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9 Great-Tasting Ultimately Convenient Survival Meals

20 Mar 72 hour kit meals

Earlier this week I posted a link on facebook, a first hand account I’d come across of a man’s experience living through the aftermath immediately following Hurricane Katrina.  It was extremely informative and gave me a lot to think about.  (And here’s the link.)   After sharing this, a comment was shared by a woman who had also been through Katrina in another location, which to me (while different) was still equally as shaking as the first story.  All of this has been heavy on my mind this week and I’ve been thinking on what my own reactions and psyche might be like if I ever have to go through a large scale disaster such as they did.

One particular remark stood out to me as I read the first account which I felt was important to share and then I’ve got 9 amazing recipes which will make that 72 hour kit taste a whole lot better than you’ve ever been used to it tasting.
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Simple Cooking with Basics: Corn Tortillas & Honduran Empanadas

10 Jan IMG_7288

Today I’m so excited to get to introduce you to my friend, Maria, originally from the country of Honduras, who agreed to share with us some of the cooking skills she was taught growing up!  These things, while simple, are skills most of us here in the states have never been taught.  In trying to feed our families — and especially in arming ourselves with the preparedness skills that can make the most of little resources, these are especially valuable skills to have.  I know I’ve learned a lot from her already!   Continue reading

Two Favorite “Reader Submitted” Pantry Soups

9 Oct Creamy Taco Soup (1)

Sharon in Spanish Fork, UT was kind enough to send me the recipes of two of her family’s favorite soups that just happen to work as food storage, even fast pantry meal options.   Both were (as promised) wonderful soups — I know you’re going to enjoy them!   Btw, I’m feeling envious of you out there who are able to include beans in your plans, as the Creamy Chicken Taco soup was especially easy and delicious.   (Although I’m happy to be able to keep the second one!)

Thanks for sharing these great recipes with us, Sharon!

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Creole Salmon with Rice

30 May Creole Salmon with Rice (7)

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It doesn’t get much simpler than this!  From start to finish, 20 minutes is all it takes for this great go-to emergency meal.  It’ll cover the bases even if your only emergency is that you haven’t gotten to the store for a while! Continue reading

“Soup in a Bag” week: Corn Potato Cheddar Chowder

17 May Corn Potato Cheddar

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Last, but certainly not least, we have LeGay who tested out the book “Soup in a Bag” for us.  I’d like to send out a big THANK YOU to all three of our testers this week!!  I know I’ve got some new soup recipes I’m looking forward to trying out.  You guys have been great!!

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My name is LeGay Burrell. I am a stay-at-home Mom to three children ages 17, 10, and 8.  I currently live in Kentucky but I am an Arizona girl, born and raised.  I have this silly obsession with Mason jars.  I love how they look on a shelf, the popping sound they make when they seal… so the idea of meals in a jar is very appealing to me.  Moving to Kentucky, where tornado warnings are not uncommon, has helped me to realize how important it is that I become more organized and prepared to feed my family in an emergency.

I was so excited to receive the Soup in a Bag cookbook! I liked it so much, that I immediately ordered both Bread in a Bag cookbooks to go with it.  I love soups but my three children aren’t big fans.  So, I’ve begun the search for a recipe that will please them.  So far, I’ve managed to try 8 out of the 30 recipes. (My dehydrator has been working overtime.)  Now, instead of the usual, “What’s for dinner?” my kids are asking, “Are we having soup again?” Continue reading

“Soup in a Bag” week: Split Pea Soup

15 May SplitPa

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Today I’m featuring our second tester, Kat’s review of the book “Soup in a Bag” by Pam Emick.  Enjoy!  In other happenings, I thought I’d let you know I was thrilled to be invited to contribute over on Deseret Book’s Time Out for Women’s blog today!!  Fingers crossed that it snags some new readers to get excited about cooking with their food storage!

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Hi, my name is Kat.  I’m the grandma in a three generation household in the Pacific Northwest.  I’ve been putting together our food storage a little bit at a time for quite a while as it’s recommended to do by my church.  It just seems like a great idea, especially with the state of the world today.  I work full time for an accounting firm and have a Stampin’ Up!  business (you’ll find me here), so I actually do very little cooking, but I do try to test a food storage recipe for our family food storage cookbook at least once a week. Continue reading

“Soup in a Bag” week: Potato Cheese Soup

13 May soup in a jar

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It’s “Soup in a Bag” week!!  You’ll remember our search for reviewers of the book “Soup in a Bag” by Pam Emick back in April.  Well, they’ve now tested it out for us, testing a total of 14 recipes!  They did a fabulous job!!  Also, thanks to the book’s author for allowing us to share each tester’s favorite here.

Without further ado, here’s our first reviewer, Julene (you’ll find the other reviews posted on Wed. and Fri).   Julene is also the author of Prepare Today Newsletter.  You can pay her a visit there to find out more of her tips and favorites on the subject of food storage and preparedness!

