Archive by Author

Even Easier Homemade Spaetzle

1 Jul spaetzle

Wow, it’s been a while!  I didn’t intend to break from blogging so much in June but it just flew away!  For those who have followed over the past couple summers, you know summer time for me is pretty much “off season” for the blog.  While I’d love to keep playing and keep connected to all you folks all year long I’m (for sanity reasons) a seasonal blogger/ facebooker, etc.  Maybe one of these days I’ll figure out how to balance more while the kids are home all day, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.  So now, with the entrance of summer, my time has officially been handed over to my little people…and my medium sized people, as my teens are becoming not so little anymore.  (Btw, for those who are new here, my kids are 15, almost 13, 11, almost 7 and almost 2.  And to add one more little tidbit to our summer’s craziness, three of these kids’s birthdays — plus their dad’s birthday — land in the month of July, if you can imagine the odds.  We celebrate some of the birthdays in June –so it’s been party central here lately– this because each July we take off on a massive road trip lasting 4-6 weeks to visit family in ID, WA and UT.  Every year I begin this road trip asking myself “why drive three days with kids like this??” and every year I come back home with a satisfied answer for myself.)

For those who asked about classes:  our travel calendar this year didn’t end up allowing enough spare time for the classes to happen {sadly}.  Sorry about that, maybe next year (?)  Or, perhaps one of these days I’ll get moving on some other way to bring classes instead to your computer screen, that’d work too!  Ideas or suggestions on that?  Feel free to pass them along!

All this said, there’s a bright spot.  I couldn’t leave you hanging all summer without posting this wonderful tutorial my friend Eva offered us.  Eva is another friend of mine who moved here from outside the US having gained wonderful real life training growing up on how to cook with basics ingredients — this time in the Baltic region of the world.  I’ll tell you more about her in just a minute, but first a little about the recipe…

If you’ve tried making homemade spaetzle — or homemade noodles at all — in the past this recipe is probably the fastest one there is.  You’re going to love it!!  For anyone who’s never made spaetzle before, you now have the easiest way to do it at your finger tips!  For our purposes, this post is going up to emphasize the *method* of making the spaetzle, the recipe is included here as well, but it’s Eva’s everyday recipe including fresh eggs.  Definitely use it if you have fresh eggs on hand, but if you’re looking for a storeable recipe, check out my post for Hungarian Goulash with Spaetzle from a few years ago.  Again, it’s a great 100% pantry ingredient recipe from Shari Haag’s “The Everyday Gourmet” cookbook and we’ve loved it!  The great thing is, from now on I won’t be taking forever cutting noodles into a pot! Continue reading

Cooking Meat in a Wonder Oven: a Better Container

2 Jun IMG_8658

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by a couple of you whether there was another way to cook meat in a wonder oven other than the plastic bag method I originally posted here.

I’m SO glad for the question because it caused me to look at things in a different way which now has gotten me thinking about other directions this style of cooking can be taken!  Plus, going forward it’s going to save me supplies and money since the improved container (at least the one I’m going to be using from now on) negates the need for me to buy bags anymore.  (Yay!!)  More on that in a minute. Continue reading

What’s Your Threat: Food Storage…Without a Plan

23 May Threat cover

I’m excited to have been invited to join up with many other great preparedness bloggers today, adding a post about the biggest threat I see in our aim for preparing for the future.  Here’s my contribution, you’ll want to “hop” over to see others which have been posted by following the links below.

***

The “biggest threat” to successful preparations, that I see, is the act of storing food away (relaxing and thinking you’re prepared) but neglecting to have a plan for it.

Through this post, I’ll detail 9 areas of planning which need to be addressed — in addition to the storing of food — in order for your food storage to become a “parachute” in your preparedness plan, effectively serving (and possibly saving) your family the way you want it to.

Without taking a close look at these details and double checking your preparations it’s easy to find a false sense of security lulling you to sit back and relax.  All the while- as you’re thinking you’re taken care of in the food storage department–  an oncoming train could be barreling it’s way around the corner and you’re in fact not ready for it. Continue reading

Keep your Cool this Summer: Wonder Oven Tip!

21 May IMG_8528

We all know wonder ovens keep things hot for extended periods of time, however it’s useful to know they also keep things cool, even frozen in the very same way!  

As an example of this, last summer our family took a road trip at which at one point – going from point “A” to point “B”– we knew we were going to be arriving to a family reunion the very same night our family had been assigned to make dinner for the group.  We wouldn’t have time to visit a store, so before leaving we picked up frozen hamburger patties and packed them in the wonder oven to travel with us.  Once we’d arrived and were ready to make dinner, a full 12 hours later, we pulled the hamburger patties from the wonder oven to use and they were still rock hard frozen. Of course we gathered a group from the family together (those kind enough to indulge me in my thrill of all things wonder oven) and oohed and ahhed at the “wow” of these pillows!!

Keep Frozen Foods Frozen

For this reason, having a wonder oven is extremely useful for many reasons.  If you’re freezer went out for whatever reason, you could save some of your food from perishing by simply bundling it up in your wonder oven pillows.  The more pillows you have on hand, the more food you could save!

