Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Powdered Eggs

I belong to a group that orders monthly from Emergency Essentials
this month Powdered Eggs were one of the specials, here is FYI:

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:

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.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Easy Weeknight Chili

Easy Weeknight Chili

1 ½ c Freeze Dried Chicken or Turkey
¾ c Freeze Dried Corn
1 can Pinto Beans or 1.5 c cooked Pinto Beans
1 (16oz.jar) Salsa
2 tsp Garlic Granules
1 tsp Cumin, ground
1 tsp Chili Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tbs. Cilantro (optional)
About 3 c Water or chicken broth

You can prepare this in literally minutes and have it on the table in no time.

Reconstitute freeze dried chicken or turkey in 3 c hot water. Let stand for 5 minutes and drain off excess water. In a soup pot, combine all ingredients and simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve with tortilla chips or corn bread.

Cheesy Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole

Cheesy Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole

2 c Rice
1 ½ c Chicken Flavored Strips, reconstituted in 2 c hot water
1 c Mushroom Soup Base, reconstituted in 1 c hot water
1/8 c Butter powder, reconstituted in 1/8 c warm water
½ c Milk powder, reconstituted in 1 c cold water
1 c Dehydrated Broccoli
1 tbs Dehydrated Chopped Onion
¼ c Cheese Blend Powder, reconstituted in ½ c hot water Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil rice, broccoli and onion together until the rice is the equivalent of “al dente,” or slightly firm, about 15 minutes. While these items are cooking, reconstitute the Chicken Strips, Mushroom Soup Base, Butter Powder, Milk Powder, and Cheese Blend. Drain Rice mixture and pour into a large casserole dish and add reconstituted Chicken Strips over top. In a small bowl, combine the reconstituted Mushroom Soup, Butter, and cheese blend. Pour mixture over the Chicken and Rice mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes or until warmed through and mixture has thickened.

Pepperoni TVP Alfredo Pasta

Pepperoni T.V.P. Alfredo Pasta

2 cups Pasta (your favorite)
½ cup Pepperoni T.V.P.
1 tsp Dehydrated Onions
1 tsp Dehydrated Garlic Granules
3 tbs. Dehydrated Parsley
½ cup Freeze Dried Tomatoes, reconstituted in 1 cup hot water
½ cup White Cream Soup Base, reconstituted in 1 cup hot water
2 tbs Parmesan Cheese Powder Boil your favorite pasta in a large pot (we recommend Rotelle or Penne), drain and reserve to the side. Bring the Pepperoni T.V.P. and Onions to a simmer over medium high heat for 10 minutes. Drain and then combine with pasta, Garlic, Parsley, and reconstituted Tomatoes and White Cream Soup Base back in pot. Warm over medium-high heat until warmed through. Serve with Parmesan Cheese Powder sprinkled on top.

Building A Storage Program

Building a Storage Program

"Food storage is good, in that it provides a personal buffer against outside forces (economic, natural, political, etc.). But, it must also be placed in proper perspective. It is a resource and a resource should be wisely managed. Like any other resource it should be kept in balance with other resources. It has never been a wise practice to “rob Peter to pay Paul” or to deplete one resource at the sacrifice of another. When effort is steady and consistent it engenders knowledge and familiarity of the topic thus integrating it into one’s life. For this reason it is not wise to spend a concentrated effort of time and money on food storage in order to simply check it off one’s list of things to do. The more time and effort spent on the project the more the project will become a part of everyday life, practical and useable.

1. Avoid going into debt. This is “robbing Peter to pay Paul” and may create a situation much more serious than not having “food stored for a time of emergency.”

2. Budget all expenses for the household and include a food storage budget.

3. Change the mind set from food storage only in time of disaster to food providently used daily. If the food is not to be eaten immediately, it is food storage. Purchase food to increase the amount stored. Purchase food to manage one’s own storage program. Purchase food in accordance with personal and family tastes, habits, lifestyle, age, etc.

4. Allot an amount each shopping trip to increase storage amount (since food storage is being rotated and used daily—that means 80% of the food dollar should be going for food storage); therefore, use wise shopping strategies on every shopping trip.

A. Shop with a plan and with a list—use the list of foods generated in the “How to Store What You Use” section.

B. Compare prices:

1. Compare the price of one brand to another. Try out new brands before purchasing in quantity to ensure the quality is acceptable to your household and will be eaten.

2. Compare the price of one size package to another. Divide the size of the package into the price and compare the price per unit of different packages.

A. Shop sales—Be cautious of shopping several stores and risking impulse buying at each store. Sometimes the 50 cents saved may cost $5.00 more in the long run

1. Compare price of sale item to non-sale item—is it really less expensive?

2. Do not be persuaded to purchase an item just because it is on sale.

3. Be cautious using coupons, they are used to encourage sales for the store or the manufacturer.

D. Buy foods in season.

E. Buy two items when one is needed.

4. Shop in quantity or bulk—but with wisdom:

A. Be sure quantity will be used before spoilage occurs or quality deteriorates.

B. Be sure quality of bulk item is high quality. Food will never be any higher in quality than the day you purchase it.

C. Use wisdom when purchasing at bargain stores, discount stores, salvage stores, warehouses, etc. Items sold at these stores may be lower priced due to poor quality and safety. If the food is discarded later or causes illness, the bargain price will not be worth the cost. (Even after following the guidelines below the quality of the product inside the package may not be acceptable.)

1. Check expiration dates—old items do not store well.

2. Check quality of packaging for tears, openings, exposed product, signs of leaking, soiling, excessive dirt, etc.

3. Check for signs of pest infestation.

4. Check for signs of temperature abuse—frozen packages are distorted, warped or have large ice crystals; items which should be loose are frozen into a solid clump; frost build up; freezer burn, etc.

