Sweet and Sour Meatballs and Zucchini

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We're just dusting off our computers and are ready to get back at it after taking a little bit of a summer break. We have missed you all but we had some great times with our kids while they were home for the summer and hope you've been well! This year was the first year I've planted and harvested a garden in my own yard. Prior to this year I have worked some ground in my mom's garden and tried small things in pots. Last fall I convinced my husband to build garden boxes and now I have some of my very own garden produce to enjoy. It's been really fun. My goal this year was to just TRY something. The day I transplated some tomato plants into the boxes…
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Homemade Fruit Leather (Fruit Roll-Ups) + a GIVEAWAY

Dehydrating, Fruits and Vegetables
So I had a fun adventure in dehydrating a couple weeks ago I wanted to share with you. While Jodi has dehydrated before and I've seen/helped my mom dehydrate before I had never taken on a dehydrating project of my own. And while this wasn't 100% on my own because I went to my friends house to use her dehydrator... it was my plan and I'm pretty proud of it. TIP: A great way to try new things is to get together with friends who have the appliances and know how. You learn things, you find out if it's something you'd like to invest more time and resources in, and it's fun. So I had a bunch of peaches I needed to use from a bushel I had bought. I…
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Julie’s 2014 Food Storage Goals

Food Storage Resolutions
I guess this is old news at this point but HAPPY NEW YEARS! We hope you are all doing well and motivated for another great year of building and using your Food Storage. We were pretty quiet here and on facebook, as we spent some extra time with our families who were home from school and other obligations. Now that we're back into the swing of things we wanted to start off the year by sharing our 2014 Food Storage goals with you. It's become somewhat of a tradition on the blog and it provides us with a road map of things to work on for the year. Today Julie will be the one sharing her goals, check back later this week for Jodi's goals. Be smarter about meal planning.…
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Summer Salad with a Quick and Easy Corn Salsa

Recipes
Do you ever feel like you've been to one too many BBQ's in the summer. Well I sure do. This is a fun alternative to the typical BBQ and it used some Food Storage. The beauty of this concept is that people can make their own salads the way they like them. I like to put the hot ingredients in these tin containers where they can stay hot, but if they aren't super hot it wont matter. The other ingredients can be put in Ziploc bags and transported wherever you want to go! Be creative with this idea and maybe enjoy a spin on the typical summer BBQ at your next family party. Salad Bar BBQ Lettuce Rice (cook with cilantro and lime juice) Beans (see instructions on how to…
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When life gives you lemons….

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You know that saying... "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". Well let me tell you about my front porch. It is quite possibly the hottest place in the state at about 5pm each night. We also have a lot of windows on that side of the house, which allow way too much heat into the house but that is a different story. Last summer I was always using my sun oven in our side yard and getting decent results, but never could get it quite up to 350 degrees. It never even dawned on me to use it on my front porch. Yesterday was one of those days. My kids were kind of wild, it was way too hot to even play outside, and I didn't feel like cooking.…
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5 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me 5 Years Ago

Julie's Progress
We've been doing this blog for almost 5 years. The other day I was doing a big Food Storage room clean-up and reorganization. It made me somewhat nostalgic. This week I have pondered a lot where I started, where I am, and where I'd like to go. While cleaning the room I realized there were some things I wish I would have known when I started this all. Today I figured I would share them with you. Maybe they might help YOU out a little. 1. Don't buy things you don't eat So when I first started building my food storage, I got really into couponing. It was a great way to buy things for great prices and build up a food storage. I would buy things I didn't necessarily…
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Homemade Ranch Dip or Dressing

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As I'm getting ready to write this post today, I realized I've been on a kick to share my friend's recipes lately. Here are a few of them: Almond Thumbprint cookies Whole Grain Banana Muffins Greek Lentil Soup Sourdough Bread COMING SOON! Crazy Cake made healthy Our regular readers know I'm not the type to follow a recipe, so sharing my recipes has been really hard for me. I always get anxiety trying to come up with the exact measurements I use. Well the beauty behind sharing my friends' recipes is that I can share real measurements and I've tasted them so I know they are good. So this recipe is for a homemade ranch-like dip. This dip tasted so fresh and delicious. I'm a big fan of the recipe…
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Boxed Cake Mix Extender

Recipes
So today I'm going to tell you about a fun tradition I have going with my sister's kids. About 4 years ago my sister was making her son's first birthday cake. She was doing an Elmo cake for him. We were together, and she could tell it took everything in me not to leap over the counter and try to take over as she was decorating. I might be a little overbearing, I know. After trying to get Elmo's face done, she looked at me and said "Fine, you can do it". That is where the tradition started. Since then, she has let me make her kid's cakes, and I LOVE to do it. One of the sweetest parts of this tradition was when she told me she overheard her…
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Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies – Without Raspberries?

Rice Recipes
A few weeks ago I was sitting in my family room, when the doorbell rang. My good friend had just tried out a new recipe and needed me to tell her if it turned out good or not. I'm ALWAYS willing to help a friend in need, so I tested a vegan, gluten free cookie she had just made. Now I'm not sure if it's because I've been off refined sugar for a long time, or if I was super hungry, but these cookies made me happy. Instantly. Fast forward a few days. I was babysitting my cute niece who told me she wanted cookies. How could I deny my cute little niece cookies? I remembered where my friend had told me she found the recipe and looked it up. I…
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Greek Lentil Soup Recipe

Lentil Recipes
Something I love about where I live is that I have a lot of friends and neighbors interested in eating healthy, and willing to share ideas and recipes. My friend was telling me about a lentil soup she made, and I thought to myself... hmmm I have lentils...that I NEVER use...I should try this recipe. Well here's the thing about lentils. They are a quick cooking legume. Most legumes take a long time to cook, but lentils cook fast. Having said that, this recipe tells you to simmer for a couple hours. I am not sure why, but I do know that I have made it WITH the simmer and WITHOUT, and I prefer the simmer. It made it a little more mushy. For some reason, I'm okay with a…
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