Monday, April 30, 2012

Prepare Today Homemade- Lemon Sugar Cookies (with beans)

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I love dessert and so do my kids.  My husband wishes I wouldn't make it so often, so I try to make our desserts a little healthier.  I am sure you have all heard of using beans in place of the fat in recipes and it really works.  It will change the texture of the finished product by becoming a little more cake like and not soft and chewy (like a gooey brownie would be).  I use beans frequently in my baking and I have been very pleased with how my food turns out.  Beans add fiber and eliminate the saturated fats that butter or shortening would add.  In my Lemon Cookies I used 1/2 C of beans to replace half of the 1 C of butter the original recipe called for.  I use canned beans but home cooked beans will definitely work too.  I always rinse canned beans before pureeing.

I always rinse my canned beans to lessen the digestions problems that beans can cause.

I puree my beans and get about 1 C per can.

The beans are ready for baking when they are all smashed and smooth.

Beat the butter, beans and sugar until creamy.

Powdered flavorings add great flavor when you don't have the liquid version.

Lemon Cookies 
2 3/4 C white flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
zest of 2 lemons (I used 1 t of the lemon flavor powder)
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1 C butter at room temp.  (replace with beans or applesauce)
1 large egg (1 T egg powder + 2 T water)
1/2 t vanilla (or vanilla powder)
2 T lemon juice (or lemon powder)
1/2 C white sugar for rolling the dough

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.  Beat together the butter (beans) and sugar until creamy.  Add the lemon zest, egg, vanilla, and lemon juice.  Stir to combine.  Add in the dry ingredients and combine.   Using 1 tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball and roll in sugar.  Place 1 1/2" apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.  Let cool for 2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.  Add lemon glaze when cooled.

Lemon Glaze
1 T softened cream cheese
2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 C powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients until smooth.  Glaze each cookie.

A little taste of spring!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shirley J Bouillon

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Having backup plans was part of my last post and I feel it trickles down into most areas of preparedness.  When I am cooking I think of how I would make this particular meal if I didn't have water, or power, or fresh ingredients from a garden.  It really gets me thinking outside of the box in my very convenient everyday life.  I purchase a lot of canned goods and I use them regularly to rotate my food storage, but I also don't want to use them all the time because they would become a hot commodity if I had limited water.  Chicken broth is one example of a canned good I use all the time, but lately every time I open a can I think if I didn't have water I would be very stingy in using them.  Since I do have running water and electricity right now I have been trying to use bullion more than canned broth.  I was using chicken and beef bullion from Winco and the chicken flavor was good, the beef not so much. So I have been on the lookout for a great bouillon, and I found one, and it has great flavor and shelf life!!  Most chicken bouillon is supposed to be kept in the fridge to keep fresh, not with what I found.  
I want to introduce to you...Shirley J products.  I am sure a lot of  you have heard of Shirley J, but I have been a little slow in truly loving their products.  My friend Lisa, the store manager at Honeyville Grain, mentioned that her husband uses the chicken bouillon powder to make his Ramen noodles instead of using that little toxic packet that comes with it.  Well, my kids LOVE Ramen but I cringe at what they are really eating.  I decided to test it out by making the noodles and adding the Shirley J bouillon. It was a hit!!  I bought a big  container of both the chicken and beef bouillon at Honeyville and now I can make their favorite meal healthier. (it is sad, but they really do love Ramen noodles)  Now, if I could get them to add veggies to it I would be really happy!! Unopened the Shirley J products have a shelf life of 25-30 when stored in a cool, dry place, perfect for food storage!!

