Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Utah Garden

I miss my garden it was about double that the following year but I don't have
pictures. This was the first garden we had in Utah. We also had
behind the garden a sand plum tree, to the left of that
we had a cherry tree, peach tree, and an apple tree. I sure miss them!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some Freezer Recipes

Mexi- Chicken
(18 servings)
2 cups onion, choppe
2 cloves garlic ( or more to taste), minced
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups water
2 cups Quaker Quick barley
2 16-oz cans chopped tomatoes, undrained
2 16-oz. cans tomato sauce
3 cups chicken broth
2 16 oz. cans whole kernel corn, drained
6 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded

Either use 2 tablespoons chili powder and 1 tsp cumin or use 2 packages taco seasoning.
In large dutchoven cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add all ingredients except chicken. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 min. stirring occasionally. Add cooked chicken; continue simmering for another 10 min or until chicken is heated through and barley is tender. Cool; spoon into freezer bags; label and freeze
If your using regular barley, rather than the quick cooking variety, you'll need to cooke the barley ahead of time. Allow one hour for barley to cook.
To Serve: Thaw chicken mixture. Heat in skillet until hot. Serve over corn tortilla chips or scoop into flour tortillas.

Chicken Broccoli
(16 servings)

1 cup margarine
1 cup flour
8 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 pounds broccoli, steamed
2 pounds cheddar cheese, grated

Make white sauce: melt margarine in large heavy pan. Add flour, stirring constantly. When mixture reaches boiling point, add milk, mixing constantly with a wire whisk. Heat until almost boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Place cooked chicken into four  8x8 pans. Divide steamed broccoli and place over chicken. Pour white sauce over all. Sprinkle each pan with grated cheese. Cover pans with foil; label and freeze. This recipe can also be frozen in zip-top freezer bags to conserve space in your freezer. If storing in bags, divide grated cheese amoung smaller freezer bags and freeze separately from the chicken and broccoli.
To Serve:
Thaw. Bake at 350 for 30 min. Serve over cooked rice or spaghetti noodles for a tetrazinni-type meal.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My dear Chase wanted a picture-CUTE!

Wow, we're still a cute couple!

Freezer Recipes

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
(5 servings)
1 14oz. can pineapple tidbits, undrained
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs
1 5-oz. can water chestnuts, drained and thinly sliced
1 green pepper, cut in strips

Drain pineapple tidbits, reserving syrup. In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Blend in reserved syrup, water, cider vinegar and soy sauce. Cooke and stir over low heat until thick and bubbly.  Carefully stir in meatballs, water chestnuts, green pepper and pineapple. Heat to boiling. Serve over hot rice.

Chili-Day Meatballs
(5 servings)
1 12-oz. jar chili sauce
11 oz. grape jelly
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cube beef bouillon dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 family meal-sized portion of freezer meatballs

Whisk together chili sauce, jelly, lemon juice and bouillon breaking up all clumps. Simmer on low heat until sauce starts to thicken. Add meatballs; cook in sauce until meatballs are fully thawed and heated through.  Serve over cooked noodles or rice.

Meatball Sandwiches
(6 servings)
1 family meal-sized portion meatballs ( app. 3-4 per person)
6 hot dog buns or hoagie buns
6 thin slices mozzarella cheese
2 cups spaghetti sauce

Thaw meatballs and spaghetti sauce. Heat until hot. Place meatballs into warmed buns. Ladle small amount of sauce onto each one. Put on cheese and place under broiler for a few min.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Freezer Recipes

Baked Ziti

3 pounds Ziti or penne pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
2 jars commercial spaghetti sauce(or 6 cups homemade)
3 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta until just barely tender; drain thoroughly and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Brown ground beef; drain. Add onion and green pepper to meat and saute until vegetables are softened. Add spaghetti sauce.  Combine sauce and cooked pasta; mix well. Divide sauce and pasta mixture into three gallon sized freezer bags; label. Divide grated mozzarella cheese into three squart sized freezer bags; attach to pasta bags. Freeze.
To Serve:
Thaw. Spread pasta into 9 x13 in baking pan. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over pasta. Sprinkle 1/4 cups Parmesan cheese over top. Cover dish and bake for 30 min. at 350, or until bubbly on the edges and hot in the middle. Remove foil and bake five more min.

Beef Mix for Meatloaf and Meatballs

24 oz. tomato sauce
3 cups dry bread crumbs
7 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp marjoran
8 pounds ground beef ( can mix half ground turkey and half ground beef)

Combine first eight ingredients. Add meat and mix well. Divide meat mixture in half.
 For Meatloaf:
Shape half the mixture into three loaves and place in a large high sided baking dish. don't allow the loaves to touch while baking. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. cool: wrap in heavy duty foil; label and freeze. To serve, thaw loaves and bake in 350 oven for 30 min. or until heated through

For Meatballs:
Shape into meatballs(use small cookie scoop if available) and place on broiler pan so grease can drain while cooking. Bake uncovered in 350 oven for 30 min. Divide into meal sized portions. To prevent from freezing into a solid meatball-mass, freeze individually on a cookie sheet and then place in a freezer bag.  Label and freeze. To serve, thaw and reheat with your choice of sauces

For Salisbury Steak:
Form meat mixture into oval 1/2 inch thick patties. Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place beef patty in skillet; cook seven to eight minutes or until centers are no longer pink, turning once. Cool: place in freezer bags; freeze. Thaw; heat with 1 can cream of mushroom soup poured over as sauce; serve with rice or noodles.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Staying Organized

Ten Ways to Stay Organized

1.Hang up your keys. (Preferably by the door.)

2.Find a place for your purse, coat, gloves and other frequently used items and always keep them there.

3.Make your bed each day as soon as you crawl out of it.

4.Get dressed. Even if you are a stay at home mom or a mom who works from home, get dressed. Clothes really do make the man or woman. You'll be just as productive as you are dressed which means if you are dressed for sleep (pajamas, sweats or a robe) then you will get about as much work done as you would when you are sleeping. That may be stretching it, but you get my point.

5.Wash the dishes and wipe the counters after each meal. No matter how large or small the meal or how tired and in a hurry you are, do the dishes. Even if you are hurried or late in the morning you wouldn't dream of leaving the house half dressed. Make leaving your kitchen clean as important a priority as getting dressed for work. This may seem impossible at first but once you are on top of things it should only take five or ten minutes to clean your kitchen.

6.Get rid of trash. About 50% of what unorganized people have in their homes is trash or stuff they will never use again. Stop wasting time taking care of it, moving it or stepping over it. As you walk through the house, pick up garbage and toss it.

7.Control your laundry. Don't let it control you. Follow these simple steps to help keep your laundry from taking over your home and you.
a.Place a hamper or basket for dirty clothes in each bedroom and/or bath. Make sure that everyone's dirty clothes are put in the hamper before bed and in the morning.
b.The laundry isn't done until it is put away. Get out of the mind set that if it is washed and dried it is done. Folding and putting it away is equally as important.

Some of us think that if we get the laundry washed and dried that's all we need to do and it's okay for the family to just pull stuff out of a pile. That makes as much sense as cooking a meal and expecting everyone to stand at the stove and take turns scooping the food out of the pan and eating it one spoonful at a time. You wouldn't dream of doing that. Yes the food is cooked, but the meal is not complete until the table is set and the food is put on plates. Do the same for your laundry. Put it away.