5. Reject cans with dents on the seams, dents on the seal, dents large enough to hold at least one finger, cans with bulging lids, signs of leaking, rust, etc.

6. Ways to “increase” available money for food storage:

A. Use non-fixed income for storage such as tax refunds, gifts of money, bonus checks, rebate checks, etc.
B. Use entertainment money for storage by cutting back on (or cutting out) movies and movie rentals for 1 month, 2 months, etc.
C. Eat at home rather than eating out; cut back on snacks; use money spent on snacks such as sodas, chips, candy, munchies; develop cooking skills and cook from scratch rather than with higher priced convenience foods; pack a lunch rather than eat out.
D. Use vacation money by: choosing a less expensive vacation; shorten vacation time and use money saved for storage items; stay home for vacation; plan vacation wisely— lack of planning usually ends up in higher costs and less results.

7. Purchase foods from a reputable source. ..."

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pgs. 118-119. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Gluten Free Teff Muffins

This recipe is for my sister in law Emily for Ivy. Hope it's a good one I have not yet tried it but it looked yummy!!

Gluten Free Teff Muffins
free of gluten, dairy/casein, soy, corn, gums, potatoes, eggs
adapted from a Bette Hagman recipe from, "The Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods"

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups (228 gm) teff flour
2/3 cup (80 gm) arrowroot starch
1/4 cup (28 gm) ground flax seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup (102 gm) sugar

Wet Ingredients:
4 eggs -OR- 1/2 cup (145 gm) warm water + 2 tbsp. EnerG egg replacer whisked together
1/2 cup (95 gm) oil
1 cup (240 gm) non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)

Optional Add In's:
1/2 cup chopped nuts (55 gm) -- I used chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins (76 gm)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcake/muffin pans with paper liners or spritz with non-stick cooking spray. (I was able to make 18 of them). In a large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl mix together all wet ingredients and pour into dry ingredients. Mix just until thoroughly combined. Fold in chopped nuts or raisins. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with muffin batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the muffins comes out clean. The muffins with be dark brown -- almost "chocolately" in appearance. If you use eggs the muffins will have tall domed tops, if you use egg replacer as I did, they will just reach the top of the muffin liner and have a flat top -- either way they are still delicious!! Allow muffins to cool 10-15 minutes before eating. If they are not allowed to cool properly they will have a taste slightly gooey.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Excellent Sandwich Bread Recipe

Basic Whole Wheat Bread
Taken from Mary Gubser

2 packages or 4 1/2 teaspoons yeast ( i should probably do the math and convert to tablespoons, but this works for me!)
2 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups unbleached white flour (I use bread flour)
1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup brown sugar, molasses, or honey (or agave nectar)
4-5 cups whole wheat flour

Make the sponge:
Sprinkle yeast over the warm water in a large bowl. By warm, i mean a little bit hot. Mix with a fork or danish dough whisk until yeast is dissolve, then add salt 3 tablespoons sugar and the white flour. Beat this with your danish dough whisk until it's smoothish. Cover with a towel and set in a warm spot until light and bubbly, about an hour. (this is where i may try the 'put it in the fridge over night' trick next time).

Combine hot water, melted butter and sweetener of choice. Mix and cool until lukewarm. Once the sponge is ready (should have visable popping or puffy bubbles on top) add the sugar mixture and gradually add the flour until you have a soft, workable dough. Turn onto a floured surface (use white flour for the surface and to add while kneading) and knead about 10 minutes, or until the dough bounces right back when a finger is poked into it. Place dough into a warm greased bowl, turn to coat, and cover with plastic and a towel until doubled, about an hour. I like to rest the bowl on the top of a stock pot or canner after something has been heated - in this case some herbal hair rinse. It makes for a warm, moist environment. Once the dough has risen (a finger pressed into the dough will leave an indent this time) turn out onto the counter and knead lightly then let rest covered for about 10 minutes. Set your oven to pre heat soon!
Divide dough into two and work into loaves. Let rise in greasted loaf pans for about 30 minutes. The dough should poof up the sides of the pans. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes and turn onto racks to cool.

High Protein Bar Recipe

High Protein Fudge Bars

◦8 scoops chocolate protein powder
◦1 cup oatmeal
◦1/3 cup natural peanut butter
◦3 tbsp honey
◦1/2 cup 1% milk
◦3 tbsp crushed peanuts

◦Mix together the protein powder, oatmeal, peanut butter, honey and milk.
◦Form into 5 bars and then roll in the crushed peanuts to finish.
◦Place in the fridge for about 30 mins
Servings: 5

Per Serving:

◦Protein: 50g
◦Carbohydrates: 36g
◦Fat: 12g
◦Kcal: 452

Homemade Protein Bar Recipes - no bake

There are a lot of great energy foods and bars on the market today. But, with the economy being so tough, we are all looking for ways to save-a-buck! So, I thought that this is one way.

Energy Bars- Unbaked Recipe

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup raisins or dried fruit and chopped
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup light Karo syrup

Mix it all well. Freeze in bar shapes

Granola Nut Protein Bar Recipe

2-1/2 cups natural peanut butter
2 cups honey
2-1/4 cups protein powder
3 cups uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup wheat bran

In a double boiler, warm the peanut butter and honey to a smooth consistency. This step can be done in the microwave as well–just heat both ingredients for 70 to 90 seconds. In a mixing bowl, stir together all remaining dry ingredients. Pour in the peanut-butter mixture and stir until completely combined. Spread uniformly into a brownie pan. Slice into 12 to 16 pieces, and then wrap each piece in plastic wrap.

