Friday, December 23, 2011

Food Storage Friday: Cracked Wheat Cereal

The holiday busy-iness is catching up to me so I'm late with my Food Storage Friday post.  Before I get started on this delicious recipe, Hannah and I would like to wish you all a very
Merry Christmas!  

Thanks for being such wonderful readers and we'll see you all after the New Year!

A while ago, I discovered a great new blog Word of Wisdom Living.  The author, Skip Hellewell, writes about the importance of healthy living and shares a few great recipes. For those of you not of Mormon faith, this blog would be a great resource to help you understand what that Word of Wisdom thing is all about.

The recipe, Breakfast Compote, is basically a cracked wheat (hot) cereal, and let me tell you, it's delicious and easy to make.

Start the night before by putting hot water and the cracked wheat in a pot.

I bought my cracked wheat from a specialty baking store, but I know you can get it at natural food stores and in some grocery stores. If you have an old school wheat grinder, you can adjust the stones (that grind the wheat) to grind it only slightly, making cracked wheat.

Cover your pot and leave it to soak overnight.

This cereal can be eaten very simply with just brown sugar, which is how my kids eat it, or you can gussy it up.

Turn the stove on high heat and bring the wheat/water mixture to a boil.
And add the oatmeal,

Stir and turn off heat, and let it sit for 5 minutes. That's it! You're done cooking. Even faster than oatmeal (not instant oatmeal of course!).

Nuts (pecans are delicious, these are walnuts), ground flax, apples, orange juice

If your kids are like mine, they like simple simple, without a lot of mix-ins. And so they eat their cereal with just brown sugar, like they eat their oatmeal. But I love the add-ins that Skip suggests in his recipe. 

Toast the nuts by putting them in a pan and having the heat on low, shaking every so often. It doesn't take too long, but toasting the nuts pulls the bitterness out of them, which (I think) is very important for walnuts.
Add the flax to a bowl

And the brown sugar (I only need a teaspoon for this cereal)

And spoon the hot cereal on top

Add your toppings: chopped apples and toasted walnuts, divine!

Squeeze a little orange juice for the top, this is a great use for the tangerines you bought that you thought were seedless clementines.

Pour a little juice over top and mix it all together.

What you have is a delicious and healthy breakfast alternative to oatmeal. Absolutely yummy.

Be sure to make this after the holidays when you have eaten too much sugar and just want something healthy in your tummy.

Cracked Wheat Cereal
Word of Wisdom Living

2 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup cracked wheat
1/2 cup oats
optional toppings: brown sugar, ground flax seed, toasted nuts, chopped fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice

The night before, put hot water and cracked wheat cereal in a pot and cover. In the morning, bring the mixture to a boil and add the oats. Turn off the heat and let sit for five minutes.  Divide cereal into four bowls and add the toppings and sweeteners you wish. ENJOY!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Motivational Monday

“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin "Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts," Ensign, May 2004, 42

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Gift Giving from Food Storage

It's time for  neighbor and friend gift giving, and what is better than giving what you already have (and rotating your food storage to boot)?  Here's a quick idea you can use with your wheat.

 I picked up this glass/jar from Goodwill for 99 cents, but you could easily use jam jars or whatever you had on hand. I simply filled it with wheat (about 1 cup and a half), printed the recipe on some festive paper and tied it around the jar using some fabric scraps.

The recipe I used is the blender whole wheat pancake recipe, and I like it because you don't need a wheat grinder in order to make the pancakes, all you need is a working  blender. It's a great introduction to whole wheat.  But you could use any wheat based recipe that you love and would like to share the recipe with your friends.

Check out our past holiday gift giving ideas (from food storage) for more ideas.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Food Storage Tuesday

Every Tuesday, we post specific items you should gather in order to supplement your 72-hour kit, your three-month supply, and your longer term storage.  If you are new to our blog, don't worry!  You won't be left behind.  Just start up where we are and follow along.  You will eventually have everything completed.  Once the 72-hour kit is complete, we'll be putting together emergency car kits again (week by week).  Once those are done, we'll gather the 72-hour kits again.  So don't worry, just jump on in and join us where we are today!

This week for your 72-hour kits, add some disinfectant and garbage bags.  I like packing Lysol or Clorox wipes.  You should also have hand sanitizer.  Also, pack at least 3 garbage bags (one for each day).  They don't take up much space (or weight) so feel free to pack extras too if you think you might need them.

How's your three-month supply coming along?  Now's the time to stock up on any Christmas-y food items that your family loves that are only available this time of year.

We are gathering oats this month for our longer-term storage.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Motivational Monday

"We are all self-reliant in some areas and dependent in others. Therefore, each of us should strive to help others in areas where we have strengths. At the same time, pride should not prevent us from graciously accepting the helping hand of another when we have a real need. To do so denies another person the opportunity to participate in a sanctifying experience."

