Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bread Crumbs, Green Onions, and Parmesan Cheese Lids

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I'm still here....still prepping.....but life is crazy and I haven't had the time to blog in a long time! 

This will be a quick post of something that I found on pinterest (because who comes up with any idea on their own anymore) and have been using, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

I'm sure all of you recognize this green lid.  It's from a Parmesan cheese container.  BUT it also fits onto the regular mouth mason jars.  I have been keeping these lids "just in case" I might need them, and guess what???  I found a couple of great uses for them.  On a side note....the lids from the name brand cheese containers, like Kraft, fit a little better then the generic brand containers that I also had.  

A little blurry when taken out of the freezer :)
 
I didn't know what I would use these shaker top lids for, but the other day I was shaking my frozen bread crumbs out of a baggie and a light bulb went off in my head!  If I transferred my bread crumbs to a mason jar and added the shaker-type lid, I could just pour out the amount of bread crumbs without messing with a plastic bag!  I was kind of excited! (doesn't take much)

Then, also in my freezer, I noticed my cut green onions that I had been storing in a plastic water bottle.  That was also something I found on pinterest, but trying to get cut green onions into a small water bottle was WAY more trouble then it was worth.  But again, the mason jar and shaker lid were perfect!!  I snipped my green onions into the mason jar, tightened the lid, and store it in my freezer for use in many recipes.  

I have loved the convenience of both these ideas!  It also helps keep my freezer more organized because I can see the jars much more easily then a bunch of plastic baggies all bunched together.  

And don't forget THIS TIP about re-growing your green onions.

After I snipped all my onions into their freezer jar, I put the roots into a jar on the window sill.  This is about 5 days worth of growth. The grow quickly and you can snip off what you need and they will continue to grow!!  Cool, huh?!?!?

I still encourage all of you to continue with your food storage, everyday,  even if it's something small like a Parmesan cheese lid :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January Case Lot Sales

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For those of you in Utah, there are several stores having case lot sales right now.  

Smiths,
Harmons,
and Ridley's are all having sales. Check the prices and take stock of what your family uses before going to the store.  

Check out the link below for an amazing price comparison list.

Click HERE to read that list!

I'm purchasing:
Smiths
peanut butter
campbell's chunky soup
Kroger toilet paper
Hunt's pasta sauce

Harmons
tomato paste

Monday, November 4, 2013

Being Prepared In A New Town

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Moving to a new town has many uncertainties, especially with regards to emergency preparedness.  I moved from Salt Lake City where my neighborhood had an emergency plan, and plenty of CERT members, to a small town where I wasn't certain what the emergency plan was.  So, I was really excited (doesn't take much) when I saw a sign for a preparedness fair in my new town.  It wasn't a huge fair, but it had all the basics, and I was really looking forward to finding out what my new community had  in place for emergencies. 

 At the entrance to the fair were my local firefighters, police, search and rescue, and EMS crews. It was a great display of trucks!!

 Inside the high school were several preparedness booths, including Maralin Hoff, the Earthquake Lady.  If you ever need a great preparedness speaker, she is amazing and fun!!  (Utah only)  She spoke to my old neighborhood and I wrote a post, but it didn't transfer to my new blog format.  You can see the first part of that post HERE.



There were also companies like Nitro-Pak, Emergency Essentials, Wise Food, etc. 

 
And one of my favorite companies.....Goal Zero!  Powerinapinch.com  was selling all kinds of Goal Zero products.  If you are in the market for a solar generator, flashlights, lights, etc.,  this is the company to research.  I personally own a Goal Zero generator and it works so well to charge phones, laptops, video players, mp3 players, and other small devices. I highly recommend their products.



And this fun little product is called the Turbo Toilet.  It is a brand new product from The Backside company, it was very well made and folded down to just a few inches wide, and then popped up when you needed to use it.  It's always exciting to find new products, check out their site HERE.

I wish I had had more time to attend more booths, but I had to pick up my kids from their after school activities.  But I did pick up quite a bit of information on being prepared in my new town.  And that made my short visit to the preparedness fair worth it!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ever Wonder What Products Are Best of The Best.....

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I have a favorite food storage website.......


myfoodstoragecookbook.com, and I have learned so many things from Megan.  She comes up with the most inventive ideas when it comes to using food storage.  Her latest post is one that should be read by everyone.  It is titled "Food Storage Products That I Buy", and it is chock full of her recommendations for the best food storage products on the market today.  And, she isn't sponsored by any of these companies, so you know her reviews are unbiased.  And I have to say, I agree with everything she reviewed!

Check out Food Storage Products That I Buy, from myfoodstoragecookbook.com.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Tailgating With The Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker

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The Saratorga Jacks Thermal Cooker has been a favorite preparedness item, as well as an everyday cooking appliance, of mine for awhile now.  I have mentioned it once or twice before on the blog. ;) I haven't been blogging as much as before I moved, but I still practice what I preach, and I use my food storage and preparedness items almost daily.  Now that fall is here, I am cooking more often in the slow cooker, and those recipes work so well in the SJ Cooker.  My son plays football and when he has away games, we are driving at least 30 minutes to the closest game.  This also happens right in the middle of the dinner hour. 

Well, the Saratoga Jacks cooker has come to the rescue again and we have had warm, yummy meals on the road.

 I made minestrone soup and we ate it with crusty sourdough bread.  One of the other football moms was walking by and she said it smelled so good!  It WAS good and so much cheaper, and healthier, then stopping by a fast food joint. 



