Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gift Giving Idea's for Food Storage Giving

Soooo......Family gifts this time of year become the bane of my existence....
A.What the CRAP do you give people that won't end up being re-gifted (I so know you all do it)...

 B. You only can buy so many Board Games and large cans of Gourmet Popcorn.
C. In this economy you really want to give a gift that will be used....

Soooo I decided to give Food Storage Meals....

Here is the Menu and links to the recipe's (simply print them out on index cards and attach to grouped ingredients):

Corn Chowder
Corn Bread
Pumpkin Cookies

 What you will need to buy:
2 cans Cream of Potato Soup
1 can Clam Chowder
1 can Whole Corn (or give your own frozen sweet corn)
1 small bad of Spice cake mix
1small bag of chocolate chips
1 small can of Libby's Pumpkin
Corn Meal
Baking Powder
Jar or Gallon Baggie for Corn Bread Mix.

I did this for 3 family gifts. Along with a homemade Snow globe of their family....
Total cost about $15.00

Merry Christmas ya'll.

California Cornbread Mix in a Jar recipe

I found this recipe here.

This is a sweet, cake-like corn bread that is delicious with honey butter.

2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder

In a large glass or ceramic bowl, stir all the ingredients together. Store in an airtight container/jar.

Attach to jar if giving as a gift:

California Corn Bread

Serves 4 to 6

1 jar California Corn Bread Mix
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the cornbread mix in a large mixing bowl and add the eggs, milk and butter. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Poor into a greased 8-inch square baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Managing the Insanity of Sack Lunches (Two minute sack Lunches and pre-planned Breakfasts)

Da-dum, Da-Dum, da-da-da-da-daum…(it sounds like the jaws soundtrack)…
but really it’s just school creeping up on us again.  Truth be told, I have home
schooled for so many years, I don’t have the whole “yay they are outta here”
mentality that a lot of Mama’s anxious for schedule have, but I would be lying 
that the thought of less time refereeing fights and finding creative things to do, 
sounds a little like “break time” to this Mama of nine.
This is how we do it:
We have a Calendar that looks like this on our fridge:

Cereal &  Fresh Berries
Pancakes toasted w/ Nutela & Bananas
Oatmeal or Granola w/ Almonds and Cranberries
Eggs on 7 grain Toast, Smoothie
Pancakes w/ Fruit & Turkey Bacon
Hootenannies or Muffins & Smoothies
Bagel & Cream Cheese
*Cukes*,  PB Rice Crispy Treat
PB& J Circles
Pepperoni Rolls, Broccoli & Ranch dip,
Greek Wrap, Baby Carrots,
mini Orange,
Mac & Cheese w/ Veggie Tray

These meals are fast, easy, pre-made and frozen…or easily put together in a matter 
of minutes…eleven people out the door by 7:45…this is how we have to roll….

ALL of my week day lunches are pre-made, pre bagged, pre-frozen and organized
in my deep freezer.
My kiddo’s literally look at the calendar on my fridge and know what to throw in 
their lunch bags.
Main courses like the Bagels, PB& J Circles, Pepperoni Rolls, Greek Wraps
& Hot Pockets are pre-made and frozen in individual baggies all nestled in my
deep freeze ,as are the “treats”.
The fruits are grab-able and pre washed and ready on the counter tops, the veggies 
and dips pre bagged on Sunday, waiting in the crisper  for easy access. (the pre-bagging 
is a GREAT job for eager little hands to help ..and supes up math skills ( get 20 baggies 
and put four baby carrots in each). This also helps with having a diabetic son, both he 
and I never have to recalculate what the carbs are in each meal he eats during the school 
week…we know like clockwork how much insulin he will need for each meal.
We don’t do fancy juices, we do aluminum water bottles also filled and stuck
in the freezer at night.

Breakfasts are simple and healthy, Cereal is generally Whole Grain Cheerios, 
Breakfast Burritos are Pre-made & frozen, we simply wrap them in paper
towels and microwave them for 1 min 30 secs, Wednesday Pancakes are the
frozen leftovers from Saturday, I quadruple the recipe and freeze in Gallon Baggies,
then we toast em on up. Thursdays we do Homemade Granola on warm days and 
Oatmeal on cooler days, if I have leftover oatmeal, this is what I do with it. Fridays, 
we Toast hearty bread, I make a huge pan of scrambled eggs and serve the eggs 
on top of the toast. Smoothies are usually green , with 2 cups carrot juice, 1 cup 
frozen mango, 1 cup Frozen peaches, ½ cup Strawberries, 2 Cups Spinach. links 
to breakfast recipe's can be found above on the menu graph.

