Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

I’ve been trying to replace more and more “convenience” foods in our house with homemade versions. It doesn’t always save money, but I like the fact that I know what we’re eating and what’s in the food I’m making. As an added bonus, most homemade food just plain tastes better.

Something very easy to do is to bake up a batch of these corn chips. You can use store bought corn tortillas, or make your own. I have a recipe for homemade corn tortillas here. They are made from cornmeal and aren’t a traditional recipe. They are easy to make and very tasty though.

Ready to bake up a batch of chips? Here’s the recipe:

Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips
  • 8 small (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Make sure the oven racks are in the middle of the oven. Turn oven on to 375 degrees and allow to preheat.
  2. Lay tortillas out on a work surface and cut into quarters.
  3. Spray the tortillas lightly with the cooking oil, flip and spray the other side.
  4. Get out a couple large baking sheets or cookie sheets and lay the tortillas out on the sheets, avoiding any over-lapping.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, turning the tortilla pieces over with a tongs about half way through. They should become golden brown and crispy as they bake and will even crisp up more after you remove them from the oven.
  6. Remove and immediately sprinkle with the sea salt or any other flavorings you like while the chips are still warm.


This makes a nice big batch of chips. We like them with guacamole, salsa or chili (all homemade of course).

A simple recipe for making baked corn chips from tortillas.


What’s your favorite to eat with corn chips?

Cooked Dressing for Potato Salad

I’m looking for a recipe for boiled dressing. My grandmother wrote it down for me and I lost it! She used it on potato salad.

Lynda Smith


From The Hillbilly Housewife

Here’s my recipe for a simple boiled dressing. It calls for 1/2 cup of sugar which gives me a nice balance. If you like your potato salad sweet, you may want to add more. And of course if it turns out too sweet for you, reduce the amount of sugar next time. More mayonnaise will also tone down the sweetness and give you a more tart and creamy dressing.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Old Fashioned Cooked Dressing
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 4 tbsp of mayonnaise
  1. Beat two eggs in saucepan.
  2. Blend sugar and flour together before adding to eggs.
  3. Pour in water and vinegar.
  4. Cook over heat until thick.
  5. Add butter.
  6. Allow the dressing to cool, then add the mayonnaise.

Do you have a family recipe for boiled dressing you’d like to share? Please leave it in the comments below.

A boiled dressing with eggs, flour, sugar and vinegar to dress potato salad.

Basic Vinaigrette with 5 Yummy Variations

We’ve been having a lot of simple meals around here lately. There’s just something nice about enjoying just the flavor of say a pan fried potato or a perfect cheese omelet. To round out our simple potatoes and egg dinner, I got ready to fix a green salad. Our usual ranch dressing just didn’t seem to fit. Instead, I remembered a very basic oil and vinegar dressing a friend of mine used to make each time they had salad. Nothing more than light olive oil, wine vinegar and a little salt and fresh ground pepper. I shook it all up in a small jar and poured it over our lettuce. It was delicious and perfect with the cheese omelets.

We’ve been using this basic dressing for the past few weeks. Depending on what’s for dinner, I spice things up with a few extra ingredients. You’ll find those variations below.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Basic Vinaigrette
  • ½ c white wine vinegar
  • 1½ c light olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the vinegar, salt and pepper in a small mason jar.
  2. Using a fork, slowly whisk in the oil.
  3. Use at room temperature, store in the fridge.

Recipe Variations:

One of the beauties of this recipe is that you can easily tweak and change with just a couple of ingredients and get a completely different dressing. Here are a few favorites.

Italian Vinaigrette: Add 1 tbsp minced garlic and 1 tbsp italian seasoning.

Mustard Vinaigrette: Add 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard, 2 tbsp minced shallots and 1/4 c minced parsley.

Orange Dressing : Add 1/4 c light corn syrup (or simple syrup), 2 tbsp minced parsley, 2 tbsp minced mint and the sections of 4 oranges.

Curry Dressing : Add 1/4 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp minced shallots and 2 tsp curry powder.

Tarragon Dressing: Add 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 c parmesan cheese and 2 tsp crushed dried tarragon.

A Basic Recipe for an oil based vinaigrette and 5 yummy variations.

Easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Do you still make the boxed kind of Mac & Cheese? We did for the longest time. It was just so quick and easy to pick it up at the store and fix it as a quick side dish or a something for the kids to eat. But then I started to think about all the extra preservatives and colors in there … and let’s face it, that yellow powder that comes with the box kind is not cheese.

