Category Archives: Remarkable Recipes

Here are some recipes that my family has come to enjoy, I hope you do as well.

Homemade Pizza

My kids LOVE pizza, but to go to the local pizzeria every week would get pretty costly. Friday at the Cook household is pizza night. We do occasionally support our local pizza shop, but typically we make our own homemade pizza. Here is our favorite pizza dough recipe. I don’t remember where I found it, but we really like it. It makes 2 pizzas, approximately 12″ round. I usually make 2 batches for our family, so that we have plenty leftover for lunch on Saturday. If you like wheat dough, you can use a cup or two of wheat flour in place of part of the white flour.

    Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cups warm water (not hot)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups flour

Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid). Let sit long enough for the yeast to proof, which should only take a couple of minutes. When you see the yeast foaming, you’re ready to go.

Add the salt and olive oil. Next, add the flour, mixing after each cup.

After you have added all the flour, knead the dough for about 5 min. To knead, use your hands to fold the dough ball in half over and over. Use your palm to smash the ball together, then fold it in half and smash it together again. If the ball becomes to sticky, add a little more flour. The ball should not stick to the side of the bowl, but it should not be dry and cracking, either.

When you are done kneading, drizzle a little oil over the dough and place it in a clean bowl. Spread the oil all over the top of the dough with your hands. Cover the bowl with a warm, wet towel and put it in a warm place to rise. Let it rise until it has doubled in size, which should be about 40 min. or so. If you make the dough ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator after it is done rising, it is a little easier to work with when you are ready to shape your crust. I often don’t have time to cool it.

While the dough is rising, you should prepare your toppings. You can be as creative or traditional as you want. Basically get everything ready to go so that when your dough is ready all you have to do is put it together.

Use your favorite sauce. Sometimes we use crushed tomatoes sprinkled with a little bit of sugar. I add garlic powder and italian seasoning also.

Bake at 500 for about 8-10 min. I let it cool for a couple of minutes before I slice it so that the toppings don’t slide around so much.



Homemade Laundry Detergent

With a family of 7, there is a lot of laundry that goes through our house. One way I’ve cut back on our expenses is by making homemade laundry detergent. It really saves us a good bit of money. I also make my own fabric softener.

When I started doing this, I didn’t think I would like the liquid detergent. I used the powdered for several months, and then I looked into the liquid option and realized that the liquid has the better value. I don’t think I will go back to the powder.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

4 Cups – hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar (Wegman’s sells a 5.5oz bar for 1.29) (you can also use Ivory)
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (Wegman’s sells 55oz. for $2.79)
½ Cup Borax (Wegman’s sells 76 oz. for $3.99)

Grate the bar of soap and add to the saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until the soap dissolves and is melted. (It works best if you grate the soap fine. I have a grater I use only to grate soap.)

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to the top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. (I went to Lowe’s and bought a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. Total cost $6-$8)

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill the rest of the way with water. Shake before each use. (I use a gallon water jug.)

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil. (Essential oil is expensive, so I don’t use it.)

Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

Powdered Laundry Detergent – Top load machine only

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

Recipe cost approx. $2 per 10 gallon.

Homemade Fabric Softener Recipe

2 cups Vinegar
2 cups Baking Soda
4 cups Hot Water

I use a funnel and put all the ingredients in a gallon jug. Be careful because vinegar and baking soda fizz when they are mixed together. You can also mix this in a large bowl or bucket and then transfer it into a jug. I just funnel it into the jug because I like to use as few containers as possible, although the baking soda doesn’t necessarily like going through the funnel. I don’t know why I do it that way. I may have to reconsider. The baking soda settles to the bottom of the jug, so be sure to give a little shake before each use.

Use 1/4 cup per load. One batch does approximately 32 loads.

I had a friend who had been making her own detergent and raved about it, but I was never sold. When I started looking for ways to cut back on expenses this seemed like a place where there could be a big savings, and now that I’ve tried it, I love it and will probably never go back to buying laundry detergent.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you!

Sugar Drop Cookies

Here is a great sugar cookie recipe my Aunt Cora gave me. My kids love these. We make them for nearly every holiday and just switch out different shapes and themed sprinkles.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup milk
4 cups flour
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix sugars and shortening. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to sugar mixture alternately with milk.

This dough is very sticky. If rolling out, add 1 cup of flour and freeze overnight. When you go to roll this out you will need to add a good bit more flour.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the top springs back when tapped lightly.

**I always cut these out and I never put them in the freezer overnight. I don’t usually think about it ahead of time.
I simply add more flour when I make the dough. I add nearly 7 cups of flour total. You should be able to judge the consistency. You want it to be manageable, but remember you will add some flour when you go to roll them out.

These are wonderful! We ice them and add sprinkles or nonpareils.

I don’t actually have a recipe for the icing. I just dump.

Confectioners sugar
A teaspoon or so of flavoring of your choice – We like lemon flavoring, but you can use vanilla, almond or whatever
you like.

Start with about 2 cups of the powdered sugar and enough milk to get it to a good consistency. I usually make it fairly thin. You can always mix up more. You can add food coloring if you’d like.

These are sure to be a hit!

Homemade Play-Doh

Here is a simple recipe for homemade play-doh that your kids will love.

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
Food coloring

Combine in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it becomes play-doh consistency. Store in an airtight container or zip lock bag.

Blueberry Muffins

Breakfast is often rushed at our house. By the time everyone is up and dressed and the morning chores are done there isn’t much time before the kids have to leave for school. Cereal is quick and easy, but it can get expensive. And the more inexpensive cereals are the ones with the most sugar! I have started only buying cereal if it’s on sale, and I have a coupon to match. If I can buy a box of cereal for less that $1, I feel like it’s worth it, but spending $4 a box is outrageous. Cereal used to be the main event at the Cook household every morning. Not anymore!

One of things my kids love are muffins. They are easy to grab on a busy morning and a whole lot better than say…a poptart. And they are much cheaper. I have made blueberry muffins so many different ways, but I recently came across this recipe. It is by far the best one yet, and it’s very simple.

4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sour cream
2 cups fresh blueberries ( I use frozen dusted with flour so the color doesn’t run)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar a little at a time while beating. Continue beating and slowly pour in oil while beating. Beat until well combined. Stir in vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda and salt. With a spatula or spoon stir together flour mixture with the egg mixture alternately with the sour cream. Stir until well combined. Fold in blueberries. (This makes 24 nice sized muffins. The muffin cups should be full.)

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

I got this recipe from

Let me know what you think!