August 30, 2010

Granola Bars

When I posted about granola, one of my readers told me that she uses milk instead of water, and less brown sugar. I like the idea of more nutrition, and less sugar, so I tried it. I thought it tasted good with milk and yogurt, but not sweet enough for just a snack. Here's the revised recipe:


14 cups oats
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 T dry milk powder
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
1 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbs. vanilla

Mix oats, salt, cinnamon, and powdered milk together in a very large bowl (or 2 large bowls). Add remaining ingredients, and mix until combined. Spread on 2 cookie sheets. Put in oven set at 325 for 30 minutes. Turn off oven. Remove cookie sheets from oven and stir. Put baking sheets back in oven. The oven should be off, but still hot. Allow to sit in oven for 2-3 hours. If oven cools down, you may turn it back on to heat the oven, then turn it back off again.

How I really liked it, though, was in granola bars. I may even try this again using even less brown sugar than the recipe above. I got this recipe from USU Extensions. It would be really good with dried fruit, nuts, or M&M's stirred in with the granola.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

1/2 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup peanut butter
3 cups granola

Lightly grease a 9x9 pan. Heat corn syrup in a large pan. Boil 1 minute. Add peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Add granola and mix, off of heat. Pat into pan. Cool then cut into bars.

August 25, 2010

Easy and Good Uses for Black Beans

You can mix black beans into any Mexican-style meal you normally make. My favorites:
  1. Mix hamburger, taco seasoning, and black beans for tacos.
  2. Mix chicken, salsa, sour cream, cheese, and black beans together creamy tacos.
  3. Mix chicken, salsa, and black beans together for salsa chicken.
  4. Mix black beans in with your cream of chicken sour, sour cream, cheese, chicken, etc. for enchiladas.
  5. Try black beans on your barbecue chicken pizza. Just place the beans between your barbecue sauce and cheese so that they don't dry out.
Experiment with what your family already likes!

August 23, 2010

Shopping, and Lack Thereof

The past 5 weeks I have shopped only for basics.  I bought some milk, one loaf of bread (plus won more in a gift basket off the radio), some fresh fruits and vegetables, diapers, and duct tape (turned out I did have some, like I thought).  Here is why I chose to do this:
  1. Save time, money, and reduce stress.  I did not look at a single shopping ad for 5 weeks!  
  2. Prove to myself that I could live without shopping at all for a month or more, if I had to.
  3. Determine what my fridge, freezer, and pantry are missing.
  4. Rotate through some of the food that I had.
My experience was very successful.  My family noticed very few differences in our diet.  Here is what we learned:
  1. Country Cream powdered milk and Morning Moo's Milk Alternative are both pretty good.  I could get used to them if I had to.  Usually I mixed them with 2% milk, and it tasted great.  Powdered milk from the cannery tastes nasty.  Even mixed with regular milk, or with a little vanilla or sugar.  Gross.  I did like it, though, with Nestle Quik.  I would even mix the dry milk with warm water, Quik, and ice cubes and drink it immediately.  
  2. I missed yogurt and sour cream.  My son missed yogurt and cottage cheese.  My husband missed fresh fruit.
  3. We can see that if we had to continue doing little or no shopping for a couple more months than we would get bored with the food we have.  Just one month wasn't a problem, but any more than 3 months would get boring.  So, we intend to store a larger variety of foods as finances allow.
Today I went shopping, and had a fairly normal trip.  I just bought what was on sale!  This included eggs to freeze (I used frozen eggs on Saturday in waffles, and it turned out great!), and the milk and sour cream I found discounted for quick sale.  I intend to freeze this as well.  Frozen sour cream will work great in something like enchiladas.  I just wouldn't want to put it on a baked potato.  I also bought a ham shank for 99 cents/pound.  I intend to use this with dutch oven potatoes, baked beans (I'll freeze some), and freeze slices to use for pizza, omelets, and ham and eggs.

August 20, 2010


No, these are not pictures of my garden, overgrown with weeds.  Although it could be.  Parts of my garden do look like this.  But, no.  This is a picture of my compost pile.  Doesn't this totally defeat the purpose of a compost pile?  The weeds are using up the nutrients that are supposed to go into my garden on a future date!  Oh, well.  I can't do everything.

August 18, 2010

More About Water Storage

I had a question about why we should not store water on the ground.  And you know, I don't know.  I know that plastic is permeable to vapors, and should be stored away from gasoline, kerosene, pesticides, etc.  But that doesn't answer the question about storing on the ground.  That is just something that I have always read and been told.

Preparedness Pro says that it is okay to store water on cement as long as it is not hot.  Here's her full quote:
Water Storage Myth: Don’t store your water barrels on cement.
Water Storage Fact: Actually, there’s always a missing component to this myth. The key is not to store your water barrels on HEATED cement, and even that’s questionable advice. To store your water in your basement on the cement floor is just fine. There’s no need to make your barrels less stable by putting them on 2 x 4s. Cement only leaches chemicals when it gets hot. If you’re going to store your water in your garage, where the sun heats up the connecting driveway cement, then yes, I’d consider raising your barrels up on floor boards or such.
 I wish I knew her sources on this,  but I don't.  But to me, it makes sense.  I would appreciate my readers' comments on this.  The rest of the article is excellent.

Here is another article on water storage.

August 16, 2010

French Toast

Okay, so this really isn't food storage at all, but it is really good.  Well, I suppose it could be a food storage item.  You could make your own bread, use egg substitute, and use powdered milk. 
Anyway, here is the link to the best french toast recipe.  It even comes with a fun video.  Enjoy!