8.Pick up continually. This may seem like a pain to do at first but if you stick with it, it will become a habit. I didn't realize how much of a habit it had become for me until I was visiting my daughter's the other day (Hey! That's me! ;-) -Tawra). As I was walking into the kitchen, I picked up empty glasses and odds and ends on my way. Then when I walked from the kitchen to the bedroom I picked up toys as I went in there. It wasn't even my house but I had seen something out of place and out of habit picked it up.

Every sock or glass that you walk past is a spore waiting to flourish into a vortex of debris. Catch it while it is small!

9.Read and dispose of newspapers and magazines. There are usually two reasons people have stacks of newspapers and magazines piled around:

a.They want to save an article in it. If that is the case then cut the article out as you are reading the magazine and file it. Trust me, you not only won't cut that article out at a later time, but you probably won't remember what or where it is.

b.They don't have time to read them. If you aren't going to read them the why are you subscribing to them? Stop your subscriptions. This doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing. If you can't keep up with the daily newspaper then just get the Sunday paper. Most people usually have more leisure time Sunday to read it. Pick out one or two of your favorite magazines and stop subscribing to the rest.

10.With any item, if it is broken or you don't use it anymore get rid of it. That includes clothes, toys, furniture, decorations, dishes and exercise equipment ;-). If it's not important enough to fix right now, you don't need it!

Bulk Spaghetti Sauce-Freezer

(36 servings)

2 pounds italian sausage
2 cups onions, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cups celery, chopped
2 tespoons garlic, minced
5 jars commercial spaghetti sauce (Hunts)
4 16-oz cans italian-style stewed tomatoes, cut up, undrained

Brown sausage, onion, green pepper, celery and garlic in large stock pot.  Add spaghetti sauce and stewed tomatoes. Simmer on low on medium heat for at least 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Allow to cool. Set aside sauce needed for other recipes and freeze the rest in bags for sauce over pasta meals.

Lazy Lasagna
(10 servings)
12 oz. lasagna noodles, uncooked
5-6 cups spaghetti sauce
2 cups cream style cottage cheese, or ricotta
12 oz. mozzarella cheese,(make your own from powdered milk)
1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese

in two greased casserole baking dishes, make layers in the following order: half each noodles, cottage cheese, mozarella slices, spaghetti sauce, and sprinkled Parmesan cheese. Repeat. Make certain the dry noodles are completely covered by sauce. Wrap pans with foil. Label and freeze.
To serve: To thaw, take meal out of freezer at least 24 hours before serving. Place in refrigerator. Bake tightly covered at 350 for about 45 min.

More to come !

Our Fav. Place to visit back home

I miss going here in Layton Utah to feed the geese and ducks.

Freezer Cooking Menu

Here is the menu:

*Spaghetti Sauce
Sauce over pasta (2 meals)
Baked Ziti (3 meals)
Lazy Lasagna (1 meal)
Meatball Sandwiches (1 meal)

*Beef Mixture for Meatloaf and Meatballs
Meatloaves (2 meals)
Salisbury Steak (1 meal)
Sweet-Sour Meatballs (1 meal)
Chili-Day Meatballs (1 meal)

*Chicken Broccoli
Served over rice (2 meals)
Served over noodles (2 meals)

*Mexi-Chicken (3 meals)

*Broccoli-Ham Bake (2 meals)

*Scalloped Potatoes and Ham (4 meals)

*Mix-n-Match Chicken Soup (4 meals)
= Total is 30 meals
Going to Walmart and watching sales I was able to do all this for less than $200.00 Yes!! only 187 dollars. I have a pretty large family too. So this will also cut your grocery bill down alot. Recipes coming!!
Freezer Cooking!!!

As promised I am going to share one of my once a month cooking
plans and strategies. I hope it is helpful and that
you feel like you can do it too. You can!!

Food Storage Pic's

Some thoughts on Emergency Preparedness

*Our emphasis on this subject is not grounds for crisis thinking or panic. Quite the contrary, personal and family preparedness should be a way of provident living, an orderly approach to using the resources, gifts, and talents the Lord shares with us. So the first step is to teach our people to be self-reliant and independent through proper preparation for daily life.
Author: Victor L. Brown,

*There is a wise old saying " Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without". Thrift is a practice of not wasting anything. Some people are able to get by because of the absence o expense. They have their shoes resoled, they patch, they mend, they sew, and they save money. They avoid installment buying, and make purchases only after saving enough to pay cash, thus avoiding interest charges. James E. Faust

*No man is truly fee who is financial bondage. ‘Think what you do when you run in debt,' said Benjamin Franklin, 'you give another power over your liberty.' Ezra T. Benson


"As you create a home, don't get distracted with alot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don't dwell on your failures, but think about your successes. Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey."
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Ok I had this marvelous list of things to do when I got home from work today.
*Come home-change clothes
*Rotate laundry
*start Dinner
*Clean my bathroom
*Help the boys with homework
*Kids in Bed
*Time for me to pickup and try to start getting organized

Well.....I did change, had an ok dinner, kids are in bed and ummmm everything in between is kind of a blur.
Needless to say I did get to BLOG LOL
I had good intentions but ya know sometimes life just gets in the way.:)

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Reason To Pause

Thoughts: As I have watched the devastation and human suffering taking place in Haiti, it gives me good reason to pause and count my many blessings. To thank my Heavenly Father for my family, good health, food, shelter and prosperity that I enjoy living where I do.
I have always been taught to be prepared, I hope I will continue to follow that council.
With a pantry storage full of food and extra water on hand, I would give it all if I could.