In keeping things frozen, another use for them is to keep either a set of pillows with it’s container (if you have room) or just a single pillow –with a way to secure it around your food– in the back end of your vehicle to keep ice cream and frozen foods frozen on your way home from the grocery store.  Here in TX, everyone knows ice cream is the last item you buy when grocery shopping, just to be able to get it home before it melts!  With a wonder oven pillow on hand, you don’t have to worry — you can even go run a few errands afterward — the ice cream will stay frozen.

Keep Cold Foods Cold

Another application, one that I use a lot, is in using my wonder oven pillows (here in the Texas heat) to keep things cool.  Simply by wrapping up the food in one of the pillows, keeping the food surrounded by the insulating beads within the pillow, foods such as lunch meats and cheese can be kept cool for hours (all day if needed) for picnics, etc.  It’s so easy and it doesn’t even require a container! Continue reading

Chocolate Long Term Storage: Using Wheat Bran

8 May

Read with consideration, this method (whether the bran is to be attributed to it’s success) is currently under investigation…

Chocolate lovers, listen up!  I was given permission to post an experiment that’s been 5 years in the making (not my own), attempting to pin down the most successful way to store chocolate long term.

The following quoted recommendation (found by our tester 5 years ago) is what initially triggered the test you’ll read below.

“I have stored both M&M’s and chocolate chips.  You cannot put an oxy pack in with them [while storing] because it will make the oil in the chocolate go rancid.  I have experimented for years and have found storing them with bran is the best.  I’ve even tried storing it with sawdust (instead of bran) but the chocolate went rancid in 2 years with the sawdust.  I’m not sure what it is about the bran but it works.  I have had chocolate stored for up to 15 years now without it going bad.  I have stored it in three different ways:

1- Sealed in # 10 can (the best way for storing larger amounts of it)

2- Stored in a mylar pouch (not very good because the mice go through mylar pouches in nothing flat)
3- Stored in buckets (okay but not very efficient because once you open the bucket and let the oxygen in the chocolate goes bad very soon, 1 -2 months)

Instructions:

Leave the chocolate in it’s original package and pack (bury) the package in wheat bran. Then seal the can. You can usually get 4 packages of chocolate chips in one #10 can and then fill the rest with bran.”

Storage Test  

Wanting to try it himself, here are the results from our featured 2nd tester of this method (in his own words):

“Today I opened a can of assorted Hershey’s kisses that was sealed in February of 2009. It was stored in a basement with a fairly even temp. between 50 and 75 degrees. I made sure to completely surround the original packages with the wheat bran and used no oxygen absorber. I found that 4-10oz. packages fit perfectly into a #10 can. The critical thing, I believe, is to ensure that all the packages are surrounded individually on all sides.

The candies have no off smell whatsoever, and virtually no discoloration. The taste of samples from each bag was, to me, no different than the day they were purchased. I consider this method of storing chocolate a smashing success!!!”

storing chocolate

**

To get a better picture of what was really going on, I sent a note to a friend of mine, Cheryl Driggs (author @ www.simplyprepared.com), who I consider highly knowledgeable in storing techniques and food science. My question was whether the “bran” had anything to do with it or if it was just a filler of space. Here’s her reply, for anyone who might like to consider it.  She writes:

“I don’t think it has anything to do with the wheat bran. I think it has more to do with filling up the space and pushing out the air so anything would work.

Also, I’ve never heard the idea that using an absorber causes chocolate to go rancid. Rancidity is caused by oxidation. If there is no oxygen there won’t be oxidation so it should be just the opposite.  Absorbers should prevent oxidation and rancidity, however LDS Church home storage recommendations currently don’t recommend using absorbers with high fat foods until further research is done (although you do find them in commercial packages of jerky and other foods).

Part of the reason his chocolate came out well is the fact that he stored it at such a low temperature. The white coating that appears on chocolate is called “bloom”. Heat causes the fat in the chocolate to rise to the surface. The bloom is chocolate fat.”

What say you?  Please share a comment with us if you’ve found success storing chocolate.

Finale Contest Winners!

3 May

There are a lot of things I wasn’t expecting at the outset of this contest.  Of course I knew it would be a great experience for anyone who decided to join up, but I didn’t know I’d sit reading submissions each week cheering on the participants (for all my family to hear), laughing out loud at their funny weekly experiences, or feeling so touched by their notes of gratitude.

Another thing I didn’t expect to have happen was seeing how fast participants ended up catching on to food storage cooking and how good they got at it!  I already knew if I could do it anyone could, but the motivation of a contest really fueled the fire and got the job done (and then some)!  All recipes added up, it’s very impressive to see what these “once novice” prepper cooks accomplished in the short span of three months!!

Here are the stats:

Biggest Prepper Continue reading

Weeks 11 & 12 Winners + Recipes

3 May

What an ending! Welcome to Dawn Dockery, who jumped in Week #11 with 38 points and submitted a huge 170 points for Week #12!  Week #11′s point winner goes to Amanda Shulz!  Here are weeks 11 & 12′s prizes along with their winners respectively:

 

Week #11 winner

Week #12 winner

 

 

***

We had a total of 79 recipes turned in for weeks 11 & 12!  I decided to combine them according to participants.  Also, just FYI, I only got through about half of the post in adding the links before it was just too late and I had to go to sign off for the night.  I’ll finish up the links here next week.

