October 4, 2012

Rising Food Prices and Some Good Sales

Food prices are continuing to rise.  The drought certainly didn't help the food prices any.  Hmm, funny how that works.

So, stock up while you can, if you can.  (I wish I could, but we're still living off of food storage more than purchasing it.  I'm sure grateful for what we have!)

Here are a few good deals:

Fresh Market

potatoes $2.50 for 15 lb bag
pork sirloin chops, boneless-$1.79/ lb  (expect meat prices to continue to rise)


vegetable and canola oil-$6.99/1 gallon
flour-$7.99/25 lb
frozen vegetables-$.77/lb
canned tomatoes-$.49
50 pound bag red or white wheat-$15.99 (it's $11.45 for 25 pounds at the LDS cannery)
45 pound pail wheat-$21.99 (it's convenient to already have it sealed in a pail-it'll last for a long time this way)
(Talk about rising food prices.  Here are August 2011 prices at Macey's-45 lb. pail of wheat $15.99 and 50 lb. bag for $11.99)
powdered eggs-$13.49 (equates to $1.16/dozen when using 1 tablespoon powder per egg-this is what I do for all of my baking during the winter)
toilet paper and paper towels- $6.98 for15 Roll Strong & Absorbent Paper Towels, 36 Roll Advantage Pack or 18 ct. Big Roll Bath Tissue (yes, I copied that from the ad)

Any questions?

September 3, 2012

Some Sourdough Basics and Recipes

I promised this post to some people several weeks ago.  But I'm a slacker!  Sorry!

Favorite sourdough websites (click on names to go to the websites; I linked them to where they talk about sourdough):

King Arthur Flour  They have great info and recipes

Cultures for Health
Articles with lots of great tips

Kitchen Stewardship
The easy way to make a starter, and recipe links at the bottom of the page

This link is to a video with information on how to make a starter (and I think some benefits of sourdough?)

Sourdough Home

Basic Information:

How to feed sourdough starter and maintain it in the fridge

Favorite Recipes: (First I must say that these are my favorite recipes.  My husband does not like sourdough, at this time.  My goal is to become more proficient in it so that it's not quite so sour, and my husband will like it.  This will be an ongoing list, so as I find new recipes that I like, or recipes that I like better than the one I have  linked here I will change them.)

Crepes (yes, this is the right link-I have never fried them for tortilla chips-my husband does like this recipe)
Pancakes (I like the recipe down near the bottom of this page)
Pizza Crust

Do you have a favorite sourdough recipe?  Let me know!

July 31, 2012

Free Food Preservation Webinar

GNOWFGLINS is holding a free webinar this Friday on food preservation-canning, dehydrating, freezing, fermenting.  If you can't watch then, they will email you a link to watch it in the following 2 weeks.  Learn more HERE.

Update:  This course was excellent!  I learned so much, and discovered how much I have to learn!  Let me know if you would like the link for the replay and PDF.

How to Make Buttermilk

Buttermilk is very easy to make; much easier than yogurt.

Like yogurt, you need to start with a culture.  I buy buttermilk at the store, then pour 1/4-1/2 cup (I don't measure) into a quart-sized glass jar.  Fill the jar the rest of the way up with milk.  Stir well.  Attach lid to jar.  Set buttermilk on counter for 4-24 hours, until the milk has thickened, and smells like buttermilk.  The amount of time it takes depends upon the temperature of the room, etc.  You can shake or stir it on occasion if you'd like, but it's not necessary.  If you leave it too long, it will separate into whey and buttermilk cheese (I think this is called quark).  The cheese tastes good!

 When you open the jar to use the buttermilk, be sure to take out 1/4-1/2 cup to put in a new jar for your next batch of buttermilk.

I have used powdered milk to successfully make buttermilk, but it did not act well as a starter culture for the next batch.

July 27, 2012

The Drought and More

HERE is an article comparing the current drought with the dust bowl of the 1930's.

HERE is an article stating that the US has fewest cattle in at least 40 years.

In other words, it is time to stock up.
Lee's has ground beef on sale for $1.88/lb.  You are allowed to purchase up to 2 family size packs.

June 6, 2012

A Confession

First, before I make my confession, I have to say that it has been a long time since I've been on blogger.  It took me several minutes to figure out how to make a new post.  Whew.  It's changed a lot.

