House cleaning is like stringing beads with no knot at the end of the thread.

"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods." -Ezra Taft Benson-







Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pork 'n' Beans

The Canning Granny posted this on her site and I just had to try it. Now when the sauce was cooking and I was putting this together, I did NOT like how the sauce smelled or tasted. BUT when I opened my canner to take out the jars.. WOW the smell was awesome. I am hoping that while these flavors marry, the flavor will be what I am looking for.
I did soak my beans overnight. Then I put them in the jars. The jar above is a 1 1/2 pint jar. I can't find them anymore. One of my favorites. I only did four of these, I hope they all seal. I also did 8 pint jars.
You may have noticed that they are not labeled yet.  That is because they are fresh out of the canner and still boiling inside. I used bacon instead of salt pork, as I can not leave the house and that is what I had.  Oh who are we kidding.  Hubby did most of these, all I did was soak the beans, and read the ingredients to him. And tell him what to do.  I did put the lids and rings on, so it was done to my satisfaction. AND, I did set the timer once the pressure canners came to temp....And I turned the burners off when the timer went off. And I did pull these four jars out when the canner was cooled down..
I'm going back to bed. Hubby can open the other canner when it cools down.

Apple Sauce.. for FREE!!


AHHH..That caught your attention did it??  How? I got the apples from my orchard. I also could have gotten the windfallen ones from town all up and down Gilman BLVD. Or asked numerous neighbors for their apples they are letting stay on the trees. It's amazing how much food is wasted!

Ok, now on to applesauce. I am limited on what I can do with being sick and in soo much pain. But hubby put the 4 bushels of apples into smaller bags so I could lift them. I am so happy and he and baby girl got the orchard finished so we could put up apples. YUMMY!

I already made apple butter with the first harvest. This bunch will be made into apple sauce and apple leather. I am saving the best apples aside for apple pie for Thanksgiving.
Super easy. I washed the apples, peeled them and quarted them, cored them and cut them smaller and put them in the crock pot. Then I splashed some lemon juice over the top and set it to high. I rotate the crocks every half hour to avoid burned or hot spots. I just stirred the first crock, it only took 3 hours to cook!!  So then because the apples are tart, I am leaving them that way, the kids can add sugar and cinnamon as wanted when they eat it.  I will use the potatoe masher to mash up any that didn't fall apart on their own, and then ladle into pint jars and process about 20 minutes.
Apples with a splash of lemon juice.

EASY! I sat at the table peeling, chopping and then tossed the apples into my removable crocks. I didn't want to use my food mill.. Saw no need to, I just peeled the apples. The peelings and cores will go to the chickens. BUT the chickens were not appreciative of the peelings and literally just spread them all over the place in their outside yard. Dorks.
Apples, lemon juice and cinnamon sticks cooking down. REMOVE cinnamon before canning.
Don't forget to label.
I got nice thick applesauce that we can eat or bake with. I am sooooo happy!!

Are you adding to your storage daily or weekly?

So in my last post I told you of my new friend who has a fantastic idea to add atleast one canned item to your pantry/food storage everyday until the end of the year. Granted I know you don't go to the grocery daily, so yes you can pick up more than one can at a time.  BUT, I am unable to drive right now, so I have been at home.  I also am not supposed to do much, so I have been "helping" the girls build their skills with canning.

NO I am not doing it. I have been directing. And they get really ticked off at me and say I am bossy. But I informed them that when canning, if you don't follow proper food handling you CAN kill someone. So they shushed up. So first off let me say, I am most likely the only one you have met that has their canner going ON Thanksgiving day! What do I can?? Turkey. We don't like leftover turkey very much. BUT we love canned poultry. It is so versatile, you can make gravy with it, soup, casseroles, taco meat, sandwiches.. LOVE IT!!

