Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rocky Road Brownies

My kids love marshmallows.  Whenever I make brownies they want me to add marshmallows.  This recipe combines the kid’s love of marshmallows and my desire for a decadent chocolate dessert.

Rocky Road Brownies 9 x13 pan

1 brownie mix plus ingredient for making
1/3 cup chocolate chips

1 ½ cup mini marshmallows
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped peanuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
Prepare the brownie mix as directed adding 1/3 cup chocolate chips to the batter.
Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Brownies will be done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Immediately after removing from oven, sprinkle with 1 to 1 1/3 cups miniature marshmallows, 2/3 cup chocolate chips and the peanuts.  Return to the oven for 1 minuet to soften marshmallows.  Store tightly covered.

Print the Recipe for DIY Brownie Mix and all the variations

Friday, July 20, 2012

Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies 9 x13 pan
1 DIY Brownie Mix  plus the ingredients to make it

½ cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup powdered sugar

Prepare the brownie mix as directed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the peanut butter, vegetable oil and powdered sugar until smooth. Dollop the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter. Swirl together using a knife or skewer.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Brownies will be done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pan, then cut into bars and serve.

Print the Recipe for DIY Brownie Mix and all the variations

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cheesecake Brownies

Cheese Cake Brownies.  Need I say more?  I think not. 

Cheesecake Brownies 9 x13 pan
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar

Prepare the brownie mix as directed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth. Dollop the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter. Swirl together using a knife or skewer.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Brownies will be done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in the pan, then cut into bars and serve.

Print the Recipe for DIY Brownie Mix and all the variations

What are your favorite kind of brownies?  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DIY Brownie Mix

Have you ever had an “Ah-ha!” moment?  A couple of years ago I had purchased a bunch of cake and brownie mixes when they were on sale, when I went to use them I found that they were really old and would not work properly.  I did what every new mother does with faced with a problem,  I called my mom.   As she walked me through how to add more leavening to the mix, I thought

I should just make my own mix.  How hard could it be?

I’ve been making brownie mixes ever since.  I’ve gone through a couple of different recipes but this one is our favorite.  This mix makes gooey brownies, because that is the kind we like.  I don’t really like brownies plain so I usually jazz them up a bit and make cheese cake brownies or peanut butter swirl brownies.  

To print a PDF with all of the variations, click the link below the photo at the top of the post. 
I'll be sharing all the variations this week. 

DIY Brownie Mix  9x13 pan

Printable  Recipe
Make the Mix
2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Flour
2/3 Cup Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup shortening powder
4 tablespoons powdered whole eggs

Mix all these ingredients together with a whisk and dump them into a Ziploc bag.  Remove any excess air from the bag and seal.  Be sure to add the cooking instructions to the bag.
Brownie Mix should stay fresh in your pantry for up to 6 months, or in the freezer for up to 1 year.

To Make the Brownies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 ¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Vanilla.

Spray a 9 by 13 inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine brownie mix and other ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Mix well.  Spread the brownie batter evenly in the pan.
For gooier brownies bake brownies 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
For chewier brownies bake brownies at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.   

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pasta Florentine

“What do you eat for dinner in the summer?”  

This is the dilemma for hot cooks everywhere.   If you are the one in charge of cooking dinner at your house you probably have this same dilemma.  In the summer I want something that is tasty but that won’t heat my whole house up.   We often end up eating pasta with veggies. 
If you have fresh veggies on hand feel free to substitute.

Pasta Florentine
  • 2 c egg noodle pasta
  • 1⁄2 c freeze dried sausage crumbles
  • 1 c freeze dried zucchini
  • 1⁄2 c freeze dried mushroom pieces
  • 1 c freeze dried red bell peppers
  • 1⁄4 c freeze dried chopped onion
  • 1⁄2 c freeze dried tomato dices
  • 1⁄4 c freeze dried chopped spinach
  • 1 t garlic, minced
  • 2 1⁄2 c broth chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp each parsley, basil, chives
  • 1⁄2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Precook noodles until almost tender in salted water. In a large sauté pan, bring sausage, zucchini, mushrooms, red peppers, onions, garlic, and bouillon and to a simmer; reduce the liquid by half, about 5 minutes.

Add noodles and seasoning to the pan and warm through. Fold in tomatoes, spinach, and herbs. Drizzle olive oil over top to serve. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Note: It’s best to use fresh basil, parsley, and chives, but if using dry herbs you need ⅓ less as a general rule.

Recipe by Chef Todd, shared with permission

Friday, July 6, 2012

Food Storage Building Blocks #1 Water

Whenever it is time to for my kids to clean their bedrooms my 5 year old says

“But it is too much.  Mom, I need you to tell me where to start!”

She is correct cleaning her room is too much for her.  She needs me to help her know where to start.  I have to tell her that first she needs to put the dirty clothes in the hamper.  Once that is complete, I tell her the next step: make her bed.  We continue this process: breaking it down into small, manageable steps, until her room is clean.