I started playing around with some homemade recipes and came up with this version.

The recipe is from the Homemade Convenience Food eBook.

Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1½ cups elbow macaroni
  • • 1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • • 3 Tbsp butter, cut up into little pieces
  • • ½ cup milk
  • • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Boil macaroni until it is just tender, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  3. After draining macaroni, pour ½ macaroni into casserole dish. Arrange ½ of the pieces of butter on top of the macaroni, then top with ½ of the shredded cheese. Repeat layers again. Pour milk over the top and add a sprinkling of salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes.
  5. No more need for boxed mixes. This is just as easy, if not easier; you don't have to stand and stir a pot.

While this takes a little time, it is well worth it. If you are in a hurry, just boil some pasta, drain it, put it in a bowl and add a little butter and grated cheese. Stir it all up and serve. It’s not as good as the recipe above, but much tastier and healthier than the box kind.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese dinner with noodles



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Creamy Queso Dip

Since the last two recipes were so well received, I thought I’d share another one from the “My Best Dip Recipes” cookbook with you.

This one is always a big hit at potlucks and of course when you have a bunch of people over to watch the ballgame. It’s a delicious and flavorful cheese dip. Cheese, sausage, tomatoes and more cheese … what’s not to love.

Don’t tell anyone, but we’ve also had this for dinner. Yep… it’s that good.

By the way, if you’re not a big fan of cream of mushroom soup, feel free to substitute any other flavor or make your own “Cream of Anything Soup Mix“.

Queso Dip Recipe
  • 1 (32 oz.) package Velveeta Cheese, cubed
  • 1 lb. ground sausage
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 (10.75 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10 oz.) can Rotel
  1. Brown sausage, drain and set aside.
  2. Add cream cheese and Velveeta to a crock pot. Pour in the cream of mushroom soup and Rotel, stir. Turn the crock pot on low setting for an hour. Then add the sausage and continue cooking, stirring as needed, until all ingredients are well combined and creamy.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips.


Bowl of  queso dip and nachos

Ready for more delicious dip recipes? Take a look at the “My Best Dip Recipes” Kindle Cookbook for lots of yummy recipes including:My Best Dip Recipes

  • Artichoke and Spinach Dip
  • Bacon Cheeseburger Dip
  • Bacon Ranch Dip
  • Horseradish and Cheddar Spread
  • Cheesy Chili Dip
  • Creamy BLT Dip
  • Pumpkin Dip
  •  Queso Dip
  • Creamy Bell Pepper Dip
  • Cucumber Dill Dip
  • Shrimp Dip
  • Fruit Dip
  • Tuna Cheese Spread
  • White Pizza Dip

Honey Mustard Dip Recipe

Since it’s Football season (and Friday), I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes from the “My Best Dip Recipes” cookbook with y’all today.

This dip is great with cut up veggies, but to be honest, I love it with some fresh baked pretzels.

Or try making up a batch to use as a chicken dip, add to your hot dogs, or go all out and make some pretzel dogs. Yum!

Honey Mustard Dip
  • ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Whisk together mustard, honey and mayonnaise in a small bowl until well combined. Transfer to a covered bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.



Honey Mustard Dip and a Pretzel Dog

Ready for more delicious dip recipes? Take a look at the “My Best Dip Recipes” Kindle Cookbook for lots of yummy recipes including:My Best Dip Recipes

  • Artichoke and Spinach Dip
  • Bacon Cheeseburger Dip
  • Bacon Ranch Dip
  • Horseradish and Cheddar Spread
  • Cheesy Chili Dip
  • Creamy BLT Dip
  • Pumpkin Dip
  •  Queso Dip
  • Creamy Bell Pepper Dip
  • Cucumber Dill Dip
  • Shrimp Dip
  • Fruit Dip
  • Tuna Cheese Spread
  • White Pizza Dip

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

It’s September and that means Fall’s almost here and it’s time for all thinks pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored.

I don’t know what it is about the end of summer, but even though it’s still hot outside, I’m in the mood for that fall flavor. I can’t wait to have my first pumpkin spice latte and bake up some pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie. Yum!

The base of it all is of course one of the handiest spice mixes around – the pumpkin pie spice. I used to get one or two large spice containers of this stuff and use it throughout the fall and winter. I finally realized that it would be just as easy and much cheaper to mix it at home.

It’s great sprinkled in coffee or hot chocolate. I mix it into my oatmeal and of course bake with it.

