Homemade Hamburger Buns

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

I started making my own buns about a year ago — we have used them for hamburgers, sloppy joes, shredded chicken sandwiches, hot ham & cheese, and other sandwiches. It’s a great all-around bun! They are SO fast too! You don’t have to let them rise forever, or do a bunch of fancy stuff that only professional bakers know how to do… Here’s the recipe!

Gather your ingredients:

2.5 cups warm water
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons oil
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix together the wet ingredients. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until it starts to look frothy on top.

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

Then stir in the dry ingredients. Mix well, and knead a little bit.

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

Roll into a long loaf on a floured surface.

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

And cut it into 16 disks. (I like this nice even number, because I can just keep cutting in 1/2, and 1/2 again, and again, until I have 16.)

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

Put each disk on a baking sheet.

Homemade Hamburger Buns from Our Cozy Den

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 425°F.

When they come out, they will be soft and fluffy and delicious! You’ll want to wait a few minutes for them to cool before you slice them in half. You can also freeze them (either before baking or after) to use later!

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza ~ Delicious and Gluten Free! ~ Our Cozy Den

I’ll admit, when I was diagnosed with PCOS, I cried a little. Okay, a lot. Not because I was devastated by my illness, but because I was grieving my old lifestyle — you know, the one where I ate whatever I wanted. Including my favorite food: pizza. I could literally eat pizza all day, every day, and not get tired of it. So I was ecstatic when my friend made me some cauliflower crust pizza! It was SO good! {Not as good as Papa John’s, but really good!}

So today I’m here to share the recipe with you!

Ingredients:

For each pizza crust, you need the following ingredients. I keep making crusts until I use up all the cauliflower, so I usually end up with 5-6 crusts from a head of cauliflower. I freeze the rest for future use.

  • cauliflower
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp each of oregano and garlic powder
  • dash of salt
  • pizza sauce
  • additional mozzarella for topping
  • any other toppings you like (pepperoni for me!)

Instructions:

  1. First, chop up your cauliflower really really small. Like rice-sized. You can use a food processor, but I just use my Pampered Chef Food ChopperCauliflower Crust Pizza ~ Delicious and Gluten Free! ~ Our Cozy Den
  2. Cook the flower in the microwave for 8-10 minutes, until it is soft.
  3. In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of the cauliflower with the egg, 1 cup of mozzarella, and spices.
  4. Put the mixture on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Pat the glob with your fingers and push outwards until it is about 3/8ths of an inch thick, and shape into a circle (or whatever shape you desire). Cauliflower Crust Pizza ~ Delicious and Gluten Free! ~ Our Cozy Den
  5. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes.

    Cauliflower Crust Pizza ~ Delicious and Gluten Free! ~ Our Cozy Den

    At this point, the crust will be sort of soft, almost like an omelette.

  6. Remove from oven. If you are freezing for future use — stop after this step, let cool, then freeze in a large freezer safe ziploc bag. If you are eating now, continue:
  7. Add pizza sauce and toppings.
  8. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake until cheese is melted. Cauliflower Crust Pizza ~ Delicious and Gluten Free! ~ Our Cozy Den

Enjoy!!!

Video Blog: Black Bean Quesadillas

Video Blog ~ Our Cozy Den

I’m trying something new today — my first video blog! You guys have been seeing my Black Bean Quesadillas on my menu each week. We eat them a lot, usually twice a week. I love them, because they are delicious, healthy, and inexpensive! I usually serve them with some homemade pico de gallo and a side of fruit.

See how I make them here!

So easy, right?!

What’s your favorite weekday lunch?

Homemade Dishwasher Tablets

Homemade Dishwasher Tablets ~ Our Cozy Den

I’ve been making my own laundry soap for YEARS, but for some reason I kept on buying dishwasher tabs in the store. They were just so easy – grab one, pop it in the dishwasher, press start. I had seen recipes for DIY dishwasher soap in powder form, but I didn’t want to deal with measuring out a powder (and probably spilling it all over my kitchen, because I’m clumsy like that).

So, after a little trial-and-error, I mixed up several online recipes and came up with my own dishwasher soap recipe – in tablet form. I’ve been using it for a week now (which, in our house, means about 12 loads of dishes). It works just like the store-bought kind I had been using before! Silverware comes out clean, glassware is shiny, and plasticware is not filmy. Score!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt

I did look online to price check these ingredients, but my local Walmart ended up being the cheapest place to find them. The washing soda and borax are in the laundry soap aisle, and you can find epsom salt by the pharmacy (look near the foot baths).

Instructions:

  1. Put the lemon in the blender (the whole thing, peel and all). Add a little water, but not too much — you want it to look thick and gloppy.
  2. Stir in the other 3 ingredients. It will be really thick now, and a little hard to stir.

