Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Food Storage Inventory

Over the years we have used a couple of different systems to do our inventory. 

Do any of these sound familiar? 
  • When we were first building our food storage we wrote a list on the back of an envelope as we were running out the door to go to the case lot sale. 
  • As we started building our long term food supply, I once wrote my inventory on a blank LDS Dry pack canning order form.  
  • One year I just bagged the inventory and just bought whatever I thought sounded good We ended up with a lot of coconut milk and chocolate chips and not many foods that could actually be used to make a healthy meal. 
  • As we have gotten a larger supply I have used inventory’s in Excel that calculate everything you could possible ever want to know.  But I find them to be a little overwhelming.
This year I think I have finally created a system that I really like.   This food storage inventory is designed to be printed out and written on.  You are in control of how many of each item you want to store.  You can use a food storage calculator to figure it out.  I like this one, and this one

To print the click here:  Food Storage Inventory   (There were some problems with the link but it is working now.)

It is a Google document. When you are ready to print be sure to print from the Google documents menu NOT the browser menu.
I recommend that you print in color.  The categories are color coded to help you easily find the correct area.

Each section has a heading at the top and the bottom of the page.  When I do an inventory I put the list on a clip board and then flip pages as needed.  I could never tell what was on each page because the titles were at the top.  By adding the titles to the bottom of the page it makes it quicker to see which page you are on. 
The Shopping List:  Food Storage can be overwhelming.  After taking an inventory you may feel a little anxiety about the items you are lacking.  By narrowing it down to the top 10 things you need to add to your food storage you have defined clear manageable goals.

Good Luck doing your inventory!  If you use my inventory I’d love to hear how it goes. 

P.S.  Don't feel like just because it is on the inventory list you have to store it.  You don't.  I recommend that you store ONLY foods that you eat regularly.   If you have never in your life eaten quinoa then it is probably not something you want to buy in bulk to add to your food storage.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cherry Chocolate No Bake Cookies

These chocolate chewy cookies are a great chocolate treat.  These fruity cookies are blended smooth so when you eat them they are very fudgy. 

Cherry-Chocolate No Bake Cookies 

Printable Recipe

(Makes 10-14 balls)
  • 3/4 cup freeze dried cherries (you can substitute dry unsweetened cherries, which are commonly found in supermarkets)
·         1 cups shredded unsweetened coconut (sweetened is okay)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • Dash salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • ½ cup chocolate chips, optional but delicious
In the bowl of a food processor, blend the coconut into powder.  Add dry cherries, don't rehydrate just add them dry, and process until everything is powdered.  Add all other ingredients and process until to forms a "dough" about a minute.  Roll into balls.  Refrigerate until firm.   Yield 10 cookies

Other No Bake Cookies You might Enjoy: 

Mango Lime No Bake Cookies

Coconut Apricot No Bake Cookies


Monday, June 25, 2012

Cheese Burger Buns

In the summer I am always in need of hamburger buns.  We eat a lot of sandwiches in the summer (pulled pork, veggie burgers, cheese burgers)  and for some reason my kids just do not like to eat them on regular bread, they demand buns.

In years past I have hesitated to make my own.  But now that I have three kids, I almost always would rather make my own then drag three kids to the market.

The powdered cheese in these buns make them amazing.  Perfect for a barbeque. 

This recipe has been on my to try list for a long time.  I recently made it for the frits time and LOVE it.  Why did I not make this when I first found it?  I don't know but I'm glad I made it.

Note:  This recipe makes 6 hamburger buns, but can easily be doubled to make more.

Cheese Burger Buns
Recipe source: King Author Flour
2 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup cheese blend  powder or 1/2 cup finely grated sharp cheddar
3/4 teaspoon salt*
1 teaspoon onion powder, optional but tasty
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons softened butter
1 large egg  (1 Tablespoon whole egg powder plus 2 Tablespoons water)
2/3 to 3/4 cup lukewarm water**
*Use 1 teaspoon salt if you use freshly grated cheese
**Use the greater amount of liquid in winter or in drier climates; the lesser amount in summer, or in a humid environment.


