September 28, 2010

3 Month Supply Examples

I am finally getting around to posting my 3 month supply examples. Sorry it has taken me so long.

One method for developing a 3 month supply is to use what I call the pantry method. What's in your cupboard, fridge and freezer? Store more of that. Examples can be seen here, and here.

You can find a wonderful example of the very organized approach (what I explain in my 3 month supply posts) here (under Helpful Tools).

I do a combination of the two methods. Here is my example. Sheet 1 is the Very Organized Approach (it's organized to me--I hope it makes sense to you), and Sheet 2 is the Pantry Method. Please keep in mind that this is my worksheet and it changes regularly. I only make changes on what I have and need when there is a great sale on the item and I plan to purchase some. No, my family does not only eat meals with cheese. The list of meals is just an example of some of my family's favorites. This list provides ingredients that my family uses the most, allowing me to usually have more than enough for me to make any meal I choose.

September 25, 2010

Great Deals At Maceys

Update in this post.

If you live in Utah, check out the deals at Maceys. Click here. The deals mentioned below are good through October 5 (I'll update that date if I find out otherwise).
Dried whole eggs are $11.98 per #10 can. 1 Tab is the equivalent of a medium egg. 2 Tab is an extra large egg. So, there are about 236 medium eggs in the container. That equates to about 61 cents per dozen medium eggs.
Morning Moos Milk Alternative (which is not real milk, but does contain milk ingredients, and it tastes good) is on sale for $8.88. This equates to $1.58/ gallon. Remember, though, it is not real milk. (I'm sure I'll post about this later.)
There are also great deals on 50 lb bags of flour, and 45 lb buckets of wheat, along with many other items.
Case Lot Sale runs from September 29-October 12. This is usually a great time to stock up.

September 23, 2010

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

When I was making this the first time (just a few weeks ago) I hated it after letting it sit overnight.  It was so thick and clumpy.  I thought that I would never use it again.  After stirring it well, to break up all the large clumps that had formed, I poured some into an old laundry soap bottle.  I shake it every time before using it, and have never had any problems.  In fact, it cleans the clothes well, I use it as a stain remover (just scrub some soap into the stain with an old tooth brush), and it makes the clothes soft, as if I used a fabric softener (something I never do).  The best part is, that it costs less than $3 to make 5 gallons!  5 gallons would wash about 320 loads in a high efficiency washer, or 128 loads in a regular washer.  It is also easy to store a year supply of laundry soap this way.  It would fit in a shoe box.  You can find the ingredients for this at most any grocery store.  Just look on the aisle with laundry soap and stain removers.  Wal-Mart does not sell Fels-Naptha.

Homemade Laundry Soap
4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 cup 20-Mule Team Borax Natural Laundry Booster

Grate bar of soap and add to water in saucepan.  Stir constantly over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.  Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of VERY hot tap water.  Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.  Stir well until all powder is dissolved.  Fill bucket to top with more hot water.  Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.  Stir well 6-12 hours after allowing to sit.  (This step is very important.)  You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per two gallons, once soap has cooled.  Use 5/8 cup per load for top loading machine.  ¼ cup for front loading or high efficiency. 

September 20, 2010

Last Day of Challenges

If you haven't been to Food Storage Made Easy this week, I would encourage you to.  Every day there has been a new challenge.  I have done little, if anything, on each of the challenges, but it has got me thinking.  Today's challenge is to clean up and organize your food storage.  I definitely need to do this one, but I don't know if I'll get to it today.  I am hoping to dehydrate more apples, and I'd like to make apple butter.  We'll see if I get to that.

September 18, 2010

Vegetable Spaghetti

Last night I cooked a delicious garden vegetable meal.  This is the only part of yesterday's challenge that I succeeded in.  Today's challenge I'm just not even going to try.  But how do you cook in doors without electricity or gas?  Barbecue and dutch oven just don't work.

Here's what I made for dinner last night:

Vegetable Spaghetti

3 medium tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups sliced vegetables of your choice (onions, zucchini, eggplant, peas, carrots, broccoli, peppers, etc.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp pepper
Parmesan cheese

Cook heartier vegetables (such as onions, zucchini, eggplant, etc.) and garlic until crisp tender in a little oil.  Add tomatoes, peas, and seasonings until warm.  Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles, and top with Parmesan cheese.

September 17, 2010

Today's Challenge--I Really Think I Can and Should Do This One!

Yesterday's Challenge from Food Storage Made Easy was a complete flop for me.  I just didn't do it!
Today's challenge, though, I think I can, and should do.  The idea is that a family of 6 is coming to live with me for a few days.  So I need to cook for them, and provide them with somewhere to sleep.  So today I get to make extra food and freeze it.  I also get to prepare for my sister's family to visit next week.

September 16, 2010


The past couple of weeks I have been dehydrating apples and onions.  The apples are so good to eat just as a snack, and I think I will also try re-hydrating them to use in baked goods.  I have used an apple corer-peeler-cutter machine.  That has made it really fast and easy.

The onion experiment did not go as well.  It took forever to cut and separate the onion onto the dehydrator.  And then I ended up with only a small amount of dehydrated onions to show for my labor.  I think that I will buy some dehydrated onions from the LDS Cannery.

