Just Getting Started


Welcome to our Blog. We’re Jodi and Julie, two busy moms who love blogging, and love Food Storage. We have a lot of new visitors this week from our 7 DAY CHALLENGE. If you’re new and intimidated by building a food storage, MAKE SURE you check out our checklists. They are FREE checklists that help you figure out what to do, and when.

We’re happy to have you, and come visit us on our FACEBOOK PAGE to ask questions, and see what all our readers are up to.

Summer Salad with a Quick and Easy Corn Salsa

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.

SUMMER

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 take dry beans, to yummmy beans here)
Grilled chicken (since this is a summer BBQ salad bar after all)
Corn salsa (see recipe below)
Shredded cheese
Salsa
Dressing of your choice
Chip strips
Any other toppings you like

salsa

Quick and Easy Corn Salsa
1 cup Freeze Dried Sweet Corn
1/4 cup Dehydrated Red and Green Bell Peppers
1/4 cup Freeze Dried Onions
2 TablespoonsFreeze Dried Cilantro

Combine corn, peppers and onions in bowl and cover with water. Let sit until corn is soft. Drain water. Add Cilantro. You can use fresh ingredients as well, but this works for a quick salsa when you don’t have some things on hand. You can also add the black beans and tomatoes right to this if you would like.

Hopefully this adds some “freshness” to your next event, and helps you rotate some of your food storage.
Enjoy!


Fourth of July Recipes and Ideas

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! We are excited to be celebrating the Fourth this week (along with Canada Day on Monday!). We thought it would be fun to do a little link round up today of fun 4th of July recipes on the web. We hope you enjoy and have a great Holiday!

Patriotic Jello
Jodi made an awesome 4th of July jello recipe that uses freeze dried fruit. Freeze dried berries are awesome to have when berries my be out of season, or when you just don’t feel like going to the store. You’ll have to check it out!
4th of July Brownies
We know you’ve heard it. You can replace fats like oils in baking with BEANS. Check out how Crystal does just that when she made her Fourth of July brownies.
Our Best BITES 4th of July
Remember the post we did featuring how to incorporate your food storage into some of your favorite recipes using “Our Best Bites” recipes. Well the girls over at Our Best Bites did the cutest 4th of July spread you gotta check out.
4th of July Blender Wheat Pancakes
A recipe for the most beginner food storage user. Blender wheat pancakes allow you to use your wheat without a wheat grinder and are a big hit. These pancakes are sure to be a family favorite.
4th of July Printables
Whatever it is you are up to on the 4th, these toppers could make a lot of things cute. Isn’t it great that there are so many artistic people out there making these great things free and downloadable!

When life gives you lemons….

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. Knowing that the family still needed to eat and the kids needed to be occupied I had to come up with something. Why not do a cooking challenge with my kids and pull out the Sun Oven. So we set the oven on the front porch this time instead of the side yard. Then we went inside to make some bread dough. If you read my post a couple weeks ago about involving kids in the kitchen, you’ll know my son is into cooking “classes”. I told my boys for the challenge we had to come up with THREE things to make out of the bread dough.

The recipe we used was our “Best Wheat Bread” recipe found here.. I told the boys we had to cook whatever we made in the Sun Oven. Kids are so fascinated with how things work, and with being involved. Well before we were even done making the dough, we went to check on the Sun Oven and it had gotten to 350 degrees in NO time out there. I have the Global Sun Oven, but I’d be curious if the new and improved All American Sun Oven would get hotter. I was so excited! In case you want proof, here it is:

oven

The boys decided on bread, pizza, and pizza hot pockets (more on hot pockets here). We got the pizza and bread cooked in the Sun Oven, but by the time we were ready to cook the hot pockets it was getting too late. Even though we fell a little short on the challenge of cooking the whole thing in the Sun Oven, I think I’ve found a new place to cook this summer. Tomorrow I think I’ll cook some quinoa out there.

So YES my porch is scorching hot, but I got a GREAT place to cook this summer and practice my powerless cooking skills! How’s that for lemonade?


Homemade Ranch Dip or Dressing

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:

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.

ranch

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 for a lot of reasons:

  1. It is homemade and free of preservatives and ingredients I can’t pronounce
  2. It uses ingredients I often have on hand (thanks to freeze dried spices, and powdered sour cream)
  3. I can make it as thick or thin as I would like depending on how much liquid I add
  4. The fresh (or freeze dried) instead of dehydrated spices made it delicious!

photo 3 (5)

Ingredients:
1 c plain greek yogurt (full fat)
1/2 c. sour cream (or sour cream powder)
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. dill (I used freeze dried cilantro instead)
1/4 t. pepper
3 T. minced fresh parsley (or freeze dried parsley)
2 T. minced fresh chives (or freeze dried chives)
salt to taste

Since I couldn’t help but put a food storage spin on the recipe, I’ll explain what I did. For the sour cream, I used sour cream powder and I put the same amount, and then just added water until I got the texture I wanted. I was using this for a salad dressing, so I went a little on the runnier side than a dip would be. I also added a teeny bit of lime juice, since I opted to use cilantro instead of dill. I like this because sour cream is something I never have on hand.

