Halloween Surprise

On October 31st, our site will

DISAPPEAR!

Don’t get too spooked, or filled with fear.
The site will be back up, sometime next week
It’s not a trick, so don’t be saddened and bleak
It’s sure to be a treat,
you’ll think is sweet!

Let’s just say we’ve been up late almost every night this month getting this organized for you…

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

p.s.  While the site is down it would be a great time to make sure you are caught up on your reading of “One Second After” for our group discussion.  We are both going to get started on it this weekend! (Note: we have heard that there is some language in the book, but it was highly recommend by a lot of people during the 7 day challenge so we hope that it will still be a great read for us all).



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3 Great Recipes for Your Final Garden Harvest

Did you recently pull up the last of your vegetable garden?
Do you have bags of tomatoes and peppers all over your kitchen?
What do you do with a “problem” like this?

Here in Utah the first frost is around the corner, so I’ve been grabbing everything off of my plants as quickly as possible. The pepper plants have been pulled up after getting lots of great green and red peppers, and jalapenos too. My tomatoes still have some greenies on the vine so I’m holding out hope that I can squeak a few more good ones out. Needless to say I have an abundance of produce hanging around my kitchen.



Spaghetti Salad

Ingredients:
16 oz package of spaghetti
1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped
3-4 medium tomatoes, chopped
5-6 green onion stalks, chopped

1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. basil
1 T. parsley

Directions:
Cook spaghetti until it is just BARELY done (don’t overcook!). Wash in cold water and let drain. Put in fridge while you chop up all the veggies. Add the chopped veggies to the spaghetti and toss together. Mix all the dressing ingredients (except parsley) in a small bowl. Pour over the spaghetti/veggies and mix well. Sprinkle parsley over the top. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, overnight is best.



Fresh Salsa

Ingredients:
1-2 jalapeno peppers (remove seeds)
4 bell peppers (combo of red/green)
3 pounds tomatoes–leave skins on!
1 large onion
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
2 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped

1/3 C vinegar
1 T. lime juice
2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano

Directions:
Chop all of the veggies up to your desired consistency. Drain the tomatoes to avoid having excess liquid in the salsa. Add the veggies to a medium bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Eat and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from my cousin Emily @ MySquareFootGarden.NET



Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup (sorry no pictures!)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, cut in half
fresh garlic cloves
olive oil
basil and Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. diced onion, sauteed
6 oz can tomato paste
1 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. cream
1 T. sugar
Salt to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lay tomato halves cut side up on cookie sheet. Brush olive oil over each half (top and sides). Add a sliver of garlic to each tomato and sprinkle seasonings over them. Roast in oven until charred, about 20-30 minutes. Blend tomatoes in blender and pour into large pot. Add onions and mix. Add broth, tomato paste, and cream. Simmer until hot.

I’ve also been canning up some batches of salsa. But more on that later. Happy garden cooking!



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Group Book Read – DETAILS

We announced in our October Newsletter that we are going to be hosting a group book read of the book One Second After. We are hoping to get a good dialog going about the story itself, as well as some discussion about EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse) attacks and how we can prepare for such a scenario. Even if we don’t experience an EMP we think the book will provide a lot of food for thought on ways to prep for other emergency situations too.

One Second After
by William R. Forstchen

This thriller walks you through a fictional story that demonstrates what life would be like if an EMP were to occur. We don’t want to get people too worried about this type of scenario, but instead want everyone to analyze their long term priorities should such an event occur that basically left you to fend for yourself for an extended period of time.

Group Discussion Details

  • Purchase or borrow a copy of One Second After this week and aim to have it read by early November
  • Submit any questions you are specifically interested in discussing to us by November 1st. We will be compiling these and may use some of them as we direct the group discussion. Email them to info@foodstoragemadeeasy.net.
  • Come back to the blog the week of November 7th and the fun will begin. We will be structuring the discussions to take place in the comments section and it will most likely span over a few days so you won’t miss out if your schedule doesn’t permit you to be there at a certain time date or time.
  • Feel free to peruse the Facebook Discussion about this book as a preview, but the official discussion will take place here on the blog so everyone can participate and we can respond to each other’s comments in a more “readable” fashion.

We are very excited about this event and if people like it we may consider hosting more group book reads in the future.



