Dreaming of Made-From-Scratch Meals...

Dreaming of Made-From-Scratch Meals... 1I try my very hardest to cook with natural ingredients in unprocessed states.

In fact, someday I hope to:

  • have a small garden where I can pick my very own herbs, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and snap peas.
  • live within walking distance of a farmer's market that sells locally-grown produce.
  • linger over cooking completely homemade meals (no boxes, cans, or powders).
Food is just better when it's fresh and local. There's nothing better than homemade bread right out of the oven, light pancakes made with homemade batter, and apples picked right off of the tree.  
That said, it's not always feasible to cook like that when the grocery store is 10 minutes away and when you have a 2-year-old (and you're pregnant, to boot!). I do cook healthfully, but I sometimes have to resort to using boxes and cans.  
If you are also a "semi-homemade" kind of cook, then you might appreciate Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cooking Cook's Cards. The box comes with 55 recipe cards in five categories:
  1. Breakfast
  2. Appetizers and Snacks
  3. Salads and Soups
  4. Dinner, and 
  5. Desserts

Dreaming of Made-From-Scratch Meals... 2Choose between recipes like Carrot Coconut Muffins, Chicken and Baby Spinach with Raspberry-Balsamic Vinaigarette, Lemon Herb Butter-Basted Chicken, Cheesesteak Subs, Lasagna, and Cherry Crumble. There is one recipe on each card - flip it over and there's a corresponding picture (one of the best features of this set!).

I like to think that I fall in the Mostly Homemade category instead of the Semi-Homemade category so I wouldn't want to use these recipes every single night. That said, these recipes really are fast and easy...and I don't know very many moms that would turn those two qualities down.   
YOUR TURN: How about you? Are you a semi-homemade cook, a mostly-homemade cook, or a make-everything-from scratch mama?   
WIN IT! One winner will receive Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cooking Cook's Cards (Quirk Books, $16.95). To enter, leave a comment on this post prior to Sunday, November 16 at midnight (don’t forget to follow the rules). * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.  
Pictured Above: Farmer's Market @ Verrado
*UPDATE* The winner is #152 Carolyn Walsh. Congratulations!

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161 comments on “Dreaming of Made-From-Scratch Meals...”

  1. I try to be a mostly home-made cook, but I find myself at times being semi home-made! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this giveaway!

    HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE !!!

  2. I am a semi-homemade cook.Wish I had the experience to be a homemade cook.The cards are nice.Thanks for the giveaway

  3. I dont cook anymore...I am too old!!...but I certainly was all homemade, and prefer to eat that way too! But, I'd like to try these recipes. Easier creations would be good now that I am slower

  4. I am a semi-homemade cook. Most of my recipes are from prepared foods but I like to have a few truely homemade items a week in the menu.

  5. I'm a mostly homemade cook. I like to know what is in my food. Sometimes even cooking everything myself I don't know.

  6. I vary between semi-homemade and mostly-homemade, depending what else is going on and how busy I am. I would like to be more and more from-scratch though!

  7. I try to be mostly homemade, but working full time with 2 kids and crazy extra curricula activities, I sometimes have to rely on more packaged foods and doctor them up with as much veggies and fresh protein. I try, at all costs, to stay away from processed meats.....they are gross!

    Thanks for hosting this great giveaway.

  8. Used to be a mostly homemade but now after 35 years of cooking a semi homeade. Rather be on my computer than cook. Wood rather clean a bathroom than cook.

  9. I try to be mostly homemade, but lately, working full time while being pregnant with two small children, I tend to be semi-homemade.

  10. I am mostly home-made. I love to make things form scratch but sometimes it eaier to just pop something in the microwave.

  11. I am a semi homemade cook--we have a small garden, and I love harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables, such as rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, and peas. We are eating strawberries hrvested in the beginning of November (mid Atlantic Region)! That's a first for us, but then, we did move them into our small greenouse at the end of October.

  12. Sandra Lee is great, perfect for those of us who aren't necessarily Susie Homemaker.

    Deidre
    deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

  13. I am definitely a semi-homemade cook. I would like to be a mostly homemade cook but right now that's just a dream.

  14. I would say that I am mostly home-made. In my rich fantasy life I would be an all from scratch, my garden, etc but doubt I'll ever achieve that.

  15. I'm definitely semi homemade...i get all my fruits, veggies and meats from the market to keep things fresh, but I definitely cheat a bit when it comes to potatoes and other sides! And bottled marinades are a savior of mine!

