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4 Cheese, No Sauce Pizza

A big part of keeping a low grocery budget is being willing to experiment and think outside the box. That skill comes in especially handy for me right now, as I’m trying to make it through the month on $127, but still eat healthy, delicious foods.

Here’s a 4 Cheese, No Sauce Pizza I concocted a couple days ago that was so delicious! And easy to make, too!

Here’s how:

Prepare your pizza dough. I make mine in quadrupled recipes and freeze 3 extra batches. When I want a pizza, I take the dough out of the freezer, let it thaw, and then use it. Super easy!

After you’ve rolled out your dough, make sure you prick your dough with a fork so it doesn’t get all bubbly.

I like to bake my crusts first, before I load them with toppings. I’ve found that little step helps them get nice and crispy.

Here are my recommendations for this pizza:

1.Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Bake your pizza crust for about 10 minutes before you load it.

3. Add the secret ingredient: Lots and lots of garlic. Smash it all over your pizza:

4. Add cheese – my favorites are Mozzarella, Cheddar, Fresh Parmesan, and Feta. Sprinkle with a bit of oregano and basil (or use fresh if you have it)

5. Bake 7-10 more minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

ENJOY! What’s your favorite pizza?

Linking up: Freaky Friday, Refresh Your Nest, Monday Mania

The No Spend Challenge in January

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a fabulous end to 2011 and are ready to get down to business in 2012. I am excited for the new year and the possibilities it brings. To get off on the right foot, my family is participating in several challenges other bloggers are hosting. They’re all related and have consistent themes – limit spending, save, use up what you already have.

Are you ready for the challenges?!

First, we’re doing an Eat from the Pantry Challenge with Good Cheap Eats.

We did this a couple of times in 2011 and I always love the bare cupboards at the end. It’s so nice to use up what we have and to find things I had forgotten about at the bottom of my pantry cupboards. I hate throwing out food and this challenge helps me use up things I probably wouldn’t otherwise.

I also love the different spins that different families put on this challenge. My goals are probably very different from a lot of other people’s, and that’s OK!

Here are my goals:

  • Spend $127 or less on dairy and produce for the entire month
  • Get back to baking more snacks
  • Eat at least one meatless meal per week
  • Eat soup at least once a week

With a $300 monthly food budget, this will save us roughly $175 for the month.

Next, we’re joining Learning the Frugal Life in her 31 Days of Nothing Challenge.

This challenge takes the pantry challenge one step further. I had been thinking of doing something like this before I knew about Sara’s challenge. See, we’re going to Florida in February and finding extra money for that trip would be swell!

At first, I thought this challenge would be really easy. It goes like this: only spend money on things we absolutely need. That doesn’t sound hard, does it? But then I started thinking about what I WILL need to spend money on in January. While I certainly don’t need to buy any clothes or toys, I have been meaning to order a new plastic dohicky for my Nutri-mill for some time. I have no idea how that thing got lost (well, actually I’m sure it has something to do with a 17 month old and a trash can). I don’t have to have that thing – I haven’t had it for about 3 months now, but not having it means that grinding flour makes my kitchen a big mess. And that deters me from grinding flour. And that’s counterproductive for baking. So, I’m going to have to think long and hard about that one.

Another thing I need is to renew our membership for the kid’s museums. Again, I don’t have to have this, but it could ultimately save a lot of money on our trip to Florida because of reciprocity with other museums. Hmmm…

And then there’s the kid activities and homeschooling. Dues for piano and dance lessons… bowling class and Gym & Swim. We’re also signed up to go tubing! Suddenly January is starting to sound expensive. But I still think we can take other steps to reduce spending in January.

And since we’re taking the 31 day challenge with Learning the Frugal Life, we may as well sign up for Frugally Sustainable’s 21 Day Challenge, right?

I love how Andrea says this is a challenge to redefine “enough.” Last February we moved into a smaller house and I have been living with a little less for a while now. What I’ve learned is that having fewer things is nice! There’s less to pick up, less to dust, less to clean. BUT, the things are creeping back in and taking over my house again.