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HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT NOODLES (AND LASAGNA)

Do you ever find that whole wheat pasta can taste grainy, and let’s be honest – a little bit GROSS! This is Julie here, and I’m the one with the high tolerance for healthy food, yet I can barely stomach whole wheat noodles at times. Well when I discovered how DELICIOUS and easy making whole wheat pasta could be, I was hooked.

Awhile back, I shared that I was making lasagna on our facebook page. A lot of you asked for the recipe, and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get to this post. Anyhow, whenever I make lasagna now, I make the noodles using whole wheat. I don’t use any special pasta maker either! I just use a regular old rolling pin. The great thing about lasagna noodles, is that it doesn’t matter if they come out looking fancy, you just layer them anyways so you can mess up a little on the format!

In this video, I show you how to make my favorite – spinach whole wheat noodles- (recipe from grandma lori!) using wheat ground from my Wondermill. I’m also copying a recipe for regular whole wheat noodles (without spinach) that I have tried and love as well. You can try with the regular one first, then when you’re feeling brave go for the spinach noodles. They taste great, and even my dad ate them – he’s pickier then most children.


Sorry there are no pictures of the cooked product. I ended up bringing the lasagna to my parents house to prove to my dad how yummy healthy can be. He loved it, and we ate it before I remembered to pull out my camera.

Here are all the recipes for an incredible homemade, and HEALTHY lasagna. If you’re feeling up to it, try making the sauce from scratch too. This is not the type of lasagna that will make you feel heavy and bloated after. Oh I want some right now!

HOMEMADE LASAGNA


Ingredients:
Cooked lasagna noodles (12 noodles)
Marinara sauce of your choice
Ricotta cheese or Cottage cheese
Grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:
In a 9×13 pan spread small layer of marina sauce at the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of cooked noodles to cover the pan. Spread a layer of sauce, ricotta or cottage cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat for 3 layers. Cook at 350 for 40 minutes.

HOMEMADE SPINACH WHOLE WHEAT NOODLES


Ingredients:
8 ounces of fresh spinach (1 package: 10 ounces frozen spinach can be substituted)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 cup semolina flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour)

Directions:
Wash spinach and cover and cook with just the water that clings to leaves until tender (3-10 minutes). Rinse spinach with cold water; drain. Place spinach eggs, 1 tablesppon oil and 1 teaspoon of salt in blender container. Cover and blend until pureed, about 20 seconds.
Make a well in center of flour, add spinach mixture. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Let stand 10 minutes. Divide dough into halves. Roll out each half, cut strips. Cook in boiling water until tender.

HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT NOODLES


Ingredients:
1 1/2 C semolina flour
1 1/2 c freshly ground whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/4 c water
1/4 c olive oil

Directions:
Combine semolina and flour and salt. Beat eggs lightly. Mix eggs, water and oil. Stir in to four mixture until a stiff dough forms,. You may need to add a little more flour. Knead 10 minutes or until elastic. Let rest, covered for 20 minutes. Roll out thinly. Cut into desired shape or shape with machine. Cook in boiling, salted water for 2-5 minutes.

HOMEMADE MARINARA MEAT SAUCE


Ingredients
2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes (I used a bottle of garden tomatoes)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup finely diced onion
OPTIONAL:
Add 1 lb of ground beef or ground turkey
Add 1/2 zucchini cut into small chunks

Directions:
In a food processor place Italian tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. In a large skillet over medium heat saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the blended tomato sauce, and optional meat and veggies. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Try these recipes out and let me know how they go. Don’t be afraid of substituting the noodles in your own favorite lasagna recipe. They really are great, and aren’t nearly as hard as they sound! Good luck :)



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Alternative Heating Methods: Coffee Can Heater

One of the most requested topics from our “What’s Coming Up Next” post was to discuss some alternative methods of cooling and heating your home. We have recommended in the “Car Kit” portion of our Emergency Preparedness Plan that you place a Coffee Can Heater in your car. These heaters could also be useful in a home if you had no other options available and needed to thaw yourself out a little bit.

A while back, we gave a little tutorial for how to make a coffee can heater, but we had a reader (David H. from Washington) who has refined and perfected this method and makes it so that the outside of the can doesn’t get too hot to the touch. This is a tutorial and pictures put together by him and posted here with his permission. This is the best part about our blog, we learn from our readers every day. You guys are the best!

