Apr 29, 2017

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category


Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Almost 30 years ago, a dear friend shared this easy EASY chili recipe and it’s been our family’s absolute favorite ever since. In preparation for the newest granddaughter, Goldie’s, baby blessing (isn’t she the SWEETEST:)

goldie pic

I used my entire three-month supply of chili ingredients cooking a triple batch for the family dinner. Loved having so many of the supplies already in my home and ready to go! With extra hamburger in my freezer, and butter always in the fridge, all I needed to purchase were the onions and green peppers.

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The first step (once the veggies were diced) was to melt the butter and saute’ the diced onion. I like giving the onion a bit of a head start. When the onions began to turn slightly golden I added the diced green peppers and minced garlic. (Remember, you’re looking at a triple batch here:)

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While the veggies continued to cook, I quickly opened cans and measured out the basic spices.

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Then, in a separate pan, extra large because I was making such a giant batch, I cooked the ground beef and spooned off the excess fat.

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Last step was to add the tomato soup, kidney beans with their liquid, diced tomatoes, spices, and cooked vegetables to the ground beef.

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Stir, heat, and done!

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This is exactly how food storage makes my life EASIER on a daily basis! Even when I need to prepare an extra large food assignment, the process is so much more efficient with most of the ingredients already in my cupboard.

Fresh Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, diced

1 green pepper diced

1 pound ground beef

Storage Ingredients

1 can tomato soup (10 3/4 oz.)

1 can kidney bean (15 oz.)

1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon tabasco


Monday, August 11th, 2014

Thanks very much to the Mormon Channel Daily, and the very welcoming Jennifer Stag, for the fun opportunity to be interviewed and discuss a bit of food storage philosophy. If curious (thanks to timely tech support from Elizabeth) all you need to do is click on the highlighted link to hear the broadcast titled “Preparing Your Own Home Storage.”

liesa mormon channel

Building food storage for yourself or family that helps to simplify part of the daily process is actually pretty easy, when based on the inspired direction from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m so grateful for the specific guidance which has consistently helped me to get meals on the table, in less time and with less money!


Friday, March 7th, 2014

Do you have cleaning products in your storage? I do!

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Multiples of these two products are always on hand at my house because I’m using them every single day. I found this recipe online years ago and it’s become my all time favorite, secret weapon, for basically cleaning every surface, and it costs practically nothing.

I write the cleaning recipe right on the spray bottle. Labeled “granite cleaner” to help my family remember what works safely on our counters…and hopefully what doesn’t.

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Just in case that’s not very clear…here’s the recipe.

1/4 cup rubbing alcohol

few drops Dawn dish soap (like maybe a teaspoon)

1 quart water

That’s it. Fill your bottle with those three ingredients and then start spraying!

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I’ve been using this cleaner on our dining table and white leather chairs every day, for over a year, with absolutely no damage to either finish:)

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Love how it makes the cupboards shine and removes finger prints in one quick swipe.

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P.S. This is where I stash all my food storage meal bins. Using my three-month supply every day means I want to have all those canned, dried, and bottled ingredients real handy. Soooo nice to not have to trot down to the basement when I’m struggling to throw down a meal.

P.S.S Mike’s First Vision painting in the background. Love that too!

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As I said before, this cleaner is perfect for granite counters. In fact, it was after one of my granite suppliers told me that Windex was too harsh for granite that I did my research and learned about this very mild, but highly effective, solution.

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For cleaning, oh endlessly cleaning, the refrigerator doors, I wipe the messiest areas near the handles with a bit of straight Dawn to quickly break down the grease. Then I spritz on some of my magic spray and wipe dry. Suddenly the fridge is streak free and sparkling clean for then next…twenty to thirty minutes.

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It also works great on our stainless steel counters and tile. (This is what happens if your backsplash takes steroids.) (So sad.)

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I also use it to clean and polish the bathroom mirrors, counters, sinks, and faucets. Cleans AND kills germs!

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Plus, the outside of that…er…everything but the inside bowl.

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We use it for our windows.

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Last but certainly not least, come the hardwood floors. I have no idea why vinegar is still so often suggested as the perfect cleaner for wood. The acetic acid in vinegar eventually dulls the finish. Who needs that? I lightly spray a small area and then quickly run a dry mop over the damp section to clean and shine in one easy step. Works. So. Well. The floors are clean and shiny with zero residue or film that could attract dirt. Honestly makes me so happy.

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So there it is! My testimony of a super inexpensive multipurpose cleaner, which can safely be used throughout the entire house, and costs almost nothing. Really nice to not have to fuss around with multiple products. A big Saturday style cleaning, including numerous windows, inside and out, used only half of the bottle.