What I loved about the bouillon is that is dissolved almost instantly and I didn't have to stir out any lumps.  It is also very concentrated so you only need 1/2 t to 1 C of water.  The flavor is that of chicken broth not salt.  Shirley J products also don't have any MSG and their Universal Sauce, now called Whisk Bliss, is a white cream sauce mix but it doesn't have hydrogenated oils in it.  I make a white sauce mix but I use butter powder and the Shirley J mix would be so much healthier.  I have to take one step at at time though :) 

I made dinner at 7 PM last night and to say I had a hungry mob was an understatement.  I threw together a quick soup with potatoes, freeze dried broccoli, dehydrated celery, carrots, and onion, and Shirley J chicken bouillon.  I have no picture of it because it was devoured!  I started off with 3 C of water and 1 1/2 t of Shirley J chicken bouillon and cooked the potatoes and veggies for about 10 minutes.  I added 2 C of milk and thickened a little with some flour, added some parsley and about 2 C of cheddar cheese and stirred until the cheese was melted.  I am really not a throw together kind of cook, but this totally worked and I was so happy.  I also made an orzo side dish the other night by sauteing the orzo in butter and then cooking it in water/chicken bouillon like Rice-A-Roni.  My kids ate the whole pan!!

I keep finding that I really, really like Shirley J!!  The 76oz. container that I bought at Honeyville was $22 and some change and that size container will make 65 gallons of chicken broth.  That equals 520 16-oz cans of chicken broth.  I am thinking the Shirley J 76oz container would take up a little less room than 520 cans :)  Saving money and having food storage on a budget is where these products go hand in hand.  You don't have to commit to the 76oz container, they sell 16oz containers as well.  I don't think you'll be disappointed though. 

You can find Shirley J products at the Honeyville Grain store in SLC and Brigham City, the Shirley J store (in Orem), online or many other locations.  Click HERE to view other locations.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Rule of Three

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Rule of Three - Backwoods Home Magazine

"We have some prepared neighbors who abide by what they call the Rule of Three (see Issue #111, May/June 2008). What this means is they have one main and two backup methods of doing whatever needs to be done (in other words, a backup to their backup). Cooking, heating, lighting, and communications are all aspects that need backups of backups in case the primary method(s) are incapacitated.
These neighbors are off-grid, so having that Rule of Three for everyday necessities has allowed them to live comfortably under conditions many of us would find difficult. So in your preparations, think in terms of multiple backups in case your primary source fails."
Click HERE to read more.

Great advice!!  My biggest concern is cooking without power.  I have a Sun Oven but even here in Utah we don't have sunny days everyday.  My backup is my butane stove and Saratoga Jacks thermal cooker.  My backup to my backup is my Volcano stove.  The Volcano stove would use the most fuel in my case.  I only have a few bags of charcoal and no propane, but I could use wood.  On the other hand I have enough butane canisters to last me quite awhile with my butane stove.  This is why I try to use at least one of these cooking methods at least once a week.  Practice now will allow me to cook food for my family of 7 in an emergency.  Nothing drives me crazy more than a room full of kids who claim they are starving and they wanted dinner like 20 minutes ago. I can't imagine learning how to cook in my Sun Oven without ever using it before.  Those first few loaves of bread had a lot left to be desired. 

  Now remember The Rule of 3 when it comes to preparedness!!  Can you ever be too prepared?? 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grocery Deals 4/25-5/1

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These are the grocery deals I feel are stock up prices (better than the big box and membership stores). You should buy what YOUR family needs and buy as many as your BUDGET allows! ** Remember we are shopping for items in our 3-month supply along with longer-term items that fit into your meal plan.**   I only list Smiths, Harmons, and The Sunflower Market because they are the stores in my area but you can look at the Grocery Smarts lists to see other stores for your area.
{I use the Grocery Smarts lists to find all my deals. If you don't live in Utah there are grocery lists for other states too!!  Click on the box at the top of the grocery list that says "Select Your Store" and scroll down to find your state and store.  You can see the Utah lists & all the other lists HERE)

**I am going to start adding some coupon deals to the lists.  They will be in red so you know to only stock up on that item if you are using coupons.  SS=SMART SOURCE INSERT, RP=RED PLUM INSERT.  The inserts come in the Sunday paper and the weekly grocery ads. Please contact me for further info. on using coupons.**