Oatmeal Maple Breakfast Bar

1 Cup Oatmeal
1/4 Cup Raisins
1/8 Cup Hemp Seed Nut Butter
1/8 Cup Maple Syrup
1/8 Cup of Cashews
1/8 Cup Honey

Mix dry ingredients in blender until mixed and in smaller pieces. Add Maple Syrup and Honey and mix until everything sticks together and is ‘clumpy’. Scoop out onto wax paper, and shape into a 1/4″ thick slab. Put a thin layer of oatmeal onto a baking sheet, and then put the slab on top (prevents sticking, and gives the bars a crunchier layer. Bake at 250F for 45 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

Pineapple-Cranberry-Strawberry-Almond Bar

1/4 Cup of each of dehydrated strawberries and pineapple
1/4 Cup Almonds
1/4 Cup Honey
1/8 Cup Hemp Seed Nuts
1/8 Hemp Seed Butter

Mix all dry ingredients in blender until everything is broken into small pieces. Add the Hemp Seed butter and Honey, mix until ingredients stick together. When the ingredients are stuck together, scoop them out and put on a sheet of waxed paper. I then folded the paper over it and spread it out until it was about 1/4″ thick. Put in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Tonights Dessert - Brian's Favorite Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs (I used powdered eggs)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking or regular rolled oats, uncooked
1-3/4 cups (11-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Butterscotch Chips

Heat oven to 375°F.
Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips; mix well. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

Hamburger Hashbrown Casserole

Hamburger Hashbrown Casserole

We had this for dinner tonight and it was really yummy!! It made a 9x13 pan and there was only a little bit left for Brian to take to work tomorrow for dinner. The only thing we changed was added carrots, left out the corn and added a can of cheddar cheese soup. Very simple and filling!!

1 lb. hamburger
1 bell pepper, chopped ( I used dehydrated peppers)
1 onion, chopped ( I used dehydrated onions)
4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
15 oz. can peas, drained
15 oz. can cream corn
1 can cream mushroom soup
1 c. shredded cheese
2 lbs. frozen hashbrowns

Brown hamburger, onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Add vegetables, soup and cheese. Place alternating layers of hash brown potatoes, and hamburger mixture in 9x13 pan.
Bake 375 for 45 min. Cool and serve
We had peaches with ours!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Butterfinger Rice Krispy Bars

This recipe is adapted from Very Best Baking

Prep:5 minsCooking:5 minsLevel:Easy Cooling:20 minsYields:32 barsThese bars made with marshmallows, peanut butter, cereal and Butterfingers are sure to be a hit with anyone that tries them.

6 cups miniature marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
5 cups toasted rice cereal
3 (2.1 oz ea) NESTLÉ BUTTERFINGER Candy Bar, finely chopped, divided
SPRAY 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

PLACE marshmallows and butter in large saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until marshmallows are melted; remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until combined. Stir in cereal and 1 cup chopped Butterfinger until coated.

SPREAD into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining chopped Butterfinger; press in slightly. Cool completely; cut into bars.

.Baker's Comments

Butterfinger Bars

Chewy Butterfinger Bars
yield: 32 bars
2 1/4 cups AP Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Butter, room temp
2 1/2 cups Dark Brown Sugar
3 large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 11oz bag Bite Sized Butterfingers, crushed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13 x 9 inch pan.

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a second mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat in eggs and vanilla, mixing only until eggs are incorporated.
2. Fold in flour mixture followed by most of the butterfingers. Reserve some for topping.
3. Pour into pan and spread to edges. Sprinkle remaining chopped butterfinger over top and bake for 28-30 minutes.
4. Let cool completely, then cut into bars.

Yummy Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Strawberry Lemonade Bars, closeup
Strawberry Lemonade Bars
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 3/4 cup berries)
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (or use the Baker’s Edge pan, if you have one).
Begin by making the crust.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 17 minutes, until set at the edges.
While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar and eggs and process until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder and salt, then pulse until smooth.
Gently pour the filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking. Return pan to oven and bake for 23-26 minutes, until the filling is set (There will be a light colored “crust” on top from the sugar in the custard – nothing to worry about).
Cool completely before slicing and use a damp knife to ensure clean slices.
Store bars in the refrigerator, especially on a hot day.
Makes 24 bars

Homemade Nutrigrain Strawberry Bars

Homemade Strawberry NutriGrain Bars
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
2 1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup butter, melted
12 ounces preserves or jam
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and oats. Stir in melted butter until the mixture is crumbly.
Measure half of the mixture (approx. 3 cups) into prepared pan. Press firmly into pan to cover bottom.
Combine preserves/jam and water. Spoon over crumb mixture in pan; spread evenly.
Cover jam with remaining crumb mixture. Pat firmly to make top even.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until top is very light brown.
Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Brown Rice Pilaf/Healthy Fried Rice

Love fried rice?  This is a simple, fresh, and healthy alternative.  This is also another one of those clean out your refrigerator, anything goes, recipes so you may not even have to shop (isn’t that great? I thought you’d like that!)  Its also so yummy and the leftovers last as long as you can (midnight snack, anyone?).  Use any rice you’d like, but I picked up a bag of Goya long grain brown rice for $1.60 per pound, and I will not be making the whole pound.  I also will be using the veggies left over from the pizza I made earlier this week! So, here we go:
1 ½ cup water
Dash salt
¾ cup uncooked brown rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch ginger, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
6 button mushrooms, sliced
½ yellow pepper, diced
1 small head broccoli, chopped into small florets
One medium tomato, quartered and sliced
2 eggs beaten
Small bunch cilantro, minced
3 scallions, chopped
Boil the water and salt in a small pot.  Add the brown rice, bring back to a boil, and lower the heat.  Simmer for 40 minutes. While the rice is cooking chop your veggies!
Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent.  Add any seasoning that you want or have (I added cumin and red pepper flakes).  Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until browned.  Add carrots, peppers, and broccoli. Cook until veggies are no longer raw, but still crunchy. Add tomato slices and heat through.
When you are nearly ready to eat (rice is done and veggies cooked) pour the eggs into the skillet and stir until fully set.  Mix the veggies into the cooked rice.  Spoon into bowls and garnish with scallions and cilantro.

