Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Cleaning the Fruit Room

This week I have not been cooking much instead I have been spring cleaning in my food storage room.  It is important to go through organize and inventory your food storage occasionally.  I prefer to do it in the spring before I get busy in the garden and in the kitchen canning. I do have to say that this did not take me as long as I was dreading.  I sorted, threw out the bad, washed the empty jar, and made new labels in about an hour and a half.  The best part is now I am excited for this summers harvest.

Spring Cleaning home canned fruits and vegetables
1.        Inspecting all of my home canned fruits and vegetables.  Throwing away anything that looks funny, is old, or we just didn’t like.  For example;
a.       This raspberry jam is just from last summer but it looks funny.  It should be dark read but it is cloudy and kind of white.  I am not going to feed anything to my family that is questionable. So the weird looking jam got tossed.

Yes this is supposed to be raspberry jam but it should not look like this.
b.      A little while ago I had a crazy idea.  I decided to grow garden huckleberries and then make jam out of them.  They were awesome to grow and all ripened at the same time so were great for making jam.  Too bad the jam was terrible.  Needless to say the jam got tossed.
c.       I love apricots and as I was cleaning out my food storage room I saw that there were a couple of bottles of canned apricots that we had not eaten from two years ago.  Awesome I thought.  Until I got them upstairs and really looked at them.  The apricots had started to deteriorate and turn a funky brown.  So instead of eating them we tossed them.
2.        Making New labels.  The good news is that my oldest can now read.  I love it.  When I send him down to the food storage he can read the labels on things and bring up the correct thing.  Too bad that home preserved fruits and vegetables don’t have labels.  I solved the problem by creating new labels and stapling them to my wood shelves.  I did move things around so that the things I send him down to get are at a level where he can reach them.   The labels I used are from  It’s a crafty life at  I use these labels all the time.  I love them because you can download them and then in word add whatever text you and  then print them out.  Awesome!   I do love the updated labels. You can tell from this photo that my old labels were somewhat lacking. 
The old labels.  I made them when we were moving in and they are well just barley functional.

Don't you love the new labels?  I do.
3.       Inventory what we have used up already and need to make more of next year (HOT salsa, and grape juice are already totally gone and I’m down to just one or two bottles of chili sauce and mustard pickles). 
4.       I also have been thinking about what I made too much of last year.  Sigh I love to make jam. I always make way more jam then my family eats.  Maybe I should start giving it away as gifts.  I also I like to see what we need to be eating more of.  I LOVE the apple sauce that I have been making the last couple of years. Last year we had eaten it all my Christmas so this year I have been using it sparingly.  But it looks like we are doing okay I still have quite a few jars of apples sauce so I think we can eat it a little more often.

Shout Outs: Where should I put all my Food Storage?

This week I have been spring cleaning in my food storage room (more about that later)  As I have been reorganizing and doing an inventory I have been thinking about where I stored my food storage before I moved into a house with a wonderful cold storage room.  I lived in a very small house with really no room for anything let along a year’s supply of anything.  But somehow we made it work.  If you too are living in a cozy home or apartment here are some ideas to help you stash your food storage. 

End Table you could eat from I dare you to eat it
Can you believe that under this cute end table is really 6 cases of wheat?  This great blog post show you how to build your own and also how to uses your cases of food storage for bedside tables.

Water Storage under a bed from Preparedness pro
Behind the couch from Food Storage and Survival

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Food Storage for Mother's Day

Okay so Mothers Day is just around the corner and if you are like me you need to help your kids and spouse along.  Okay so here is how the conversation goes at my house

Me:        “Did you know it is Mother’s day in 2 weeks?”
Him:  “Umm I do now”
Me:  “So I have been thinking that I would really like  (fill in the blank)”
Him:  “That is great.  Can you send me a e-mail with the link to it?”
Me:  “I’d love too”

Guess what,  I usually get what I want, which makes me feel appreciated and loved.  So if you haven’t decided what you want for Mother’s day this year it is time to.
Maybe your kids and spouse are more creative with presents or maybe you have decided to send the Mom in your life something nice this year.  (I’ve already ordered presents for my Mom and my Mom in law)  I think they are going to love how organized they will be (hint, hint).  I recently ran across a new trend.  Mom’s sending their grown daughters (who are also Mom or Moms in the making) gifts on Mother’s day.  I think this is a beautiful concept.  I know that when I was childless yet an adult Mother’s day was such a weird holiday, but what a great time to celebrate Mom’s in the making or the mother of your grandchildren. 
If you are interested in purchasing at these prices go to my Shelf Reliance Website . No coupon code is needed. You can also e-mail me at