How to Make a Coffee Can Heater

Items Needed:
1 – Empty tuna can (not shown)
2 – 1 lb cans: 1 empty, 1 unopened
1 – # 10 can empty with plastic lid
1 – Roll toilet paper
1 – Can spray foam insulation
1 – Book or small box of matches
1 – Bottle isopropyl alcohol

Optional Items:
1 – Empty popcorn tin (Three flavor type)
2 – Additional rolls toilet paper

Instructions

Step 1: Clean and dry the empty cans and remove labels if desired.
Step 2: Remove cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper.
Step 3: Place toilet paper into 1 lb can by squeezing bottom of roll to get it started then pushing it in with a twisting motion.
Step 4: Place the tuna can into the bottom of the # 10 can.
Step 5: Spray a small amount of foam insulation around the tuna can.
Step 6: Place the 1 lb can with the toilet paper into the # 10 can on the tuna can.
Step 7: Spray insulation between the sides of the two cans. Fill the foam about halfway up the side of the 1 lb can.
Step 8: Place an unopened 1 lb can on top of the can with the toilet paper roll. This directs the insulation upward as it expands and prevents it from expanding over the top of the toilet paper can. Let it sit for an hour or more so you can determine the amount of expansion.
Step 9: Spray in a second layer of insulation, allowing for enough expansion to bring it to the top of the # 10 can. Set this aside for eight hours to allow the insulation to fully expand and set up.
Step 10: Remove the unopened can and use a long-bladed utility knife or a sharp kitchen knife to trim the excess insulation. Slice the insulation from the rim of the # 10 can to the rim of the 1 lb can. If the insulation is still wet inside, it will get on the blade of the knife and is difficult to wipe off. Scraping with a straight edged (not serrated) is the best way to get it off.
Step 11: Pour some alcohol onto the toilet paper and light it with a match. The insulation may burn briefly and char, especially if it hasn’t set up completely. Do this outdoors or with adequate ventilation to avoid smoke buildup in the house.

After using the heater for 30 minutes, the # 10 can was cool enough to hold at the top. The rim gets hot enough to melt the plastic lid if placed on it right after using the heater.

Step 12 (optional): If you choose to use the popcorn tin option, the heater, two extra rolls of toilet paper, and a bottle of alcohol will all fit in the popcorn tin with room for a flashlight, some tools, or other similar items. The popcorn can lid is an easy way to put out the fire in the coffee can heater and it won’t melt. Just set it on top and the flames go out.

Some observations from David. Originally, I hoped to make a self-contained heater with room for a small bottle of alcohol and some matches. This can be done by not using the tuna can, however, the 1 lb can with the toilet paper sits too low in the # 10 can and the flames may die from poor air circulation. Drilling a series of holes a couple of inches below the rim of the # 10 can through the insulation will help with the air flow. Use a hammer and nail to make starter holes so the drill won’t skate. Metal burrs may be found around the holes and the metal is sharp, so a file should be used to remove the burrs.

With four attempts at making the heater, I used about 1.5 cans of spray insulation. I estimate that one can could produce 3-4 heaters.

Note from Jodi and Julie: We hope this has been helpful for you. If you make one of these heaters using this method feel free to share about it in the comments or post a picture in our facebook fanpage. Thanks again to David for submitting this!



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Canning Peaches … Delish!

Canned peaches from the store = gross.
Canned peaches from home = divine … just ask my kids ;)

While there are a lot of good reasons to can your own food, I have to admit that peaches for my family are canned purely for the enjoyment of eating them. The cost savings is not significant … and I use enough sugar that I don’t know that I can say they are healthier. But boy oh boy we love to eat ‘em.

If you are still nervous about canning, peaches are soooo easy. Here is my step by step process to help you out!

