Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Day to Enter the Harvest Giveaway


Just wanted to remind you that today is the last day to enter the Harvest Giveaway.

If you haven't entered all four ways you can enter. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mango Chicken Stir Fry with Coconut Rice



Wow!  I love this. Easy, fast, delicious and full of food storage ingredients.  
 
Tips for Success: 
  • When making stir fry or any dish that cooks fast, it is imperative to have everything ready before you turn the stove on.  If you have all the ingredients measured, chopped etc  than stir frying is easy, if not you are scrambling around and things burn. 
  • This recipe makes 2-3 generous portions--I make it for my family (2 adults, 3 small children) and it is just right, but if you have more mouths to feed you may want to double it. 
  • Start the rice first. It takes longer to cook so get it going than work on the stir fry.
  • The rice can be microwaved.  All you need to do is use a large microwave safe bowl, add the ingredients, and microwave for 18 minutes. 
  • If you don't like cilantro leave it out and it is still a great dish.  My kids don't love cilantro so I left it out of theirs and it was good. 
  • When using a marinade be sure to discard it after you have removed the meat. 

 

Coconut Rice
 
Ingredients:                                                                                      
1 c. white (or jasmine scented) rice                                               
1  c. water                                                                                         
1 can coconut milk                                                                          
2 T. freshly chopped cilantro
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. shredded coconut (optional but delicious)

Directions:
  • In the medium saucepan, add the vegetable oil and let it coat the bottom of the pan
  • Place rice, coconut milk, water, shredded coconut, and salt in the pot and set over medium-high to high heat. Stir occasionally to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  • Bring the rice mixture a boil
  •  Once the rice begins to boil, cover with the lid and turn down to low heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes
  • DO NOT take the lid off the rice until it is done (the water is all out and the time is up)

Mango Chicken Stir Fry

Ingredients:

1 marinated chicken breast (Tropical Marinade Recipe Follows)
1 cup freeze dried mango (or 1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced)
2 Tablespoons dehydrated bell peppers
2 Tablespoons freeze dried onion red onion
1 lime
2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. chopped cilantro

Directions:
  • Cut the marinated chicken breast into 1-inch chunks (bite-sized).
  • Rehydrate the mango, onion, and peppers, by placing all three in a 2 cup measuring cup, than filling the measuring cup with warm water.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until all are soft and plump.  Drain.
  • Heat a large saucepan (1-2 minutes). Add the vegetable oil.
  • Add the chicken, bell peppers, mango and onion.
  • Cook until the chicken is no longer pink on the inside (about 8 minutes).
  • Add the cilantro and stir fry another 1 minute.
  • Cut the lime into slices for each person to garnish their food.
  • When the chicken is cooked thoroughly, serve the mango chicken on top of coconut rice while both are still hot.

Tropical Marinade
 1/4 c. lime juice
zest of one lime
2 T. veg. oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. honey (or just 1 T works)

  • Place up to four chicken breast in a gallon Ziploc bag.  
  •  Pour marinade over chicken.  
  •  Seal bag, removing any excess air.  
  •  Squish chicken (inside the bag) and marinade around.  
  •  Let chicken marinade for 30 minutes or overnight. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Food Storage Celebrity, Jodi Moore, My Top 5 Food Storage Tips

Jodi has been blogging about food storage and emergency preparedness with her sister-in-law Julie over at Food Storage Made Easy for just over 3 years.  They started as total beginners and have shared their journey with readers as they have built their food storages and learned about how to become more prepared.  While they still don't consider themselves to be "experts", they have a lot of great tips and tricks they love to share.  


5 Things I Wish I had Known About Food Storage When I Got Started


 
#1 - Wheat is just FLOUR
 

  Photo Source: Annie Mole

 
I was really intimidated by long term food storage in the beginning because I didn't even know what wheat looked like, let alone how to use it.  One day I was at a friend's house and saw her wheat grinder sitting on her kitchen counter.  I asked her about it and she gave me a demo and sent me home with a baggie full of wheat flour and a great whole wheat bread recipe.  I made homemade bread for the first time in my life and had an "aha" moment when I realized that if I know how to cook with FLOUR, I already know how to cook with WHEAT.  A few months later I was able to afford to purchase my own wheat grinder and my food storage life changed forever.

