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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mexican Party At My House

I just have to say that 'I Heart the Bountiful Baskets Mexican Pack'. Nothing inspires a fiesta like fresh Mexican food, even if it's just for me and the fam. I considered saving these for a guests and having more of an actual fiesta, but to be honest this meal is a little too labor intensive to do on a large scale, unless you're ready to start your own Mexican restaurant. I love getting my surprise bag of Mexican produce.  I was super excited to discover that last weekend's pack included these beautiful babies:
For those of you who have not had the pleasure, these are poblanos and they make terrific chile relleno. (Anaheims and Cubanos also make great chile relleno, but the flavor is slightly different.) One of my very first blog posts was on how to make chile relleno, but I didn't post pictures. This time I decided to do things the harder and more time consuming way, more or less following the instructions from the video.
First you broil the peppers until they blister. Then you flip them over and broil the other side. Then throw them in a plastic bag to sweat for 20 minutes or so. Peel off the skin and remove as many of the seeds as you have patience for. Afterward it should look something like this.

Next I made up some refried beans and mixed in a little bit of sour cream. (Actually it was plain yogurt because I got to this step and discovered that I had no sour cream. It still tastes great and is probably better for me.) And of course we have to work food storage into the meal somehow. :)
Next I cut Monterrey Jack cheese into wedges and inserted those into the chiles. (You need wedges so you have something to stab.) I filled the remaining space with some bean mixture and sealed them together with some toothpicks. Ok, they're becoming less pretty, but tastier.
 Put the peppers in the freezer for five minutes, so things solidify a bit. While I was blistering the peppers I started the chile relleno sauce.

Chile Relleno Sauce
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 large clove of garlic
1 onion, cut in half
2 jalapenos, de-seeded
1 chipotle pepper
juice of one lime
handful of cilantro
1 & 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth/stock (or the canned variety if you don't have the other stuff handy)
Mexican spices to taste
Simmer all ingredients until onion is soft. Puree in the blender and return to pot to simmer some more.

Then I separated three eggs. I beat the whites until stiff,  beat the yolks a few strokes and then folded them together with a dash of salt.
Then I covered three sides of the peppers with the egg, and put them in a pan with one quarter inch of heated oil, a batter side down. It was then easier to cover the un-battered side. I have also discovered that it is easier to smear the batter on with a spoon than to try to dip the peppers in it. Cook until egg is thoroughly cooked. Drain oil off chiles on a paper towel. I also recommend that you not start your paper towels on fire like I did.

I also made some fresh salsa while waiting for my chiles to blister. (It's a process.)

Fresh Salsa
3 tomatoes
4 green onions
1 clove of garlic
handful of cilantro
juice of one lime
2 jalapenos
salt and pepper to taste
1. Chop everything up, mix and let it marinate.

Once the chiles are adequately drained of oil, put them in the pot of sauce, so the batter can soak it up. I served them just like that with salsa and half a mango on the side. (And for size comparison, that is an extremely large mango.) But you can also top them with sour cream, salsa and or guacamole.

Review: Everything part of this meal except the beans, eggs, canned tomatoes, cheese, chicken broth, spices and oil came from my Bountiful Basket (or BB extras), reducing the cost of this meal by a lot. :D  I do not make this often. I can't handle much fried food  and this is also pretty labor intensive. My husband loved it. He inhaled three of these plus a large quantity of chips and salsa. He said he really liked them, but said they don't taste quite like the ones that you get at restaurants that are basically a plate full of greasy melted cheese with a pepper floating in it. (No kidding, hon. I don't cook that way.) My kids turned their nose up at it and had chips and mango chunks. Whatever. If you want 6 peppers to serve more than 2-3 people a good way to stretch it is with Cafe Rio Style Beans and Rice. (But by the time I was done with this I was not motivated to whip up two more side dishes.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lessons from Three Funerals

