Saturday, April 30, 2011

Homemade Berry Smoothie

Sometimes I get on kicks where I crave something and want it all the time.  That happened the last time I was at Costco.  It was a warm day, so I got a berry smoothie. That did it.  I googled for the recipe and found one I adapted to my taste.  But guess what? It can be made with all food storage ingredients!
Here is a link for making homemade yogurt out of fresh powdered milk. 

I used yogurt as a base, maybe 1/2 cup, two packets of Stevia sweetner and about a 1/4 cup of water. I mixed it well in a blender and starting adding frozen blueberries and blackberries that I had bought on sale last summer. I blended and added till I got the taste and thickness I liked.  That's it.  I've found I add more blueberries to mine. It's a taste thing.  Give it a try.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Caramelized Onions
Not a USDA recommended recipe!!!!!

To caramelize the onions I used a crockpot set on low - one stick of butter, crockpot filled with sliced onions, cook for about 24 hours.

Allow the onions to drain (reserving the liquid) then pack in half  pint jars. Pack the onions in the jars - added the reserved liquid as needed.

Clean the jar rim very carefully (paper towel soaked with alcohol) to remove any fat from the rim.

Can in a pressure canner at 10 PSI (for my elevation) for 40 minutes in half pint jars.

Note: I didn't add salt or pepper to the onions - you might want to add a little for the added flavor. These were red onions. You might want to run a test to see if you like the flavor. Use in salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta dishes, quiche, bread recipes and much, much more.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter 2011

This is the message on the back of the door to the garden tomb.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I don't know about your area, but here in SoCal, mangoes can be had for a good price. On one of the groups I follow they had this recipe.

 Mango Cilantro Salsa

8 cups finely chopped sweet mango (Note)
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups finely chopped red onion
1 cup finely chopped orange or red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped, seeded hot banana pepper or jalapeno peppers
1 tsp pickling salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup white vinegar (5%)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Prepare jars, lids and bands.
In a bowl, gently combine mangos and half the sugar then set aside. In a large saucepan combine remaining sugar, onion, orange pepper, banana pepper, salt, cumin and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium high
heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until onions are almost translucent. Stir in mango mixture and boil gently, stirring often for about 10 minutes or until mango just starts to break down. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Ladle hot salsa into prepared jars leaving a 1/2" headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Adjust time according to your altitude.

Makes: 8 half pints or 4 pints

NOTE: Mixing the mangos with part of the sugar helps to soften them and reduces the amount of cooking required, keeping the flavor fresher. Use ripe but firm mangos for the best texture and flavor. You will need
about 6 large mangos to get 8 cups finely chopped.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I've Moved On...

to making a loaf of bread that DH would eat on a regular basis.  Enter this recipe for:
Fluffy White Sandwich Bread
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast (1 packet)
7/8 to 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk (from food storage)
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes (from food storage)

How to make it
If you're using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it's nearly doubled in bulk. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8" log. Transfer the log, smooth side up, to a lightly buttered 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Tent the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap.
Allow the bread to rise till it's crested about 1 1/4" over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour. Again, it may rise more slowly for you; let it rise till it's 1 1/4" over the rim of the pan, even if that takes longer than an hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, till the crust is golden brown.
Remove the bread from the oven, and gently loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Turn it out of the pan on a cooling rack and allow the bread to cool completely before slicing. As soon as it's completely cool, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
From the website:
Cook's Notes:
 This is such a simple recipe, I couldn't belive how good it tasted.  I skipped the first step and just dumped everything into the mixing bowl.  I kneaded it in my KitchenAid for 10 minutes.  I also just used margarine I had in the fridge.  I don't bother to put wrap over it as it's rising.  I do agree with the baking with foil.  It keeps the crust from becoming too dark.  When it comes out of the oven I spread the top with margarine, and the crust with remain soft. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dragon Scale Pickles

We've planted cucumbers, dill and a host of other items in the garden.  So how about this for a new recipe?
Dragon Scale Pickles
2 lbs pickling cucumbers
2 cups white vinegar
8 cups water
1/3 cup pickling salt (or kosher)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 habanero pepper, thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh dill weed
3 oz of your favorite hot sauce
1 lb white sugar

