Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Food Storage 2

This is part two of the mini-series. Today's focus will be on supplemental items that don't come from the grocery store, such as home canning, dehydration and freeze drying. I will start out with canning since it is the most commonly used form of home food storage.

Canning

This is a fun hobby to develop to be able to add fresh produce and meats from your own garden, or a nearby farmer's market. Our family has started a garden and it has been a lot of fun watching it grow. Last summer we canned a lot of fresh veggies that helped us get started on our storage. This year our garden is much bigger, thanks to my father-in-law, he kinda went a little crazy this year with the sqaush and tomatoes. hahaha We will not want for pickled sqaush, which by the way it really GOOD!! We are also going to start canning meats, now that we have invested in a pressure canner, we are very excited about it.

If you don't know where to start on canning here are few sites that I have found that can be of some use to you.

Ball
How to Can Fruits and Veggies
National Center for Home Food Preservation

You can also visit your local bookstore and pick up a couple books, perferrably ones with recipes, to help you out. Or if you have friends and neighbors that can ask to help them out to learn some of their tricks.


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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Ceviche

Now that it's getting warmer I wanted to share a favorite and yummy summer snack with you, Ceviche. I grew up eating this tasty dish and needed to share it with you. It is a very easy snack dish to make and even better to eat!




Ingredients


- shrimp, medium uncooked peeeld and deveined


- 1/4 of yellow or red onion


- 1 large tomato


- lemon and lime juice


- small bunch of cilantro


- chili pepper (serano, jalapenos, or anaheim work best depending on your tolerance level of spiciness)


- hot sauce


Directions


1 Chopped up tomotoes, onions, cilantro, chili peppers and shrimp and put into medium mixing bowl. Add lemon and lime juice and a couple drops of hot sauce.


2 Mix until everything is well coated with the lemon juice, if needed add more juice. Put in refridgerator over night, this will ensure that the shrimp is completly cooked through.


3 Serve and enjoy! (I use tostada chips for dipping b/c they will hold their crunch better than regular chips.)



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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Food Storage 1

I thought that it would be fun to start a little mini series and I have chosen to give tips on Food Storage. I've chosen this topic b/c with our recent experience in a loss of income it has been on our minds, mine and my husband's, and we don't want to be stuck in that situation again. I am not an expert but wanted to share my research and ideas with you, so here goes.



Space


Finding space to start your food storage is part of the fun and can also be a challenge. For me, I have plenty of room, for one I have closet pantry in my kitchen and walk-in pantry in my laundry room off the kitchen, jealous? Anyways, if you don't have 2 pantries, you can use your basement if you have one, corners of closets in your house, under the bed or find cute furniture that can act like a closet to hide your stock pile. Use what space you have to suit your needs, who said that storing food couldn't be stylish. ;)




Planning



Rome wasn't built in a day and neither should your food storage/ stock pile. Take the time to carefully plan out what you need as far as what your family likes, meals you enjoy and even what kinds of products you use for hygiene purposes. Your storage shouldn't just be about food, but personal hygieng products as well. Look for sales and opportunities to stock up on the essentials, you can refer back to my Grocery post here for more info. Get the family involved to give some input as to what you would like to accumulate. For example, in my house beans, rice, tortillas and cheese are a MUST. We LOVE Mexican food and I always have these on hand to make burritos with. An easy way to help get started is to create a menu of the meals your family likes and go from there. Something to stock up on are pastas and sauce for a quick pasta meal. Have fun with it.




My Large pantry, in the laundry room. Isn't is pretty? :) I still have a ways to go.



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Monday, May 16, 2011

Tutorial: Necklace Holder

Okay so I've been meaning to get this tutorial up for weeks now, since after Spring Break in March to be exact. Now I've finally sat down to do it. I made this for neighbor’s daughter during our Spring Break week and love how it turned out! She loved it too!


Supplies:
- wood glue
- paint
- wood piece (i used a piece 17x12)
- casing to make frame (I had it cut at the store and then my husband cleaned it up with our miter saw.)
- modge podge
- 4 door knobs
- 2 hooks
- scrapbook paper 2 pages (12x12)
- drill

First lay your scapbook paper ontop of your piece of wood and cut to size. Then modge podge on to wood. Set aside to dry.






Next glue your casing pieces together, staple back and then clamp together, as you can see I used masking tape, worked really well. Set aside and let it dry, takes 24 hours to set.





While you are waiting for the frame to dry measure where you want the holes to be for your door knobs and hooks. I put 2 door knobs on the top and bottom and the hooks in the middle.



After the frame has set spray paint or you can leave it white. Let it dry. After it the paint has dried place it top of your wood and glue clamp again and let it dry.






The final product, a cute way to display your necklaces or bracelets.






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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Homemade Chinese

I have a ton, I mean a TON of recipes, that I have collected over the years and a few of them are chinese recipes. For our Tuesday night dinner a couple weeks ago with our neighbors I decided to try them out. I wasn't feeling all that good, thanks to those seasonal allegries, on Monday so I stayed home from work and was little productive in doing a little bit of prepping. (Due to my somewhat swollen state of mind I forgot to take pictures of what I actually made. Sorry.)

** If you don't have a lot of time a little prep the night before is helpful.**


Sweet and Sour Chicken
I cubed the chicken the day before and put it into a plastic bag and refridgerated it.

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breast cubed
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
3 tbsp flour
1 egg
1/4 c milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
oil for frying
2 bottles of sweet and sour sauce
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped

Directions:
1. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in seperate bowls.
2. Dip chicken in egg mix and coat w/ bread crumb mixture.
3. Deept fry until golden brown (I did a little bit each time) and add to simmering sauce
4. In pan simmer sauce w/ bell peppers and onions.



Pork Fried Rice
I cubed the pork the day before and cooked it and rice and refridgerated them.

Ingredients:
2 cups white rice
1 diced onion
1 lb cubded pork
3 scrambled eggs
half of a small bag of frozen carrots and peas
3 minced garlic cloves, or 1 tsp of already minced garlic from jar
1/4 cup soy sauce
pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Cook rice and cool at least 2 hours (cooking rice day before is better)
2. Warm (if cooked the night before) or brown the meat.
3. Add seasoning to meat while cooking.
4. Add veggies until soft
5. Stir in cold rice.
6. Add soy sauce to taste and stir frequently.
7. Cook eggs seperately and then add to rice mixture.

** this makes a LOT **

Enjoy!

P.S. linking up to Blue Eyed Blessing today


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Monday, May 2, 2011

Tip of the Week: Gift Ideas for Mom

With Mother's Day just around the corner, I wanted to list a few ideas that I have seen that will be sure to please Mom this year.



Blue Club Recipe Box from jackandlulu.com

Idea from Real Simple.com (Super cute for a mom who love to whip up yummy meals.)







Garden Tools for the Gardening Mama alicesupply.com

Idea from Real Simple.com


- The classic breakfast in bed.


- A Gift Card to her favorite nail or hair salon


Happy Shopping.



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