Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

It’s that time of year again and I’ve been thinking about pumpkins a lot lately.  Mostly pumpkin desserts!  I’ve been a little obsessed with making my own spice blends, so what better blend for fall than pumpkin pie spice mix!

Pumpkin Pie Spice MixMaybe you already know exactly what you want to do with your pumpkin pie spice blend or maybe you need some ideas.  Of course you can make pumpkin pie…..but there are sooooooo many other yummy things to make with it.  I will have a few ideas and links at the bottom of this post, and in the next few weeks I will be posting some recipes using pumpkin pie spice.

Welcome to fall everyone!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
This will make ½ of a cup of Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
Cuisine: spice mix
  • ¼ cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ginger
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  1. Just put spices into a small container or jar and shake.

You can easily double this recipe if you plan on using LOTS or to just make one teaspoon worth.  Here are the measurements: 1/2 tsp. cinnamon – 1/4 tsp. ginger – 1/8 tsp. nutmeg – 1/8 tsp. cloves

Pumpkin Pie SpiceNow for some ideas on how to use your homemade pumpkin pie spice mix.  Here is a post from theKitchn.com that is called 7 ways to use pumpkin pie spice.  The one for pumpkin spiced popcorn sounds especially delicious!  Some other ideas are to add it to smoothies, oatmeal, vanilla yogurt, roasted pumpkins seeds, coffee, or fall cookies!  Anyone else have any ideas?-

Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning

Italian Sausage SeasoningHere’s another sausage recipe!  If you couldn’t tell we are huge pork fans.  In the past my parents have raised a pig for us every year and we always had an abundance of home grown pork on hand.  Last year they moved and have not been able to get set up to house a few hogs yet, so sadly we are down to our last few packages of pork chops.  🙁  There is NOTHING like home grown pork….and we are missing it a lot!  I figured if I have to buy sausage I could at least season it myself and my homemade seasoning for breakfast sausage turned out so yummy I thought I would try Italian sausage seasoning.  So far I have used this Italian Sausage on pizza and in spaghetti  and it was wonderful!  I’m sure it would work for any recipe calling for Italian sausage.

Blend the seasonings together and mix into 2 pounds of ground pork.  Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours before cooking to let the flavors blend.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning (a mixture of basil, oregano, marjoram and thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (I used smoked paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon minced dried onions
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and stir into 2 pounds of ground pork. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours before cooking.
Italian Sausage Seasoning
Italian sausage in spaghetti sauce.
Italian Sausage Seasoning
Pizza Night! This sausage was wonderful on homemade pizza.


Homemade Seasoning Salt – MSG Free

Most seasoning salt you buy in the store is full of MSG and other nasty stuff. 🙁  When I discovered this, it made me so sad….then I thought, well this stuff is expensive and why can’t I make my own?  Homemade will probably taste better anyway!!  I was right 🙂

Seasoning Salt 4 Measure all the seasonings into a jar.

Seasoning Salt 1Find a lid, I used an old lid off of a Parmesan cheese container.  Isn’t it cool that they fit on  narrow mouth pint size jars.   It’s amazing what you can learn on Pinterest!

Seasoning Salt 2Give it a good shake.

Seasoning Salt 3There you have it, homemade seasoning salt!  Be sure to shake well before each use.  Use sparingly at first, you can always add more but you can’t take it out if you get to much.

4.8 from 17 reviews
Homemade Seasoning Salt
This recipe makes ⅔ of a cup of seasoning salt.
Recipe type: Seasoning
  • ½ cup sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons organic granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  1. Measure all the ingredients into a jar.
  2. Place a lid on the jar and shake until well blended.

This works great on EVERYTHING!  Well…..maybe not chocolate cake or ice cream, no definitely not ice cream…but I’m sure it will be great on everything else!  😉

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes From Scratch

These super fluffy, slightly sweet pancakes are absolutely delicious!

DSCN7229 (640x480)-1Pancakes are another one of those things I have never made from scratch before recently.  I always used the mix that you just add water to.  It was easy, but if I had known how good from scratch pancakes could taste I would have never bought those mixes!

DSCN7239 (640x480)-1My first few attempts at “from scratch” pancakes turned out horrible!  I wanted healthy (well at least healthier than the store bought mix)  but I also wanted yummy…..and I thought for a while there was no such thing!  Then I found this recipe and tweaked it slightly.  It takes longer than the store bought mixes, but it’s WELL worth it!