Everyone listed here was entered in for the four prize finale… the announcement of those winners (along with our overall contest winners) is in the next post (posted today as well).

Be sure to click on the image if you’d like to have a closer look!  In no particular order, here’s all the wonderful food storage recipe testing that was done over the last two weeks!

Amanda Shulz

Amanda 1-2-3

1– Bacon Ranch Pasta Casserole

2– Butter made from shelf stable (Gossner’s) cream

3– Creamy Pineapple Dessert (made with Dream Whip, picture #4)

 

Amanda 4-5-6

5– Garlic and Chive Hoagie Buns

6–  Homemade Mayonnaise

 

Amanda 7-8

 

7– Pepporcini Sandwiches (using canned beef)

8– Ranch Dressing (made with homemade mayo and blended with a manual blender!)

 

Angalee Blatter

Angalee 1-2-3

1– Granola Bars (recipe found here)

ReviewDry, not great flavor, not a fan.  I will be looking for a better recipe we enjoy more. (*note from Megan:  Angalee, you might like to try this one, it’s our family’s favorite recipe so far!)
2– Harvest Bread (recipe in notes area below)
Review:  This is my favorite home made bread recipe I have ever made/tried!  It took almost all day, to make and rise twice and then bake so it was more time consuming than the others I have tried.  I made a batch and didn’t let the cornmeal mixture cool, and the dough didn’t absorb the flour right and my Bosch was shaking-long story short-  I threw it out and started over and made sure to really let it cool.  Second batch turned our perfect.  The kids inhaled a slice without honey or jam on it.  We love it!  Takes longer, since the dough rises twice but worth it.  And the good news is, half the loaf didn’t stick in the pan like last time.  :)

3– Meatless Taco Soup (recipe in notes area below)

Review:  We usually add ground turkey to this, but I wanted to make it Food Storage friendly.  I am a meat lover so I didn’t think I would love it, but I liked it just as much! 

 

Angalee 4-5

 

4– Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks (found in week #10′s recipe submissions from Paula)

Review:  Husband loved these.  I made one batch and then decided I should have doubled it, so I hurried and made another batch.  I have a picky eater who doesn’t like garlic flavored bread so decided to do one batch plain or with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on it, and the other was garlic.  Huge hit.  Love this recipe.

5– Whole Wheat Pita Bread (also in week #10′s submissions, from Brittney.  Recipe included again in notes here below.)

Review:  I think these were supposed to be easy, and for some reason they weren’t super easy for me.  I started one on fire and started a hot mitt on fire in the process as well.  It was in intense night in the kitchen.  But they taste good!  I just put some honey on one to try it out and was excited!  I will be making these again, with a fire extinguisher close too.  :)

Brittney Barney

Brittney 1-2-3

1– Alfredo Pizza (pizza made with jarred alfredo sauce as the sauce base as well as to sautee the chicken in.)

“This was okay—much better when we used the rest of the sauce for dipping.” 

2– Atole (a Guatamalan hot oatmeal drink)

“We put it in a bowl for our girls, and they call it “Oatmeal Soup.” My daughters went a little overboard on the cinnamon and sugar in the pictures!”

3– Rice Pudding

“YUM!”

 

Brittney 4-5-6

4– Cornbread

This recipe was okay. It was pretty dense, but the flavor was good. I’ll keep the recipe until I find a better one.”

5– Deluxe Chocolate Cake

“This was the birthday cake for our little girl who turned ONE! She loved it, as we all did. It was perfect!”

6– Baker’s Cheese

“This recipe used a rennet tablet for the cheese. I wondered how it would turn out. Maybe it turns out okay with regular milk, but with powdered milk, the flavor wasn’t too pleasant. Plus I couldn’t get enough whey out to knead it. It was too jiggly.”

 

 

Brittney 7-8-9

7– Honey Sesame Chicken (recipe in notes)

This was incredibly delicious. I might make a double batch just for myself!”

8– Hot Ham Rolls

9– Korean Beef (recipe in notes)

“YUM! I had sesame oil and sesameseeds, so I threw them in as well. This was delicious!”

 

Brittney 10-11-12

10– Shredded Beef Chimichangas

 I used the shredded beef taquitos recipe from My Food Storage Cookbook to make chimichangas along with some homemade flour tortillas. THIS WAS THE BEST FOOD STORAGE RECIPE YET!!! Wow. Delicious is an understatement! (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the meat. When I texted my husband this morning to send me a picture of his that I sent for his lunch, he said sorry, he’d already eaten it on his way to work! It was so yummy he couldn’t wait. Haha)

11–  Spanish Rice

“This was yummy. It was a perfect side for our homemade chimichangas!”

12– Oven Baked Oatmeal

“This is my third oven baked oatmealrecipe. I like it more than the last, but the powdered milk had a very strong flavor that I couldn’t get past. I’m going to have to keep looking.”

