Sunday, October 21, 2012

OAMC/Food Storage Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I still had chicken that I needed to use up, so I took this recipe and adapted it to smaller size pans and made five meals.  I didn't measure anything, except for the 3 cups of enchilada sauce. I know it was three cups because I used a dry mix and it made 3 cups!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Number of Servings: 16


3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
18 corn tortillas, medium
3 cups enchilada sauce
5 cups colby and monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 cup onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil the chicken in water until done. Drain & chop into small pieces.
Chop onion.
Spray a 13x9" pan with cooking spray.
Dip tortillas in the enchilada sauce one at a time, making sure they are completely covered with sauce.
Layer covered tortillas in the bottom of the pan, it should take six.
Add a layer of chicken, onion & cheese. You don't want the tortillas to be completely covered with any one of the ingredients but you should put about half of the chicken & onion & about 1/3 of the cheese.
Add a another layer of the tortillas dipped in sauce.
Press down gently all over the pan.
Add the remaining chicken, onion and cheese mixture.
Add remaining layer of tortillas dipped in sauce & press down gently again all over the pan.
Add the remaining cheese on the top.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, until cheese is bubbly, starting to brown and the casserole is hot all the way through.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

To Do List

between Thursday 8:15 p.m. and Friday Night

  • Process 60 lbs. raw chicken breasts
    • Get 20 lbs to Kris
    • foodsaver bag
    • pressure can
    • wok saute and foodsaver bag
  • Fix Brandi's costume
  • Breakfast with Dad
    • hit estate sales
  • Sew 12 pieces of elastic for button bracelets
  • Put together mini kits
  • Drop by work for a couple of hours
  • Teach class for bracelets
  • Return redbox videos
  • Maybe, sleep

Monday, August 20, 2012

Anybody Want a Little Pie?

How about some Pecan Pie Jam.  Has anyone noticed the price of nuts going sky high?

2 cups finely chopped pecans
2 cups granulated sugar
2 pinches salt
2 Tbs ground ginger
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs cinnamon (optional)
1 stick unsalted butter
2 Tbs. apple cider or lemon juice

Mix ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat until all the sugar has melted and turns to a light brown. BWB the jam for 10 minutes.

Yields about 4 cups.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wheatberry Pineapple Chicken Salad

Looking for something to eat during this hot weather?  Give this one a try.  If you have canned your own pineapple and chicken, all the better.


1 can (15-1/4 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained lightly
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (10 to12-1/2 ounces) chicken, drained and flaked
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cooked whole wheat

Mix together the pineapple, mayonnaise, and salt. Add chicken, almonds and wheat. Stir well. Chill several hours before serving. Serves 4.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Food Prices Headed Up

With all the heat and little rain happening this year, food prices are going to be taking a big jump.  That means everything you put in your mouth that you have not grown yourself is going up-meat, dairy, grains, all of it.

Take a little time now and prepare while you still can.  When you see an entire chicken on sale for under a dollar a pound, buy several and freeze or can them.  One chicken can provide a baked chicken dinner, chicken salad for lunch, chicken soup, tacos or any number of other meals.  You just have to plan ahead and be smart about it.

Summer fruits are on sale, so use them fresh and freeze or can the rest. If you have water and no. 10 cans of sugar, you are halfway to canned fruit.  Okay, maybe it is a little time consuming, but skip a t.v. show or movie and do something that will really pay off in the long run.  For example, a local grocery has nectarines 3 lbs for $1 and pears 2 lbs for $1, this week.  Guess what I'm going to be doing? Canning and freezing, that's what.  Even though we don't need to watch our pennies, it still makes sense to put up our own food. I'm the one who gets to control the amount or lack there of sugar and no chemicals.

How about a way to use some of your food storage? If you have purchased the dried refried beans from an LDS cannery, have you used them?  Here is a great recipe for frozen burritos that are better tasting than the burritos you buy at the grocery store. Purchase your ground beef on sale or get it, the tortillas and the Mexican Cheese blend at Costco or Sam's Club.