Another great idea is to sprinkle a little of this mix into your freshly carved pumpkin before you light it. It smells wonderful.

Ready to mix up a batch of this yourself? Just get some good fresh spices, mix them up and store them in an air-tight container. I just use an old glass spice bottle that I cleaned really well.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
  • ⅓ cup ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg or mace
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  1. Mix all spices and store them in an airtight container.


Homemade Pumpkin PIe Spice Mix

Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Do you need a quick appetizer recipe that’s sure to impress? Oh and did I mention that it smells absolutely delicious. This dip is quick to put together and you an keep everything you need in your fridge, freezer and pantry. Perfect for unexpected guests and the holidays when you’re busy cooking other stuff.

Just throw this together, stick it in the oven and you’re good to go.

The recipe is from my latest Kindle Cookbook “My Best Dip Recipe” available on Amazon.com.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been known to have this with some crackers or veggies for dinner. Nothing like snacks for supper when you’re by yourself.

Artichoke and Spinach Dip
  • 1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 10 oz. prepared alfredo sauce
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together parmesan cheese, ½ of the mozzarella cheese, cream cheese and alfredo sauce until well combined. Add in pepper, garlic, spinach and artichokes, stir well.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  4. Cook for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
  5. Serve with pita strips, crackers or use as a bread topper.


Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Homemade Creole Seasoning

I love making my own seasoning mixes. Not only do they allow me to tweak things to my family’s liking, I can also make sure all ingredients are fresh and of course it’s a lot cheaper to mix your own than to buy prepared mixes.

This creole seasoning mix couldn’t be simpler. It’s great for seasoning rice, soups,stews and meat dishes. My husband also loves to use it on chicken and pork when he’s grilling.

Creole Seasoning Mix
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  1. Mix all ingredients and store them in an airtight container. Use them to season your dishes to taste.


Creole Seasoning being sprinkled into a chicken dish

Homemade Pizza Bread

We’ve had pizza bread for dinner around here for as long as I can remember. We’ve made it with toast, English Muffins, tortilla pizza etc. My  personal favorite though is French Bread Pizza. My friend Christine – The Menu Mom was kind enough to share this recipe with us.

French Bread Pizza
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 loaf French bread
  • ½ C pizza sauce
  • 1-2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • favorite pizza toppings
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice a loaf of French bread in half, and arrange the halves on a cookie sheet. Brush a small amount of olive oil on each half of bread, and bake for 4-5 minutes until lightly golden.
  2. Spread ¼ C of pizza sauce on each half of the bread, and sprinkle each half with ¼-1/2 C mozzarella. Arrange your favorite pizza toppings on top of the cheese. Top with remaining mozzarella.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.


For the pizza bread below I used some leftover spaghetti meat sauce and sliced up some roma tomatoes. These are great for using up left overs.

French bread pizza with hamburger pepperoni tomato and melted cheese

Onion Ring Recipe

I love fall. It’s getting cooler and of course there’s football. I’m not the worlds biggest fan, but it’s nice to curl up on the couch with my husband to watch the game. A few weeks ago he mentioned that he missed hanging out with a beer and an order of onion rings to watch the game, I decided to make up a batch for us. It took some trial and error, but I finally came up with something that’s just as good as the onion rings you get at your favorite pub or sports bar.

Homemade Onion Rings
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 1 to 2 onions
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs
  • salt
  • vegetable oil for frying
  1. Start by heating the oil. You can use a deep fryer or a sturdy pot and a thermometer. Heat the oil to 365 F. If you don't have a thermometer, you can heat the oil over medium heat and once the better is ready, drop a little bit of it in the oil. If it fries up quickly, bubbles and turns golden brown it's the right heat.
  2. While the oil is heating, slice the onions into thick slices. About ¼ of an inch is good. Separate them into rings.
  3. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Drop each onion ring in the flour mixture and turn it over to make sure it is well coated. Set the onion rings aside.
  4. Mix the egg and milk in with the flour and stir everything together to form a smooth batter.
  5. Dip each onion ring into the batter. I use a fork for this. Let any excess batter drip off, then coat the onion ring in bread crumbs. From there gently side the onion ring into the hot oil and work on the next one.
  6. Keep an eye on the onion ring that's frying. You want to let it go for about a minute and then flip it over and fry it for another minute or so. When the onion ring is golden brown, take it out of the oil and set it on a plate lined with paper towels.
  7. Keep frying the onion rings a few at a time until the whole batch is done. Sprinkle them with a little salt and serve right away.