 

 

Brittney 13-14-15

13– Survival Bread

This was an interesting recipe. The flavor was . . . interesting. A little addicting, but not in a delicious-I-need-more way. It was just a hmmm-that’s-interesting way. So we munched and snacked on it. It was very sweet, and once it cooled, it was very hard. I didn’t have orange or lemon jello, so we used strawberry.”

14– Flour Tortillas

15– White Chicken Chili

This recipe was a little bland. Probably because I left out the can of green chiles, but I didn’t want it to hot for the kids. It definitely needs something to add more flavor though.”

16– Flour Tortillas

 Brittney 16

 

(…all links from here on out will be added soon…)

Dawn Dockery

Dawn 1-2-3

1–  Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2– Balsamic Tortellini

3– BBQ French Bread Pizza

 

Dawn 4-5-6

4–   Biscuits

5–   Homemade Bread Crumbs

6–  Bread

 

Dawn 7-8-9

7– Butter

8– Butter

9– Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Pancakes

 

Dawn 10-11-12

10–  Cherry Yogurt Bread

11–  Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

12–  Cinnamon Raisin Bread

 

Dawn 13-14-15

13–Dream Whip

14–  Classic Buttermilk Pancakes

15–  Franks & Beans

 

 

Dawn 16-17-18

 

 

16–  Gravy

17–  Green Beans

18–  French Bread Pizza

 

 

 

Dawn 19-20-21

 

19–   Hot Breakfast Rolls

20–  Hot Ham Rolls

21–  Mac and Cheese

Dawn 22-23-24

22–  Mashed Potatoes

23–  Meat Pie

24–  Mexican Tortilla Lasagna

 

Dawn 25-26-27

25–  PB &J sandwiches

26–  Pineapple Baked Ham

27–  Pineapple “Fluff” Dessert

 

Dawn 28-29-30

28–  Powdered Milk Butter

29–  Rice

30–  Rice Crisp Oatmeal Cookies

 

Dawn 31-32-33

31– Rice Pudding

32–  Samoa Brownies

33– Homemade Tortillas

34–  Yogurt #1

35– Yogurt #2

Dawn 34-35

Loretta Mullen 1-2

 

1– Homemade Butter (made with a hand crank butter churn)

2– Triple Berry Crisp

 

Paula Herron

Paula 1-2-3

1–  Beef Burritos

 

2–  Butter (made with shelf stable cream)

 

3–  Homemade Caramel

Paula 4-5-6

4– Chicken Noodle Casserole

5–  Homemade Hamburger Buns

6–  Lemon Mousse

 

 

Paula 7-8-9

 

7–  Mexican Tortilla Lasagna

8–  Homemade Tortillas

9–  Tuna Salad Sandwiches

 

Vicki Davis

Vicki formatted the four pictured recipes she made (along with a great commentary) in a document.  Here are her documents for week #11 & 12:

Week 11 – April 22-23-2014 Biggest Prepper Challenge

Week 12 – April 30-2014 Biggest Prepper Challenge

Notes:

Whole Wheat Pita Bread


2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

1 teaspoon honey

1 1/4 cups warm water

2 cups flour, plus additional for kneading

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/4 cup oil

1 teaspoon salt

Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheets

Combine yeast, honey and 1/2 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl. Stir together then set aside for five minutes. In a separate bowl, mix white flour and wheat flour together with a whisk, set aside. After the five minutes, make sure the yeast mixture is foamy. Add 1/2 cup of the flour mixture to the yeast mixture. Combine. Cover with saran wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

After yeast mixture has doubled, add oil, salt, remaining 3/4 cup warm water, and the rest of the flour mixture. Stir well into a dough. Dump dough onto a floured surface and knead dough for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add a little bit of flour when it is needed. Shape into a ball and put in an oiled bowl. Cover with saran wrap and let rise for one hour.

When dough has doubled, punch down and separate into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, flatten with hand, then roll out with rolling pin to make a circle with a 6-7 inch diameter. Place dough round on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Roll out all the sections. Cover cookie sheets with clean cloths and let rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500 degree F. Place an oven rack on the lower part of the oven and remove the other rack. Lay the pitas, four at a time, directly on the oven rack. Cook for 2 minutes or until just puffed and golden, turn over and cook an additional minute. Let rest on a cooling rack for two minutes then wrap in foil to keep warm until serving.

Atole (Guatemalan Hot Oatmeal Drink)

1 heaping cup oats (instant or regular, both work well!)

2 1/2 cups water

dash salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups milk

(made from powdered milk)

 

Heat water, salt and sugar in pan until boiling.  Add oats, cook for 2-3 minutes. 
Meanwhile, heat up milk in microwave for 2 minutes or bring to an *almost* boil in another pan.
Pour milk in blender and add hot cooked oatmeal mixture.
Start blender on low and hold onto the lid with a towel- this is a full load for a blender so start slow.
Increase blender to high and blend until smooth.
Serve in mugs.  Add a sprinkle of cinnamon if you like!