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I wish everything were this easy!


Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Tonight, my plan was to serve a simple black bean soup for dinner. Months ago, our daughter, Samantha, stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest and said that she and the hubs thought it tasted great garnished only with a bit of grated cheese, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.

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Fine! I’m basically in love the idea of combining four pantry ingredients to create a hot dinner that can be ready to eat in less than five minutes.

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But I’m also pretty committed to adding piles of fresh ingredients to my meals, so this recipe became a terrific base for something with quite a bit more going on.

First thing I remembered was the container of shredded roasted pork in the fridge that needed to be used.

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That led me to think, beyond my original plan for cheese, sour cream and cilantro, about the fresh avocados, tomatoes, limes, and even leftover roasted butternut squash and asparagus that I happened to have on hand.

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With an additional five minutes of chopping, the black bean soup turned into a…black bean soup bar! And you know what? It was good. Dang good. This fully loaded soup was surprising similar to eating a yummy plate of those crazy layered nachos, but without the chips.

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As it turned out, Samantha and Chas (the before mentioned daughter and SIL), actually showed up in my kitchen at 10:30 p.m. needing something good to eat before they could collapse into one of our guest beds. Most of their day, and night, had been spent up in the mountains, shooting another wedding video and they were cold, a little wet, and a lot exhausted. I quickly microwaved the leftovers of our food-storage-plus-fresh-meal. Samantha said, “Oh my gosh, this is the best soup I have ever eaten!” (Pretty sure that the roasted butternut squash deserves most of the credit.)

The point of this long story is that food storage may, legitimately, at times, be the whole story. And that’s a good thing! Food storage may, at other times, serve as merely the starting point. And that’s a REALLY good thing!!!

Black Bean Soup Gone Wild

Fresh Ingredients

(All of these fresh ingredients are optional and may be used in whatever amounts you prefer, so have fun!)

sour cream

grated cheese


lime wedges

tomatoes, diced

avocados, diced

shredded pork, chicken, or beef/hamburger

roasted butternut squash cubes (Guaranteed to rock your world.)

Storage Ingredients

1 can black beans, drained (15 oz.)

1 can refried beans, (15 oz.)

1 can chicken broth, (15 oz.)

1 cup salsa

Combine all four storage ingredients in a pan and heat on stove. This is also something that would work well heated in a crock pot set on low while running a few more errands. Prior to serving, prepare fresh ingredients, heating the meat and squash cubes separately. Garnish as desired, and get ready to go crazy!

Peanut Butter Meltaways

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Little background: Dearest friend, Melanie, tells me all the time, and I mean ALL THE TIME, that she doesn’t cook. Then she emails me this recipe with glowing reports about “so easy” and “so good”  stating that she had made almost 70 of these little pups.  Right then, I KNEW. I had to stop what I was doing, march straight into the kitchen, and start baking. Besides, she had me at four ingredients!

Fresh Ingredients

1 egg

Storage Ingredients

1 cup peanut butter (I used Adams 100% Natural Crunchy PB)

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

*How is this even possible? I was sure Melanie had forgotten to mention the flour, but nope, it really works!

Cream peanut butter and sugar.

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Add the egg and baking soda.

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Mix and don’t worry that it looks like, well, nothing. (I was really worried.)

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Form into small balls, press with a fork and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Be really careful when moving them to a cooling rack. Delicate as shortbread, twice as yummy. Using peanut butter with no added salt, I experimented with sprinkling a tiny bit of sea salt on top, just before baking.

Oh man.

THIS is one dangerous cookie!

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I’m going to need more peanut butter in my food storage.

Food Storage Smoothie

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

I know, I know. The name just sounds BAD. I’ve thought about calling it

The Shrek, or maybe…

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Veggie Vodka would be better. I go back and forth.

Fresh Ingredients

4 oz. spinach leaves (or 3 cups firmly packed)

1/2 banana

Storage Ingredients

2 dates, pitted of course

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon ground flax seed

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained

1/2 cup water

2 cups ice

If using a standard blender, begin by first chopping the dates into small pieces. (Blendtec=Love) Then add to blender the water, almond milk, dates, garbanzo beans, banana, ground flax seed, cocoa, and spinach. Blend on high for one complete “whole juice ” cycle.  That’s 50 seconds in a Blendtec or a little longer in a regular blender. Add ice and blend for another 30 seconds.

Sounds gross but I promise it tastes GOOD! It’s the perfect lunch-on-the-run and keeps me feeling full and focused until dinner time.

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Remember to chop those little powerhouse dates if your blender isn’t super strong. (No shame!)

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Drain and rinse the canned garbanzo beans, and then measure out 1/2 cup.