Beef & Bean Burritos
makes 40 burritos

1 cup taco seasoning
3 cups water
40 ten-inch flour tortillas
8 (15 oz) cans refried beans
aluminum foil
8 one-gallon freezer bags, labeled

1. Brown beef in a large stockpot over medium heat until no longer pink, about 20 minutes.  Drain and discard fat. Add the taco seasoning.  Stir in water and simmer mixture over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is almost entirely evaporated.  Cool.

2. Spread 1/4 cup ground beef and 1/3 cup refried beans on each tortilla.  Wrap burrito-style and then wrap each piece individually in foil.  Divide packets evenly among freezer bags.

3. Seal and freeze.

To cook one entree:
Thaw burritos in the refrigerator or reheat them straight from the freezer.
Remove foil, defrost and reheat.
Bake in foil at 375 degrees for 30 minutes if frozen, 300 degrees for 30 minutes, if thawed.

                             from the book, Fix, Freeze, Feast by Kati Neville & Lindsay Tkacsik

My Notes:
The above mentioned book was a $1.99 Kindle special I downloaded on my Ipad.

I used Taco Bell Taco Seasoning packets in my recipe.(It has a mild flavor without heavy cumin or chili pepper flavors.)  One packet per pound of ground beef.  Since my beef was extra lean, I don't bother to drain it.  I also cut back on the water to make a drier meat mixture.  I laid out the tortilla smoothed on some refried beans,added taco meat then topped with a liberal helping of Mexican Cheese blend and a drizzle of sour cream.  I then rolled and put each burrito in microwaveable plastic wrap. The wrapped burritos are then placed in gallon sized freezer Ziplocs. 

To prepare, I don't thaw them, I unwrap the plastic and heat 1 burrito for about 2 minutes.  Let it rest for 30 seconds or so, and then enjoy!

DH and I were both pleased with the flavor and ease of preparation. They make great quick snacks or lunches and you don't have to run to a fast food joint.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer Canning

Okay, there is no nice way to say it, I am sick of cucumbers and pickles.  My DH planted an entire twelve foot long row of cucumbers.  A pair of empty-nesters can only each so many.  So I canned, and canned and canned some more, pickles that is. the basement
I was getting this many cukes every 2 or 3 days!  I even had to order a case of dill pickle solution, because my local stores ran out. (see previous post)  We don't even eat that many pickles.  DH has been taking them to work, and thankfully they love them.  I did take the large cukes and cut them to make stackers. You know, those ridiculously overpriced, sandwich-ready pickles. Our shelves runneth over with the bounty of the garden. 

I am also saving onion seeds.  You have to plant onions, let them die back, and then the second year they produce seeds. Imagine what fun it is to separate the pinhead size seeds from the "chaff".  It sucks. This growing your own food thing is hard work. ;)

In the guestroom closet, in case our guests get a midnight craving.
Last week, I bought a box of peaches (24 lbs) for .88 a pound.  I was up to my elbows in peaches, also.  I canned them with a medium syrup.  They are great for topping your cottage cheese or ice-cream, or for making cobblers, pies, etc.  The great thing about canning your own is you know what has gone in the can.

I peel them and drop them into a lime or lemon juice and water solution.  When I have enough for a canning load, I rinse them in plain water and stuff the bottles.  Then repeat the process.  You can also peel and puree the fruit that is too soft.  I add water and make my own peach syrup. Again great on ice cream or pancakes and waffles.  The fruit syrups can also be used to flavor lemonades, smoothies or milk shakes.