Tools you need

Water bath canner
Large funnel with the bottom cut off
Metal tongs

Jars and lids

Canning Peaches Tutorial

Step 1: Buy or pick peaches
Grandma Lori picked these up for me and my little girl was VERY excited to see them in our trunk
Step 2: Blanche the peaches
I dipped them in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then moved them to a bowl of cold water. Makes them VERY easy to peel. I did mine in small groups only peeling enough to fill one jar at a time.
Step 3: Slice the peaches
You can half or quarter them but we like them in nice small slices and you can pack more in that way. Fill a jar about 2/3 of the way full of peaches.
Step 4: Pour sugar into jar
Most canning books will tell you to make a hot sugar syrup and pour that in, but I found it way easier to just pour in a 1/2 cup of sugar at this point. You can adjust based on the sweetness of your peaches and what your family likes
Step 5: Add hot water
Once you have your sugar, fill the jar the rest of the way up with peaches. Then pour in hot water leaving about 1/2 inch of space from the top. You may need to stick a clean knife into the jar to let the peaches settle a bit and fit in some more water.
Step 6: Give it a good shake
After putting on sterilized lids and rings, make sure to shake the jar well, especially in a side-to-side motion. You want to get all the sugar dissolved in the jar.
Step 7: Burn your finger
Yes every good canning experience must involve an injury. I was trying to heat my jars in the oven and burnt my finger on the element. Ouch. Then I realized I didn’t need to heat them since I was pouring in hot water any way. *sigh*
Step 8: Boil those bottles
Put all the jars in your canner and fill up with boiling water, completely covering the jars. Process according to the instructions in your canning book, taking into account for your elevation (Utah = longer processing times)
Don’t follow this step
One of my jars BROKE during the last batch I was making. It was a huge mess but the other jars turned out just fine (just a little sticky on the outside). I have to share my failures so that it will make you all feel better if you have things that don’t work out perfectly either ;) Glad to be of service.
Step 9: ENJOY!
I had 2 boxes of peaches which is about a bushel. I made 3 batches of 7 quarts each (and lost one to the explosion as noted above). We had a few rotten ones and had eaten a few, and had a few left over. Not sure if I could have squeaked out a full 7 more quarts though. Hopefully that gives you a little guideline when you are planning your own peach canning adventures!

Other Posts on Canning

How to Make Strawberry Jam
Canning Homemade Applesauce

Feel free to share your canning experiences in the comments below. My next project is canning ground beef, wish me luck! I’ll be posting updates about it on our facebook page.



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RECIPE: Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguine

You know that recipe you use, when you want to impress, but don’t feel like going to the store. The fail proof recipe, you forget about, then get a little excited about when you remember it. Well mine is this AMAZING recipe I got from Shandra at Deals to Meals! After the Seven Day Challenge, I went to town on restocking my food storage. It’s amazing, how you can get complacent and put off restocking, but thanks to Deals to Meals, I was able to restock my shelves and get great deals in the process! (to learn more about how we use this system, go to our Deals To Meals page)

Anyways, back to Shandra’s recipe I LOVE. This is copied from her blog, and for more pictures, visit her recipe post here. Let me clue you in on a couple secrets though – I am SO not the marinate ahead of time kind of gal. I have done this on the spot, without marinating and it’s still yummy (mind you marinating does make it taste better). I also swap out the noodles for whole wheat spaghetti noodles sometimes and it works great also! AND I have used lemon juice from a bottle, and dried parsley (again fresh is better, but hey- sometimes you need a meal in a pinch). Anyways, give this recipe a try – You’ll love it!

Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguine
1 lb. linguine (or fettuccine)
2 T. olive oil
Zest from one lemon
Juice from one lemon
½ c. chopped green onion
¼ c. chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese

Marinade:
½ c. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, whole
2 T. Cajun seasoning
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. minced parsley
1 T. brown sugar (or more if you like it a little sweeter)
2 T. soy sauce
2 chicken breasts, sliced. (OR 16 extra large shrimp)

Combine the marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Slice thawed chicken (or shrimp). Pat dry and toss in marinade to coat. Refrigerate 1-12 hours. Cook marinated chicken with the marinade sauce in a large saute pan on medium heat until chicken is cooked. If using shrimp, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake for 7-10 minutes. Be sure not to over cook shrimp.

Cook linguini in boiling salted water until done; drain well and rinse noodles. Combine juice of one lemon, zest, olive oil, green onions, and fresh parsley together. Add hot pasta into bowl and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add chicken (or shrimp) with marinade into the large pasta bowl. Toss in parmesan cheese to taste and serve warm.




