Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree, It's Easy!

Last week was the first time in almost a year that I saw canned pumpkin on the grocery store shelves. I was pretty shocked that the pumpkin shortage has gone on as long as it has. I told myself that I would make my own pumpkin puree this year if I couldn't get my hands on any. Actually there are some places that still cannot get canned pumpkin. So if thats how it is in your area then this post is for you.

It never dawned on me that making your own Pumpkin Puree was so easy. I assumed it was hard, so I never even bothered to try. I came across some pie pumpkins at home depot so I grabbed two. I know I can buy pumpkin again but I really wanted to give it a shot and see if there is a difference in taste from fresh versus canned. I have always heard that fresh pumpkin puree taste so much better

The whole process was really simple, but I did run into one problem I hadn't planned on. The skin was so hard that I couldn't even cut the pumpkins. I just assumed pie pumpkins were a different texture then regular Jack o Lantern pumpkin. So to solve that problem I just roasted the pumpkins whole for about 20 minutes to soften up the skins. After they cooled a bit I cut off the stems and cut each pumpkin into pieces.
I thought that would be so much safer than trying to attempt to cut the pumpkin because it just didn't look safe. Now I still don't know if fresh versus canned taste better because I froze all the pumpkin puree. But you can bet that I will be making a recipe in the next couple days and I will let you know. I have included some step by step photos of just how easy it is to make your own pumpkin puree. I hope you will give it a try especially if canned pumpkin is still not available in your area.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice pumpkin in half and remove stem. You can cut it in quarters if you want, or just leave it halved.Using a spoon, scrape out all of the stringy stuff and the seeds. (save the seed if you want to toast them) Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place your pumpkin cut-side down on the sheet.

Cook pumpkin in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until its tender when pierced with a fork. When done, remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet. Using a spoon scrape out the flesh and discard the skin/rind. It should be easy to scoop right out, Place pumpkin pulp in a food processor and process until smooth. I used the blade attachment to my Cuisinart hand mixer. You can also just mash it with a fork or potato masher.

If your pumpkin is on the dry side, you can add a little water to the pumpkin to get the consistency you want. I drizzled in about 1/4 cup of water until it had the right feel. At this point you can use it in any recipe that calls for pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin. I froze mine in 2 cup measures in zip lock freezer bags. Most recipes I use call for a whole can which is 15 oz.

If the pumpkin puree is a bit watery you can strain it through a small strainer.

If not using immediately store pumpkin puree in the freezer.

This lady is soo funny and very clean, take a listen!! Make sure you turn off the music first.

Tile Picture

Items Needed:

12 x 12 Tile (I used a smooth matte finished piece of tile)
Spray Adhesive
Modge Podge (decoupage)
Sponge Brush
12 x 12 printed picture

Make sure the picture is cut to fit the 12 x 12 tile. (I printed my picture at home using my Epson printer that does 12 x 12s. I had a little excess paper on the side of my picture so I turned the picture upside down, placed my tile on the back of the picture and I traced around the tile with my pencil. Then I cut on the pencil line, so now my picture will fit perfectly on the tile. 
Spray the tile with your spray adhesive. Press your picture on the tile. Let it dry. "Paint" modge podge over your picture to seal it over the tile. Let dry

*If your picture bubbles because of the modge podge wait until it's nearly dry then gently press down with your finger until it sticks. 

Good Luck!

