Not really sure if I mentioned this before or not, but my boys love chocolate milk. I used to get them the powder mix because for some reason I had convinced myself if was better for them. (I think it was just self-preservation… don’t want to be caught squirting it directly into my mouth.) Anyhow, there are actually less ingredients (which usually means better for you) in store bought syrup than the powder mix.
When my little one switched to soy milk the powder would not mix and dissolve as well in the soy as the skim milk. For a while I just bought cartons of chocolate soy milk and cut it with regular soy milk (there is a lot of chocolate/sugar in already flavored milk). And because I like to control the amount of sugar (or at least think I’m controlling it) I needed to start making my own alternative because I was holding firm on the fact that I had never bought chocolate syrup for my boys and I never would.
So here is the super simple Chocolate Syrup.
Basically, you make a Simple Syrup and flavor it.
Start by combining Water, Sugar and Cocoa into a large sauce pan (you want a little bigger pot than you think, when it starts to boil it gets bigger).
Over medium heat bring to a boil turn heat down a bit and stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved (about 2-3 min).
Take pot off of heat and stir in Vanilla and Salt.
Let cool and pour into squirt bottle or jar for storing in fridge. (I use condiment squirt bottles, they are about a dollar, but an old chocolate syrup bottle would be great!)
And that’s it! You can use it on Ice Cream or anything else you may want a touch of chocolate in/on!
I hate buying chicken broth, but love to use it. Recently I began reading how easy it is to make. Some people have fancy recipes but the fact is, it is so easy that it is hard to mess up.
Chicken (or turkey) Bones – (I also save any skin, tendons, or fatty parts that don’t get used)
Cider Vinegar (optional)
Okay, this week I bought a whole 4.2 lb. chicken for $3.77. I roasted it myself, took the meat off the bone for a recipe later in the week and put the bones/carcass in the crock pot. If you choose not to roast your own chicken you can buy one roasted for about $5.00.
Next I look for vegetables. You don’t have to get fancy here, use what you have on hand. I almost always have onion, carrots and celery. But you could put anything you want. Clean and cut veggies and put them on top of your bones.
Then I fill the crockpot with cold water until the bones and veggies are completely covered. I like to measure the water before and then compare how much I have when it is done. If you are using cider vinegar, add it with the water, about a tablespoon. I am not sure the science behind this, I have read a lot of recipes but one in particular said to soak the bones without heat for about an hour.
After the soak turn your crockpot on. I cook my broth for 18 – 24 hours. I start on Low heat and turn it to Warm sometime before I go to bed.
After the broth is finished let it cool. (It’s hard to wait, but you don’t want to burn yourself.) Strain the liquid to separate it from the bones and veggies. You can strain it one more time through a cotton/linen towel if you choose.
I measure it out in 2 cup increments and freeze it flat in a quart size freezer bag or refrigerate it for about a week.
I hope you can see how much money you can save and how much healthier it is to make your own chicken broth. So don’t throw out those bones, throw them in the crockpot!
With home, heart and motherhood