Peanut Butter Balls!

1 c. peanut butter
1 c. honey
1 c. powdered milk

Mix all together, roll into 1 inch balls (or whatever shape your kiddies want to make!) Lay out on cookie sheet & refrigerate OR freeze. SOOOOOO yummy!

If there is a power outage, you can still make these - Just cut the recipe in half so you can eat them up quicker, & the powdered milk won't sour.

This makes a GREAT snack for your kids, & they can play with it before they eat it! It's filling, full of protein, & even a little healthy!

*** Try rolling these in chopped nuts, melted chocolate, powdered sugar, cinnamon, oatmeal, or whatever else you can think of!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!

These are so yummy! My 11 year old daughter got out the mixer the other day & made them herself, from start to finish! The best part is we use whole wheat & oatmeal, so they're "half way" healthy! So here's the recipe:

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. butter (softened)
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
1 c. chocolate chips

(a few chopped nuts are optional... we didn't use them)

Mix butter, sugars, egg, & vanilla.

Add flour & soda. Mix till blended.

Add oatmeal, then chocolate chips & mix till blended - again!

Drop onto cookie sheet & bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Let cool on baking rack, then eat away!


Easiest Ever Fruit Leather!

I've hit a jackpot! Our family LOVES Fruit Roll Ups. I'm saving up for a better food dehydrator than what I have now, so in the mean time, I've started using my oven for this "Oh So Easy" recipe. We have tried a few roll up recipes, and this one is by far the tastiest to date! I like to make the all natural 100% fruit ones occasionally, since they're a little healthier, but honestly, these are our favorite!


1 jelly roll pan
Saran Wrap
Apple Sauce
Jello Powder

Pre-heat your oven to 125 degrees... (If it won't go that low, try 175 & leave the door cracked open)

You can even do up to 200 degrees so it'll dry faster, but the leather will crack a little, so it'll be a better "pull-apart" snack instead of cutting for rolls...

*The best time to do this is before you go to bed, so your kiddies aren't tempted to touch the hot oven, & you'll wake up to a wonderful aroma and treat to eat!

Mix 2 cups applesauce and 1 small box of ANY flavor Jello (powdered)

You can add or subtract as much Jello as you want. If all you have is large boxes or bags, just pour in part of it - or make a double batch & use 2 oven racks! The more the better!

Cover jelly roll pan with saran wrap.

*Make sure the sides aren't hanging over to touch the oven racks... AND that they don't fold back into the pan, or the edges of the leather won't dry correctly)

Spread mixture evenly on pan about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick.
Bake in your 125 degree oven for several hours (or all night)

Your leather will be done when it's easily peeled up from your plastic wrap.

Cut into 1" wide strips & roll up in plastic wrap. Store in air tight container.

This stuff is addicting!!!

My Perfect Containers

I'm not sure there really is any one perfect container. I've always been an organizing fanatic, but I'm also never really satisfied with my methods. I'm ALWAYS trying new things! Finally, I have found something that works for my pantry.

Now, the "perfect" pantry container, I believe, is the "Click 'n Flip" container, sold at www.simplylivingsmart.com - however - they are approx. $5 each. So as I said in my previous post... BABY STEPS!

If you're like me & need to work slowly towards the bigger & better things, you'll want to start cheap! Right? I think I've found a solution!

Look at these containers from Walmart!

They're almost 1 gallon, square, stackable, see through, and the best part... THEY'RE ONLY A DOLLAR! They come in a 2 pack & are in the disposable Glad Lock/Zip Lock containers section (near the kitchen gadgets/cookware section)

I store my basics in these. So far, here's what I keep in these wonderful containers:

Brown Sugar
Powdered Sugar
Powdered Milk
Baking Cocoa
Baking Powder
Corn Starch
Cream Of Wheat (Farina)
Grits (A Southern Thang!)
Quick Oats
Regular Oats
Whole Wheat Flour
Gluten Flour
Bulgur (more on that later)
Pop Corn Kernels
Potato Pearls (scroll down to find out what this is!)
Other Instant Mixes (which I'll also talk about later)

POTATO PEARLS? What are those? They're the next best thing since sliced bread! Maybe? I get mine from my church dry pack cannery OR Costco! They are little pearls of dehydrated mashed/instant potatoes with butter flavor, and they're sooo yummy! My kids love them, and you can even eat them as a snack right out of the box!