#2 - You don't have to store everything a calculator tells you to store
 

 Photo Source: Leonid Mamchenkov

 
 In the beginning I was obsessed with getting the exact right pounds of everything that the typical food storage calculators said to get.  As my shelves started filling up with legumes like split peas and lentils, and I faithfully tried to learn new recipes to actually USE those items ... I finally admitted defeat.  I just do NOT like split pea soup or lentils. I even tried sprouting lentils and sneaking them into foods but I still did not like them.  It is not a sin to store more of something else that you and your family will actually EAT.

#3 - You need more water than you think ... and even more than that!  
 

 photo source: Dottie Mae

 
Most sources say to store somewhere between 3-14 days of drinking water and assume 1 gallon per day per person.  I initially thought that 14 gallons per person was a TON of water and I would be all set with that amount.  As I have done more research and practiced living through different emergency situations, I have quickly realized how important water is, and how many things we use it for beyond just staying alive. 
 
 There are things you can store (paper plates, sanitation kits, etc.) that can reduce the amount of water you use for things like washing dishes, flushing toilets, etc. but it is still a good idea to store as much water as you possibly have space for.  Stick juice and pop bottles EVERYWHERE in your house.  You will be glad you did!

#4 - Beans are an AMAZING food!  
 

 photo source:  cookbookman17

 
If you think beans are just for chili so you don't need to store very many, think again.  Over the years I have learned so many ways to use beans and my storage has grown to reflect that.  White beans can be ground into a bean flour that can be used as a healthy, low-fat thickening agent.  You mix bean flour and white to act as a white sauce base for soups, homemade mac n cheese, etc.  You can add a little chicken bouillon and make a fantastic cream of chicken soup for casseroles.  
 
If you cook up and then mash your beans, they can become a fat substitute in tons of baked goods.  Don't replace your oil with sugary applesauce, add a little fiber to your cakes and brownies by using beans!  You can even match the color of beans to the color of the food you are making and no one will ever know the difference.  
 
One of the best purchase I ever made was getting an electric pressure cooker to make my bean cooking super easy and delicious.  I now have the confidence to use beans in so many different things, and if I ever have a powerless emergency I can easily transition to cooking them using alternate methods and using them in all the foods I've been practicing with this whole time.

#5 - Starting small is better than not starting at all.  

 photo source:  Yoni Lerner

 
This was an approach that I took with starting to get my food storage in place.  Julie and I developed the ten babysteps on Food Storage Made Easy to make it very easy to get started without getting overwhelmed.  However there were many things we were really intimidated by that we just ignored for the first little while.  Powerless cooking was one of the biggest examples.  Instead of starting small with a small camp stove, I just chose to ignore the topic and worry about it later.  Looking back, I wish I would have jumped in and started at least researching and learning a few small things back in the beginning.  It would have given me a lot more confidence for emergency situations and I would have had a lot more years of experience with that topic.  So if there is something you feel overwhelmed about, just jump in and at least do something SMALL!




Saturday, September 24, 2011

Where Do I Put My Food Storage? 3 Ideas from Pinterest

Anyone who is committed to food storage knows that it takes up a lot of space.  The thing I find to be most important is to be a little creative.  Your home is unique and what works for you might not work for me.   These three ideas have been inspiring to me.

I have been collecting ideas on pinterest for a while and wanted to share the best I have found.

Follow Me on Pinterest
1.  Inside The Wall Behind a Door



This product is ingenious for those living in a place with very limited storage space.
The shelf is literally in the wall.  Not something you want in your living room, but it could be a good option for a closet, storage room, or possibly the kitchen.




















2.  Utilize Door Storage

 There are several commercially available racks that can be fastened to doors or over the top of doors.  These racks can organize small things leaving more space for other larger food storage items.  Over the door organization is a simple way to free up room in any storage space, and to give you access to smaller items that might get lost at the back of a shelf.