Carrot Zucchini Muffins

My carrot zucchini muffin, that is.  And by better I mean heartier and healthier, obviously.  I love sneaking vegetables into baked goods, but I’ll be the first to tell you that simply because the vegetables are in there, does not mean the goodie is good for you.  Traditional carrot cake, for example, is loaded with refined flour, sugar, and saturated fats.  The carrot adds nutrients for sure, but no matter how you slice it, carrot cake, zucchini bread, morning sunshine muffins (you know, the one with carrots and raisins?) and the like are just as indulgent as chocolate cake, corn bread, and lemon poppy-seed muffin.  So by all means indulge (with moderation), just don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are eating healthily. As you will notice, these carrot zucchini muffins have a lot of ingredients, but please do not shy away from the recipe!  These muffins are a synch to whip up and will be sitting on your plate in no time.  If you want to make these even healthier, you can: use a ½ cup applesauce instead of the oil; egg substitute instead of the eggs; and stevia instead of brown sugar.  I, however, took out some of the bulge but not all of the indulge (too much?) in the following muffin:
1½ cup white flour
¾ cup whole-wheat flour
¾ cup oats
2 Tbsp flax seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup oil
½ cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1½ cup yogurt
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded carrot
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Line with muffin cups, or grease, two muffin tins. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a bowl mix together the first nine ingredients (the dry ingredients). In a different bowl, beat together the oil, vanilla, and honey.

Beat in eggs and yogurt.   Then fold in the zucchini, carrots and walnuts until well incorporated.  Gradually fold in the dry mixture but be sure to do so in a few strokes as possible.  With muffins and quick breads, a light and fluffy crumb is most desirable—to create such a texture you want to avoid over mixing the batter.  Over mixing relaxes the gluten and results in a more dense baked good.
It is ok if you can still see some flour in your muffin batter.  The flour doesn’t need to be fully blended but it does need to be fully incorporated.  Divide batter among the muffin tins.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until tops are golden brown and a toothpick/knife passes the clean test.

Sweet Potato Chili

Sweet Potato Chili
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 med onion, diced
¼ tsp cayenne
1 green pepper, diced
½ to 1 Habanero, minced (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes, low to no sodium
5 cups diced sweet potato (about 3 medium)
¼ tsp salt
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Prepare vegetables.  When mincing the Habanero, wear latex gloves if you have them, or wash your hands with strong soap immediately after.  Once, I did not wash my hands thoroughly and soon after my hands started burning with intense pain.  I suffered for two days, and could only find relief by holding bags of frozen peas!  Well enough about me, heat your oil in a Dutch oven or heavy sauce pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions sweet and start to brown. Add the spices and peppers.  Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes and enough water to nearly the cover the potatoes.  Bring the pot to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer the chili until the sweet potato begins to soften.

Add the beans and continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender and the chili is thick.

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

As cheesecake brownies go, these are my ideal.  The chocolate flavor is bold, the cheesecake is tangy, and the brownie on the bottom is moist and chewy.  Let these brownies warm up slightly before serving.  Not that you can’t eat them cold from the fridge (on a  hot day these brownies surprisingly refreshing straight from the chill chest), but the flavors of the chocolate and cheesecake are best closer to room temperature.
Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies      Yield 12
For the brownie layer:
1 1/2 ounces unsalted butter
1 ounce dark (65% or higher) chocolate, chopped
7 ounces sugar
2 ounces golden syrup or honey
1 1/2 ounces butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 3/4 ounces cake flour
1/2 ounces Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the cheesecake layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 1/2 ounces sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ounce dark (65% or higher) chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sour cream
Heat the oven to 350 F.  Spray an 8 x 8″ pan with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper leaving a three inch overhang on either side, and spray the parchment.
Begin by preparing the cheesecake layer.
In the bowl of a food processor combine the cream cheese and sugar.  Process until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients and process until well mixed.  Set aside.

In a small microwave safe bowl add the butter and chopped chocolate.  Using 30 second bursts, melt the chocolate with the butter.
Pour the melted chocolate in a large bowl and add the sugar, golden syrup, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.  Whisk until smooth and well mixed.

Add the cake flour, cocoa powder and salt.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth, about ten strokes, then fold in the chocolate chips.
Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies
Set aside 1/2 cup of the brownie batter, then pour the remaining batter into the prepared pan.  Top with the cheesecake batter.  Drizzle the reserved brownie batter over the cheesecake and, using a butter knife, swirl the batter in.
Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the sides pull away and the cheesecake is just set.  Allow the brownies to cool completely, then chill for at least two hours before slicing.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Best Cinnamon Bread Recipe- Copycat (Great Harvest)

Cinnamon Burst Bread (like Great Harvest’s)-Makes 4 Loaves
3 T. yeast
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten lightly (or to utilize the powered eggs on the shelf, 1/4 C. Dry Egg Powder +1/2 C. Water)
3 3/4 cup warm water
4 1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups cinnamon bites (available at healthfood stores)
11-12 cups flour ( Can use half whole wheat flour)
Combine in mixing bowl 4 cups flour, yeast, and sugar. Add water, eggs, and oil. Beat well to “cake batter” stage. Stir in salt, cinnamon bites, and 7 more cups flour to make bread-dough consistency. Let mixer knead it to the right texture (add up to 1 more cup flour if needed). Place dough in greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour. Shape dough into 4 loaves. Let rise for another hour or until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Slice thick and serve warm with butter, or toast slices in the toaster (be careful, the cinnamon bites can burn your fingers), or make slices into French Toast. Yummy!

