Rhubarb Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe

Sometimes I forget to check on my rhubarb … I didn’t quite realize that it would be ready to harvest in the spring, because I harvested a bunch last fall. Rhubarb is a beautiful thing! So the other day I went out and got a HUGE batch out of my garden.

We were having a family dinner and I knew that I would be searching for an awesome rhubarb recipe to bring for dessert. I settled for a Rhubarb Coffee Cake recipe that was recommend by The Pioneer Woman since she never leads me astray. It was just the perfect combination of cake, fruit, and crumble. I took all the leftovers home and ate them for days.


Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen which was adapted from New York Times recipe :)


Rhubarb Filling:
1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 3/4 cups white flour

Cake Batter:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter


Preheat oven to 325. Grease an 8×8 baking dish (if doubling the recipe use a 9×13 pan). Slice the rhubarb into small chunks and mix with other filling ingredients. Set aside.

For crumb topping, whisk together all ingredients except flour. Then slowly add flour until it forms a dough. Press in bottom of bowl and set aside.

For cake batter, combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Slowly add dry mixture to wet in a mixing bowl. Mix together for several minutes until smooth.

Reserve 1/2 cup of cake batter. Pour the rest into baking dish. Spoon the rhubarb filling over the cake batter. Top with reserved cake batter. It doesn’t have to cover it completely. Break crumb topping into large chunks and spread over top of cake.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Tips for Growing/Harvesting Rhubarb

I had very little experience with rhubarb and still don’t feel like much of an expert. It seems to grow pretty easily here in Utah so I haven’t stressed about proper care very much. I planted it in my raised garden beds last spring and harvested a big crop in the fall, and another this spring. It still seem to keep growing. I love it! Here are some tips for harvesting that I found from almanac.com when I had no idea how I was supposed to do it :)

  • Do not harvest any stalks during the first growing season so that your plants can become established.
  • Harvest the stalks when they are 12 to 18 inches long. Usually after 3 years, the harvest period runs 8 to 10 weeks long. If the stalks become thin, stop harvesting; this means the plant’s food reserves are low.
  • Grab the base of the stalk and pull it away from the plant with a gentle twist. If this doesn’t work, you can cut the stalk at the base. Be sure the discard of the leaves!
  • Always leave at least 2 stalks per plant to ensure continued production. You may have a bountiful harvest for up to 20 years without having to replace your rhubarb plants.
  • After harvest time, the stems may die back. Just remove all plant debris. Once your ground freezes, it’s best to cover rhubarb with 2 to 4 inches of mulch, preferably well-rotted compost; by adding nitrogen to the soil, you’re preparing the rhubarb plants for a good spring season.

Cilantro-Lime Rice Recipe: Food Storage Style


To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, the women in my family did a Walking Taco Bar to make a really easy dinner that everyone just contributed a little something to. It was so fun and delicious!

My assigned task was to make Cilantro Lime Rice but I didn’t see the texts about it until late Saturday night. I looked at the recipe and knew I was missing a few ingredients but I knew that my food storage could rescue me! So here is the original recipe and the run down of how I made it “food storage style”.


Food Storage Cilantro-Lime Rice

2 T. vegetable oil
1/3 c. freeze-dried chopped onions
1 tsp. minced garlic
7 cups water
8 tsp. chicken bouillon
1/2 c. freeze-dried cilantro
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 c. freeze dried green chili peppers
1 T. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. white rice

In a large pot saute onions and garlic in oil just until lightly brown. Add remaining ingredients except rice and bring to a boil. Add rice and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for 20 minutes or until rice is soft. This makes a BIG batch and its so flavorful!

Screen shot 2015-05-14 at 10.54.50 AM

The Thrive Life green chilis and cilantro are on sale this month as part of the Thrive Fiesta pack or individually so it was perfect timing because I had everything on hand! There are a few other new products that would go along great with this recipe. We used the new Freeze-Dried Guacamole in our walking taco bar and it was a big hit. Click here to check out all the May sale items.