In about six weeks we had three funerals. The travel and tears were pretty stressful, but I learned a few things that I wanted to remember and I thought I would share. The first funeral was for my best friend's mother. She died after a ten year battle with malignant melanoma as well as several other health problems. It was a really nice funeral. I hope that someday my funeral is half as peaceful and well-organized. I went in expecting to cry, my best friend had lost her mother and I didn't have the words to make it better, but I didn't expect to bawl as hard as I did through the whole thing. I was really sad that I had not had the opportunity to know her better and know her before her illness. She was really an amazing woman. Her are some things about her that stood out to me.
  • She didn't complain about her misfortunes. If someone had good reason to complain I think she would, but she didn't. She was optimistic and made the best of the days she had.
  • She loved her five children and they all knew it. She spent lots of time talking and laughing with them. And I laughed so hard I started crying again when one of her sons told a story about her farting and laughing.
  • She was so grateful for her children and cherished the time that she had with them. Since then I have really been trying to do the same with my own children. If that means that I neglect my blog and my housework a little, so be it.
  • She was always busy. Anytime that she was watching tv or a movie she was also working on a project. She showed people that she loved them through the gifts that she made. It made me think although she didn't know me that well she took the time to make a gift for my wedding and a beautiful blanket when Thing 1 was born. I feel honored that she would take some of her precious time to do that for me.
While sitting at her funeral I was thinking, perhaps I should give up this blog. Although it's fun, it's very time consuming and I do have many other things to do. But as I thought about it, if for no one else I am writing this for my daughter. If something were to happen to me (and I hope that it doesn't) I want her to able to know where to find our favorite family recipes. I want her to know the tricks I used to keep the house clean and stretch a budget. I want her to know the secrets her mom used to make life a little easier. If When, nothing ever happens to take me from her this may be a good place for her to refer to when she takes her first stabs at running her own household. And if the things I write here are helpful to anyone else along the way, all the better.

A few weeks after this funeral my husband's grandfather died. He had had health problems for a few years and had been on hospice for a few days, so we were expecting him to go some time, but not quite that fast. The day before he died his wife went into the hospital with pneumonia and two weeks after he died she passed also. Now it was very hard on my husband and all of his family to lose both grandparents (or parents as the case my be) so close together, but you worry a little less about them. You don't have one left behind in their loneliness. They have each other. And when I get to the point that my grandchildren are grown, that might be nice to just naturally go with the one I love.
 We had been waiting for Super Grandma (as she is affectionately known by my children) to get out of the hospital before we made any firm plans for the funeral. We had decided to just go and have a memorial service for Super Grandpa and were literally getting ready to go when we received the news that Super Grandma had died too. So we had a double funeral the following weekend.
 It was the first non-LDS funeral that I have ever attended and I really liked how after the minister said his part and we sung a few hymns, they let those in attendance get up and say a few words. It was cool to hear the stories that other people shared about them.
  A few things about Super Grandma:
  • One of her former high school students called her "a force of nature". I thought that was pretty awesome.
  • Her house felt so completely empty without her.
  • She had a reputation for being dependable and for reaching out to others.
A few things about Super Grandpa:
  • He was stubborn, but in a good way. If he decided that he was going to do something, you could consider it done.
  • He built his own house as well as many other things (he was a shop teacher by profession).
  • He read many books and encouraged others to read also.
With driving back and forth to California twice, my husband and I had lots of time to talk about this while the kids were napping. We decided that someday when we have more money in savings, we'd like to buy a piece of land, slightly removed from society (but not so removed that things to do aren't within an easy distance) build our own house, raise a garden and a few chickens, like his grandparents did, and be mostly self-sufficient. That's the dream.

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Food Storage Friday: Mini Chicken Pot Pie

    Baker Chick's pic, not mine
    It has been my mission this week clean out the fridge. I have avoided buying 'fresh' produce because I have so much that I need to use. I am hoping by this afternoon there will be enough used up that it will make cleaning out the fridge a little easier. The other day I found this recipe on Basket 411 (originally from The Baker Chick) and decided to give it a whirl because I could incorporate so many things I already had. Plus those little pies are just so cute.