Bulgolgi (Korean Beef)

1 can of beef

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 tsp powdered ginger

¼-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

sprinkle of salt

pepper

dried chives for topping

 

Directions:

Heat skillet on medium heat. Toss in meat. Then the honey and soy sauce. Add everything else except the chives. Simmer for a few minutes. Spread on rice and top with the chives.

Honey Sesame Chicken

1 can chicken

salt and pepper

2 TBSP sesame oil

2 TBSP onion rehydrated

½ C honey

¼ C ketchup

½ C soy sauce

½ tsp garlic powder

small pinch of red pepper flakes

4 tsp cornstarch

1/3 C water

sesame seeds and dried chives for sprinkling on top

 

Sprinkle shredded chicken with salt and pepper.  Saute onions in oil, then add the honey, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir. Then toss in the chicken. Bring to a boil, then simmer and start rice. Let the meat simmer while rice cooks.  When rice is done, dissolve 4 tsp of cornstarch in 1/3 c water in a small bowl.  Mix cornstarch/water into chicken sauce stirring constantly. Warm it so the sauce is slightly thickened.  Top rice with chicken and sauce, then sprinkle on sesame seeds and chives.

 

 

 

My Personal “Preparedness” Board of Advisors

24 Apr one thing

With so many preparedness voices out there (with the ever growing number of emergency preparedness “experts” on the internet and otherwise), I thought I’d focus my post today on a preparedness planning idea I’ve used that’s helped me filter and safely navigate all the information (and misinformation) as well as keep things balanced in my life.  It’s not always 100% fool proof, but it’s a whole lot better than going it alone.

First off, as far as preparedness matters go, I don’t have to tell you it’s easy to get overwhelmed, distracted, scared and even sometimes downright frozen from all the information that’s available and not knowing what to do with it all.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of collecting ideas feeling like you’re being productive simply by collecting them, but yet at the end of the day (or week or month) you don’t seem to have much to show for it.

What do you work on first and who do you trust for advice? Continue reading

Week #10 Winners! (including all recipes!)

19 Apr

One more week completed!  Here’s the current standing on points:

Week #10 graph Continue reading

Cook it to WIN it!! {Weeks #11 & #12 Blow Out Drawing}

18 Apr

Part of running a week by week contest like this, especially since it’s something which hasn’t been done before, is keeping a pulse (coming from you, the audience) on what’s working and what’s not.  Of course, my goal in all of this is to utilize this contest to serve the greatest number of people I can.  This said, judging by the response on the facebook contest this current week, my take is it’s not exactly what participants are looking for (which is fine).  So with that, along with the fact that I’d like to give everyone who wants it a final chance to win something fun from the contest prize bag, I’ve decided to pool the remaining weekly prizes from both weeks #11 and #12 into a drawing open to anyone who decides to submit a 100% recipe between now and the end of the contest.

This does not effect the overall participant’s placements at all.  

All who cook over the next two weeks will be eligible.

This is going to be fun!!  I’m excited for all those who end up winning these great prizes.  If you haven’t gotten involved yet, this is going to be a great opportunity to put yourself in the running for a great prize while also trying out cooking with food storage! Here’s the way I’m running the last two weeks.  Ultimately simple (or atleast it seems simple to me), but if you have questions, go ahead and ask away!

  • This final weekly drawing is open to anyone who makes a 100% food storage recipe between now and April 30th and submits it to me by email.  Submissions are due April 30th by 8pm CT.  
  • Points, as we’ve done in the past, don’t need to be counted in order to be entered for this final two week drawing, however I do need to see the recipe(s) you made either by providing a link in your email or including the recipe itself.  Additionally, three photos of the recipe need to be attached to your email:  1)  your ingredients, 2)  some kind of mid-process shot and 3)  a picture of the finished product.
  • If you’re a past participant wishing to count points on your recipes toward your overall score, continue following the main contest point rules submitting as you have in the past.  To anyone with an overall finishing “points” goal in mind, go for it!   This drawing only involves the weekly prizes I would have given out for weekly points pooled with the previous facebook contest prizes.  If you’re submitting for points you’ll still be entered to win these prizes.
  • You’re welcome to submit your email to me in the next two weeks anytime.  If you’re also counting points, you can continue to send it once a week if you prefer.  Email submissions should be sent to biggestprepper@gmail.com.  Please help me out (as before) by addressing the subject line with your name: “Name:  Weeks 11 & 12″ (or if you’re submitting weekly, as week #11/week #12).
  • Following our weekly post tomorrow (for week #10), I won’t post a weekly update again for two weeks, until Saturday May 2nd.  That post will award the four winners for the prizes you see here as well as our overall contest prize winners.

 

Weeks #11 & #12 Prize Drawing

wrap up prizes

1.

A prize package of three pantry sized cans of three great Thrive products, sponsored by our very own  Amanda Schulz (visit her shopping site here!!) Her package for you includes a pantry sized can of each of the following:

Freeze Dried Sausage Crumbles

Instant Black Beans and

Freeze Dried Sweet Potatoes

thrive prize 1 (1)

2.