  • ASPARAGUS $1.47LB 
Remember that Wednesdays are double ad days for the Sunflower Market.  Both last week's and this week's ads are accepted today only!!  Last weeks deals are:
  • RAISINS $1.99LB
  • PEARS .98LB
This is a very slow grocery deal week.  There aren't a lot of great sale prices.  Use this week to eat from your pantry and save your money to stock up next week. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Prepare Today Homemade- Potato Frittata

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I found a recipe for frittata in the Better Homes & Garden magazine, tore it out and had it sitting on my counter for a few days.  Every time I would pass the kitchen counter I would crave this dish.  I don't think I have ever eaten a frittata, it just sounded so good!!  I finally had a chance to make it for dinner and it was delicious.  What's even better is this egg dish can be made with all shelf stable ingredients.  This would also make a great meal in a jar/bag meal too!!

Shelf stable eggs are something every house should have in their pantry.  I use powdered eggs in all of my baking, but for a dish like frittata, quiche, or an omelet you  really want a product that tastes and looks just like eggs.  I made an omelet once with powdered eggs and it had a funny flavor, not like real eggs at all.  While at Honeyville Grain I found the perfect solution for the shelf stable omelet/frittata egg dish.  Ova Eggs!!


"OvaEasy Egg Crystals are made with a revolutionary new technology that keeps the flavor and nutrition of fresh eggs intact. All we do is gently evaporate the water in the eggs... that's it. Egg crystals aren't cooked until you cook them! They're dried with a special low temperature process that protects the proteins, vitamins and minerals... and most importantly the flavor! Best of all, they're 100% all-natural, pure whole egg."  Click HERE to read more.

So when the craving for a fresh omelet or quiche hits (and you don't have chickens) you now have the perfect fix.  The eggs are perfect for camping too.  No messy eggs or worrying about keeping them cool.  They are easy to make too, just add cool water.

Potato Frittata (original recipe)
1lb Yukon gold or russet potatoes (2-3 medium), scrubbed and thinly sliced
2 T olive oil
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
12 eggs
1/2 C green onions, about4, chopped
1/4 t each salt and pepper
1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic, minced
Fresh parsley or cilantro

Preheat the oven to 375.  In a 10" oven-safe nonstick skillet cook the potatoes in hot oil over medium heat for 5 min.  Add carrots.  Cook for 5 min more, until potatoes and carrots are tender and lightly browned, turning occasionally. (Note:  I don't have an oven safe skillet so I cooked my potatoes and carrots in my skillet and then transferred the mixture to a round casserole dish to finish cooking in the over.)

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, half of the green onions, salt , and pepper,  Pour egg mixture over potatoes. Bake, uncovered, about 18 minutes or until the top seems dry.  Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.  With a spatula loosen the edges of frittata from pan.  Place a large serving platter over skillet.  Invert platter and skillet to release frittata onto platter. (Note:  We just scooped the meal from the casserole dish and didn't worry about inverting it)

In a small bowl toss together remaining green onions, tomaotes, garlic, and parsley.  Spoon over the top of the frittata.  Cut into wedges and serve immediately.  Makes 6 servings. 


Potato Frittata (shelf stable recipe)
1 1/2-2 C dehydrated potato slices (reconstituted in warm water)
2 T oil
1/2 C dehydrated carrots (reconstituted in warm water)
12 eggs (12 scoops of Ova Eggs {the scoop comes with the eggs} + 1/4 C cool water and mix)
1/8 C dehydrated or freeze dried green onion (reconstituted in warm water)
1/4 t salt and pepper
tomatoes (if you want to use tomatoes for the topping of the frittata I would drain a can of diced tomatoes and use them for the cherry tomatoes.  You'll need @ 1/2 C)
1/8 t garlic powder (1 clove=1/8t garlic powder)
Dried parsley or cilantro

Reconstituting the dried potato slices.