BUT this year I didn't cook the bird, and there wasn't enough meat to can. BUT I was given the bones!!!! HURRAH, and I just happened to also have chicken bones ready to do as well. So I was only up for a few minutes and had hubby get the 5qt crocks out for me. Then I put the turkey bones in one and in the other the chicken bones. OH, and ALL of these bones had been previously cooked. I don't use raw bones, I don't like the flavor, previously baked bones (with the meat, like for dinner) have much better flavor.
OK, so put bones in crock pot. Then I added a shredded carrot to both CP. I added about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup dehydrated onion (home dehydrated!!), I didn't have fresh. I then added 3 smashed cloves of garlic, 1 bayleaf and 1 TBS canning salt to each CP. Then I covered the bones with cold water, put the lids on, set the CPs to HIGH and went and layed down. I let these cook from 8:30am until 7:00pm. 
Then I strained the broth, added boiling water to bring the level up to wear the lid sits on CP. I skimmed the fat off the top a couple times. Made sure the water level was high enough.
 Next I filled each quart jar and left a 1-inch headspace. Wiped each rim with a vinegar washcloth to make sure no grease on rim.  Then I placed lids and rings and tightened to finger tight. Put in my pressure canners and processed for 25 minutes at 10-pounds pressure.


**Please check your altitude and make sure you are using the right amount of pressure. We are at sea level, so only need 10-pounds here.

 What else have we canned?? Well in the last week we have done two batches of chicken stock, 1 batch of turkey stock, apple sauce, and pumpkin. Now you can not safely do pumpkin puree, so we did pumpkin chunks, they will be easy enough to puree when we use them.

And yes I do use two canners at once sometimes. 

I use both ball/kerr canning lids and or Tattler reuseable lids. Tattlers do NOT make the ping sound (bummer, because the PING makes me smile and sometimes giggle).  BUT I still love them. I use them for stuff I won't be giving away. I use the ball/kerr lids for things I might send to my missionary, or give away to family and friends.


One of the pretty apples..


Actually all of them were pretty.
 BTW, my girls now HATE apples.  Before I got sick, we had picked part of one apple tree and I made apple butter.. that was in October, but it hadn't frosted yet so we waited to pick more. Hubby and baby girl picked all of the orchard and we had a nice mess of apples to can after a light frost around the 1st week of November. BUT being I couldn't be up for long, I had them all out on the back deck in bags, waiting.. very patiently I might add. Out of all 4 bushels of apples, we only had 2 individual apples that went bad!! THat is it!!  WE thought for sure we might lose half of them. AND so you know, the chickens were not appreciative of the peelings. Dorks.

Apples in crock pot with splash of lemon juice.
We used the crockpots to make the apple butter. Peel, quarter and seed apples, place in CP. Cook onLOW all day, stir (they disintegrated), or chop in food processor, put in CP and cook on LOW all day. I did NOT add sugar, but I did add a little cinnamon to a couple batches. Then I processed like it says to in the BALL canning book. I did mine in pints. 
Apples cooking down in a crockpot with cinnamon sticks.  I preferred ground cinnamon.
 OH, so yes I have been adding to my food storage. And today we will be doing something new.. I will put that in a separate post, but all I will say is I love the Canning Granny.
Don't forget to LABEL your jars. Either on the glass or on the lid with a SHARPIE!!  I love sharpies!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I have a new FRIEND!!

OH I am excited!! I have a new preparedness LDS blogger friend and she has a FABULOUS idea for us to do until January first. I will tell you about it here, BUT I will also include a link to her blog.

So here is it.. Now granted we only have 42 days until January 1st, but that is still 42 days!!!  So the challenge? Buy atleast one can of canned food to add to your food storage a day. Now I know we live a little further from stores than some. So when you go to the grocery, it's ok to pick up 7 different items so you don't have to drive to town everyday. Now you all know I can weekly. So this week so far I canned chicken broth. And today am working on applesauce, which will be another posting.