Your first step is to combine the milk and vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes.  This will sour the milk but don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste the vinegar, I promise!  Mix together the dry ingredients in another bowl.

DSCN7217 (640x480)Then whisk the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla into the soured milk.  Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well; it will be thick.

DSCN7222 (640x480)Let the batter sit for 10 minute while the pan heats up.  Lots of bubbles will form during that time…DON’T stir the batter again, the bubbles will give you super fluffy pancakes.

DSCN7227 (640x480) (2)Place 1/4 to a half of a cup of batter in a buttered pan at medium low heat.  When you see bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, flip it over and brown the other side.  This recipe made 10 – 6inch pancakes.  They are very filling; so if you want, you could easily cut the recipe in half if you don’t need that many.

DSCN7236 (640x480)-1I haven’t tried it yet but I think these would be wonderful with chocolate chips or blueberries!!

4.9 from 11 reviews
Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
Makes 10 fluffy pancakes
Cuisine: Breakfast
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar - I use sucanat or organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Combine Milk and vinegar and let set for 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, melted butter and vanilla then pour into the soured milk.
  4. Stir well and pour mixture into the dry ingredients. Whisk until most of the lumps are gone, but don't over beat it. It will be pretty thick, let it sit for 10 minutes. Bubbles will form during that time, don't stir the batter, you want the bubbles.
  5. Gently dip out ¼ to a half of a cup of batter and place it on a buttered grill preheated to medium low heat. When bubbles form at the surface of the pancake turn it over to brown the other side.
  6. Top with butter and syrup or your favorite pancake topping!


Homemade White Sandwich Bread

DSCN7130 (640x480)-1Baking bread is a very new adventure for me.  It was one of those things on my “I need to learn how to do that” list, but I kept putting it off (and off and off).  You would think that on a journey toward frugality and self sufficiency that baking your own bread would be one of the first things to learn.  It should be, BUT patience is one of those fruits of the spirit that I’m lacking.  The whole kneading and rising thing sounded heavy in the patience area.  I guess I’m afraid of yeast, or rather WAS afraid of yeast… Well ok, I was afraid of KILLING yeast.  It just sounded so violent.  Every time I looked at a bread recipe or any recipe that had yeast, I would think….WOW that’s a lot of instructions and that will take all day long, and I will probably kill the yeast ending up with rocks after slaving in the kitchen all day!!  I’m a banana bread and biscuit kinda girl.  Mix it up and throw it in the oven, (no patience required) that’s how I roll. 😀

So lets just say that making my first loaf of bread was a big step for me, (okay it was a HUGE step for me).  I set aside a whole day to make two loaves of bread because I really believed it would take all day.  I took a deep breath, put on my “patience hat” (sorry, I used to be a preschool teacher) and got out my yeast and flour!

I’m happy to report that my first two loaves of bread were a success, and it didn’t even take all day!!  In fact I can’t believe I put this off for so long.  It was way easier and less time consuming than I thought. The baking bread made my house smell heavenly and what a sense of accomplishment to pull two plump, golden brown loaves of bread out of the oven just in time for lunch. 😀

DSCN6230 (640x480)My mother in law gave me this wonderful magazine that’s full of awesome bread recipes with very detailed instructions.  I highly recommend it, especially for first time bread makers (you can find it on Amazon).  The first recipe in the book is white sandwich bread.  It’s a pretty basic recipe and,… well,…  my husband eats LOTS of white sandwich bread (I can’t convince him that whole wheat tastes better and is better for him).  It’s the recipe I started with, and it turned out so well I thought I would share it with you.  I’ve made it several times now and we all like it!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade White Sandwich Bread
  • 1 cup warm water (105-115 Degrees F)
  • 11/2 tablespoon yeast
  • 13/4 cups milk
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (I used sucanat)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 61/2 to 71/4 cups flour
  1. Follow steps 1-6 below

Step 1 – Put 1/2 cup of warm water, yeast and a pinch of sugar to a small bowl.  Stir to dissolve the yeast then let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes until foamy.