Here are my top Mother’s day gifts
1.       Tropical Fruit 6 Pack—$118.70 plus tax and shipping  

A friend of mine pointed this out today, and I looked into it and it is AMAZING.  This package come will all my favorite freeze dried fruits and it is a screaming good deal.  The retail price on this is $240.00.  But it is on sale for only $118.70 that is 49% off.  Or if you want to think of it this way that is less than $20.00 a can.  All come in a sealed number 10 can.  Shelf Life 25 years. But it is so delicious you will want to eat

Tropical Fruit 6 Pack includes: freeze dried pineapple, banana slices, mango, pears, and apricots.
Freeze Dried Pineapple—We eat them straight out of the can.  My 6 year olds favorite treat.  
Freeze Dried Banana Slices—Great for putting on cereal, snacking, baking. Real banana flavor. Rehydrate very well.
Freeze Dried Mango—My all time favorite.  I love how convenient they are. No more trying to figure out how to cut a mango and then feeling wasteful when I throw away the pit (which always seems like I should be able to eat more of).  These rehydrate very well and are great use in cold or cooked dishes.
Freeze Dried Pears—A great baby snack, healthy, real fruit, mess free.  I love feeding my kids real fruit snacks instead of the high fructose corn syrup variety.
Freeze Dried Apricots-Apricots are my favorite fruit, but they are only available where I live for like 2 weeks in the summer. That is not nearly long enough.  These freeze dried apricots are great dry as a snack, but also rehydrate very well for use in cooked dishes (like sticky chicken). 
Freeze Dried Mandarin Oranges—Wow if you have never tried freeze dried mandarin oranges they are an explosion of flavor in your mouth. When you eat it the orange melts away as it give you a burst of flavor.  Love them.
2.     Cansolidator Pantry $21.49 plus tax and shipping :  

This is what I am to my Mom and Mother in Law this year.  We were recently at my Mom-in-laws house and my husband was helping her move her large food storage shelf after doing some work in the basement.  When he was finished he looked at me and said.  She really needs a couple of consolidators.  She would love them.  Cansolidators are small   front loading can rack that rotates up to 40 cans. They are adjustable, expandable, and stackable. They work great on existing shelf’s in the food storage room but are awesome in the kitchen cupboards.  But the best part is they are easy to set up and use.  I received one as a gift about 6 months ago and I am amazed at how much more food I can store in the same space.  I also like that it makes it easy for my kids to help me make dinner by finding the ingredients I send them for.
They are inexpensive enough that you can buy a couple and get all of the canned goods organized.

3.       EntrĂ©e 6 Pack: $189.99 plus tax and shipping

This is the best Grandma present every.  My two grandmothers are both widows living alone.  Needless to say they often don’t eat very well.  It is hard to cook a nutritious balanced meal for one person.   When I first got interested in Shelf Reliance my Grandmother came to a party. She was interested in the entrees and bought a few. They have worked out so nicely.  She can make as much as she wants.  All she has to do is heat up some water on the stove or microwave, and she has a healthy meal.  The Entrees are made from freeze dried meats, veggies and with grains.  They are a great way to show grandma that you care.  My grandma’s have got to the point in life where they don’t want any stuff. So we like to get the grandkids together and buy her something healthy to eat.  This is my favorite one we have found so far. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Join me on Facebook

Follow us on face book! Search for "Cooking With My Food Storage"  A week from today May 4th. I'll have a drawing for everyone that has liked us and I you could win a pouch of freeze dried strawberries. 
YUM Strawberries!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shelf Reliance Upcoming Events

Opportunity Meetings
If you are interested in Shelf Reliance and would like a hands on opportunity to learn more about becoming a consultants please join us for our upcoming meetings!  The first hour is devoted to learning more about what being a consultant is all about.  The final time will be devoted to training for those who are consultants and those who plan to become consultants. You are welcome to attend all or part of any meeting.  Be sure to let me know if you are planning on attending.  At the meeting tell them Heather Lorimer sent you.

Tuesday, August 9th - 6pm-9pm
Dayton, OH
Dayton Marriott
1414 S. Patterson Blvd.
Dayton, OH 45409

Wednesday, August 10th - 6pm-9pm
Hartford, Connecticut Area
Hampton Inn and Suites
1432 Pleasant Valley Rd.
Manchester, CT 06042

Thursday, August 11th - 6pm-9pm
Washington D.C. Area
Hilton Garden Inn
7301 Waverly St.
Bethesda, MD 20814

 Photo Source:  Helga's Lobster Stew

Conference Calls
Shelf Reliance offers a weekly conference call for consultant, but if you are interested in the company you are invited to listen in.   Calls all take place according to Mountain Time.

