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Easy Pantry Pie Crust

25 Apr Easy Pantry Pie Crust (5)
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This recipe, thanks to it’s pantry friendly ingredients, is hands down the easiest pie crust you’re ever going to make!  A food processor isn’t necessary (since there’s no “cutting-in” of butter or shortening) 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!! Continue reading

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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Baked Shells Casserole

7 Mar Baked Shells Casserole (29)

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Today’s recipe is my food storage version of a popular Rachel Ray dish of the same name.  It turned out to be her #1 most downloaded recipe of 2010 in fact.  It does take some extra time to make but (food storage or not) it’s a guaranteed winner!

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Seafood Lasagna Rolls

28 Feb Seafood Lasagna Rolls (13)

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We liked the recipe we have for Lasagna Rolls so much that I decided to try out a seafood version.  I used this stellar recipe for Seafood Lasagna from ‘Taste of Home’ as a jumping off point and they turned out great!

serves 8

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Beignets (french doughnuts)

16 Feb Beignets (6)

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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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Italian Love Nests

14 Feb Italian Love Nests (15)

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I thought this recipe would be a fun one to save for Valentines week.  This “outside the box” pasta idea uses angel hair pasta tossed with an alfredo sauce, along with chopped ham or sausage, and bakes it into cute {crisped} muffin sized nests.  Here’s the non-food storage recipe it’s based off of (no, I didn’t make this idea up myself).  Once again, to keep these little babies held together, chia powder takes the place of the eggs it once called for.

Everyone here loved these!   Using a marinara sauce would work too, btw, so don’t feel limited to the cream sauce if you want to branch out.  Ha ha!  Get it?  “Branch out”, “love nests?”  Have fun and enjoy!

makes 18 nests

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Pigs in a Blanket

27 Nov Pigs in a Blanket (1)

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Here’s another idea using the Hot Ham Roll’s biscuit mix.  My five year old loves that he makes this dinner 90% “by himself”.   It’s a perfect kid helper meal;  the kids have fun making pig families of all sizes and wrapping them up in their doughy blankets.   So easy!

As an aside, I have to admit I’m not one who personally “gets along” with hot dogs {we’ve never really been friends} so for me I like the fact that I can sneak a package of vegetarian hot dogs in and my kids (and my husband) for whatever reason never suspect.  It’s funny to me that they never ask questions but they don’t.  They think they’re getting hotdogs for dinner and I sleep better at night knowing they didn’t.  Everyone’s happy :)

This meal works as a short term (3 month) meal for me by my keeping a couple packages of (faux) hotdogs in the freezer.  Alternately, vienna sausage “pigs” work as a longer storable option if you want to include it in your long term plan. Continue reading

Quinoa Pizza Bites

18 Oct Quinoa Pizza Bites (7)

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Just WAIT until you try these! If you’ve ever caught anyone saying they don’t like quinoa then this is the recipe to convince them they like it.   Your family is going to devour these quinoa bites, they really will!  And you yourself don’t have to feel guilty eating them…according to the original post (linked in the next paragraph) their calorie count is just 35 calories per bite!

I found them over at So Very Blessed and thank Becky over there for sharing them.  Becky says they’re “hands down” the best thing she’s ever cooked.

As far as making them with food storage ingredients, they cooperate just perfectly!  I used ground chia instead of eggs, freeze dried cheese and veggies in exchange for fresh.  I’ve tried out two different variations so far… both of which have been great!   They’re so easy to change up based on what you like or what you can eat (even vegetarian) I’m convinced anyone can work these yummy bites into their plan!

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Tortilla Soup

19 Sep Tortilla Soup (1)

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This Tortilla Soup was one I adapted for my plan from Emeril’s Favorite Tortilla Soup.  We really like it!   It’s extremely mild while still flavorful, so it works well for both kids and adults;  spice is added for those who want it upon serving.  Also, since I try to to save cooking fuel and go non-electric whenever I can, I used my sun oven to bake the tortilla strips.