Another Challenge

I failed yesterday's challenge of cooking everything from scratch.  I was feeling under the weather, and so I did not make bread, or dinner.  We ordered pizza.  Very much against the rules.
Today I'm canning plums, so I already know that I will fail today's task of no electricity or water.  I am also supposed to not drive at all (I think I may do that part), and I should also take my 120 hour kit, all my valuables, and my family and go to my family's meeting place for 2 hours.  I don't think I'll do that.  Probably should, though.  It would be a good exercise.  How can I get 2 kids (2 and under), the computer, financial binder, money, safe, and 120 hour kit (in a rolling suitcase) to the park?  I need to work on that one.

September 15, 2010

Challenge Day 2

Well, I completely failed yesterday's challenge of not using water from the tap.  Thinking about the toilet was as far as I got.  I put a plastic quart-sized milk jug filled with rocks and dirt into the back of the toilet so that it required less water.  Does anyone have any ideas of things to put in the back of a toilet to conserve water?  My toilet still requires about a gallon of water to refill it!  My husband said if we really couldn't use water inside our home we would build sometime of "bathroom" in the garden.  More like a tarp being held up by something.  And we would fertilize the garden.  Yuck! 
Well here is today's challenge: cook everything from scratch.  This is more my style.  I think I can do this one.  I've already made oatmeal.  I just put oats, water, powdered milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and raisins in a bowl, and stick it in the microwave.

September 14, 2010

This could be fun!

Head on over to Food Storage Made Easy and join the challenge!  7 day challenge begins today.  No water today!  Good luck!

September 13, 2010

Baked Pie Crust

This is one of my pie crust recipes.  I use this recipe when making cream pies (such as my rhubarb meringue pie), or when the recipe calls for a baked pie shell.  This recipe is from "Cook's Country" magazine (call me crazy, but I can't see a date on it).  It turns out perfectly every time, tastes almost like a shortbread cookie, and is truly a no fear pie crust. 

No-Fear Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened but cool
2 ounces cream cheese, softened but cool

Lightly coat 9-inch Pyrex pie plate with cooking spray.  (I don't use a glass pie plate, but it would be helpful.)  Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in bowl.  With electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese in large bowl, stopping once twice to scrape down beater and sides of bowl, until completely homogeneous, about 2 minutes.  Add flour mixture and combine on medium-low until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 20 seconds.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until dough begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.  Reserve 3 tablespoons of dough.  Turn remaining dough onto light floured surface, gather into ball, and flatten into 6-inch disk.  Transfer disk to greased pie plate.  (I skip this last part, and just throw the dough straight from the mixing bowl into the pie plate.)
Press dough evenly over bottom of pie plate toward sides, using heel of your hand.  Hold plate up to light to ensure that dough is evenly distributed.  (I skip this part, and just eye-ball it from the top.)  With your fingertips, continue to work dough over bottom of plate and up sides until evenly distributed. 
On floured surface, roll reserved dough into 12-inch rope.  (I just take the dough and make a bunch of snakes.)  Divide into 3 pieces, roll each piece into 8-inch rope, and form fluted edge.  (I just take all my "snakes" and put them together on the top of the pie plate, making sure to connect them to the rest of the pie dough.  Then I flute.)  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325.  Lightly prick bottom of crust with fork.  Bake until golden brown, 35-40 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  If large bubbles form, wait until crust is fully baked, then gently press on bubbles with kitchen towel.  Bubbles will settle as crust cools.

Rhubarb Meringue Pie

This pie is delicious! I made it on Saturday using some rhubarb I had frozen in the spring. The rhubarb was a bit difficult to work with, since it had defrosted then refrozen.

Rhubarb Meringue Pie

2 Tbs. butter
2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
pinch of salt
1/4 cup milk or cream
2 Tbs. corn starch
2 beaten egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
Meringue (Betty Crocker recipe below)
1 baked pie shell

Melt butter in heavy saucepan. Add rhubarb and 1 cup sugar. Cook on medium low heat, until sugar is melted and rhubarb is soft. Mix 1/4 cup sugar, salt, cream, corn starch, and egg yolks together. Add to hot mixture and cook until thick. Pour into baked pie shell and top with meringue, being sure to touch the pie crust all around. (If you don't, the meringue will shrink to the middle of the pie.) Bake at 400 for about 5-7 minutes, or until meringue is golden.


3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. Beat in vanilla.

September 6, 2010

Freezer Failure

The past week has been very busy. I have frozen eggs, had horrible experiences at grocery stores with coupons (I'm sure I'll post more about that in the future), cooked and frozen chicken, canned salsa (which I hope to never do again without help), etc.
Then I discovered that the door to my freezer was open, and I had thawed berry juice dripping on everything. What a mess! But that wasn't the bad part. Nearly everything in the freezer had defrosted! The chicken in boxes stayed frozen because it's very compact. A lot of things at the bottom of piles stayed frozen as well. I did cook up all of my defrosted meat (that took a couple hours). I figure all the fruit, vegetables, and cheese are still okay. Maybe not as good of quality, though. I threw out the ice cream and bread.
While cooking the meat, I realized that I was very grateful that I could cook the meat using electricity. If the reason for my mess was a prolonged power outage, I would have had to think of a different way to cook the meat. I think the dutch oven would have been my best bet.
In a way this freezer accident was harder than a power outage, however, because the food was already defrosted when I discovered the problem. If the power was off, I would know that, and could have worked to make all of the food compact together. Cooler boxes are great for this!
That's my big thought this week. What is your way to cook and keep food frozen if you don't have electricity?