From Foxhill Corporation, it’s a $90 camp oven!!  Camp ovens fit over one burner of a gas or wood stove and allow you to bake as you usually would.  Simply light whatever heating source you’re using, center the oven over it and adjust the flame to reach baking temperature.  Because these units are compact, they don’t require a lot of heat.  In using one, to prevent burning, start out with low heat and increase it gradually until your temperature is right.  They’re made from rust resistant heavy aluminum, which further allows them to bake evenly.

In the collage above I pictured the smaller single unit, to demonstrate how it’s used.  However, the unit being featured for our prize is the actually the double unit, measuring 10 x 10 x 9 1/2″ and weighing 4 lbs. Additionally, the package includes:

  • Two Non-Stick Baking Pans
  • Baking Rack with Removeable Middle Shelf
  • Favorite Camping Recipes
  • Easy to Use Instructions
  • Side Handles
  • Temperature Gauge

outfitter_oven_display2

3.

From Campmor.com for emergency lighting, heating and cooking, our next prize, a Tri Outlet Safety Post, turns a propane tank into a multi-use tool!!  You just screw the pole onto a bulk propane cylinder and it allows up to three propane accessories to run at once.  The post is 30″ tall and retails for $35.99.

wrap up prizes

To go along with this prize, is a compatible lantern, the Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern, retailing for $59.99.  By placing the lantern on top of the pole, you’ll have light at the optimum height for any kind of area lighting.

4.

A distributor of Goal Zero’s easy-to-use portable solar power products, the website powerinapinch.com  is donating Goal Zero’s newest lantern, the $79.00 Lighthouse 250!! Product Description: Lantern and USB power hub in one.  This bright lantern has 250 Lumens and three brightness levels and hand crank.  Recharge through USB or solar.  Also gives you the ability to recharge all your small USB devices right from the lantern.  Integrated USB cord to recharge your phone twice, camera, gps, Guide 10, or to give a boost to a larger device like an iPad.

Lighthouse 250 Lantern

If you’re looking to go solar, whether it be panels, power packs or tools for lighting, the guys over at Power in a Pinch offer a wide variety of products to choose from.  Get an idea of what they can offer you by checking out a video (a product walk through) HERE.  

Week #10 Prize line-up

14 Apr

I’m excited to finally get to share week #10′s prizes with you!  Here’s what’s coming up this week:

the prepared hour prize 2

Brought to us by The Prepared Hour, our weekly points winner this week will receive our second collection of Do Terra Essential Oils.  It includes three 15 ml bottles, including Wild Orange, Clove and Peppermint oil and retails for $60.  If you remember, Clove Oil landed on the First Aid Supply list I posted last week  for it’s usefulness for toothaches.  In addition, each of these essential oils have many uses (including using them in your cooking if you like).  Here are some ideas of what each can be used for (as suggested HERE).  Thanks going out to The Prepared Hour for this great prize!

Wild Orange 

Diffuse Wild Orange for its effectiveness killing pathogens, and enjoy its incredible aroma while it disinfects and kills bacteria.  It is an excellent oil to diffuse in a car during long trips.  Wild Orange is certified by the FDA to be GRAS and 1-2 drops in ¼ cup of water can be taken internally for acid reflux or heartburn. Use topically for a calming, yet invigorating,  massage.  Use in a spritz to spray bed sheets or as an fragrant pathogen killing spray in bathrooms and kitchens. Use with a carrier to sooth an infant’s tummy.  Use topically in a massage during the early stages of a cold.

Clove 

Clove’s traditional use for dental pain is still helpful and is used and recommended by dentists.  A few drops on a cotton ball and placed on the painful tooth, dry socket or gum area will provide relief for an hour or two.  This application makes it a perfect addition for home dental emergency.  Its analgesic properties also make it suitable, when diluted properly with a carrier oil, for help with muscle and joint pain.  Further when mixed with water Clove can be used as an antiseptic spray to clean and disinfect surfaces and countertops. Adding one or two drops of Clove with carrier oil creates a stimulating disinfecting rinse. When diffused in to the air in small amounts, Clove is a powerful eliminator of airborne microbes.

Since this oil has strong properties it should be used with care for topical applications.  Avoid sensitive areas or those that have sensitive skin.  Usually for oils that can cause skin irritation it is best to dilute in a carrier oil at a 1% dilution or less.  Use with care during pregnancy.

Peppermint

Many studies have noted the power of Peppermint, even in smaller amounts for stomach problems.  Aromatherapists have long suggested using Peppermint either internally, aromatically, or topically for indigestion, nausea, or other digestive ailments.  Topically a 1 or 2% dilution with a carrier can be massaged over the abdomen.

Peppermint is often used to improve mental alertness and acuity. Apply Peppermint to the back of the neck to help relieve stress and tension. It can be applied to the temples to relieve headache. When applied to the bottom of the feet, Peppermint creates a cooling sensation and may help to reduce fever.  Its aroma is uplifting and invigorating and when used topically can be soothing to tired, sore muscles.  Its cooling sensation is perfect for fresh breath and opening the sinuses and airways.  The FDA certifies Peppermint as GRAS.  Mixing a drop of Peppermint with a blend of other oils will help the body absorb the constituents faster.  Caution:  Has a strong cooling sensation.  Do not use with infants.  Use with care during pregnancy.

