I've pretty much abandoned this blog.  (Have you noticed???)   Juggling 4 websites/blogs was way too much for me - so I decided to combine them all into one full website with a blog included!  It's still a HUGE work in progress, because moving everything over from 4 other locations is... well... a big job  :P

I hope I can inspire everyone a little more in the world of food storage/preparedness, whole foods, & natural living!

Click below to check out the awesome new website, & feel free to contact me or leave a blog post comment to let me know what you think!   See you there!

The Modern Pioneer Mom


Freezer Storage

I think this is a GREAT idea to maximize your freezer space. If you haven't figured it out already... Put soups, stews, chili, fruits, veges, beans, cookie dough, (pretty much anything) in a freezer bag. Squeeze out as much of the air as you can & lay it flat after it's closed. Label it, then lay it on a cookie sheet & freeze. After it's frozen, it's easy to stuff in the freezer, cause it's flat!

To make it even better, buy some bins & "file" the flat frozen bagged food vertically by type. Then you can pull out a bin & flip through till you find what you need! I do this all the time now. Your own filing freezer! :)

Thanks to the "Real Simple" magazine for this great idea!


Failed Bread

My bread didn't rise. It's only happened a couple of times, but it's REALLY annoying! I stood there staring at it thinking what a waste. Then, I had one of those little light bulb moments.

I started rolling out balls of the dough flat. Then I 'fried' them in a frying pan, just like tortillas. Homemade flat bread! 3 failed loaves of bread made over 60 flat breads, & they were a huge hit :) It was great!

The flat bread from the store is way expensive, & it doesn't taste very great to me. These were yummy, just like homemade bread, & they work for all kinds of things...

Meat sandwiches, PB&J sandwiches, personal pizza, burritos, munchy snack...

A little extra honey makes them sweet & awesome with a little homemade jam too - YUM!

The tall stack is the dough (rolled out)... before being cooked. After they were cooked, they went straight into the gallon bag to stay soft.

They freeze great too!

(You don't have to wait for your bread to fail before making them!...)


Instant Oatmeal Packets - YUM!

Easy to make, fun to make, & cheap to make! Did you know that quick oats are simply chopped regular oats? To make your own "instant" oats, just put them in a blender for a few seconds, & voila! I like to blend my oats long enough to almost powder them, because it makes a creamier bowl of oatmeal!

I finally got around a few months ago to making my own instant oatmeal packets. Something I've wanted to do for a long time... but just didn't. I'm reeeeeaaaaalllllyyyy glad I did!

These are so yummy. And surprisingly, they're MUCH more filling than the store bought ones, which we usually ended up eating 3 or 4 of to fill us up!

Assembly line style makes this way fast. Just line up your little baggies & ingredients, & scoop one ingredient at a time over & over till you're done... Then move on to the next ingredient. It takes just minutes to make 30 or 40 packets!

AFTER you've gotten all your basic flavor bags made, go back through & add your favorite flavors to them. Variations are listed below the basic recipe:

ORGANIZING YOUR PACKETS (without having to label every single bag)... put all the bags of each different flavor in a plastic shoe box & label just the box. This way, you'll know which is which just by looking at the container.

- - - - - - - - - -

Instant Oatmeal Packet Basic Recipe - & Varieties: (Per ONE Packet)

Mix the following in snack or sandwich baggies to make individual oatmeal packets:

¼ c. powdered oats (reg. oats lightly powdered in blender)
1 T. powdered milk
1 T. brown sugar
pinch of salt (optional)

I just add a little hot water & let it sit for a minute, but you can microwave it too, if you want!

Sometimes, I also add 1 T. of non-dairy creamer to each packet. It makes the oatmeal even creamer!


VARIATIONS - (Adjust to your own taste... Or your kids own taste!)

Don't forget to double or triple the flavor ingredients, depending on how many packets you put in each bag!

Apple-Cinnamon - To each packet, add 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 2 Tbsp. chopped dried apples.

Apple Pie - To each packet, add ¼ tsp. apple pie spice

Brown Sugar/Cinnamon - To each packet, add 1 Tbsp. brown sugar & 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Raisins & Brown Sugar - To each packet, add 1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar and 1 Tbsp. raisins.