Preheat your oven to 375 (or preheat your Sun Oven, or Volcano Stove).  In an oven safe skillet saute the reconstituted potatoes in oil for 5 minutes, add carrots and cook 5 minutes more or until lightly browned.

Reconstitute the Ova Eggs with cool water and stir.  Mix with half of the green onions, salt, and pepper.  Pour over potato mixture.  Bake for 18 minutes or until top looks dry.  Cool 5 minutes and invert onto serving plate.

Toss together the tomatoes, remaining green onion, garlic, and dried parsley.  Top the frittata and serve immediately.  

image credit Better Homes and Gardens

Saturday, April 21, 2012


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"Sprouts provide up to 600 percent more vitamins than the full grown plant."  Researchers at the University of Ulster, UK have found. 

Let's say you have been living solely on your food storage for 3 months now and your supplies are dwindling.  If summer has come and gone there isn't time to plant a garden, and your family is going to need vegetables.  I know pirates are quite popular but many of them died of scurvy and I personally don't want to have that in common with them.  With limited options in a survival scenario, your solution is SPROUTING.  When a tiny little seed/grain, with all of its necessary vitamins and nutrients for growing packed inside, is sprouted it becomes a powerful super food!!  

"Sprouts are cheap, easily accessible and an unpolluted source of vitamin C, some protein, traces elements, and B Group vitamins. They are also a true organic food, if they are grown on your very own windowsill, without chemicals."

Sprouting could literally be a life saver.  I grow sprouts because they are so nutritious and also because my children eat them and don't know they are eating veggies.  

I buy sprouting seeds from Honeyville Grain, but the container above I bought at the Self Reliance Expo last year.  

They also come in smaller bags.  You don't need to buy a special bag of sprouting seeds.  There are many seeds and grains that can be sprouted.  Wheat, garbanzo, alfalfa, mung beans, barley, lentils, whole peas, and many more are all able to be sprouted.  Experiment with different seeds and grains and find which ones you prefer.  I really like the salad mix (above) because it tastes like those yummy garden fresh peas.  They just taste fresh and healthy. 

These are the two contraptions that I use to sprout.  The mason jar on the left is quite easy to use and the least expensive (under $5 for the lid).  Put in a tablespoon of sprouts, soak over night (the seeds are soaking in the picture), and just rinse twice a day until sprouts form, about 3-5 days. It can also be done without the plastic straining lid.  I started sprouting with a canning jar, cheese cloth and the canning lid ring.  The other option is a sprouter.  I really love the Victorio Seed Sprouter, on the right, because it pretty much does all the work for you.  You pour the sprouts on each layer (about 1/2-1 T), add 2 C of water twice a day, and it soaks, drains, and grows the sprouts.  There is no need for soaking and rinsing and draining.  With 3 different levels you can stagger your growing or grow different kinds of seed in each one. Remember that sprouts don't like the sunlight.  You can put them in the sun once sprouted to turn them green but they need a warm dark spot to grow.  It really is just that simple!!

We eat our sprouts fresh out of the sprouters, but they need to go in the fridge once they are big enough to eat. (when the sprout is the length of the seed you can eat it).  They should stay good for about 1 week in the fridge.  Mine never last that long because they get eaten.  Sprouts are great for salads, sandwiches, soups, muffins, breads, dinner casseroles, etc, etc.  They can be added to anything.  

If you and your family needed quick nutrition in an emergency, having sprouting seeds is the answer.  Gardening has its place but it can take months.  Sprouting takes only days and allows you to grow your own food storage.  Storing sprouting seeds takes up little space and they last for many years, in the right conditions (dark, cool environment), and are relatively inexpensive.  I don't think I will ever have enough storage space to store the recommended amount of wheat for 7 people, but I can store a years worth of sprouting seeds.  Think of how many sprouts you'll get out of 1lb of wheat, a lot!!  One tablespoon of wheat will create one full layer sprouts in the Victorio Sprouter.  That's quite the bang for your buck!!  This is one area of preparedness that everyone can do and should do today.  The health benefits alone are why everyone should be sprouting.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Grocery Deals 4/18-4/24