Keep a few bottles in an pantry you use often, so you won't forget they're there.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Incandescent Light Bulbs and Shopping Bags

So, it was DH's birthday the other day and of course that means finding the perfect gift for a man that needs nothing.  While shopping, I thought about buying a card and of course, a gift bag.  I was a Cost Plus Imports or  World Market or whatever they call themselves now, and found the card.  BTW, they have cute cards for not so much. Then I looked at the gift bags for $3+ and saw the shopping bag for $.99. Guess which one I bought.  Maybe you have thought of this before, but it was like an (incandescent) light bulb went off. Silly, but just thought I'd share.

I also made some ice cream today using this recipe. You make it with sweetened condensed milk made from powdered milk.  I didn't take any photos, so I may need to recreate it if it's good. I think I whipped the whipped cream too much also, it was a bit beyond stiff peaks.  It made it difficult to fold together smoothly.  I also added fresh cherries and mine came out purple, not the pleasant pink shade in Crystal's pic. I did sneak out to the freezer and tried a spoonful at the soft serve stage. Not bad.  I have two more pints of heavy cream in the freezer, so this might warrant more trial and error.

Monday, April 9, 2012

37 Things You Should Stock but Probably Aren’t From

UPDATED: 67 Items! Every survivalist message board and prepper blog tells you to stock the same things; weapons, water, food basics, etc. So, I went looking for a list of things that you should be stocking, but probably aren’t. Everything on the list will make your life many times easier after the SHTF, especially in a Bugging-In scenario.

1. Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
2. Gun Cleaning Supplies -cotton pads, Hoppe’s, Rem Oil, etc
3. Duct Tape
4. Cooking Oil
5. Shampoo
6. Deodorant
7. Laundry Detergent
8. Books or other reading for enjoyment materials
9. WD-40
10. Sewing Supplies
11. Bolts, Nails Screws
12. Games
13. Paper and Pencils
14. Spare Parts for any and all gear
15. Musical Instruments
16. Lantern Mantles
17. Hand Tools
18. Broken window fix/replacement/cover (plywood or plastic panes)
19. Bleach
20. Household Cleaning Supplies
21. Sponges
22. Towels and Wash clothes
23. Gold Bond or Baby Power
24. Baby Supplies – diapers etc
25. Aloe
26. Sunscreen
27. Bug Spray (wearing kind)
28. Bug Spray (killing kind)
29. Comfort Foods – for morale
30. Chains and Locks
31. Isoprophyl (rubbing) alcohol
32. Mouse Traps
33. Lamp Wicks – for Oil and Alcohol Lamps
34. Lice Shampoo
35. Salt
35. Liquor
37. Glasses – Prescription and OTC

38. Alcohol Wipes
39. Eyedrops
40. Pet Food
41. Fertilizer
42. Coolers
43. Buckets
44. Clothes Pins
45. Childrens clothes in sizes larger than they wear
46. Superglue
47. Wash board
48. Spray paint in black, white, green, brown and black.
49. Zippers, buttons, snaps, knee patches, velcro
50. Patches for tents and tarps
51. Garbage bags
52. Lime
53. Charcoal/lighter fluid
54. Birth control
55. Vitamins
56. Razor blades
57. Saw blades
58. Garden tools
59. Spark plugs
60. Motor oil
61. Manuel Air/Tire pump
62. Bird seed to attract wild birds (food source)
63. Fire extinguishers
64. Wire
65. Q-tips
66. Cotton balls
67. Corn Starch
68. Thermal Wear

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Grains are for Drinking?

In my food storage, I have barley.  I don't use it just in soups. In my mission, we drank a coffee substitute simply called Cebada.  Cebeda is actually the the Spanish word for barley.  What I drank was toasted ground barley sweetened with sugar.  Every once in a while I'll get a hankering  for something warm to drink besides herbal tea or cocoa.  Here is a labor intensive recipe for a 'new' hot drink. I guess this would be similar to a Postum type drink, although I've never tasted Postum.

Postum-like Beverage

* Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
* 4 cups wheat bran
* 2 cups cracked wheat
* 1 cup black strap molasses (regular dark molasses does not give it that wonderful flavor)

The cracked wheat should be ground in a coffee grinder to corn meal consistency. Grind before mixing with molasses so it doesn't gum up the grinder.