Wash the cucumbers and soak in ice water (with plenty of ice) for two hours. Prepare jars caps and bands.
In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, hot sauce and sugar and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place 1 sprig of dill, a few slices of habanero and a half a clove of garlic in the bottom of each jar, and fill with cucumbers. Pour the hot brine over the pickles leaving a 1/2"
Process the sealed jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Adjust time according to altitude. Allow the jars to cool, and store in a cool dark place for at least 8 weeks before consuming. Refrigerate after opening.
Makes 4 quart jars

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 52

It's actually been more than a year, but some weeks I didn't count because of vacations, etc. I know that most of my posts have to do with food storage, but this post was on one of the forums that I frequent.  You may want to hit your favorite store for items of need.

I wanted to pass on verification of the 'talk' I had been hearing and reading about the price of cotton sky rocketing. Multiple crops of cotton worldwide failed this year due to weather and other causes. The previous year was also a bad year for cotton, silk and wool. The sewing community has been a buzz about the price of cotton futures and my short trip to JoAnn's yesterday confirmed the worse. Nearly all cotton fabric was 50-80% higher than it was a few weeks ago and many former cotton/polyester blends are including a greater percentage of polyester. Now, I know all of you really don't care about the cost of fabric, BUT this price increase is going to bleed over into the commercial clothing industry in the next few months. Fabric by the yard increases in price before ready-to-wear. Experts are predicting that the current by the yard prices will hit their peak in May or June--possibly as much as twice what I saw yesterday. The total expected increase is 150 to 200%. Of course, thread will increase proportionately as well as the other materials needed to produce clothes. The prices are expected to stay record-breaking high for the next two years. To give you an example of the rate of inflation in the fabric market, fabric I paid $2.99 a yard for last week was $5. a yard yesterday. Denim went from $8 a yard last week to $13 a yard this week. I nearly had a panic attack. Instead, I just walked out of the store and came home to use what I had.

More later...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Don't Have Anywhere to Store it.

Who hasn't heard or maybe even said they don't have room for food storage. Here is a great list for finding spots you never even knew you had.


1. Under beds in boxes or on cardboard flats for easy retrieval.

2. Under baby cribs hidden by a long dust ruffle.

3. Between a bed head board and wall.

4. Between the couch and the wall.

5. Along the wall of a closet underneath hanging clothes.

6. Build a false wall with slanted shelves behind it that are one can height wide. Roll cans in the upper end; take them out on the lower end.

7. Cut out wall board between wall studs. Insert shallow shelves and put a cabinet door over it.

8. Locate unused space under stairs and behind walls of second story rooms. Cut a doorway, finish off walls and floors and put a vent in the wall.

9. Stack boxes or buckets. Put on a round tabletop and cover with a cloth for an end table or decorative accent table.

10. Mount 12” deep shelves, floor to ceiling, along a wall. Cover with drapes hung from the ceiling.

11. Build bookcases for books and/or toys out of boards and food storage buckets or boxes.

12. Add an extra shelf above the existing shelf in a closet.

13. Convert an extra closet or half of a large closet to shelves - built in or free standing.

14. Replace kitchen soffiting with cabinets.

15. Use the unused back spaces in corner cupboards.

16. Buy a free standing cabinet or armoire; add extra shelving if necessary.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 51

Dehydrated apples are another storage item you can get from the LDS cannery.  So what can you do with them? Well, take it from my DH and don't eat a lot followed by a Sprite chaser.  Talk about bloating.  He was not a happy camper for a couple of hours.

I've added a separate page with recipes for just the apples.  Check it out.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Good Buys for April

Candy (Easter clearance)
Ready-made dough
Dinner rolls
Frozen pies
Cake mix         (I saw cake mixes advertised this week for $.75 each!)
Cake frosting
Pie crusts

Tires and other car care supplies

Of course, one of the more important purchases this month will be adding to your years supply of peeps.