You’ll also notice I used freeze dried spices… which are currently my favorite! If you haven’t tried them, you really need to. They act like fresh spices instead of dehydrated. The flavor is amazing, and I don’t have to worry about rotting parsley and cilantro in my fridge anymore! You can buy them at discounted prices at our Thrive Life store here.

Capture


Sourdough 101: Part 2 of 2 (Bread)

Last week, I shared with you the beginning of my sourdough journey. In that post, I talked about the basics of sourdough and how to make or get a sourdough starter. Today I am going to give you the recipe I have been using for the sourdough bread I have been making. It’s been a couple weeks now since I have been experimenting, and I really love it. I am finding out I have so much more to learn about sourdough and all the amazing things you can do with it, and how healthy it is for you. I promise to keep sharing as I go. The good news, is that I have an expert on this stuff as my neighbor and she is teaching me a lot.

I’ll start by giving you the recipe. Then I’ll do a little picture sequence to show you the steps. Hopefully this works for you!

Sourdough Artisan Bread:

Ingredients:
3 Cups Water
1 1/2 Tbs. Salt
1 1/2 Cup Starter
About 6 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour (ground in your wheat grinder)

Instructions:
Mix ingredients together, until the dough forms a ball. You will want it to be sticky.
Put ball of dough in a bowl with lid lightly covering for 12-24 hours
Pull half of the dough out of the bowl, place on pizza stone
Sprinkle with Sesame, Sunflower seeds and Flax (optional)

Bake on pizza stone at 400 for 40-45 min

1ingredients Gather all your ingredients and put the water, salt and starter in first. Then add the flour little by little so you can get the right consistency. You’ll want to mix and scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl as you add the flour.
1ball The consistency you are going to want is rather sticky. If you’re used to making yeast breads, I would say it’s quite a bit stickier than a yeast bread. You’ll want it to have enough flour that the dough can sit in somewhat of a ball, but it doesn’t have to HOLD the ball shape for long. Mix it in a bowl that you can cover. Once it is done mixing, cover for 12-24 hours in your fridge before baking.
1starter Once you are done with your dough, and its in the fridge, make sure you feed your starter so you can use it again. Mix even amounts wheat flour and water. Leave it out until it’s bubbled and grown about double in size, then keep it in your fridge with a lid on it.
1finished When baking your bread, you will want to bake it long enough. I made the mistake of not really believing it needed 45 minutes and there was a doughy ball in the middle of it. This recipe makes 2 fair sized loaves. My friend made the mistake of making one loaf out of the whole thing and let’s just say her doughy ball was BIGGER than mine.

So there you have it. Please make sure you give yourself a few tries with this. I felt really nervous the whole time and I had a friend holding my hand the whole way. The worst thing that could happen is it could be a big flop. I’m really proud of myself for getting the hang of this sourdough stuff. It’s an incredible tool for emergency preparedness since the starter is just wheat flour and water, and the bread is wheat flour, water, and salt. Talk about living on few ingredients and the bread is GOOD! I’ve also been making pizza and pancakes with my starter… and I must admit… it sits better in my stomach than regular yeast breads. There are reasons for it I guess. More on that later!

ReadyFuel Overview

Description:
ReadyFuel is a gel that can be used indoors or outdoors, and won’t freeze, evaporate, or melt. It’s very light and each packet contains a little metal sheet that can be turned into a holder for your pot. It’s a great little fuel for camping or small cooking needs like boiling water.

Benefits:
- Safe to use indoors
- Stores inside and outside
- Convenient storage
- Includes a stand for use without a separate stove

Drawbacks:
- Not as cost effective as other options
- Not easy to use for extended cook times (can’t easily add more gel)

Burn Time:
One gel pack burns for approximately 20 minutes (boils 4 cups of water)

30 Day Supply:
One box (120 packets) will boil 30 gallons of water

ReadyFuel 120 Packet Box
Retail Price: $239.95
Our Regular Price: $200.00
CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW OR LEARN MORE

Jodi’s ReadyFuel Experiment

Jodi first experimented with ReadyFuel during our 7 Day Challenge last September. See what she thought below!