This has become one of my favorite crafts of all time. They will make perfect gifts!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bread for a Year
If you only had one food to eat-bread-do you have enough to make a loaf of bread every day to live on in your food storage? Wendy DeWitt figured it all out and here it is:
2C white wheat (3C Flour),
1C water,
1 1/2 tsp salt,
2TB melted shortening,
One of the following: ¼ C Applesauce, ¼ C sugar, or ¼ C honey
2tsp yeast.
Warm the water and add yeast. Set aside. Mix flour, salt and sugar. Add the yeast water, melted shortening and knead until smooth and elastic. Shape into loaf, place in greased pan, cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Total supplies needed for one year:
61 #10 cans of white wheat
23 gallons of water
4 2/3 containers of salt
19 pounds of shortening
45 pounds of sugar
5 pounds of yeast

Bread for a year

Bread for a Year
If you only had one food to eat-bread-do you have enough to make a loaf of bread every day to live on in your food storage? Wendy DeWitt figured it all out and here it is:
2C white wheat (3C Flour),
1C water,
1 1/2 tsp salt,
2TB melted shortening,
One of the following: ¼ C Applesauce, ¼ C sugar, or ¼ C honey
2tsp yeast.
Warm the water and add yeast. Set aside. Mix flour, salt and sugar. Add the yeast water, melted shortening and knead until smooth and elastic. Shape into loaf, place in greased pan, cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Total supplies needed for one year:
61 #10 cans of white wheat
23 gallons of water
4 2/3 containers of salt
19 pounds of shortening
45 pounds of sugar
5 pounds of yeast

Medicinal Herbs to grow in your garden

11 herbs you can plant in your herb garden and use for first aid
Yarrow is an important herb to have in storage in your home. The comment was made that it would be one of the only things that work against the coming plagues, which would be flu type diseases. Yarrow is unsurpassed for flu and fevers.
  • Used abundantly at the beginning of a cold it will usually break it up within 24 hours.
  • Especially good for fevers-produces perspiration. Opens pores and has relaxing action on skin.
  • For fever must be drunk warm or take capsules with warm water or peppermint tea. Yarrow tea is bitter to the taste, but effective.
  • Good for all childhood diseases. A yarrow ointment or tea is used for sores, including chicken pox and smallpox, also old wounds.
  • Helping to glandular system. Regulates and tones liver.
  • Relieves kidney and bladder problems, infections and mucus discharge from bladder.
  • Equalizes circulation.
  • Used in fomentations for external hemorrhoids or inject one ounce of tea in a retention enema for internal hemorrhoids.
  • Corrects diarrhea in infants.
  • Healing and soothing to all mucous membranes.
  • Benefits respiratory problems, including bleeding from lungs.
  • Combined with sage, it is good for profuse or irregular menstruation.

Catnip is highly prized in the treatment of children’s ailments.
Catnip is another aromatic which many parents have found beneficial for their children. It also stimulates the body, settles the stomach and soothes the nerves. One famous herbal team is the combination of Catnip with Fennel, which has long been used as a remedy for colic, gas, and indigestion in children.
  • A common ditch bank weed loved by cats.
  • Used effectively for fevers and to alleviate the symptoms of childhood diseases.
  • Good for stomach gas or cramps, aids in digestion.
  • Used for babies and young children for colic, stomach pains, teething and fevers. Helps clean out mucus in the body.
  • Used in enemas to bring down fever, eliminate mucus, relax the colon and ease colon cramping. Catnip enemas also help relieve the aches of flu.
  • A very effective enema combination is catnip and garlictogether in the same bag. Catnip's usefulness in an enema has been explained, with the powers of garlic (fights infection, eliminates mucus, kills bacteria, viruses and parasites, and improves peristaltic action) the two are a powerful enema combination.

  • One of the oldest and most popular remedies for simple colic and minor bloat in children and adults.
  • Good for all digestive problems, helps stomach pain caused by indigestion and is soothing to the stomach.
  • Expels stomach and colon gas.
  • Excellent for fevers, flu, diarrhea, ulcers, and colitis.
  • Strengthens nerves and heart muscles.
  • Cleanses and tones the body.
  • Can be used instead of aspirin for headaches.
  • Can take the place of coffee for a stimulant.
  • Promotes relaxation.
  • is one of the few oils that are safe to take internally or apply to the skin undiluted.
  • A few sprigs of peppermint makes an effective deterrent to ants. As the list above indicates, a small bottle of peppermint oil can be thought of as a "medicine cabinet in your pocket," and can be used as an emergency remedy for a myriad of conditions. Never leave home without it.