Health Nut - To each packet, add 1/2 Tbsp. each wheat germ, ground flax seed, chopped almonds

Honey Nut - To each packet, add 1 Tbsp. honey powder & 1 T. chopped pecans/almonds

Fruit & Cream - To each packet, add 1 Tbsp. non-dairy coffee creamer and 2 Tbsp. dried fruit & / or powdered fruit flavor

Confetti - To each packet, add 1 tsp. decorative cake/cookie sprinkles.

S'Mores - To each packet, add 6 miniature marshmallows and 1 Tbsp. Milk Chocolate Chips to each packet. (can also add Golden Grahams cereal for a little crunch)

Cookies n Cream - To each packet add 1 crushed Oreo cookie and 1 Tbsp. non-dairy coffee creamer to each packet.

Candy Bar - To each packet add 2 Tbsp. Crushed Butterfinger (or other candy bar) to each packet.

Maple & Brown Sugar - To each packet add powdered maple flavoring & extra brown sugar

Maple Pecan - To each packet add powdered maple flavoring & chopped pecans

Pumpkin Pie - To each packet add ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice


Reorganized Reader

One of my blog readers decided to jump in
& make her kitchen life a little easier.
She shared a couple of photos with me, so I'm sharing with you.
Even very small pantries can be nice & neat with a variety of foods.
Glass jars & a labeler will work wonders for a girl!





It's chocolate, it's junk food, and I choose to call it "kind of" healthy! :)

I've heard of bean fudge lately on a couple of other food storage sites, and I FINALLY decided to try it. It's actually yummy!

My kids, my husband, & 3 neighbor kids had NO clue there was almost a pound of beans in this stuff! They couldn't quit eating it!

This fudge is VERY rich & filling.

I rolled mine into balls & hardened them a little in the fridge. Here's the photo & recipe:


15 oz. canned black or pinto beans, rinsed & drained
1 c. baking cocoa
3/4 cup melted butter
1 T. vanilla extract
2 lbs. powdered sugar (C&H brand really tastes best)
Nuts (optional)

The SECRET: Mix everything except powdered sugar in BLENDER! Then, add mixture to powdered sugar & blend with electric mixer or hand beaters in a separate bowl.

It'll be a little stiff. You can either press it into a 9x13 casserole dish, or roll them into balls.

My New FAVORITE Pantry Storage!!!

I've had cases of canning jars for over 10 years that have sat there... and sat there... and sat there... These have now become my very favorite storage system for my kitchen pantry, in the whole wide world!

I keep powders, salt, grains, rice, beans, sprouting seeds, dehydrated veges & fruits, & tons of other stuff in them. I use both quart and pint size.

Since they're glass, they won't absorb flavor or odor. They're see through, which makes for easy locating - And they're pretty!!!

They're the same size, & the wide mouth, especially, are stackable (either size could be stacked in 2's, but no more... for safety purposes, of course)

The size of the openings makes them pourable AND scoopable, and best of all... THEY'RE CHEAP!

I'm so addicted now. I went to Walmart & purchased a ton of white plastic jar lids. Cause they're one piece, and they're pretty too! They were on sale a couple weeks ago for $1.50 a box. I think there are 8 lids per box.

Try it. You'll love it!


Food Storage Wedding Gift ???

Well... I needed a wedding gift a couple weeks ago. I was joking around with the groom, that I was gonna load him up with food storage, & he said to go for it! Really???

So I did just that. I wrapped 2 #10 cans in loads of lime green tissue paper, then added flowers & ribbon. Then, I decorated the outside of a big gift bag with velvet embossed paper, ribbon, & a big fat flower. Inside the bag was a GREAT book called, "Cooking With Food Storage Made Easy"... & tons of little food items & tools to help get them started.

For such a "boring" but useful gift... it sure turned out cute! :)

The Magical Fruit

I'm hooked on dry beans now. These pinto beans here, I bought for .32 cents/lb a few weeks ago. I was in the mood for refried beans & didn't have any canned ones. Then I remembered I could grind them in my wheat grinder & make my own. So... I searched for my recipe, & voila!