Just mix with a little hot water, & they're ready to go! I don't really like instant potatoes, but I LOVE these! They are MUCH better than the typical instant ones. we've even eaten them without gravy, cause they're so good!

In these containers below, I store my dry beans. They're a little more expensive, but they're heavier duty & have a screw on lid & indented sides for easy holding/pouring.

Beans I store in these containers are:

Great White Northern (perfect bean for grinding into flour)
Pinto Beans
Black Beans
Black Eyed Peas
Kidney Beans
Small Red Beans
Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)

And finally, we have the good ol' plastic see through shoe box! But those aren't food grade, are they?

Well, good question... A lot of people I've talked to wonder the same thing. Until we know for sure, I don't store open food directly in the boxes. I store packaged items in there... Small things that normally don't have a "place of their own"... You know, those things that get thrown wherever they fit & often lost?

For example:

Soup Mix
Sauce Packets
Seasoning Packets
Ranch Dressing Packets
Shake 'n Bake
Oriental Noodles
Jello Boxes
Kool Aid Packets
Extra Restaurant Condiment Packets

*All of these storage containers are less than $2 each, and let me tell you, I use these items soooo much more, now that they're organized & I can see them! Buy what you can in bulk, & keep enough in these containers to last for about 2-3 months. It's great!

Where Do I Begin?

Well, first you've got to realize it takes baby steps... If you jump into preparing & food storage, chances are you'll get WAY too overwhelmed. I hope to help you take those baby steps as I post what I learn & have learned. FOR NOW - here is a simple outline that will hopefully help to at least give you an overall picture of what we are trying to accomplish:

Obtain AT LEAST a 2 weeks supply of water for each member of your family. Have water in various types of containers. An inexpensive idea is to put water in emptied, clear, plastic 2 liter pop bottles. Small water bottles are convenient & portable. 50 gallon drums are good for drinking water and/or cleaning water. It is essential to have enough water—a person can only survive a few days without water. You need at least one gallon of water per person per day.

Put together a 72 hour kit of water, food, clothing and essentials for each person in your family. Make it portable in case you need to leave your home in a disaster.

Tips: To begin, buy 72 hr. backpacks - Get backpacks with handles and wheels for the children to carry themselves, put children’s 72 hr. backpacks under their beds for quick access, and put together a small car emergency kit. Put water and some basic essentials in a backpack in your car incase an emergency happens, and you (and your children) need to walk to somewhere safe. Items that might be important include water, snack food (granola bars, suck on candy, dried fruit or jerky etc.), a flashlight, poncho/umbrella, and a sweater or jacket in case of cold weather.

You may also put your 72 hr. kits in 5 gallon buckets w/ handles. One for food, one for supplies, etc... You can even purchase special toilet lids that fit right onto the bucket for going potty! (Don't forget to have some trash bags available for changing when someone uses it!) The buckets are waterproof & can also serve as a seat! Think about decorating your buckets with permanent markers so you can tell them apart from others who may have buckets.

Make a list of the food items your family eats most often (say... 30 days worth?). (i.e.- macaroni & cheese, chili, tuna (mayo), peanut butter & jam, pasta & spaghetti sauce, etc.) Start building your food storage around those items. Start by getting a three month supply of these commonly eaten foods. One thing to remember is to buy all the components of each meal you eat on a regular basis. Calculate how much you need for each recipe & multiply it by the number of times you would use it in a year (or whatever amount of time you're storing for). Example: If you use 2 package of spaghetti noodles for spaghetti dinner & eat it once a month, multiply it by 12, & that will be a total of 24 spaghetti boxes to purchase for a year's supply. Once you have created a supply of these items, you can begin accumulating more long term food items. These items include grains, legumes, sugar, vegetables, fruit, salt, oil and powdered milk (among many others).


How to store your food? The main concern is keeping insects and rodents out of your food. There are a few ways to store paper packaged food items. One idea is to dry pack items at a cannery (very easy!) Another is to put food items in plastic containers (Rubbermaid totes, empty plastic buckets, large plastic garbage cans etc. ) Anything will work as long as it can be shut out from surrounding bugs and damp air. Keep food in a cool place—like a cold storage room in your basement or in a cool area of the house. KEEP OFF THE DIRT/CONCRETE WITH 2X4'S, CARPET, ETC!

Keep track and rotate your food items. Tip: When you buy the food, put the month and date you purchased it on the container with a permanent marker. This way, you will know which items to use first. Of course, always use the oldest first!

