken soup.  I call it, to myself, cleaning out the fridge/freezer soup when you start to see the veggies coming together.  I roast 2-3 turkeys a year and pressure can or freeze about 4 quarts of stock each time.  I can't bear to throw out any  whole poultry without cleaning and simmering it for stock with mirepoix and herbs.  So for me "instant soup" is taking out the stock to poach chicken and adding veggies.   My son prefers egg noodles so they go in the last 10 min.  I often sneak in some shreded cabbage, it melts in and nobody who doesn't like it doesn't know better.  To change it up I don't mind adding a bit of chicken to a minestrone if I have that particular veg variety on hand. 

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Thank you so much. I asked about the chicken soup recipe. All of your suggestions are noted and I will start to use them with my next pot. Same here with the roast turkey but I use my broth for my gumbos and dressings. Can never have too much on hand. 

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So, fermenting right along.... (giggling at forumfish)-

 

I cultured some raw cream and made 1/2 pound of butter. This morning I made a pound cake (having to use commercially produced butter to make up the difference in weight. Needed a pound of butter) and it came out so perfect. Absolutely delicious. Because I initially cultured the cream a tad too long ( was only supposed to do it for one day) the liquid from it (normally makes buttermilk) was too bitter to drink. I tossed that. But, I added 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the cake recipe which made it rise high and result in a very light texure. But the flavor of the homemade butter really made it stand out.

The fermented grape tomatoes are yummy also. The flavor is so Italian (like a great Italian restaurant) it is amazing. I used salt brine, rosemary and garlic. Then I found out that it is okay to cut down the salt in the brine by 50%. Fantastic.

 

The vinegar is coming right along and smells great and real.

 

The sprouted lentils add so much to a salad.

 

These recipes are awesome and so easy.

Edited by ethalfrida

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My preserved lemons turned out great so now I'm on to trying sour cherry chutney. Not sure how fermenting + sour cherries will turn out, as it might be too sour, but I've got my fingers crossed!

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My preserved lemons turned out great so now I'm on to trying sour cherry chutney. Not sure how fermenting + sour cherries will turn out, as it might be too sour, but I've got my fingers crossed!

You should join our fermenting group on Facebook, Wild Fermentation. So many helpful members and great recipes. 

 

I made yogurt cream cheese and had it for breakfast this morning.

 

In case anyone wants to know: 

1 quart full fat plain yogurt (that means do not use non-fat or low fat yogurt) (and try to use organic)

cheese cloth or a nutmilk sack or any thin porous fabric

large measuring cup

maybe a strainer

 

Dump yogurt into cloth and either suspend over measuring cup or let the cloth and cheese rest in a strainer that is sitting on top of measuring cup.

Let it drain overnight or as long as two days.

 

The liquid that drains intomthe cup is called whey. Save it and use it in everything from smoothies to bread. The cheese is what is left in the cloth. Use it as any cream cheese even for cheesecake with a lot less guilt. Imsprinkled some with salt and pepper and added a little red pepper jelly. Delish!

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mzG35j_d7Y_vUTAc9zcf0ow.jpg

 

I have this jug which used to have cider in it. I asked my fermenting group on Facebook what could I use it for the here is the suggestion:

 

"In your jar add the zest of 10 lemons and 1 bottle of Everclear grain alchohol...let that steep covered in the counter for 45 days. Then strain out the zest. Make a simple syrup mixture in a small pan of 2 1/2 cups of water to 1 3/4 sugar let cook for a couple min till sugar completely dissolves. Let it cool comepletely then add it to your lemon steeped Everclear. Put into smaller bottles if you want and let it sit at least another month. ......i am doung this for christmas presents so i am starting now. I am also doing an orange version."

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I've wanted to try it, but I've just dipped my toes into home fermenting. I have some preserved lemons and pickles going, and I have done wine before. For some reason, kombucha or other fermented beverages are a little intimidating.

I was just coming to this thread to ask whether anyone makes kombucha. I've been working up the nerve to do this for about a year. I'm also nervous that I'm going to give myself botulism or whatever. But a new kombucha store opened up around the corner of my beach house--literally all they sell is kombucha--and now I'm even more addicted because this "fresher" kombucha is SO much better than any of the bottled brands. But since it's $5/bottle, it's renewed my interest in thinking that I could/should try making it myself. I'm thinking the continuous brew method sounds pretty easy, and then you could just tap off into bottles and add different flavorings and set aside for a second fermentation. I'm a decent cook, but I could not keep a houseplant alive if my own life depended on it, which makes me think that there's no way I would give it the exact right care. I guess I just need some tops or a pep talk that I could do this...without killing myself.