Also, I’ve got a new tortilla pressing technique!  In making tortillas the most tedious part (for me) is pressing them. It’s a trick, if not a battle, to press a very thin and even dough (as needed for chips) that will peel off the wax paper easily to transfer to the hot skillet.  Not to mention that it requires a lot of wax paper!  Well, in my search to simplify, I’ve re-purposed some flexible cutting mats to help me do the job faster and easier.  It no longer requires a tortilla press, the pressed dough releases much easier and {horray!} it doesn’t use any wax paper!!

serves 4-6

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Lasagna Rolls

12 Sep Lasagna Rolls (1)

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The two winning ingredients in these lasagna rolls are the copy cat ricotta cheese and the Barilla brand no-boil lasagna noodles.  The ricotta cheese is a result of me tweaking around in the kitchen and {somewhat accidentally} creating a clone of something I like to cook with often.  The no-boil noodles are ideal because they’re “sturdy” enough to roll the filling into while still having the delicate texture of fresh pasta we like.

My whole family loves this meal plus it’s an easy one to make in the sun oven.  My 13 year old even asks for it specifically so he can have the leftovers in his lunch the next day!

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Creamy Millet and Turkey Salad

4 Jul SaladCompleteAlt (1)

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Cooking from your pantry using food storage ingredients doesn’t mean you‘re limited to rice and beans. Most people are familiar with rice pilaf, but millet is a refreshing change of pace and is gluten-free, unlike couscous and bulgur. If you aren’t familiar with millet, you’ve probably seen it a million times without even realizing… it’s those tiny buff-colored beads in birdseed. Fear not, its people food, too! Today’s recipe is for a creamy millet “pilaf” and turkey salad, served warm or cool, that is sure to tempt your taste buds.

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Biscotti Cookies

20 Apr Biscotti Cookies (10)

This recipe comes from Pam Emick’s “Bread in a Bag – Book Two”.  For those who are new to the blog I had a chance to try out a recipe  from her first book and share it with everyone back in November over in this post.  In this latest book, you’ll find even more bread recipes bagged “pantry style” for convenience, but this time in addition to breads she’s also included a variety of muffin, wheat-free breads, sourdough, cracker and cookie recipes.  I love finding a book like this that’s figured everything out for me and made it easy to understand with step by step pictures.

So I was excited to try the biscotti cookie recipe she had in this latest book and wanted to see if it would also work in my sun oven.  They turned out just great!  Pam was kind enough to agree to let me post the recipe for you to try out too!  You’re going to love them!

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Beef Empanadas

18 Apr Beef Empanadas (36)

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Before we were married, my husband spent two years in Chile as a Mormon missionary where he enjoyed many an authentic empanada.  It’s funny because he’s pretty picky as we’ve since had them at restaurants, always quickly comparing them to the ones he remembers.  In fact, there’s only been one restaurant’s empanadas that he’s been happy with in all the places we’ve tried!

Considering myself up for a good challenge, I’ve been wanting to find an empanada recipe that would pass his test to make at home normally and w/ a few food storage substitutions be able to use in our food storage plan.  Well, this recipe worked!  He happily (even quietly) finished off a plate of four of these and said they were “good”, which for him is really quite a compliment.

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Sun Oven Discount Buy

12 Apr

I decided the sun oven buy needed it’s own post to make it easier to find.   As I was saying, I called and talked to Paul Munson, president of Sun Ovens International the other day and he offered My Food Storage Cookbook readers a 20 – 40% discount until May 2nd on a variety of their products.  Use the special discount codes below to get a great deal on a sun oven or just the accessories if you already own one… your choice!

All packages are sold at www.sunoven.com.  Upon checkout the discount code can be entered and the discount will be applied to your order!  By using separate orders you can buy more than one package if wanted.