Our Wonderful Husbands

WOW our husbands do so much for us there are so many times I hope that I am doing all that I can to let me dear husband know how much I love and appreciate him. I found this list of wonderful ideas to show our husbands we care. One of my goals this year is to never have doubt that my husband knows I love him. Hope these help. My Brian and I are the best of friends and I can say that he is my best friend and I am grateful to be able to talk to him about anything!! Brian-ILOVEYOU
1.TEXT HIM A LOVE MESSAGE Send him a romantic text message on his cell. Make sure it's sweet but spicy!
2.DO ONE OF HIS CHORES FOR HIM Pick a chore that he dreads, such as mowing the lawn, and do it for him. Watch him as he sighs with relief.
3.START A HOBBY TOGETHER Sharing a hobby together such as horse back riding, completing a home improvement project, or selling on eBay can help keep you close.
4.PLAY A GAME TOGETHER Have fun doing things together such as playing board games, riding bumper boats, or playing miniature golf. Just remember, if he should get the best of you, don't tackle him unless you're laughing!
5.SHOW APPRECIATION When your husband works hard, or does something for you, let him know you appreciate him.
6.MAKE YOUR HOME HIS REFUGE Let your home be a haven were your husband can retreat from the stresses of life. Do your best to make it a pleasant environment.
7.LAUGH AT HIS ANTICS Don't let the little things that your husband does get on your nerves. If you think about it, some of these things may have been what attracted you to him! He just wouldn't be the same if he didn't do these things.
8.PRAY FOR HIM Ask God to give him that extra boost to make everything OK. Let your husband hear you pray too. This will let him know that when you can't make it right, you'll ask someone who can.
9.CHECK BEFORE THROWING THINGS AWAY If your husband has some things that seem useless to you, don't trash them until you've made sure he doesn't need them.
10.CHECK BEFORE REARRANGING Ask your husband if it's OK before you move or straighten things on his desk or work area. If he has things where it's easy to find, it might make it chaotic if it's moved.
11.TAKE A WALK OR A HIKE TOGETHER Let nature set the mood for romance! Talk, listen, and hold hands.
12.DON'T EXPECT HIM TO READ YOUR MIND If there is something you want your husband to know about you, tell him. Don't expect him to just know what you're thinking or what you need.
13.LAUGH TOGETHER Forget your adults for awhile, and just act silly together. Also, if something should go awry, try to find some humor in it somewhere. This will also reduce the stress of the situation.
14.RESIST THE URGE TO SNOOP Don't sneak around and check up on your husband, if you want to know something, ask him to his face.
15.GIVE HIM A ROMANTIC CARDDon't wait for a special occasion to give him a card. Find the most romantic card you can find and leave it in his car. Don't forget to add your own personal message! Maybe you'll even make him nervous, wondering if he forgot an anniversary!
16.PACK HIS FAVORITE TREAT Buy his favorite candy bar or other treat, and pack it in his lunch with a love note.
17.TAKE A BUBBLE BATH TOGETHER This is self-explanatory.
18.E-MAIL HIM AN INVITATION FOR ROMANCE Invite him on a rendezvous with you! Build his anticipation, then tell him to RSVP!
19.TAKE HIM TO TEST DRIVE HIS DREAM CAR Drive him to a car lot some Saturday, and let him test drive the car of his dreams - even though you probably won't buy it.
20.LET HIM BUY THAT TOY Permit him to buy that toy he's been wanting so badly. Better yet, put some of your own things off, save the money and buy it for him yourself!
21.TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE The future isn't as far away as it seems sometimes. Talk about where you'd like to be when you're married 50 years, and work on making those dreams happen.
22.GIVE HIM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT Don't jump to conclusions if your husband has said or done something questionable. Give him the chance to explain before you pass judgement.
23.LET HIM BE THE MAN OF THE HOUSE Although this is growing increasingly unpopular, it does still work. Just because your husband is in charge of the household doesn't mean that you can't share your opinions, it just means he's captain of the team.
24.SAY, "I'M SORRY" Although you may not want to admit it, there will be times when you're in the wrong. Maybe you've said something hurtful or done something insensitive. Never have too much pride to tell him you're sorry.
25.KEEP YOUR PROMISES If you told your husband you'd do something, make sure that you follow through.
26.RUB HIS FEET Steer him to the recliner and pull off his shoes. Rub his feet for at least 20 minutes. It has been told that this may even improve his health!
27.MAKE YOUR BEDROOM A LOVER'S PARADISE Turn your ordinary bedroom into any lover's dream without a lot of expense. Remove clutter and anything that doesn't belong, and replace it with scented candles and fresh flowers. Hang pretty curtains and find some comfy bedding. Place mirrors to reflect candlelight, and misting fountains for a romantic effect.
28.WRITE A NOTE ON THE STEAMED-UP BATHROOM MIRROR While your husband is showering, sneak in and write, "I love you" on the steamed-up bathroom mirror. This will steam him up as well, especially if you seal it with your lip prints!
29.PUT LOVE IN HIS SUDS I'm talking about a bar of soap! Scratch "I love you" into his soap so he'll find it the next time he showers. (You may not want to seal this note with your lip prints, though).
30.GIVE HIM A MASSAGE Go buy some sweet smelling oils and turn your bedroom into a spa! Give your husband a full body massage and work out those aching muscles.
31.PLAY ROMANTIC MUSIC Keep a good deal of romantic music on hand in your bedroom to help set the mood for romance.
32.PUT A SIGN IN YOUR YARDPlace a sign in your yard such as, "THE WORLD'S GREATEST HUSBAND LIVES HERE." Let everyone know how special your husband is to you.
33.LET BYGONES BE BYGONES If your husband has done or said something to hurt you, forgive him. Don't keep bringing up the past every time you get into a disagreement, especially if he has shown remorse.
34.BE HONEST Don't hide things from your husband. Be open and transparent. This will help him trust you more.
35.BRAG ON HIM IN FRONT OF HIS FRIENDS Men naturally rely on boost in their ego now and then in order to stay confident. Let him hear you tell others about the great things he says and does.
36.CLEAN HIS CAR FOR HIM Surprise him by giving his car a good detailed cleaning. If you don't want to tackle it yourself, have it professionally done.
37.PUT HIS PICTURE IN WALLPAPER Let him know that you still think he's a gorgeous hunk by putting his picture on your computer desktop!
38.BUY A BUMPER STICKER Put a "I Love My Husband" bumper sticker on your car.
39.WORSHIP TOGETHER The couple who prays together, stays together. These will be very tender and special moments shared between the two of you, as well as important.
40.EAT BY CANDLELIGHT Cook his favorite meal and light the candles. Take time to focus on each other, and to look into each others eyes.
41.BE DEVOTED TO HIM One of the greatest gifts that you could ever give your husband is your true faithfulness. This includes physically, emotionally, and in your thoughts. If you're struggling with temptation, nip it in the bud. Tell him your feelings in a sensitive and loving way. Don't bottle anything up, this is asking for disaster.
42.RUN YOUR FINGERS THROUGH HIS HAIR Or massage his temples if he doesn't have any. Do this while he relaxes. Remember, your touch is important to him.
43.DON'T CONTRADICT HIM IN FRONT OF OTHERS This will only embarrass him and cause people to lose respect. This is especially important if you have children.
44.DON'T CRITICIZE HIM IN FRONT OF OTHERS If you feel that your husband needs a bit of constructive criticism, make sure it's just that - constructive. Don't offer it at all unless it's in a loving way, and in private. Being criticized in front of others lowers self esteem and causes hurt feelings.
45.DEFEND HIM Don't let others disrespect your husband. Even just a snide comment can hurt. Stick up for him. Don't let someone drive into the ground the most important person in your life.
46.LOVE YOURSELF Many times we as women hold back on our husbands because of our own insecurities. Learn to let it go. The things that we're so worried about, usually don't even bother him. What bothers him is when we hold back. Remember, although this may sound strange, you can't really love someone until you love yourself.
47.PAMPER HIM WHEN HE'S SICK Men love to be pampered, especially when they're sick. Make sure everything is comfortable and that he has his "special soup."
48.LOOK HIM IN THE EYES Look your husband straight in the eyes when he talks to you. Not only will this show that you're interested in what he has to say, but there is something about looking straight into his eyes that will give you butterflies.
49.DISPLAY YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS Don't tuck away your wedding photos after you've been married awhile, keep them on display. This will be a great reminder of how your love was at the beginning, and how much it has grown.