CLICK TO VISIT THE MAIN FUEL OVERVIEW PAGE

12 Days of Christmas – Food Storage Style!

In the month of November we covered some important emergency topics such as 50 Last Minute Ways to Prepare For an Emergency and How to Create an Emergency Binder. We have heard feedback from a lot of readers who are anxious about how they can get their family and friends to feel the importance of being prepared. This is a great time of year to do just that! We posted about this with our “Don’t Say I Told You So” post, but doing this fun activity can be a much easier way to nudge people into thinking about it.

12DAYS

Share your love of food storage and the peace that comes with being self-reliant by doing our 12 Days of Christmas for a loved one this year. This has been a favorite feature of our blog for a few years now and we continue to update it with other ideas each year. There are tons of gift ideas you can do for FREE or very inexpensively to help people get started on their journey.

IDEAS FOR EVERYONE

You can chose to do all 12 days (you’ll have to start asap or you won’t be done before Christmas) or just choose a gift that you think would help make this a special preparedness Christmas for someone important to you. The point is to share your love of food storage, and the peace that comes with being self-reliant. Each “day” will have a theme, and have 3 gift ideas for you:

  • An option that’s FREE or under $1
  • An option that costs $5-30
  • A more expensive option…

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Day 1: Emergency Preparedness
Day 2: Shelves
Day 3: Water
Day 4: 3 Month Supply
Day 5: Long Term Education
Day 6: Grains
Day 7: Legumes
Day 8: Baking Goods
Day 9: Fruits and Vegetables
Day 10: Comfort Foods
Day 11: Non-Food Items
Day 12: Checklists

LABELS AND ACCESSORIES

We also have this pdf for you to print out that has tags for each day, name tags, and images you can print, and attach to the gifts. Feel free to use these whether you are doing all 12 days or just doing a gift or two.

We wanted to say thanks to all our readers for being so awesome, and hope you are getting ready for a wonderful holiday season. We’re so fortunate to be able to share what we learn with you all.

card

Thanksgiving Food Storage Recap

Well we hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend! We had some great family time, and Jodi and I even took a couple hours on Friday to go shopping together for house decorations and we didn’t even talk about Food Storage (ok we did). Jodi found a cute Christmas rug for her new house, and I found a cute picture frame that I’ll be using as an inspiration piece to decorate my kitchen. Yes it’s been a year since I moved and I haven’t faced decorating yet!

Alright, so what would Thanksgiving be without Food Storage? I bet you always think that. Here’s how we roll at Thanskgiving.

The Original Thanksgiving Great Cake Debate

A couple of years ago we tried fooling Jodi’s family (dad) with the Great Cake Debate. Jodi made one of their family favorite pumpkin cake recipes with whole wheat flour instead of white. The results were fantastic and the cake delicious. You can see the full post here.


Jodi’s Thanksgiving Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

This year Jodi celebrated with her in-laws and didn’t have a chance to make one of her other favorite recipes, but made sure to make it a few days later. You probably saw the picture and recipe over here on our Facebook page here.

The Great Bean Casserole Debate

This year Julie decided to try something sneaky with the green bean casserole. She broke every rule in the book on this recipe. Her original plan was the follow the recipe, but then just couldn’t help herself. Come back later this week for the full recipe, and a few tips on what NOT to do when trying to fool someone.

7 DAY CHALLENGE 2012

Well, we did it. We completed another 7 Day Challenge. The Seven Day Challenge is our way of celebrating National Emergency Preparedness Month in September. The Challenge was a week long series of mock emergencies with daily limitations and tasks to help assess your level of preparedness. On a surprise day in September, participants were notified that the Challenge had begum. Most of the learning and fun occurs as we shared our experiences through comments, surveys, and facebook.

This year we thought we could do something a little fun for our readers who either missed the Challenge, or wanted to share it with their friends. We compiled each day’s challenges and report cards and put together a document you could share with your friends, and encourage them to be more prepared as well. You can either forward this document along to them, share this post on facebook, or pin this post on your pinterest account.

Here’s a summary of the 7 Day Challenge this year. Thanks again for playing :)

Day 1: Economic Crisis – “Global Food Shortage”

Day 2: Natural Disaster – “Water Service Interruption”

Day 3: Health Benefits- “Medical Issues and Concerns”

Day 4: Economic Crisis – “Helping Those In Need”

Day 5: Everyday Emergency – “Power Loss”

Day 6: Natural Disaster – “Evacuation and 72 Hour Kits”

Day 7: Everyday Emergency – “Day of Service”

Sign up to join

While the fun doesn’t start again until NEXT September, you can sign up at anytime to be included on our 7 Day Challenge email list.