Friday, July 31, 2009

Confessions . . . of a Tired Ole Grandma


Friday, I decided to clean my oven, even I can only take so much smoke. Now don't be too shocked, I am showing my oven. Just like on the BBQ and stove top, I seem to find a way to boil over, spill and produce my "home cooked" smoke where ever I cook. Mariah gave me teflon oven liner a couple of years ago and does it ever save me time.

It took five minutes to remove that and get the shiny oven using just that little green scrubby pad and dish soap. No fumes from spraying or when I turned the oven the next time. The liner also took about five minutes to clean. I love it!

I have a self-cleaning oven . . . hate the heat, hate the smoke and scared of that high of a temperature inside my home. I had an oven missing insulation once and that one would have started a fire if I had run it in the cleaning mode!

These teflon liners are found at Bed, Bath & Beyond for about $10.00. Don't forget to take in a 2o% off coupon! they are so worth the investment!

I was taking some garlic out of the freezer the other day and wondered if I was the last one to discover this. When you put the whole bulb of garlic in a plastic bag, into the freezer, it makes cooking with it quick and easy.

Take out the number of cloves you need about 5 minutes before to thaw. Just slip the skins off and mince or smash, whatever form you need.

I have quit buying the minced in the jar . . . a lazy little habit I developed a few years ago.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


This recipe is from the website:

Chicken Lettuce Wraps Like Pf Changs - Copycat Recipe #178146
I LOVE PF Changs Lettuce Wraps, but we live a long distance from the nearest of their restaurants. When I start craving their lettuce wraps, I make this copycat recipe, and my husband says they are even better than Changs. You be the judge. They are a little work, but well worth the effort.

45 min | 30 min prep


Cooking Sauce

  1. (If you used dried mushrooms, cover mushrooms with boiling water, let stand 30 minutes then drain.) Cut and discard woody stems from mushrooms. Mince mushrooms. Set aside.
  2. Mix all ingredients for cooking sauce in bowl, and set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, combine cornstarch, sherry water, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and chicken. Stir to coat chicken thoroughly. Stir in 1 teaspoons oil and let sit 15 minutes to marinate.
  4. Heat wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 TBSP oil, then add chicken and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Add 2 TBSP oil to pan. Add ginger, garlic, chilies(if desired. I leave these out), and onion; stir fry about a minute or so.
  6. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts; stir fry an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Return chicken to pan. Add mixed cooking sauce to pan. Cook until thickened and hot. Break cooked cellophane noodles into small pieces, and cover bottom of serving dish with them. Then pour chicken mixture on top of noodles. Spoon into lettuce leaf and roll.
My personal "Healthier Version"

  • The first thing I do is get the core out of the head of lettuce by grabbing with both hands, with the core side down. Bring it down hard against something like the counter or a solid table. The core should lift right out for you.
  • Next, put into a deep bowl, run cool water into the head itself until the bowl is full and water covers the whole head. I throw in some ice cubes to make it nice and cold to crisp the lettuce better. Set that aside and start chopping!
  • I started making these when I was losing weight and realized that veggies are really good in them. Today I used: red peppers, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, zucchini, minced garlic, water chestnuts, a small amount of cooked rice and chicken.
  • Dice all of it very small, 1/4 inch at the largest. Use the food processor if needed.
  • **Stir fry all of the ingredients starting with the meat. As soon as it is cooking, start adding the veggies starting with the veggies that take longer to cook. I do this when stir frying anything so that it can all come out with some crunch left in the veggies.
  • This will not take long so have your soy sauce ready to sprinkle in just before you take it off the heat. I use low salt soy sauce so that I can have more of the flavor without so much salt. There are also teriyaki sauces that would be good if you like that flavor combination. Some times when it is just me home, I have been known to add a little sweet & sour sauce to make it zingggg!
When the filling is ready, pull the head of lettuce in half starting at the hole where the core used to be.
  • Scoop some filling up in a spoon and spread on your leaf ( I often double the leaves for more crunch)
  • Roll it up and enjoy!!
Other Ideas:
  • I use many different ingredients:
  • Just about any vegetable can go into it.
  • Besides chicken, I have also used beef, pork, chopped and ground.
  • Instead of rice, I have used different Asian noodles, chopped up into small pieces.
  • Try nuts chopped up in your food processor! If you like cashew chicken try that in the wrap form, peanuts and almonds are also yummy.