Lunches: The bagels I either make, or buy on sale and pre-bag with those 
awesome mini strawberry Cream Cheeses.

PB& J Circles…seriously…buy Rolls on sale, Freeze (they are easier to
work with cutting and spreading wise)…Completely cover the one half with Peanut
butter…clump Jelly in a round (not to the edges) and smoosh together. The PB traps 
in the Jelly and keeps the Sandwich from getting mushy, pre-bag and wahla…

You can read about the Pepperoni rolls here: I generally pre-bag two in each bag.

The Greek wraps (pretty simple stuff) small whole grain Tortilla ( I like the Mission
Brand Carb Balance 8 gms dietary fiber people, About ¼ cup humus spread, feta
sprinkled, roll it on up, bag it and freeze….super DUPER Healthy.

Once folded up I like to place them edges down on a pan and flash freeze them and 
then pre-bag them.

Hot Pockets you can find here.

All snacks , just click on them and they will link to recipe’s. The Rice Crispy Recipe 
is basic, with ½ cup of Peanut Butter added in….

To keep things smooth sailing, every Sunday, I have a main course item and a treat 
that I remake and re stock up on…then I am never doing the massive bake-a-thon 
that I have been up to my eyeballs in August. With the Zucchini Muffins, I make those
until my plants stop growing squash…so those can be frozen beautifully and last a 
whole year…trust me, we just finished up some chocolate ones from last summer,
last week!

Any questions?
…and no I am not OCD…just out crazing the crazy!

:0D Linds

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Coming to a Blog near you....(As soon as I get my new lap top and can stop posting via my cell phone)

* A post on how we do Sack Lunches that take less than 2 minutes to pack


* Frozen PB & J Rounds
* Cold Raw Veggie Pizza
* Thai  Stir-fry Wraps with Romain and Peanut Sauce
* Lemon Glazed Zucchini Muffins

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pork and Black Bean Chalupas in the Crock-Pot

My friend JoEtte made these for us about 4 years ago had us over for Dinner...and I LOVED the flavor of these YUMMY Chalupa's! They are simmering in my crock-pot..and my mouth is watering just smelling all of those flavors combining.
I used two 3 pound pork roasts...but I like left overs and have a crew to feed.

This is a great Toss in and walk away well as a GREAT way to use up those dry beans!

3 lb Pork Roast
1 lb Dry Black Beans
1 small can diced Green Chili's
1 1/2 TBSP Garlic Salt
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 TBSP Chili Powder
1 TBSP Cumin
1 chopped onion or 1 TBSP Dehydrated Onion
1 tsp Oregano
1 TBSP Fajita seasoning
Water to cover

Place Roast in Deep Pot on Stove, Or Crock-Pot. Add Beans, seasonings and Chili's and Onion. Cover Roast with water, add water as needed.
Cover and Cook 8 hours, Shred Pork to Serve. Serve with Tortillas or warm Flat Bread, over chips for Nacho's, Garnish with lettuce, salsa, tomatoes , green onions , avocado...The Lime Cilantro Dip is FABULOUS with these~!

*Cilanto-Lime Dressing
2/3 cup Mayo
2/3 cup Sour Cream
3-4 Tables spoon Lime Juice
Handful of chopped Cilantro
*whisk together

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What to do with Cooked Oatmeal Leftovers....YUMMY BREAD and Muffin Recipe's!

To follow with the theme of "Using Whatcha Got"...the next two recipes are awesome!
Mama's with TONS of kiddo's rely on oatmeal as a staple, healthy , inexpensive way to feed A LOT of munchkins..often time I make a lil' too much ....Here is some great YUMMY options to use up that cold glupey mess that you usually try to shove down the garbage disposal! Waste not, want not!
...The bread seems alot of work...but REALLY is Fabulous and easy. The bread is just so chewy and dense. the muffins are fast and easy..I eve mixed them up in my old oatmeal pan...after it had cooled after breakfast...Great after school snack!
I have pics of both and will post soon!

Making bread with with leftover cooked grains is a great way to use them up; you can make this recipe successfully with plain leftover rice, millet, quinoa, etc.
Found this recipe here.

Serves 2 loaves
Oatmeal Starter:

2 cups cooked oatmeal
2 cups water (or 1 cup water and 1 cup milk)
1/4 cup softened butter
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour or whole wheat flour

1.Mix oatmeal, water, milk (if using), butter, salt, and yeast in a blender and then pour into a large bowl. Add 1 cup of flour and mix well: it should resemble a thick gruel. Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave for 12-24 hours at room temperature to ferment.