Lowfat Chocolate Chip Cookies made with Beans!!

(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.

Baking With Beans Instead of Oil

Adding bean puree to brownies or cake (or really anything calling for oil!): Simply use the same amount of bean puree that your recipe calls for oil. For example, if your brownie recipe calls for 1/3 c. oil, you would instead use 1/3 c. bean puree. Try to pick a color that will match what you are doing (so, you could do white beans and black beans in a chocolate cake but I wouldn’t do black beans in a white cake=make sense? Good!)

Home Cooked Beans: Take cooked beans (reserve the cooking water) and blend in your blender with enough water to create a thick paste. (Basically enough water to make all the beans turn into a puree. If you need to see how to cook beans, read below.
Canned Beans: Dump entire contents of can (beans and water) into a blender and blend until it is a thick paste.

Lowfat Brownies!! Yes, Lowfat Brownies!!

Lowfat Brownie Recipe

This is really quite simple, mash cooked and rinsed black beans. Replace the mashed beans for the amount of oil or butter in the recipe. Works great with a box mix. Cook according to package directions!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wonderful World of Baking Soda

The humble baking soda is humble no more. The uses for baking soda abound. from babies to batteries, gardening to cooking and personal care to pet care, baking soda uses continue to grow with each homemaker’s discovery. Here are the most common and the most helpful of said ways to use baking soda arranged in alphabetical order, just so you can have quick reference.

Baby Care

  • Instead of using store-bought detergents, combine baking soda with hot water to thoroughly clean and disinfect baby bottles.

  • Diaper Rash:For diaper rash irritations, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda in baby’s lukewarm bath water.

  • Your baby will benefit from the eco-friendly ways with which you take care of him/her. white bathroom


  • Often, bathrooms are the bane of a mother’s cleaning schedule. With baking soda, you can sprinkle good amounts on sinks, showers and tubs before scrubbing them.

  • On the toilet, add one cup into the water and leave for an hour before flushing, which will simultaneously clean and deodorize it.

  • Even your shower curtains will be cleaner once soaked in water with baking soda!


  • Baking soda has deodorizing properties ideal for clothes with sweat, smoke and spit-ups on them.

  • You can either place the baking soda directly into the spit-up of the baby to counteract the smell in a quick fashion or introduce clothing that is sweat-drenched/smoke-tainted from headbands to socks in a water-baking soda solution about an hour before washing them.

  • Even your malodorous shoes will benefit from baking soda. Just place a small pouch of baking soda into the shoe to remove the odors.


  • And of course, uses for baking soda center on cooking.

  • However,the uses for baking soda extends beyond making your cupcakes and omelets fluffier!

  • You can sprinkle baking soda on tomato-based foods so as to lessen their acid content, which is especially beneficial for people suffering from hyperacidity.

  • Fish and chicken can be made easier and yummier to prepare with baking soda, too.

  • When dressing chicken, combine one teaspoon of baking soda into the water to allow feathers to come easily.

  • For raw fish fillets, marinating them in baking soda solution for about an hour ought to remove the fishy smell.

  • And if you are entertaining guests, mix in a small pinch of baking soda into a gallon of iced tea to take out the tannins and to prevent cloudiness. Your guests will even notice the difference albeit in a positive way!

    First Aid

    baking soda uses

  • Some interesting uses for baking soda is to alleviate the pain and itchiness associated with bee stings and bug bites, sunburns and rashes, and even poison ivy contact.

  • Mix in baking soda and water to make a paste and apply directly into the affected areas.

  • Sufferers of chickenpox and measles will find much-needed relief from baking soda poured into bathwater.

  • For heartburn and acid indigestion, combining ½ teaspoon of baking soda and ½ glass of water ought to relieve pain.

  • However, be careful using this baking soda mixture in people with high calcium intake as it can lead to side effects like kidney stones.


  • Baking soda uses even extend to the hard-to-clean garage!

  • When car batteries spill over, neutralize its acid with handfuls of baking soda so as to prevent severe accidents.

  • And if your car battery has grease and grime in it, remove them by using a soft brush and a baking soda paste.

  • Instead of using expensive car cleaners, make a baking soda paste to polish stainless steel and chrome as well as mask the little scuffs on the bumper.

  • Also, wipe baking soda directly into the windshield to repel rain.


  • Go beyond the kitchen, and move into the garden for more uses for baking soda.

  • Keep away fungi, black spots and mildew from your precious plants by applying baking soda mixed with soap and horticultural oil directly into the affected leaves.

  • For your precious roses, spray them on a weekly basis with a mixture composed of one teaspoon baking soda, one galloon of water and just a few drops of dishwashing soap.


  • Baking soda is a dirt-buster!

  • Use it to clean coal-blackened grills, which will help you avoid using chemical products and thereby adding them to your food the next time you have a barbecue. And keep a box of baking soda handy when you do grill food.

  • It is also a great fire-stopper, with just a handful effective in putting out fires caused by grease, wood, fuel and electricity.


  • Arguably, the kitchen has more uses for baking soda than any other part of the house.

  • For delicate china and inexpensive plastic, sprinkle soda on food stains and wipe away with damp paper towels.

  • For ovens, combine four tablespoons baking soda and a quart of lukewarm water to scrub its inside.