    I'd love some fresh ideas!

  16. Yes, I am a semi-homemade type of cook lately. I do cook sometimes from scratch, but with a 4 year old and 18 month old, I often don't have time to prepare a full meal from scratch. These cards sounds wonderful!

  17. I would say I'm mostly semi-homemade. I like to cook, but I also like the ease of using pre-made items in my cooking. I think Sandra Lee has some great ideas, and I love to watch her shows! Great giveaway - thanks for offering!
    ~Tanya
    the4moyers(at)msn(dot)com

  18. Due to lack of time I have become more of a semi-homemade mom. Before having kids I loved to make things from scratch but as each child was born that became less possible. Thanks for the chance to win this.

  19. I'd consider myself to be semi-homemade. I do have a garden and can a lot of the things I grow. I also shop local and use whole foods but can't resist a pizza from the bakery either! :)

  20. I am as semi-homemade as they come. I love Sandra Lee. Her TV show gives me great ideas. I also have one of her books. I would love to add this to my collection. Thanks!

  21. Semi-homemade is a stretch. We get a lot of quick snacks at WaWa rather than actually cook anything!! I should try though

  22. I'd say I'm a semi-homemade cook moving toward (or at least wanting to move toward) a mostly-homemade cook. Thanks for the chance to win!

  23. I am a 90% from scratch cooking wife and mom.
    For desserts, I believe nothing comes close to
    100% homemade.
    But I unlike most moms, have the time to cook from scratch, as I am a fulltime stay at home mom of 2.
    It's a win~win Situation....
    you feel good giving it away...
    I feel humbly & Thankfully good winning it,
    so go ahead, make both our days,
    and make me a winner! lornnslady(@)sweeps.ws

  24. I think I'm a semi-homemade cook. Sometimes I do it all from scratch, sometimes it's the opposite, but mostly it's somewhere in between.

  25. Semi homemade and loving it. Not everything requires a gazillion ingredients from the rain forest to be great. I love tweaking recipes to our taste.

  26. I am a semi-homemade kind of girl. I have to jazz everything up with spices to my liking, but other than that...why not take a few shortcuts?

  27. I'm a mostly homemade cook, but of course it depends on how much time I have. I do have a small herb & vegetable garden and we live near a fruit orchard so that helps, but I wish we lived near a farmer's market.

  28. I am a mostly homemade cook (so you don't need to include me in the drawing for the cookbook - she's not my style) mainly because I love to cook, and we love to eat healthily. Produce prices have made it more of a challenge these days to stay within the budget, but our CSA helps keep fresh fruits and vegetables on the table without the exhorbitant grocery store prices.

    I just spent the weekend prepping many freezer bags of carnitas to have at-the-ready for those nights where time is of the essence.

  29. Unfortunately, I'm a semi homemade cook. I'd love to do more cooking from scratch, but I don't usualy get home until sometime between 7:30 and 8:00. I need something quick for dinner.

  30. I am so busy with the kids that I am a semi-homemade cook. I would love to have more time but it just isn't there so I need recipes that come together fast.

  31. I have to say that I am a semi-homemade chef at home. I try to make all my desserts from scratch but I am definitely not ashamed with having three kids running around the house to say that I buy store-bought items too.

    Thanks for a great giveaway :)

  32. I am a semi-homemade cook becoming a mostly-homemade cook, because I am enjoying cooking my own meals more and more ever since I started losing weight and trying to save money!! Thank you for the contest!

  33. I'd like too think i'm atleast semi homemade.. maybe this would help me to be more homemade and less fast food all the time

  34. I'm a mostly home-made cook. I do use cake and cookie mixes, pastas and salsas, but I've been working on going more to scratch so I can control what's in my food. But in a time crunch, I have no problem moving to semi home-made. Thanks for the chance to win.

  35. I would have to say I am a semi-homemade cook. Although I do use products from my local farmers market I do use things that make my cooking time a lot quicker.

  36. I am a mostly homemade cook. I sometimes use help for the side dishes like pasta mixes and such. I try to make all my own spaghetti sauce, salsa, and things like that. I try so hard not to use overly processed food.

  37. I am a semi-homemade cook who is slowly converting to a mostly homemade cook now that I am a stay at home mom. Thanks for the chance.

  38. I am almost a completely packaged cook. I need these recipe cards to help me to progress to semi-homemade. Thanks for the chance!