Breaking a big overwhelming task into smaller, manageable items is how every big project is accomplished, especially building your food storage.

Over the next year, I am going to break down the huge task of building up your food storage.  Each month I will highlight one area of food storage to work on and give actionable steps for three different categories of people; beginners, intermediate, and advanced.    Each month I will be giving away items related to the post to help you build your food storage. 

Where ever you are at in your food storage journey I hope you will follow along and build up your food storage. 

Let me introduce the first post in our new Food Storage Building Blocks: a month by month approach to building your food storage. 

 Building Block 1:  Water
 source:  Fields of View
The water supply is easily contaminated or disrupted, and without it we are going to be in big trouble.  The lack of water will cause death faster than the lack of food.   Your body can start showing signs of dehydration after only a few hours without water.  Drinking contaminated water (which we would all do without another option) can cause serious illness.  Having a safe source of clean water is critical. 

Good News:  Storing water can be easy and affordable.
Water  Basics:  
  • In an emergency, you should have a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person per day for drinking, 
  • Plus ½ gallon of water per person per day for basic hygiene. 
  • If you plan on doing much bathing, toilet flushing, cleaning or any other water intensive task be sure to store much more water.  
My family of 5 needs at least 23 gallons of water for our 72 hours.  15 gallon for drinking and 7.5 gallons for hygiene.
This Months Tasks
Ideas for how to accomplish each task

            Beginner:  Store 72 hours’ worth of water. 
·        Buy cases of bottled water.  A case with 32 - 16.9 ounce bottles (standard Sam’s Club size) has 4.2 gallons of water.  I buy one case per person so we have a little more than the minimum (and we just go through them fast).  Bottled water should be rotated every 6 months.  So buy it and store for 6 months.  Buy some more and drink the old.   I store my water under my 72 hour kits.  In the case of an evacuation I know where it is and can easily load it in the car if needed.

Intermediate:  Add low volume water filtration or purification tools
·        Aqua Pail 400 (upto 400 gallons)  $81.99.  Comes in a variety of sizes.
The aqua pail will filter water from any river source.  It immediately kills harmful toxins, bacteria and viruses.  Good News:  It has an indefinite shelf life.  If you want to buy something and put it away and never deal with it again.  This is the filter for you. 

·        Steri Pen  $59.99 Uses ultraviolet light  to purifies 200 half liter servings of water.   

      Does not filter.  Eliminates over 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.  This product uses batteries so be sure to keep extra on hand and check them regularly.

·        Water filtration bottles  These filter as you drink.  Perfect for 72 hour kits.  Filter is replaceable.  Filter 100 gallons of water.  Removes 99.99% of bacteria , virus, contaminants, and pollutants.  Uses adsorption Micron filtration system
·        Sterilization chemicals (liquids or tabs)
·        Frontier Pro Water Filter – $24.83.  Filters up to 50 gallons of water.

     Throw this in your 72 hour kit to cover water for your family.  Comes with Camelback and water bottle connectors.  You can purchase an optional water heater attachment.
Advanced:  Add long term water solution & high volume purifying tools
·        55 Gallon Drums
o   Plus Aquamira.  With Aquamira you only have to rotate the water every 3-5 years).  
o   If you are planning on storing your 55 gallon containers out side be sure to get a barrel bag.
o   Filtration pump  each pump filter 100 gallons of water so you need one pump for every two 55 gallon drums.  

     This pump filters as it pumps the water out of the container.  Which I love because it means I don’t have to rotate my water as often. 
·        Katadyn Pocket Microfilter – $369.95  Filter an amazing 13,000 gallons of water with 1 filter.  
      One of the lowest $/filtered gallon costs available, replaceable filters make it an even better value.  My husband is in LOVE with this filter it is by far his favorite. 

This Month's Give Away 
One lucky reader will win the Frontier Pro Water Filter.  It will filter up to 50 gallons of water and is perfect for your short term water needs.  It is compact and will easily fit in any 72 hour kit. 

How do you enter?  Just leave a comment on this post letting me know what you did to build up your food storage this month.  I want to know specifically what you did in regards to your water storage, but I'd love to hear about any progress you have made.    For an additional entry you may share this give away (facebook, pinterest, twitter, blog).  Please leave an additional comment for sharing the post.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Honey Almond Granola

I really love bountiful baskets granola. 

Do you know about bountiful baskets?  It is a produce co-op that is in many places across the country.   Baskets are $15 and you get a ton of fruits and veggies. Many pick up sites also offer extras like bread, granola, and tortillas. 
Sadly the granola is $10.00 for a 2 pound bag.  I can’t bring myself to pay that much when I have all the ingredients in my food storage to make my own granola.     
In my search for a great granola recipe I have made (and thrown away) a lot of granola.  It was kind of surprising how hard it was to find a great recipe.  I was looking for a simple and delicious recipe, and I love how this one turned out.