Fall… the weather is cooling and it’s the perfect time for SOUPS. Soups are one of my go-to meals in the fall. They are often times nutritious, hearty, and filling. The best is when you can use your food storage items in soups. I use freeze-dried vegetables a LOT in my soups because it takes out the washing, peeling, cutting steps. Here are some of our favorite soup recipes on the blog and from around the web. ENJOY!

Soup Season Recipe Round-Up

Favorites from our blog

Here are some soups we have shared on the blog over the past few years. These all use food storage and are soups our families eat regularly.

Fast and Easy Quinoa Chicken Soup
Greek Lentil Soup
Creamy Potato Soup (with a fat-free version)
Chicken Tortilla Soup (freezes well)
16 Bean Soup
Salsa, Chicken and Black Bean Soup
Chicken Tortellini Soup
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
12 Bean Soup
Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup
Chicken Barley Chili

Favorites from around the web

We asked on facebook for you to share some of your favorite soups and here were some of them. Click here to see the thread of all the ones you shared. There were some of you that shared the recipe right on facebook so we couldn’t link to them all.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
Italian Wedding Soup
Paula Dean Chicken Noodle
Goulash Soup
Loaded Vegetable Soup
Our Best Bites: White Chicken Chili
Pioneer Woman: Black Bean Soup

What are some of your favorite soups? Share in the comments your favorite go-to soup recipes.

Feel free to pin this post to save for later using the image below :)
Soup Season Recipe Round-Up

BREAD: No Grinding, No Kneading, No Electricity, No Problem!

During our annual 7 Day Challenge last month one of the days we were practicing living without electricity and had to make bread. I knew I had a busy day ahead of me but I still wanted to accomplish the task, so I decided to try an experiment. I researched some no knead bread recipes and found that most of them depended on cooking at a high temperature in order to achieve a thick, crunchy “artisan” crust. I decided to tweak a few of these and make them my own and cook it in the Sun Oven. So here is how it went!


No Knead Bread Recipe

3 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups cool tap water


Stir together all ingredients with a fork in large bowl. It will be very sticky.

Let stand covered in Saran Wrap for 12-18 hours. It will get very large!

Use a spatula or bread scraper and remove from bowl onto a floured surface. Shape into a large ball with floured hands. Place on wax paper and let stand for 30 minutes.

Place a 3 quart pot into an All-American Sun Oven while the oven warms up. If you don’t have a sun oven you can make an inexpensive cardboard box oven that will work with charcoal. Light the charcoal and let the pot pre-heat in there as well.

Bring the pot inside and place the wax paper and dough right in the pot, put the lid on and place back outside in the sun oven.

Cook for about an hour and a half or until done. If cooking in a cardboard box or regular oven bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes with the lid on, and then 15 minutes with the lid off.

The bread won’t get that dark crusty look like a traditional artisan loaf if baked in the Sun Oven but it is a great consistency with a thin crispy-ish crust. So delicious!

Fall Desserts: Apple Crisp

Fall is in the air. I LOVE IT! The cool crisp nights. The fall produce. Soups become the go-to meals. It’s the best.


What better fall dessert is there than some warm apple crisp. The other day my sister sent me a text and said “I’m craving apple crisp – but I don’t have all the ingredients to make it”. Of course I didn’t mention if she had food storage she wouldn’t have that problem. Instead I made a delicious pan of apple crisp (using her favorite recipe) and texted her a picture of it. Aren’t sisters the best? If she didn’t live a few states away I would have invited her over for some too (I’m not that mean).

So here’s my sister’s favorite apple crisp recipe (that she couldn’t make).

She made sure to tell me to double the toppings for extra yumminess.

Apple Crisp

5 apples, peeled and sliced (or 5 cups Freeze-Dried Granny Smith Apples, rehydrated)
½ cup of sugar
½ TB flour
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup water

Combine all ingredients into a 9×13 pan. Combine the following ingredients in a separate bowl.

