Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Super Cereal Success!!!

Came across my favorite food storage recipe so far! It's actually a granola recipe, and my family loves to snack on it, but it also makes a super yummy cold cereal if you put it in a bowl with milk. I'm posting the recipe on my recipe blog but this is what it looks like when it comes out of the oven. Then you just break it up into smaller pieces and snack away!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Food Success - and failures!

Ok, I know I was going to post about organizing and rotating but I just didn't get around to taking the pictures I needed so I will do it next time. This week was BUSY! I spent all day on Saturday canning in my garage. I did 250 lbs of sugar, some 13 bean soup, and misc beans for my mom. What was funny was I had to go to Costco to get the sugar, and WinCo to get the beans. I was in a total panic the whole time that someone would see me at the grocery store and think I was cheating! My mom says I'm developing a complex and she might be right. I kept looking over my shoulder the whole time I was at the store.

So I made some recipes this week that are keepers. First off I tried a different graham cracker recipe that I like even better, AND they look even more like the store bought ones. They are better for you too since they contain both wheat and bean flour creating a complete protein to snack on. I'll post the recipe on my other blog under "Graham Crackers - Take Two"

I had another success with Wheat Thins! We LOVED this recipe and the best thing is you could make it with different spices and completely change the flavor of your wheat thins. I made our first batch using garlic salt but this week I'm going to also try cheese flavored, taco flavored, and cinnamon flavored (this might even work as a cereal - like Golden Grahams - I'll let you know). Again I added the recipe on my recipe site.

Speaking of cereal. I made Grape Nuts type cereal that was very easy and was pretty good. My 5 year old likes it a lot. I keep trying cereal recipes because I need quick and easy breakfasts since we all have to be up and out the door so early.

I also had some spectacular failures. I've made 2 versions of mac and cheese so far and they were too disgusting to even choke down. I also can't make edible spreadable butter. I tried adding butter flavoring but it ended up tasting like disgusting popcorn flavored butter. ICK! Not sure where to go from here but I won't rest until I have butter for my toast!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Ok so I've been wrestling with how to give you access to my food storage recipes without cluttering up my blog. The best solution I can come up with (since Blogspot doesn't allow for multiple pages) is to create another blog and then link to it. So, on the right of this page you will see a link to "My Year Living on Food Storage - Recipes" You can click on there and it will take you to my blog that lists only recipes. I believe you will be able to sort them by searching for a certain category like "Main Dish" or "Crockpot" etc. since I have them tagged.

Now you have to remember that I am picking out recipes that taste good for food storage recipes. They are not good compared to the tri tip you had last night, or tomorrow's creamy enchiladas. Believe me, if you were living off food storage, the word delicious would take on a whole different meaning. :)

So I had a VERY productive weekend and I'm feeling much better about my ability to be able to do this. I find that I literally have to be cooking all the time to keep my family fed 3 meals a day so I spent all weekend in the kitchen. Here are a few of my triumphs this week:

I made super yummy granola bars! No recipe for this one yet because the base was a Christmas gift to us from the Bishop's family, I just added the rest of the ingredients since it was all food storage items. :) I have several recipes for food storage granola bars though and when I narrow it down to the best one I will be sure to post it.

My biggest triumph was making spreadable butter out of powdered butter! After one false start a friend suggested that I mix in some butter flavored Crisco (which I store) for flavoring. Worked like a charm! Ok, it doesn't taste like store bought butter but when you've been going without butter for awhile believe me, you'll take anything that is edible. Yea for eating toast for breakfast again!

Speaking of breakfast, my kids were raised on 2 Eggos a day so breakfast has been hard for them. So today I broke out the waffle iron and made a mountain of waffles. I bagged them up for the freezer so that my kids will have them for breakfast this week. Actually this many waffles won't last my family anywhere near a week. Oh well, they'll have waffles for a few days. :)

I also used powdered eggs for the first time (in my waffle batter) made chocolate milk, re-organized my pantry, set up a can rotater, got my husband to build shelves for more food storage rotation in the garage, baked bread, and last, but not least, made hamburgers for dinner.

First I made homemade hamburger buns. SO yummy! I posted the recipe for that one on my other blog. Here's a picture to show them off since I'm so proud. :)

Then I used one pound of our precious little frozen meat left, and mixed in some mashed black beans and cooked wheat to extend it to be enough for 8 people. Actually I used a meatless hamburger recipe but added a pound of meat with a little BBQ sauce. Fried them up and then used up the very last of our produce left in the fridge. And served them up on my homemade buns.

My kids thought they were in heaven. So did I.

So, all in all, very productive week.

Now, lots of people have been asking me how I organize and track my food storage so that will be the subject of my next post. It's a pretty simple system I use but highly effective and user friendly. And of course, I have pictures. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Graham Crackers

Ok so I have to figure out things I can make that the kids (and dad) can snack on and pack in school lunches, so today I decided to try out graham crackers. They were so perfect! They tasted just like the real thing so I'm posting the recipe and a few pictures:

1/2 c evap milk
1/2 c water
2 T lemon juice or vinegar
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c honey
1 c veg oil
2 t vanilla
2 eggs slightly beaten (or reconstituted powdered eggs)
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
6 c wheat flour
cinnamon and sugar (opt)

First I ground my wheat. My 3 year old LOVES the wheat grinder. Everytime he hears me turn it on he comes running. I asked him once why he liked it so much and he said, "Because it makes so much NOISE!" Here he is with his face practically in it watching the wheat grind.

So first you mix together the milk, water, and lemon juice in a small container and let sit. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl beat well brown sugar, honey, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Combine both milk and sugar mixture with the salt, baking soda, and wheat flour. It should look like this, slightly thinner than cookie dough like in my bowl here.