50.DISPLAY YOUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE Frame the sacred document of your marriage. This will be a wonderful and constant reminder that your love is sealed, and you really do belong to each other.
51.TRUST HIM Too many times wives just sit around and wait for their husbands to do something wrong. Cut him some slack and dare to believe in him.
52.HAVE YOUR PHOTO MADE TOGETHER You may have done this when you were dating, but why not now? Get a current shot to place on the bedroom dresser or the desk at work.
53.LET HIM WIN It is inevitable, even in healthy marriages, to argue occasionally. What would it really hurt to just let him win? At least you wouldn't be arguing.
54.DON'T GO TO BED MAD Although you've probably heard this one for years, and it may have been your grandmother's first marriage advice to you, it is still true. Going to bed hurt or angry keeps feelings under the surface. When you wake up you don't want to continue the argument, so you you hold in your frustrations and they begin to mount. It's best to talk everything out, and fall asleep in each other's arms.
55.DON'T COMPARE HIM Don't EVER, EVER compare your husband to another man - not even your father. Your husband is his own person and unique in his own ways. Love him for it.
56.GREET HIM AT THE DOOR Don't wait for your husband to say, "Honey, I'm home!" Watch for him, and greet him at the door with a hug and kiss.
57.MEND HIS CLOTHES Buy a sewing kit and repair those sock holes! Break down and sew on his popped-off buttons. This may increase his wardrobe by 20%!
58.TALK IN CODE Pick a code word for something that only the two of you know the meaning for and say it openly in public. You'll have your own inside joke. This will help keep you close.
59.HAVE A WRESTLING MATCH This will get you both laughing, and the closeness will be fun!
60.WAKE HIM UP WITH KISSES Make his whole day go better by waking him up with kisses. He may even keep you there through breakfast!
61.HELP HIM SHAVE This is a fun way to be close and to get you both laughing! (As long as your careful, that is).
62.DEDICATE A SONG TO HIM Did you have a song that was "your song" while you were dating? Call up your local radio station and request it, and have them to dedicate it to your hubby!
63.MAKE HIM A HEART-SHAPED BREAKFAST Make heart-shaped pancakes and heart-shaped toast! Trim little pads of butter into heart shapes as well.
64.DON'T TRY TO BE HIS MOM Remember you are his wife, not his mother. Don't jump him every time he leaves something on the floor or his clothes don't match. It's OK to lovingly remind him, occasionally, but don't nag him.
65.GRAB A KISS WHILE YOU WAIT Kiss your husband while you're waiting at the stoplight or in the food drive-through. Your wait won't seem near as long, and you may wish it could last a littler longer!
66.FLIRT WITH HIM Just because you've snagged him, don't stop flirting! Wink at him, squeeze his muscles and, WHOOOO, or now that your married, it's not at all out of line to be a little bolder in your purpose.
67.GO ON A LONG DRIVE Go for a long drive and sight see. This is an excellent chance to talk or just be in each other's company. The way gas prices are, you'd almost have to love someone in order to take a long drive. If you don't want to spend the gas, drive to a pretty park or lake and just stop and soak up the scenery while you talk and hold hands.
68.BE HIS BEST FRIEND Let him feel confident that you'll always be there when needs to talk, to laugh, or even cry. Let him be free to be himself at all times and stick with him through the thick and thin.
69.EAT AN ICE CREAM CONE TOGETHER Buy one, large cone, and eat it together at the same time. You may miss the cone, and touch his lips, which will even be sweeter!
70.CHERISH THE SMALL THINGS Concentrate on the way he walks, the way he talks, his smile, or the way he says your name. These are really more important than you think, and no one can do it quite like him.
71.HELP HIM WITH HIS CLOTHES Ask him to let you help with the buttoning or unbuttoning of his clothes as he's dressing or undressing. Caress him gently as you're doing it.
72.KEEP YOURSELF ATTRACTIVE It's easy to fall into a "house wife" mode and just walk around in "cleaning clothes" with your hair twisted into a mess. That's OK while your actually cleaning, but try to be more presentable by the time your husband sees you. Bathe, put on clean clothes and a dab of perfume, and set your hair nice.
73.DON'T PUSH THE BUDGET It is important to learn to live within your means. If you can't afford certain things, don't buy them. Financial stress is very hard on marriages.
74.DON'T COMPLAIN Don't complain about your standard of living or whine about the things that you don't have. If your husband is doing his best to provide for you, make the best with what you have. If you complain, this makes him feel that he is not a good provider, and this is a great blow to his self esteem.
75.HAVE A PILLOW FIGHT If you must fight with your husband, do it with pillows! Make sure nothing is around that can break, then go into battle! See how long you can go without laughing.
76.LOOK OUT FOR HIS HEALTH Encourage your husband to get plenty of sleep and exercise. Try to get him to keep medical and dental appointments. Cook healthy meals, and give him nutritional supplements.
77.BUY HIM SOME SEXY BOXERS Buy several pairs of sexy shorts for him! Try silky, colorful, and glow in the dark! Make sure you tell him what a hunk he is while he's wearing them!
78. think of one for yourself LOL some of these just weren't appropriate
80.sorry had to delete that one
81.SPLURGE OCCASIONALLY Although money is a precious commodity to many couples, try to find a way to splurge on something now and then. If you have children, find someone to care for them and get away for the weekend. If you can't afford a trip, find a hotel in or near your hometown with a jacuzzi. If it's still too costly, buy something that you both would enjoy, like a new CD.
82.WORK ON YOUR WAYS It's easy to see and point out flaws in your husband, but if you're honest, you'll realize that you haven't earned a halo yet. Try to work on your own shortcomings and make yourself a better person.
83.DON'T BE A PESSIMIST Try not to focus too much on the negative. Keep a positive outlook in your marriage.
84.DON'T RUB IT IN IF YOU'RE RIGHT If you've disagreed on something and it turns out that you were right, don't gloat about it and throw it in his face.
85.WASH EACH OTHERS HAIR Jump in the shower and suds up! Watch the water and soap trickle down his face as you wash his hair.
86.EXAMINE HIS FEATURES Take a moment to delight in your husband's features. The shape of his nose, the set of his eyes. If he catches you staring, wink at him.
87.SEEK HIS ADVICE Ask for your husband's input and advice on anything from children to what he might like to eat. This will let him know he's needed and that his thoughts are important.
88.KEEP TIDY Keep things neat and tidy around the house. Decorate and make things look comfortable and welcoming.
89.TALK ABOUT HIS INTERESTS Bring up a subject that interests him and listen to him talk. Even if the subject doesn't interest you, enjoy watching him as he gets stirred up over the topic.
90.SHOP FOR HIM When you run to the store, see if there is something that you should pick up for him. This could save him a lot of time or keep him from missing a lunch break.
91.KIDNAP HIM Plan a special evening, make all the arrangements, then show up at his job just as he gets off work. Tell him to get in the car and no questions. (Make sure you smile, so he don't get alarmed). Whisk him away for a fun-filled evening, then return to get his car later.
92.RAKE LEAVES TOGETHER Go to your back yard and rake up a pile of leaves. Before you bag them up, play in them together.
93.DON'T LIVE IN A FANTASY WORLD If you can't read a novel without getting depressed over your love life, throw them away. Many books or movies can portray romance in very unrealistic ways. True love and romance is what he is already doing -providing for you and loving you unconditionally.
94.GO CAMPING TOGETHER Find a good camp site and pitch a tent! Buy a two person sleeping bag.
95.DON'T TALK HIS LEG OFF IF HE'S TIRED If your husband is tired and you need to talk to him, go straight to the bottom line and spare the details.
96.SLOW DANCE IN YOUR BEDROOM Plug in some flashing lights and turn on some romantic music and start slow dancing. (Clothes optional).
97.PLAY HIDE AND GO SEEK IN YOUR NIGHTIES Put on your sexiest negligee and challenge him to a game of hide and go seek. He'll say, "Ready or not, here I come!"
98.sorry had to delete this one
99.SIT IN FRONT OF A FIRE TOGETHER Snuggle up together in front of the fireplace and make out. If you don't have a fire place, consider buying an electric one, these look realistic, and are still romantic.
100.DOTE ON HIM Pick a night and wait on him hand and foot. Draw him a bath, fix his plate for him, and anything else that you can dream up!
101.JUST SAY IT Make it a point to say the words I love you every single day, and mean it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Time Management for Moms

