I’m back!! Oddly enough, I’ve been dreading writing a post after finishing our Simple Living classes, because I have no idea where to start! So much has gone on in the last couple of weeks! How about I start with the scratch cooking part? That was one of my very favorite aspects of our class. The point of being limited to cook only from scratch was to help prepare us for living in rural places where we can’t just run down to Wal-Mart and pick up some frozen pizza rolls for supper.

Cameron and I decided to make the scratch cooking a little more applicable to our future and I asked a lady living in West Africa about some of the foods that are and aren’t available there. After picking her brain Cameron and I decided to do only powdered milk during the scratch week, and no cheese. Cheese is available there, but it’s a lot more limited than all the kinds we have here. We did stick to the powdered milk thing, but I did cave in and use some parmesan cheese (but that’s more of a garnish or spice right???). And when we ate with others and they served cheese we most gladly accepted! :)

Sooo….all that to say, here’s a few things I cooked:

  • Yogurt…..from powdered milk! I didn’t use a drop of regular milk, just powdered milk and some yogurt for the starter. I was worried it wouldn’t thicken, but it sure did! With some honey, fruit and granola it makes a fine breakfast.


Proof that yogurt can thicken, even with powdered nonfat milk.



  • Bread. Cameron made a double batch of bread, and I made a quick batter bread that I love. Unfortunately I had forgotten that my batter bread recipe says to mix the dough with your hand mixer for 3 minutes, and during this time we weren’t supposed to use electrical appliances. So I mixed it by hand, got an arm work out, and hoped for the best…and what do you know, but it actually turned out! And I can’t wait to share a really cool Save the Scraps tip that has to do with bread!


The bread Cameron made



  • Flour tortillas. As you know, I’ve made my own corn tortillas, but had yet to try the flour kind. Store bought flour tortillas are our stand by for a quick meal of bean burritos, so  I knew it was about time I made some of my own. I found a recipe that uses oil instead of shortening or lard, and hope to share it with you soon!

Making flour tortillas


My scratch cooking take-aways:

  • I want to start trying to make more from scratch namely, flour tortillas, bread and yogurt.
  • Learn ways to cook from scratch even during a busy schedule (planning a post on this).
  • Don’t be scared of new recipes, just try them!
  • Get practice cooking over a fire outdoors.
  • Re-evaluate all kitchen gadgets and appliances I own. This sounds like it should become a post too.
  • Try more in the pressure cooker. I actually cooked a whole chicken in my pressure cooker yesterday, that was a first for me.
  • Learn to can.
  • My cookbooks have lots of great recipes, why do I always turn to the internet for recipes? When I do turn to the internet for a recipe, I usually end up doing other things online too and waste time. I want to use my cookbooks first, and if I don’t find what I want, then go to the internet.

There’s a million simple-living related posts zooming around in my head, so stay tuned!

Linked at A Blossoming Life.


  1. Corn tortillas - They’re so much yummier when you can eat them freshly made!
  2. Pumpkin Puree - Perfect for this time of year!
  3.  Pop corn - It’s a great cheap and healthy snack!
  4. Applesauce - I like using up mealy or bruised apples this way.
  5. Ice coffee - We all know how much cheaper this is than buying it from fancy coffee shops!
  6. Spaghetti/Pizza sauce- I like how I can control the sweetness in homemade sauce, some of the store-bought ones are so sweet!


  7. French Fries- With just a little bit of olive oil and baked in the oven, these fries are a healthy alternative to the frozen variety.
  8. Granola - There’s so many granola recipes out there, but here’s just one recipe.
  9. Energy bars – aka Cameron’s Peanut Butter Power Pucks, they’re reminiscent to Cliff Bars.
  10. Frozen Pizza - It sure is nice having a meal ready to go in the freezer!
  11. Salad dressing - This is one of my favorites.
  12. Chicken broth & shredded chicken - Both great staples for many meals!
  13. Bread crumbs - Why buy them, when you can make them out of old bread and crackers?
  14. Whole Wheat bread - This is a great recipe from my mother-in-law!
  15. Beans - I love having various beans in the freezer, it’s cheaper than buying canned beans.


Even though I have made all of the above from scratch, I honestly don’t make them all of the time. I can’t even remember the last time I made a batch of whole wheat bread! I’m trying to slowly, but surely try more and more scratch recipes. Maybe sometime I can add even more recipes, like mayonnaise, english muffins, pasta and home canning!

This post is linked at Good Cheap Eats for Kitchen Tip Tuesday!

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