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Chicken Barley Soup

9 May Chicken Barley Soup (5)

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I’ve got some great “tried and taste tested” content coming up in the next two weeks!  It’s a little different than my “norm” recipe schedule, here there and everywhere (haha!) but I think you’ll like it.

First off, in my second post this week I’ll be posting a compilation of various grocery store ingredient taste tests.  Basically a directory of which brands (of which products) to consider more closely as you’re building your pantry.  This comes as I’ve been collecting this information for a while, trolling various published taste tests and adding up their results. My goal with this post has been to get a better picture of which brand’s products are worth stocking up on versus which ones aren’t.

Secondly, the “Soup in a Bag” reviews are back!!  With the detail in each tester’s trial, I’ve decided to post them each independently M-W-F of next week.  And, best of all, thanks to permission given from the book’s author, each post will include the tester’s favorite recipe for you to try yourself!  Awesome!!  Get ready to enjoy!

Speaking of soup, appropriately enough, swim team just started for my three oldest kids which means the water is freezing and I have kids coming home with blue lips and chattering teeth for the first few weeks.  So you can guess what’s on the menu a lot lately.  This homey soup is the food storage version of this recipe and went over well with everyone, even the five year old.

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Simple Sesame Noodles

27 Apr Simple Sesame Noodles (2)

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A yummy way to serve up a bowl of noodles!  Don’t let this recipe’s simplicity deceive you — both kids and adults alike love these noodles whether served on their own or as a side. Compliments of Ree Drummond (aka Pioneer Woman).

serves 4-6 

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Homemade Hamburger Helper: 9 varieties

4 Apr Homemade Hamburger Helper (20)

Print any of the hamburger helper recipe cards!  

salisbury       potato stroganoff      cheesy jambalaya           

cheesy italian shells        cheesy beef taco       

cheeseburger macaroni      lasagna

beef stroganoff        chili mac

We’re all looking for an easy way to get dinner on the table.  Most nights we’d like it to be without too much thought and without having to worry whether the family is going to eat what we make.  Betty Crocker and other manufacturers have made a killing on the idea of “dinner in a box” albeit with the price of preservatives, colorings and chemicals added in.  Enter Suzanne McMinn.  This gal heads up the site “Chickens in the Road” and she’s figured out a number of the Hamburger Helper boxed dinners for us, allowing us to enjoy the convenience we want minus the additives we don’t.

Now I have to be honest, I’ve never bought Hamburger Helper and only learned about this website and recipe idea from a reader who asked for a food storage version of it.  But I’m so glad she did!  And can we say “pantry meal time”??  I love it when I see people naturally coming up with the same idea.  Ready packed meals make sense whether you’re using them day to day or to have on hand in case of emergency, whether the emergency be immediate –to have ready to grab and go with your 72 hour kit– or longer term.

Thanks to Suzanne doing the hard work,  I’ve done the much easier part of translating them to food storage.  And btw, there are all kinds of additions you can make to these recipes, I’d suggest visiting Suzanne’s original blog post for more ideas on that.  Also, all of the recipes call for 1 lb. ground beef (or about 2 cups cooked), so if you’re using fresh ground beef (or hamburger from the freezer) that’s the amount you’d need.

Each recipe serves 4-6

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Easy Hamburger Soup

28 Mar Easy Hamburger Soup (11)

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A simple to prepare yet hearty soup that easily adapts with food storage ingredients.  As an everyday meal it’s a great “catch-all” for whatever extra veggies you have in the refrigerator to use up!  I like making this recipe in a large batch because we like the leftovers the next day but if it’s too large a recipe for your group you can easily cut it down by half.  Also, remember, you can replace the soup back into your wonder oven after serving if you’re wanting to keep it hot!

Although it simmers for 45 minutes I’ve categorized it as a pantry meal for how simple the preparation is (plus, it easily “packs” as one).  Ten minutes –fifteen if you’re using freeze dried ingredients– and it’s on it’s way!

Serves 10-12

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Thai Coconut Corn Soup

16 Mar Thai Coconut Corn Soup (16)

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After a string of more complicated recipes it’s time to throw in a fast and easy one.  I’ve shortened it’s author-given title here from it’s original  “Nearly-Instant Thai Coconut Corn Soup”, giving you an idea of how easy it is.

About five years ago Vegan.com pulled together a recipe top ten.  They asked the authors of ten popular vegan cookbooks to name their own personal favorite recipe from their book.  This recipe (which I’ve adapted, though not very much) was author Nava Atlas’ favorite from her book Vegan Express.  Made as she wrote it, it’s an ideal “first course” soup.  I added some rice to bulk it up, to serve as a “meal” soup but you can choose leave it without the rice, whichever way you like.   In place of the rice milk (used as a substitute anyway for cow’s milk) I used a can of evaporated milk however if you’re sensitive to milk (or happen to be vegan) this would be an easy reverse switch to make; rice milk, sold in shelf stable containers has a shelf life of about a year.