(You can find bins like the ones on the shelf with the cut outs at the front at Wal-mart--in stores, They are AWESOME,  they are my MOST favorite organizing item.  They are stack-able, cheep and hold a ton.)







3.   Convert a Closet to a Food Storage Area


When you do this you are giving up some other storage but this allows you to have your food storage organized in a temperature controlled area.  Most closets already have some shelving, but if they don't it is fairly easy to install.  Closets you might think about converting are:

Linen  Closet--Store linens where you use them, towels in the bathroom, sheets in the bed room, etc.

Coat Closet--Consider winnowing down the number of coats and jackets you own and hanging the remaining on hooks in an entry way, stair way, or hallway.

Guest Room Closet--Most guests stay a short time and could store their possessions in a dresser or armoire.

Home Office Closet--If there is a closet in your home office this can be an ideal place for long term food storage.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Peach Cobbler and The Best Place To Get Peaches in Northern Utah



If you live in Norther Utah  and are going to buy peaches this fall, I highly recommend you get purchase EARLY ALBERTA peaches.

I LOVE to buy peaches in Brigham City, I buy them from:

Tom Edwards
616 S 800 W
Brigham City Utah

Mr. Edwards has a little stand in front of his house and you can pick your own or buy them already picked. They are on now and will be for the next week or two. (he also has pears)

Whenever I have peaches I make this awesome peach cobbler.  I got the recipe from my friend Shannon Z.  Everything she makes is delicious, especially this.   The recipe is super easy. The crust is placed in the pan with the peaches on top, as the cobbler bakes the crust rises up and forms around the peaches.  Super YUM!


Peach Cobbler
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
While preheating oven melt:
1 stick margarine or butter in 9x1 3 cake pan

Mix:
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 /4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk

Beat until smooth, pour over butter. Don't stir. As many fresh peaches as desired, peeled & cut.
Pour fresh peaches over batter. Sprinkle with 1/4-1/2 cup sugar and nutmeg. Put back in oven for 45 minutes.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Earthquake Prepardness

I wanted to share this awesome video about earthquake preparedness.  This video is scary specific to Utah yet many of the principles translate well to other areas that are along fault lines.   This makes me want to be more prepared. How about you?



Freezer Coleslaw


  My freezer is almost stocked for the winter, and I have peaches waiting to be bottled so this is the last recipe (okay I might do some roasted tomatoes) I have to help you stock your freezer.  The last thing I am adding to my freezer is freezer Coleslaw. 

I had never even heard of freezing coleslaw until I went to a class a couple of years ago at the extension office. The extension agent spoke about freezing coleslaw and I was hooked.  I have always thought that coleslaw was too much work to make one small salad for my family but for virtually the same amount of work I can have three bags of it in the freezer for another day than I am in. 

Tips:
·        I find it is easiest to shred the cabbage with a large chef’s knife.  I slice it thinly and then go back and chop it thinly.  You want to piece to be small and even in size. My food processor does not do a great job shredding cabbage so I prefer to shred it by hand.
·        I love to take this to parties or potlucks that I am traveling to.  I don’t defrost it before I leave and let it defrost on the way. 
·        This coleslaw has a lot of black pepper in it.  I really like it that way, but if you prefer less you might try adding only 1 ½ teaspoons.
Freezer Coleslaw
6 cups shredded green cabbage, or a mixture of green and red
2 small red onions, grated or thinly sliced
3 carrot, grated
3/4 cup vegetable oil
6 tablespoons vinegar, preferably white
3 teaspoon fresh- ground black pepper
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Place the shredded cabbage, onions, and carrots in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients, dissolving the sugar. Pour the mixture over the cabbage. Toss the cabbage with the dressing and refrigerate for 30 minutes toss again.  Divide into labeled Ziploc freezer bags; remove air from bags and seal.  Place bags on a cookie sheet and freeze flat.  When frozen bags may be stacked vertically. 

To Serve:  Remove from the freezer and defrost in the fridge.  Serve cold.

This recipe is adapted from:  Ensalada de Col From the Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
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