She started 11 days ago, so here is a quick update for the first few days, and she calls them "BY".. she explains it in her post. I will send you to the first on in the series in her blog so you can read them. They are fun. She is preblogging right now, due to the holiday weekend and such. But she is excited about this and you can tell!  It's a great idea! And a great way for us all to be able to help our food storage to be more flavorful! here is the blog: Food Storage...A Necessary Adventure

BY #1: Chicken Noodle Soup (ready to eat)
BY #2: Evaporated Milk
BY #3: Canned Pasta
BY #4: Sliced Peaches
BY #5: Canned Ham
BY #6: Chili
BY #7: Evaporated Milk (we use milk more than we think!)
BY #8: Canned Potatoes
BY #9: Beef Tamales (we won't do this, but will do canned hamburger instead)
BY #10: Bean Soup
BY #11: Mandarin Oranges
BY #12: Vienna Sausages
BY #13: Salisbury Steak Soup (do not add water)
BY #14: Green Beans

Now, if any of this is in your regular pantry rotation, fabulous, add another can or two. DON'T buy stuff if you will never eat it. These are only suggestions. You can look through your pantry and see something your family might prefer.
I added quite a few comments to the above posts over at the Necessary Adventure, so be sure to check out the posts, great suggestions over there.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

NeverSeconds

No that is not misspelled. That is the name of what I discovered today. It's amazing how some children can care so very much. Do you all remember that little girl that died in the accident on I-90 a year or so ago? Her dream was to bring water to those in need. Her tragedy opened the doors of people hearts and tons of money was donated to her cause. And many wells were dug in Africa because of her.
Well on the site I was directed to today by my Mom, is the work of a 9 year old Scottish girl, who believes food needs to be healthy at schools and at home, and is working to bring food to children in Africa at school. Infact she has built a kitchen at one or more schools, and donated the food for them to have a meal everyday! It is amazing.
Here is her blog site that is amazing, here she has people guest blog about the lunches in their school for a week, and they rate them. She also talks about her work in Malawi: NeverSeconds

ALSO, if you would like to donate to her organization, here is the link for that site as well: Martha Payne Fundraising

Now I understand that many suffer world wide, and right now we are even having a problem in the states with Hurricane Sandy hitting the east coast. If you can donate to the churches humanitarian fund, all the monies donated actually go towards the items for helping those in need, NOT into someone's pocket. And these funds help people WORLD WIDE. I never knew what the "Humanitarian" part was on a tithing slip until the tsunami of Dec 26 (sorry I don't remember the year, but it was in the last 7 years). We donated a lot once I discovered what it was.

It's amazing where our world is going. I hope more people can be more like Martha Payne, she is truly a humbled, meek spirit.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Now wait, you have to try this. Don't run away. I saw them make this last night on America's Test Kitchen, around midnight or so. It looked so good I dreamt about it!!  And to top it off, Bo ate 2 LARGE bowls!!!  My mom was in shock! She couldn't believe it. When he asked what was for dinner I said green soup. He was all, "All right! I love green soup!"  And he did! He couldn't get enough of it. BUT he is also the one I sent to the freezer to get the spinach, and well, he LOVES spinach. He won't eat a smoothie unless it has spinach in it!  Unfortunately I couldn't find the camera to take a picture of it. IF I am home for lunch tomorrow, I will try to get a picture of it..

Understand I have not been feeling well for about 3 months now. Lots of hospital visits, tests, and more tests.. it has not been fun. I am only able to be up and moving around now for about 10 to 30 minutes before the pain gets too much, which causes extreme nausea.
So I was happy to try to make this soup today. How long did it take me? 30 minutes. And I also got a spinach artichoke dip thrown in the oven too! I did that while waiting for the broccoli to cook for 20 minutes.
The spinach and artichoke dip is in the blog post with crock pot stuff and a butternut squash soup. I love spinach and artichoke dip.. So our dinner was very green today.. no really literally all green!! 



Just a warning.. I didn't really measure. I have noticed that lately our best meals have literally been thrown in a pan, and ready in 10 to 20 minutes. I just need to remember that my best eater is on his mission.. hence leftovers...which is good, I have something for lunch tomorrow.  AND so you know, I always taste things as I go when making so I can adjust seasonings and such.. I almost took the pot to my room so I wouldn't have to share.. Boy #2 was actually listening and said, "HA, she's taking the POT to her room".. we've been having lots of MJ/Pot jokes here because of the legalization thing on the ballot ...

