I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and did something fabulous to ring in the new year.  Ben’s parents were kind enough to babysit the kids so we were able to spend the night dancing, laughing, and celebrating with friends old and new.  It was a much needed night of fun and festivities.  Now that the holidays are officially over, most people are looking to lighten up a bit.  Whether it’s a specific health and fitness goal or simply a desire to eat a bit more consciously after weeks of holiday excess, many people will be making some modifications to their cooking and eating habits.

If you are interested in a food-related resolution a bit different from the standard January mantra, I think an excellent goal is to do more things the homemade way.  If you don’t normally cook or bake much and find yourself eating out or eating frozen or processed foods more often than you might like, making a goal to enjoy more homemade meals is a great place to start.  In addition to cooking our meals, the past couple of years I have been working to do more from scratch with everything from spice blends, breads and doughs, baby food, extracts and flavored syrups, and much more.  Doing things the homemade way has many benefits – it’s healthier, more economical, and more eco-friendly than purchasing these items pre-made.  In case you are interested in making this transition, I’ve compiled a list of some of my past posts with recipes and tutorials for items that you might normally purchase pre-made.  I have lots more things on my DIY goal list for this year, and many more posts planned to share with you.  I’m not one for formal New Year’s resolutions, but this is an ongoing goal of mine and I hope this inspires some of you to do the same.

Iced Coffee

Flavored Syrups

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Salted Caramel Mocha

Breads, Dough, and Pasta:
Sourdough Bread

French Baguettes


Burger Buns

Hotdog Buns

Pizza Dough

Pita Bread

Flour Tortillas

Homemade Pasta

Sauces, Condiments, and Spices:
Tomato Sauce


Ranch Dressing

Taco Seasoning

Baking Staples:
Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Vanilla Extract

Pie Dough

Desserts and Other Sweet Stuff:


Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Syrup 

Hot Fudge Sauce

Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce 

Chocolate Pudding