We’ve all heard the classic time management advice: Stick to a schedule. Work smart, not hard…

But moms need time management tricks as flexible as their schedules, since there will always be those days when your cat needs an emergency trip to the vet, your infant gets a stomach bug, and your kindergartner announces that he needs 48 frosted cupcakes by noon.

All moms have an office that never closes and an inbox that never empties, whether we work outside the home or not. This daily grind can put us all on the fast track to burnout. Here are some time management tips especially for moms.

Sound organization is a stepping stone to time management.
Have things packed and ready to go. Keep a basket or folder ready for outgoing mail. Keep the diaper bag and snack bags stocked.
Organize your house and desk. See Momscape articles: “Conquering Kids’ Clutter” and “Organizing Your Closets.”
Write all of your appointments on one calendar.

Stick to a routine.
Know thyself. If your mind shuts off at 8pm, schedule your biggest tasks first thing in the morning.

Make a to-do list before you go to bed so you won’t waste that precious morning time.

If your kids' disruptions are frequent, give them what they want: Spend at least 20 minutes offering them your undivided attention. No TV, no radio, just toys and books (depending, of course, on their ages). Play with them, read to them. Often, these disruptions are just a sign that they need a little one-on-one time.

More ideas… Maria Garcia, author of Finally Organized, Finally Free, offers a free idea-pack of practical organizational tips with a subscription to her newsletter. This is a great resource, full of ideas on how to get more personal and professional juice out of your day. Visit her website for more quick tips.

Exercise to energize. Spending an hour a day on exercise can actually save you time. You'll feel more energized and productive throughout the day, and you may even require less sleep at night. Cut the time spent working out by boosting the intensity. Don't cut the workout itself.

As moms, we dash from one responsibility to another, but there is an alternative that we often forget: Give yourself less to do.

The first step is to figure out what’s really important to you. Schedule several key tasks and outsource the rest.

Delegating is difficult, but it will get easier with practice. I have always assumed that I can save money by doing everything myself, but my husband lives by a different rule. As a businessman, he bills his time on an hourly basis, and he has no problem letting me know when the cost-benefit analysis of him completing a household task doesn’t compute. If a plumber would cost less than it would for him to take the time to fix the bathroom leak, we call the professional.

Taken one step further, if you enjoy your work and would earn more money if you spent more time at it, why not give yourself that extra time (and money) by hiring someone to do the tasks you don’t enjoy?

Just Say No
We are here for our children. We are here for our husbands, our parents, our siblings, and our friends. But nowhere in the mommy manual does it say we always have to be here for the lady on the next block who needs us to run next week’s PTA meeting. Nowhere does it say we have to spend all night in the sewing room, unless, of course, we want to.

Some experts say “no” is the only word you need for effective time management. We moms want to please, to help, and to make life easier for everyone around us.
The next time someone calls to ask for your help, agree to think it over. When you no longer feel pressured for an answer, ask yourself if you really want to help. Make sure you aren’t agreeing solely to please the person on the other end of the phone.

When we learn to respect our time, others will respect it, too.

Slow down
Learn how to take life as it comes. When you’re faced with a seemingly daunting task, promise yourself to take your time and enjoy it rather than rushing through. Time to cook dinner? Dig for your favorite recipe, pour a class of Chardonnay. Mince some fresh herbs, and savor the aromas.

More Convenient Mixes

Wheat Mix
6 c whole wheat flour
3 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c instant nonfat dry milk
1 T salt
1 c sugar
1/2 c wheat germ
1/4 c baking powder
2 c vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, combine whole wheat flour, white flour, dry milk, salt, sugar, wheat germ and baking powder. Mix well. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed. Place in airtight container and store in a cool, dry place. Use within 10-12 weeks. Makes about 14 cups.

Quick Wheat Breakfast Cake
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 c water
2 1/4 c wheat mix
1 c chopped raisins
1/2 c brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8 inch square pan. Combine egg and water in a medium bowl. stir in wheat mix and raisins until moistened. Spread into prepared pan. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts in small bowl and sprinkle on top of cake. Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut into 16 two inch squares. Serve warm. Variation: Substitute orange peel and orange juice for part of the water in the recipe--mmm.

Favorite Wheat Pancakes
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 c water
2 1/4 c wheat mix

Combine egg and water in medium bowl. Stir in wheat mix until just moistened. Cook on a hot oiled griddle for about 3-4 minutes until browned on both sides. Makes about 15 four inch pancakes.
Variation: Top with sliced peaches and cinnamon syrup.

Quick Wheat Muffins
3 c wheat mix
2 T sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter muffin pans. In a medium bowl, combine wheat mix and sugar. Blend well. Combine egg and water in a small bowl. Add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened; batter should be lumpy. Fill prepared muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 12 large muffins.

Your own Rice Mixes

To make flavored rice mixes:
Combine all ingredients and stir until evenly distributed. Place in airtight container(s). Store in cool, dry place. Use within 6-8 months. Yield: 4 cups.

Chicken Flavored Rice Mix
4 c uncooked long grain rice
4 T instant chicken bouillon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried tarragon
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp white pepper

Dill Lemon Rice Mix
4 c uncooked long-grain rice
5 tsp dried grated lemon peel
4 tsp dill weed or dill seed
2 tsp dried minced chives
2 tsp salt
8 tsp instant chicken bouillon

Onion Flavored Rice Mix
4 c uncooked long grain rice
2 pkgs (1 1/4 oz) onion soup mix
1 T parsley flakes
1 tsp salt

To make rice from mixes:
Use 1 1/3 c rice mix, 2 c cold water and 1 T butter or margarine. Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and cook 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Making Your Own Mixes

Wouldn't it only make sense to use your food storage, rotate it and make your own convient mixes without all the artificial stuff. Well you can and it's so easy. Here are a few recipes to help you get started.

Quick Mix
(equivalent to Bisquick)
5 cups flour
3½ cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ cups instant nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar

In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients and blend well.
Put in a large, airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place and use within 10 to 12 weeks.
Makes about 13 cups.

Hot Fudge Pudding CAKE
1½ cups quick mix
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
¾ cup chopped nuts
½ cup milk
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup cocoa
1½ cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an unbuttered, 8-by-8-inch pan, combine quick mix, oil, vanilla, sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, nuts and milk and blend well. Combine brown sugar and ¼ cup cocoa in a small bowl. Add to water and bring to a boil. Gently pour over the top of the cake mixture, and do not stir. Bake 35-40 minutes, until the edges separate from the pan. Cool in pan 15 minutes before serving. Makes one 8-inch square cake.

Instant Oatmeal Mix
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
½ tsp salt

Grind oats and salt in a blender or a food processor (in two or more batches if necessary) to the consistency of wheat germ. Scoop half-cup portions into separate, resealable bags. Flavor each portion using mix-ins below.

1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped dried apples
1 tablespoon cranberries.
(You can also leave out the cranberries and use 2 tablespoons of apples)

Brown Sugar and Spices:
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.

Cinnamon Raisin:
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of raisins
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.

Pecan Delight:
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped pecans

1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon of blueberries
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Cooking instructions: Add 1 cup water to packet (1/2 cup oatmeal and mix-ins) in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 2-2½ minutes. If a creamier oatmeal is desired, use 1 cup milk instead of water or add 1?3 cup instant non-fat dry milk to the cup of water.

Almost Hamburger Helper Mix in a Jar
2 c nonfat dry milk
1 c corn starch
1/4 c beef bouillon powder
2 Tbsp onion flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp garlic powder

Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.