2 tablespoons melted butter


1) Combine all of the ingredients, and beat at high speed, using an electric mixer, for 2 minutes. To use your bread machine, put everything in the bucket, and let the dough go through its dough or manual cycle; skip to step 3 below if you're using a bread machine.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or rising bucket, cover it, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it's noticeably puffy.

3) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 6 pieces; each will be about 111g, a scant 4 ounces.

4) Shape the dough into balls, and place them in the wells of a lightly greased hamburger bun pan. If you don't have a bun pan, space them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

5) Gently flatten the buns with your hand to fill the bottom of the pan's wells, or until they're about 3 1/2" to 4" wide.

6) Cover the buns, and let them rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until they're noticeably puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

7) Brush each bun with some of the melted butter.

8) Bake the buns for about 20 minutes, until they're a light, golden brown, and their interior temperature is at least 200°F, measured with an instant-read thermometer.

9) Remove the buns from the oven, transfer them to a rack, and brush with the remaining melted butter. Allow the buns to cool completely, then store airtight at room temperature.

Yield: 6 big buns.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yogurt Bar

One of the current party trends that I LOVE is having a party and setting out a bunch of ingredients for guests to make their own creation.   You might have seen a smore bar, or a hot chocolate bar, or even a mini pizza bar at a party. 

This idea of letting the guests create their own creation really works well at Shelf Reliance parties.   This is a great way to showcase a bunch of freeze dried foods.  My favorite is to have a yogurt bar.   

How does it work?
  1. Set out some store bought yogurt .    I don’t use the freeze dried yogurt because I think it has a weird texture when reconstituted. 
  2. Set out some pretty bowls filled with freeze dried fruit, granola, and some crushed cookies. 
  3. Set out fancy clear cups for the guests to use to create their parfait.
  4. Let the guests fix their own yogurt parfait. 

Tips for success:
  • You can set out the freeze dried fruit dry OR you can rehydrate some of them.  I usually just set it all out dry.  I like it when the fruit is crunchy.
  • Choose fruit that  are different colors.
  • Choose your yogurt carefully.  I love love love this Greek Gods Vanilla Honey yogurt.
  • After the guests assemble the parfaits if they wait a few minutes to eat them the fruit will rehydrate in the yogurt. YUM!
After.  See how the blueberries have rehydrated?  Super Yummy.

Links and Recipes from Conference Call


Amber's Customer Care Cards  You need to scroll down a little until you see the link for "Customer Care Cards"

Autumn's Expo Form:  You need to scroll down a little to where it says "Expo Docs"

Yogurt Bar

Monday, June 18, 2012

Creamy Taco Soup

Have you ever been given soup in a jar?  A while ago I was given some.  I was kind of excited about it.  (I know I’m a dork).

Me:  Awesome,  I don’t have to make dinner

Soup Directions:  “ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS: 1 pound ground beef, black pepper to taste, garlic powder to taste, 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes - undrained, 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste, and 3 quarts water. TO PREPARE SOUP: Remove pasta from top of jar, and set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef with pepper and garlic; drain excess fat. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and soup mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in the pasta, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta, peas, lentils and barley are tender.”

Me: You want me to do all that?  And it is going to take more than an hour to cook?  
Me:  Let’s order pizza

I really love the idea of meals in a jar, BUT I do not love the idea of adding lots of other ingredients, and having to do lots of prep work.  I want to be able to dump in in the pan, add some water, heat and serve.

So when another Shelf Reliance consultant shared this recipe I had to try it.   It is just what I was looking for.  Dump in the ingredients, add water, stir, simmer, and eat. 

Creamy Taco Soup
Recipe adapted from a recipe by Scarlett Arny

1 c. Freeze Dried Ground Beef 
1 c. Instant Black Beans
1 3/4 c. Freeze Dried Sweet Corn
1 c. Sour Cream
1/4 c. Tomato Powder
2 c. powdered Cheese Blend
2 Tbsp. Freeze Dried Green Chilies
1 (1.25 oz.) package of Taco Seasoning Mix 
5-6 c. WATER (As it boils it will thicken.)

