Homemade “Instant” Hot Cocoa Mix

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So I’m back again with another recipe (lol!).

See, I’ve got this quirk now since writing this blog.  It seems that anytime I find someone claiming to have “the very best” of whatever recipe — even hot cocoa with it being a week and a half before the 4th of July–  I feel compelled to test it to see if it’s true or not.  So there you go, and if you can believe it I have another one to post for you next week too.  {“…Hi, I’m Megan and I’m addicted to experimenting with food storage.”}  Well, there are vices worse than that so I’ll take it.  And this recipe was so easy I didn’t want to save it until September, that would’ve been silly.  On with it!

Okay, so the bright side is that I’ve truely found the BEST homemade “just add water” hot cocoa mix!  I tested it against another “best” mix just to be sure and this one indeed brought the “wows”.  Everyone chose it without any hesitation, so there’s no doubt (for us) it’s our new #1.  In the past I’ve been a big fan of Stephen’s hot chocolate, and never really thought about making my own mix because I’ve liked Stephen’s so much, even though it was pricey.  With this mix I’m totally a homemade hot chocolate convert and I plan to use my LorAnn oils to create some fun varieties with it.  The basic recipe was originally shared here and my only change was that I subbed in Heavy Cream Powder for the creamer it called for.  I’m personally afraid of the ingredients listed in grocery store creamers so this is the way I was able to make it work for us.

Another thing I love about this mix is that you save SO much money by making it yourself!  I’ve combined the ingredients list here with the prices just so you can see it for yourself (the printable recipe card won’t include all these details).  Check out these numbers: Read more

Easy Pantry Pie Crust

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This recipe, thanks to it’s pantry friendly ingredients, is hands down the easiest pie crust you’ll ever make!  No “cutting-in” of butter or shortening is necessary and it works whether your water is ice cold or room temperature.  With a little help even a child can make this pie crust, which to me is awesome!

Side note, this recipe was featured HERE on Deseret Book’s Time Out For Women blog.  You can see it there as well as learn a little more about me and why I started cooking with food storage!

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Deluxe Chocolate Cake Mix

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Much better tasting than any boxed mix, this cake mix is one you can make yourself and store until you’re ready to use it.  When ready to bake, just add water and oil and into the oven it goes!  Thanks goes to Tammy over at Tammy’s Kitchen for the recipe it was adapted from.   To frost, I use a storage friendly version of Chocolate Ganache, halving the original recipe to keep the costs for ingredients down.

A very good, “you’d never know it was a mix” pantry-ready chocolate cake! Read more

Beignets (french doughnuts)

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Beignets, I know, are usually deep fried.  So I’m going to be in trouble with someone for deciding to bake them {there goes my shot at working at Krispy Kreme or Cafe Du Monde} but we’ve found the results “baked” are still very tasty and as long as they’re warm my kids don’t seem to care whether they’re fried or not, they gobble them up them anyway.  The good news is that by cutting out the oil for the deep frying, this doughnut “wanna be” becomes a reasonable food storage planned treat.

makes 20 beignets

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Sugar Donut Muffins

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Yum!  If you need a sweet treat fix, these’ll do ya!  The only real difference in making these 100% food storage lies in what’s used to moisten them before rolling in sugar, cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.   Normally the recipe calls for melted butter , but I’ve found another option that works just fine.

These are such a cinch to make and hit the spot when you’re searching the cupboards for a quick treat!  My kids ask me to make these for them all the time.  (PS.–You could make it even easier by storing the dry mix on it’s own!)

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Easiest Homemade Chocolates

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‘Tis the season, so let’s have a quick word about peace on Earth.  Beside this being a treat who’s ingredients are all pantry stored, I’m convinced this ultra simple recipe, if put into the hands of a newlywed home cook, might increase the probability of a happy marriage (♥).  Spread the love as you will, it’s just a hunch I have.   (The necessary follow-up gift of a gym membership might be in order later on, but for now we’re focusing on peace, love and goodwill.)

As a holiday gift, these chocolates are a quick-to-make life saver!  Any fruit and nut combination works; today’s two batches were made with 1) pistachios and apricots and 2) almonds and dried cherries.  Let your imagination go wild!  Thanks to Orangette for the inspiration on this recipe.

makes 48 pieces

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Homemade Twinkies

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Making homemade twinkies seemed appropriate after news of Hostess closing it’s doors.  Never fear!  Just as you were wondering what the world must be coming to, twinkies live on!

These are fun treats to make!  I based my cake and frosting recipes off of the two top recipes from this “Homemade Twinkie Challenge”.  While they’re not something I make everyday, I much prefer these twinkies to the Hostess ones for the fact that I’m able to recognize the ingredients!   Also, the filling makes a great “instant” frosting — it’s especially good with cinnamon rolls.

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Salt Water Taffy

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My kids and I have had a ball learning how to make taffy this month!  After trying a number of batches and learning what works along the way, this one from Paula Deen is the one we’re keeping and adding to our food storage cookbook.    Now that we’ve got the recipe and the system down, we’re ready to invite some friends over for an old fashioned taffy pull!

makes about 60 pieces of taffy

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Homemade Marshmallows

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You won’t believe how easy these are to make!  Marshmallows are such a fun treat and (without even knowing it) you probably already have all the ingredients on hand.  I’ve made two batches here (for comparison), one using my standing mixer and one mixed by hand; it works either way, so even without electricity you could still make them to go with all that hot chocolate you’re storing.  Beyond hot chocolate, just wait until you try them made into one of our favorite treats…S’mores Bites!

makes 18-22 marshmallows

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