  • Or you can just apply baking soda directly to cutting boards and countertops to take off the smells of food as well as clean it.

  • Mix with salt for better cleaning and deodorizing.

  • Clogged drains will go away when four tablespoons of baking soda are placed in them every week, which should then be flushed with hot water to clean the insides.

  • Or you can freshen up the kitchen by combining your perfumed bath salts with baking soda, placing the mixture in sachet bags and then putting them in strategic places.

    Personal Care

  • Don’t turn up your nose at the uses for baking soda in your personal care routine. Use it as an effective skin exfoliant by mixing one of part water to three parts of baking soda. Apply on your face using either your fingertips or a soft washcloth in gentle, circular motions and rinse thoroughly. You will notice the natural glow in just a few days! bath salts

  • Transfer such natural glow for a healthy mane of hair. Just mix a pinch of baking soda into your favorite shampoo and conditioner, which should strip undesirable chemicals from your hair for a healthier look.

  • For better oral care, soak your retainers, dentures and mouth guards in a baking soda solution of a glass of warm water mixed with 2 teaspoons of baking soda. These oral appliances will come out cleaner and better smelling, too. So, the next time you want affordable and eco-friendly solutions around the house, think of these use for baking soda!

  • Snicker Salad

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad

    Layer 1
    • 2 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
    • 3/4 cup melted butter
    • 3 Tbsp sugar
    Mix together and press into bottom of 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let cool.

    Layer 2
    • 8 oz cream cheese
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 8 oz Cool Whip
    Cream together cream cheese and sugar then fold in Cool Whip. Spread on cooled pretzels. Make SURE to seal-don't leave any holes that Jello will leak through.

    Layer 3
    • 1 large pkg Jello (strawberry or raspberry)
    • 16-18 oz frozen berries (rasp, strawb, black, blue)
    Stir Jello into 1 1/2 cups boiling water and dissolve. Add 6 ice cubes (8 if berries aren't frozen). Dissolve ice cubes. Add frozen berries. Stir. Pour over the other layers. Chill in fridge until Jello is completely set.

    Fresh Peach Dessert

    If there is any possible way to get your hands on some fresh peaches...RUN. GET THEM. AND MAKE THIS ASAP!

    Fresh Peach Dessert
    2/3 cup powdered sugar
    3/4-1 cup butter
    2 pkg. graham crackers; crushed
    12-14 medium peaches; peeled & sliced  or if you must 3 cans
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1 pt. whipping cream

    Mix cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, & butter. Press into the bottom of a glass 9 x 13 pan. Reserve some of the crust to sprinkle on top. Whip cream and add a little vanilla and powdered sugar until set. Mix the sweetened condensed milk with lemon juice. Then place the peaches on the crust and pour the milk/lemon mixture on top. Spread the fresh cream on top and sprinkle with remaining crust.

    *This is so light and fresh, but you have to share it or half it because it is best if enjoyed in the first 24 hours!

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Homemade Laundry Detergent

    I was low on store bought laundry detergent and I bought it only because it was 1.20 with coupons and a great sale at Walgreens a couple months ago. I bought like 5 bottles. I usually make our laundry detergent but why with that sale. I broke down and made our usual soap but this time We did add the essential oils to it, orange scent, wow it's awesome!! If you need the recipe again here it is. I adapted it from the Duggar's recipe. Cost is only 3.15 to make 5 gallons, seriously it's too cheap not to make it.

    Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

    4 Cups - hot tap water
    1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
    1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
    ½ Cup Borax

    - Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

    -Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

    -Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

    -Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

    -Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

    -Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

    -Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

    Awesome Popcorn Cake

    Back when I had a lot more time on my hands I watched the Food Network channel. I love Emeril. He made this wonderful popcorn cake, so easy. You simply airpop popcorn, then melt two sticks of butter, 1 (16 oz) bag marshmallows together on the stove top. Add the marshmallow mixture to the popcorn (20 cups popped) . Add a bag of any candy, we like skittels, or M and M's  work great. Press into a greased bundt pan, cool and serve. Sooo yummy and great for kids to make too. Great way to use up some popcorn in storage.

    Thanks Emeril!!

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Inspired Coincidences: The Lord's Law of Health

    Inspired Coincidences: The Lord's Law of Health: " I teach the 2nd Sunday of every month at Church. This month, the lesson is on The Lord's Law of Health (also known as The Word of Wisd..."
    ( You must check out this wonderful lesson by Inspired Coincidences, pure sweetness!!)

    Homemade Fabric Softener

    You can make your own liquid fabric softener. There are several versions to choose from–most being a combination of baking soda, vinegar, and/or hair conditioner. I am no chemist, but  take note of a comment about mixing baking soda and vinegar to use as a fabric softener. The commenter said that once this stuff bubbles up (yes, this is the volcano recipe from the school science fair) it chemically changes to a salt. So you end up with salty water.
    Yet, many people insist that the combination works. Others say use baking soda alone. Or vinegar alone. Or vinegar plus hair conditioner.

    Here is one common combination:
    Pour a cup of baking soda into a gallon container, followed by a cup of water. Add 6 cups of vinegar (observe bubbling with amazement) and then pour in 6 more cups of water. Add 10 or so drops of essential oils if you like the smell, but be aware the vinegar scent won’t remain on your clothes, so you don’t need to worry about covering that up. Shake before each use–a cup or so per load.
    If you use hair conditioner, for goodness sake, buy a big jug of something cheap–something that smells good. Your clothes will not judge you for not using salon conditioner.
    Vinegar also will remove soap residue from clothes, so you’ll not only get softening, but brightening as well, as the dinge of soap is removed.