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Water Saving Tips

When you lose your water supply, you quickly assess what water needs are most important. First off, it’s important to have drinking water. After that, cooking probably takes a close second. Laundry and personal hygiene can take the back burner for a few days, but after that – you need to start figuring out how to make the most out of your stored water.

When we did the 7 Day Challenge we learned a lot from our readers about how they saved, or stretched their water supply. Here are some of the great suggestions we received. If you have any others, make sure to leave a comment.

  • First off, FILL YOUR WATER CONTAINERS. We heard from SO many people they had containers they just hadn’t gotten around to filling yet. The challenge has been over for a couple weeks, quit procrastinating and get to it TODAY!
  • Bathe in a large bucket, and use bottles that have the types of tops that squirt (refillable condiment containers) when pressure is applied. This will help with faster rinsing. Use the remaining bath water in the bucket for flushing toilets.
  • Use coralite bath wipes, for quick bathing.
  • Store some no rinse shampoo and conditioner for hair.
  • Have paper plates, plastic cups, and disposable tableware to use to allow you to cut back on dish water.
  • Use recipes that mix most ingredients in one dish, or pan that you serve straight from to cut back on dishes.
  • Store wet wipes, and hand sanitizer to help clean up messes, and wash hands.
  • Tap into your water heater for water if you run out of stored water.
  • Wear your hair in ponytails, or wear hats when you can’t wash your hair as frequently during prolonged times with no water.
  • If you have a swamp cooler that runs on water, make sure you have back up cooling methods such as fans, or wet rags to cool your body off during hotter weather.
  • Fill liquid soap/detergent bottles with water. You have water for washing small load of dishes. Soapy water for hands, and the bottles squirt out better then soda or juice containers.
  • Save water from cooking noodles, or boiling water. Use water from canned vegetables.
  • Don’t wait until you are out of clean clothes to do laundry!
  • If you have to do laundry get a bucket, put a little baking soda, a tad of water, plunge by hand or with plunger. No need to rinse with baking soda. Baking soda will eradicate smell too.
  • If you’re water has a funny taste, store drink flavoring to improve the taste. You can also aerate the water by pouring it back and forth between two containers. It adds oxygen to the water and gets rid of the stale taste.
  • Flush conservatively. Use water you previously used for bathing to flush the toilets.




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Parade of Giveaways WINNERS!!!

And the moment we’ve all been waiting for …



Winners: Anne-Marie A, jml, Momof5dragons
We will email you to get your mailing addresses.

Special bonus for everyone: We have had several requests to make the Binders on Disc available for sale, especially for the holiday season. We are going to make one more batch of the cds and they will be priced at $20.00 per disc. Click here to buy now!



Winner: Rebekah S.
We will email you to get your mailing address.

Special bonus for everyone: If you weren’t a lucky winner, but you still want to buy a WonderMill, we will extend the free shipping offer through October as well so hopefully that will help out a little!



Winner: Laura who commented “I think that a couple of the pantry size would be perfect for holding ourannual case of Cincinnati chili!”
A representative from CanOrganizer will be contacting you to get your mailing address.

Special bonus for everyone … Use coupon code FSME any time in October to get 10% off of ANY order of CanOrganizers (no minimums required!)



Other Giveaway Winners

As we find out the winners, we will post the names here and/or links to the posts where they are announced with the instructions on how to claim your prize.

Shelf Reliance Food Rotation System: Elizabeth Carter (details and a coupon code!)
3-Day Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials: Laura Tebo
Chef’s Banquet Freeze Dried Fruit Variety from Ready Project: Charolette Peterson Twitchell
2 FREE 1 Year Memberships to Deals to Meals: Bethany Graff, Janet Krum (details and a special offer!)
Quality spices from All About Food Storage: Tiffany (As For My House) (details)
“I Can’t Believe it’s Food Storage” by Crystal Godfrey: Multiple Winners
Augason Farms Breakfast Pack: Jennifer McCleve
“Gardening for Beginners” from My Square Foot Garden: April (hntersmom@), Carla McGuinness (momof5dragons@), Melinda (walkon@) Details
Golden Flaxseed from HiStakes-Spelt: Mel (Click for details)


Thanks again to all the great sponsors who helped us put on this fantastic event. Make sure to visit their sites and fan pages and say thank you so that they will want to participate again in the future! For the complete list of prizes visit the Parade of Giveaways page.




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