PicMonkey Collage-1 yeastStep 2 – In an electric stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the remaining water, milk, butter, sugar and salt.  Add the yeast mixture, and stir until combined.  Add 2 cups of the flour, and mix well.  Continue to stir the mixture for one or two minutes until smooth and creamy.  Add additional flour in 1/2 cup increments, stirring well after each addition until the dough holds together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. PicMonkey Collage-1Step 3 – Put the dough on a well floured surface, or if you have a dough hook for your stand up mixer you can use that to knead the dough.  I think the best part of making dough is kneading with my hands.  Knead in the remaining flour, adding a tablespoon or two at a time, until the smooth dough no longer sticks to your hands.  It will take about 5 minutes by hand, less if you use the mixer.

PicMonkey Collage-3
My girls love kneading the dough and I’m taking advantage of that while it lasts!

Step 4 – Place the dough into a large greased bowl (I used a little olive oil) turning it over so the dough is coated with oil.  Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size.  It will take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

PicMonkey Collage-1Step 5 – Grease two 9X5 inch loaf pans.  Divide the dough equally and shape each piece to fit in the loaf pans, place in the greased loaf pans and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Allow the loaves to rise at room temperature until doubled again.  It will take about 30 minutes this time.

PicMonkey CollageStep 6 – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while the loaves rise.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. The loaves should sound hollow when tapped.  Allow loaves to cool completely before slicing.

PicMonkey Collage-2This bread works great for sandwiches, toast and french toast.  It is a little crumbly and it goes bad faster than store bought bread, but it tastes better, it’s less expensive and I know exactly whats in it!

DSCN7145 (640x480)-1This is week six of baking our own bread and I have to admit I’m enjoying it very much!  I think it’s time to start experimenting….Hamburger and hotdog buns are next on the list.  😀

Recycled Potato Bin

We have not had good luck in the past growing potatoes.  With our dense, clay like soil we ended up with very small funny shaped potatoes.  The past few years we haven’t even tried, but this year we are planning to have LOTS of home grown potatoes to store away for the winter.  A potato bin filled with a top soil, sand, and compost mix seems like the best way to go.

If you read about our “Red Neck Art Project” you know that Digger replaced the deck on his trailer last month.  He used the old boards off the deck to made a HUGE potato bin!

DSCN6163 (640x480)-1Here is the finished product.  It’s 4′ wide, 12′ long, and  2′ high and I bet you’re wondering what the pole across the middle is for.

DSCN6782 (640x480)-1Pretty handy, right?  Digger moved it into the garden and the girls and I planted potato starts!  It’s the first thing we’ve planted this year and it felt good to be in the dirt.  We’ll layer several inches of mix every few weeks as they grow which (hopefully) will fill this thing to the top by the end of the season with large, correctly shaped spuds.  In the fall Digger will bring the excavator back and lift the bin off so we can easily harvest them!

DSCN6787 (480x640)So that’s it: Our super cheap, handy dandy, recycled, potato bin, with an excavator handle!

The Perfect Eggs for Breakfast Sandwiches

DSCN5058 (578x640)-1I know, I know, you’ve all seen this trick of cooking eggs in muffins tins.  It’s a great idea, don’t you think?  Our family has been enjoying these allot!  The only thing I do differently is cook them in a JUMBO muffin tin.  They are bigger around and fit PERFECTLY on English muffins and biscuits.

DSCN5064 (640x480)-1Crack eggs into jumbo muffin cups (grease them first) add salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes and you have the perfect eggs for those yummy breakfast sandwiches.

Here are some that we’ve been enjoying….the possibilities are endless!!

DSCN5115 (640x480)-1This is a toasted, sour dough English muffin with cheddar cheese, bacon and a perfect egg!

Click here for an easy, mess free way to cook bacon!



DSCN5070 (640x480)-1

This is a toasted, whole wheat English muffin with egg and cheese. I had to make my 8 year old stop eating so I could get this picture.  She wasn’t very patient for some reason??



DSCN6084 (640x480)-1This is a homemade whole wheat biscuit with a sausage patty made with my homemade breakfast sausage seasoning and a perfect egg!

Homemade Seasoning for Breakfast Sausage

This sausage recipe has been moved to our new blog!  Just click here and it will take you to the Homemade Seasoning for Breakfast Sausage recipe at Sufficient Acres.com.

DSCN6063 (640x480)-1


Here are some of my other homemade spice and seasoning mixes you might like:

Ranch Seasoning PacketsItalian Sausage SeasoningPumpkin Pie Spice MixHomemade Seasoning SaltOnion Soup Mix Packets

DSCN6068 (640x480)-1Sorry for the inconvenience while we slowly move posts to our new blog.

