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Budget Friendly, For the Freezer, Homemade Not Storebought, Recipes

Making Stock – The Basics

Making your own Beef or Chicken Stock

I LOVE homemade stock.  Store bought “broth” has such shallow flavor and is much too salty in many cases.  I use it sometimes, I don’t like it most of the time.  I know making stock is sometimes a larger job than any working cook wants to tackle, but it can be done in a few hours – while doing other things, and you don’t need to buy expensive things to get it done.

I collect carcasses.  Macabre right?  Every time I buy a rotisserie chicken, have a turkey dinner or just roast up a chicken at home, I save the bones and any meat I didn’t pick off.  If I make a beef roast, I save those bones also and freeze them.  I’m not going to lie, right now I think I have about 4 or 5 chicken carcasses and a mess of roast bones in the freezer.  When I get some time, I make stock.


The basics are pretty easy – you can vary based on what you have – but here’s my base stock recipe.  Below I’ll share a few variations that I love to throw together if I can.

My stock recipe is considered a “brown stock” because I roast the bones beforehand.  This makes a much richer and darker stock.  You can skip this step if you like.

Also -don’t be alarmed – when all the way chilled in the fridge, your stock will likely look like jello.  This is because of the gelatin in the bones – it’s good for you!  Think natural glucosamine and condroitin pills!

Making Stock – The Basics
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Making Stock – The Basics


  • 4-5 lbs beef or chicken bones
  • 4-5 Carrots - cleaned and ends trimmed, cut in half - no need to peel
  • 1 onion, peeled & quartered
  • 4 stalks of celery - cut in half
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Line a cookie sheet with foil and lay out your bones. sprinkle with salt & pepper and roast the bones in a 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. You want them to brown well, but you don't want them to burn, so if they are getting too brown take them out early.
  2. While the bones are roasting, prep your vegetables and throw them in your dutch oven - you don't need to saute them, raw is fine.
  3. When the bones are done, place them in your dutch oven and rinse out your cookie sheet with a cup or two of water, these brown bits are amazing, don't waste them!
  4. Fill the dutch oven up until its almost full - about an inch from the top. Generally with the extra stuff I can get 4 1/2 quarts of water in my 6 qt dutch oven. If you have a stock pot that holds gallons of water, double or triple this recipe.
  5. Turn the burner on medium and put the lid on. You don't want this to boil hard, it makes cloudy stock, but you do want it to cook, I generally bring to a boil and reduce the heat until it's just barely simmering.
  6. Let stock simmer slowly for 45 minutes and check for salt. Adjust and then strain into another bowl or pan.
  7. Let cool
  8. If you didn't have really fatty bones - you're probably done and can package for freezing. If you feel there is a lot of fat in your stock, cool it in the fridge overnight then skim before freezing.
  9. I freeze in 1-2 quart containers and thaw as needed.

Variations on a theme!


  • Ddd a bundle of fresh thyme to your stock – yum!
  • Add a couple of Thai chilies (whole), a handful of basil and a lime cut in half – Thai Chicken Stock!
  • A bundle of basil, thyme and parsley tied together and added to stock – called a Bouquet Garni – is a great flavoring agent.
  • Add a few tablespoons of tomato paste to your beef broth, it will deepen the flavor and color!
  • Add a handful of dried mushrooms to your beef stock.  I love adding dried porchini to mine – great flavor
  • Add a bit of exotic by rubbing some five-spice powder over the bones before you roast them.  This would be great for a stock you’re going to use for pho or some other beef based asian soup.
Budget Friendly, For the Freezer, Recipes

Easy Pueblo Green Chile Recipe

I am a Green Chile connoisseur.  I’m picky about my green chile – it needs chunks of meat, not ground up mushy stuff – I’m talking chunks of browned off pork, pieces of chiles, tomatoes….the works….

I love making this with ingredients from my Bountiful Basket – this is a great fruit and veggie co-op that serves MANY states – check it out and see if it’s in your area.  I get about $60-$80 worth of vegetables every other week for about $18 give or take.  Sometimes I order extras!

I have married and tweaked a few recipes to make one my own, and this is a much-requested recipe in my house…in fact there’s a batch bubbling on my stove right now.  This is a great recipe, and can be canned – if you use a pressure cooker and know what you’re doing.  You can definitely freeze it also – this would be a great huge batch project!

This stuff is great in a bowl with a spoon, on eggs or burritos, or in a great casserole that needs some good Green Chile to make it great.  You can also serve it on Indian Fry Bread – I really love having it this way, it’s a very nice way to get full without a lot of investment! Give it a try, and like all recipes, make your mark and tell me what you changed!

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For the Freezer, Recipes, Veggies and Fruit, Weeknight Favorites

Homemade Easy Minestrone Soup in 30 Minutes or Less

Hello busy ladies and gentlemen, It’s been awhile since I posted on the blog, my life it a tad crazy right now, a lot of travel and work.  Being busy reminds me that I really cant afford to be disorganized, there’s so much going on, that keeping on task and on top of my lists is doubly important.

The last few days some veggies in my fridge were looking a tiny bit peaked….they’d been languishing a few days and I definitely needed to get them used up.  I looked at a few recipes and concocted an easy minestrone soup recipe that was truly amazing!  The best part, there’s enough for a lot of leftovers, or a second meal!  I made mine with chicken stock, because that’s what I had on hand, but you could make yours with vegetable stock and have a vegetarian version very easily.