Put the newer food on the back of the shelf and move the older items forward.
(Creating a shelving system makes storing food easier to organize and rotate. This can be done inexpensively with cheap metal shelves, store bought food storage racks, or homemade wood shelves. You will feel so good when you begin to see your own “store” growing in the basement, pantry, etc...)

When items are on sale—STOCK UP! If you buy a year supply of items, you will not need to run to the store and buy it when it’s not on sale. Watch ads & compare prices. Bulk buying on basics is good too. Just repackage into your own buckets & containers. Doing this will save time and money!


With a little faith, effort, and time, you will feel the peace that comes by knowing you are prepared for whatever comes your family’s way. whether it be loss of employment, medical illness, struggling economy, skyrocketing prices, a natural disaster, terrorist attack, etc... it will be worth it!

Starting is the hardest part. But once you start, it will come naturally.

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear!"

"The feeling of peace and the desire to be faithful to the commandment given by the Lord through the modern prophet helps us feel the Holy Spirit, . . . to not be afraid, and to see that the signs of the time for the Second Coming of the Lord is a blessing and not something to fear. We rejoice in it. . . . It gives us the motivation to be faithful and endure to the end and to be saved and obtain eternal life." - Gordon B. Hinckley


Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes

Ok, this is awesome! I found a recipe for these blender pancakes & syrup on another blog that's healthier than what we all normally eat! It sounds WAY yummy! I'll make some & post a photo - hopefully soon. Who knows? Depends on how my week goes... But here's the recipe anyway!

Blender Wheat Pancakes

1 Cup Milk (or 3T. powdered milk & 1 C. Water)
1 Cup Wheat Berry Kernels, whole & uncooked

2 Eggs (or 2T. powdered eggs & 1/4 C. Water)
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
2 T. Oil
2 T. Honey or Sugar

Put milk and wheat kernels in blender.Blend on highest speed for 4 or 5 minutes or until batter is smooth. Add eggs, oil, baking powder, salt and honey or sugar to above batter. Blend on low.

Pour batter from blender onto a hot greased griddle or large frying pan. Cook; flipping pancakes when bubbles pop and create holes.

Berry Syrup

2 C. Mixed Berries (Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, etc...)
3 T. Sugar

Mix together and let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. (Can blend a little for smoother syrup, if you like!)


Great Weed Killers?

Did you know that SALT will kill your weeds and prevent them from coming back? I had no clue but read it on several other websites tonight! The weeds in our yard are competing with our grass BADLY! I'm gonna try it!

There was a warning not to "salt" your neighbor's lawn though, because it works so well that you can get charged with vandalism! How crazy is that! It also said not to spread it where you will be planting things in the next few years, because it kills & prevents almost everything for a very long time. So I guess the best places would be sidewalks, driveways, rock gardens, etc...

Another great weed preventer I found out about is Corn Meal!!! Actually, it's a seed preventer, so anything that hasn't sprouted yet won't grow. But if it's already growing & past the seed stage, you're good to go.


Wheat Grass?

I knew about sprouting grains & beans, but I had no clue I could grow wheatgrass! And if I did, what the heck would I use it for? Just look at all these interesting facts:

One pound of fresh wheatgrass is equivalent in nutritional value to 23 pounds of choice garden vegetables.

This nutrient-rich grass contains 17 amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins.

Wheat grass retains 92 of the 102 minerals found in the soil. These minerals include calcium, phosphorus, iron magnesium and potassium. It is a rich natural source of vitamins A and C. Wheat grass has more vitamin C than oranges and twice the vitamin A as carrots. It is exceptionally rich in vitamins E, K, and B-complex.

Wheatgrass juice is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream and gives immediate energy.

* Wheatgrass energizes and reduces fatigue.
* Wheatgrass is a appetite suppressant.
* Wheatgrass juice improves metabolism.
* Wheatgrass improves digestion.
* Wheatgrass juice enriches the blood, removes blood disorders, & lowers blood pressure
* Wheatgrass juice is antibacterial
* Wheatgrass juice helps cleanse the liver
* Wheatgrass juice prevents tooth decay
* Wheatgrass juice is good for skin problems. It improves complexion, treats acne, and removes acne scars.
* Wheatgrass juice keeps hair from graying & removes dandruff
* boosts the immune system
* calming the nervous system
* promotes regularity & helps fight constipation
* The chlorophyll present in wheatgrass will wash drug deposits from the body, neutralize toxins in the body, help purify the liver, and prevent ageing. The chlorophyll also stabilizes blood sugar levels.