Fresh ground pinto beans into a beautiful fine flour...

Then, I mixed all the ingredients, put them in a glass jar, & I have an instant refried bean mix, ready when I need it! Here is my recipe:

1 1/2 c. pinto flour
1 1/2 t. chili powder
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. cumin
1 1/2 t. salt

*Can also sprinkle in a little onion powder, if you like.

Double or triple the recipe & store in an airtight container. Lasts longer if stored in the fridge... This will give you a quick meal at a moments notice!

To prepare, whisk 3/4 c. dry mixture with 2 1/4 c. warm water in small sauce pan. Cook while stirring, over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes, or until mixture thickens.

(Don't worry about the lumpies...)

Reduce heat to low, cover pan & cook 4 more minutes.

Then you can add taco sauce, picante sauce, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, or whatever you want... & enjoy it with chips or on a burrito/enchilada, etc! It's great!!!


I also ground white great northern beans & added it to my bread for extra protein. No one even knew it was in there. The texture & taste was exactly the same! I'm thinking I could sneak it into sauces, soups, chili, mashed potatoes, burgers, & all kinds of foods! Maybe even cookies & cakes! Hm... I might have to grind black beans & kidney beans next time :)


I disappeared...

So... since kids went back to school, it's been more chaos than it was while they were here all summer. Driving them every direction possible all day & evening, THEN we all got way sick with a variation of: flu, bronchitis, sinus infection, & pneumonia. It's lasted over 2 weeks! And James, my 5 year old, was the worst. He shot up to 107.2 fever day before yesterday & it took us 30 mins to get him DOWN into the 105 range! Needless to say, he ended up in the ER. After 2 different doctors, throat swab, urinalysis, & chest xrays, he was the one with pneumonia. He has missed 6 days of school in a row. I.N.S.A.N.E. That's all I have to say. I'm still sick, the others are still coughing, and we just better turn around soon, cause I'm at my breaking point.

OBVIOUSLY... I have not posted this past month. My apologies. I will get more up as soon as I feel better.

Thanks to all my blog readers. Feel free to start "following" me if you'd like!


Sweet... And... Sour... Spaghetti??????

This dinner was an accident, and absolutely delicious... My entire family loved it! I intended on sweet & sour Italian meatballs, but they didn't taste right. So I did a little tweaking & dumped it all over spaghetti noodles. Yummy!!!

2-3 lb. frozen Italian meatballs
1 pkg. whole grain thin spaghetti noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used traditional style)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup apple jelly
1 cup grape or plum jam
1 can tomato sauce
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

Heat liquid ingredients until jam & jelly are melted. Pour over meatballs in a crock pot, and stir to coat. Cook on low for about 6 hours.

Toward the end of the 6 hours, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain & toss with about 2 Tb. olive oil.

Serve meatballs & sauce over noodles.

Top with parsley flakes, shredded cheddar or mozarella cheese, & Parmesan cheese.

Way easy, & way versatile. You can add any kind of topping you want... from garlic salt to cinnamon sugar! We haven't been very successful with making crackers in our home, but FINALLY... a winner! They taste a lot like "Wheat Thins".

In a medium bowl whisk together:

3/4 c. whole wheat flour (fresh ground hard white wheat is best)
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 Tb. dry buttermilk powder

Add to dry mix:

1/2 cup water
3 T. cooking oil or melted butter

Stir until all the flour is absorbed. Don't over mix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap & let sit for about 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half & plop half of it on a flat cookie sheet (without edges)... OR onto a silicone baking liner. Cover dough with saran wrap, the size of your pan or liner. Roll out to edges. Dough will be VERY thin!

(If you're using a liner, put your liner onto a cookie sheet after rolling out the dough.)

Remove saran wrap after it's all smoothed out. Using a pizza cutter, score dough into cracker squares. I make mine about 1 - 1 1/2 inches.

Sprinkle dough squares with a GENEROUS amount of any topping you want!

