Full listing of recipes and kitchen tips from the Common Sense Home site, featuring everything from main dishes to canning recipes to personal care items. We cook most of our meals at home, and preserve quite a bit of produce from the garden, so our kitchen is always busy. Please leave a comment if you have a recipe request for the site, or let me know which types of recipes are your favorites. Many of the recipes are family favorites handed down from my mother and grandmother. Shares, Pins and Likes always appreciated to help spread the word about the website!
Canning and Preserving Recipes and Guides
The canning and preserving recipes are sorted by food type. Most of the canning recipes may be processed in a water bath canner because they either have a low pH, added sugar, or both.
My boys treat tomato products as their own food group, so each year we put up several hundred pounds of tomatoes in one form or another. I freeze or freeze dry our low acid vegetables, or can them pickled.
Fruits are very easy to preserve. They can be frozen, freeze dried, dehydrated, canned or made into preserves. Some of my favorite fruit storage recipes include different spices and flavorings, or a mix of fruits. As long as you follow safe food preservation guidelines, the only limit to flavors is your imagination.
Jams and Jellies
Jams, jellies and spreads are also very easy to preserve. Many of these recipes are low sugar, and could be stored as freezer jams. My freezer space is typically reserved for selected veggies and bulk meat purchases from local providers, so I can my jams. Ten minutes in a boiling water bath canner and you're done. (In case you remember the days of home canning requiring a layer of wax, don't worry. That's no longer recommended.) If you don't have a water bath canner, you can use a large pot as described in the post “How to Can Food at Home – Quick Guide to Safe Home Canning“.
Main Dish recipes
More often than not, my main dishes and side dishes are put together for most meals without a recipe. I do have a few favorites written down for more consistent results, some of which I have shared here.
Side Dish recipes
Haluski – Cabbage and noodles – one of our favorite ways to eat cabbage
Soup and Stew recipes
A good bowl of soup is a wonderful thing. Cooking the bony bits of critters into broth is also a very economical source of protein to stretch your budget. Many of my favorite soup recipes remake a bit of leftovers into a whole new meal. Others take advantage of seasonal produce.
How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth for Great Flavor and More Nutrition – How to make a proper chicken bone broth, the foundation for most of my soup and stew recipes, and basic chicken soup
Bread and Cracker recipes
Bread has been called the “staff of life” because it is so widely used for sustenance. I come from a long line of bakers. My mom's first job as a teen was doing the weekly baking for a neighbor, and we had a family catering business for nine years where everything was baked from scratch. Commercial baked goods often use preservatives and other ingredients I try to avoid. In your own kitchen, you control what goes in the mix.
For additional bread baking tips, check out “Troubleshooting Tips to Help You Bake the Perfect Loaf of Bread“.
My baking history also led to a lot of dessert preparation. In this section you'll find a mix of old and new. There are traditional family recipes handed down from my mother and grandmother, as well other familiar old time flavors. Over the years I've added lower sugar and gluten free options, too.
Old Fashioned Chocolate Pudding – gluten free
Indian Pudding Recipe with Cranberries and Maple Syrup – gluten free
Honey Caramel Corn – gluten free
Hungarian Nut Rolls – Sweet, Nut Filled Pastries – A Family Holiday Treat
Bavarian Cream Bonnet – decorative Easter Brunch recipe – gluten free
Cookies, Bars and Brownies
Sourdough Brownies – these are great for using up excess starter that is not completely active
Chocolate Chestnut Brownies -gluten free, grain free, dairy free, no refined sugar
Cranberry Chestnut Bars – gluten free, grain free, dairy free
Family Favorite Christmas Cookies – Chocolate Almond Bon Bons, Cocoa Mocha Cookies, and Raspberry Ribbon Cookies
Fudge and Truffles
Coconut Oil Fudge – Easy, Delicious, No Baking Required – gluten free
Easy Chocolate Truffles – gluten free
Chocolate chip cookie dough truffles made with almond flour and coconut oil – gluten free
Homemade Mounds or Almond Joy Bars with Coconut Oil – gluten free
Pies, Crisps and Crumbles
Cranberry-Apple Pie to Brighten your Holiday Table!
Strawberry-raspberry pie with shortbread crust and whipped cream topping
Best Pie Crust Recipes Plus Tips for Perfect Pies Every Time – Nut Crust (gluten free), Coconut Crust (gluten free), Shortbread Crust, Mama's Pie Crust
Raspberry Cream pie – rich, sweet-tart, and delicious
Eggs and leftovers are common in our kitchen for breakfast, but sometimes we dress things up a bit. It's fun and easy to whip out the waffle iron and crank out some big, beautiful waffles. (Plus, given the prices of waffles if you go out, you can cover the cost of the waffle iron in a couple of meals, and eat in your pajamas.)
Live Culture Foods/Probiotics/Ferments
Live culture foods have become big business in recent years, but you can make your own versions at home for pennies on the dollar. These probiotic foods and drinks use healthy bacteria for fermentation. When you eat them, they can aid digestion and improve gut health. This is more important then ever since so many of us are treated with antibiotics during our lifetimes.
Viili yogurt – the yogurt that cultures at room temperature
Water Kefir Versus Kombucha – What’s the difference between water kefir and kombucha?
Flavoring Kombucha and Kombucha Testimonials – Tips for flavoring kombucha and stories about how people I know have been helped by kombucha
Kombucha Q and A and More Flavoring Ideas – More flavoring ideas and all the Q and A from the comments in a more readable format
How to Flavor Kombucha – Holiday Flavors – Fun seasonal flavor ideas.
Sometimes a snack, sometimes turned into a meal, these recipes are easy to make. Choose your favorites – savory or sweet.
Zucchini Gummy Candies sweetened with fruit juice
When we had a friend with a cow, I experimented with a variety of cheese recipes. These are some of our favorites.
Old and new, hot and cold – water is good, but sometimes it's nice to mix things up.
Best Eggnog recipes – 7 Ways to Love Your Nog
See also “Live Culture Foods”
Wine, Beer and Hard Cider
We don't regularly imbibe fermented beverages, but when there's an excess of something fruity, wine is an easy preservation method. Many of our bottles are shared with friends or given as gifts.
Herbal and Personal Care Items
Given the level of questionable ingredients in so many items today, we switched to making homemade versions of products that we use regularly. It allows me to use ingredients that I trust, and we save money by buying raw materials in bulk or growing our own.
How to Make Liquid Sweetener from Homegrown Stevia – Homemade Stevia Extract
Small things can be big time and money savers in the kitchen. We live out in the country, so I often make do with whatever's available. I also try to take good care of my kitchen tools so they last a long, long time.
Originally posted in 2012, updated in 2017.