Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Brown Rice and Lentil Soup



In the winter on a cold day I love to eat a hearty soup.   How about you?   This is one of my favorite winter soup recipes.  

If you are making with out of your food storage ingredients so if you don't have brown rice (brown rice goes rancid which means it is a not a candidate for long term storage) you can easily substitute pearled barley or other hearty grain. 

Brown Rice and Lentil Soup
2 tablespoons freeze dried onion (or 1 medium onion chopped)
2 tablespoons dehydrated carrots (or 1 cup chopped carrots)
2 Tablespoons freeze dried celery (or 1 celery stalk chopped)
2 tablespoons dehydrated peppers (or ½ red peppers chopped up)
2 20 once can tomatoes NOT STEWED
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
2 cloves minced garlic
Pepper to taste
½ to ¾ cup lentils rinsed
1/3 to 2/3 cup uncooked brown rice (soak rice ½ hour before you cook)

In large pot cook all vegetables until soft.  Add tomatoes cook for 10 minutes
In blender process until pureed. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients except lentils and rice
Bring to a boil.  Add lentils and rice. Cover and simmer 45 minutes until lentils add rice are tender. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pantry Challenge: Instant Mashed Potato Pancakes


 
When I add a food to my food storage I like to have multiple ways to use it.  I usually use potato beads (much like potato pearls) to make mashed potatoes but recently my family has loved to eat them as potato pancakes.  

If you have a different brand of instant mashed potatoes you may need to adjust the ration of water to potato.   


Instant Mashed Potato Pancakes
Makes 6 pancakes

1 cup HOT water  (I use hot tap water)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup Potato Beads
1 Tablespoon dry chives (or try freeze dried onions)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Combine hot water and potato beads.  Let sit 2-3 minutes until all the water is absorbed.  Stir in beaten egg, and chives. 

Heat oil in a non-stick griddle over medium heat or 250 degrees.
 
While the oil is heating in the griddle use your hands to shape a large spoonful into a patty. Place on hot griddle.  Repeat until all the pancakes are on the griddle.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Do NOT move or flip while they are cooking (I have to set a timer so I know when it has been 10 minutes).  This helps the golden crust develop.  Flip pancakes over and press down.  Cook another 7-10 minutes until both sides are golden brown.  Serve with sour cream. 

The Shelf Reliance Opportunity

Have you thought ever wondered about becoming a Shelf Reliance Consultant? 

The following video is bunch or real consultants talking about being a consultant.  If you are interested in becoming a consultant I’d love to talk to you about it. 
E-mail me at heather@teamshelfreliance.com



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Our Daily Bread

 Source:  Editor B

A little while ago I was challenged to occasionally share  part of my faith with my readers.   It is hard and scary to share a part of yourself with others.   It is much easier to share a recipe.  I have decided to take up the challenge and post once a month about what I believe and why I believe it.  (Please be nice)   If you would like to take up the challenge and share your faith your can link up at the bottom of this post.  




My husband spoke in church today and he was assigned the topic of “Our Daily Bread”  I’m sure you recognize that phrase from the Lord’s Prayer found in both Luke chapter 11 and Matthew chapter 6.  


At my house we are very focused on preparing for the future.  We have food storage and emergency supplies, we have long term plans and goals, and we save for our kid’s college education.  But this phrase from the Lord ’s Prayer reminds us that our daily bread comes from God.  This is talking about the food we eat, but I think it is also talking about the spiritual and physical strength needed to deal with one more day of trails of life.   

As I sat in church today I was thinking about this phrase “Our Daily Bread”  I looked around the room and noticed how many people were suffering from major trials.  One woman recently suffered the loss of a family member to suicide, another is struggling with the inability to have children, and another just had twin grandchildren one of whom is suffering from a major birth defect which requires extensive surgery.   Those are only the trials I know about, I’m sure there are many I don’t know about. 


The daily bread that the Lord offers to each of us is the power to make it through today no matter what trial is in store for us. Sometimes those trials are extreme.   

 This past summer I faced a trial I have faced several times in the past.  A trial that I thought we would never have to face again.  When I first realized we were going through it again.  I broke down.  I sat on my front porch and cried, while my good husband comforted me (even though is was also upset).  I cried to the Lord “I can’t do it.  I won’t do it.  Not again.  Surely not again” 

After the initial shock wore off, I realized that I could do it.  The Lord could take this burden.  That today I could make it.  He provided me with the spiritual strength to make it through that hardship a day at a time. 