Use this mix for the following recipe:

Chili Mac
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 c water
1/2 c macaroni noodles (uncooked)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 T chili powder
1/2 c Hamburger Helper mix

Combine all and simmer 20 minutes or until macaroni is cooked.

Cafe Rio Cilantro Rice

3 cups. water
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 can (4 oz) green chilies
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1 TB butter
3 cups rice, uncooked
Bring water to a boil in large pot, add all ingredients. Cook covered for 30 minutes, or until rice is done. Makes 6 cups of cooked rice (which makes a lot of servings.)
Wheat Bread Machine Bagels
3/4 cup water -- lukewarm
1 1/4 cups white bread flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/3 tablespoons gluten
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast


1. Insert ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer's instruction s. Remove the dough from the machine after the first knead - approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Place dough on a floured surface. Divide into 5 parts. Form balls, gently press thumb through center of ball and slowly stretch into bagel shape.
3. While bagels rise, bring three quarts of water and one tablespoon of sugar to a rapid boil in a large saucepan. Drop test dough (see hints below).
4. Using a slotted spoon, drop 2-3 bagels into rapidly boiling water. Boil on each side for 1/2 minutes. Remove and cool on rack 1 minute, brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired.
5. Bake at 400 on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal, until golden - approximately 15 minutes.

** Bagel Success Hints
** When forming the bagels, set aside two 1/4" balls of dough. When the bagels have doubled in size, drop the test dough into boiling water. The dough should pop to the top right away. When this happens, it is time to boil the bagels.

Let's Use Our Potato Pearls

Here are some great recipe for rotating those potato pearls- we go through them so fast there is no problem rotating but for those of you that want other ways to use them here ya go!

Potato Pearl Bread
5 c milk
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c potato pearls
2 T salt
2 T yeast
9-11 c flour

Microwave milk until hot. Place shortening, sugar, salt and potato pearls in a large bowl. Pour hot milk over shortening mixture and stir until potato pearls are dissolved. Cool. Add yeast. Mix in enough flour to form a soft dough, then knead 6 minutes. Cover and let rise. Form into loaves and place in four loaf pans. Let them rise. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Potato Rolls
2 pkg. yeast (5 tsp)
1/4 c warm water
2 c milk
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c shortening
1/3 c potato pearls
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
8 c flour (approximately)

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Scald milk, sugar and shortening and set aside. Mix potato pearls with hot water to equal one cup. When milk mixture has cooled to lukewarm, mix with potato water, yeast, eggs and salt. Add about 8 cups flour. Knead until smooth and elastic. Raise until double. Punch down, roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut in 3 to 3 1/2 inch circles. Fold in half, pinch edges together. Place on greased cookie sheet. Raise until double (approx. 45 minutes). Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Makes 3 1/2 dozen.

Potato Cinnamon Rolls
Roll out Potato Roll dough (see above) into a rectangle. Spread with butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, nuts. Roll dough up into a roll and pinch the seam closed. Cut in 1 1/2 inch slices. Place in grease 9x13 pan and bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Other Ideas for Potato Pearls:

Use as a side dish of mashed potatoes.
Use to thicken soup, stew or gravy by simply adding a handful to your dish and stirring until dissolved.
Use as the crust for shepherd's pie or other similar casseroles.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Self-reliance is a simple concept that encourages each of us to take responsibility for our own needs—physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and economic.

"We become self-reliant," explains Julie Beck, president of the Church's organization for women, "through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being."

Church leader Elder Robert D. Hales outlines ways we can become self-reliant:

◦Be ready for rainy-day emergencies
◦Avoid excessive debt; be content with what we have
◦Use the resources of the earth wisely; don´t be wasteful
◦Prepare for the future by making spending and savings plans
◦Keep a family or personal budget
◦Teach children wise spending habits and help them save for the future
◦Obtain an education or vocational training
◦Find gainful employment

As we become self-reliant, we will be prepared to face challenges with confidence and peace of mind

Freezer Cooking

I posted a tip about freezer cooking. I have done this for a very long time and it can be very helpful to anyone willing to invest a little time- but to save time in the end. One weekend worth of cooking could result in this picture! I will post my recipes and tips soon. Look for updates!!

This weeks menu

Ok, first I went shopping in our food storage to plan a menu. I was very excited and surprised that I didn't need much for this weeks menu.

*Spaghetti, garlic breadsticks, green beans

*Indian tacos, apple crisp

*Shepherds pie, fruit cocktail, whole wheat roll

*Chicken tetrazzini, salad, pears, whole wheat roll

*Yoka Soba, peaches

*Russian Stew, sky high biscuits

*Vegetarian Supper dish, brown rice

All I needed to buy at the store was cheese, cabbage, bacon, catalina dressing, zuchinni and 3 gallons milk. I then remembered to pick up some bananas, apples, oranges and 2 dozen eggs. Everything purchased was only 22.00 not bad for a weeks worth of food!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

29 ways to put money in your pocket!

*Eat less meat.
*Become a vegetarian.
*Eat leftovers.
*Cook large amounts and freeze extra for busy nights.
*Scrape out food jars to use the last little bit.
*Cook from scratch.
*Never eat out.
*Eat from your stocked pantry.
*Bring lunch from home (it’s worth it to invest in proper containers).
*Eat less. The average American eats too much.
*Don’t use the vending machines at work.
*Always have a meal plan. Always.
*Use the Once a Month Cooking system.
*Keep soup starter jars in the freezer. A little leftover this, a little leftover that. Nothing is wasted.
*Get creative with leftovers. Concoct new recipes, so nothing is wasted.
*Base most of your meals on rice or beans to cut down on meat consumption.
*Look for events that entertain and feed you at the same time. Church socials, shopping at Sam’s (think about those free samples)…
*Don’t drink soda. Drink water!
*Make your own jello cups (or applesauce cups, or pudding cups) for lunches and snacks.
*If your kids complain about generic cereal, put the generic in a name-brand box. They’ll never know the difference!
*Use Angel Food Ministries if you have one in your area.
*Rear your own chickens.
*Join a freezer club. Get together with like-minded people to exchange meals for your freezers. It’s cheaper to prepare a lot of one meal and split it up, than to prepare a bunch of different meals.
*Make your own baby food.
*Always take a snack and bottle of water wherever you go. You won’t be tempted to stop for expensive fast food or drinks.
*Grow your own produce. No room? Try a square foot garden! Or use pots on the patio.
*Freeze, can, or dehydrate your produce.
*Cook with the crockpot to avoid using the oven, which warms up the house.
*Use a convection oven to accomplish the same purpose.

More ways to start saving money and building your savings!!

#1 Eat less meat (from the market) (this is not only good for the size of your wallet but for the size of your belly too!):

Reduce by half the meat you normally eat and replace with vegetables.

Establish a once a week meatless meal.

#2 Shop with a calculator:

This will help you keep up with your budget and make sure you don’t overspend.

#3 Compare prices and sizes of products:

Sometimes, companies package bigger sizes with a similar price to the smaller package.

#4 Justify any purchases over $50:

By justifying more important purchases, you will reduce impulse spending since you have think twice about the reason you have to spend money.

#5 Review insurance premiums once a year:

Chances are that with a little bit of shopping, you will find better deals and pay cheaper rates for your home and auto insurance.

#6 Double check your Grocery bill:

Since grocery stores always changing their rebates, it happens often that prices are not right on your register. Therefore, you can go to the courtesy counter and get the item for free.

#7 Start your fitness routine at home:

Instead of paying $600 a year for a gym, you can start your own fitness routine. You will probably have to pay the same amount during the first year to build your equipment, but you will save for the years to come.