If you have never stir fried, don't be afraid to try it! It isn't that hard and you will be surprised at how much you love it. I even do an Italian type stir fry that we put over the pasta with a light sauce drizzled over the top!

  • A wok is nice, but the most important thing is that it is a heavier weight. I use my cast iron skillet quite often.
  • The next thing is that, if you use an oil that has a higher smoking point, it will be a lot easier. I use peanut oil a lot. A little sesame oil added to the oil will give it a wonderful nutty flavor. When I am not going so Asian, like when I do the Italian stir fry, I use vergin olive oil. If you want heart healthy, use olive oil all the time. You do need to use high temperature to get the stir fry "yumminess" .
  • Chop all of your ingredients
  • Heat pan, add oil.
  • When a piece of meat sizzles when it is put into the pan, go ahead nad add the rest of the meat. Stir constantly using a large shallow spoon, scoop or spatula. This is called stir fry and the difference is that the food is on the move in your pan all the time.
  • When the meat looks about half done, start piling the vegetables in, starting with the ones that take longer to cook, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower.
I hope this make sense. If it doesn't, feel free to ask questions, I won't be offended and my "editor" (daughter) is kind of busy these days.

This post is very long, so I will post the one using dehydrated foods in a couple of days! Guess the chille rellenos will have to wait until tomorrow, life still goes on!


A three year old munchkin is "helping" Nanny this morning . . I will get this (Lettuce Wraps) on later today after dropping him off . . . with pictures even. I'll even through in Chile Rellenos while I'm at it . . . I'm in the mood and have some pictures!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


My serger just gave me fits, again, so I am taking a short break and will get this one real quick. If it keeps this up, I may have to take it in for another tune up . . . it's only been . . . say 5 or 6 years . . what's the deal . . anyway?

I thawed some of the thick pork chops from Costco.
  • Split them to about 3/4 inch thick.
  • Browned them, put them into a roasting bag.
  • Poured in the BBQ sauce (about 1 1/2 cups).
  • Shake it all up, turn yourself around . . oh wait, that's a song.
  • Roll it around to coat the chops, add more sauce if you like it that way.
  • Squeeze the air out. Place the bag into the pot, filled pot with water to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from top.
  • Hang the bag top out of the top of the pot, put on the lid.
  • Bring to a boil for about 12-15 minutes.
  • While it is boiling, get the wonder box ready. I line it with a towel since the very full pots tend to get dribbles, etc.
  • Use a similar sized pan to make the hole in the middle.
  • When the food had been boiling for time needed, put it into the wonder box quickly. Have the WB lid ready and cover immediately!
I left it for 7 hours. When I checked the temperature, it was at 143 degrees. Here's the results! Oh, the other results is . . . NO hot
kitchen! Gotta love it . . and I do!

The pork was well done and fairly tender, not to the point that it would have been falling off bones, if there had been any, but OK for shredding up for sandwiches.

Everyone that tried it seemed to enjoy it. . . . well, everyone except Garrett. Mariah said the she saw him working his mouth and then suddenly out came his tongue and the meat, while keeping the bread in his mouth. He has never liked meat, since he started eating solids. Mariah has her challenges between that and her "can't have soy" kiddo!

And now back the evil serger . . . wish me luck.

I would like a great BBQ Sauce recipe . . anyone have one they would be willing to share? So far, I have been disappointed in the ones that I have tried.

Wonder box . . . Changed my mind . . . Pork

I changed my mind (it's OK, I am a woman after all!) when I was digging in my freezer last night and thawed out thick pork chops . . Pretty good . . . pics and results coming later tonight!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wonder Box . . . The Secret!

I reread all the articles that I could find about the Wonder Box. I realized what I was doing wrong!
The pot that is holding the food needs to be FULL! I had been leaving head space so they were losing heat too fast.

Yesterday, I made a stew using a small pouch of pretty gristled beef chunks. I used fresh potatoes, frozen corn (thawed), dehydrated diced carrots (rehydrated), and dried mushrooms (broken up), beef broth powder.

I boiled it for about 12 minutes with the lid on. I took and put into the wonder box very quickly, and covered it for 7 hours.
The potatoes were cooked soft, not mushy, and the meat was actually tenderized. When I took the lid off and it was still at 169 degrees.