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You do it, Je

 

I was just coming to this thread to ask whether anyone makes kombucha. I've been working up the nerve to do this for about a year. I'm also nervous that I'm going to give myself botulism or whatever. But a new kombucha store opened up around the corner of my beach house--literally all they sell is kombucha--and now I'm even more addicted because this "fresher" kombucha is SO much better than any of the bottled brands. But since it's $5/bottle, it's renewed my interest in thinking that I could/should try making it myself. I'm thinking the continuous brew method sounds pretty easy, and then you could just tap off into bottles and add different flavorings and set aside for a second fermentation. I'm a decent cook, but I could not keep a houseplant alive if my own life depended on it, which makes me think that there's no way I would give it the exact right care. I guess I just need some tops or a pep talk that I could do this...without killing myself.

You can do it, Jen, you can, you can!

 

If at any time you see mold then you will be in danger. Throw that away. Other than that, go to www.kombuchakamp.com and get a really nice scoby with starter tea. I made kombucha for long time then I discovered home brewed ginger ale. On facebook there is a group called Kombucha Nation. You can get a soby and tons of advice for free.

 

Kombucha Kamp has a FB group also but you cannot ask for or trade free scobys because that is a product sold on their website. 

 

And some will tell you to grow your own scoby  from a bottle of raw GT kombucha. Others will say it produces a weak version.

 

I am a member of both groups plus Fermentation Kitchen on FB.

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This is totally new to me as a new fermenter. I needed some whey and wanted the best brand of yogurt I could get. Although unpasteurized was preferred it wasn't available and someone here told me which cultures to look for in any case.

Ended up getting Maple Hill Creamery with full fat. I noticed that the "cheese" that was left in the nut bag had orange/yellow areas. So when it was put into the container I found out the colored spots were pure cultured butter! It is delicious and I do wish I could extract it but not too concerned because I'm eating it as it is.

Fermenting is one of the most fascinating new activities.

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Get ready for winter. Boost your immune system and healing properties with this recipe. It tastes really good because you can spice it up or down and sweeten it. But the whole purpose is to heal so no GMOs or artificial ingredients. Raw honey, organic honey and veggies/spices. A shot every morning or more often has surprising benefits.

 

http://heal-thyself.ning.com/profiles/blogs/master-tonic-101

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So, my friend made these http://oneperfectbite.blogspot.com/2010/08/refrigerator-dill-pickles.html?m=1for my kids and husband as a gift. I despise pickles, always have. I took one look at how beautiful the jar looked and tried one, ate the whole jar! My kids had a few but husband had zero. He had his heart set on trying some after work yesterday so was pretty upset that I didn't save him any. Oops! I don't know if it's pregnancy hormones or what but I swear I don't remember pickles tasting like this. Anyhow, I went out and bought all the ingredients to make about 10 jars of it for ourselves.

Edited by Mountainair
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So going to check out your recipe! May share it in my canning/fermenting groups. Are they sweet?

I would change one thing and that would be to use Bragg's apple cider vinegar because it is organic. But better, I just made some vinegar so would be using mine.

Thank you for sharing the recipe. And you little story, lol, poor hubby!

So, you are expecting? 

Edited by ethalfrida

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It didn't sound like you could can these pickles based on the comments under the recipe but let me know what you think. I'd love to can these.

No, not sweet. A little tart and garlicky. The apple cider vinegar sounds like a yummy switch.

Yes, baby #3 due late March :)

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Congratulations ...

 

I was looking at the recipe from a couple of angles and I think they can be canned. I'll just put it towards my group. Glad they aren't sweet. They look so good and I can understand, just from the photo, why no one got any, lol.

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This is what the fermenting group admin said when I asked if they could be canned:

"Yes they can.
You would omit both vinegars and switch it to water. Make a salt brine for the pickles. You would also omit the heating steps.
2 T of sea salt to 1 quart (4 cups) water to make a 3.6% brine.
Put the pickles in jar along with the seasonings, pour the brine over.
Not sure on the sugar, although I think my sister Debbie Burleigh Stimac has lacto fermented pickles with sweetner in them."

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Get ready for winter. Boost your immune system and healing properties with this recipe. It tastes really good because you can spice it up or down and sweeten it. But the whole purpose is to heal so no GMOs or artificial ingredients. Raw honey, organic honey and veggies/spices. A shot every morning or more often has surprising benefits.

http://heal-thyself.ning.com/profiles/blogs/master-tonic-101

Thank you for this! I'm going to keep this info tucked away as we get closer to winter & being indoors. I make a potassium broth when my kids are feeling off & use thieves oil as well, but I love having other, healthy alternatives in my arsenal.
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Thank you for this! I'm going to keep this info tucked away as we get closer to winter & being indoors. I make a potassium broth when my kids are feeling off & use thieves oil as well, but I love having other, healthy alternatives in my arsenal.