Broccoli Cheese Soup
2 pounds broccoli, rough chopped; stem peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces*
2 tablespoons butter
Water
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups Chicken Broth or bouillon**
1/2 onion, rough chopped
2 to 6 garlic cloves minced, depends on size
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan, or Romano, or Asiago cheese, fine grated
2 loose cups FRESH spinach***
Pepper to taste

Put butter into stock pot or dutch oven, heat up until it stops bubbling. Add broccoli, onions and garlic; saute a couple minutes. Add 1 cup water and baking soda. Cook about 20 minutes or until broccoli is soft; add spinach for just a minute. Puree' half of the broccoli mix in a blender with the cheeses. Then puree the rest of the broccoli. Return all puree' to the pot and add broth or bouillon. You may need to add water if still too thick. DO NOT BOIL.. Just gently reheat. Serve with buttered croutons.

*I used a bag of frozen broccoli. NOT 2 pounds, infact I don't know how big it was, maybe a pound. It was old too (shhhh).  Because I didn't have enough broccoli, I also added a cup of frozen fresh peas from my garden this year.
**I used 2 bouillon cubes and added them to the first batch of pureed veggies. And instead of broth I used water.
***I did not have fresh spinach. I used two large handfuls of frozen chopped spinach. Which I added right to the blender with the broccoli.

Also, I used Tillamook Garlic White Cheddar, about 2 ounces shredded equalled a cup; I also used Asiago cheese on the larger grind. We did NOT use the pepper, it did not need it, in fact it would have ruined it. I did not need to add salt either as the cheese did this for me.
The spinach dip was amazing as usual. I will tell you though that I prefer the Napolean brand of marinated artichokes. The brand I used tonight were definately inferior, very tough leaves to try to chop up and the marinade was different. Also I only used about 1/3 cup mayo and then put a splash of half and half in.. YUMMY!!!  My mom is actually allergic to mayo, so it was good I didn't have enough for the recipe. And I cooked it at 400 degrees to get it done quickly as I needed to lay down, and this way everything was ready at 30 minutes!  We had french bread with this, and for those who wanted it, I had strawberry freezer jam on the table for the bread for a "dessert"..

Friday, October 5, 2012

Crock Pot Challenge October 2012

OH My goodness it's October already!!!  Yikes, well it's time to do the challenge.  So this being week #1, I kind of failed. All I made was chicken with homemade cream of chicken soup; mud;  and chicken soup.  But the week isn't over yet!!  I still have 2 more days! So I will update each week. The recipe for cream of chicken soup comes from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook in the soup section. I made cream of chicken soup, minus the chicken, using homemade chicken stock. I added paprika to it too.. I loave paprika. The mud recipe is already on here, under chocolate, and I think the chicken soup is also on here. Sorry no pictures today, hopefully I will remember tomorrow.

Now I need to menu plan so that we can have a successful Crock Pot Challenge.  (OH and I consider the Saratoga Jack Thermal Cooker a type of crock pot, and so I hope to differentiate when I use the Jack). 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review: KELLY KETTLE

This is my newest PREPAREDNESS purchase!!  I used my Christmas money from this last Christmas. Yes I waited almost 10 months to buy it, but I wanted to decided between this and a StoveTec stove, but I got this one first. So today we did a test run and we are VERY VERY VERY impressed and happy with this kettle! And I am very happy with the shipping, I ordered this on a Monday and received it on Wednesday!

FIRST, this is originally from Ireland!  They have been using these for over a hundred years! With this you can boil water anywhere! I got the Base Camp Kettle KIT in Stainless Steel. We got the kit, which comes with a cookpot, pot support, grill, and pot/gripper handle. The kit also comes in Aluminum. But I wanted SS so that is what I now have :)  So here is what it says on one of the sides of the box:

"Boils 1.5 liters in minutes!  
For over 100 years the unique Irish Kelly Kettle has made boiling water in the outdoors quick and easy even in extreme weather conditions.
Using abundant natural fuels such as sticks, pine cones, tree bark, dry grass, even dry animal dung, etc. This Kettle will boil 1.5 litres of water in 3-5 minutes.
The Kelly Kettle advantages are:
*No Gas
*No batteries
*No running costs
*Never carry fuel again!
*Never worry about running out of fuel
*Safe to use: The fire is contained within the kettle
*And you can add our Pot-Support and Cook Set to reheat or hydrate food as your kettle boils."