    Homemade Dishwasher Tablets ~ Our Cozy Den

    After I stirred all the ingredients together.

  3. Use a small (1 tbsp) cookie scoop (or a spoon that size if you don’t have a scoop) to drop spoonfuls on a cookie sheet. Make sure that the size/shape of the drops will fit in your dishwasher soap spot in your dishwasher.

    Homemade Dishwasher Tablets ~ Our Cozy Den

    This step went really fast with a scoop!

  4. Wait 1-2 hours, and it should harden completely. Pop them off the cookie sheet, and store them in an airtight container.

That’s it! Easy right? I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. It smells great too: lemony-fresh!

 

Here’s my price comparison breakdown:

At Walmart, I was paying $9.97 for 85 tabs of the cheap Great Value brand dishwasher soap. That’s 12¢ a load.

For this recipe, my ingredients cost about $1.83 for 42 tabs. That’s 4¢ a load! And it took me less than 10 minutes to make it!

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Have you ever made homemade dishwasher detergent? If not, why not?

Pasta-Free Chicken Alfredo

Pasta-Free Chicken Alfredo ~ Our Cozy Den This is a GREAT recipe for anyone who has to eat gluten-free, low-carb, or people who have PCOS like me!

This specific recipe is for Chicken Alfredo, but you can read the directions for how to prepare the spaghetti squash and use that to replace any pasta in any recipe. Sometimes I use it for mac & cheese, spaghetti, chicken parmesan, and lots more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • broccoli (optional)
  • chicken, cooked
  • alfredo sauce
  • mozzarella cheese

(I don’t have specific amounts listed, because the amount of broccoli, chicken, alfredo sauce, and cheese you use are up to you, based on your personal preference!)

Instructions:

Pasta Free Chicken Alfredo ~ Our Cozy Den

First, cut your spaghetti squash into rings, about 1.5″ wide.

Pasta Free Chicken Alfredo ~ Our Cozy Den

Then, take out the seeds, and arrange them on cookie sheets.

Pasta Free Chicken Alfredo ~ Our Cozy Den

Bake at 350 degrees, until the edges start to turn golden brown. (This takes about 30 minutes in my oven.)

Pasta Free Chicken Alfredo ~ Our Cozy Den

Use a fork to separate the squash into “noodles” and dump into a big bowl.

Pasta Free Chicken Alfredo ~ Our Cozy Den

In the bowl, add alfredo sauce and steamed broccoli. Stir it up.

Pasta Free Chicken Alfredo ~ Our Cozy Den

In a sprayed 13×9 baking dish, layer the noodles /sauce/ broccoli on the bottom, cooked chicken next (I like mine breaded, you can bread it with coconut flour to keep it GF), and then mozzarella cheese on top. Bake again at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, just long enough to make it all melty.

This recipe is PACKED with veggies & nutrients, and it tastes like delicious Italian comfort food. Hope this helps you to get your kids (or husband) to eat a little healthier and cut out some of that dreaded processed flour! It also freezes really well, so I take extra servings, and pop them in the freezer for a quick microwavable meal on those nights I don’t have time to cook.
Enjoy!

Homemade Orange-Scented All-Purpose Cleaner

Homemade Orange-Scented All-Purpose Cleaner ~ Our Cozy Den

For a while now, I have loved cleaning with vinegar. It’s natural, it’s healthy, it’s cheap… but boy is it stinky! My husband hates the smell, and it lingers in the house. So I came up with a way to make it smell nicer!

This recipe is SO easy. All you need is:

  • vinegar
  • orange peels
  • a jar (reuse an old jelly jar)
  • a spray bottle (reuse an old cleaner bottle or get one at Walmart for 96 cents)

It takes both a long time to make and also only a few minutes. Let me explain.

  1. Peel some oranges, and eat the good stuff. Then put the peels in a jar. The more peels you stuff in there, the better your cleaner will smell. Cover it with vinegar and close the jar tightly. Let sit for a month. Seriously, a month. I left the jar on my windowsill, and in that time the vinegar will steep all the orangey-ness out of the peels. That’s the “long time” part.
  2. When you are ready to make the cleaner, simply pour the vinegar out of the jar and into a spray bottle (use a funnel to avoid spills).
  3. Then fill the rest of the way with water.
  4. Lastly, label the bottle. I have several homemade cleaners, and I don’t want to get them mixed up!

Super easy, right? I use this cleaner all over my house – in bathrooms, the kitchen, wiping down toys and furniture… pretty much anywhere you’d use an all-purpose cleaner. The vinegar smell is only faintly there, but mostly I just smell the oranges!

To do some math here, this bottle of cleaner costs roughly 19 cents. A commercially-sold bottle of cleaner ranges from $2-$5, depending on what kind you get. And this doesn’t even take into consideration the harsh chemicals. So, I much prefer this way!

Happy cleaning!