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Baked Taco Shells

12 Apr Baked Taco Shells (25)

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Thanks to these shells, crispy tacos are the next to be added as a meal choice on my food storage menu!  I’m really excited to share these with you —  they turned out so well!  Baked rather than fried, they’re so much healthier than store bought taco shells yet still super crunchy.  Also, taking from an idea from the tamales recipe, I added a can of corn (processed into a puree) into the masa dough to boost the flavor of the tortillas themselves, brushed the cooked tortillas with a mixture of oil, lime juice and chili powder and then sprinkled with salt before baking.  These tasted the best yet!

The biggest trick here was adapting the baking/taco shaping idea to my sun oven.   In searching for what I needed, I was excited to find a set of baking racks made especially for sun ovens that solved the problem.  Beyond that, I had to find a way to get the height I needed in stacking the baking racks while creating a way to transfer it all to the oven quickly, conserving precious heat.  This is what I came up with.

Let’s go make some taco shells!

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Pizza!

5 Oct FS -- Pizza 042

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Let the joyous news be spread,  pizza is on the menu as a food storage and sun oven meal!!

A little history.  I’d never considered pizza as a food storage recipe until Karen from www. kneadfulthingsnow.com talked about it here.   I know I rave about her a lot.  The funny thing is that I haven’t even met this woman — someday when I do I’m going to give her a big hug and thank her for being so smart!  Anyway,  Karen had some awesome ideas there that got me realizing that fun normal foods like this were possible in a food storage plan!  Who would’ve thought?!!

So, it was decided.  We would be having pizza…somehow.

The second phase of getting pizza on the menu however was that I had to come up with a way to bake it in a sun oven.  The last thing I wanted was to have spent a lot of money on freeze dried cheese ($3- $4 per cup) and other ingredients and then be dependent on electricity (which may or may not be there) to be able to make our pizza!  So this is what I’ve come up with.

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Baking Bread in a Sun Oven

23 Sep FS-- Bread in Sun Oven 025

One of my goals this month has been to nail down a better method (yielding a better end result) in baking bread using my sun oven. It’s not too much to ask — a browned crust and lovely bread is all I want. After searching the internet for ideas and testing them out Continue reading

Hot Ham Rolls

14 Sep FS -- Hot Ham Rolls 018

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Our kids love these rolls! Thanks to the publisher of  “It’s in the Bag” (www.cedarfort.com) for allowing me to reprint this great pantry meal recipe!  I’ve done just a couple of things differently since you saw it in my introductory videos.  Firstly, thanks to a great idea from a reader I’ve switched to using shortening powder rather than shortening.  It works perfectly and simplifies  the bagging process and meal prep time!  Secondly, because I’ve had problems with the baking powder hardening while it’s stored I’m now storing the flour mix in vacuum sealed bags.

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Mushroom Barley Burgers

9 Sep FS-  Mushroom Barley Burgers 037

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Here’s the story on this recipe.  Driving around a couple weeks ago I came across author Lukas Volger on the radio being interviewed about his new book “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way”.  His ideas on how to create a good veggie burger sounded great and I’m pretty sure it was lunch time at the time, which helped.  Well, I bet you can guess what I was thinking in the back of my mind… what a great idea for a food storage meal!  This particular recipe from his book was reprinted here and once I found it I just had to take a shot at creating a version that could be stored.

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Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

19 Aug FS -- Creamy Chicken Enchiladas 028

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I’m loving anything mexican this week and this dish is as good as it gets!  Seeing this recipe at www.kneadfulthingsnow.com gave me hope that this white enchilada favorite our family has loved for so long could be made over into a great 100% food storage meal!  If you’ve never had this before I can almost guarantee you’ll love it.  I’ve changed up some things since the last time I made it as a long term meal.  In my search for the perfect 100% white flour tortilla, I tried a new tortilla recipe that I found over at Allrecipes.  I’m excited to report that I honestly think it’s the best one I’ve made yet– these tortillas are even better than the ones you buy at the store– not oily,  just soft and delicious!  Secondly, instead of using freeze dried cheese I tried a canned Kraft variety that can be shredded and then I just added it into the sauce.  It turned out wonderful — I hope you enjoy it too!

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