#8 Clothes Swap with your friends and family:

Did you know that most clothes that are being thrown away are only used for 30% of their lifespan? Most people drop their clothes because they are bored of wearing them. Why not swap your clothes with friends and family? The only downside is that you need to find people of your height and weight.

#9 Pay cash, don’t spend change:

If you pay everything cash and save all the change your receive, you will be able to increase your savings account on a weekly basis while maintaining a balanced budget.

#10 Go public about your spending:

For those who maintain a blog or are not shy to share with your friends and family, you can publicly establish savings goals and stick to them. The fact that you go public with goals will enforce your motivation to achieve them.

#11 Crock pot power:

The crock pot is a marvellous invention since you can prepare your meal in advance and it cooks while you are not at home. You will eat healthier food and save money on eating out for the days you don’t feel like cooking. Once you are home, you only have to serve and enjoy! If you never had ribs from a crock pot, you are missing something!

Going on Vacation? You can still save money while your gone

We often leave the house for days at a time and I have developed several habits that save us money and protect our belongings.

•Turn down your hot water heater. Most homes in the United States have natural gas powered hot water heaters. When you are gone, obviously you do not use any of the hot water, but if your hot water heater regulator is set too high, the water will continually cool down and have to be reheated again. If you do not need the hot water, there is no reason to keep it hot. Do not turn your hot water heater off, but set it at a lower setting so that it only has to run once a day or once every two days. Just remember to turn it back on before you take your first shower when you return home . . . you could be in for a cold surprise!
•Turn down your heat. Same principle as the water heater, but you need to be aware of how cold you can allow your home to be without freezing your pipes. Err on the side of caution here. A plumbing accident is far worse than spending a couple extra dollars to heat your home. Dependencing on where you currently live, you can turn the heat completely off, because the sun warms the house every day – even when the outside temp is below zero.
•Leave a light or two on, but make certain that the lights are CFL bulbs. I typically do not like compact fluorescent lighting, but if the lights are going to be on for a couple of days or a week, it is worth the time to change the bulb. Leaving a light on will give a feeling that the home is occupied, but more importantly, it allows passersby or police to see into your home. If the light is turned off unexpectedly, this can also be a warning to neighbors.
•Protect important papers. Your important papers should be in a safe place when you are out of the house. Fire can start when you are out of town, floods too. Birth Certificates, deeds, social security cards, titles, insurance forms are all items that are very difficult to replace if damaged – and if they happen to be stolen . . . well, identity theft is one of the worst things that can happen to you nowadays.
•Stop your mail delivery. This is really important. Mail is the most common way for your identity to be stolen. Do not allow mail to pile up in your mailbox. Go to the USPS website and hold your mail. Sometimes we have a trustworthy neighbor pick it up and store it for us – same with the newspaper.
•Trash pick-up. If we leave on a trash day, we will put out our garbage, but ask a neighbor to pull the cans back up by the house after they are emptied. If it is a long time until trash pick up when we leave, we lock our trash in the garage. Better to miss a trash day than to let someone dig through your waste.
•Water. Most of you will not have this problem, but I used to turn off the water to the whole house because we had a couple of faucets that dripped. I also wondered from time to time if the neighbors “borrowed” some of our water from the hose when we were out of town.
•Wash the dishes. This might not save you a lot of money, and I know that none of you would ever leave the house in disarray when you leave for vacation, but for the rest of us, isn’t it nice to come home to clean tile, vacuumed carpets and an empty sink?

Homemade Cleaning Products- safe for kids and family

Homemade Frugal Cleaning Recipes
Here are just a few of the many recipes for homemade frugal cleaning recipes:

Carpet Cleaners:
•For deodorizing: sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on carpet, using about 1 cup per medium sized room. Vacuum after 30 minutes.
•For deodorizing: mix two parts cornmeal with one part borax; sprinkle liberally, leave for one hour, then vacuum.
•To soak up big spills: dump cornmeal on the spill; after 5-15 minutes, sweep into a dustpan, then vacuum.
•Cleaning: Mix 1/4 cup liquid soap or detergent in the blender with 1/3 cup water. Blend until foamy. Use this to clean spots on the carpet, then rinse with vinegar.
Combine 2 cups water, 3 tablespoons liquid soap, 20-30 drops Tea Tree Oil; Mix well and spray (using a spray bottle) on everything.

Drain Cleaner/Opener
•Prevention: Pour 1/2 cup washing soda into drain followed by 2 cups boiling water.
•Clogging: Pour 1/4 cup baking soda down the drain. Follow with 1/2 cup vinegar and cover drain tightly until finished fizzing. Flush with one gallon boiling water.
Furniture Polish
•Mix 3 parts olive oil with 1 part vinegar. Use a soft cloth.
•Mix 2 parts olive oil to 1 part lemon juice. Use a soft cloth.
Multipurpose Cleaner
1/4 cup baking soda, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 gallon warm water; Mix ingredients and store in air-tight container.

Window Cleaner
•1/2 cup white vinegar to one gallon warm water. Just mix and scrub.
•Use straight lemon juice, dry with soft cloth.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Emergency Washing Machine

5-gallon bucket with lid (cut hole in middle of lid for plunger handle to fit through)
Toilet plunger (brand-new, clean)
Store in bucket:
Liquid laundry detergent
Stain remover/stain stick
Vinegar (add 1/2 cup to rinse water) helps remove soap
Rope (for clothes line)
Clothes pins

To Use:
Empty contents of bucket.
Place water, small amount of detergent, and clothes in bucket.
Move plunger up and down for a few minutes or until clothes are clean.
Remove soapy clothes and ring them out.
Dump out soapy water (on your garden or lawn.)
Place soapy clothes in bucket and fill with clear, clean water.
Add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse water.
Move plunger up and down to rinse clothing.
Wring out clothes and hang to dry.
Conserve water - use rinse water for next load of laundry.

NOTE: You could store two 5-gallon buckets, stack one inside of the other. Use one bucket for the soapy water and the other for the rinse water. You may be able to wash and rinse a couple of batches of clothes without changing the soapy water depending on how dirty the clothes are.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Our Week Menu

Our goal this next year is to try to use more food storage daily. Mostly, to rotate of course but also to just save money.

Monday - White Chicken Chili F.S.-(canned chicken, canned white beans, green chiles)
Tuesday - Spaghetti Garlic breadsticks F.S. -(noodles, sauce, ingre. for breadsticks)
Wednesday - Taco Salads with Horchata F.S.-(blackbeans, dehyd. onions, tortilla chips, salsa, rice and powder milk)
Thursday - Hawaiian Haystacks F.S.-(rice, pineapple,chowmein noodles, cr. chick soup)
Friday - Homemade Pizza & Apple crisp F.S.-(wheat-crust, pepperoni, canned ham, pineapple, olives, dehydr. apples, oats)

Well, its a start. Hopefully I can stick to it and help rotate our food storage.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Family

Ok, I am a working mom of 4 boys that are growing up way too fast and a wonderful husband who I am still totally in love with. I love to cook and have a strong testimony of the importance of family preparedness as well as food storage. I hope to be able to share my ideas, thoughts and tips on the things I have learned about food storage and family preparedness. My family is very important to me and I am striving each day to try harder to be the best mom, wife and friend that I can be to all of them.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Wonderful Husband

I don't know how often my dear husband will read this blog but I want him to know how greatful I am to have him in my life. He has been so supportive of everything I have ever done, every adventure, good and bad he has been there for me. He is awesome! This June we will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary and I am posting pictures of where we were married in Chicago. It was the most wonderful day in my life by far. I remember it like yesterday. I am more in love with him now and hope to grow very old together (we are getting there LOL). Brian I love you so much and I am so thrilled to have been able to marry my best friend. I cherish our marriage and our friendship, your the best dear!!