Sea Salt
Garlic Salt
Onion Salt
Cinnamon Sugar
Crushed Herbs
Poppy Seeds
Sesame Seeds
Shredded or Parmesan Cheese

My personal favorite (so far), is garlic salt and parsley. And it's actually a perfect partner to the sweet & sour spaghetti recipe!

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes.

*Note - If your edges are too thin, they will burn easily. Try to even all the dough out to the same thickness all the way around, as much as possible.

Your crackers will get crispier as they cool down.

Try them with cheese balls or cracker dip. The cinnamon sugar ones would be great with a fruit & cream cheese ball or fruit dip! I think these are perfect for party appetizers OR just in your kid's lunchbox!


Hawaiian Heaven

This is THE best pasta salad I have ever had in my life. If I have to take food to a potluck or event, this is the dish I usually take. It's fast, and it's the favorite. Everyone loves it!

Secret: You MUST, if at all possible, us the "Briannas" brand of poppyseed dressing. It has the very best flavor. It's in a rounded glass bottle with a peach on the front. You'll find it in the salad dressing section, usually near the top shelf.

1 package spiral noodles (I use multi-colored)
1 bottle poppy seed dressing
2 large cans chicken breast chunks (or 1 1/2 c. cooked shredded chicken)
1 large can mandarin oranges (or 2 small cans)
1 large apple (cut into small pieces)
1 bunch grapes (cut in halves)
1 c. shredded cheese (I like the orange/white blend)
3/4 c. raisins
1/2 c. slivered almonds

*Honestly, these are just estimates. I just dump in a bunch of fruit & cheese till I think it looks good :) Sometimes it ends up being a little more than what's listed in the recipe.

Ok. So, you'll cook the noodles according to package directions. Al dente... definitely DO NOT overcook! Drain, rinse in cold water, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to noodles & stir.

Add all ingredients except cheese & stir until well mixed. Last... add cheese & mix till blended. (There is no scientific reason for adding the cheese last. I just like too, because it seems to keep the cheese from getting mushy). Refrigerate!


This pasta salad is great as left overs for a couple of days. If it seems to get a little dry, just add a small amount of poppyseed dressing or a few mandarin oranges, & it'll be great again. I've only had to do this a couple of times. Must have been weird weather or something ;)

I usually use the spiral noodles, but you can use any cute noodles that you'd like too. Shells, bowties, wavy ones, etc... Even whole grain noodles, which I have done too.

You can also add pineapple, celery chunks, craisins, etc... &/or omit any ingredient as desired.


Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars


OK... After DAYS of searching for the recipe I used to make these, I finally found it buried under a pile of papers. I guess I should clean up, huh! So here it is:

2 c. oats
3/4 c. wheat germ
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. sunflower seeds (I used 3/4 c. & I thought it was too much)
8 oz. raisins or craisins

2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
4 Tbs. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Mix sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, & salt. Melt in microwave for about 2 minutes & stir well.

Mix melted items & remaining dry ingredients in large bowl & stir well. Keep stirring! It may seem dry, but it WILL get sticky if you keep going..... :)

Line casserole dish with large piece of waxed paper.

Dump mixture in casserole dish & spread. Fold wax paper over top, OR add a new piece on top. Using hands, press hard to flatten & compact mixture.

Let cool completely!

Lift granola bars out of dish with waxed paper & cut into bars or squares. (Or, if you didn't use waxed paper, just cut in the dish & remove.)

Store in air tight container or wrap individually in plastic wrap.

How easy is that!?!?

Clover Sprouts

I love sprouts! Well, not so much bean sprouts, but I used to eat alfalfa sprouts a lot. Then I found CLOVER sprouts. They have a sweeter taste & last longer in the fridge. Love them, love them, love them!

My local grocery store sold a little sparce pint of clover sprouts for a dollar & some odd cents... (can't remember exactly). But I finally decided to buy seeds & do it myself. Look what less than 2tbs. of clover seeds produced in 3 days! They're sooo yummy on sandwiches, wraps, salads, etc...

Still in my sprouter - stuffed full!