 

Great and you are welcome. I just got the Thieves Oil and it also smells wonderful, doesn't it?

 

The thing about the tonic, though, is it needs to sit a while before use so making it ahead is ideal.

What is potassium broth?

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Wow! What an interesting video. That's a lot of work to make those noodles. They looked like works of art -- fine textiles.

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I make my own cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups and freeze them. I love casseroles -- they really are such great comfort food. But I can't bring myself to buy canned soups at the store, because the ingredients are so horrendous, plus they're loaded with sodium. I can make my own versions that are just flour, milk, chicken broth, and spices.

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I make my own cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups and freeze them. I love casseroles -- they really are such great comfort food. But I can't bring myself to buy canned soups at the store, because the ingredients are so horrendous, plus they're loaded with sodium. I can make my own versions that are just flour, milk, chicken broth, and spices.

Absolutely so simple to make your own - learn to make a bechamel mother sauce and go from there.

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I make my own cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups and freeze them. I love casseroles -- they really are such great comfort food. But I can't bring myself to buy canned soups at the store, because the ingredients are so horrendous, plus they're loaded with sodium. I can make my own versions that are just flour, milk, chicken broth, and spices.

 

Same here, for the same reason.

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I'm trying to get into slow-cooking, crock pot stuff. We have a gas stove (the kind that turns on at its full firepower). Moving shakily as I do, I worry about accidentally dragging my arm through a flame of any size. 

 

I'm planning to make this vegetarian dish with cheese-filled tortellini, mushroom, spinach and tomato. But the recipe makes 6-8 servings and I only need two or three. I'm hoping I don't fail spectacularly. If y'all have any easy slow cooker recipes, throw 'em my way, please? Or any tips?

 

My therapist claims that making food will reduce the anxiety I feel about eating. 

Edited by AltLivia
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I'm trying to get into slow-cooking, crock pot stuff. We have a gas stove (the kind that turns on at its full firepower). Moving shakily as I do, I worry about accidentally dragging my arm through a flame of any size. 

 

I'm planning to make this vegetarian dish with cheese-filled tortellini, mushroom, spinach and tomato. But the recipe makes 6-8 servings and I only need two or three. I'm hoping I don't fail spectacularly. If y'all have any easy slow cooker recipes, throw 'em my way, please? Or any tips?

 

My therapist claims that making food will reduce the anxiety I feel about eating. 

 

I'd either half it or make the whole recipe and then freeze what you don't eat.  The frozen leftovers should last at least a month or so in the freezer.

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I think the best advice I got was to spray/coat the crockpot dish with vegetable oil before putting anything in - makes clean up much much easier!

 

The dish you are making sounds a bit advanced to me - but my use of the crockpot is very very basic.  Stews, soups or meat.  I start with some basics - I like putting in boneless skinless chicken (white and dark - but trim the fat from the thigh meat before hand), adding a can of Rotel and that is it. Shred the meat with a fork and use for chicken tacos, enchiladas, tortas, nachos, ...If I am feeling fancy, I take the meat out and use the immersion blender to smooth it into a sauce.  If the sauce/result is too spicy for my daughter, I take some out for her and mix in some sour cream.  It does a good job of muting the heat (not temperature)

 

Some fresh herbs right at the end of the cooking or before serving is nice too.

 

I'm also nutty about a very bland congee (rice soup).  I'll take chicken (or bone broth) that I've made, put it in the crockpot with some finely diced onions and some other flavoring (I might throw in some Lipton Onion Soup - the dry stuff in a packet, some miso paste, no rules here) and let it go for several hours.  After that I add in some rice (usually uncooked but leftover rice works fine if I have it) and let that go for hours. 

 

After holiday meals where I have a turkey carcass or bones from a roast, I'll just throw them in, cover with water and make my broth that way.  Freeze what you don't use right away for later.

 

My brother uses his to make a big pot of chili quite frequently.

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I love my crockpot and find a ton of great recipes via Pinterest. You might check that out if you haven't already. 

 

My mom gifted me with an awesome crockpot a few years ago when I dropped my other one on the kitchen floor and it shattered. This one is super light weight and non stick on the inside so clean up is a breeze. Now, out of curiosity, do they make a crockpot with a battery back up? As it happens, I ran into the office one morning after putting dinner in the crock pot (a nice, expensive roast) and returned home after about 3 hours, upon which I noticed our power had gone out thus resulting in the crockpot being off and the meat not cooking. I don't think the power was off for long and I returned home with plenty of time to salvage the meal but what if I had been at work for 8 hours? The meat would have been ruined and I would have had no dinner! 

