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Stop Buying These Foods At The Market - Make Them At Home!

There are tons of convenient food products at the grocery store that save us lots of time - but sometimes, it's cheaper, easier, AND more tasty to make some at home.


We aren't perfect artisan chefs all the time - we will happily reach for a box of chicken stock or a pre-made marinara from a jar. However, there are some convenience foods that just aren't worth it at the grocery store for a myriad of reasons. Trust us - once you start making these items homemade, you won't look back!
Croutons
Let's be real - almost everyone ends up throwing the last few pieces of a breadloaf away once it's gone bad. Next time you notice you probably aren't going to finish every last slice, be proactive and make some croutons! You can season them any way you like, and you have total control over how much fat they end up having. Simply tear or cut stale bread into evenly sized pieces, then toss in just enough olive oil to coat, along with salt, pepper, and any Italian seasonings you have on hand (or keep it simple!). Bake them at 350 degrees until evenly browned and toasted, and when they cool, voila: you have ultra crunchy croutons that stay good in a plastic bag for 2 weeks.

Whipped Cream
Soft peaks of homemade whipped cream is basically our love language. This is the easiest way to make a simple dessert more impressive - and it tastes so much more luxurious than the stuff out of a can. To make classic whipped cream, add just enough powdered sugar to sweeten and vanilla extract to taste, then whisk whisk whisk. You have control over the texture of whipped cream when you make it at home, and you can stop whisking earlier to create decadently soft whipped cream as opposed to hard peaks. 

Pesto
If you're going to buy store-bought pesto, you'd have the best luck as far as taste goes by buying from a small grocery store that makes it fresh. No amount of preservatives can mask the not-fresh flavor of jarred pesto - freshness is what makes pesto so good in the first place! Not to mention, store-bought can be really expensive. Just blitz basil, olive oil, garlic, parmesan and pine nuts (which you can sub out for walnuts!) with some salt until blended - it'll beat out anything you find in the grocery store by a long shot. (Tip: we love adding a squeeze of lemon juice to pesto to brighten it up, too!)



Simple Syrup
This one might not be so obvious, but it came to mind upon seeing a small bottle of simple syrup in the liquor aisle for about 15 bucks - simple syrup is just water and sugar! Channel your inner mixologist and make your own simple syrup by melting 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a sauce pan until just dissolved - you can add more sugar for a more concentrated, sweet syrup. Store in an airtight jar and set it alongside your cordials - company is always impressed by homemade simple syrup even though it's called simple for a reason!

Salad Dressing
When someone asks us something they should make homemade in place of storebought, this will always be #1 on the list! There are so many reasons to make your own salad dressing. First and foremost, it's so easy, and once you get a feel for it you'll never need a recipe again. It's cheaper, there are no preservatives, and it's almost always healthier than the alternative. 

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