Conference Calls for July will include:
July 5th - 12pm - History of Shelf Reliance and Home Party Opportunity

July 12 - 7pm - Understanding the THRIVE Line

July 19 - 12 pm - FRS and Emergency Lines

July 26 - 7pm - Setting the Foundation for the Success of Your Business

To join, please dial 218-895-0268 and use passcode 13579.

Food Storage Salads: Fruit Rice Salad

When my family was living out of our food storage (okay not totally out of our food storage I did have a small food budget) we had a problem.  It was summer, and in the summer there are a lot of potlucks.  It seemed like ever week we were going to a pot luck and were asked to bring a salad.  I hated it.  I didn't have anything to make a salad with and I did not want to spend my small food budget on it.   At the time I did not have a very good solution but now I do.  Over the next little while I am going to post some of our favorite salads that are made mostly from food storage ingredients.

Fruit Rice Salad 
1 (15 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 cup Freeze Dried strawberries
1/4 cup Freeze Dried peaches
1 cup uncooked white rice
1/3 cup craisins or golden rains
2/3 cup flaked coconut
1 recipe THRIVE Whipped Topping, prepared **see below           
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup slivered almonds

1.       In a saucepan bring salted water to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer--without stirring--for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and chill until cold.
2.       In a medium bowl, mix together pineapple, strawberries, peaches.  The juice from the pineapple should cover the other fruit if not add a small amount of water.  Allow to soften 5 minutes, strain off excess juice/water.  Add a heaping cup of the cold rice, raisins and coconut. Set aside.
3.       In a separate large bowl, whip together THRIVE whipped topping, sugar, vanilla, ginger and salt until stiff. Fold in rice mixture, and stir in 1/4 cup slivered almonds.
4.  Serve immediately, if this salad is held the whipped topping looses some of its fluffiness, it is still good just not as fluffy. 

THRIVE Whipped Topping—made from THRIVE instant milk
   1 t vanilla extract
   1⁄2 c thrive powdered sugar
    1⁄2 c thrive instant milk, prepared and chilled
    1⁄2 c ice water
Combine ice water and powdered milk in bowl and beat for 10 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, continue to beat until thoroughly blended. Chill.

*This works best in a stand mixer with whip beaters. If mixture begins to fall, beat again.
 Notes:  MUST use THRIVE instant powdered milk and not the standard dry milk variety.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Interested in learning more about becoming a Shelf Reliance consultant?

You are invited to a Shelf Reliance conference call.  Generally these calls are only for consultants but this week the call is discussing the Home Party Opportunity, so anyone is welcome to listen in. This is a  chance for you to learn a little more about the company and hear its leadership and to really gain a clear understanding of what being a Shelf Reliance Consultant is all about.

We have a conference call tomorrow, Tuesday April 26th, at 12pm Mountain Time. Steve Palmer and Jason Norton will be discussing the Home Party opportunity! This will be a great call. To join, please call 1-218-895-0268 and use passcode 13579.

We will also be doing a screen share for this call. To follow along, please visit:

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Copy Cat Recipe using Food Storage: Pineapple Ice Cream--from Disney Land

I don’t have an inside track to Disney recipes, and I don’t work for Dole.  I do love the Pineapple ice cream that is served by the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland.  Whenever I go to Disneyland I make sure to eat my fill and then for months afterward I think.  “I wish I had some of that pineapple ice cream!”  Well I now can eat it whenever I want. 

When you make this recipe if you don’t have pineapple juice concentrate you can substitute 2 cans of crushed pineapple that has been pureed in your food processor until smooth.  But the pineapple juice concentrate really punches up the pineapple flavor. 

To those of you who are purists.  Yes I know that the ice-cream at Disneyland is dairy free.  This recipe is not.  I have no idea how to make it this creamy and still dairy free.  I think there must be lots of chemicals used.  

This recipe uses one of my new favorite things Whipped topping made from THRIVE instant milk. Yes you can make great ice cream from dry milk.  Who knew?

Dole Pineapple Ice Cream –From Disneyland

1 can frozen pineapple concentrate.  Do not dilute.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup sugar

1 recipe Whipped Topping made from THRIVE instant milk (don't make it until after the juice has has frozen)

In a large (1 gallon)  heavy duty zip top bag place pineapple juice concentrate, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar, seal.  Squish to mix well.  Freeze 1-1/2 hours or until slushy. Gently stir in whipped topping  until slightly blended. Return to freezer until completely frozen, about 1 hour and serve.