August 13, 2010

Self-Reliance Quiz

I heard about this self-reliance quiz on the radio a few weeks ago, and was immediately intrigued.  The article that this quiz is connected to is from the Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank in Salt Lake City, Utah.  So, of course the article is very politically driven.  I don't want to talk politics right now, so we'll never mind that.  I just want to point out the quiz.  It is on page 11 of the article.
How self-reliant are you?

August 11, 2010

Water Storage

FEMA recommends storing water to last at least 3 days, with at least a gallon per person per day.  In my opinion, that is not very much.  People are supposed to drink at least 8 cups (1/2 gallon) of water each day.  If it's hot, you're supposed to drink more than that.  So, that only leaves 1/2 gallon for sanitation purposes; washing your hands being the most important.  But what about flushing the toilet, taking a shower, and washing clothes and dishes.  So, I would recommend storing 1 gallon per person for 2 weeks.  Or more, if you have the space.
Several years ago, when I was 8 months pregnant with my first child, a water line broke in my community.  I was at home, and needed to go to the bathroom (something that I needed to do frequently).  But I wasn't too worried, because I was leaving in just a few minutes to go to the hospital for my Lamaze class.  I would just go to the bathroom there.  No!  The water was off there, too!  If you can only imagine a room of very pregnant women with no access to a toilet, or at least an operating one.
This is just one example of the importance of having as large of a water supply as possible.

How I store water:
1.  I buy cases of bottled water when it is on sale.  The primary reason for this is because it is convenient.  If I'm on my way out the door, and I can't find my refillable water bottle, I just grab a bottle of water.  And it gives me water storage.
2.  I re-use empty juice and pop bottles.  Yes, this is safe, because the bottles are food-grade.  Do not use milk jugs, because the plastic will get brittle.  Before storing water in your old juice and pop bottles, you need to clean and sanitize them.  First wash with warm, soapy water.  Rinse.  Then fill the bottle up with tap water and 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon.  Most juice bottles are 1/2 gallon, so you would need 1/2 tablespoon of bleach.  Shake well.  Then, leave the bottle alone for 1 minute.  Dump the bleach water out, and air dry.  Then fill with water.  I then write the date on the bottle with a permanent marker.  I like to refill my bottles every 6 months, because water begins to taste funny after this time. 
3.  Keep water off the ground, in a clean, cool area.  If you have extra space in your freezer, you can keep water jugs in there.  Then it can serve a double purpose.  If your power goes out, the fuller your freezer is, the longer the food will stay cold and safe to eat.

You can also store water in containers marketed for this purpose.  There are plastic containers in all different sizes you can buy to store water in.  If you purchase a 55 gallon water jug, you may consider putting it on a cart.  This will make it more convenient to both fill and use.

Space saving idea:  Connect bottles of water together with rope and hang from a closet ceiling on "S" hooks.  Then, if you need to leave in a hurry, you can just sling them over your shoulder.

August 7, 2010

Freezing Green Beans

I have a bountiful harvest of green beans. So, today I froze some. Very easy.
  1. Rinse green beans.
  2. Tear off ends.
  3. Place in pot of rapidly boiling water. Begin 3 minute timer.
  4. Keep pot on high heat, and cover pot.
  5. When 3 minutes is up, remove green beans from boiling water, and place in ice water.
  6. Let green beans cool in ice water for 3 minutes.
  7. Put beans in freezer bags, mark with date, and put in freezer.

August 6, 2010


Believe it or not, but tofu is a food storage food. I freeze it!
First, some basic explanations on tofu, since most people aren't very familiar with it.

What is tofu?
Tofu is soybeans processed in a fashion similar to cheese.

Where can I buy tofu?
Tofu can be found in your local grocery store in the refrigerated section of the produce department. It is next to eggroll and wonton wrappers.

Why should I eat tofu?
It's healthy, and a great source of protein.

What types of tofu are there?
Silken-can be used in smoothies and as a substitute for cream cheese in cheesecake. I never buy this kind.
Firm and extra firm-This is the kind I buy. I marinade it, then fry it.

More about tofu
Tofu is packed in water, and acts as a sponge. So, if you plan to marinade it, you want to get as much water out of it first, so that it can then soak in the marinade. You can get water out of it by using towels, paper towels, or smashing it between two plates with some heavy cans on top.

Freezing tofu
Just like every other food, I try to buy tofu when it is on sale, and then buy more than one package. Within the past few months I have seen tofu discounted for quick sale, and Buy One Get One Free. Great times to stock up. Tofu firms when it is frozen. To freeze tofu, I just take it out of its original package, squeeze some water out of it (see above), then put it in a marked freezer bag.

Cooking frozen tofu
I make up my marinade (I like teriyaki) in a bowl, then put the frozen tofu right in the bowl with it, and store it in the fridge with a lid. When the tofu is defrosted enough to cut, I cut the tofu in cubes (about 1 inch), then put it back in the marinade. Store in the fridge until the tofu has taken in the marinade (about a day). Then I cook the tofu (without the marinade) in a fry pan with a little oil, stirring minimally. Then I add the marinade, and take out the tofu (you can use the same bowl through this whole process, since you're using tofu, not meat), and let the marinade simmer. This thickens and enhances the flavor of the sauce.

Any questions?

August 4, 2010

Bean Salad

I got this recipe from  Yummy!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.  Mix well.
In a salad bowl, combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro.  Pour dressing over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetables and beans with dressing, and serve.

    August 2, 2010

    My Year Supply

    You can find my year supply here. You can see that my goal is to have a year supply for one person. I have changed quantities on many items, but kept the total quantity for each food area the same. I have added several items on the "Other" section. This is an example of how you can, and should adapt the year supply to you and your family's needs and likes.