    Mini Chicken Pot Pies
    Food Storage Ingredients:
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    2 3/4 cup white flour
    2 tsp salt
    3/4 cup + 3 Tablespoons canola oil

    3/4 cup + 1 1/2 Tablespoons ice cold water

    Food Storage Ingredients:
    1 can chicken chunks* (You can drain the liquid and use it as part of your chicken broth)
    1 1/2 cups chicken broth (plus a little depending on how much cooks off)
    1 cup milk**
    salt and pepper
    3 Tablespoons olive oil
    1/3 cup flour
    3 Tablespoons dried onions

    Fresh Ingredients:
    3 Tablespoons butter
    3- 4 cups fresh veggies*
    1 tsp mustard
    spices to taste

    Crust: 1. Sift four and salt in a bowl. 2. Put oil and water in a cup together 3. Make a valley flour and pour in water and oil. 4. Stir with a fork until it sticks together into a ball. 5. Use a little more than half the dough to line 12 muffins cups. 6. Use the rest of the dough to make 12 muffin tops, set these aside.

    Filling: 1. Put hard vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips, or potatoes) together in a pot. Just cover with chicken broth and boil for 10 minutes. 2. Add other vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. 3. Drain and save chicken broth and set vegetables aside. 4. In pot mix together oil, butter and onions. 5. After onions are soft and translucent, add flour, salt, pepper, mustard and spices (I used a teaspoon of garlic). 6. Slowly add chicken broth and milk. Stir on medium low heat until thick. 7. Stir in vegetables and chicken chunks.

     Fill muffin pies with filling. Pinch tops into place and cut slits in them to allow steam to escape. Bake for 35 minutes at 425 degrees. They freeze and reheat well.

    I forgot to cut slits for the steam to escape.

     *I used canned chicken chunks because I was feeling lazy, if you use fresh, use 1 lb cubed chicken and cooks with hard vegetables. For veggies I used  1 cup chopped carrots, 1 cup chopped turnip, 1 cup snow peas, cut in half, and 1 cup chopped yellow squash. When I've made chicken pot pie in the past I have used canned potato chunks, another food storage ingredient that makes this a little easier. Basket 411 used potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, broccoli, peas and squash. I am certain that dried food storage carrots would work well here, but the point is to use whatever vegetables are convenient.

    **Food Storage Milk: I think I may need to write a post just on this topic. Basically I think food storage milk is terrible to drink, but I think it is important to store and rotate. So I try to keep a quart of it mixed in my fridge and use it for cooking purposes. My family can't tell the difference.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Tips for Cleaning- Spring and Otherwise

    Some people would consider me a somewhat of a clean freak. My best friend (and former roommate) has said that she would feel comfortable eating off my kitchen floor at any time. Perhaps I have developed this reputation because when I am stressed about something I cope by cleaning. It's my productive outlet. There are other parts of my house that leave something to be desired. People who know me in real life know that unless I'm really stressed about something I don't have the energy to keep my entire house clean from top to bottom. I am a mom to small, active and adorable little persons who not only require lots of time, but also create lots of messes. One day I spent four hours just spot-cleaning dried boogers off my walls. True story. The point of this rambling intro is that I am not any kind of expert on house cleaning, (Not that I really think I have fooled any of you into believing that I am.) but I have found several articles that I thought were worth sharing. Plus I added my own most useful house cleaning tips that I have discovered through trial and error.

    1. Clean up spills as they happen. (It saves so much effort!)
    2. Boiling water is your best defense against dried-on sticky spills, just be careful.
    3. Spend 5-15 minutes every day getting rid of clutter.
    4. Organization is half the battle.
    5. I send hard plastic bath toys through the dishwasher and foam letters through the washing machine every time that I clean the bathroom.
    6. Play music while you clean.