Red Raspberry leaf
Red Raspberry is used as a basic herbal foundation for all female organs and problems. It is in many female combinations.
  • Strengthens wall of uterus and entire female reproductive system.
  • Decreases profuse menstrual flow.
  • Good during all months of pregnancy. Alleviates morning sickness and nausea. Has been used as a preventative for hemorrhaging during labor. Assists labor, makes delivery easier and relieves after pains. Tones and regulates before, during and after childbirth.
  • Increases and enriches milk for lactation, can be combined with marshmallow tea.
  • Raspberry tea is mild and pleasant to taste. It is good for stomachaches and bowel problems in children. For diarrhea in babies.
  • Soothing to stomach and bowels and cankerous conditions of mucous membranes in the alimentary canal.
  • High mineral and vitamin source.

Garlic is called nature’s antibiotic. It contains allicin, a natural antibiotic. One milligram of allicin has a potency of 15 standard units of penicillin. It is effective against toxic bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Garlic contains more germanium, an anti-cancer agent, than any other herb. InRussia, garlic was found to retard tumor growth in humans.
  • Active against staphylococcus and E. coli bacteria.
  • Good to take for all diseases (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-cancer) including contagious diseases.
  • Protects against infection.
  • Has detoxifying effects on all the body systems.
  • Improves, tones, and strengthens entire physical condition. Has rejuvenating effect on all cells.
  • Builds endurance and energy.
  • Strengthens body defenses against allergens.
  • Has soft oils that help to emulsify plaque and loosen it from arterial walls.
  • Contains selenium which helps arteriosclerosis.
  • Strengthens blood vessels.
  • Equalizes blood pressure, high or low.
  • Has a sugar regulating factor.
  • Taken internally one of the most effective herbs for killing and expelling parasites.
  • Used in enemas. Besides being used as a straight garlic enema, it is excellent to combine with Catnip for a Catnip/Garlic enema. The catnip pulls mucus, and soothes the cramping of the colon, etc. The garlic kills the germs and parasites, improves peristaltic action, and also pulls mucus.

· helps sooth skin injured by burns, irritations, cuts and insect bites.
· helps moisturize and soften the skin.
· helps speed the healing of skin wounds, burns and other injuries.
· helps (when taken internally)with constipation, diarrheaand other intestinal problems.
· speeds and improve general healing when taken internally.
· relieves itching and swelling of irritated skin.
· helps kill fungus and bacteria.
· improves the effectiveness of sun screen products.


Another excellent activator for children is Chamomile. Chamomile helps to settle the stomach and calm the nerves. Chamomile is probably one of the very best nervine herbs for children. It aids digestion, expels gas from the bowel, soothes the nerves and reduces inflammation.


Lavender has a wonderfully relaxing effect on the mind and body and makes a good remedy for anxiety, nervousness, and physical symptoms caused by stress such as tension headaches, migraine, palpitations, and insomnia. It also has a stimulating edge to it, acting as a tonic to the nervous system and restoring vitality to people suffering from nervous exhaustion. The relaxing effect of lavender can be felt in the digestive tract, where is soothes spasms and colic related to tension and relieves distension, flatulence, nausea, and indigestion, and enhances the appetite. As a tea, oil inhalation, or vapor rub, lavender is effective for colds, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, flu, tonsillitis, and laryngitis. A warm compress will relieve chest congestion, and help with bruises and insect bites. In a tea or tincture, it can also be taken for stomach and bowel infections causing vomiting or diarrhea. Hot lavender tea causes sweating and reduces fevers. It helps to detoxify the body by increasing elimination of toxins via the skin, and with its mild diuretic action, through the urine.