    Is “dinge” a word?
    And, if you still notice static cling, try crumpling up a piece of aluminum foil and throwing it in the dryer. Really.

    Lastly, remember that Grandma would say, goodness, just hang things on the line. Nothing beats the luxury of line-dried, sun-scented sheets

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Rotating Your Food Storage

    Sister Julie Beck, the General Relief Society President, asked several bishops what skills the sisters in their wards needed most to be self-reliant. Their answer: living within a budget and cooking. Rotating and using your food storage can help you to be more self-reliant. Why is it important to rotate your food storage?
    1. Prevents throwing away unused, expired food, which saves you money.
    2. Allows you and your family to get accustomed to eating stored food, essential in effectively dealing with emergency situation.
    3. Eating your long-term storage is healthy. Most food storage items are lower in fat and higher in nutrients than most convenience foods.
    4. Because these high-fiber food will be upsetting to the digestive system if you suddenly begin to eat them, it is important to start incorporating them into your diet now.
    5. By already knowing how to use your food storage, it will help to relieve a lot of stress in times of emergency.
    6. If you will eat food storage meals two days out of the week you can have a whole year’s supply rotated in just three and a half years.
    How can you remember to use your food storage?
    1. Keep a permanent marker in the same place where you store your food and then every time you bring home a new package or can of food, just date it. If the item has an expiration
      date already on it, you might want to circle it. I have also written the date on the item at the time of purchase.
    2. Keep small amounts of your food storage in the kitchen. The more you see these items the more often you will use them.
    3. Find recipes that sound interesting using food storage items. The Internet is a great resource. Many of the cooking websites allow you to enter either the recipe you are looking for and/or the ingredient(s) you have on hand. I like the websites where users rate the recipe and give comments. My favorite site is allrecipes.com. Also, BYU TV and byubroadcasting.org have a wonderful program called Living Essentials that has many segments on preparedness. Three of them are on rotating and using your long-term storage. You can also print the transcripts.
    4. Incorporate food storage items into your favorite recipes.

    Cheesecake Bars

    Cheesecake Bars

    1/3 cup butter
    1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

    1/4 cup sugar
    8 oz. cream cheese, softened (Low-fat cream cheese is fine in my opinion. But if you don't usually like it, stick with the regular)
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    2 Tbsp milk
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1 egg

    Heat oven to 350. In a small bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Combine flour and walnuts or pecans with creamed mixture. Reserve 1 cup for topping. Press remainder into bottom of ungreased 8" or 9" square pan. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned.

    In a small bowl, blend sugar and cream cheese until smooth (if using fat-free cream cheese, mixture will be kind of lumpy, but it will cook up just fine). Add milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and egg. Beat well. Spread over baked crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 23-27 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator. Makes 24 small bars.

    Whole Wheat Tortillas

    *Use a nonstick mat when rolling out
    *Roll them out very thin!
    *Do not overcook!!

    Other than that they are easy and no fail!!

    Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas
    submitted by Melanie

    3 cups whole
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup hot water
    1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
    Mix all ingredients thoroughly in mixer. Remove from mixing bowl and knead on countertop until smooth (add a little white flour if the dough is too sticky). Divide the dough into 12 balls, and let rest (covered) for 15 minutes. Roll each ball into a very think circle. Heat a heavy skillet (ungreased) to medium high heat. Cook tortillas until brown flecks appear, about 30 seconds each side. (Adjust heat accordingly) Use immediately, or wrap in plastic or place in a airtight container to refrigerate or freeze. To warm, wrap in damp paper towels and microwave 15-20 seconds.

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Homemade Peanut Butter

    Homemade Peanut Butter
    You will need:
    • 1 1/2 cups peanuts. (I used roasted and salted)
    • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (may need slightly more or less)
    • 1 tablespoon raw honey
    • Salt to taste (if your nuts aren’t already salted)

    The players. (Do you like my cute little liquid measuring glass? It’s not a shot glass. Promise.) 
    Thoroughly process the peanuts in a food processor until finely chopped.
    While the processor is running, stream in a bit of olive oil. (I did not use this whole glass, just a bit) You may have to turn off the processor for a minute, removed the lid and scrap the bottom of the bowl in order to make sure everything is incorporated well enough (at least that is what I had to do with mine).
    Next, stream in the honey in the same manner.
    And you’re done! It has a slightly chunky consistency, which I prefer. I also like to store mine in the fridge. It won’t last for years on the shelf like the commercial peanut butters do, but I doubt it will have a chance to be around for that long anyway!

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    20 Ways To Save Money On Laundry