Hip surgery for the 19 month old came with a lot of needed (and big) supplies. A bean bag chair, a spica table, new toys to take her mind off her cast. Three winter birthdays and Christmas have meant an influx of new toys. The kids’ rooms are cluttered and my living room is overflowing. So re-defining enough, purging and cleaning, is a great idea!

My goals for these spend nothing challenges:

  • No eating out
  • No buying new clothes or toys (get rid of some instead)
  • No buying books (that’s what the library’s for, right?)
  • And above all else, stay OUT of Goodwill!

Our monthly eating out budget isn’t huge, and the discretionary money I have to spend on things is also not a lot. But depending on how things go, and how involved my husband gets, we may be able to save another $200-400 in January doing those things.

Adding $400 – 600 to our vacation money would be awesome!

What do you think? Are you inspired to participate in any or all of these challenges? I hope you will join me in at least one. I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks how it’s going for us!

Linking up with: Good Cheap Eats,

Your Top 11 Posts from 2011

I got the idea for this post from Anne of Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy. I really like her blog and thought wrapping up the year with favorite posts was pretty clever. Reflecting on my blogging has been very interesting to me!

Since I switched blogging platforms (from Blogger to WordPress) half-way through the year, what I’m writing here is only true from July, 2011 on. But since July, these have been the most viewed posts on Simplify, Live, Love (I didn’t include any giveaway posts).

#11. If Someone Offers You a Free Barn ~ The first post on my series about our barn restoration efforts, this post shows what terrible shape our barn was before we moved it. It really makes me wonder what the heck we were thinking. Do you ever do things you look back on and just shake your head about? Don’t get me wrong, I love our barn, but the audacity to think we could (should?) rebuild it! Holy Moly!!

barn before moving

#10. Eggy Breakfast Muffins ~ This is a recipe for an interesting take on a quick breakfast! The best part, it can be made ahead of time and frozen! I’m all for saving time.

#9. Master Bread Recipe  ~ I bake all of our bread and this is the recipe I deviate from! I love creating new recipes from this one base recipe. Apparently, you all have enjoyed it, too.

#8. Muffin Mixes for the Freezer ~ Can you tell I’m all about freeing up time in the kitchen? Here’s the recipe I use to make my own muffin mixes so I can quickly whip up a batch of fresh muffins in the morning.

#7. My Grocery Price Point List ~ Feeding my family of 6 a healthy, whole foods diet for between $250-$300 a month takes careful planning. Here are the prices I use as a guide to help me stock up when prices are at their lowest.

#6. Amish Produce Auction Purchases ~ All three of my posts about my experience at the Amish Produce Auction were very popular! This posts shows what I ended up winning.

#5. Stringtown Amish Bulk Food Store ~ One of my favorite stores is Stringtown in Kalona. I get raw honey, raw nuts, bags of wheat berries and other goodies for much less than I could buy them elsewhere. This post talks about the store.

#4. September Freezing Cooking Wrap-up ~ I was super productive in September and this post outlines all of the goodies I made for my freezer and includes links for some of the recipes! I still have one Spinach Mozzarella Meatloaf  and a few bags and jars of spaghetti sauce left.

#3. Produce Auctions – also one of my favorite 11 posts! I love the pictures my friend Michele took and graciously allowed me to include on my blog. I love watching Amish people! I can’t wait for spring to hit up these auctions again. They are a fabulous way to get quality produce for little out of pocket.

#2. 100% Whole Wheat Everyday Bread ~ This post describes how I bake 5 loaves of bread from start to finish in about 1 1/2 hours! YUM!

#1. Italian Zucchini Pie ~ My most favorite post of 2011 is the recipe for Zucchini Pie! I’m shocked, really. I thought I was the only weird person who liked zucchini! :-) Thanks, Amy, for the recipe that so many people like.

zucchini pie

What do you think? Did you like these posts, too?