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Stews, soups or meat.  I start with some basics - I like putting in boneless skinless chicken (white and dark - but trim the fat from the thigh meat before hand), adding a can of Rotel and that is it. Shred the meat with a fork and use for chicken tacos, enchiladas, tortas, nachos, ...If I am feeling fancy, I take the meat out and use the immersion blender to smooth it into a sauce.  If the sauce/result is too spicy for my daughter, I take some out for her and mix in some sour cream.  It does a good job of muting the heat (not temperature)

 

I never have good luck with chicken in the crock pot. It overcooks, and then ends up with a kind of gross, mealy texture. I've given up and now I'll cook everything else in the crock pot, and then roast the chicken in the oven and shred it, and mix everything together.

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In the past, I've made jams, jellies, conserves, etc. and recently, I've been getting more into fermentation. I do have sourdough starter, but it has been in hibernation for a long time now as I find baking sourdough bread very inconsistent.

 

I received kefir grains over the holidays and been making it every day. I use to buy it and loved it. My homemade version is less thick because I don't use non-homogenized milk, but it's still tangy and lovely. I use it in recipes when it calls for yogurt or buttermilk. I'd like to get a kombucha scoby as well, but they seem to be harder to source in my area.

 

I plan on making my first batch of saukerkraut this week.

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Wish me luck on my vichysoisse today which sounds a lot harder than it is.  I don't have a boat motor though.  I never have full fat milk either but I've finished with sour cream in the past.  Hungry for it and I'll freeze it in pints and use it as part of a bechamel for scalloped potatoes. 

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I just took my fermentation to a whole new level. For me that is. 

Earlier this year I had to be on a liquid diet for 24 hours. I bought two gallons of 100% apple juice from Costco and ended up only using a half gallon of it. So it sat for months. Suddenly the lightbulb came on. Could I make wine from it? Yes! I could and found a recipe that was so surprisingly easy, fast and delicious it amazed me.

First it has to be 100% with no additives. I don't know if Kirkland uses traditionally grown apples but I'm good as long as they aren't GMO. And because the juice is naturally sweet I only used 1/4 of the sugar called for in the recipe. (But I added another 1/4 cup after it finished fermenting and it is wonderful). The result was a dry, smooth wine that rivaled any affordable off the shelf brew. The recipe says to use a balloon. I've seen my son do that and it works. I use airlocks with gin in them. Gin because water carries oxygen and could possibly get into the fermentation and cause it to spoil. But using the balloon eliminates that. And I used the glass jug the jice came in. You can do whichever.

During this hot weather you should try it yourself. Here is the recipe: how to make homemade apple wine.

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In a effort to buy less snacks and instead, make more snacks, I've been working on my sesame crackers. My family and I love those sesame stick snacks (normally only found in health food stores or bulk sections), so I looked around online for basic sesame cracker recipes. I like a multi-grain texture, so I add some corn meal, flax seed meal, and wheat germ; as well as some extra spices. Also doubled the amount of sesame seeds (did I mention I love sesame seeds?). My second try came out better; the first try didn't have enough salt. For my next try I'm going to toast the seeds a bit; I still haven't quite gotten the flavor I'm looking for.

My next make-it-myself project is dark chocolate fruit and nut energy snacks (or candy - whatever :) ).

Anyone attempted to make a version of something you normally buy?

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I made homemade Irish Cream for Christmas this year (Smitten Kitchen's recipe) and I've made homemade Goldfish (style) crackers that were really good but probably not worth the effort. I love to try this type of thing though! 

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Oh! I just remembered, making homemade tortillas (corn and flour) pita bread and naan are all worth it! There's a million recipes out there. I also want to try making my own English muffins because those also look easy/worth it. 

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1 minute ago, Lisin said:

Oh! I just remembered, making homemade tortillas (corn and flour) pita bread and naan are all worth it! There's a million recipes out there. I also want to try making my own English muffins because those also look easy/worth it. 

Was it garlic naan? I am drooling...

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2 hours ago, Lisin said:

I made homemade Irish Cream for Christmas this year (Smitten Kitchen's recipe) and I've made homemade Goldfish (style) crackers that were really good but probably not worth the effort. I love to try this type of thing though! 

That reminds me that I haven't made cheese crackers in a while! I've made them with pepper jack cheese because we like spicy at our house. (Can you tell I like substitutions?)

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1 hour ago, ethalfrida said:

Was it garlic naan? I am drooling...

I've done both plain and garlic. Both delish.

FWIW when I say "worth it" I mean cheaper and better tasting when you make it vs. buy. The cheese crackers were really delicious, but they are a lot of work, don't make very many, don't keep super well and goldfish crackers are hella cheap.

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