Facebook People’s Choice Prize:

people choice logo1

 

This week’s facebook contest prize is a collection

of a few of my favorite books!

**

The Everyday Gourmet by Shari Haag

I’ve used this book over and over again on my journey cooking with food storage as well as here on the blog.  Unfortunately this book is no longer available for purchase (unless you count the single used copy I found on Amazon for $125).  It’s a great book in learning to add a bit of style to cooking with long term food storage!  I feel like I’ve gained all the use from it I can personally, so this book is being given away straight from my own book shelf.  The type of person who is working hard on their family’s food storage recipes is exactly the type I want to pass it on to! :)

In addition to searching for it’s title here on my blog, here are two other reviews on the book for you to check out:

Eating Food Storage’s “My Favorite Food Storage Books”

And Prepare Today’s review on one of it’s recipes found here.

FS cookbooks 005

 

“So Easy to Preserve”

from The University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension

With canning season right around the corner this extension book, “So Easy to Preserve”, details everything you’d want to know about canning and preserving.  It came highly recommended to me by a canning expert who I personally trust (and who’s guest posted on canning here), Cheryl Driggs.  Because it seems to go in and out of being found “in stock” on the extension’s site, I ordered an extra to be able to give one away.  Authored by two Ph.D’s in food science, you’ll be able to trust the direction it gives you as you use it for a reference in canning and food preservation.

Books

Bread in a Bag by Pam Emick

Compliments of the author, another favorite book of mine is in the mix this week:  “Bread in a Bag”.  I reviewed this book a while ago and I love the concept and recipes it offers.  It’s all about “pantry-meal” type convenience for breads!  Thanks Pam, for offering this book to this week’s winner!

FS -- Bread in a Bag 003

 Water Treatment Kit Prize

For whatever reason, the Rafflecopter widget is having problems for me this week, so the water treatment kit from Water Pure Technologies will instead be given away to the contestant who has the most points in this week’s submissions who hasn’t yet had a chance to win it!  Easy enough! :)

h2o-resq-kit_3

Alright then, I’ve taken enough of your time gabbing on this.  Go on and get cooking!

Weekly recipe/points submissions are due to me Wednesday night (for anyone who’s new, you can check out the details on submissions here) and {important} our facebook contest (detailed here) will end instead at 7 am CT on *Saturday morning* this week, so I don’t have to wait up late to call it at midnight, lol!  I’m getting old and I need my sleep!

Happy cooking everyone!

 

Week #9 (including all recipes!)

13 Apr graph

I’ve been trying to decide the most helpful format in which to archive our participant’s experiences since many of you have been asking how you can get a list of their recipes.  For me, one of the best parts of this contest has been the additional ideas and resources discovered through our contestants and I don’t want this information to get buried as just another contest.  Instead I see it as a collection of experiments that can become a useful part of the blog.    So this new format is what I’ve come up with.

So this is how it’ll go from now on… I’ll be updating each of our past weeks in the same way you see here.  My goal is to have everything done and ready for you in this way by the end of May.  However, if you want to know the information on any specific recipe you’ve seen sooner than that — (for example, if you’re participating and you want to try one of these recipes for yourself) just sent me an email and I’ll be glad to help you out.

Alright then, to get started, let’s see where our participants stand in placement overall as well as what they’ve earned in points!

Continue reading

First Aid Supply Lists {6 Printables}

10 Apr

For my own preparedness goals lately I’ve been working on updating our emergency binder as well as our first aid kits.  And since the cook of the family is most likely also the nurse (as well as many other things) I’m sure these lists will come in handy to you as well.  Don’t we all love lists!!  How I wish coming up with a food storage plan was as easy as just following a list like this!

spring-tonic-Norman Rockwell

Thanks to Holly Drennan Deyo, author of the book “Dare to Prepare” for compiling all of this great information!  I’ve redesigned this collection of ideas into 6 printable “check list” style pages to add to your emergency binder.  In my experience, it’s the most complete first aid supply list I’ve ever come across.  No question, many years of thought and experience as a preparedness expert went into it.   See what she suggests, use what you need from it and once it’s together feel confident that you’ve covered all the bases.  You can have the best first aid kit on the block (or many miles around)!

Also, you’ll notice that most every item also includes in parenthesis the name of a product which fits that description, so you’ll easily be able to locate everything in your shopping online or at the store.  After your kits are finished the way you like them, you can use these pages to keep track in keeping them stocked. Continue reading

Week #8 Winners!

5 Apr easy-week2

Drumroll… we have three winners to announce for week #8′s contest! Continue reading

Finale Month: Week #9′s Line Up & More Prizes!

4 Apr people choice logo1

We’re hitting the homestretch!  Four weeks left of our challenge and I’ve added a little somethin’ somethin’ to the contest.  I think you’re gonna like it.