Tomorrow I will make BBQ chicken in a roasting bag to try the same technique . . . make sure the pot is full of water around the bag! I will try to take pictures as well.

7 Mistakes of Food Storage ---Vicki Tate

1. Variety

Most people don’t have enough variety in their storage. 95% of the people I’ve worked with have only stored four basic items: wheat, milk, honey, and salt. Statistics show most of us won’t survive on such a diet for several reasons.

a) Many people are allergic to wheat and may not be aware of it until they are eating it meal after meal.

b) Wheat is too harsh for young children. They can tolerate it in small amounts but not as their main staple.

c) We get tired of eating the same foods over and over and many times prefer to not eat, then to sample that particular food again.

This is called appetite fatigue. Young children and older people are particularly susceptible to it. Store less wheat than is generally suggested and put the difference into a variety of other grains, particularly ones your family likes to eat. Also store a variety of beans, as this will add color, texture, and flavor. Variety is the key to a successful storage program. It is essential that you store flavorings such as tomato, bouillon, cheese, and onion.

Also, include a good supply of the spices you like to cook with. These flavorings and spices allow you to do many creative things with your grains and beans. Without them you are severely limited. One of the best suggestions I can give you is buy a good food storage cookbook, go through it, and see what your family would really eat. Notice the ingredients as you do it. This will help you more than anything else to know what items to store.

2. Extended staples

Never put all your eggs in one basket. Store dehydrated and/or freeze dried foods as well as home canned and “store bought” canned goods. Make sure you add cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast, and powdered eggs. You can’t cook even the most basic recipes without these items.

3. Vitamins

Vitamins are important, especially if you have children, since children do not store body reserves of nutrients as adults do. A good quality multi-vitamin and vitamin C are the most vital. Others might be added as your budget permits.

4. Quick and easy and “psychological foods”

Quick and easy foods help you through times when you are psychologically or physically unable to prepare your basic storage items. “No cook” foods such as freeze-dried are wonderful since they require little preparation, MREs (Meal Ready to Eat), such as many preparedness outlets carry, canned goods, etc. are also very good. “Psychological foods” are the goodies—Jello, pudding, candy, etc.—you should add to your storage. These may sound frivolous, but through the years I've talked with many people who have lived entirely on their storage for extended periods of time. Nearly all of them say these were the most helpful items in their storage to “normalize” their situations and make it more bearable. These are especially important if you have children.

5. Balance

Time and time again I’ve seen families buy all of their wheat, then buy all of another item and so on. Don’t do that. It’s important to keep well-balanced as you build your storage. Buy several items, rather than a large quantity of one item. If something happens and you have to live on your present storage, you’ll fare much better having a one month supply of a variety of items than a year’s supply of two or three items.

6. Containers

Always store your bulk foods in food storage containers. I have seen literally tons and tons of food thrown away because they were left in sacks, where they became highly susceptible to moisture, insects, and rodents. If you are using plastic buckets make sure they are lined with a food grade plastic liner available from companies that carry packaging supplies. Never use trash can liners as these are treated with pesticides. Don’t stack them too high. In an earthquake they may topple, the lids pop open, or they may crack. A better container is the #10 tin can which most preparedness companies use when they package their foods.

7. Use Your Storage
In all the years I’ve worked with preparedness one of the biggest problems I’ve seen is people storing food and not knowing what to do with it. It’s vital that you and your family become familiar with the things you are storing. You need to know how to prepare these foods. This is not something you want to have to learn under stress. Your family needs to be used to eating thesefoods. A stressful period is not a good time to totally change your diet. Get a good food storage cookbook and learn to use these foods! It’s better to find out the mistakes you’ll make now while there’s still time to make corrections.

It’s easy to take basic food storage and add the essentials that make it tasty, and it needs to be done. As I did the research for my cookbook, Cooking with Home Storage, I wanted to include recipes that gave help to families no matter what they had stored. As I put the material together it was fascinating to discover what the pioneers ate compared to the types of things we store. If you have stored only the basics, there’s very little you can do with it. By adding even just a few things, it greatly increases your options, and the prospect of your family surviving on it. As I studied how the pioneers lived and ate, my whole feeling for food storage changed. I realized our storage is what most of the world has always lived on. If it’s put together the right way we are returning to good basic food with a few goodies thrown in.