Now don’t misunderstand me.  The Lord rarely removes the trial.  He did not remove mine.  But he has does make it bearable.   He gives us our daily bread in the form of the strength, the hope, and the helping hand of a friend or family member.

How has the Lord provided "daily bread in your life"?


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chocolate Lover’s Bunt Cake Coconut Whipped Cream



I started storing coconut milk as part of my food storage last summer.   I had found that I was using it more and more in my cooking and that I was always out.  So I bought a case of coconut milk.  Why did it take me so long to add it to my food storage?  It is now one of my go to ingredients.  

 I bought mine at Macey’s  (My local grocery store) during the case lot sale and keep it in my cold storage.  It doesn’t have to be kept cold but if you have the space to store it somewhere cool you will always be ready to make coconut whipped cream.  Yum!  I didn’t come up with the idea of coconut whipped cream, but when I first read about it on The Kitchn.  I knew it was an idea I would love.

 
Chocolate Lover’s Bunt Cake Coconut Whipped Cream
1 package chocolate cake mix
1  3-oz. package chocolate pudding mix
4 eggs (1/4 cup powdered eggs plus 1/2 cup water)
1 C. water
½ C. oil
12 oz. chocolate chips
¾ C. walnuts, chopped (optional)
Coconut Whipped Cream-recipe follows
Shredded Coconut

Beat together all ingredients (except chocolate chips and nuts) for 10 min. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Stir in chips and nuts. Grease a Bunt pan and then sprinkle with cocoa to “flour” it, mainly on the bottom of the pan. Pour in batter; bake 50-55 minutes or until done. Invert cake on plate. Sprinkle with shredded coconut. Serve with coconut whipped cream.





Coconut Whipped Cream
One 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and leave it there until well-chilled; Several hours or overnight. (Or store your coconut milk in your cold storage and it will always be ready)

2. Open the can of coconut milk. Scoop out the firm layer coconut cream that has solidified at the top of the can.  Stop as soon as you reach the water at the bottom of the can; don't include anything but the solid cream. (You can use the water in smoothies, or just drink it straight.)

3. Place this cream in the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl.  Turn your mixer or hand beaters to high speed, and whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes or until it becomes fluffy and light, with soft peaks. Mix in sugar or vanilla, if using.

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tomorrow I'm going on Strike


Tomorrow, Wednesday January 18th 2012 I will be going on strike. 

I’ve never gone on strike before.  I don’t even know anyone who has ever gone on strike.  But tomorrow this site and my training blog for Shelf Reliance Consultants will go dark. 

What is this all about?   The strike on Wednesday is the largest internet protest in history, an effort to stop the internet censorship bills, SOPA and PIPA.  


I am joining with companies such as Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozill, and WordPress in showing my extreme concern about this internet censorship bill. 

If you are concerned about SOPA and PIPA please visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation .  From there you can easily e-mail your Rep/Senator.   It takes less than 2 minutes.   

 Congress will vote on January 24th. 

 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pantry Challenge Update

 
 
The month is officially half over and I fell like the pantry challenge is going well.   We had a few bumps in the road (while I was out of town my husband broke down and bought a bunch of cold cereal, something I never buy) but I’m pleased with our progress.  

At the start of the month I wanted to focus on 4 things.  Here is how we are doing on those things.
  •    Getting Organized. 
Pantry is Organized.  Yeah!  And the best part it only cost me $12.00 for the boxes and I had the fabric, paper, and ribbon.  

Before




After

My pantry space is a non-traditional.  Instead of a walk in pantry a I have a large deep cupboard.  My biggest problem was things tend to get lost at the back


After looking around for good containers I ended up a Shelf Reliance Cansolidator to organize my canned goods and bankers boxes and a  to organize all of the loose things that were floating around.   
The Cansolidator that I have is one of my favorite things.  The Christmas after I was married my Mom gave me come can rotators that I used for years.  They were a nightmare to set up, but they did get the job done.  A while ago I won a Cansolidator Pantry Plus and I LOVE it.  It is easy to set up, easy to use, easy to change.  It is the large size and hold 60 cans which for me is enough to have in my kitchen.  I keep everything else in my cold storage.
Banker’s boxes are inexpensive and sturdy.  I use them for everything. 