My Favorite Posts from 2011

It’s interesting for me to look back on my blogging. I’ve only been blogging about a year, but I think it’s safe to say that my style has change quite a lot in this one year! When I first starting blogging, I was very hesitant to broach some topics because I didn’t want to offend anyone and so I focused mainly on couponing and buying groceries. While I still don’t want t0 offend, there are some topics I think are too important not to talk about. I’ve broached a lot more topics than I thought I ever would. And, I don’t think I’ve made too many people mad in the process… :-)

Here are my 11 favorite posts from 2011:

1. Moving the Barn ~ My husband and I are very proud of our efforts to salvage a bit of local history. The post shows how we moved an enormous barn to our property. We’re still in the process of finishing it, but it’s absolutely amazing to me how far we have come this year! I promise to get caught up on the posts about our barn restoration efforts in 2012.

2. Keeping a Low Grocery Part 1 – Breastfeeding ~ It’s safe to say that I am a lactivist and place great importance on breastfeeding. One way I have saved a TON of money over the years has been exclusively breastfeeding my four kids. Not only has it saved money on formula, but I also haven’t had to buy bottles, nipples, bags, and I’m convinced it has saved me money at the doctor’s office, too!

3. Diapering with a Spica Cast ~ This is a more recent post, but my life right now is consumed with hip dysplasia and finding ways to help other people through this trying time in our lives is high on my priority list. I hope this post helps people figure out how to diaper their own hippy babies. :-)

4. Clean Air for Muscatine ~ It still boggles my mind that we live in such a rural area and yet have such filthy air! Hopefully, air quality improves in the coming years. I’m proud that this post prompted me to write letters to editors of three Iowa papers!

5. Waldorf Homeschooling and Silk Dying! ~ One of my favorite homeschooling days from 2011 was this silk dying lesson at Many Hands House! I am looking forward to more of these nice days in 2012.

6. German Pancakes ~ This is one of our very favorite things to eat for breakfast! So many people have commented on this recipe to me. I bet it  could be a favorite of yours too!

7. How to Make Homemade  Egg Rolls ~Who knew you could make your own egg rolls? I never did! I had a lot of fun writing this post. But the best part was eating the egg rolls!

8. Our Trip to the Amish Produce Auction ~ I love the pictures in the post! We had so much fun at the Amish Produce Auction that I love this post talking about our experience there. And scoring 90 lbs of produce for $38 was AWESOME!

9. No Mayo Cole Slaw ~ I actually use this recipe a lot and I was thrilled when a friend posted a link to my blog from somewhere really cool. Of course, I can’t remember where that was now, but it was cool! :-) And the cole slaw’s pretty good, too!

10. Before You Circumcize Your Son ~ This is another topic I was very hestitant to talk about, but one that I think is important enough to mention over and over again.  If I save even one baby boy, I will be so thrilled.

11. Happy Home Birthday, Cora ~ Of course, I love this very recent post about my daughter’s Christmas home birthday. I love the pictures and the kid! These are awesome memories.

I’d love to hear if YOU have a favorite post from my blog! :-)

Fried Potatoes and Ham Recipe – A Family Favorite

Fried Potatoes and Ham, one of my favorite recipes from my childhood. This recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover ham!
fried potatoes and ham

One of my favorite things about Christmas is left-over ham. (I’d probably try to steal my mother’s ham-bone if I could get away with it to make bean soup – but she’s already done that, darn it!) Call me crazy…I can take it! 😉 I can think of at least a half dozen ways to use up leftover ham, all of which I love, and leftovers that I can re-purpose into something else make my day! I’ll share some ways to use left-over ham as I make more dishes, but my absolute favorite is Fried Potatoes and Ham.