  39. Right now I'm a semi-homemade... we're moving in less than a month so ... that's my excuse, lol! But hopefully soon to be all homemade :)

  40. I am definitely a Semi-Homemade kinda gal. I like to take pre-packaged things and then doctor them up with fresh ingredients. Why reinvent the wheel on some basics?

  41. I actually border the line of a semi-homemade cook,and a mostly-homemade cook. It really depends on my time.

    brn2lisn(at)gmail(dot)com

  42. I am a a semi-homemade cook.

    Sometimes I cook from scratch but on the days I don't have time then I am semi one.

    Thank you!

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  43. mostly homemade. would be neat to get some ideas though from it and pass it on to someone who needs alot more help

  44. I'm definitely a semi-homemade person. After being married 45 years and raising three kids with home made, I now need a break and semi home made it it!!

  45. A semi-homemade. I'm struggling so much with cooking right now. It's so hard to hear the kids whining night after night that they don't like anything I make. I need all the help I can get.

  46. I love to make things semi-homemade!! With my work schedule, it is hard to make things totally homemade & anything to save time & ingredients helps!!!

  47. I guess I'm semi-homemade.
    This Arizona heat sure makes gardening difficult. I usually have some basil and parsley and I attempt tomatoes every year...to no avail. In the next few years I hope to have more success...by calling on the epertise of my local garden mentor.

  48. I am trying to be more homemade! Plus I really want to make the baby's food. I don't want to buy them, I mean I already buy organic veggies, so why not...but I have until March.

    Oh by the way..how interesting. I use to live in Phx, in Buckeye to be exact. We moved to Des Moines for my hubby's job, and will move again in Apr to Boise! I so miss Verrado!

  49. I am trying to become mostly home-made. I love having our garden in the summer it makes it much easier to make healthier choices. I believe my kids are also enjoying our family time at the dinner table instead of just running thru a drive-thru. Just need to set aside time to meal plan. That always make the weekday meals go smoother.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  50. Mostly home-made. I love to can and we have our own garden. Our first garden was all in pots on the front porch. Bumper crop but took lots of watering. Boxed foods are gross. Though, we use a some canned, processed products. Love all Muir Glenn canned products including spaghetti sauce and tomatoes. Also go to rice dishes in the Lipton Sides packages for a quick lunch. Our family loves the Red Beans and Rice.

  51. I try to be a mostly home-made cook, but right now, with a preschooler, a toddler, and pregnant as well, I'm content with being semi home-made! (In fact, if we're eating at home, I'm happy!) I'm trying to plan and make more doubled meals for freezing, so that I don't have to rely so much on convenience on those nights when home-made just isn't going to happen!

  52. How about not a cook at all? LOL! Hubby is the cook and I would say he's semi-homemade. I would also love to live close to a farmer's market.

  53. I am mostly home-made. We do have our own garden in the summer and I LOVE being able to go pick veggies and have them that night. But mainly, because I am home all day with the kids, it is one more activity that they get to help me with. I think it is very important that kids know where their food comes from and how it is made, and I love sharing that with them!

  54. I am trying to be more "mostly-homemade." I'm juggling a lot right now, but life will settle down in a couple of months, and my goal is to really get back to the basics.

  55. We live in the desert and as a result the gardens I try to not succeed. I loved tomatoes and corn from the garden growing up. I am always looking for new recipe ideas and want to cook more healthily for my husband, son and soon to be daughter.

  56. During the summer I'm a mostly homemade cook now that we're getting into fall I'm going back to my semi-homemade mode... One of these days I'd love to be an all homemade cook :)

  57. I'm totally going to admit that I'm a semi-homemade cook! Don't get me wrong -- I love fresh ingredients and from scratch meals and would love to get better at making them. But right now, because of money, time, and physical limitations, having something on the table that our family can share together is more important than not having anything at all! And if you knew my abysmal cooking skills, you know why my family welcomes a few canned/boxed items from time to time :)

  58. Our yard is really tiny, so I don't have a garden. I do however grow my own herbs! I frequent the farmers markets when it is around and take full advantage of those wanting to get rid of their extra produce! I love to make healthy, delicious meals for the family...using the freshest ingredients possible. I love buying the homemade jams and jellies too! Yum!

    seeryusfam@msn.com

  59. I am far less homemade than I'd like to be right now. We're semi-homemade. That said, we do eat a meal made at home together every night. It may not always be box- and can-free, but it's not purchased from a fast food place or a restaurant, and it's not on the go. We enjoy our family meal time at the table, no matter what the state of the meal placed in front of us. Thanks for the review!

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