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These are the grocery deals I feel are stock up prices (better than the big box and membership stores). You should buy what YOUR family needs and buy as many as your BUDGET allows! ** Remember we are shopping for items in our 3-month supply along with longer-term items that fit into your meal plan.**   I only list Smiths, Harmons, and The Sunflower Market because they are the stores in my area but you can look at the Grocery Smarts lists to see other stores for your area.
{I use the Grocery Smarts lists to find all my deals. If you don't live in Utah there are grocery lists for other states too!!  Click on the box at the top of the grocery list that says "Select Your Store" and scroll down to find your state and store.  You can see the Utah lists & all the other lists HERE)

**I am going to start adding some coupon deals to the lists.  They will be in red so you know to only stock up on that item if you are using coupons.  SS=SMART SOURCE INSERT, RP=RED PLUM INSERT.  The inserts come in the Sunday paper and the weekly grocery ads. Please contact me for further info. on using coupons.**
Smiths case lot sales are over but Maceys grocery store is starting their sales today!!  It may seem like quite the drive to Macey's (7800 S. 1300 E) but it is worth the drive twice a year for the food storage deals.  (WF= Western Family brand)   I love Macey's because you don't have to buy the whole case to get the case lot price.  You can buy as little or as much as you need!!
  • WF MUSHROOMS 24CT CASE $12.00=.50EA
  • WF BEANS 24CT CASE $12.00=.50EA
  • WF 24 PACK WATER $2.50
  • WF TOMATO SAUCE 8OZ 48CT CASE $15.84=.33EA
  • WF 25LB BAG FLOUR $9.99
  • WF APPLESAUCE 15OZ 24CT CASE $14.16=.59EA
  • WF CANNED FRUIT 15OZ 24CT CASE $18.96=.77
  • WF CHOCOLATE CHIPS 24CT CASE $40.00=$1.67EA 
  • WF KETCHUP 24OZ 12CT CASE $10.56=.88EA
  • WF MAC N CHEESE 24CT CASE $7.92=.33EA
**Fresh Market grocery store also has the same prices on these case lot items.  If you have a Fresh Market closer to you than a Maceys that may help you get the good deals without the drive.
  •  APPLES .99LG
  • HEINZ KETCHUP 32-40OZ $1.88
  • RAISINS $1.99LB

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Homemade Crackers

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When I come across a recipe that works and allows me to make a homemade version of a processed food, I get really excited!!   I have been trying to make snack food for my children to save money and for health reasons, but when it came to crackers I could never quite get it right.  BUT I have a recipe that works and I believe it is because of my pasta roller!!  I could never get the dough thin enough to make a cracker, it always seemed to come out like a pita bread kind of consistency.   The pasta roller allows the dough to get really thin without the work of rolling it out with a rolling pin.  

I credit again for her great post on making crackers.  I will link you to her post because I would just be reiterating the same thing if I did a post too.  Follow her recipe exactly for great results. I added cheese powder to one batch and made plain crackers with the other half.  You can add anything you would like to make your crackers your own.  My kids loved the cheese flavored crackers the best because they tasted just like Cheese-its!! 

 {If you don't have a pasta roller you can still try a rolling pin, but you will have to roll the dough pretty thin, 1/8" or less.  I recommend rolling your dough out onto your cookie sheet so you can just cut the dough and cook it.  That way you won't have to transfer the super-thin dough from a counter to the cookie sheet.}

Click HERE to see how to make your own homemade crackers!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Facebook Page!

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Changes mean I'm learning, right??!! I'm keeping up with the times and started a facebook page for my blog.  There are so many links, videos, blogs, websites, etc, that I can't possibly get it all here on the blog.  Facebook can reach so many people and having a page for my blog allows you to post too with your great ideas!!  If you have questions or find a great blog or video you can post it on the Prepare Today facebook page.  Hopefully I can get all the techie stuff figured out :)  I really want everyone to be prepared and this may help?!