    Dawn can really cut down on the effort needed to clean your bathroom.-I Dare You To Eat It

    The key to keeping a house clean with small children underfoot is getting them involved.-The Mom Blog

    Many of things that are just cluttering up your house may be useful to someone else.-The Bellingham Herald

    Some things to consider when cleaning out your garage.- Seattle Pi

    Recipes for making your own all natural cleaning products.-

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Food Storage in the News

    Several weeks ago (it was the mid multiple funeral period, which is why I didn't post it then) I found a couple of articles that I was pretty excited about. The first was in the LDS Church News on January 20, 2011. It was an article talking about the humanitarian work that is happening in Lima, Peru. The Johannes Gutenberg Cultural Association has partnered with the welfare department of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to create a breakfast assistance program for children living in poverty in Lima. Each weekday the Gutenberg association provides breakfast for more than 11,000 impoverished children in the Lima area. And it's not just a hand-out, the organization is trying to teach people to be self-sufficient. Parents are encouraged to come and prepare the meals that are given to these children. Hours before the food is served, parents come in to scrub pots, pans and cups, wash and chop fruit and cook the food that is served to the children. What a great story, no? When I read this I thought "Hey, this story is about food storage!" The breakfast that these parents are preparing consist of a cup of apple oatmeal and a small roll. Oatmeal is cheap, has a long shelf-life, is easy to prepare, nutritious and easy to store and transport, making it perfect for this project. I think it goes back to the idea that food storage is about being like Christ. We store food to strengthen ourselves and our families and to serve others when the need arises.

    The second article was in the LDS Church News on February 5, 2011. The story was about a solution to hunger in DR Congo. DR Congo is a country in Africa that is still recovering from the effects of a long civil war where a rooty vegetable known as cassava is a dietary staple. Cassava grows well in poor soil with little rainfall and can be harvested year-round. (I imagine cassava being something like the African equivalent of a potato.) Recently cassava fields have been decimated by disease causing much unemployment and starvation. LDS Charities worked with Congo locals and a Nigerian charity called IITA to find a solution to this problem. IITA had developed a virus-free version of cassava. With the help of local Church leaders and two new tractors, 500 families were able to plant crops that were disease and drought resistant, lower in toxins, high yielding and early maturing. Then LDS charities and IITA built a processing facility, where the cassava is washed, peeled, processed and dried which improves tastes and makes it ready for long-term storage. Eureka! The solution to starvation in Africa is food storage. Well that and some agricultural assistance. (I am sure that me getting so excited about food storage in Africa officially makes me a total food storage nerd. But whatever, I can accept that.) I think this story is a good example of not only helping others to help themselves, but storing the food that works for you and your family.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Food Storage Friday: Homemade Granola

    I love granola. Unfortunately, I feel it is over priced and it very rarely goes on sale. Fortunately it is very easy and cheap to make. It is also very easy to customize to your tastes, just add whatever nuts or fruit please you and your family.

    Homemade Granola
    Food Storage Ingredients:
    6 cups rolled oats
    2 cups nuts or seeds
    1 Tablespoon canola oil
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    3/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff, mind you) or honey
    1 cup dried fruit
    Optional Ingredients:
    1 cup shredded coconut
    1 Tablespoon wheat germ

    1. Mix oats, nuts, (coconut) and oil. 2. Add cinnamon (and wheat germ) and stir thoroughly. 3. Mix in maple syrup, until well coated. 4. Spread on two cookie sheets and bake at 350 for ten minutes. 5. Remove from oven and stir and re-spread granola so edges don't burn. 6 Bake for another 10 minutes. If you want it to be extra crunchy, bake for another 5-10 minutes. 7. Add dried fruit. Store in the refrigerator.

