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

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  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


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)


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



From 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.


A distributor of Goal Zero’s easy-to-use portable solar power products, the website  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

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’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.


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.


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! 🙂


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!)

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!

Read more

First Aid Supply Lists {6 Printables}

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. Read more

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

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. Read more

CO Poisioning: Our Family’s Story

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…..” Read more

Week #7 Winners!

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. Read more