On a large paper towel after taking them out of the sprouter

Stuffed in a quart sized bag - almost as big as the head of lettuce, but loaded with tons more vitamins!

This amount of sprouts would have cost me around $4.00 at the store. But my big bag of seeds cost less than $7.00! I've done 5 large batches & am only about 1/3 of the way through the bag. Much cheaper!


Granola Bars Revamped -

The original version was pretty good, but you gotta try this:

I reduced the amount of peanut butter, added marshmallows, & also added ground flax seed & wheat germ for more fiber & nutrition. Can't even taste it in there, so the kids won't know! Here's the basic recipe. I don't usually measure exactly. I kinda guess on the liquid stuff. MORE of the items to melt is better than less, because it's the glue. You don't want it dry & crumbly.

(I've changed a couple of things from the old version, and it seems to work a little better for me. AND - I usually double this recipe, cause we eat them a lot!)

3 c. regular oats
1 1/2 c. rice krispies
1 c. chocolate chips (semi sweet)
1 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. wheat germ (optional)
1/4 c. ground flax seed (optional)

Mix oats, rice krispies, wheat germ, flax seed, and HALF of chocolate chips in large mixing bowl.

Mix other half of chocolate chips, brown sugar, honey, marshmallows, peanut butter, & vanilla in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir well. Microwave for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until completely melted & pourable.

Pour over top of dry mix. With large sturdy spoon (wood or stainless work best) - mix until well coated & gewey.

Transfer mixture to large casserole dish or jelly roll pan & spread to edges. Top with a large piece of wax paper, & begin firmly pressing granola bars flat. The wax paper keeps your hands clean :)

Allow to cool (about 1/2 hour or so)... then cut into bars. I cut mine into small squares.

You can individually wrap each bar in saran wrap for a quick grab & go snack, or store them in an airtight container.

*If you want them to look more 'chunky' - like rocky road style, add an extra 1/2 cut of marshmallows to the dry ingredients. They'll melt a little, but there will be small areas of white marble mixed in. The kids will love it!


Salmon Heaven

So, my husband doesn't like salmon. He is not a fan of fish. However... if you have someone in your family who claims to not like salmon, try this:

Big fat salmon filet
Strawberry Peach Salsa (or other fruity salsa)

Pour salsa all over the top of the salmon & stick it under the broiler (about 5-10 minutes)...

This time I happened to use Costco's Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce. It was sooo yummy! Any kind of sauce, salsa, jam, etc... that has a sweet/fruity taste to it will work.

Here's a closeup of the one I made last night. I let the edges of the sauce get gummy & the the edges of the fish get just a tad overdone. The middle of the fish was tender & sweet. Perfect. Husband & kids all loved it!


I have returned :)

After several months of being addicted to Facebook, I have returned to my little blogging world. Let's see if I keep up with it this time. Who knows... We're hopeful, right?

Here are a few recent pics of some of my storage/organizing tactics:

I picked up one of those really cool steel commercial restaurant shelving units from Costco the other day. It has customizable shelves & panels to keep items from falling off. Each shelf holds up to 600 pounds!

I'm continuously reorganizing my pantry. Seems like I'm always looking for a better solution. I do keep my #10 cans up on the top shelf, because I don't use them often, it's out of the way, & there's TONS of room up there.

I finally purchased Gamma Lids! It took me forever to do it, because I didn't want to pay shipping... Then our Walmart finally got them in stock. I LOVE them & recommend them to everyone!!! They are the best. Air tight seals & screw off lid - can't get any better than that! I just refill the buckets in my pantry when they get empty, & I always have access to my most used things - (flour, sugar, oatmeal, rice, etc...)

If you don't have them, you gotta get them!


More experimenting...

It might be hard to see in these photos, but I have now started adding 1/2 cup of ground flax seed into my whole wheat bread recipe. It looks grainier, but you can't even taste it! This is a great way to add even MORE nutrition to that yummy homemade bread!

The top photo is the dough before it had risen (easier to see the flax in that one!) & the bottom one is after it's done baking. Mmmm!!!