Friday, July 24, 2009



Adding additional milk to the recipe will enhance the nutritive value of the recipe. In any recipe calling for milk, simply add the dry milk to the other ingredients. Sift to blend, then add water for the milk, called for in the recipe.

  • For use in meat loaf, hamburgers, etc., use ¼ - ½ c. per pound of meat.
  • In mashed potatoes- add ¼ c. per cup of potatoes. To bring the potatoes to the correct consistency, use water, water the potatoes were cooked in or broth.
  • Cooked cereals- add ¼ - ½ c. to each cup of cereal before cooking. I usually add additional water when I cook mine, then mix milk powder to sugar, sprinkle on top, and mix.
  • Any time a recipe calls for milk, I figure how much powder to make the milk. Add up to 50% and add that to increase the nutrition.


  • 4 cups instant (2 1/3 c. non-instant) dry milk

  • 1 cup flour or 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of margarine

Combine dry milk, flour, and margarine into large bowl and mix until it looks like cornmeal. Keep covered in the refrigerator. (Makes 5 cups Magic Mix)

image from:

**Magic Mix can be used to make many recipes quickly and economically

WHITE SAUCE -- makes 1 cup

  • 2/3 CUP Magic Mix
  • 1 cup cool water
In sauce pan combine Magic Mix and cool water.Stir rapidly over medium heat until it starts to bubble

MACARONI & CHEESE -- makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup White Sauce made from Magic Mix
  • 1 cup uncooked macaroni
  • 4-5 oz. grated cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2- - 1 tsp. salt or garlic salt (optional)

Cook macaroni in boiling water until tender, drain. Combine macaroni, white sauce, cheese, and seasoning.

CREAM SOUP -- Serves 4

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cube or 1 tsp. bouillon granules
  • 2 cups Magic Mix

Add one or more of the following:

  • 3 cooked carrots, mashed
  • 3 potatoes, cooked, chopped & 1 Tbs. cooked, chopped onion
  • 1 can chopped clams
  • 1 package chopped spinach, cooked
  • 1 can cream style corn & 1 Tbs. onion, cooked, chopped
Combine water, magic mix and bouillon in sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until slightly thick. Add desired ingredients. Heat thoroughly.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tis the Season . . . . to Listen to That Still Small Voice.

****I am not MIA, just been busy and had more things to do than I had energy. I did want to share what I have been up to and some thoughts and that I have been having. Hopefully I will be able to express myself clearly and it will also do you some good.

**** This indicates a new section of this post. If I try to split it up, I will never get it all done.

This is just SMALL sampling of some my projects . . . sorry, but my family's needs come first over the blog, etc . . . .
****My husband and I have been taking extra steps to create a better preparedness plan. We felt like I might be getting carried away with food storage and maybe we should focus more on actual savings. The only thing is that I have been "driven" to get the cases of food from BB (Bountiful Baskets) to can and have on hand. At the same time, I have had strong feelings that I should also keep an eye on sales and can meat. Not an easy or fun thing to do by yourself. I also have had strong feelings to get our storage more organized and accessible for rotation . We did this for years when finances demanded it, but now . . I have to dig into my memory bank to remember how I used to utilize and use food storage in our every day diet. So with Jon's support, in many ways, we have been very busy following that still small voice that never goes away if we try to ignore it. It has given me so much peace of mind!

****Last night, Mariah and I were talking about the way things seem to be developing, economically and morally. She has made some interesting observations in how the different generations are reacting to it all. That led to how we had each been receiving promptings of the spirit in our lives. We don't always understand why and may even be a little worried by the directions that we are receiving, but know that through faith and sincere desire to obey, we will be blessed.

It is comforting to hear that your children are sensitive to that guidance and willing to follow it. It may not be an easy thing to do, but I know she and Stephen will do all that they can to be good parents and do what is best for the welfare and raising up of their sweet boys.
****I have been talking a lot about the Bountiful Baskets (BB). It is a produce buying co-op or group that saves a lot of money! Every other week, we have the opportunity to donate $15 plus $1.50 handling fee and pick up a lot of produce.