Fried Potatoes and Ham Recipe – A Family Favorite

Here’s how to make it:

Thinly slice up a bunch of potatoes. When you think you have enough, slice up two more! 🙂

Add to the potatoes a bunch of sliced onions and pressed garlic. Again, add more garlic than you think! It’s good for you, and it makes this dish sooooo tasty.

fried potatoes and ham

Fry everything in oil. When the potatoes are about finished (and make sure you get some nice and crispy) add in a bunch of leftover ham. Salt and pepper to taste.

bowl of leftover ham for fried potatoes and ham



If you like this recipe for fried potatoes and ham, you might like these too:

One Holiday Day Ham – 5 ways to Use the Leftovers

How to Make Turkey Pot Pie from Scratch

How to Make Homemade Pierogi from Leftover Mashed Potatoesfried potatoes and ham

Whole Wheat Potato Bread made from Leftover Mashed Potatoes


Week 7 :: Diarrhea + Spica Cast = No FUN!

Week 7 of hip dysplasia life was marked by Diarrhea and Spica Casts. If your child is in a spica cast, do everything in your power to avoid diarrhea!
toddler crawling in spica castWe’ve now survived SEVEN weeks in the Spica cast! WAHOOOO! 41 days until Cast CUT OFF FOR GOOD!

We had a major challenge in Week 7 – namely, Sara caught a stomach bug. She vomited most of one night and then had diarrhea the next day. Luckily, the bug was short lived, but let me just tell you how much fun it is to change diarrhea in a spica cast. If at all possible, I highly recommend keeping children in spica casts healthy! 🙂 I know some things are beyond our control. I have no idea where she may have picked up this bug, but it was bad. Ugh. Do everything you can to keep your spica babies healthy!! I have stepped up the Thieves oil again…

Week 7 :: Diarrhea and Spica Casts = No FUN!

In addition to the diarrhea, we’ve got one other problem. She’s got a sore on her leg (the left leg that the cast was cut down on last week). It’s red and irritated. There’s a small lesion (but the sore itself is not infected looking to me) and every once in a while, it feels hot to me. This is it:

skin irritation caused by spica cast

I have been covering it with Neosporin and a bandage at night and it’s better in the morning, but the bandage doesn’t stay on during the day and it gets redder as the day wears on. I’m not sure what to do.

We’ve felt all inside the cast to see what might be causing the irritation. I’ve added and taken out mole skin (and you can see the dirt sticking to the adhesives now because of it). I’m watching her leg very closely and look forward to getting my sister’s medical opinion on Friday. In the meantime, if any of you spica savvy parents have ideas for me, please share! The cast feels really tight right there by the sore, and I’m just at a loss.

Aside from the bout with diarrhea and the sore on her leg, most of Week 7 was just fine. Sara has learned to do the splits:

sitting in a spica cast

She’s crawling better:

crawling in a spica cast

And she’s playing her peek-a-goo games!

sitting in a spica cast

And she traveled like a trooper the 6 hours down to my parents’ house in Central Missouri.

We’re looking forward to a fun Christmas with my family and, dare I say it? I’m hoping for a little snow.

Got any suggestions for what to do about that sore on her leg??? I’d really love to hear your opinions. Please and Thank-YOU!

You can read the rest of our hip story here.


How to Open a Pomegranate

Pomegranates are purported to extol all kinds of health benefits and my kids love them. But they are not that easy to open. Here’s how to open a pomegranate without making a huge mess. In addition to being high in vitamins, A, C, E and folic acid, they are also said to protect against cancer, have anti-aging properties, ward off Alzheimers, and boost the immune system. (If you’d like to read more about them, here is an article that appeared in Time Magazine by Dr. Weil in 2006.)

How to open a pomegranate

But I’ve always passed them over in the grocery store until just recently. A couple weeks ago, Aldi had them on sale for 49 cents each and my kiddos begged me to get some. So I did.

But then I had to learn how to open them! They are a little intimidating looking, which is why I never bought them before. Plus, who wants to eat those seeds anyway? 😉

If you’ve never opened a pomegranate, here’s how I did it. It kept the mess to minimum and the stain off my counter!

Here’s what to do:

First, wash it and cut off the top and bottom. Use a cutting board that won’t spill. The juice stains.