The soup was piping hot and was STILL warm after I closed it up and drove home.  My son ate some when he got home from the game and I didn't even have to reheat it.  I also noticed something and I am not sure if it's the stainless steel pan or what, but I stored the soup in the fridge over night, and when we ate it for lunch the next day the noodles hadn't absorbed the liquid.  Usually when I make this soup we store the leftovers in a plastic container.  I always have to add more chicken broth the next day, and the noodles are kind of soggy.  I had to test my theory and try a different soup.  I made chicken noodle soup and stored it in the SJ pan in the fridge.  For two days it sat in there and the noodles didn't soak up the liquid.  This makes me wonder what is really wrong with the plastic that we are using.  So, along with just loving my SJ cooker, it is also a great way to store soups in the fridge.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sometimes You Just Have To Have a Sense of Humor

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Today was one of those days where nothing seemed to go just right.  There was quite the thunderstorm going on outside as I was going about my morning routine, when I literally turned the shower on, and the power went out.  No big deal, it should come back on, yeah right, it wasn't in the cards for today.

After about a half hour I decided on plan B.  I needed to get my kindergartener off to afternoon school so we made a simple lunch, and got her already for school.  Her favorite thing to do is watch a show on her ipod while she eats.  (don't judge, she is the youngest and is used to constant noise and chatter from her siblings, and she doesn't find my conversation interesting, so she gets to watch a little something before school) Well, her ipod wasn't charged....of course....so I ran and got my Goal Zero generator.  
 
This is an example of how handy a Goal Zero is when it is fully charged!!

Yup.....it wasn't charged either. So.....she watched a video on my laptop, that was almost dead.  We made it through lunch and now it was time to leave.  

Funny thing when the power goes out....you find many things that are used on a daily basis, without a thought about electricity.  The garage door!!! (and I also learned that not one of us has a house key on our key rings.  If I hadn't been home when the power went out, I would've been locked out of the house.  We just never transferred those keys over when we moved in.)

My 5 year old found it really fun to help lift the double garage door so the car could get out.  It was a learning experience for her, and a workout for me, because she didn't know that is was possible to lift the door without power.  When we got to school there wasn't any power either.  One of the other moms said that the other 2 towns close by didn't have power as well.  That was when I figured it was going to be awhile before the power came back on.  

For 1 1/2 hours every afternoon I have free time with no children at home.  Usually I vacuum, or clean the kitchen, or run errands, and sometimes you may find me watching a show, in peace and quiet, or catching up on my social media.  But guess whose phone was almost dead? No catching up on social media today, so I swept the kitchen with a broom from the garage.  I REALLY need to purchase a broom that is a designated inside broom.  The floors needed to be cleaned and the vacuum couldn't be used, so I did it the old fashioned way.  I know, a lot of people still use a broom, but I like to vacuum my wood floors, so this was the slower, less convenient way to clean, for me.  

Since my Goal Zero unit wasn't charged I set it up in the backyard with the solar panel to charge.  The sun had come out after the heavy rain storm so I took advantage of it, for about 5 minutes.  I'm not kidding, the clouds rolled in minutes after that solar panel went up.  I didn't want the unit to get wet so I brought it back inside.  It was 2:00 by now and I figured I wasn't going to get power anytime soon so I took a shower. It felt great to be clean, but I have really short hair and it needs to be dried with a hair dryer so I don't scare little kids.  This is where pure genius comes into play.....I towel dried my hair, applied my hair stuff, and then used my round brush and a magazine to dry my hair.  I should maybe patent this idea.....I rolled each section of hair with the brush and fanned it with the magazine.  This is one time I was grateful for thin hair. It actually worked, and minus the cramp in my thumb from fanning, I was excited that I looked like I did my hair today.  I sprayed it with hairspray, and I KID YOU NOT, the power came on the second I walked out of the bathroom. It was pretty funny and I had to laugh it off.  But I really wish I had someone home to take a picture of the magazine hair dryer, it would have made this post so much more interesting.  But I guess I now have a way to do my hair without electricity.  (Maybe I should invest in some curlers of some sort.)

I immediately plugged in my cell phone and my Goal Zero unit so they are charged.  And I learned from experience, again, to have my Goal Zero unit fully charged at all times.  

Utah has been having the craziest weather lately.  Take a look at this photo.
That.right.there.is.a.tornado!!! In Utah!!!  I live in the mountains outside of Salt Lake and I couldn't believe it!  I am from Ohio and grew up with tornado safety, but this caught me off guard.  Thank goodness it never touched the ground because we were in the car and my son was outside at his football game.  Crazy!!!  So now I can add tornado safety to our family emergency preparedness plan.  

But today is now bright and sunny and we have power again.  All 5 of my children got to experience 3 1/2 hours of school with no electricity.  It was a good learning experience.  And I feel calm knowing that my county is prepared for disasters.  I attended my county's preparedness fair just last night, and they really know what they are doing.  I am working on a post so stay tuned!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Recommended Reading- Backyard Winter Gardening by Caleb Warnock

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While scrolling through facebook the other night, I came across a video by Caleb Warnock, all about winter gardening.  


I found it fascinating and I ordered both of his books, The Forgotten Skills of Self-Suffidiency and Backyard Winter Gardening, from amazon. I have actually attended a class that Caleb taught at Honeyville, and loved listening to him speak, but I never purchased his books.  The books are very interesting from a historical standpoint, but the information on gardening is why I bought them both. 

Just like in the video above, I really want to try using cold boxes to have fresh greens all winter long.  The books are full of colorful photographs and tons of information on gardening, chickens, history of the pioneers in Utah, etc.  There are even a few recipes included.  I felt these books were good enough for me to share with all of you!  I highly recommend adding both books to your preparedness library. 
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