If you don't happen to live in the Phoenix, Tucson or Salt Lake City area, get on the internet and do some searching. I would be surprised if there are not more co-ops out there. I did something similar to this for years in N. AZ and it really enabled us to stretch our money and take better care of our children.

1. The "conventional basket" is a surprise package and we are never sure what it will have in it. It has introduced some new fruit and vegetables to my family that we had never tried but now look forward to eating in the future. The $16.50 donation, covers this.

2. They usually have some "specialty packages" that are a group of foods commonly used in ethic cooking, such as:
  • Italian- Italian squash, eggplant, fresh basil, rosemary, flat-leafed parsley, and oregano, mushrooms, and onion.
  • Mexican-Garlic (1 head), Yellow Onions, Dried Chipotle Chili (grind and use in salsa or enchilada sauce), Pablano/Pasilla Chilies (used to make Chili Relleno), Dried Anaheim/California Chilies (used to make enchilada sauce), Green Onions, Limes, Jalapenos, Cilantro, Corn Tortillas.
  • Asian- Garlic, sugar snap peas, fresh ginger, bok choy, etc.

These normally cost $7.50. I have gotten the Italian and Mexican, missed the Asian and was so disappointed! They have a lot of produce, the herbs and other flavorings are very fresh and last a long time. The first time that I got the Italian pack, I priced the rosemary, oregano and basil and figured that it would have cost $15 just for those three items! When there is too much for me use up, I share them or wash, dry and freeze in an airtight bag.

3. I have also gotten the Cases of fruit and had a wonderful time canning up a storm, in fact that is "where I have been" and why I have been slacking on this blog. Following is what I have gotten by the case:
  • Peaches - $0.64 / lb.
  • Bing Cherries - $0.75 / lb.
  • Apricots - $0.65 / lb.
  • Mt Rainier Cherries - $1.05 / lb.
  • Nectarines - $0.64 / lb.
  • Black Berries - $1.00 / 4.5 oz. pack
  • Granny Smith Apples - forgot, but it was a gonga deal or I wouldn't have bought them!
These prices have been lower than an that I have found in any of the grocery store ads.

4. Bread is also offered each delivery. There is always at least one type that is whole grain with just the five basic ingredients. Wheat, salt , sugar or honey, water or milk, yeast. No preservatives. These loaves are nearly $4 / loaf at Costco. Through BB we are able to get them in a lot of five, for $10. If you don't want to get that many, talk to to other family members, friends or others at the pick up and you can share. I have been doing that from the first order. There are also some wonderful round breads that are out of this world. They usually run $1.50 / loaf and come in 3 loaf packages.

**** I guess what I have been getting at is:
  • I have been so tight financially that I was thrilled when I could add a $ .19 box of salt to my food storage. I was determined to add something for "hard times" and it took me quite a while to find something I could pay for!
  • Look and ask around. Think out of the box. There is always a way to prepare. If you "can't find the finances", sit down and analyze your life style, budgeting and mind set, you will find a way to prepare for the hard times.
  • Make this a family project. The more everyone is involved, the more support you will be for each other, the more minds that will be thinking about it and coming up with ideas.
  • Each of our families is different. We have different tastes, needs and will deal with differerent challenges. Making these decisions and plans should be done prayerfully. We have a loving Heavenly Father who wants to bless us. He will guide you as you plan for taking care of your family.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fresh Fruit Everywhere . . . Good Ideas to Make It Special!

I have a whole case of fresh nectarines, which of course are all ripening at one time. So off to the internet I go and . . . I just found this great website that is called Just Fruit Recipes. It has great ideas to take advantage of the fresh fruit season that we are enjoying. Check it out HERE.

I hope everyone can enjoy the bounty of our land and find some new ways to use the fresh fruit that is so abundant right now! Watch your sales and you can probably have some wonderful, nutritious desserts using the fruit of the season without breaking the budget!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Making Yogurt & Bagels . . . Using Your Pantry Staples

I just saw this on Sabrina's blog a while ago and she has a great idea that is so obvious, but who thought of it, a busy mom! Check out how she keeps the yogurt at the consistent temperature while it sets up by clicking HERE. I am going to try it when making cream cheese!

Her bagels look wonderful! I never thought of putting potato flakes in them.