WOW! Talk about benefits! So I've watched a few of videos on www.simplylivingsmart.com & I'm learning how to use grains (AND WHEATGRASS)in ways I'd never heard of before...

I grew my first batch of wheatgrass this week, & I threw a big chunk in my blender with fruit, yogurt, & milk... Delicious & Healthy Smoothie!

You can juice it, chop/grind it up & add it to sauces, casseroles, etc... AND, did you know there are entire books out on wheatgrass?

You can use a tray sprouter (Sprout Master brand is best) - to grow your wheatgrass, but I don't have one yet, so I used a mason jar. (Not as easy, but it works.)

Just pour in 1/4 cup of fresh whole wheat.
Cover with water (about 2" above top of wheat) & let soak overnight.
The next day, rinse wheat (with cool water), then drain well. Do this AT LEAST 3 times a day.
Cover jar opening with cheesecloth or paper towel, etc... & secure with rubberband.
Keep in warm area, & expose to light (a window or small lamp work great)
In a day or 2 you'll notice little tails on your wheat. Within 4-5 days, beautiful green grass will fill your jar! Gently pull out the wheat sprouts & grass with tongs or your fingers... Cut sprigs of grass to use in your dishes & drinks for an extra boost of energy!

*NOTE: In a jar, the grass will only grow about 2 inches high... In a sprouter, it will grow 4-6 inches high!!! Here are photos of my wheat grass in the jar & after I pulled it out. It still worked, but I'm VERY anxious to get a sprouter!

Later on I'll post a few other ideas for using fresh wheat. (Or you can watch the videos on www.simplylivingsmart.com)


Back to Basics

I think any person from Adam & Eve up until us modern people were the luckiest! Whole all natural foods. No preservatives, no refined junk, no fake stuff... Just good ol' healthy meals (& snacks) all cooked from scratch & preserved in the most natural ways.

Maybe my tad bit of jealousy is what has resulted in most of my cook book shelf now consisting of health foods, natural foods, whole foods, grain recipes, pioneer & food storage recipes, etc... Mmmmmmm!

And, I guess the satisfaction of walking a few feet out to my own backyard garden & pulling up fresh organic veges... is not only a great feeling of accomplishment, (and a bunch cheaper than the grocery store)... but OH SOOO Yummy!!!


Perfect Bread!!!

These are the best 2 loaves I've made yet! Fresh ground whole wheat, & SOOO easy! I'm gonna post my recipe and tips... I've made 7 loaves the past 3 days, just cause it's fun! The bread I used to buy averaged $3/loaf or more... So these 7 would have been at least $21. But making my own, I have less than 50 cents into each loaf!

NOW... I currently have a 12 year old Kitchen-Aid mixer. It's great, and it's "working" for my bread, but it's not the best, to be honest. I'm saving up for a Bosch mixer. There is just nothing better. But if all you have is a Kitchen-Aid, it will work. If you're lucky enough to have a BOSCH... then double my recipe! You can even do this by hand, you'll just have to suffer through the forever kneading.


ONE MORE IMPORTANT NOTE! Since this is whole wheat, you will need a dough enhancer. If you grind your own wheat, toss 3 vitamin-C tablets right into the grinder with your wheat!

If you purchase whole wheat flour, then just crush/grind 3 vitamin-C tablets & add to the ingredients below.

This is a natural dough enhancer, & it'll save you lots of money over buying the packaged enhancer at the store. Gives your bread better texture & helps it rise higher & faster. It works great!

Here goes:

3 c. very warm water (but not too hot)
1 T. instant yeast (SAF yeast is the best!)
1/3 c. vegetable or canola oil
1/3 c. honey
1 T. salt
6 cups whole wheat flour (freshly ground if possible!)
1/2 c. whole oats
1/4 c. gluten (available at bulk/health food stores & some grocery stores)

(Don't forget your ground Vitamin-C tablets!)

Add the first 5 ingredients & mix. Then add 5 cups flour, oats, & gluten flour. Mix well. Continue to add the other 1 c. flour slowly until the dough forms a ball & scrapes the excess dough off the sides of the bowl.