I was hoping that I could get 3 boxes across but my shelves are a little too small for that.  I decided to line up my kitchen appliances down the middle of the boxes on each shelf, and I am really liking it.  (Yes I do have a lot of appliances.) 

 I wanted them to be “cute” so cut up some fabric (dark canvas works best, I used canvas that I bought at Wal-Mart) and used spray adhesive to affix it.  After letting it air out for a while, the spray adhesive is super stinky and should be used outdoors.  I printed out some labels and tied them on with ribbon.  The entire project took me 3 hours and I am really happy with how it turned out. 


Freezer has been cleaned out and organized.  Yeah!  It is still lacking a in the meat department.  As I organized it I realized that I am totally out of Chicken, hamburger, and freezer meals.   But on the upside I do have a lot of freezer jam and frozen fruit cocktail.  I thought I was out of booth.



  •  Creating menus that my kids will like and that focus on foods that we already have on hand.
Since I have been focusing on what my kids like to eat I have had a lot less complaining at dinner time.   Each week when I plan the menu for the week I asked each person what they want to have AND if we have the ingredients to make it than we have it.   My daughter really like spaghetti and meatballs so we have had them twice already, although I would not normally it so frequently, it has made my kids happier at dinner time.
  •   Lowering my food budget.    So far we have spent $184.02 on groceries.  Since that includes the grocery shopping for this week, I feel pretty good about that.  Usually I spend $100 per week.  So for three weeks we have saved $115.98.  So far so good.   Our largest purchase by far is on produce.   We eat a lot of produce, I purchase it at the grocery sore and each month I participate once or twice in the Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op.   If you are unfamiliar with Bountiful Baskets it is a food coop that focus on fruits and veggies, and has a few add ons each week.  We love the 9 grain organic bread so I buy 10 loafs at a time and freeze most of it.
This is what we got in our basket this week. 


  •  Evaluate my food storage.   What I have learned so far.
1.     We need to store more soup.   My daughter wants to eat Progresso Italian Wedding Meatball soup every day for lunch.  When Progresso is on sale it is less than $1 per can.  This is a good deal since three of us eat one can.  

2.     We need to store more ready to eat foods and freezer meals.  I seem to go in waves and we currently have nothing easy to pull out of the freezer.  I’ve been wishing for a frozen pizza, cheese ravioli, ham fried rice, pot stickers and egg rolls.   My kids have been wishing for mini hamburgers.   It looks like this week I'll be making some freezer meals.

3.  We have a LOT of jam.  I love to make jam and sometimes I get a little carried away.  Okay it is totally out of control but delicious.  



Best Ever Food Storage Soft Sugar Cookies from Shortening Powder


I love cookies.  You might have noticed because I post cookie recipes all the time.  I have been attempting to make an awesome sugar cookie with only food storage ingredients for a long time (okay about 2 years).  I wanted these cookies to be soft and flavorful, to be just as good as cookies made from fresh ingredients.  I’m finally satisfied.  These cookies are soft, and delicious.  But the best part is they are just as easy to make as the originals. 

Tips for Success:
  • When baking with shortening powder remember that cookies won’t brown as quickly as when using fresh shortening or butter.  So take them out of the oven before they are brown.  You want them to be set but not browned.
  • These cookies puff a little more than sugar cookies normally do.  Even so I still like to roll them thick.   Sometimes when these cookies are removed from the oven too early they fall a little bit.  No worries, you are going to frost them right?  The moral of the story is to watch them carefully so you remove them from the oven when they are cooked but not overdone. 

Best Ever Food Storage Soft Sugar Cookies 
2 c. sugar
3 cups shortening powder plus  ¾ cup water-whisk together with a fork
3 eggs  (3 tablespoons powdered eggs plus 6 tablespoons water)
1 c. milk (3 tablespoons powdered milk plus 1 cup water)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. almond extract
About 7 or 8 c, flour

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together sugar, and shortening.
2. Add egg, milk, and almond extract. Mix to combine.
3. Add salt, soda, and baking powder. Mix to combine
4. Add flour to make a soft dough.
5. Roll out a little on the thick side.  Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 min.

Food Storage Butter Cream Frosting
 ¾ cup butter powder 
1/2 cup shortening powder
¼ cup water
3 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
2 tsp. milk
Mix butter powder, shortening powder and water with hand mixer until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Add corn syrup and milk. Beat until smooth.