You can "like" the page from my blog (see the box on the right) and you'll be updated on facebook!!


Find the Prepare Today facebook page HERE!!  And hit the LIKE button :)

Prepare Today Homemade- Minestrone Soup in the Saratoga Jacks Cooker

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This is one of my go-to dinners when I know my night is going to be a crazy one.  I usually make this in my slow cooker but it works equally well in a thermal cooker. 

Minestrone soup is great for a shelf-stable recipe too because you can just open a few cans, toss in some freeze-dried veggies and cook.  I used real carrots in this dinner because I had them, but dehydrated carrots work really well.

I tossed everything in my Saratoga Jacks thermal cooker, boiled for 4 minutes and closed it up for 5 hours.

Minestrone Soup
4 C chicken broth
4 C tomato juice (I use 2 cans of tomato soup+2 cans of water)
1 T dried basil
1 t salt
1/2 t dried oregano 
1/4 t pepper
2 medium carrots (1/2 C dehydrated)
2 medium celery stalks, chopped (1/4 C freeze dried or dehydrated celery)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/4 C dehydrated onion)
1 C sliced mushrooms (1/2 C or more freeze dried or canned mushrooms)
2 cloves garlic (or garlic powder)
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, don't drain
1 15-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed 
1 1/2 C corkscrew pasta, or other medium shaped pasta

Combine all ingredients, except pasta, and cook in slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.  Stir in pasta, cover and cook on high for 15-20 minutes.  Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.

If using a Saratoga Jacks thermal cooker boil all ingredients (except pasta) for 4 minutes, covered.  Place in cooker and let "cook" for up to 6 hours.  Boil pasta and add to soup before serving.  (Pasta gets mushy in a thermal cooker, add it after)

If you are using a Wonderbox you will need to boil for about 10 minutes before putting your pan in your box cooker. Make sure you use a small enough pan that you don't have space for air.

Serve with yummy homemade french bread.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Food Storage Gadgets

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I love finding new (new to me)  food storage gadgets.  This latest find is probably not new to most of you, but I was so excited to order them.

 Canning jar lids!!!  My home bottled chicken doesn't always get used all at once and I keep it in the fridge.  (I am a vegetarian, my kids are lucky they get the amount of chicken that they do)  Many times I bend the jar lids when I pry them off so having another lid that twists on so simply, is a great thing to have!!  I also use them when I make yogurt and on the jars of canned maple syrup. No more sticky canning rings.  The canning jar fits so great in my thermal cooker and the plastic lids are perfect!!

 I bought my lids on amazon and I got 8 for around $6.  Click HERE to see them.  So you see it doesn't take much to excite me :)  But I figured if I didn't know about these, then maybe some of you could use them too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Taco Soup For A Year

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My Preparedness Binder needs an intervention!!

 I have been going through my preparedness binder and trying to organize all the random info I have gathered and put it all in order. I found a whole section on cooking with food storage and I needed to add it to my recipe binder. 

My Recipe Binder

When I made my food storage recipe binder I wanted all of my recipes in one binder so I wasn't hunting down recipes in an emergency.  (click here to see my recipe binderMy new addition to my binder is an Emergency Food Prep. section.  It contains recipes that require little cooking and use only shelf stable items.  In an emergency I would only have to flip to this section and know I could make a meal on my butane stove or sun oven or thermal cooker. 

I found all of the recipes online in several different places.  Click HERE, or HERE to see some of them.   I have quite a few recipes that I can't find online anymore.  I will keep looking but I think they were from the Blue Chip Group, which was bought out by Augason Farms, and their website no longer contains the recipe book the Blue Chip Group had.  I will keep looking for it because it contained many, many recipes using canned and basic storage items. 