DO NOT add too much flour! This is the most common mistake in bread making! It will make a heavy & crumbly bread. Your loaf should stay in "ball" form even after mixing for about 5 minutes, but it needs to be a little sticky. At first, you'll think it's too sticky, but as long as it's cleaning the sides of the bowl, it's perfect! Let mix for 5-10 minutes.

(In the mean time, preheat your oven to 100-125 degrees)

Now... OIL the counter surface & your hands - (Use oil, NOT flour!) Put your dough on the oiled surface & slice WITH A KNIFE into 2 loaves. Pat down into a thick rectangle & roll it up into loaf shape, then put into greased bread pans.

Turn OFF your oven, cover loaves LOOSELY with saran wrap, & put in warmed oven to rise till double (about 45-60 minutes, depending on humidity in the air!)

Remove loaves from oven & preheat to 350 degrees. Bake loaves for 30 minutes.


Remove your loaves immediately & transfer to cooling rack. Best sliced with electric knife. We can get our slices down to less than 1/2 inch thick with the elec. knife!

If your family doesn't like whole wheat bread, TRY THIS RECIPE! They will looove it. My kids wolfed an entire loaf the first night, & their friends think it's awesome!

If it doesn't work the first time, keep trying! It took 3 times before I got it down!

And remember, this makes 2 loaves... and I used my Kitchen Aid. If you have a Bosch, you'll be able to double the recipe & make 4 loaves (at least!)

SO Yummy!!!

On To The Things That REALLY Matter...

Well, LOVE the shoes, & LOVE the clothes, but on to the serious stuff... Hopefully what I share will help someone along the way. Over to the side on that little list of "other sites" to visit, there will be lots and lots of amazing places to visit. I'll only add my favorites & ones I believe will really be of help. The one I want to share first is www.waltonfeed.com/sitemap - Just look at all the stuff they have!!! This place is absolutely amazing!

The Walton Feed Site (1,545 pages)

* Monthly Update
* Catalog (145 pages including the ads, cart & shipping info)
o Secure, Online Shopping Cart
o Complete Online Catalog
o Package Deals & Food Packs
o Walton's Certified Organic foods
o Emergency Preparedness Items Books, Grinders, Lighting Ect.
o Ordering/Shipping Information
* Walton’s Self Reliance/Information Area (15 pages plus tons of links)
o #10 Can Labels (177 pages)
o The Whys and Hows of Whole Grains and Foods (9 pages + more links)
+ The Food Storage FAQs by Alan T. Hagan (61 Pages)
+ Cook’in With Home Storage by Vicki Tate (30 pages)
+ New Passport to Survival by Rita Bingham (16 pages)
+ Nutritional Content of 37 Different Foods (8 pages)
+ Your Food Storage Recipes (148 pages and more links)
+ The LDSCN Prep List Weekly Recipe Archive. Hundreds of recipes. (78 pages)
o All About Grains (20 pages)
o All About Beans (2 pages)
o All About Dehydrated Vegetables
o All About Meat Substitute
o All About Dairy Products
o All About Our Mixes Part 1
o All About Our Mixes Part 2
o Nutrition and Health
+ Deficiency Diseases and Good Nutrition (28 pages)
+ Interview With An LDS Health Specialist (9 pages)
+ Book selection - Health Is A Blessing by Steven H. Horne 91 pp. (16 web pages) Written for an LDS audience.
o Introduction to Essential Fatty Acids (23 pages)
o Interview: Dr. Gary north/Mr. Steve Portela (11 pages)
o Gary North's Food Storage Forum Archive (93 Pages)
o The Old Timer Page - How We Used To Do It... (19 pages)
+ Root Cellars (5 pages)
+ Soap Making (13 pages)
+ Remember Mama's recipes (47 pages)
o Self Reliant Peoples
+ LDS Perspectives On Self Reliance(7 pages)
+ Living in the Navajo Past... (16 pages)
+ Memoirs of Lessons Learned - living through unusual times (6 pages)
o Pack Your Own Foods For Long Term Storage (10 Pages)
+ Seed Viability (8 pages)
+ Bugs! (7 pages)
o All About Grain Grinders (8 pages)
o Beth's Preparedness Handouts (23 pages)
o The Dennis Rahn Farm - where we get our Golden 86 (6 pages)
o The Inner Workings Of A Country Elevator (43 pages)
o E-Mail We Get (349 pages)
o Village of Stirling (a public service in our off time - 54 pages)