Honey Almond Granola

 printable recipe

3 cups old-fashioned oats*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350º.

Mix all ingredients, together in a mixing bowl.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Spread mixture evenly on the cookies sheet.

Bake mixture for 15 minutes, stirring once in the middle of cooking.
Remove granola from the oven, and stir, and allow it to cool.  Place cool granola in an airtight container.  Granola will keep in your pantry for 2-3 weeks, to extend shelf life store in the freezer.   Serve over homemade yogurt, or on top of oatmeal.

Cooking tip:  Measure the vegetable oil and add to the bowl, use the same measuring cup to measure the honey.  This will help the honey flow smoothly out of the measuring cup.

*You can substitute quick oats. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

This is the best bread.  The first time I made it I ate almost the entire loaf by myself. (don’t tell.)  

Have you ever seen a recipe and thought “I should make that” and then you don’t?  I saw this recipe over on the Prudent Homemaker about 3 years ago, and I thought 
“I should make that” and then I didn’t.  
 I finally made this recipe for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  I wish I had made it sooner. 
When I bake round loafs I often have a hard time determining when to take them out of the oven.  I recently learned that you can use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.  For white loafs 195 degrees  for whole grain loafs 210 degrees. 

Recipe adapted from The Prudent Homemaker

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
 2 cups hot water, (105 to 110)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5-6 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
In your mixing bowl, proof the yeast by adding the yeast into the warm water.  Let it sit for 5 minutes until nice and bubbly.
Add sugar, olive oil, salt and rosemary.  Mix well, add flour 1 cup at a time mixing between each cup.  You have added enough flour with the dough sticks together scraping the side of the bowl clean. 
If using an electric stand mixer knead 5-6 minutes.  If kneading by hand, knead 10 minutes on a floured surface, turning and folding well.
Pull all sides of the dough into the center, making a big ball. This stretches the gluten and makes a higher loaf. Put the dough in the bowl with the smooth side on top. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray. Cover with a clean damp cloth over the top for 1 hour, or until double in size.
Take dough out of the bowl, and punch down.   Pull the edges into the middle all the way around to make a ball.  Cover let rest for 10 minutes.
Form dough into the loaf shape you desire. Put loaves on pan and allow to rise again covered for about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400º so that it is ready to go at the end of the second rising.
When second rising is done, take a serrated knife and quickly and lightly slash the loaves.
This helps the loaves raise more in the oven.
Put loaf in the oven and cook until a nice browned and reaches an internal temperature of at least 195 degrees.
Small Round loaves: 30-40 minutes
1 Large Round Loaf:  1 hour
2 Sandwich Loafs 40-50 minutes
Take loaves out of the oven. After a couple minutes, turn loaves over on the cookie sheets so the bottoms can dry (or else they stay wet on bottom, even after an hour).

Sun Oven Directions: 
It is difficult to tell when bread is ready to be removed from the sun oven.  The easiest way is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature. 195 degrees and this bread is finished baking.

Prepare dough following the directions above until the second rising. 
Preheat your sun oven to 350 degrees. 

When bread is cooked in the sun oven it rises more than regularly so cut the time of the second rising down to about 15 minutes, or until the dough has filled the pan and rounded on the top.  Be sure to use a dark colored pan (or one that is metal and NOT shiny). 
After the second rising ready to put in the sun oven.

 Using a serrated knife slash the top of the loaf. 
 Quickly place your bread in the sun oven.  Close glass door and secure with the latch. 
For 1 large round loaf bake 1 hour or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 195 degrees.   

Monday, July 2, 2012

Get $500 of Shelf Reliance product at half price.

I often hear from my readers that they would like to be more prepared but that food storage and emergency products can get pricey and seldom go on sale.  Does that sound familiar?   

Well here is your chance to create your own sale. 

In July, when you host a Shelf Reliance party you will get more than just host benefits—you’ll also be eligible for an additional product at half price, up to a retail value of $500!

What could you buy this July at half off?

A Sun Oven for $164.99 (retail price is $329.99).  That is a screaming good deal!

A Kitchen Mill Wheat Grinder for $149.95  (retail price is $299.99)

A Providence Extreme 2 person 72 hour kit for $199.99 (retail price is $399.99)

The Shelf Reliance Power Center for $249.99 (retail price is $499.99)
A 1 year breakfast supply for $213.99 (retail price is $472.99)

The Goal 0 Adventure Kit Plus  for $199.99 (retail price is $399.99)

Party Options
· Host a traditional party—invite friends over, try some samples, learn a little about food storage and emergency preparedness.  I am available for in home parties in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho. 
· Host a catalog party—take catalogs to your workplace or around to your neighbors, collect orders and turn them in.  
· Host an online party—I’ll supply you with an e-mail/blog post  telling them about Shelf Reliance and explaining how to order from your party.  You can also post on your blog, facebook, and twitter.  

If you are excited to build up your emergency supplies at ½ price contact me ( or 435-535-1470)  and schedule a party today.