I haven't shampooed my hair since December 31, 2011.  Over 5 months ago.  I have gone "no 'poo."  I wash my hair with baking soda and condition it with apple cider vinegar typically about every 4-5 days.  I've let it go a full week before, but at that point it's nasty.  As long as I wash it before that, though, it doesn't look greasy at all, and I like the way that it feels.
Here's my method for my long hair (I used a different one at first, but I like this one much better):
  1.  Brush hair.
  2. Wet hair thoroughly.
  3. Put about a tablespoon of baking soda in palm of hand and use other hand to massage the baking soda all over scalp.
  4. Rinse hair thoroughly.
  5. Fill cup with about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 3/4 cup of water.  I never measure this.
  6. Dip hair into cup.  Let rest in vinegar mixture for about 30 seconds.
  7. Take hair out of cup, and pour remaining vinegar mixture over top of head.
  8. Rinse hair thoroughly, massaging scalp of head to get all of the baking soda out.
  9. Brush hair well, beginning at scalp at least one to two times each day.

February 10, 2012

Baked Oatmeal and Bagels

Just wanted to share a few of my family's new favorite recipes with you.

Baked Soaked Oatmeal-This recipe has become a Saturday morning tradition.  Soaking is great for your grains so that you get more nutrition from them.  This recipe is adapted from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Baked Soaked Oatmeal
  • 2-1/2 c. oats
  • 1 T. whole wheat flour (provides phytase to help break down the phytic acid in the oats)
  • 1-3/4 c. buttermilk
  • ½ c. melted butter, coconut oil, or canola oil
  • 4 eggs (or 1/4 cup powdered eggs)
  • ½ c. honey, maple syrup, or sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2-4 cups fresh or dried fruit (dried apples, raisins, apples, pears, etc.)
  • Optional: 2 c. chopped nuts (or sprinkle on each individual serving after baking)
Soak oats, flour and buttermilk covered on kitchen counter overnight, but 24 hours is better in order to break down more phytic acid. Before serving, beat oil, sugar, and eggs until glossy. Add salt, cinnamon, and vanilla; beat. Stir in oats and fruit. Add more milk, buttermilk, or water, if it seems dry (mine always does).  Pour into 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 for 10-40 minutes, depending on your desired consistency. (I always cook mine 10-20 minutes, and still end up with overly dry oatmeal a little too often.)

Whole Wheat Bagels-I made these bagels a few weeks ago.  So good!  They take quite a bit effort since I had to broil, boil, and bake them.  What a fun treat, though! 

January 31, 2012

How I Make Yogurt

Yogurt!  This has become a favorite for me over the past year, as it is easy and healthy.  I can't believe that just a year ago I hated the stuff.  In the past I typically made it with powdered milk from the Home Storage Center (LDS cannery).  I am making the change to using more and more milk instead for health reasons, and because my husband thinks it tastes better.  He'll eat my powdered milk yogurt in smoothies or with vast amounts of fruit.  My two year old loves my yogurt completely plain.  I don't like it plain, but I'll eat it with fruit or as a substitute for sour cream (such as on enchiladas or potatoes).   I am also using more milk because it makes much better tasting yogurt cheese (like cream cheese)-a new family favorite.

I'll begin with the basics, then give more details on how I make it using powdered milk.
Update:  I now only make it with whole milk and it is so yummy!

1.  Heat milk to 180 F.
2.  Lower temperature of milk to about 115.
3.  Add yogurt with live cultures.
4.  Keep milk between 90-115 for 6-12 hours. The idea here is to allow the healthy bacteria to multiply (pleasant thought!).  If the temperature is lower than this, the bacteria will stop multiplying.  If the temperature is too high, the bacteria will be killed.
5.  Refrigerate yogurt for 8 hours.
6.  Enjoy!

Plain Yogurt

8 cups water
powdered milk to reconstitute water, plus a little more (2 cups from Home Storage Center)
1/4 cup plain yogurt with live cultures (store bought or saved from a previous batch)

1,  Heat water in a crockpot on high for 1 hour.  Stir in powdered milk; mix well.  Heat on low for 1/2 hour.  Temperature of milk should now be 180.  If too low, keep heating.
2.  When milk reaches 180, unplug crockpot.  Cool for about 2 hours, or until milk reaches about 115.  Update: To ensure thick yogurt, don't add the yogurt until the milk has lowered to 110 degrees.
3.  Stir in yogurt.
4.  Wrap crockpot in a towel or two to insulate.  Allow to sit for 6+ hours, until the yogurt is firm.  (Sometimes I let it sit for nearly 20 hours.  This is okay, because yogurt is cultured.  It won't hurt you to eat yogurt that's sat out for a day.)
5.  Scoop yogurt into containers.  (You may have some watery looking substance at the very top, or the bottom may not be quite as solid as the rest.  This is okay.  The watery substance at the top is whey.  If you don't want to eat it, add it to your bread, or save it to soak your oatmeal.)  Be sure to scoop 1/2-1 cup into a separate container to use as the starter for your next batch.  Refrigerate for at least 6-12 hours before eating.

I have made this recipe about once each week for about 6 months without having any botched batches.  If you have problems let me know, so I can help troubleshoot.

Update:  Click Here for Directions on how to make your yogurt thicker.