One of the recipes that I wrote down was a Taco Soup recipe. It uses all shelf stable items and would be easy to make in a thermal cooker or wonderbox. Along with the recipe was a list of ingredients to have on hand to make it 12 times a year.  If you made this once a month for your family for a whole year you would need.....

Taco Soup
12 pints (12 lb canned ground beef or equivalent of TVP)
12 packs taco seasoning (or make your own mix)
12 packs ranch dressing salad mix
12 15oz cans kidney beans (or cook your own 12x1/2C)
12 15oz cans black beans (or cook your own 12x1/2C)
12 28oz Rotel Mexican style diced tomatoes
12 cans whole kernel corn 
12 3oz cans diced green chilies
Dehydrated onions 24 T (enough for 1-2 T onion for each recipe)
Sour Cream powder (for garnish)
Cheese (freeze dried)
Ingredients for homemade tortillas

To prepare one dinner:
Brown 1lb beef and add 1-2 T dried onion.  Add the beans, seasonings,tomatoes with the juice, corn (only drain if you have extra water, if water is scare use the water from the corn), and chilies.  Simmer for 30-1 hour on low.  In a slow cooker:  4-6 hours on low, 6-8 on high.

Make homemade tortillas and cut into strips.  Fry in a little oil.  Serve the soup on top of the chips, with a dollup of sour cream and cheese.  

If this is something your family would enjoy, go get the ingredients today and have the peace of knowing you have at least one meal done!!  Maceys grocery store has most of the canned items as part of their case lot sale until 4/24/12.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Prepare Today Homemade- Cottage Cheese

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Making cottage cheese is one of those skills that I want to know I can accomplish before an emergency.  There are many recipes and how-to's on the web but this recipe is by far the easiest to make.  My friend Jodee sent it to me and I like this recipe because it doesn't require any weird ingredients that you wouldn't normally have on hand.  I make this recipe when I need a ricotta filling for stuffed shells, lasagna roll ups, and ravioli.  To eat this as cottage cheese I would add a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt to make it creamier. 

 Powdered milk and vinegar are all you need to make cottage cheese.

After the milk is heated you will need to drip the vinegar around the edge of the pan and I like to use a medicine dropper.  

Add 2 C of water and 3/4 C powdered milk to a pan and stir with a whisk until the milk is incorporated.  Turn the heat on to medium and stir continuously until the milk starts to steam.  

Once the milk is steaming remove the pan from the burner and gently drip 3 T vinegar around the edges of the pan.  Gently stir once or twice and let the pan sit for 1 minute.

 The milk will start to curdle immediately.  The whey is yellow in color and the cottage cheese is white.

Pour the liquid into a small colander and run hot water over it and then run cold water over the mixture until all the whey has drained off (about 1 min)You can save the whey to put in smoothies, use as plant water, or into any baking that requires water.  

 You'll end up with about 1 C of cottage/ricotta cheese.  I use a fork to squish the remaining water out.

 This is the amount you'll get out of one batch.  The last step is to salt to taste.  I made three batches to equal about a 16oz container of cottage cheese.  I am making lasagna roll-ups for dinner tonight and that should be enough.  For a creamier cottage cheese add a small amount of sour cream or plain yogurt.

Cottage Cheese
2 C water
3/4 C powdered milk (non-instant from the cannery)
3 T vinegar (or lemon juice, vinegar is cheaper)

Combine the water and powdered milk in a pan and whisk until combined.  Turn on heat to medium and heat the milk, stirring constantly, until milk starts to steam.  Once steaming, remove from heat and slowly drip the vinegar around the edges of the pan.  Stir gently once and let sit for 1 min.  Pour into a small colander and rinse with hot water, then cold water until all the whey is gone and water runs clear, about 1 minute.  Using a fork press the remaining liquid out of curds.  Salt to taste.  Use in any recipe calling for ricotta or cottage cheese.  To eat is as cottage cheese add a small amount of sour cream or plain yogurt. 

And hey, if it doesn't work you could make some of THESE!!
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