30-Minute Easy Minestrone Recipe

Doesn’t it look yummy?  This is day 2 soup, rewarmed for my lunch today, and it was just as good as it was yesterday.  I think the key is not overcooking the zucchini and using SMALL zucchini that aren’t really strong in flavor.  I used yellow wax beans because that’s what I had, you can use frozen or canned green beans very easily, and really any vegetables or beans you have lying around.  This really is a “clean out the fridge” recipe.  You can freeze the vegetable soup part and reheat and serve over noodles any night you’re short on time.

Minestrone in 30 Minutes or Less
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Minestrone in 30 Minutes or Less


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1/2 large onion, minced
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped same size as celery
  • 1, 32 oz container chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can green beans (or about 1 C frozen)
  • 2 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup seashell or orichette pasta
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • for topping


  1. In a large pot heat olive oil and saute garlic and onion for 3-4 minutes. Add in minced celery and carrots, saute for about 5 more minutes. Salt a bit to bring the liquid out in the vegetables.
  2. Once the onions are translucent, add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce and bring to a boil, stirring every few minutes until it's boiling well. Reduce heat to a simmer and add beans, green beans, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the carrots are done.
  3. To ensure your pasta isn't gooey, I cook it separately until al dente and add a 1/4 cup or so cooked pasta to the bottom of the bowl before I ladle the vegetable soup over the top.
  4. top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and serve with grilled cheese! Yum!


For the Freezer, Homemade Not Storebought, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Not So Spanish Rice

Really – the only thing that makes this rice “Spanish” is the color I guess.  I struggled to find a mix or box that resulted in something my kids would actually eat that didnt have gobs of nasty preservatives in it.  Chunks of tomato and onion are NOT welcome in the kids’ food.

I was a ditz and didn’t take a photo – I’ll make it again and add one to the post when I can, if you make it and have a pic – send it to me at carrie (at) lookslikehomemade (dot) com or post it to our Facebook Page.

This rice will freeze quite nicely so you can add it to your OAMC rotation.  You can also use Brown Rice, but will need to up your liquid a tad and cook for a bit longer – it will also get a bit more “sticky” than the Jasmine rice will, but will still be good!

I threw this together last night, and it was a HUGE hit – in fact, the kids ate more rice than they did tacos…..frankly, I did, too.  Give this one a try and let me know what you think, I promise it’s worth it!

Not So Spanish Rice
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  • 1 3/4 C Long Grain Rice (Jasmine works well)
  • 3 C Chicken Broth (or warm water and bouillon works well - just check salt levels)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1/2 of a 6oz can of tomato paste (freeze the rest)


  1. In a skillet with a cover, heat the oil and saute the onion for a few minutes until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and saute 2 more minutes
  3. Add in the dry rice and stir well, let cook with the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes
  4. Meanwhile in a measuring cup measure out your chicken broth and whisk in the tomato paste
  5. Add the liquid to the hot pan CAREFULLY and stir well, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer
  6. Cover and cook for approx 20 minutes until rice is done
  7. Fluff with a fork and serve

For the Freezer, Recipes, Whole Grains

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

The other day I was looking through one of my many food magazines that I get, and I came across a recipe for cinnamon raisin bread. I love cinnamon bread, I hate raisins, so I set about adapting this recipe and tweaking ingredients to make it work.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

The recipe calls for buttermilk and I didn’t have any available. To remedy this problem I took 2 cups of milk and added 2 tsp of lemon juice to create buttermilk.  There are a ton of substitutions you should remember for cooking, and the buttermilk trick is one I use a lot, because i never actually BUY buttermilk.   To make buttermilk on the fly, add 1 tsp of lemon juice for every cup of milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Maddie and I decided that in order to add a little fiber and make the bread a little healthier we should put in two cups of regular, white, unbleached flour and two cups of whole wheat flour.  Most quickbread recipes can handle this substitution.  using 100% whole wheat flour is tricky though, it doesn’t always work because white flour has special magic things in it that makes it better for baking.  I don’t know what they are, I just know that using 100% whole wheat flour in a recipe = blah.

This will make the bread taste a little different but essentially gives you a healthier but great tasting cinnamon bread. While mildly sweet, this bread is heartwarming and a quick breakfast or on-the-go snack. This bread is also very moist and better tasting than the unhealthy and expensive cinnamon breads that you will find at the supermarket or Starbucks.  I like mine not warmed up with a smear of butter, Maddie likes hers warmed up with butter.  Either way, its a great recipe and makes two loaves, one for you and one for the freezer, or a friend.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread
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  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 Cups sugar, divided
  • 2 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Cups milk
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 Cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 Teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Measure 2 cups of milk into a glass measuring cup and add the 2 Tsp of lemon juice. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl, combine both types of flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, soda and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk mixture, and oil.
  4. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened, don't overmix.
  5. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  6. Spoon half of the batter into two greased loaf pans. Sprinkle with half of the reserved cinnamon -sugar; repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.
  7. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks.
  9. Wrap in foil, place in zip bag, and freeze for up to three months.