Free! Sun-Maid Raisins & Dried Fruits Our 100th Anniversary Book

Sun-Maid Raisins
& Dried Fruits Our 100th
Anniversary Book

Our 100th Anniversary Book One hundred years in the making, Sun-Maid’s century of experience answers all your questions on raisins and dried fruits—their unique characteristics, their history, and how they are grown, processed, marketed, and enjoyed throughout the world.



  • Download for E-Reader iPad/iPhone
  • US Edition PDF
  • Metric Edition PDF

Click here to get yours 🙂

My Top 3 Things To Make Instead of Always Buy

Sure you COULD make them yourself but why WOULD you when it’s easier to run to the store?

  1. It’s inevitably healthier (and fresher) to make something at home with all natural (and organic, preferably) ingredients than to buy a commercially-packaged item.
  2. It’s almost always cheaper to make your own, and if it’s not right now, consider that you’re investing in your health so that you don’t have to shell out cash for medical expenses later on.
  3. Once you build up a bit of a collection of natural products and foods, it becomes easy to make things from scratch.

Here are our top 10 things to make rather than purchase:


Homemade Bread:

Of course, we eat one loaf straight from the oven.  Ya just can’t help it.

You can buy bread bags with ties from Walmart for a couple bucks.  I let my loaves cool, then go ahead and place each one in a bag with tie, then freeze.  Simply set on counter to thaw, then use as normal.

Delicious!  You DO have butter, right?


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast (OR 6 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast)
  • 1/4 cup organic, unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar/sucanat
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar/sucanat
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 10 cups organic, unbleached flour


  1. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, stir together 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and yeast. Let grow for about 5 minutes. It will bubble almost immediately.
  2. Measure oats, 4 1/2 cups warm water, whole wheat flour, salt, 2/3 cup sugar, and 2/3 cup oil into the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with a dough hook for 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed slightly, and begin adding bread flour 1/2 to 1 cup at a time until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Humidity determines how much flour you need before the bread pulls away from the edge of the bowl. It is normal for the dough to be sticky.
  3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Divide dough into five or six pieces.  Shape loaves, and place in greased 8 x 4 inch pans. Let rise until dough is 1 inch above rim of pans, usually 1 hour. (No need to cover the bread to let it rise in pans.)
  5. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes, or until tops are browned. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Now. Time to get your bake on!

Get ready for your kitchen to be invaded!  You won’t have to say a word.  The wonderful aroma of fresh-baked bread will draw all of your children away from their favorite activities asking for a slice…..and for butter.  I really hope you have butter.



Homemade Pancake Mix


  • 1 1/2 cups organic unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 31/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk (add more once mixed if too thick)
  • 4  tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. Mix dry ingredients.
  2. Add milk, eggs, and melted butter (not hot, though).
  3. Stir til combined.
  4. Lightly butter griddle and turn to medium-high/ high heat setting.  Once hot, pour 1/2 cup or less onto griddle for each pancake.
  5. Flip when bubbly.
  6. Pat your pancakes. (Insert wink here.)  If they jiggle when you pat them they need another minute.  You don’t want raw in the middle.
  7. Serve with butter and honey or maple syrup.

This is a regular batch for me, but if your family doesn’t need this much, feel free to cut the recipe in half.  I usually have a few pancakes left and I either put them in the fridge for the next morning, or freeze them for whenever.  You won’t regret making too many, I promise!



Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup


  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
  • 1/4 teaspoon parsley
  • dash of paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup flour


1. In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

2. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens.

*This yields the eqivalent of about two cans of store bought condensed Cream of Chicken soup.


Picky Eaters In Your House? Try These Unique Breakfast Wraps!

PBJ_with_SBG__WrapPicky Eaters?  Try this idea for breakfast…. great for teenagers who are running out the door too.

1 Whole Wheat Wrap
1 Tbsp reduced fat peanut butter
1 Tbsp sugar-free jam
2 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 banana, cut in half lengthwise
2 Tbsp low fat granola

Spread peanut butter evenly over entire Flatout. On one rounded end, spread jam. Layer strawberry, banana and granola. Roll, cut and enjoy!

263 Calories ● 14g Protein ● 50g Carbs ● 12g Fiber ● 8g Fat

Strawberry Shortcake Skewers

Mmmm how delicious do these look?  Perfect for a light dessert or even an after school snack! 

strawberry shortcake skewers

I’ve seen this recipe on quite a few sites and they’re really so simple to make too.  You could make these using an Angel Food cake mix put up into squares or a Pillsbury Biscuit mix cut into small circles… get creative!

I’ve also seen them with just the cake & strawberries on the skewer then dipped in a dish of whipped cream or you could even do chocolate too! Mmmm!

For those wanting less carbs or with dietary restrictions ~ omit the cake/biscuit bites and add in a layer of sliced banana and pineapple chunks to make a fruity delicious snack!

Baked Chicken Chimmichangas ~ So Simple!

chicken chimichangas

So easy and so tasty ~ a fun & frugal family dinner!

A great meal for under $10.00!  (Note: I used leftover turkey instead of buying chicken and just shredded some sharp cheddar that I had in the fridge).

Baked Chicken Chimichangas
8oz pkg. cream cheese
8oz. Pepperjack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
8 flour tortillas
cooking spray
shredded cheddar cheese
green onions, for garnish
sour cream

Stir together cream cheese, Pepperjack cheese and taco seasoning.

Fold in chicken.
Divide among flour tortillas.
Tuck in sides, and roll up each tortilla.
Lay seam side down in a sprayed 9×13″ baking dish.
Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Turn chimi’s over, and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and salsa.


Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits ~ In A Homemade Loaf!

cheese loaf

3 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup sour cream
3 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with oil. In a bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients.
Carefully stir in cheese cubes until covered in flour mixture, this will help prevent your cheese sinking to the bottom of your loaf of bread.

In a different bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
Fold the wet mixture into the flour and cheese mixture, stir until just combined, do not over stir.
Spread the mixture into the loaf pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Let cool 10 minutes and then remove from pan.

Allow to cool for one hour before slicing and serving.