Whipped Topping—made from THRIVE instant milk
    * 1 t vanilla extract
    * 1⁄2 c thrive powdered sugar
    * 1⁄2 c thrive instant milk, prepared and chilled
    * 1⁄2 c ice water
Combine ice water and powdered milk in bowl and beat for 10 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, continue to beat until thoroughly blended. Chill.

*This works best in a stand mixer with whip beaters. If mixture begins to fall, beat again.
 Notes:  MUST use THRIVE instant powdered milk and not the standard dry milk variety.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thrive Instant Milk Whipped Topping

So I thought I had a better photo but aparently this is the best one I have.  The whipped topping did look great.
I have been hearing about how wonderful Thrive instant milk is for about a year now.  And I have a confession to make.  I had never tried it until recently.  Let me explain why.  I have a lot of non-instant powdered milk in my food storage already, and if you are a regular reader you know that I use it a lot.  I use it for baking, for making yogurt, and in a pinch for drinking.  So why haven’t I tried THRIVE instant milk.  Well in my mind every time someone told me how great it was I thought “how good could it be? It is just dry milk.”  A good friend told me she used her THRIVE instant milk to make whipped topping similar to cool whip or dream whip.  I was skeptical.  I have made a version of whipped topping with my non-instant dry milk and it did not really work.  She swore to me that it worked and was great.  So I bought a can and tried it out. 

Results:  I like it.  It worked well.  I followed the recipe,  using ice cold water.  I also stuck my bowl and beaters in the freezer for a few minutes so they were also cold.  I wasn’t ready to use the whipped topping when it was finished it (imagine children needing lots of help) and I left it on the counter for about half an hour.  By that time it had fallen a little bit.  I whipped it again for about a minuet and it whipped back up.  The consistency of the whipped topping is a lot like dream whip.  It is not buttery in your mouth like real whipped cream is but it is pleasant.  The texture is kind of like marshmallow cream, (in a good way).  The taste is very pleasant and light.  All in all I think it is a winner for use in jello or fruit salads, a a topping for a cake, or in ice cream and since those are all the time I use whipped cream or cool whip.  I think it is a great replacement from my food storage. 
See the frost on my bowl?  I stick my bowl in the freezer for a few minutes 

Whipped Topping—made from THRIVE instant milk
    * 1 t vanilla extract
    * 1⁄2 c thrive powdered sugar
    * 1⁄2 c thrive instant milk, prepared and chilled
    * 1⁄2 c ice water
Before I started whipping the milk
Combine ice water and powdered milk in bowl and beat for 10 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, continue to beat until thoroughly blended. Chill.

*This works best in a stand mixer with whip beaters. If mixture begins to fall, beat again.

Notes:  MUST use THRIVE instant powdered milk and not the standard dry milk variety.

Whipped about half way

Whipped all the way

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter Traditions: Jello Eggs

Almost as important as dying Easter eggs is making Jell-O Eggs.  I found the molds for these eggs a few years ago at the local grocery store.  If you bought a couple of packages of Jell-O the molds were free.  We have been using them ever since.  I use the recipe below for the Jell-O Eggs.
The Jell-O Egg mold can be purchased from Kraft here:  the cost is $3.50.
The instructions below describe making two layers of Jell-O in the egg.  I have a bunch of molds and make a tone of eggs at a time so I usually make 4 layers of Jell-O in each egg (in the eggs pictured above there are only 3 layers)

Jell-O often goes on sale at Easter time, so if you food storage is lacking in Jell-O pick some up while it is on sale. Yes I know that Jell-O is not a nutrition powerhouse food but I still recommend that people have it in their food storage.  It is a fun food with a long shelf life that will brighten your day when you are eating out of your food storage. 

JELL-O  Eggs
1-1/4 cups  boiling water (Do not add cold water.)
1 pkg. (6 oz. each) JELL-O Gelatin, any flavor
Pam Cooking Spray

3/4 cup vanilla yogurt

Spray inside of mold with cooking spray. Snap mold together and place on a cookie sheet, or tray.  Add boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl; stir 3 min. until completely dissolved. Pour into measuring cup with pour spout. Immediately pour into mold, using 1/2 of the Jell-O.  Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix yogurt with remaining Jell-O, until completely mixed. Remove Jell-O mold from fridge and make carefully pour the next layer of Jell-O. Refrigerate 30 min. or until firm. Tilt mold on slight angle over plate. Using moist fingertips, gently scoop eggs out of mold. Keep refrigerated.