1/2 cup pure maple syrup
approx. 6 cups all purpose unbleached flour or whole wheat flour
1.After the 12-24 hours, mix the sweetener into the starter dough. Stir in 2 cups white or wheat flour.

2.As you add the remaining 4 cups of flour (more or less), the mixture will become too difficult to stir by hand, so you can either mix it in Kitchen Aid mixer with the bread dough hook, or you can use your hands to knead in the flour in the bowl. When most of the flour has been incorporated and the dough is no longer sticky, transfer it to a floured surface.

3.Knead the bread dough for 10-15 minutes more or until dough is soft and springy. Wash and dry your mixing bowl and spread with a little butter. Place dough into the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4.When dough has risen sufficiently, punch it down. Remove from the mixing bowl and divide the dough into two equal portions. Knead each ball a bit more and then place your dough into two bread pans, or shape as you like (I usually make mine into round/oval shapes) and place on lightly buttered cookie sheet. If you want to make smaller loaves instead, go ahead. If you make 2 loaves, they will be pretty large, so you could make 3-4 smaller ones instead.

5.It will take about 45-60 minutes for the loaves to approximately double in size, so you should preheat the oven to 350°F. about 30 minutes into this rising.

6.Slash the top of each loaf 3-4 times with a serrated knife, and then place in the oven. Bake anywhere from 25-50 minutes, depending on the size and shape of your loaves. The bread is done when golden brown and a tap on the bottom of each loaf makes a hollow noise.

7.At this point, it's probably very hard to wait, but allow your bread to cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before slicing. If you baked your loaves in bread pans, allow them to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to the rack. If you don't wait for the bread to cool, it will have a gummy texture when you slice it, and you'll probably end up ruining the lovely appearance of your loaves, so do try to be patient!


These are so great...EASY and YUMMY! And what I LOVE is that it does not matter if you have already added raisins, brown sugar ...or anything else the first time around...just adds more flavor! I found this recipe here.


1 cup flour (I use white or wheat)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup leftover cooked oatmeal
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 28 mins
1 In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda.

2 In another bowl, mix together melted butter, eggs, oatmeal, raisins and vanilla;. (I used half raisens and half Chocolate Chips)

3 Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.

4 The batter will seem thick, but don't worry. Any time I've added extra liquid the muffins turned out crumbly.

5 Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin cups. 6 Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, or until the muffin centers are slightly firm.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Meal Planning to Finish off January ~ Use whatcha Got!

Soooo DEAR January ....after a broken blender,toaster, replaceing a water heater, two toilets and lightbulbs all over the house & bulking up my Food Storage...we are a lil' tight until the end of the month....but what a PERFECT time to rotate food storage, use up potatoes,beans, and rice and move in the new stuff I bought from Smiths fabo bulk sale.So these Dinners are on hand what I have to feed my family on..before I even make a list for Grocery Shopping...are all of these my favorite recipe's ...not so much...but WOW is it AMAZEING to stop, organize, see what you have and get a little creative in meal planning and eat off what you already have hanging out in your freezer, pantry and food storage!

1. Black Bean Burritos
2. Chicken Stir-fry w/ Rice
3. Chicken Enchilada’s
4. Ham, Bacon and Potato Soup
5. Navaho Taco’s
6. Naughty Chicken w/ Potatoes
7. Peanut Chicken w/ Sauce & Noodles
8. Pancakes for Dinner
9. Chili & Baked Potatoes
10. Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
11. Tuna Noodle Cassarole

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Slow Cooker Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Want an EASY finger food that will leave EVERYONE impressed! This is similar to the $8.00 12oz container you can buy at Costco...but so MUCH more bang for the buck..and it is YUUUMMM-YYY! It makes quite a bit so if you are making it for a smaller group do half-sies on this recipe!

2 boxes (9-10 oz)frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
2 cans (14 oz) quartered artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 cup refrigerated Alfredo pasta sauce (from 10-oz container)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 2/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3-6 (depending on heat preference) chopped Jalapeno's and some of the reserved juices to spice preference
3 cup of FRESH shredded Parmesan cheese (4 oz)
1 loaf (20-inch length) baguette French bread, cut into 40 slices

1. In 1- to 1 1/2-quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients except 2 cups Parmesean cheese & bread.
2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 2 to 4 hours. Before serving yurn down heat and add remaining Cheese, Serve dip with sliced bread.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

International Crepes~ Always New years Breakfast


* 6 large eggs
* 2 1/4 cup milk
* 1 1/2 cup water
* 3 cup flour
* 1/2 cup Butter flavored Crisco
* Vanilla to taste and 1/2 cup sugar
* Butter, for coating the pan

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.

Serve with LOVE....and lots o yummy things are a couple idea's....