This soup makes me happy.  It went over well with everyone (including the five year old) and now I’ll get to have a taste of “Thai”, which I can further spice up if I want to, to enjoy in our food storage plan. Continue reading

Perfect “Just Add Water” Pancake Mix

26 Jan Perfect Pancake Mix (6)

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It’s tough to find a boxed pancake mix that doesn’t turn out pancakes that are heavy and dense and bordering on flavorless.  This recipe is one you can mix yourself from shelf stable ingredients, has a “made from scratch” taste and makes a lighter pancake.  The flavor boosting “secret” ingredient is malted milk, not something you’d think to add into your pancake mix, but believe me you’ll like it!

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Guilt-Free Macaroni & Cheese

8 Dec Clean Macaroni & Cheese (11)

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If I’m going to go to the work of chasing down bulk amounts of ingredients, spend a lot of hard saved money and then find places in my home to store all these ingredients, you’d better believe I have a priority list of criteria my storable recipes have to meet. The recipes that make it into my plan have to meet at least two of the following four requirements:

  •  better than average nutritionally
  • quick and convenient to make
  • pass the family’s taste test (required always — this food will be used)
  • a favorite/familiar comfort food (overriding sometimes my strictness on the nutrition /quick & easy rule)

This recipe is one of the rare exceptions that hit all four of my goals.

Many thanks to Susan Voisin for the base recipe I adapted this from.  My version isn’t vegan (as Susan’s is) since I did include powdered milk (anyone know of a suitable lactose-free powdered milk substitute for those who can’t have milk?) but thanks to the talented vegan cook parentage it originated from it’s got it going on in the nutrition and taste department.  The star of the show is cheesy flavored nutritional yeast with 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber in it’s small one ounce appearance.  The tahini adds in another 6 grams of protein.  And of course, this “clean” version has no strange chemicals or colors that the box at the store contains.

Across the board, all my kids — even with their “we love cheese, we can tell if it’s not real cheese so just try us” taste buds– fell for this cheese-less mac and cheese!  I find myself agreeing with many of the comments from the original recipe, that it’s got an addictive flavor.  And…happy day…it’s absolutely no-fat/no-guilt!  To top everything off, it’s extremely fast to make.  I suggest making it even easier for yourself by pre-measuring the dry ingredients ahead of time and packing it as a pantry meal.

I think you’re really going to enjoy this recipe! Continue reading

Crispy Orange Beef

29 Nov Crispy Orange Beef (10)

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Have a Chinese restaurant favorite at home, and better yet, planned as a meal in your food storage plan!  This meal goes together really fast.  By the time the rice is cooked, dinner is served!

serves 4-6

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Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

10 Nov Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (16)

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This is the food storage version of one of my all-time favorite soups.  In fact, there was a time (before kids) when I used to work near a Greek restaurant and have this soup for lunch 2-3 times a week.  Naturally, it found it’s way into my food storage plan.

This variation (changed up from this fresh recipe) includes all the same ingredients of an original Avegolemono (it’s Greek name) but rather than a wet roux, a powdered “instant” roux is mixed and sprinkled over top of the soup while stirring.   It’s so easy to make and is prepared even faster when stored as a pantry meal.  This soup gets requested by my kids for their lunch thermos’… proof it’s well-liked at our house!

serves 6-8

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Ground Beef Stroganoff

27 Oct Ground Beef Stroganoff (9)

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Thanks to Kathy Clark, author of Dinner is in the Jar for permission to share this recipe!   Packed as a pantry meal it’s really fast and easy to make and everyone likes it!

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Homemade Fruit and Cream Instant Oatmeal

21 Oct Homemade Instant Oatmeal (13)

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Build some convenience into your breakfast plan with delicious just-add-water instant oatmeal! Our favorite is this one adapted from Chef Tess Bakeresses’ recipe.  Besides being fast and easy to serve, it tastes wonderful!

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Pasta with Bacon and Shrimp

11 Oct Pasta with Bacon and Shrimp (1)

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This recipe was adapted from a recipe found in Giada Laurentiis’ new book Weeknights with Giada.  As a preface to the recipe, Giada writes that it was her way of persuading her husband that whole wheat pasta is delicious.  This is funny to me… so  when in doubt (and trying to get your husband to eat healthier pasta) just add bacon!  Whichever way about it, it works as a food storage meal.  Turn this loose on your own bacon lovers and see what they think!

serves 4-6

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Gnocchi

4 Oct Gnocchi (16)

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Gnocchi, or German potato dumplings, are about the easiest and fastest dish to make.  There’s nothing to it!  We like ours topped with warm spaghetti sauce and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

serves 4-6

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