Have you ever made cinnamon rolls before? Well, try making pizza rolls! They're fun & delicious!

You can use any bread or pizza dough recipe you want. Roll your dough out on the counter to about 1/2 inch thick (or thinner!) into a big rectangle.

Spread pizza sauce over dough. Top with parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, garlic powder/salt, pepperoni, & whatever else you like.

After you have it all loaded with goodies, begin rolling your dough up like a sleeping bag, so it's a big long tube (with all the stuff inside!)

Using floss, string, or a knife, slice your rolls about 1/2 - 3/4" thick. Lay them out on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan.

Bake on 400 for about 20-30 minutes, or until browned & crisped on top. The time may vary, depending on your dough recipe.

We ate these last weekend for dinner with our neighbors, and they were the hit of the night!

Another GREAT option is to spread homemade Ranch dressing instead of pizza dough. Then top with shredded chicken & mozarella/parmesan cheese.

If you've never tried Chicken Ranch Pizza, you've missed out! It's to die for! I think next time, I'll try Vege Pizza Rolls!


Better Granola Bars!

Check out the no bake granola bar recipe I posted on August 27, 2008. I have since re-vamped it, which has greatly improved how it holds together. If you had trouble with your bars crumbling, try making them with the new method.

Basically I melted half the chocolate chips with the other things I melted, AND I now add more of the "melting" items than I used too. This really helps everything bond better. You can find this recipe by clicking on "oats" in the LABELS section to the right or by clicking here!

I also throw all the melty stuff in a big Pyrex measuring bowl & mix it up. Then I microwave it for about 3 minutes... till it's hot and bubbly.



Wow! I haven't been on in a while... Funny though, most blogs I've visited lately have been abandoned - I'm sure due to the holidays. That's definitely my excuse!

So I've decided on some New Year's Resolutions. Of course I'm going to continue to improve my preparedness & food storage (That's a given!). I also plan to spend more "quality" time with my husband & kids, and I'm going to work on being more consistent. That is one of my BIG downfalls. My intentions are great, but I have a hard time with finishing or continuing what I started. Oh... and my most important one is to become more spiritual. I need to pray more & focus on my Savior more.

Wish me luck!

I've been thinking & thinking of what to focus on this year for my blog, and I decided that I don't really want to focus on any specific thing. I just want to continue to share all the great things I learn, fun recipes, & anything & everything! Hope that works for you!

Lotsa' fun stuff coming soon!

Happy New Year!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Perfect cookies for the Holidays!

This is the easiest EVER recipe for these oh so yummy cookies. Even the kids can do these, and it all comes from food storage items!

1 box "spice" cake (any brand)
1 small (15 oz.) can Pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix well, & bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes




Talk about a dream for being prepared! Imagine baking fresh bread or cookies when the power is out! And imagine toting this awesome stove/oven to a church or neighborhood BBQ, or to go camping, or to a family reunion!

Now you can with the Outdoor Camp Oven! Don't let its compact size fool you. The Outdoor Camp Oven features over 14,000 total BTU's, the twin burners and spacious oven have plenty of power to get your cooking/baking done right. This stove's folding lid and carrying handles were designed with portability in mind. This camp oven is loaded with features. It is just perfect for your cabin, summer camping, or RV.

* Matchless Igniter burners
* Stainless steel construction
* Nonstick enamel cooking surface
* Oven thermometer
* 2 oven racks.
* Powered by a disposable 1 lb propane tank - Can be adapted to use a bulk tank

Specs: Range 5,300 BTU's per burner, Oven 3,500 BTU's per hour
Top burner dimensions 12 x 21
Inside Oven dimensions W 16" x H 10" x L 10"
Top oven heat 400° degrees
Weight 35 lbs

Pefect for muffins, cookies, casseroles, and Dutch oven dishes.
In charge of girls camp this year?
Simplify your life with the Outdoor Camp Oven.

My favorite online place... www.simplylivingsmart.com sells these, & their customer service is great!


Little Chef

My sweet little 4 year old boy can wear his cheap chef hat (that's actually made rather well!) & help me cook! Today he was flipping pancakes. THIS is the life!