Echinacea is often put in combinations with other herbs. It is an excellent infection fighter and is used as a powerful natural antibiotic.
  • Especially good in glandular infections and problems. A good cleanser for glands and the lymphatic system.
  • One of the best herbs for helping enlargements and weakness of the prostrate gland.
  • Used in ear aches, strep throat, lymph glands.
  • Effective blood purifier. Used for blood poisoning and poisonous spider and snake bites.
  • Used in combination with goldenseal, Yarrow andCayenne to form a powerhouse infection fighting formula. Also combined with myrrh in place of goldenseal for people with hypoglycemia.
  • Works well with chickweed to help weight loss.


Arnica can be used externally in a muscle rub, cream or diluted tincture to speed the healing of wounds, bruises, sprains and swellings, and increases resistance to infection. It is wonderful for calming children who may have fallen over, bumped their heads, or hurt themselves. Applied over any unbroken surface it will ease pain, relieve rheumatic joints and stiff muscles, and painful, swollen feet. Not to be taken internally or used on broken skin.

Yellow Dandelion

The dandelion we are talking about really is that little yellow weed in your lawn. All its parts are used – the leaves, flower and roots. It can be used fresh in green drinks and salads.
Dandelion is commonly thought to be one of the “bitter herbs” recommended in the Bible. Its young leaves have been gathered and eaten as a pot herb or as an addition to salads for centuries.
It has been used to aid digestion, relieve liver distress, and to treat all manner of ills from dropsy, jaundice, and kidney stones to warts and psoriasis. Culpeper states, “It is of an opening and cleansing quality, and therefore, very effectual for the obstructions of the liver, glass, and spleen. It opens the passages of the urine, both in young and old, powerfully cleanses, and doth afterwards heal them.”
Dandelion is an extremely effective diuretic, but without the common side effect of mineral depletion prevalent with diuretic drugs.
Dandelion is rich in many nutrients, particularly in bio-available minerals.
It enriches breast milk in nursing mothers, benefiting both mother and child.
The plant helps control blood pressure by reducing excess fluids in the body as well as by the presence of mannitol, a substance commonly prescribed in Europe for hypertension.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Caramel Apple Oat Bars
Caramel Apple Oat Squares
1 ¾ cups flour
1 cup quick oats
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 jar Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel sauce
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3 – 4 cups thin sliced baking apples
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking soda and salt: cut in butter until crumbly.   Reserving 1 ½ cups crumb mixture, press remainder on bottom of greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake 10 minutes.  Add nuts to reserved crumb mixture, set aside.  Mix butterscotch caramel sauce and sweetened condensed milk together.  Layer apples over baked crust; top with caramel mixture, then reserved crumb mixture.  Bake 30 – 40 minutes until set.  Cool.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired.
These are scrumptious, don’t plan on eating just one square if you make these!

1 – Ghirardelli Brownie Mix
½ cup butter
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
½  cup walnut or pecan pieces
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Melt butter in bottom of 9 x 13 pan.  Sprinkle entire box of dry brownie mix over butter and spread evenly.  Layer coconut over crust, then layer chips and nuts.  Drizzle sweetened condensed milk evenly over all.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes, just until edges are beginning to bubble.
This recipe was on the back of a Ghirardelli Brownie mix.  Oh my, talk about yum!  I love Seven Layer Bars made with graham cracker crumb crust; but these are even yummier.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yummy FHE treat Milk Dud Cookies

Milk Dud Cookies:
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
 1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
 2/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Bag of Caramels, Unwrapped
1/2 cup Raw or Turbinado Sugar (for rolling)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap dough ball in plastic and chill for at least one hour. Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into roughly 1 1/2 – 2 inch diameter circles or squares (the shape and precision of the cut section doesn’t really matter since you will be wrapping it around the caramel anyway), brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. Roll the dough around an unwrapped caramel. Roll the dough back and forth in your hands until it forms a smooth ball. Roll the ball in a bowl of raw or turbinado sugar, pressing slightly to coat with sugar. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