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup melted butter.

Sprinkle over top the apples. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

FREE Shelf Stable Recipe Book

Have you heard the term “Shelf Stable” and wondered exactly what it means? Different people have different opinions on that, but today we are going to give you OUR definition and then we have a great free gift for you to download too!

Shelf Stable Cookbook - Over 100 Recipes

What does shelf stable mean?
We consider a shelf stable recipe to be one that can be made completely with items that can be found in your pantry (not refrigerated). The purpose is to have meals that you can make should your power go out and you lose the foods that you have in your fridge and freezer.

Traditional shelf stable recipes
Most people thing of things like homemade bread, chili, spaghetti, etc. when they think of a shelf stable meal. Items that don’t have meats, dairy, or produce. These should definitely be staples of your diet in an emergency and it is helpful if you have at least practiced making some of the more difficult things.

Converting a regular recipe to shelf stable
Our favorite shelf stable recipes are some of our very favorite family recipes that we’ve converted to shelf stable by making a few simple substitutions. If you add canned or freeze-dried meats, cheeses, and produce to your food storage your meal options are drastically increased. See an example of this with Julie’s Enchilada Pie recipe.

FREE Shelf Stable Recipe Book
A few years ago we asked all of our readers to help us with a project and submit their favorite shelf stable recipes. We have some of the best readers out there! You should know- you’re one of them! We received over 100 recipes and compiled them all into this AMAZING Shelf Stable Recipe Book. The recipe book has the following categories:


(Please note: We made the recipes 4 to a page in order to save paper for you if you print it out. In case you find the font to be too small by doing this, we also made a FULL PAGE VERSION. It’s 172 pages but you can print it front and back or just use it on the computer. Enjoy!)

Feel free to pin the image below to save for later or share with your friends!


Brazilian Black Beans

Well it’s World Cup season and over here we cheer for the American, Canadian and Brazilian teams. To be festive this week I made Brazilian Black Beans. These beans come with a story.


About 10 years ago my husband served a mission for The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints in Brazil for 2 years. We had been dating before he left and when he got home we were married. He often spoke of some of his favorite foods from Brazil. Of course one of his favorite foods was the beans. For the last few years I took it as a challenge to try and re-create these famous Brazilian beans. I tweaked, and tweaked, and tweaked how I made them. Every time I made them he said they tasted good but weren’t exactly the same. Just an FYI… recreating food you have never tasted is actually quite challenging. He kept saying “They must just have different spices in Brazil”.

Well about 5 months ago a dear friend from my husband’s mission was in town. She came over and taught me how to make Brazilian beans. Well it turns out it wasn’t spices I was missing. It was sausage and bacon. Ummmmmm DEAR HUSBAND: SPICES CAN’T TAKE THE PLACE OF SAUSAGE AND BACON. Anyways, here’s the recipe for how dear Sueli from Brazil taught me how to make my husband’s favorite mission food.


Brazilian Beans

2 cups of dry beans soaked
5 cups of water (or chicken broth – see notes for how I make my chicken broth)
A large sausage or 4 small ones of your choice
4 pieces of bacon diced
1/2 green pepper
1/2 onion
Salt and Pepper


  • Pressure cook beans in water or bouillon for 15 minutes on low. Release pressure. At this point you want them kind of soft but not all the way cooked. In case you are using old beans or didn’t soak them long enough cook again until they are soft on the outside not all the way cooked on the inside.
  • Add 4 sausages or 1 large one cut into 4 pieces into the pressure cooker. Cook on low again for 10 minutes. This will flavor your beans. The sausage I use is pictured above. It is a natural chicken sausage and it works great.
  • While sausage is cooking fry bacon, green pepper, and onion in a frying pan.
  • Once the beans are done their second cook remove sausage and cut into bite size pieces. Each individual piece will be more juicy by leaving them in the larger chunks during the pressure cooking process.
  • Add bacon, green pepper, onions and sausage pieces back to pressure cooker and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.