½ cup FD Cheese, rehydrated,  for Garnish

 Add ingredients (excluding the freeze dried cheese) to a large pot.
  Whisk to dissolve the powders.

Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then simmer between 15-20 minutes, stirring often.

Heat till thickness is achieved. It will also thicken as it cools. If too thick, add some extra water. 

Garnish bowls of soup with Shredded Cheddar Cheese. 

Do you make gifts in a jar?  What kind of gifts in a jar would you want to receive?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Where Do I Put My Food Storage? In the front room

One of the biggest challenges with food storage is where to put it.  This is especially true for those living in homes or apartments without a basement, cold storage, or other appropriate food storage area.    For years I have heard of people putting their food storage under beds, behind couches, or disguised as an end table, but I was never thrilled with the idea of storing food storage in the main living area of the house until I saw this cleaver solution. 

The K family has limited storage space for food storage, so they have to be creative.  They do however have a large family room.  After seeing some amazing built in shelves they wondered if they could do the same thing and use the shelves to store their food storage. 

They purchased enough shelving to fill the entire wall space making this shelving look built in.   Because the shelving was going to contain food storage they opted for cabinets with doors, solid on the bottom half and glass on the top half.  

 The idea was they would put the more decorative food storage (beautiful cans and home canned fruits) on display on the top half and put the less attractive buckets, cans, and jars on the bottom half. 

The middle section contains solid doors all the way up, they could have chosen an entertainment center for this spot, but opted instead for the increased storage space. 

The details: 
 This shelving was purchased from IKEA and includes: 
  • Billy Extra Deep, ($79 with out the doors,  $129 with doors).   Be carefull that you get the EXTRA DEEP,  it is kind of hard to find (and not on the website).  Look in the living room section.  
  • Billy Wall Shelf ($40.00 plus doors)
  • PAX model Bergsbo  (2 door includes door $189).   The PAX is the same height as the billy only if you add the wall shelf on top of the Billys.  The PAX is slightly deeper then the Billy's, so the K family pulled the Billys slightly forward from the wall and then used the included kits to attache them to the wall (so they don't fall over in an earth quake)
Question:  Do you store any of your food storage in the front room? If so how?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Coconut Apricot No Bake Cookies

Coconut Apricot No Bake Cookies

Printable Recipe
  • 1/2 C freeze dried apricots (you can substitute regular dried apricots)
  • 1 C shredded unsweetened coconut (you can use sweetened if you can't find unsweetened)
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp  honey

In the bowl of a food processor, blend the coconut into powder.  Add dry apricots, don't rehydrate just add them dry, and process until everything is powdered.  Add all other ingredients and process until to forms a "dough" about a minute.  Roll into balls.  Refrigerate until firm.   Yield 10 cookies

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mango Lime No Bake Cookies

I have this friend Tiffany who carries around a stack of recipe cards, when she meets someone new she hands them a recipe like most people would hand out a business card.   I wish everyone would hand out their best recipe.

About a year ago I created Coconut Mango Lime No Bake Cookies and shared  it here.  If I was going to hand out my best recipe to everyone I meet this would be the recipe. 
Why is the such a great recipe?

  • It is easy, it takes 5 minutes or less
  • No bake means absolutely NO cooking, baking, or heating of any kind.  
    • For years I have felt cheated by the fact that most no bake cookies have to be cooked on the stove top.  But with this recipe, and a few more to come, when I say no bake I mean it.    
  • It is delicious, so delicious when I take it places the adults eat this and try to get the kids to eat the chips ahoy.
  • It is tropical.  I have a love most everything that has coconut, lime, or mangoes in it.  All three in one cookies is heavenly!    
    •  I’m thinking that is because I live pretty far from the tropics.  For example, it is currently the middle of June and I still have to cover my garden at night so it doesn’t freeze. 

Mango Lime No Bake Cookies

1/2 cup freeze dried mangoes
1 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey

In the bowl of a food processor, blend the coconut into powder.  Add dry mangoes, don't rehydrate just add them dry, and process until everything is powdered.  Add all other ingredients and process until to forms a "dough" about a minute.  Roll into balls.  Refrigerate until firm.   Yield 10 cookies