Sabrina is posting Menus as she is using them to care for her family. She has the recipes for quite a few of the dishes well organized in her label section to the side of her blog. If you are struggling to make up a menu plan to gather your three-month supply, check these out. You will find them very helpful.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sweet Best-Ever Muffins with Pictures

Dry Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 c. flour (half white and half whole wheat is my favorite)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
Wet Ingredients
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. oil
Mix all the dry stuff in a bowl. Make a well in the middle of it. Mix all the wet ingredients in another bowl and add all at once. Mix just until moist. It needs to be lumpy or the muffins will be dry, never quite figured out why this is, but I do know that you want those lumps, or lots of milk to wash them down ;- { Fill greased or paper lined muffin tin, 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, just until the tops are light golden brown.

Here are the final results. They are a little brown from using half whole wheat flour. They are also pretty smooth on top, from the lack of lumps in the batter. In other words, I mixed it a little too long. oops ! :-)

The best ones will be more lumpy looking on the top, from the lumps in the batter.

Here are some of the ideas to make them special:
  • Peaches,
  • cherries,
  • blueberries (of course),
  • pineapple,
  • chopped dried apricots,
  • raisins,
  • craisins, with cinnamon and orange peel
  • apples, chopped or dried granules
  • Chopped up fruit leather (unwrap, dust with powdered sugar or flour and then chop)
  • orange peel with a little orange juice concentrate in the liquid
  • chopped nuts
  • Different extracts, like vanilla, mapeline, or almond

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I promise I will add pictures to these posts as soon as I can. With all the home canning and pouching I have been doing, extra baking is just not on the agenda most days. I also have to watch how much I bake since it is just my hubby and me home most of the time.

First, I just realized that the Parmesan Chicken I posted in April can easily be done as a mix. Click HERE to review that post with a few added notes to help you.

Next I wanted to share my favorite muffin recipe. Remember the numbers in blue are the quadrupled amounts to make a mix for future use.


Dry Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 c. flour (half white and half whole wheat is my favorite)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
Wet Ingredients
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. oil
Mix all the dry stuff in a bowl. Make a well in the middle of it. Add all of the wet ingredients in at once. Mix just until moist. It needs to be lumpy or the muffins will be dry, never quite figured out why this is, but I do know that you want those lumps, or lots of milk to wash them down ;- { Fill greased or paper lined muffin tin, 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, just until the tops are light golden brown.

Now for the fun stuff! I love to put just about any kind of fruit, finely diced into these!
  • Peaches,
  • cherries,
  • blueberries (of course),
  • pineapple,
  • chopped dried apricots,
  • raisins,
  • craisins, with cinnamon and orange peel
  • apples, chopped or dried granules
  • orange peel with a little orange juice concentrate in the liquid
  • chopped nuts
Toppings can be fun as well.
  • brown sugar, mixed with some cinnamon. Sprinkle on before baking.
  • frostings of all kinds, thinned to make a glaze to drizzle over the top
  • 1 3/4 c. flour (half white and half whole wheat is my favorite) 7 cups
  • 1/2 c. sugar 2 cups
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 t. salt 1 teaspoon
  • 1/3 c. non-instant powered milk 1 1/3 c. milk powder
  • 1 T. powdered egg whites or whole eggs 1/4 c. egg powder
Wet Ingredients
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/3 c. oil
If you are using the mix, measure 3 cups of the dry mix. Place in a bowl, make a well in the middle and add the wet ingredients all at once. Finish as the original recipe.
Front CoverThere are different approaches to take when you are ready to start using mixes. I have a copy of the book, "Make-a-Mix" by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, & Madeline Westover. In fact this is where I got my start at making my own favorites into mixes! If you can get a copy of this book, I would highly recommend it.

Since I am a pretty picky person, in some respects, I decided to make up my own mixes, tailored to our family's taste. I thought I would go through the steps that I take to make my own, using my favorite waffle mix.

The original recipe:


Dry Ingredients:
  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 2 T. sugar
Wet Ingredients:
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. oil
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add all of the wet ingredients at once. Mix just until moistened. Bake in preheated waffle iron. Makes 10-12 waffles.

I add 1 t. cinnamon and up the sugar to 1/4 c. My son-in-law adds a teaspoon of vanilla.