Loaded Black Bean Soup
•3 C dried black beans
•4 bullion cubes
•12-16 C water
•1 Tb canola oil
•2 green of red peppers, chopped
•2 onions, chopped
•1 1/2 T cumin
•2 T oregano
•1 1/2 T sugar
•2 t salt
•red onion
•sour cream
•cheddar cheese
•tortilla chips

1. Put the beans, bullion, and water in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat and let simmer for 2 1/2 hours. I always add a little bit of salt here as well.
2. When your beans are soft and cooked through, heat a large skillet up and add oil. Saute the chopped onion and pepper, until the onion is a beautiful golden brown color.
3. Blend the cooked onions and pepper in a blender with 1/2 C water, the cumin, and oregano. Don't puree this, just get it blended up a bit, so there are still some chunks in the mixture.
4. Add the onion/seasoning mixture to the soup.
5. Add the sugar and the salt.
6. Simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Serve with toppings.
This soup is actually better the second day, after it has had time to sit and soak up all the seasonings. However, it is great just after it's cooked with all these fresh toppings. My kids like to load it up with their favorites. (Chips and cheese...who would have guessed) I like to store individual sized servings in the freezer for a little back up plan when I'm having a moment of weakness. You know the kind of moment I'm talking about. The kind that hits you about 2:30 PM when you've been too busy to have lunch, and the only thing you can find in the fridge is that left over piece of cheesecake. It's the darndest thing...but black bean soup just doesn't stay on your hips like a great piece of cheesecake!
To freeze this soup, I use quart sized Ziploc freezer bags. Put the bag inside a large cup and fold the edges out and around the rim. Put two or three cups worth in, take the bag out of the cup, zip it up and lay it out flat. Lay them in your freezer and you are good to go!

Awesome Crescent Roll from Lion House

Holiday Crescent Rolls

•2 C scalded milk (just put it in a bowl, and heat in the microwave for 2 min.)
•1 1/2 C warm water
•2 T yeast + a dash of sugar
•1 T salt
•1/2 C sugar
•1 stick butter, softened
•3 eggs
•10-12 C flour, all purpose
•1 stick butter, melted (for shaping the dough)

1. Place the warm water, yeast and dash of sugar in the bottom of your mixer. Stir it around and let it sit for 5 minutes. It should start to rise and get all bubbly.
2. Add 3 cups of the flour and mix for 30 seconds. You want to add this much flour, before you add the scalded milk and eggs...the hot temperature of the milk would be too much for the yeast, and you don't want to "cook" your eggs.
3. Add the scalded milk, sugar, salt, softened butter (not the melted butter) and the eggs. Mix for 1 minute.
4. Add the flour 1 C at a time, until the dough scrapes the side of your mixer clean.
5. Mix on high for 8 minutes. This much mixing really improves the texture and elasticity of the dough. I have also noticed, if I don't mix it long enough the dough doesn't rise as nicely.
6. Let the dough rise, in the mixer for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.

7. Punch the dough down (I just turn the mixer on for about 5 seconds) and divide it into 6 equal parts. Shape each part into a nice round ball and let them rest on the counter top. I always spread a little of the melted butter on the counter top, before I set the dough on it. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Letting dough rest for just a bit before it's shaped makes a HUGE difference when you are trying to shape it. Let's just say it cooperates better.

8. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a nice round circle. You want the dough to be about 1/2-3/4 of an inch thick after rolling it out. Pour a bit of butter in the center....I said it was no dieters see now what I mean.

9. With a pizza cutter, cut the circle into 8 equal triangles. Start from the fat end and roll each triangle up. Place on a large, sprayed cookie sheet.

10. It works best to place them in 3 rows, 8 rolls deep. They like to be about this close together.

11. Place them in a warm 170 degree oven, and let them rise for about 20 minutes. Don't let them get too tall. Once they start to touch each other, they have risen enough. I have a convection oven, so I can cook both pans at the same time. If yours is a conventional oven (this means it does not have a fan in the back), you will definitely want to cook one pan at a time. Just set one pan on the counter to rise. It will rise more slowly than the pan in the oven, but it will be just the right amount of time to get the other pan cooked and your oven empty and ready for the second pan.
12. Turn your oven up to 350. Leave the rolls in while the oven increases in temperature. (I have had people tell me who own gas ovens that they are better off taking the pans out of the oven while the temp. rises) Bake for about 15 minutes. After about 7 minutes (or when the top pan has gotten a bit golden on the top) I switch the bottom pan to the top, and the top to the bottom.

13. When the rolls are still hot, I brush them all over with more of the melted butter. Delightful! Happy Holiday baking!
Fresh Ingredients

1 c. milk or buttermilk

2 eggs

Storage Ingredients

3/4 c. whole wheat kernels

2 Tbsp. honey or sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

4 Tbsp. oil

Pour milk into blender. Add wheat kernels and blend on high for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and continue to blend for an additional 10 minutes. If the batter is too thin allow it to sit for about 10 minutes to thicken. Cook pancakes as usual and serve with 100% pure maple syrup from your food storage, of course.

November of 2007, the Young Single Adults of the Salt Lake Bonneville Stake, participated in a terrific service project. Early one Saturday morning, they met at the dry pack cannery and quickly canned white wheat. Our Stake Relief Society President, Laurie Little, printed this pancake recipe, with permission from President Clark and Kathleen Hinckley, on adhesive labels and had the Y.S.A.s place the recipe right on the side of each individual can. Then, following the Saturday evening session of Stake Conference, a can of wheat with the blender pancake recipe was given to each family in attendance.

This proved to be a great activity and gift. Young people in our Stake learned how easy it is to use the dry pack cannery and they contributed a much needed service. The families in our Stake received a fresh can of wheat with an easy recipe for using it.

Pineapple Angel Food Cake -of course food storage ingredients

Storage Ingredients

1 can crushed pineapple with juice (20 oz.)

1 box angel food cake mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. With minimal mixing, combine entire can of crushed pineapple with angel food cake mix. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Cake should be lightly browned and center tested done when fully baked. Cool inverted. Frost with sweetened whipping cream if desired

The best Food Storage Cookie Recipe!!!

You’ll never guess what this cookie DOESN’T have in it! I’ll give you one guess…if you guessed a fat you are right! There is no butter or shortening in this cookie. Instead you have the protein, fiber and health benefits of….yep…BEANS! To make the deal even sweeter this low calorie cookie only has 1 cup of sugar and is full of even more fiber when you use whole wheat flour. The cookie has a great cake-like consistency and of course no bad flavor or after taste! I served them to my brother, nephew and husband and no one knew there was anything different about the cookie, in fact to quote them: “These are AWESOME!!” I think this may be one of my favorite food storage recipes yet!


(Made with white beans)

½ cup cooked white beans
1 cup brown sugar

4 eggs (1/4 C. Egg Powder + 1/2 C. Water)

1 tsp. vanilla

2 ¼ cups wheat flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup pecans (or walnuts) chopped

Beat beans and sugar together. Add eggs, vanilla. In separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add flour moisture to bean/sugar mixture. Stir until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips, and nuts. Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes depending on size of cookies. Makes 4 dozen.