Marion G. Romney, “The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance,” Ensign, Mar 2009, 61–65

Friday, December 9, 2011

FSF from the archives: Fudge

In light of our conversation last week about storing canned milk, here's a great recipe from the archives that uses sweetened condensed milk. It's delicious!

My mother-in-law has a secret fudge recipe that is simply amazing. I’m drooling over the keyboard just thinking about it. It contains about a pound of butter and could quite possibly kill you if consumed in mass quantities.

This is not that fudge. But, for food storage, it's pretty darn good.

Ingredients: Sweetened condensed milk, semi-sweet chocolate chips, vanilla and unsweetened baking chocolate.

Find a pan to hold your fudge and grease the bottom and sides with shortening. I would have used my 8x8 pan if it hadn’t broken last week. I’m a clutz so Pyrex doesn’t last long around here.

No matter what your feelings for shortening, you ought to keep a tub just for greasing purposes. It is certainly less expensive than cooking spray.

When my college roommate, Squirtney (she’ll be thrilled with the nickname), would make fudge and she would line her pan with foil. When the fudge had set up, she just dumped it upside down and peeled off the foil. That works too.

When your pan is greased, or lined, add your sweetened condensed milk to a saucepan over low heat.

Add your chocolate chips.

Add your baking chocolate. The baking chocolate is optional. It makes for more chocolatey fudge—obviously. (You know, those who state the obvious are seldom wrong.) Anyway, if you crave darker chocolate fudge, go ahead and add a square of baking chocolate.

Stir it constantly over low-medium heat so the chocolate can melt.

When you make this, go ahead and chop up your baking chocolate a little before you dump it in. Then, you won’t be waiting for the one square of chocolate to melt, like me.

When it is melted and all smooth, take it off the heat.

Quickly add the vanilla and nuts, if you want, and stir until well combined.

Pour into your prepared dish and refrigerate for a couple of hours until it’s set.

When the fudge has chilled and you’ve sampled it, of course, cut it up.

I like to cut it into large squares and wrap them in saran wrap. I used to cut fudge into small pieces, but I could never get them uniform and it bothered me. I too, have OCD tendencies. Especially when it comes to fudge.

Try using this tutorial to make a paper box out of cardstock and deliver to your neighbors and friends with the fudge inside.

Save some for you!

(From Betty Crocker)

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
1 oz (1 square) unsweetened baking chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Grease bottom and sides of 8x8 pan (or smaller) with shortening or line with aluminum foil. Heat milk and chocolate in saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and nuts if using. Refrigerate about 1.5-2 hours until firm.

Originally posted December 11, 2008

Day 3 Winner!

As always, we used Random.org to find our lucky winner.  Thanks everyone for the great Christmas wish ideas!  Sounds like Santa has a lot on his plate this year!

Congratulations to our winner, Jenny and Jake, who are asking Santa for.....

"A baby."

Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com to claim your prize!

Thanks again to everyone for participating this week!  Come back soon for our regularly scheduled Food Storage Friday post!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Giveaways - Day 3 (Plus a guest post!)

Today's the last day of our Christmas giveaway week - thanks to everyone who has been participating!  I've just loved reading all the comments about Christmas.

Today's giveaway is from Heather from Shelf Reliance.  She is giving away a can of freeze-dried chicken!  Heather also has a food storage blog that you can check out here.

Not really sure how to use freeze dried chicken?  Well, that's not really a problem because Heather has written an awesome article all about it, including some recipes!  I've posted the article below, so please take some time to look it over.  I'll admit, I've never considered adding freeze-dried meat to my food storage but it sure sounds intriguing now......

To enter this giveaway, please comment on this post and answer the following question:

If you could ask Santa for any item, what would it be?

This giveaway is open for 24 hours, so until tomorrow (Friday) at 3pm.  One comment per person, please!

Be sure to read Heather's guest post below:

Hi—I’m Heather, I write the blog Cooking With My Food Storage, where I talk a lot about adding freeze dried foods to your food storage and how to cook with them. Abby and Hannah asked to tell you a little about Freeze Dried Chicken. 
Why Freeze Dried Chicken? 
Adding high quality protein to you food storage is sometimes a tricky thing.  Most of us have traditionally stored dried beans, canned chicken, and frozen beef or chicken.   But none of these are ideal for emergency preparedness. 
  • Dried Beans are fussy and take a LOT of time and fuel to cook.  Beans are an inexpensive source of protein and if you love beans you might want to think about storing Instant Beans which take only 7-10 minutes to cook with no soaking. 