Sweet Hot Dog Relish

Is there anything better than a nice hot dog fresh of the grill? It’s one of my favorite cookout things. Plus it’s frugal and easy to make. To me though what makes the dog is the toppings. You need some good mustard, a little ketchup and of course some relish. While the stuff from the store will do in a pinch, this homemade version is so much better. Make up a batch and put it out at your next cookout.

Sweet Hot Dog Relish
Recipe type: Condiment
  • 5 cucumbers
  • 2 onions
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Start by cutting off the ends of your cucumber. Then cut it in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Slice and chop the cucumber into very small chunks and scoop them into a glass bowl.
  2. Dice the onion and bell pepper into very small chunks and add them to the bowl as well. Add the salt and stir. Cover the bowl and set it in the fridge for a day. The salt will pull some of the moisture out of the veggies.
  3. Pour the veggies into a fine strainer or line a colander with cheese cloth (or a paper towel in a pinch). Let the salt water drain off, then rinse them with plenty of cold water. Let the water drain out and give the veggies a good squeeze to get as much liquid out as possible. The cheese cloth comes in handy here, but it works just fine without too.
  4. Get out a small bowl or a glass measuring cup (the 2 cup kind with the spout and handle... it makes pouring easy) and whisk the corn starch and vinegar together with a large fork. Add the spices and the sugar. Pour it into a medium sauce pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir it quite a big while it's heating to dissolve all the sugar. Add the veggies and simmer everything for 10 minutes.
  5. Allow the relish to cool and scoop it into containers. I keep mine in the fridge. Unopened they last about 3 months. Once the relish is open, we do our best to use it up within 2 to 3 weeks.


Homemade Seasoning Salt

I love using a seasoning salt like what’s sold in stores as Lawry’s Seasoned salt, but I prefer to make my own. Not only is it more frugal, it also allows me to control all ingredients. That means that I know exactly what it is I’m sprinkling on my family’s food and I can control how much of each item goes into the mix (adjusting it for our personal taste and health requirements).

It only takes a few minutes to mix together your own seasoning salt. I recommend you start out with a small batch and tweak it to your own liking. Write down any adjustments you’ve made and then mix up a big batch and store it in a clean, airtight container. I keep mine in a mason jar, transferring what I need into a smaller spice jar that stays close to my stove for cooking.

I sprinkle this particular mixture on pork chops, steaks, and chicken.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Homemade Seasoning Salt
Recipe type: Spice Mix
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp corn starch
  1. Add each ingredient to a clean bowl. I use a glass measuring cup to make it easy to pour the finished mixture out later.
  2. Mix everything until it is well combined and transfer it to a spice jar.

You can easily make this in larger batches.


Spinach and Pasta

I love simple dishes that can be trown together in minutes. This particular one  is healthy and perfect for those days when you’re eating a little healthier and cutting out meat. It’s also quite frugal. Feel free to use any cheese you like with this dish.

This recipe comes from my good friend Christine – The Menu Mom. I highly recommend her meal planning service.

Spinach Pasta Toss

  • 1 can  (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups  multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup  water
  • 1 pkg.  (9 oz.) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup  Italian cheese

Spinach pastaBring tomatoes, pasta and water to boil in large saucepan; stir. Cover; simmer on medium-low heat 10 min. or just until pasta is tender.

Add half the spinach; simmer, covered, 2 min. or just until wilted. Stir. Repeat with remaining spinach.

Serve topped with cheese.

Bill’s Classic North Carolina Style BBQ Sauce

I’ve often said that if the soldiers had tasted some of the recipes here on the Hillbilly Housewife, the only civil war would have been over seconds at meal time.

Here’s a North Carolina style barbecue sauce that is easy to make and will keep them coming back for more.

Bill’s Barbecue Sauce Recipe

4 cups cider vinegar
1 cup whiskey (optional-Old Grandad works well in this recipe if you do include it)
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cup ketchup (Heinz is best)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 Tblsp Tabasco or generic
2 Tblsp lemon juice
2 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp corn starch

barbecueBring it slowly to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook longer if thicker sauce is what you prefer. Allow to cool and refrigerate. Will keep for months, if you have any left, that is.

Serving size: 1 large bottle

Great on ribs or pulled pork: use 12oz of peach or apple wood in your charcoal to smoke the meat…makes one heavenly, frugal, bbq meal!

This recipe was submitted by reader William Wilson. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe Bill.