We’re still going to have our Rafflecopter contest…

We’re still going to have our weekly “points” winner…

But now, as a finale for the last four weeks of the contest, I’ve arranged for a weekly people’s choice contest.   That is, that anyone who participates in the main contest (contest rules found here) — no matter the number of recipes you decide to make for the week– is invited to participate.  Choose your favorite/best/most “like-probable” recipe from your week’s creations (the recipe you choose has to be one you’ve submitted to me), post a picture of it to the blog’s facebook PAGE and rally for the most number of “LIKES” on it. Continue reading

CO Poisioning: Our Family’s Story

1 Apr 8f441-policefirehouse

You’re likely wondering why I’m posting on something other than food storage today.  I don’t go off topic very often but I’ve decided what I have to tell you today is just SO important.  If this story and it’s lessons learned can prevent even one accident, it’ll be worth it.   We recently had a big scare in our family, nearly tragic, and I wanted to tell you about it.

A week ago today we came dangerously close to losing both of my husband’s parents as well as my 4 year old niece to carbon monoxide poisoning in their home.  It happened so quickly, in fact I’d just talked to my mother in law the day before, chatting about life and such and everything had been fine.  She’d mentioned how they’d been fighting off a flu bug (or so they thought) but outside of that, life was going well.  The next morning, however, all had changed.

My mother in law woke up the next morning unable to move her body.  After five unsuccessful tries using her fingers to call 911, she was finally successful by using Syri on her iphone to get emergency help to come to the house.  Her husband was not awake or alert at the time and my four year old niece – who by another miracle had been awakened throughout the night with troubling dreams– was also quiet.

My sister in law living in Utah has been kind enough to allow me to share her experience as it unfolded with her on the phone that morning.  She writes…

“I received a call early in the morning from my sister in Spokane as she was racing over to our parent’s home following a bizarre call from our mom. She said mom was crying and moaning and was difficult to understand and was saying, “I can’t move my body at all. I can’t dial 911. Call 911. Get over here quick, something is wrong…..” Continue reading

Easy Week $20 Comment Drawing!

31 Mar BlogCommentWinner2

Win $20 to use in your Thrive Q!!  Today only, tell me (either on the blog or on facebook) ONE meal you could make from what you already have stored in your food storage.  It’s that easy. Ready? GO! Continue reading

Week #7 Winners!

29 Mar biggest prepper image only

Every week for the last 3-4 weeks I’ve thought I’d surely seen the height of the contest.  This week, once again, I’ve been truly inspired by the work that’s been done.  New ideas for recipes have again popped up, solutions to problem recipes (namely yogurt) have been discovered, new online resources for all of us to look to have been shared — all from the work our stellar participants have dedicated to this contest.  Beyond helping those participants themselves, all of this great information will help the rest of us become more prepared to feed our families too.   I’m so grateful to be a part of this!!

Probably the coolest part of it, to me, is that we are literally watching what CAN be done in a week’s time in feeding a family using only food storage, once someone puts their mind to it.  Apply this to a far off (or not so far off) time, when/if food preparations like this could be all a family has to eat, and it really adds a lot of food for thought.  In a week’s time– during a time of hardship — wouldn’t you LOVE eating these foods we’re seeing these gals making?? This type of meal line up can be something your own family has in their emergency plan too… so long as the right ingredients and tools have been stored ahead of time.  You’ve watched these ladies from 7 weeks ago until now — they’ve gotten it DOWN and you can too!

You can have an awesome plan, but that’s just it…you have to PLAN to make it happen.

Unfortunately I don’t have the time to post everything that everyone did this week, I wish I could.  Everyone who submitted made good progress in their skills this week, I’m very happy with all that you’re doing!!  I’ll do my best to recap month #2 next week for the overall, sharing with you links to the recipes from all our participant’s work this month as well as pictured highlights where they’re called for.

This week the top race goes to Paula and Amanda.  While their scores aren’t tied, thanks to our sponsor this week, The Prepared Hour, it’s been decided that they’ll both be receiving the same $69 weekly prize from this week.  Both of their efforts this week were tremendous. Continue reading

You’re Invited! It’s ‘EASY Week’ (week #8)

26 Mar

Week #7 is on it’s way out (results to come on Saturday), but for our upcoming week I decided to change things up, giving our hard working regular participants a “breather” week and opening up prizes (by way of drawing) to anyone who submits just one 100% food storage recipe that they’ve tried out during the week!

Submission terms from the original contest guidelines are all still the same, but this week anyone who submits a recipe will be entered to win!  The points earned (capped at 10 points this week for everyone) will go toward your overall score for the bigger prizes at the end but they will not count this week for any of our weekly goodies.  All participants, both past and newbies are invited to go easy on yourselves… and win!!

If you get something tried-out and turned in this week, you’re part of our drawings!  It’s that simple!

Easy week

 

Our prizes include:

#10 can of Honeyville’s awesome Ova Easy Egg Crystals ($37 retail)

H20 ResQ water treatment kit, courtesy of Water Pure Technologies ($35)

#10 can Rainy Day Egg Powder from Preparedness Plus Products, LLC. ($23)

It’s a picnic in the park this week!   Join up and WIN!  

Week #8 extends from Wed. March 26th – Wed. April 2nd.  Visit the contest guide for details on submitting a recipe and if you have any questions, just ask!

Week #6 Winners!

22 Mar BiggestFSPrepper_Logo

Continue reading

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