    When you are living on a tight budget like my family is you have to find ways to save $$ in every department! Here are some ideas for saving money on doing laundry:
    1. Try to buy clothes that don’t have to be dry cleaned.
    2. Remove and hang up your clothes that need to be dry cleaned as soon as you get home to help keep them in good shape, and to prolong another trip to the cleaners.
    3. Search out a discount dry cleaner. There are many $1.50-$2.50 cleaners who are just as good as the more expensive chains.
    4. If you are able, put up a clothes line and hang your clothes out to dry when you can.
    5. Do all of your laundry in one day. If you are using the dryer, it will stay warm between loads and keep your overall heating cost down.
    6. Wash all, but the most soiled clothes (use warm water for these), in cold water, followed with a cold rinse.
    7. Use a little less than the recommended amount of detergent for each load. Your clothes will come out just as clean.
    8. A little maintenance for your washing machine will add years to its life. To unclog hoses, and clean out all of the build up, fill the machine with hot water, pour in a gallon of distilled white vinegar. Allow it to run through an entire cycle.
    9. If you use dryer sheets, tear them in half before throwing them in. They will work just as well.
    10. Save the dryer sheets after they’ve been used. They make great dusting cloths for TV’s and computer screens. The anti-static properties will also help to repel more dust from attracting to them.
    11. Press dress suits with a damp cloth between the clothing and the iron. Unless dirty, you only need to send suits to the dry cleaners twice a year to preserve the fibers.
    12. Spray ties with fabric protector to avoid frequent dry-cleaning.
    13. Wear you clothes a couple times before you wash them. Unless they are soiled they don’t need to be cleaned after every wear.
    14. Make your own Laundry Detergent 
    15. Run the washer through a second spin cycle. It will get more of the water out and cut down on drying time. It’s cheaper to do this, than run the dryer longer.
    16. Make your own dryer sheets. (This is a tip I found on another website): Save big bucks every year by making your own dryer sheets. Pour liquid fabric softener into a clean spray bottle, and spray 4-6 times onto a designated rag. Put into your dryer with clothes and tumble as usual. Wash the rag every once in a while to remove buildup. A small refill carton of concentrated softener lasts about 1 1/2 years.
    17. Use white vinegar in your laundry’s rinse cycle instead of fabric softener. About 1/4 or 1/2 cup will do a good job of keeping things soft and static free with no “smell”.
    18. For front loading washing machines: use half of the recommended liquid detergent. It will work just as well and save you twice as much!
    19. A front loading washer typically uses 1/3 to 2/3 less water. Try to get energy star appliances also. They will save on your overall energy bill. You don’t have to buy them new either. If you are in the market for a new washer or dryer, look in your local classifieds, or on Craigslist, there are usually lots to choose from.
    20. Purchase Dryer Balls: Supposedly they cut down on drying time, saving energy and money! I haven’t used these yet, but I’d like to try them out. Anybody out there have any comments about these?
    Well, I hope this is helpful to you! If anyone has any more suggestions, please let me know!

    Use it UP, Wear it OUT, Make it DO or Do WITHOUT

    Two key elements to being truly frugal are:
    Make it last longer & Use it all up
    Use your things sparingly. See how you can stretch them to make them last even longer.
    Dilute shampoo and conditioner with water. It’ll still work just as good and last twice as long! (Don’t try this on the cheapest brands though, it doesn’t work well on them.)
    Use less than the recommended amount of detergent in the dishwasher and washing machine.
    Only use a pea size amount (like instructed) of toothpaste instead of a whole glob!
    Lightly dab on moisturizer instead of saturating your face with it.
    And use it all up, completely.
    For example: toothpaste is pretty expensive (in my frugal mind). So when we get low on toothpaste, and the tube has been squeezed as flat as it possibly can be squeezed, I don’t stop there. Realizing that there is probably a little more paste still inside, I cut the tube down the side and… BEHOLD! There’s always a bunch of toothpaste still sticking around inside. So, I just scrape some off onto the toothbrush, and put the cut tube into a Ziploc baggie to keep it fresh. It usually lasts for another week and a half!
    What else can you squeeze the last drop out of?
    Swish water around in containers like shampoo/conditioner, liquid laundry detergent, dish detergent and such. Shake up your empty chocolate syrup container with a little milk, to get the very last bit of chocolate out before you toss the bottle. Cut open tubes of products, and be amazed at how much more stuff is hiding inside!
    So, before you throw something away, see if there might be at least one more usage out of it. The savings really add up!

    Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk for Pennies

    With a can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk going for around $2.50-$3.50 nowadays, you might want to consider this money saving substitute! Here is an easy way to make your own sweetened condensed milk, so that you can stretch your grocery budget a little farther!
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 1/8 cup powdered milk
    Combine all ingredients in saucepan and heat over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened, approx. 15-20 min. Continue stirring to avoid burning. A double-boiler may also be used to avoid burning.
    Here is a “no cook” recipe for Eagle Brand milk substitute that I found that you might like to try as well:
    1/2 C. hot water
    1 C. Powdered Milk
    1 C. Sugar
    1 T. Butter
    Blend in blender very well. Can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen.
    There are actually several recipes for this out there, some using evaporated milk instead of powdered. If none of mine work for you, keep looking! You’ll never have to buy one of those expensive little cans again!

    Toilet Bowl Cleaner

    Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaner

    Need a recipe  for cleaning your toilet bowl using safe, non-toxic ingredients?
    Baking Soda and Vinegar: Sprinkle some baking soda (about 1/4-1/2 c.) around the toilet bowl, then spray it with white vinegar in a spray bottle (uses less than just pouring it on). Scrub with toilet brush and flush to rinse.
    A cheap and easy way to clean, deodorize and disinfect your toilet bowl!
    Borax and Lemon Juice: In a container mix about 1/2 c. borax to 1/4 c. lemon juice (more or less as needed) to make a paste. Flush the toilet to get sides of bowl wet. Then, using a glove (or I like to use an old sock), rub the paste around the inside of the toilet bowl, especially glopping it over stains. Leave on for at least 2 hours (or overnight if possible), then scrub off with brush.
    *I do this after a first cleaning with the baking soda/vinegar mix, so the bowl isn’t too grimy. I use this for slightly tougher stains, plus I like the lingering smell of the lemon juice!

    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    Wonderful Wheat Bread

    Simple Wheat Bread

    3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
    1/3 cup honey
    5 cups bread flour
    3 tablespoons butter, melted
    1/3 cup honey
    1 tablespoon salt
    3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    2 tablespoons butter, melted


    In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

    Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

    Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.

    Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

    Hint to cut rising time in half:  After clothes have come out of the dryer and the dryer's still hot, place the covered dough in the dryer & close the dryer door. Of course you don't turn the dryer on, but the heat from it causes the dough to rise faster.