    For my first batch I used almonds, craisins and dried apples, for my second I use almonds, pecans and dried strawberries. Follow your heart or whatever you happen to have in your pantry.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Home Gardening- Take 2

     Earlier his week we took a trip to "the house store" as my children call it. My husband is encouraging a healthy love for our local home improvement store in them. As soon as we walk in Thing 1 always wants to look at the lighting aisle. (It's easy to imagine a little bit of magic there.) Thing 2 likes to look at the sinks and toilets. (We're pretty focused on potty training right now, not to mention he would spend all day playing in the sink if I let him.) And I have to admit that I like the place too. While we were there we picked up a $6 part to decrease water waste in our home, a new water filter for our fridge and some supplies for this year's garden. We also looked at the makings of some new home office furniture, but that is a project that will have to wait for a later date.
    Thing 1 planting strawberries with her dad.
     Last year we spent $50 on plants and supplies and got 2 pathetic strawberries out of it. Pretty much a failure. I don't even want to add up how much we have spent this year. (It's more than $50.) But we've done a little more research and hopefully this time we can at least break even for the annuals. We've planned, loosened the dirt, removed a few random buried chunks of concrete and fertilized. Here's hoping. So far we have planted one red pepper, one heat-resistant tomato, one Anaheim pepper (two words: chile relleno), one sugar baby watermelon, one pomegranate tree, two raspberries (if they take we'll plant more) and 39 red onions. If I feel like we can stay on top of this maybe I'll plant an herb garden too.
     Now I'm sure that if I took the money that I have spent on plants and accessories, I could buy a lot more food storage than this garden could possibly produce. I can't kill food storage, or at least not as easily, and it is not nearly as demanding. However, we are planting a garden  because I feel there are important lessons that can be learned from it. We are teaching our children patience, the value of hard work and how to work together. Or at least that's the plan. So far they have been excited to be involved in the process and loved digging in the dirt, if we can just maintain their interest.... Of course there is also something very wonderful about fresh produce from the garden.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Food Storage Friday: Thai Vegetables and Rice

    Last week I decided to try out the Asian pack when I ordered my Bountiful Basket. It came with Napa cabbage, bok choy (another kind of cabbage that is very large), fresh ginger, basil, garlic and snow peas. I don't think that I will get it again, because that is just a whole lot of cabbage.
    Regardless, I tried to make good use of it, the other fresh produce on hand and incorporate my food storage too. I found this recipe in How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman (possibly my new favorite book), and made a few modifications. It's kind of like a Thai-style curry. I don't know if this recipe will make it into my standard repertoire, because it called for a wide variety of fresh ingredients that I may or may not generally have on hand, but I like it and will probably make it again on occasion.

    Thai Vegetables
    Food Storage Ingredients:
    2-3 cups prepared white rice
    3 Tablespoons oil (canola, peanut or corn)
    1 dried chile
    2 Tablespoons soy sauce
    1 1/2 cups coconut milk

    Fresh Ingredients:
    1 plum tomato, diced
    1 medium yellow squash, cut into chunks
    6 green onions, diced
    1 cup snow peas
    2 medium carrots, diced
    2 Tablespoons garlic
    1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    zest of 1-2 limes

    1. Add oil to a wok or large skillet. When hot, add onions and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. 2. Add garlic, ginger, chile and squash. Adjust heat so that vegetables are cooking quickly without burning, about 10 minutes. 3. Add tomato and snow peas and cook for another 10 minutes. 4. Add coconut and lime zest and simmer for about 5 minutes. 5. Add soy sauce and salt and pepper if necessary.
    Here's what it looks like in the wok when finished.

    There are tons of variations you can do with this. You can increase quantities of or change  for different vegetables. Some of his suggestions were eggplant, zucchini, celery or potato. I think water chestnuts  and bell peppers would also be good. You can add chicken, pork or tofu for more protein or fresh basil, mint, or cilantro for different flavors. And because some like it hot, you can increase the amount of chiles you put in. I used half the amount of chiles that the original called for.