Score it like so:
score the pomegranate

And put it in a bowl of water.
put the pomegranate in a bowl of water

Then, break it into the four sections you scored.
put the pomegranate in a bowl of water and break it into 4 parts

Separate the seeds from the pith.
separate the seeds from the pitch

Then, strain them and remove any remaining pith.
strain the seeds

After all that, whew! Done. Now you can either eat the seeds (which only my super most non-picky kid eater likes to do) or use them in smoothies. I recommend combining them with fresh pineapple. Yum! Next time they are on sale for 49 cents each, I’m buying a bunch, doing all this work, and then freezing the seeds for future use!

Do you eat pomegranates? What do you put them in?


Week 6 – Spica Cast Change

We had our 6 week post-hip dysplasia surgery follow up appointment yesterday. That means we’re HALF-WAY finished with the spica cast!!!! We were hoping we’d get an xray to verify the positioning of Sara’s femur (for peace of mind…) and we had been told they would alter the cast a bit. In my research I have read that most kids get a complete cast change at the half-way point, but our surgeon said he prefers not to, if possible, because it requires another round of general anesthesia. Since she hadn’t out- grown the cast, and we’ve been doing a pretty good job at keeping it clean, they just wanted to do a “tune-up.” That was fine with me. I’d rather not have to knock her out again.

Week 6 – Spica Cast Change

Anyhow, to refresh your memory, here’s what her spica cast looked like before:

diapering in a spica cast

I’ll get to the after picture in a minute! 🙂

She did have an xray, and the docs said everything looks good. But, they cautioned us. Xrays don’t show everything they need to see. They can see the big picture – hip is in place. Now, it needs to stay there. The cartilage in her hip socket needs to calcify and turn to bone to hold the femoral head in a good position and at a good angle. That takes a long time, even longer than the 12 weeks she’s in the spica cast. They told us the next decision point would probably be when she’s 4 or 5 years old. They like to try again before the kiddos start school, if there are still problems with the hip.

While we were glad they didn’t have to put her under general anesthesia, the cast “tune-up” wasn’t entirely benign. If you’ve ever had a cast taken off, you know they use a pretty loud saw. Sara didn’t like that too much. She did okay with it until they had to flip her around to get at the right angles to cut the cast. It was kind of funny seeing her stuck up in the air with poor left leg sticking out. But her least favorite part was when they opened up the diaper area a bit more. It was such a small hole that I asked if they couldn’t please give me a little more room. And they did!! I felt bad that Sara was so upset by it, but it will help me a lot to have a bit more room to maneuver diapers in and out of that monster cast.

Here the leg has been cut down and the tech is working on the diaper area.getting ready to cut off the spica cast

The tech had to re-wrap the leg hole to smooth it out so the plaster and fiberglass wouldn’t hurt.
cutting the let down on the spica cast

Sara checking out her new leg:
petaling the spica cast leg

Then the tech wrapped the cast in a new color of fiberglass – purple! Sara didn’t like that too much either.
rewrapping the spica cast with a new color fiberglass

We’re happy to have her left leg free! I’m whacking her less often on doors now! 🙂 However, the tech didn’t do as good a job this time wrapping the cast and making it smooth. We’ve had to do a lot of work to get it nice to handle again. I had to wrap the entire diaper area with panty-liners to protect my knuckles from the rough fiberglass. I was getting bloody knuckles changing her diaper. And, we had to fix the leg opening, too, because it was rough and bumpy. A super nice spica-mom sent us a package with a lot of mole skin and tape a while back, and it came in really handy for fixing up the cast.

Here’s what she looks like now. Are you ready?! 🙂

refreshed soica cast after cast cut down

I’m thinking about how to make the final cast-cut-off a little less traumatic. A friend suggested ear phones and a portable DVD player. That might be a good idea. They had bubbles at the hospital and she liked having them blown around her as the tech was working. Next time I’ll take my own and start blowing them before she melts down. And she really likes looking at pictures of cats, so we’ll whip out the iPhone again.