These are best served fresh from the oven or slightly reheated (a quick zap in the microwave will do the trick). This warms the caramel up, making it gooey and delicious. Served at room temperature they are still yummy but the

Storage goal for the week-OATS

30 lbs of Oats 
(If you can’t accomplish this in 1 week, don’t worry, just take your time and do it in steps.)
Oats are the edible cereal grains produced by the cereal grass of the same name. Oats are light tan in color. They have a nutty flavor and a chewy texture and must be hulled before they can be eaten. Whole oats minus the hulls are called groats.
3 Types of Oats which we will cover here:
Rolled Oats
These are also commonly called “old fashioned”, “thick cut” or “porridge” oats. To produce them, oat groats are steamed and then rolled to flatten. They can generally be found wherever oats are sold. They take longer to cook than do the quick cooking oats, but they retain more flavor and nutrition. This is what most people will call to mind when they think of oatmeal.
Quick Cooking Rolled Oats
These are just steamed oat groats rolled thinner than the old fashioned kind above so that they will cook faster. They can usually be found right next to the thicker rolled oats.
Instant Rolled Oats
These are the “just add hot water” or microwave type of oat cereals and are not at all suited for a long term food storage program. They do, however, have uses in “bug out” and 72 hour food kits for short term crises. Generally the more you process a food the less nutritious it becomes,instant oats are best avoided if you want to get the full benefit of this grain.
Store oats in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. Freeze in a moisture- and vapor-proof container for up to 1 year. So definitely rotate your oats!
Cooking Time
It takes about 10-15 minutes to cook regular rolled oats. Quick rolled oats, being thinner, cook much quicker in 2-3 minutes. And instant rolled oats, which have already been cooked then dehydrated, just need hot water added. As instant rolled oats are the least nutritious, you should think seriously about using them in your every day cooking habits instead of using the slower cooking quick oats. Instant oats certainly have their place, however, such as on camping trips and in your 72-hour kits.
Oats Health Benefits
Weight Control - As the soluble fiber of oats is digested, it forms a gel, which causes the viscosity of the contents of the stomach and small intestine to be increased. The gel delays stomach emptying making you feel full longer which helps with weight loss. New research suggests that children between ages 2-18 years old who have a constant intake of oatmeal lowered their risk of obesity. The research found that the children who ate oatmeal were 50% less likely to become overweight, when compared to those children that did not eat it.
Cholesterol and Heart - Oatmeal and oat bran are significant sources of dietary fiber. This fiber contains a mixture of about half soluble and half insoluble fibers. One component of the soluble fibre found in oats is beta-glucans, a soluble fiber which has proven effective in lowering blood cholesterol.
Blood Sugars - Eating oats can spread the rise in blood sugars over a longer time period.
Anti Cancer - Oats, like other grains and vegetables, contain hundreds of phytochemicals (plant chemicals). Many phytochemicals are thought to reduce a person’s risk of getting cancer.
Blood Pressure - A daily serving of whole oats rich in soluble fibre can reduce hypertension, or high blood pressure, and so reduce the need for anti-hypertensive medication.
Bowel Function - Oats have a high fiber content. Fiber is necessary in keeping bowel movements regular. Oats are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Athletic Performance - Oats, like other cereal grains, are valued primarily as a source of carbohydrates which provide calories for energy needs. Oats have been shown in scientific studies to favorably alter metabolism and enhance performance when ingested 45 minutes to 1 hour before exercise of moderate intensity.
Oats Nutritional value per 100 grams
Energy     390 kcal / 1630 kJ
Carbohydrate     66 g
Dietary fiber total     11 g
- Beta glucan     5 g
- Insoluble     6 g
Total fat     6 g
- Saturated     1.217 g
- Monounsaturated     2.178 g
- Polyunsaturated     2.535 g
- Cholesterol     0 g
Protein     17 g
Calcium     54 mg
Iron     4.72 mg
Magnesium     177 mg
Phosphorous     523 mg
Potassium     429 mg
Sodium     2 mg
Zinc     3.97 mg
Copper     0.626 mg
Manganese     4.916 mg
Oat Recipes