OH BOY WAFFLES . . . using all pantry items

Dry Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 c. flour ( I use half white flour and half whole wheat or cornmeal) (9 c. )
  • 4 t. baking powder (1/4 c.)
  • 3/4 t. salt (1 T.)
  • 1/4 c. sugar (1 c.)
  • 2 T. powdered egg whites (1/2 c.)
  • 1/2 c. non-instant milk powder (2 c.)
  • 1 t. cinnamon (4 t.)
When making this up into a single batch, you will need to measure out 3 3/4 cups of the mix.

Wet Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 c. water (if the batter seems a little thick, add more water 2 T. at a time til you have the consistency your want)
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 1 t. vanilla (optional for extra yummy ones!)
  • If you have no powdered egg whites, use two fresh eggs with the rest of the liquids and decrease the water to 2 1/4 c.
Just as in the original recipe, mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add all the wet ingredients at once. Mix just until moistened. Cook in a preheated waffle iron. Makes 10-12 waffles.

** For "treat waffles" you can add raisins, craisins, blueberries, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, other finely chopped dried fruits, bacon bits (my personal favorite) just before you are finished mixing the batter.

Making Your Mix
The blue numbers in the parenthesis in my pantry item version, is how much to make up 4 times the amount. I just multiply out each amount by 4. If it is something that you will used a lot, go ahead and make it bigger. I have done as much as ten times, when I was raising my family. I make up a single recipe and measure the dry ingredients for the most accurate measurement for later. Then I would make up the bulk, store in an air tight container. Place a label on the outside with the recipe for using it.

If there are variations that I like to use with a mix, I add a second label with information for any adjustments needed. For example: I like to use buttermilk with this some times. I usually need to use a little more of the thicker buttermilk, than if just using water, so I would use 1/4 c. more. It would also need 1/4 t. soda.

Egg whites are available over the internet. I have found them at Honeyville Grains and at Walton Feed. They will seem expensive, but 2.25 lbs. will equal 255 large eggs. So if you are interested, check them out! Ask around, it is usually fairly easy to find someone else who is interested in splitting foods like this, that really helped me add to my long term food storage for years. In fact, I would have had little without doing the splits! I will check around the grocery chains next week and see if any of them carry either powdered eggs or powdered egg whites.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quick Update and Enjoying Some Lemonade . . .

I made the CELERY SALAD again. I used craisins (dried cranberries) instead of the dried cherries, less expensive, and toasted the pecans more this time. It is even better than the first version!

I made the CURRY with no meat a few days ago. I just used beef broth powder. It was almost as good as the version with the ground beef. When I made it with a can of chicken from Costco and chicken broth, it was lighter and in a way I liked it even better.

I have the first make-a-mix ready to post, yummy waffles! I do have to type it up n
ow that I have all the amounts figured out, and I forgot to take pictures when I made them . . . :-} Sorry it is taking so long.

I have been getting the extra fruit from Bountiful Baskets. It is ripening fast since my home is so warm. Trying to keep up is crazy! I am so thankful that I have found this great source for putting fruit up for our family! It has been years and it is a beautiful sight! This is grape jelly, apples slices, apple butter, apricot/pineapple jam, bing cherries, and mango/pineapple jam. I missed the blackberry jam when I made the picture. Today I am bottling the peaches, as they ripen . . I have to go through them and do a few each day since they are ripening at different rates At least I won't have such a completely miserable swamp to live in this way.

I am so thankful that this opportunity BB (Bountiful Baskets) has come into Tucson for obtaining fresh produce. It was getting kind of discouraging with the garden as it has had good and bad days. I know, what should a person expect from beds that have been neglected for years? Nothing has happened but all the good soil being washed away for years.

All the good produce that I have been able to afford, has reminded me what my goal is and that it will take time. I have met some really nice people who can give me lots of guidance on gardening here, that is encouraging. When the new BB comes in, it gives me a lift and I get outside again and keep at it. Is there anything as wonderful as early morning air, gentle early sun rays shining on your back ,the birds singing all around you and finding something new that has struggled against the odds to grow? Not much, except family!

I would really encourage all of you who have any room to garden, however you can. it will give your soul a lift not much else can. God has given man intelligence that has made it possible for those with just a porch or patio to even garden in containers. Check out this master gardeners ideas and successes at Prudent Homemaker. She has great ideas, that work!