She taught me how to make these with my electric pressure cooker. I absolutely love the electric pressure cooker. Love it. Your kitchen tools may vary so make adjustments as needed.
Chicken Broth: When I pull out an appliance I like to use it a few times (since it’s out already). I usually cook 4-5 frozen chicken breasts in water, garlic, onion, salt and pepper on high pressure for about 16 minutes. The liquid that this makes is am amazing broth. I then use the broth to make beans, soups or anything that needs broth.



Pizza is a FAVORITE around here. Whether it be take-out, gourmet, or homemade we are always up for pizza. Today we wanted to share with you 3 different ways to make homemade pizza dough. Depending on your time frame and preferences one of these will for sure be a hit!

The fastest way to make pizza dough is with Thrive’s new Country White Bread Dough. All you have to do is add water and yeast. It’s so easy even Julie’s boys help make it. The dough is great for bread, rolls, scones, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and PIZZA DOUGH.
We like this as an option when we really didn’t plan ahead and want a quick meal we know our family will love. Use this dough with any of your favorite pizza toppings and sauces.


Jodi’s family loves deep-dish pizza and her favorite recipe is this one modified from our friend Crystal at Everyday Food Storage.

2 1/2 C. Medium Hot Water
5 tsp. SAF Instant Yeast*
2 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Tbsp. Oil
1 tsp. Salt
6 C. Flour (you can do half all-purpose and half wheat or 100% fresh ground whole wheat)
1/2 Cube of Butter

1. Pour medium hot water in mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and allow to dissolve.
2. Add sugar, salt, and oil. Gradually add approximately 6 cups of flour.
3. Melt 1/2 cube of butter on cookie sheet in oven as it is heating to 400 degrees and melt in oven.
4. Place dough on cookie sheet and press to fill pan, make sure butter gets on top of the dough.
5. Add your sauce, cheese, and toppings.
6. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned and the crust is firm.

* When using regular yeast change amount to 2 Tbsp. Makes enough dough for two pizzas, or one pizza and some breadsticks.


Julie loves to use our favorite bread recipe for her pizza dough. It’s 100% whole wheat and it makes a big enough batch she gets bread, pizza, and cinnamon rolls out of HALF a batch. She has also been known to make calzones and freeze them for quick lunches with the dough. This recipe originated on the Deals to Meals blog, directions are modified for Julie’s methods.

7 c. whole wheat flour (grind your own with your Wondermill)
2/3 c. vital wheat gluten (buy at Honeyville)
2 1/2 T. instant yeast (we like the SAF brand)

5 c. hot water (120-130 F)

2 T. salt
2/3 c. oil
2/3 c. honey or 1 c. sugar (we like honey the best!)
2 1/2 T. bottled lemon juice

5 c. whole wheat flour

Mix together the first three ingredients in your mixer with a dough hook (we both use and love our Bosch for this). Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes (this is called sponging). Add salt, oil, honey or sugar, and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This makes very soft dough.

Spray counter with pam and take dough out of the bowl. Do NOT flour your counter, this will add dryness you don’t want in the dough. If you are making half the recipe, you can make up to 3 pizzas. Roll out the dough and top with your favorite sauce and toppings. You don’t need to let the dough rise very long but you can if you like a fluffier dough. I also like to make the dough in the morning, stick it in the fridge, then pull it out about 40 minutes before putting it in the oven to allow for it to warm and rise a little. For full instructions on making bread instead of pizza with this recipe, visit this link.

This is the dough Julie uses in her FAVORITE pizza. Buffalo Chicken Pizza. YUM

So there you have it. Whether you have 5, 15, or 25 minutes to get your pizza dough ready we think one of these will be a great option for you. Enjoy and share!