    Fresh bok choy
    In case you are wondering what that green and white stuff on the side is, it's quick cooked bok choy. Another recipe from How to Cook Everything. I was not as pleased with it as other recipes of his I tried. I think I may just blame the vegetable here. The stalk (white part) is good, it becomes creamy and tender, but the greens tastes like boiled spinach, even though that part was cooked for half as long. Bleh. Thing 1 was willing to try it, but I couldn't blame her when she spit out the green part.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Sour Cream and Cheddar Potatoes

    Here's a recipe that I made up Saturday night after work (equals quick and easy). It was so yummy that I made it again. This and a green salad makes a very satisfying meal. So if you were wondering 'What in the world should I do with these little yellow potatoes from my Bountiful Basket?', give this a try. It kind of reminds me of a dutch oven breakfast that my leaders often made when I went to girl's camp as a teenager.

    Sour Cream and Cheddar Potatoes
    2 lbs butter gold baby potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters, (leave the peels on, they're good for you)
    1 14 oz can of chicken broth
    3 Tablespoons of butter
    1 cup reduced fat sour cream
    1 cup grated cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
    1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
    6 slices of Canadian Bacon, coarsely chopped

    1. Put potato quarters in a small pot with chicken broth. Boil covered for 15 minutes. (The broth won't totally cover the potatoes, that's ok, the steam will cook them. And don't stir them, just leave them be for 15 min.) 2. Pull the lid back to let some of the steam escape. When you have a 1/4" of liquid or less, turn down the heat to medium low. 3. Add butter and stir. 4. After butter is melted, add remaining ingredients. Stir until cheeses are melted.

    I imagine that you could experiment with other kinds of potatoes, but it would change the cooking time. And I'm sure that some good spiral ham instead of Canadian Bacon would taste great, or you could easily leave out the meat entirely.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Book Review: The Diet Rebel's Cookbook