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands.  Make sure the grain and bran are well combined and that the molasses is thoroughly mixed into the grain/bran mix. This will take about 5-10 minutes to make sure there are no pockets of molasses and that it looks like dark, very damp sawdust.

Spread this mixture on two baking sheets with rims and put it in the oven. Stir mixture every 20 minutes for about 5 hours, or until the mixture is a very deep dark mahogany. Don't try to toast this in a hotter oven because it will burn. This is a recipe that requires patience in order to caramelize the molasses, and not burn it. When you open the oven to stir it you will notice a very slight smokiness during the last hour and a half. This is normal.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and cool on wire racks stirring occasionally to release heat faster. (I use high roasting pans as it makes a mess turning it without the high lip)

To prepare: This is not instant and needs to be brewed the same as coffee, or steeped as you would tea. The ratio is 2 Tablespoons mix per cup of water.

COOK's NOTE'S: The woman who uses this recipes uses 7 Tablespoons for a 12 cup coffeemaker, and the strongest setting. I have actually toasted the grain in a frying pan with a drop or two of oil.  I grind them in a small coffee grinder I got at an estate sale and use a tea ball to infuse boiling water.  I add regular sugar to taste.
How about making this while watching General Conference this weekend?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2011 Church Humanitarian Work

Some of you may know that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS or Mormons).  Our church has been in the news a lot lately, since Mitt Romney is LDS.  I thought I would let you know of the great work our church does.  Whenever there is a disaster, our church is one of the first on scene.  Here are some interesting facts from last year.

*Salt Lake City — Earthquakes, a tsunami and massive flooding have combined to make 2011 the costliest year for natural disasters on record according to a recently released Welfare Services report of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

The report indicates the first half of the year had economic losses totaling $265 billion, well above the previous record of $220 billion from 2005 (the year of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf region of the United States). Japan’s earthquake and tsunami damage alone has been estimated at $235 billion.

Lynn Samsel, director of Welfare Services Emergency Response, said every year throughout the world, families, communities and nations are afflicted with the hardship and tragedy of disasters—both natural as well as man-made. “While we know that God watches over His children, we are also aware that He asks His children to serve each other.”

Throughout 2011 the Church responded to 111 disasters in 50 countries, providing a total of $22 million in emergency aid and organizing thousands of volunteers through the Mormon Helping Hands program to assist those affected. In addition to natural disasters, east Africa experienced one of the worst droughts and famines in more than 60 years.

Welfare Services lists the five top Church responses.

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
•More than 250 tons of supplies were distributed during the first few months following the disaster, including food, water, blankets, bedding, hygiene supplies, clothing and fuel.

•22,000 Church-sponsored volunteers have provided more than 175,000 hours of service to date.

Eastern Africa Famine
•The Church committed $2.25 million in support of relief efforts and partnered with Islamic Relief, International Medical Corps, International Relief and Development and other organizations to provide food, clean water and medical supplies.

United States Tornadoes
•The Church provided relief in eight states, with more than 5,000 volunteers helping with cleanup.

Thailand Flooding
•Church members in Thailand assembled food kits, sanitation kits, blankets, clothes and other relief items for those affected by the floods.

Hurricane Irene — United States

•The Church provided 120 tons of relief supplies and 50,000 hours of service from more than 7,000 Church volunteers and missionaries.

Disaster Responses
The following table shows the breakdown of the 2011 responses by disaster type:

Disasters by Country

The following table lists the countries and regions assisted, along with the types of disasters experienced

I'm proud to be a member of a church that helps those in need.  In my local area, we provide food for an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico.  We also make Christmas sacks for the children with hygiene, school and play supplies. 
With so many problems in our world, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a refuge for me.  I hope you find the same peace in whatever belief you may have.
*article provided by

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Substituting Whole Wheat for All-Purpose Flour

Once again, Crystal over at Everyday Food Storage has given us some very useful info on added whole wheat to recipes. Sign up for her free newsletter to get great types on using food storage in your everyday cooking.