  • Canned meats such as canned chicken or tuna have a short shelf life and must be rotated often
source:  jules:stonesoup
  • Meats stored in the freezer can be ruined when the power goes out for an extended time.  

source: sporkist
Freeze Dried Meats to the Rescue

·        Freeze Dried meats rehydrate is about 7 minutes in hot simmering water or about 15 minutes in cold water.
·        Freeze Dried meats have a shelf life of 25 years.
·        Freeze Dried meats require no refrigeration until they are reconstituted.
·        But how is the taste and texture?   I know you ask because you have tried TVP that people said was wonderful and then was not.  But freeze dried chicken is chicken so it tastes and feels like chicken.
Problem solved.
How to Rehydrate Freeze Dried Chicken
Place chicken in a small sauce pan cover generously with water.  Simmer uncovered for 7 minutes until chicken is soft.  Drain.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  
The Cost of Freeze Dried Chicken
Freeze Dried meats are expensive.  Anyone who has purchased meat in the grocery store recently knows that all meat has become expensive (What is up with hamburger for $3.50 a pound?  Insane)   A number 10 can of freeze dried chicken is regularly about $38. But for a high quality protein source that has a shelf life of 25 years, that my family will be happy to eat, I’m in. 
Freeze Dried Meats seldom go on sale but during DECEMBER Shelf Reliance has  Freeze Dried Chicken and Roast Beef on sale. 
Chicken  for $34.99 for a number 10 can a savings of  $5.60 per can or $148.39 a case (6 cans)
 Roast Beef for $45.26 for a #10 can a savings of $8.00 per can or $181.29 a case.  Shelf Reliance is also offering Free Shipping to Platinum Q customers.
4 Easy and Delicious Ways 
to Use Freeze Dried Chicken
1.  Chicken Noodle Soup
At my house this is the go to dinner.  My kids love Chicken Noodle Soup and on a busy day it takes me about 7 minutes to get dinner ready.  Love it.  Feel free to add or subtract any veggies to make it how your family likes.  
  1 cup Freeze Dried Chicken
1/4 cup Freeze Dried Celery
1/4 cup Freeze Dried Onion
1/4 cup dehydrated Carrots
¼ cup Freeze Dried Peas
1 large handful egg noodles (or in this case Gnochi)
4 cups Chicken Broth (or 4 cups water a 4 teaspoons chicken bouillon)
  Add all to soup pot. Heat over medium heat for 7 minutes, until veggies are tender and noodles are cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

  2.  Lime Chicken Tacos
1 1/2 cups FD Chicken rehydrate and drained
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup chunky salsa
  Place chicken in large sauce pan. Combine lime juice and chili powder; pour over chicken. Cover and   cook until hot. Stir in corn and salsa. This freezes great. If you are going to freeze place in containers, label and freeze.       
To serve:       
12 6-inch flour tortillas      
 Sour cream       
Shredded cheddar cheese       
Shredded lettuce       
Chopped tomatoes
  Serve warm on tortillas with sour cream, cheese, lettuce and chopped tomatoes.

  3.   Chicken and Spinach Taquitos
Based on a recipe by Amber Pearce
6 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese         
1  can diced green chilies
1 tbs. fresh lime juice     
½ tsp. cumin         
1 tsp. chili powder          
¼ tsp. garlic powder      
¼ c. Freeze Dried Onions         
½ c. Freeze Dried Spinach (You can use cooked fresh or frozen, make sure you squeeze out any extra moisture)
1 ¾ c. Freeze Dried Chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
Uncooked flour tortillas           
To reconstitute the dry foods place the onions, spinach chicken  in a medium sized bowl and cover generously with hot water. Let sit 7 minutes until soft, strain.

Meanwhile cream together cream cheese, green chilies, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder.   Stir cream cheese mixture and the strained chicken mixture together and add salt and pepper to taste.
Warm uncooked tortilla on an electric griddle  at 350 Degrees. When warm remove from the griddle and place 2-3 tbs. of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about ½ inch from the edges. Roll up as tight as you can.  Repeat with all the tortillas.  Than place taquitos seam side down on the griddle very close together.  Cook until the bottom side is brown.  Roll all the taquitos over and brown the next side repeat until all the sides are brown.  Serve immediately.

4. Barbeque Chicken Pizza  ~ adapted from www.sisterscafe.blogspot.com
1 prepared pizza crust 
1/2 c Famous Dave’s Barbeque Sauce, divided 
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 
1 cup FD Chicken, rehydrated 
1 1/2-2 c mozzarella cheese 
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 400. If you have a pizza stone (they make the best pizzas), put it in the oven to preheat as well. Toss shredded chicken with 1/4 c barbeque sauce. Remove hot pizza stone from oven and sprinkle with corn meal. Roll or toss dough and place on stone. Spread remaining 1/4 c barbeque sauce over dough. Arrange onion slices over sauce. Spread chicken over onions then top with cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. (That time is for a pizza stone - if you are using a cookie sheet, it may be a shorter time) Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and slice into 8 wedges.