If you have to go through this with your kids I really recommend explaining to them what’s about to happen ahead of time. It may sound weird – but we have had super good luck with Sara by taking things slowly and talking about everything. My husband sat down with Sara and showed her the tools. They watched a couple of people having cast work. She felt the saw. All of these things helped her relax, we think. Dan thinks if they could have sat in the room for 10 more minutes just observing, she probably wouldn’t have cried at all. I don’t know about that. I’d probably cry too if someone stuck a saw near my privates! 🙂 But all in all, she did a really great job, as she has throughout this whole process.

Anyhow, the best part of the visit to the hospital was getting a date for the final cast removal. Sara’s cast will come off on January 30th. 46 days away. But who’s counting?

If you’d like to read the rest of our hip dysplasia story, the posts are here.


Week 5 – How to Entertain a Toddler in a Spica Cast

If you’re looking for how to entertain a toddler in a spica cast, look no further. This list of fun activities and things to do can be a real life saver! This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase.

entertaining a toddler in a spica cast

We have survived another week in the SPICA. Five down, SEVEN to go. This week was a little easier than last week. Our “schedule” is back to a more normal pace. We’re sleeping a little bit better. And, best of all, I did not have to take anyone to the doctor during Week 5!

I’m so happy to be connecting with quite a few other Hip-Baby parents. I hope I can provide some encouragement and practical tips on my blog. This week, I’m addressing entertainment. I know I was quite worried about how to entertain Sara after she was casted. I’ve found those worries to be mostly unfounded, though, as the weeks unfold.

How to Entertain a Toddler in a Spica Cast

In a nutshell, I’ve found that entertaining my spica baby is pretty much the same as entertaining any toddler. She just can’t walk anymore. So, instead of her getting what she wants, we have to get things for her. Here are some of Sara’s favorite activities that she can do in a spica cast:entertaining a toddler in a spic cast

1. BOOKS! Read lots of books (and choke the cat) in her bean bag chair.  Also throwing the books all over the floor is always a fun game!) She also has fun with coloring books and crayons.

entertaining a toddler in a spic cast

2. The wooden activity cube has been a huge hit since she’s figured out how to sit in her cast.

entertaining a toddler in a spic cast

3. SPICA TABLE! From her Spica Table, she can eat, play with puzzles, read books, throw crayons overboard. If you’re handy and would like to make your own spica table, Trent over at Tattered Angels has plans he’ll email you! You can find Trent at the DDH Facebook page or at his blog. If you aren’t handy, lots of people have spica tables to give away if you’re lucky enough to live in the right area. I see posts all the time for them on the hip-baby yahoo group. Or, you can buy them already made at Ivy~Rose Spica Chairs.

4. MUSIC! Playing the piano and other musical instruments has also been a huge hit. Great friends of ours sent Sara the Melissa & Doug Band in a Box which she loves. Turning on the radio, listening to music, and dancing is also a lot of fun for her.


5.  GET OUT! It’s easy to hole up inside, but getting out of the house is really important for us. Taking walks has been a great distraction when she’s been fed up with everything else. It’s getting quite cold in Eastern Iowa so we have to bundle up well – but it’s doable. Sara fits in two of my strollers: my double jogger (which only fits her and her cast right now so big sissy has to ride her bike) and the umbrella stroller. I have to put pillows against the back of the strollers and make the straps as big as they go, but she fits!

She also fits in my Boba Baby Carrier. It takes a little effort to get her in and out since she won’t bend, and she’s super duper heavy, but the carrier has been great for trips to the store and other outside activities where the strollers won’t roll.

6. BOXES have been super! She can get in them, color on them, use them for peek-a-boo, and push them around now that she’s army crawling.

entertaining a toddler in a spica cast

entertaining a toddler in a spica cast

7. Finally, desperate times call for desperate measures. When all else fails, electronic devices have been a saving grace. Sara loves to play on the computer, the iPad, real cell phones, old real phones, and watch a small amount of TV. I try to use these things sparingly, but sometimes we all need a break. These Youtube music videos by casperbabypants have really been fun for Sara.

entertaining a toddler in a spica cast

entertaining a toddler in a spica cast

She still throws some fits, but overall, she’s very happy.  She is 18 months, after all.  18 month olds throw fits, right?  As long as we anticipate her needs and get her what she wants, we all have fun.