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Packets

This post contains affiliate links.

Here at the Red Double Wide we go through at least three packets of ranch seasoning a week.  My eight year old thinks ranch dressing belongs on EVERYTHING!  The rest of us are pretty fond of it too, and I have allot of recipes that call for a packet of ranch dressing mix.  Every time I bought those envelopes of ranch mix, I would think, uggg that’s expensive.  But we are pretty picky about ranch and that kind was our favorite, so I just kept buying it.  Then I looked at the list of ingredients…..What! MSG and all sorts of other junk.  I was so disappointed, and I just knew I could never make anything that came close to tasting like those handy little packets full of MSG. 🙁

But, I was WRONG…  Very WRONG!

I now make my own packets of chemical free ranch mix, and yes, it’s even BETTER than the store bought mix.  Not to mention cheaper and of course healthier!  I mix up a bunch of these at once and then I have them on hand for dressing, dip, or to add to any recipe calling for a ranch seasoning packet.

This is what you need: Dried minced onion, dried parsley flakes, salt, ground pepper, and garlic powder.  I use little Rubber Maid containers, but a resealable snack bag works great too.

ranch mix-1 (640x320)I have seen other homemade ranch recipes where you mix a big batch in a mason jar and then measure out what you need.  I did try that, but the salt and pepper was always at the bottom of the jar and the parsley at the top and no matter how much I stirred, the last batch in the jar was WAY saltier then the rest.  Maybe that’s just me being picky, but I love these individual packets!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Homemade Ranch Seasoning Packets
This makes one packet of ranch seasoning.
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of dried minced onions
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Combine all the ingredients and you're ready to make dressing or dip or add it to a recipe that calls for a packet of ranch seasoning.

 DSCN6282 (567x640)-1The more I cook from scratch the more I realize how fresh organic ingredients really do make a huge difference in the outcome of our food.  There is no doubt that it just tastes better and it makes me feel better to know exactly what I’m feeding my family.  I would love to say that my cupboard is stocked with organically grown herbs from my own garden, but lets face it, I’m not Super Woman!  I’ve been getting my organic herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs for quite a while now and am soooo happy with their super fresh products.  This is a great company with a cool website, go check it out, you will not be disappointed!

To make ranch dressing: Add 1 homemade ranch seasoning packet to 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 cup of mayo.  Stir well with a whisk and refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.  If you don’t have buttermilk , mix together 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes, use that instead of the buttermilk.  (I have been meaning to try this with plain yogurt instead of mayo but haven’t yet.  If you try, it let me know how it turns out!)

For ranch dip: Add 1 homemade ranch seasoning packet to a 16oz container of sour cream (2 cups) mix well and refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!!  Have a Blessed Day 😀

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

DSCN6036 (640x480)-1Sunday night is popcorn night at our house!  When we started our journey to a more frugal and healthier life style, microwave popcorn was one of the first things to go.  I’d bought an air popper a while back (in a moment of nostalgia) but barely used it.  My husband didn’t like the air popper popcorn, and I had to agree.  For some reason it seemed soggy and wanted to melt between your teeth instead of having that nice crunch.  I thought we were stuck with soggy popcorn because I refused to buy the bags of chemicals again.  Then a friend told me that you can put popcorn in a paper bag and microwave it.  How brilliant!

DSCN6053 (640x480)-1This is sooooo much cheaper and healthier than store bought microwave popcorn, it has that wonderful crunch and you can control the amount of butter and salt it has on it.  I’m ditching my air popper, and freeing up some space in my cupboard!

All you need is a paper bag, 1/4 of a cup of popcorn kernels, butter, and salt or what ever seasonings you like.

DSCN6057 (640x480)-1Put 1/4 of a cup of popcorn kernels into a paper bag and fold down the top.  Place the bag right side up in a microwave for ABOUT 2 minutes.  I set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and listen closely.  When the popping slows down to 3 to 4 seconds between pops I stop the microwave.  Microwaves are different so times will vary.  Pour your popped corn into a bowl and season (we like Parmesan cheese on ours).  You can use the same bag to pop more than one batch if you want more popcorn.  So simple, yummy, healthy, and cheap. 😀

Happy Popcorn Night!

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