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Starting with the liquid, everything goes into the blender and then just let ‘er rip! Now I’m warning you, at this stage it’s going to look freaky but go ahead and add the ice and let the blender do its thing one more time.

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What you’ll end up with is a velvety smooth, chocolate…slide…of refreshing goodness and fabulous nutrition!

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Don’t let the two glasses fool ya. It’s really only one serving and I always pound every last drop. Ahhh!

Oh, and Happy 24th of July!!! Obviously, I’m a pioneer. Well, sort of:)


Saturday, March 16th, 2013

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Remember when I shared the amazing recipe found for Massaged Kale Salad? Oh my. That recipe has become one of our all time favorites.  In the spirit of getting fresh with our food storage, I’ve fully incorporated this recipe into our monthly rotation. Adding rice and a couple of extra vegetables to the salad makes for a totally satisfying main course. In addition to the wonderful flavor and terrific nutritional benefits, this kale salad can be fully prepared a day ahead of time. It’s the perfect choice for entertaining and has saved me many times. The mongoes do not turn the slightest bit brown and the kale keeps its curl even after marinating in the dressing overnight. The red pepper and purple onion also hold their own and stay happy. The only ingredients I added right before serving were the scoop of warm rice and a generous sprinkle of roasted pumpkin seeds. I’m sure that  a  little grilled chicken or teriyaki steak strips would taste great but we’re trying to do less of that.

The new kitchen cupboards have enough space to use these recycled orange boxes as meal bins. For this recipe you can see a three month supply of pumpkin seeds, honey, and olive oil. (Sesame oil substituted for 50% of total oil was an experiment suggested online. Interesting…but not necessarily better.)

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In a very healthy way, this type of food storage helps me to USE and ROTATE as in EAT my supply of rice. Even three or four ingredients stashed in a box, or simply grouped together on the shelf, improves my ability to EFFICIENTLY prepare enjoyable meals for my family. That’s the emergency I’m dealing with on a daily basis.


Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Just came from a Relief Society luncheon where I served this Food Network salad. A number of friends asked if they could have the recipe so it must have been a hit:) Take time to watch the preparation video with Chef Ellie Krieger. She makes it look so easy, and it was!

After trying the recipe once exactly as Ms. Krieger suggested, the only change I suggest is to prepare your wheat berries ahead of time in the crock pot. The batch prepared on the stove was just a bit toooooo chewy. The second batch was cooked in the crock pot on low overnight, like I always do, but then I accidentally forgot to unplug the thing and they continued cooking until noon the following day…which was way way too long. Awesome breakfast cereal but no go as a salad. Third batch (forever the rookie) was cooked on low for the standard 8 hours which proved once again to be, in the immortal words of Goldilocks, JUST RIGHT.

With wheat from a long term supply and walnuts and tart dried cherries from a three month supply, food storage can even be used for entertaining!

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Fresh Ingredients

2 stalks celery, diced

1 green onion, white and green part, sliced

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Storage Ingredients

1 1/2 cups dry wheat kernels or 3 1/4 cups cooked wheat berries

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup tart dried cherries, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper  to taste

(I doubled this recipe so keep that in mind as you’re passing over these pictures.) Cook your wheat berries using which ever method you prefer. Jump over here for my simple crock pot instructions. I always cook a full batch of wheat and then store the leftovers in the freezer. Be sure to drain the wheat berries before using them in this recipe. Lightly toast the walnuts and chop the celery and dried cherries.

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Dice the green onion and parsley. Fresh lemon juice and olive oil can be poured directly into the salad. No need to pre-mix the simple dressing.

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Combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Super easy and super yummy! THIS is how I want to rotate my food storage.

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Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Now that the dust has settled and construction is finally completed on my new and much improved kitchen, I’ve begun a total remodel of my three month supply of food storage. Still planning to use my wheat, rice, beans, pasta, and potatoes in 30 normal, everyday meals, but this time the focus is going to be on using even more fresh vegetables, beans, and whole grains, with a little less meat and creamy casseroles.

My first recipe is the New York Goodwich, with the addition of a little cooked wheat berry. Technically a diet wrap, this yummy-fists-full-o-goodness is at the top of my list because it tastes absolutely fantastic. Plus, our family purchased something like 600 pounds of wheat while living in New York, and I’m bent on using, or disguising, every last kernel:) The Goodwich is an excellent hiding place. If you haven’t ever tried serving your family something with whole cooked wheat berries, START HERE.