 Here is the deal with the two types of wheat. Red wheat has a stronger, nuttier flavor. The white wheat has a more delicate flavor that is much easier to disguise. So I would suggest always using the white wheat-especially in baked goods. What is that you say? The red wheat is more nutritious so, why not use it? I thought you might ask that. Red wheat IS more nutritious. And by more nutritious, I mean that it has 2% more protein than the white. HOWEVER, in order to make most anything palatable with 100% red wheat you have to mix it half and half with the all-purpose flour. In that case, you’ve just cut the nutrition by half….or you could just use the 2% less protein white wheat flour and use it 100%. Now, do you think I mean that you ALWAYS have to use 100% wheat in your baking? NO! You use it how your family would like it and I’ll give you some good tips for how to use it successfully and how to know if your recipe is best for 100% whole wheat, half and half or less.


 There are a lot of recipes that are great for substitution 100% whole wheat. I’d say as a general rule of thumb, if your recipe has two or more of the following ingredients in it-you’re good to go with 100% whole wheat.

 At least equal amounts of brown sugar and white sugar. All brown sugar or more brown sugar than white sugar works even better!
  • Strong spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, etc.
  • Mashed fruit (non-citrus) or vegetables like bananas, zucchini, pumpkin, etc.
  • Nuts-wheat is very complimentary to nuts.
  • Oats. Oats already have that hearty feeling and wheat goes great with it!
  • Chocolate-Let’s be honest, chocolate covers a myriad of flavors and tastes great!


 So what to do if you recipe doesn’t have two of the above? Think sugar cookies, white cake, etc. If you’re at all nervous you can always do 1/6 wheat with LITTLE to NO taste difference. If you’re feeling a little daring, you can do half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose. You may be able to taste the wheat a little but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad flavor. Remember, with cooking just because it tastes different doesn’t automatically mean it tastes bad. It just means it tastes different and you if have to decide if you like it better or worse that way.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A long, long time ago - in a galaxy far, far away - I told you I scored a great deal.  Then I left you hanging.  Hang yourself no more my friends...

I got a K-Tec grinder at a thrift store.  It looks like it might have been used once.  I doubt anyone even knew what it was.  The next picture shows the price tag.

Yes, that is correct.  It says $5.00.  These grinders are selling for $179.98.  But wait, that's not all.  It was 1/2 price day on kitchen applicances, so it only cost me $2.50!  I got in my car and practically screamed, it was such a great deal.  There, you're not in suspense anymore.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Homemade Cake Mixes

Okay, I've been terrible trying to keep up with blogging and with my Etsy store, but I promise I am going to do better...maybe...

Crystal, over at Everyday Food Storage, is one of my heroes.  This is one dedicated lady who really loves food storage.  She has a new pdf file on making desserts from food storage, specifically cake mixes.  Who says a food storage diet has to be all dehydrated celery and nothing more.  Desserts are one of the items that will help us to get by and not suffer from appetite fatigue (AF).  If you don't vary your food storage, AF can be a very dangerous problem especially for young kids and older people.

Why not try using your food storage to whip up a great dessert and improve every one's mood-TODAY!
Download Crystal's pdf here:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Interesting Item

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted.  Have you been watching Nat Geo's Doomday Preppers?  I love at the end when the 'experts' say the percentage of the catastrophe happening.  The experts would be the ones I'd turn away from my door when they come begging for food, etc.  

Anyway, there was a neat little item that I have never seen before.  It's called a Water Bob.  It's a plastic bladder you place in your bathtub and fill with water in case of emergency. It comes with it's own little hand pump. Kind of nifty.

It's $25 on their site, but do a search and you can find it cheaper.