    The Diet Rebels Cookbook: Eating Clean and Green I found a review for The Diet Rebel's Cookbook: Eating Clean and Green by Jillayne Clements and Michelle Stewart on another blog that I sometimes read, or I thought that's where I read it, but now I can't find the post. (On a side-note, they don't come out and say it, but from the experiences that the authors talked about I am willing to bet good money that these women are Mormons living in Southern Utah County. ) The book sounded like something I would be interested in. I'm all for healthy eating, trying new things, reducing my carbon footprint and of course, eating delicious food. But as I read it, I had mixed feelings about the content.
     First to summarize their philosophy: Eating a healthy diet will improve your health can cure many illnesses. They determined that the best diet is one with whole organic foods, fresh meats and vegetables,without refined sugars or flours, and incorporates grains that are either sprouted or soured and this diet is based on research done on societies that had healthy active people that lived into their hundred's. They believe that food should be enriched by composting, not by chemical fertilizers or pesticides. They believe in eating meat, but only occasionally. They believe in using a water ionizer in your home to produce pure alkaline water. They believe in using real butter. They believe in soaking beans and nuts to make them easier to digest. They believe in cooking food "low and slow", also to aid in digestion. They also believe the microwave to be evil.
     Now I agree with a lot of this. I can buy that eating a healthy diet can ward off diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and decrease your risk for a stroke. It also decreases your risk of many forms of cancer. Besides that, if you eat well, you feel well. I soak my beans before cooking, because it results in softer beans that don't cause in gas. Anyone who knows me knows that I heart my crock pot. I compost my kitchen scraps, and one of these days I'm going to start a garden. My diet is already by far mostly grains, fruits and vegetables. Depending on where you live, you may definitely need a water purifier. (Recently we visited my mother-in-law's home town for a funeral. I ordered a glass of water with my meal. It tasted like a combination of water that has been sitting in a garden hose and water that comes out of a bathroom in a house with old copper pipes. Whatever you do, don't drink the water in Delano, CA. Trust me. Gag.) I try to minimize high fructose corn syrup intake in my family and also am a fan of real butter and sourdough bread.
      I was reading this book as we were traveling back and forth to California for two funerals and I was thinking 'We are traveling, and there absolutely NO food options that fall into their healthy eating philosophy.' Everything is made using refined white flour. No where along the way served organic meat, fruits or vegetables. I was lucky if where we stopped had any form of fruits and vegetables period. And of course these eating establishments were not using sprouted grains or raw milk and cheese. And as a general rule I like to travel, it seems like if I bought into this philosophy I could never go anywhere without being really hungry and grumpy every time I left the house.
     It seems like in order to follow the recommendations of this book would require a serious life-style overhaul. (And the rhetoric that they use for their recommendations is a bit strong.) I would either need to start spending a whole lot more money on organic fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy, or I would have to start my own farm where I get up every day to milk a cow and then make my own butter and cheese in addition to sprouting my grain and having an organic garden. This really not an option right now.
     I am a mom who works full-time. I consider myself accomplished if my kids and house are clean and I can get them to eat fruits and vegetables. If I could find the time to make my own butter, cheese and sprouted bread on a regular basis, I would probably do other things like spend more time with my kids, practice the piano, read more books, serve in my community, or do more than the bare minimum of cleaning in my house. It's just not realistic to spend that much time in the kitchen, and this is coming from someone who likes to cook. I am skeptical that eating an all-natural, all organic diet is really worth the extra cost and effort. Perhaps it might add a couple of years to my life, but to get those couple years I would have to spend more than a couple of years in the kitchen. I am ok with only living into my 90's.  (I also have to confess that the thought of giving up white sugar and chocolate is a little daunting. Heather needs herself some dark chocolate sometimes.)
      One more thing, if I follow their recommendations, I would starve every time I went to work. Obviously the hospital cafeteria wouldn't cut it, and if I bring leftovers from home my only method of heating them is the microwave. Also a big no-no. So either I could haul my toaster oven to work in my bag every day or after nine hours someone would find me curled up under a computer whimpering for a Cafe Rio salad and Oreo ice cream. Let's not even think of what would happen after twelve and a half hours, or heaven forbid the days that last longer than that.
     And of course, this wouldn't really be a cookbook review if I didn't at least try one of their recipes. I tried the sourdough pizza crust. It didn't work out, period. The instructions say to make a ball of dough and let it rise for 12-24 hours. It should be doubled in size and bubbly. 22 hours later it wasn't. It smelled good, but it hadn't changed and I didn't think it could make an edible pizza crust. There are several other recipes that look good, so I'll keep the book around and give them a whirl.
     In conclusion, some interesting ideas, but not ones that are reasonably implemented in modern society. Not to say I wouldn't try some of these methods sometime, but right now for me (and probably most people), it's just not realistic.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Food Storage Friday: Cherry Pineapple Crisp

     One of my husband's favorite desserts is Cherry Crisp. Heather HATES cherries, but I do make some for him every year on Valentine's (and his mother makes it for his birthday). This year I decided to change it up a little bit, I liked it enough that I even ate a piece this year.

    Cherry Pineapple Crisp
    Food Storage Ingredients:
    2 cans cherry pie filling
    1 cup drained crushed pineapple
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup oat flour
    1 cup rolled oats
    1/4 cup white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/4 cup shredded coconut

    Fresh Ingredients:
    6 Tablespoons melted butter
    Vanilla ice cream (optional)

    1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix pie filling and pineapple in a 9x13 pan. 2. Mix remaining ingredients and sprinkle over pie filling. Bake for thirty minutes.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Preparedness Wednesday: February in Review

    • Have garbage disposal replaced (Not one I was planning on, but it had to be done.)
    • Had our locks replaced (Again, not planning, but one morning we woke up and our front door lock was broken in locked position.)
    • Lots of car repairs and maintenance.
    Emergency Supply:
    • #10 can dried green and red peppers- about $10 @ Walmart
    • #10 can cream of chicken soup mix- about $13 @ Walmart
    • A few more cans of Hormel Chili- because I found another coupon to make them 29 cents each @ Smith's
    • 4 liters extra virgin olive oil- $18 @ Costco
    • 4 bottles of Ragu pasta sauce- 65-77 cents each @ Smith's