Fresh Ingredients

2 cups broccoli

1 cup cauliflower

1/3 cup carrot, finely grated

1/3 cup red cabbage, finely grated

1/3 cup yellow squash, finely grated (sub any squash but yellow is best)

1 large onion

3-4 cups lettuce, finely shredded (or spinach)

1 cup alfalfa sprouts

1 avocado, sliced

Storage Ingredients

1 cup precooked whole wheat berries

4 whole wheat or multi grain wraps

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1 tablespoon oil

2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise

dill pickles, sliced thin

salt and pepper

I don’t know why the original versions of this recipe are for only 1, or maybe 2, sandwiches. Like the good people who would go to this much trouble and preparation don’t have any friends or family. Weird. I’ve pumped up the ingredient quantities so that there is at least enough for about 4 full sized wraps. The goal is to stuff a ton of veggies into each wrap and it’s totally worth all the effort.

Begin by slicing very thin the broccoli and cauliflower  tops, and steam about 5 minutes or just until softened. Grate the carrot, red cabbage, and yellow squash. Slice pickles, avocado and lettuce and set aside along with the alfalfa sprouts.

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Dice onion and saute in oil on medium heat until golden. Stir in cooked wheat berries and barbecue sauce and warm through.

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Combine steamed broccoli and cauliflower with the shredded carrot, purple cabbage, yellow squash and mayonnaise. (It’s not going to be pretty.) In a dry skillet, heat the wrap or tortilla until softened but not toasted. Spread center of wrap with BBQ onions and wheat combination. Add a heaping line of vegetable mixture, and please use much more than I have pictured here. Then top with pickles, lettuce, sprouts, and avocado slices. (DO NOT forget the avocado, like I did.)

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Roll as tightly as you can, being careful not to break the tortilla, and then wrap at least the bottom half with plastic so that you don’t loose even one drop of goodness.

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This picture DOES NOT the whole story tell. Ask anyone, the New York Goodwich is a veritable flavor explosion! Lizzie, our 16 year old kept saying, “Dang, this is gooooood” and she couldn’t believe that it was meatless…and cheese-less.

And I couldn’t believe that we were using our basic/boring food storage in a completely new way. The wheat berries are from my long-term supply. The tortilla wraps, barbeque sauce, mayonnaise, and possibly pickles are part of my three-month supply.

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I don’t want to live in fear but in the event of an emergency my stash for New York Goodwiches will be used to make spicy wheat, bean, and rice wraps! It may not be as amazing as the piled high vegetable version but it will be familiar and I think that’s more than half the battle when it comes to comfort food.


Monday, February 4th, 2013

Hey dear friends! Sorry to have been MIA for so many months. All sorts of excuses, but only the top three, and clearly in order of importance, include the sudden passing of a loved one, a robbery, and total remodel of our home. I’m happy to be back in the swing of things and hopefully able to share a bit, now and again. Maybe on a more regular basis. Thank you for your patience.

Today, my wonderful friend, Monique, made a house call, just to show me how to make her absolutely PERFECT salted caramel popcorn. No kidding, this is for sure the best flavored popcorn I’ve ever tasted and way more interesting than the typical variations of caramel, white chocolate, or anything cheese. Please.

From your food storage you’ll need a little of this

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and one of these options.

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First time I made Monique’s recipe I air popped my own good quality corn, adding plenty of butter and salt. Now that I’ve experimented a couple of times, I can definitely say that the commercially prepared salted popcorn is for sure the best way to go with this recipe. Turns out all that weird-artificiallyflavored-badforyou-saltandbutter-coating tastes incredible when paired with Monique’s PERFECT caramel. AND IT’S SO STINKIN EASY. (Bwaaaahahaaaa)

Yes,  I am really going to suggest that this, salted caramel popcorn, should be part of any viable food storage. Today’s emergency was that I wanted to take a little family home evening treat to my visiting teaching sista’s and this recipe saved me!

Fresh Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

Storage Ingredients

11 cups of popped, buttered and salted, popcorn. If you’re using microwave popcorn you should probably pop two packages per recipe.

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2  cups mini marshmallows

Carefully melt the butter on medium heat and then add the brown sugar and marshmallows.


Stir just until barely blended and quickly remove from heat.


Butter a large mixing bowl, fill with your popped corn, and then drizzle on the hot caramel sauce.

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Preparing Monique’s caramel and mixing it with the popcorn will take about 5 minutes.

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And today, that’s about all the time I had:)

*If you want to be especially thoughtful, and who doesn’t, make sure to sift out all the un-popped kernels of corn before you stir in the caramel sauce. (Sort of ruins the experience when you almost crack a tooth.) Quickest way to do this is to simply pour your microwave corn into a bowl, give it a little shake, gently stir it around a couple of times, make a wish (jk) and then spooning from the top, measure out your 10 cups. All the little duds will have dropped to the bottom. Safety first!