Now divide into 4 equal parts. Place each on separate greased and floured cookie sheets (if you only have one cookie sheet you can bake them one after another). Roll out VERY thin. As thin as you can get it without the cookie sheet showing through. My first batch was way to thick and I ended up with a graham cracker cake. Once it's rolled out, prick with a fork. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar if you want. I did because let's face it, everything is better with cinnamon and sugar :)

Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes until they are just golden brown. Cut into strips right away. It will be soft still when you take it out but will get hard like graham crackers very quickly. Here's my finished product.

Even my picky 3 year old LOVED them. YEA!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Powdered Milk

Ok so funny story. I've just accepted that apparently everyone at church is aware of my year long project. I've stopped marveling when practically everyone there makes comments to me about how it's going, but today I really did get a shock. I walk into my hairdressers salon to get my hair done and she says to me, "Oh my gosh, how is your food storage thing going?" LOL! I guess there really will be no way to escape this path. Even my hairdresser is watching me.

So we have had some successes and some failures so far this week. I did manage to make cheese. It was DISGUSTING! I think I can find a better recipe though so I'll be trying that one again. We had two dinner recipes that were a hit. I know many of you want copies of recipes so I have to figure out how to make like a separate section for recipes so that the blog doesn't get super long. I don't know how to do this so I'm going to have to ask for help. Alisa - I know you're reading this. HELP!!

My family is really being super good sports so far. I have to tell you, even the recipes that we make and are keeping are not delicious. We keep them because they are edible. I can totally see why so fewer people were obese 100 years ago. There is no chance of stuffing your face just because the food is so good. You eat because you are hungry and as soon as you are not hungry, you stop eating. We are back to looking at food purely as fuel. I suppose that is a healthier relationship to have with food but it's hard. Last night a commercial for Chili's Restaurant came on and I thought I was going to die. Big saucy, cheesy dishes, brownie and ice cream smothered in hot fudge...... I can't go on.

One last funny thing. We are purely on powdered milk. I've tried all the tricks to make it taste good but nothing really works. I can make it taste better, but nothing makes it taste good. Anyway, my 5 year old comes up to me yesterday all excited and says, "Mom! When I plug my nose, I can't taste the milk at all!" I was laughing so hard. I took a picture of him eating his homemade cold cereal with powdered milk using his nose plugging trick.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Week

OK this is the first week that will be completely food storage. Ouch. It took me two hours to get a menu down for the week. The easiest meals are breakfasts, we have lots of options there. We have quite a few choices for dinners too but they require a LOT of forethought and work. Lunches are a nightmare. Where do you go beyond PB&J? Well I have some ideas, we'll have to see how they work out. I think for the purposes of this blog, I won't bore you with the things that I try that don't work (unless they fail spectacularly and the results might amuse my readers), so I will post recipes that do work in case you are interested. Some of the things I'm going to try this week that should be interesting:

Making cheese
Making cold cereal
Making graham crackers
Trying out "meatless" hamburgers

Really dairy is the biggest problem. I can live without all the meat but how do you get by without spreadable butter, cheese, and sour cream? I'm trying to think how much my neighbors would complain about a cow in the backyard.... :)

One final note. I have had a lot of people say to me, "Well if I had to use my food storage, I would be able to figure out how to use it and what to make." I would REALLY urge people to re-think that logic. Spontaneous knowledge doesn't happen no matter how desperate the circumstance. To make my point here is a challenge for you. Sit down with an inventory list of the food storage you actually have and try to make a list of what you can make with just those items you have stored. The results will shock you I guarantee.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Official Rules

Ok, as usual, life has thrown a wrench in my plans. We have had the flu in our house this week, and on top of that, my computer died a couple of days ago. Add that to our new year of eating starting and I have been VERY overwhelmed.

Today though, we are all healed, I have a new computer in the box ready to set up, and so I'm feeling much more positive. It seems lots of people have found out about this blog and our plans to live off food storage. Not sure how since I really haven't told anyone but nonetheless it's good as it will keep me accountable and on track. So, I have a list of rules for the coming year. These are the basics, I may add to them later but here they are:

1. I will not go to a grocery store or buy food other than to replace the food storage that we are eating.

2. I will use up all the food that we have in our house including long term food storage, freezer items, and 3 month storage items. I haven't stocked up on anything other than what I normally buy so it should be an accurate test of what would actually happen if we suddenly had to live off only what we have.

3. I will still be going to Wal-Mart for non-food items. I have essentials stored like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, etc. but I do not store other supplies that we will need to continue our day to day living like dish soap, beauty products, school items, etc. I promise not to sneak a Snickers bar while I'm there. :)

4. I will be planting a garden in the Spring. I always have a garden and I store garden seeds so it is reasonable I would be able to have a garden. We also have a few fruit trees that I will make use of in our backyard.

5. If I find that I am lacking some food item in my storage that I should be storing, I will purchase a year's worth of that item and put it in my storage now so that I can learn to use it.

6. We will still go to parties, ward functions, and dinner invites, but if you ask us to bring something, be prepared that it will be a food storage item!

7. We are going on an extensive vacation to Nauvoo this summer. It won't be possible to bring our food storage with us for that but I will try to shop in a manner consistent with what we are eating out of our food storage in order to maintain our goals.

8. I will post recipes, tips, and other things that I learn as I go along so that other people might benefit from this experience.

I think that's it. My whole goal with this "project" is to better learn what I should be storing, and how to use it. And hopefully somewhere along the way we will also increase our feeling of self reliance, and maybe even help others learn some things! Thanks for taking the time to read.