How to Make Ricotta Cheese from Powdered Milk

Julie and I often say if there were an emergency and we could eat PIZZA then everything would be ok. I’ve come to realize that cheese is a pretty major comfort food for me and is something I would miss significantly in an emergency situation. I’ve decided to try to have different cheeses on hand in several forms (shredded in the freezer, freeze-dried cheeses in my food storage, parmesan cheese in the pantry, etc.) One thing I couldn’t store well was ricotta cheese which is a favorite in some of our lasagna recipes. I decided to try a completely shelf stable lasagna one day and ventured out to see if I could MAKE ricotta cheese using powdered milk. I googled a few recipes and experimented a little bit and found a solution that seemed to work well! Here’s the full scoop.


Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe

8 cups water
1 1/2 cups Thrive Instant Powdered Milk
1/3 cup lemon juice or white vinegar
1 tsp. salt, optional
1 T. oil or butter, optional

Mix the water and milk powder in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat up to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit (or just before boiling). The milk will get foamy and start to steam. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from heat and add in the lemon juice and salt and butter if desired. The oil/butter can be helpful to encourage the curds and whey to separate better since the powdered milk is a non-fat milk.

Let the mixture sit for 10-20 minutes. You should see the milk separate into curds (white clumps) and whey (yellowy liquid). Once it all seems to be separated, strain the curds using a strainer with small holes and/or a cheese cloth or clean t-shirt. I just used a strainer and it seemed to be fine. I like to make things easy. I let it strain for about 30 minutes and then squished out as much of the excess whey as I could by pushing against the curds with a spoon. It made a crumbly cheese that was perfect for this lasagna.

From what I read online, this isn’t a TRUE ricotta but it was a pretty great substitution without taking all day or having to run to the store!

Hurray for cheese in my food storage!

Freezer Meals and Food Storage

If you are one of our friends on Facebook you may have seen some of the pictures I posted of my little project to help my Grandma last weekend. Grandma Shirley is my food storage idol. Ever since I was a little girl I used to sneak down to her food storage room and stare in amazement at the sheer volume of food there (and sneak into the candy stash which she claims is the most important part). A few years ago we actually went up and took pictures of her storage and wrote a little summary of our findings. It was fun to go through it with her. Check that out at this link.

Recently my grandma had a little health scare and has been unable to do her normal routines of cooking/cleaning/etc. We live about two hours away from her so my mom and I decided to drive up for the weekend and get her freezer stocked with meals. I shared a few pictures from the event on Facebook and everyone wanted to know more about it, so here are the details!


Step 1: Come up with a list of meals. I used recipes found in my “recipe binder“. There is a link to download my whole file found in that post. Here are the meals we chose to make and the instructions for cooking up each meal.


Step 2: Make a grocery list for all of the meals.

Step 3: Shop for your food. This was the fun part, since Grandma has such a great food storage, we went down to her basement first and we were able to get a ton of the ingredients from there. We found staples like rice and pasta, as well as most of the pantry items like canned corn, beans, cream of chicken soup, etc. We went and bought fresh meat and items like sour cream and eggs because we didn’t want to open up her #10 cans of them. She was so happy to see her food getting used instead of just wasting away in the basement. It is hard for her to make it up and down the stairs these days so we loved helping her out with this.


Step 4: Prepare all the meals. Our cook time was about 3 1/2 hours total. Make sure that you know what containers you are going to be using. We were able to use all of her dishes so we didn’t have to worry about using disposable pans. Plan ahead for how you will need to cook them so you don’t put something that needs to go in the oven in a plastic container.

Step 5: Put the meals in containers and label everything. We put all of the side dishes and/or extra toppings in little baggies taped to each container to make it very easy to have everything for one meal all in one place.


Since these original recipes were meant to feed a larger family, this ended up making at least 16 MEALS for my grandparents. It was so rewarding to do this for them, and we got to spend a fun day visiting while we cooked.