Category Archives: Dips

Homemade Ketchup

Oh hey, remember me?

I’m back!

Thank you thank you all for your congratulations.¬† He’s definitely a keeper ūüėČ I guess this means I have a wedding to plan, now, so….yikes.¬† For now, let’s stick to cooking.

If you recall, before “the great distraction” I promised you homemade ketchup.

So I did that.  Like a crazy person.

I made some ketchup. From scratch.

Well..kinda.¬† I cheated a little and started with tomato paste.¬† I guess for this to be really legitimate I should have started with whole tomatoes that I plucked fresh from my garden this morning, still warm from the sun…

Baby steps.

Before we go further and before you write me off I need to acknowledge that Heinz is ketchup and ketchup is Heinz forever and ever amen.

I went into this knowing that whatever I produced, (if it didn’t completely flop), might be good.¬† It might even be really super delicious.¬† But it wasn’t going to be Heinz.

That said…this came surprisingly close.

The flavor is totally there.  The difference is the texture.

Heinz is super smooth and glossy.¬† Mine was pretty tomato paste….y.

I’m ok with it.¬† It was delicious.¬† Also homemade so what’s wrong with a bit of a rustic feel?

So maybe you’re (definitely) not going to make this every day but it’s a fun thing to try!¬† What’s more gourmet than homemade condiments?

It’s also really ridiculously easy if you happen to be the proud owner of a slow cooker (there I go again…these things are GREAT!).¬† I promise there’s nothing scary about this.

Toss the necessary ingredients in there, let it go until it looks like ketchup, tell people you made their ketchup, watch the bewildered looks of horror/awe/respect.

((Clarification: Looks of horror result from thoughts of “who DOES that!?” not “this is gross” because it’s not gross it’s delicious.¬† Don’t worry))

See that ketchup oozing out of that beany burger?

I made that.  No big deal.

Don’t be jealous. You, too, can have homemade ketchup ooze.¬† It is a beautiful thing.


‚̧ Ellen

Homemade Ketchup

Recipe adapted from This Ketchup Recipe

2 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 c cup white vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder or Adobo seasoning (seriously)
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 cups water

1. Measure all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on high for about 2 hours or low for 4. The longer you let it go the more it cooks down-just stop it when it looks like ketchup to you.

Note: Half of this recipe is plenty for me.  The whole recipe makes about 16 oz



Filed under Dips, Slow Cooker, Uncategorized

Taco (or whatever) Seasoning-Make your own!

Seriously, friends, those little taco/fajita/whatever seasoning packets are such a waste of money.

Also they kind of taste like…I don’t know…preservatives?

I get it.¬† They’re easy and convenient. Fine.

But pretend you want a taco.


((It happens. Don’t act like it doesn’t.))

Now pretend you have everything you need EXCEPT the darn packet that makes it a taco.

(Because the vast majority of foods could become a taco when placed in a tortilla, ((which you can make at home anyway)) this happens often)

Should you run to the store, pay more in gas than the packet costs, wait in line, wait in traffic wait wait wait wait wait


Make your own and have tacos now.

I choose the second one. Always.¬† Because those little packets are gross. Also, I’m impatient when I’m hungry.

The same rule applies, maybe even more, for sudden fajita cravings.

Plus I have all the seasonings that go in taco seasoning in my pantry right now.¬† They don’t have to be mystery ingredients. They aren’t difficult to find.¬† They’re spices for delicious real life. Get with me here.

All you need is: [love] and…

Now, I’m calling this taco seasoning because that was its original purpose but let’s get real here…

it goes on anything.

Sprinkle it on things you’re gonna roast, toast, saute, scramble, slow cook, soup or sandwich and anything else you can think of.¬† It tastes just as delicious on vegetables or beans as it would on meat.

Maybe keep it away from ice cream, though.

If you throw together a bunch of it and keep it in a little jar/tupperware container/plastic baggie (I don’t care) you’ll save a step and some brain power when dinner time sneaks up on you.

Seasoning dinner doesn’t take long but this way you don’t have to think about it and that’s just one delicious container you need to reach for.

I know they already did this “blend of spices in one container” thing.¬† But do it yourself and it’s cheaper, tastier and gives things a vague Mexican flavor.¬† What’s not to love?

This isn’t really a recipe.¬† More like an idea. You’re allowed to change the spices and proportions to suit your needs and tastes.

In fact, please do.

I would be lying if I told you I followed the measurements I listed in the recipe every time…they’re close enough, though.¬† Basically it’s just nice to have a favorite blend of spices on hand.

¬† So uh…try it and stuff.¬† Bet you’ll like it better than a foil envelope.


‚̧ Ellen

p.s. homemade ketchup coming up next. DIY FTW!

Seasoning Blend for Tacos…and so much more!

I’m giving you the guide I used…it’s a great base to adjust to taste!

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika1 1/2 HEAPING teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix it all together (and you feel better).

….lime and coconut? anyone

((3 tablespoons to a packet))

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Filed under Appetizer, Dips, Hodge Podge, Main Dish, Sides, Slow Cooker, Snacks, Soup, Uncategorized

Seven Layer Dip

Super bowl tomorrow!

Apparently I’m hosting a party?

And apparently I’m supposed to make seven layer dip?

Allllllrighty then.

I’m cool with it. Also prepared.¬† And so are you!

Turns out I’ve basically been unknowingly preparing you for an awesome seven layer dip since I started on here.

Fate? Perhaps.

You’ll need this guacamole recipe

This recipe for no-fry refried beans

Grab some green onions…conveniently frozen so you don’t have to go buy them….

Sorry, Kath!

Add some sour cream, some cheese, some tomatoes, and black olives…..maybe some spare jalapenos if you’re feeling spicy….


Seven layers of Mexi-flavored chip dippin’ Superbowl worthy deliciousness.

Easy. As. Pie.

Except….you know…more like dip…and it tastes like a fiesta.


‚̧ Ellen

Seven Layer Dip

Recipe from Mama Z!

Refried beans
Sour cream
Cheese (your favorite kind)
Black olives
Chopped tomatoes (or salsa)
Green onions/lettuce/or jalapenos depending on your audience

**Note: Amounts needed of each layer depend entirely on the size of your serving dish and your ratio preference.¬† I like the beans to be the thickest layer, guac the next thickest, then I use just enough of each of the other ingredients to completely cover the layer that came before.¬† Maybe you’re partial to black olives.¬† Go crazy.¬† This is your show, not mine.

1. Prepare no-fry refried beans or open your can (no judgement here)

2. Prepare guacamole or open your container (I won’t judge but really…try your own…you’ll never go back)

3. Beans from a can or beans made ahead of time need to be heated.  Add water as needed and heat in the microwave or in a sauce pan on the stove until the beans are warmed through and have more of a creamy consistency

4. Now layer each ingredient in your serving dish.¬† I do beans at the bottom (a pretty thick layer), then enough sour cream to cover the beans, followed by a decent layer of guacamole.¬† Cheese/onionjalapenolettuce (whatever your choose)/tomatoes and olives get sprinkled on top.¬† Because that’s how mama made it.

Now grab your corn chips and have a fiesta feast! Beer encouraged.


Filed under Appetizer, Dips, Slow Cooker, Snacks, Uncategorized