Friday, September 10, 2010

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. Instead of waiting until January, set some goals and start working on your food storage and emergency preparedness this month. Check out Ready.Gov for more ideas. Or my Food Storage and Disaster Preparedness Calendarfor a list of ideas to work on monthly. I also have several former posts on in the "Previous Posts I've Written" section on my blog with ideas for you.

1. Decide on a monthly budget. It does not matter how small it is. If you are financially burdened, check out books from the library and start to study. Knowing what to do in an emergency is the best preparation.
2. Choose an area to focus on. If you are just beginning with food storage buy 2 small cans or boxes of an item instead of one. Put one aside. It's easy to do if your item is on sale. If you are working on emergency kits, buy one item a month and put it aside. A little bit at a time will still help you reach your goals! Some items in kits are not food items, so they last many years.
3. Decide on a preparedness item you want to get (or ask for) this Christmas.
4. Pray for support and guidance. You will be helped! Best wishes
1 (#10) can Powdered Eggspowderedeggs
(If you can’t accomplish this in 1 week, don’t worry, just take your time and do it in steps.)
Powdered Eggs:
Eggs are extremely perishable. Eggs must be kept refrigerated and have a relatively short shelf life. Powdered, dried eggs provide a convenient alternative to fresh eggs and add quality and consistent performance to the list of attributes.
Powdered eggs are fully dehydrated eggs. The major advantages of them over fresh eggs are the price, reduced weight per volume of whole egg equivalent, and the shelf life. The risk of bacterial contamination due to improper handling is significantly reduced and the clean up time is reduced as well. For camping and hiking excursions there is no better way to carry eggs than in powdered form. Just add water and cook up scrambled eggs in no time. The ease and benefits of Powdered, Dried Egg Products are tough to beat.
pale or yellowish powder, without strange particles.
pleasant, typical mild, free of strange smells.
typical to egg.
Environmental temperature, keep in dry and dark place.
Shelf life:
Dry egg products can be stored up to a year or longer under proper storage conditions.
Nutritional Value:
Eggs are low in saturated fat and are one of the best sources of vitamin D, a nutrient that is essential to the development of strong bones. In fact, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse. For only 75 calories you get high quality protein and varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, including A, B12 and folate.
For Baking:
For bakers, powdered egg products provide consistency from batch to batch and are always ready. Egg solids blend well with other dry ingredients and can be used immediately without cracking or thawing. Or for those of us (me) who are clumsy, you could keep that piece of shell out of your favorite cookie dough.
How egg products are made:powdered-eggs9
Egg products are processed in sanitary facilities under rigorous inspection by the United States Department of Agriculture. The first step in making egg products is breaking the eggs and separating the yolks and whites from the unwanted shells. Eggs are processed by automated equipment that move the eggs from flats, wash and sanitize the shells, break the eggs and separate the whites and the yolks or keeps them together for whole egg products. The liquid egg products is filtered, mixed, and then chilled prior to additional processing. This liquid egg product (in a pasteurized format) is what you get when you re-hydrate your powdered egg product. Powdered Eggs provide all the natural goodness of an egg in a convenient, non-perishable package. From here the egg product is pasteurized. The law requires that all egg products distributed for consumption be pasteurized. This means they must be rapidly heated and held at a minimum required temperature for a specified time. This process destroys Salmonella and any other bacteria, but does not cook the egg or affect the color, flavor, or nutritional value. Dried egg products are powdered by spraying the liquid egg into a heated drying room. The powder is left in the drying room for a specified time to get the desired consistency.
Information has been aggregated from the following sites: Honeyvillegrain and Emergency Essentials.
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