We have our first follow-up doctor appointment on Dec 14 and Sara’s cast is supposed to be cut down at that time. I’m curious how things will change with her “new” cast.

If you are a parent facing a spica cast and have a particular question or a veteran spica parent with a great tip, please email me! I’d love to help answer your questions or hear your tips! You can read the rest of our hip dysplasia journey here.

How to Make Homemade Egg Rolls

Would you believe that making homemade egg rolls is not too hard? If you like egg rolls, but want a healthier version, learn how to make homemade egg rolls with this recipe and tutorial!
How to Make Homemade Egg Rolls

Love me some Chinese Food, but Chinese buffets gross me out. MSG, tons of salt, questionable meat, way too many calories, artificial food colors. Not good. A while back I decided to give homemade egg rolls a shot, and I was not disappointed.

The hardest part about making these egg rolls is the anticipation that it will be a LOT of work. It’s really NOT, though. And the end result is very delicious! I highly recommend giving it a shot!

How to Make Homemade Egg Rolls

ingredients for homemade eggrolls

Here’s how to make your own egg rolls!

  • Ingredients:
    • Egg Roll Wraps (you’ll find these in the produce section of the grocery store)
    • 1 lb meat (the recipe calls for ground pork, but I generally use less and it’s mostly leftover chicken picked from the chicken carcass)
    • 1 tsp minced ginger
    • 2 cups cabbage, finely chopped (I shred the cabbage and carrot in my handy dandy food processor. I love that machine!)
    • 1/4 lb bean sprouts
    • 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
    • 3 green onions, finely chopped
    • 2 TBSP oyster sauce

(I almost always make substitutions when I cook. For instance, when I made these I didn’t have any bean sprouts.
They would have been much better with them, but I made them anyway…)

Once you’ve got your ingredients prepped:

1. Stir fry meat (if you’re using raw meat) and ginger in skillet over high heat until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Since I use pre-cooked meat, I add the meat later. Add cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, and green onions. Cook for 2 minutes.

ingredients for homemade eggrolls

2. Stir in oyster sauce. Let mixture cool.

homemade eggroll filling

3. Now get ready to wrap! You’ll need a pastry brush and a little bit of water. Use 2 TBSP of your meat/veggie mixture and place it on the wrap like so:

how to wrap the homemade eggrolls

Fold the bottom corner up and tuck it under the meat. The directions are also on the Egg Roll Wrapper package. They show the wrappers as square though, and they’re really rectangular. So it’s a little bit trickier than the directions make it look.

how to wrap the homemade eggrolls

Then roll it up tightly.

Smooth everything out and even it up the best you can. Then you need to fold over the two sides to make an envelope looking package. Put a small amount of water on the wrapper so the sides stick together nicely.

how to wrap the homemade eggrolls

Finish rolling and add a bit more water to the top, so the egg roll stays closed.

how to wrap the homemade eggrolls

Add your egg roll to your pile! And repeat until you’ve used up all of your ingredients.

how to wrap the homemade eggrolls

Now you can fry your egg rolls or bake them. If you fry them, heat oil to 350F in a large skillet. Place rolls flap side down, a few at a time (don’t crowd them), turn occasionally until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Drain them on paper towels, or a regular kitchen towels if you don’t use paper towels like me. If you’re curious about no paper towels, you can read more here.

pan fry the homemade eggrolls

If you’d prefer to bake them, Heat your oven to 400F. Place rolls on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly brush the tops with olive oil and bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.

After they’ve cooled, you can freeze them for quick meals or snacks! Or, you can eat them before they make it to the table! 🙂

Do you make homemade egg rolls? What do you think?