So I tested it.. And we like it! So first you get your wood and such in the bottom pan, I forgot to take a picture of that, but here is one after we were done:


Ok, so it took us awhile to get the fire going... By the way it helps if your kids don't bring you green sticks. If you look closely,  you will see the small pile of green sticks to the right of the pan. It was rather comical as this was smoking like crazy, and I looked at them and said, "Where did you get the sticks", and they said, "off the tree".. HA HA, ok, I explained to them that green wood doesn't burn it smolders, so we poured them out and got some nice dry cherry sticks from the orchard, and they went and found some dry pine sticks. We also grabbed a single piece of newspaper, put that on the bottom then stacked the sticks like a pyramid. Then we lit it, we turned the vent hole towards the wind, which helped a ton!

As you can see, the smoldering wood from before made some soot marks on the outside of the vent hole.  But this is the new fire, with dry wood, and it was hot. The bowl base discolored from the heat, we weren't surprised. I love it, as something well practiced with will work better. And you need to practice using your prep stuff or you won't know how to use it when you NEED it. As you can see here, well barely, the Kettle is on top of the base. It was not boiling yet, but it was getting hot. To feed the fire, you drop small sticks down the chimney.

BE CAREFUL when dropping sticks down the chimney, it is SUPER HOT!!! Now I know in the picture above you can't see the heat coming from the chimney, but it is there, and you can see in the water hole, the sweat from the steam forming.  Yes it says you will have boiling water in 3-5 minutes, this is after you get the fire going. Obviously you can't boil water without the fire.
Yes we boiled water, and it boiled fast, although we forgot to time it, it did boil fast as soon as we had the fire going.
Here is a picture of the Kelly Kettle while boiling.

It is sooo cool! Now just a reminder: FIRE SAFETY, do not have this sitting on a combustable surface. DO not have anything flammable near the vent hole, as we found out, the sticks can shift while burning, and some ash or embers may come out of the hole. Sorry I did not get a picture of the water boiling but it was neat! 
WARNING: NEVER USE THE KETTLE WITHOUT WATER IN IT!

This is a great preparedness item because you can sterilize your water for drinking, cooking, bathing, brushing teeth.. DO not store water in it. The stopper provided (orange, and I didn't get it in any pictures darn it) is for when you are carrying the kettle from your water source. Do NOT boil with the stopper in the hole! And the stopper is for the water hole, not the chimney.

By the way, the base, grill, pot support, handle.. it all stores in the bottom of the Kelly Kettle, and all that stores in the bag that comes with it.

We are very excited to have this in our home. We have a way to make boiling water for when the power is out, when camping or hiking or both.


Another survivalist just did a review on her Kelly Kettle. I am posting the link here so you can see her video she made. She's lucky she has a working video camera. So head over to Food Storage and Survival and see her video. And yes, she LOVES hers too!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dehydrators

There are so many to choose from my goodness. BUT, beware, if it's a very low price, it's a poor choice.
Brands out there:
Ronco
Nesco
American Harvest
EXCALIBUR

Ok, I have used all of those, and I will say by far the best one is the Excalibur. YOu can get them with 4, 5 or 9 trays!  I have the 5 tray one, and I wish I had the 9 tray too sometimes.

If you would like to see a comparison go to Harvest Essentials and check out their flow chart. I hated the round ones, nothing dried evenly and I felt like a lot of food was wasted. With my Excalibur, things dry evenly, things dry, and I love how well it does. Yes the Excalibur is more expensive, but it will last.

I dried a bushel of pears in 24 hours! I dried a bushel of onions in 36 hours. Worth it?? EVERY PENNY!  I love my EXCALIBUR dehydrator.

Where can you buy one????

 Harvest Essentials

Pleasant Hill Grains

Excalibur

Amazon

Monday, September 10, 2012

National Preparedness Month!!

Did you know September is National Preparedness Month?  Well in our house that is every month... ya I know, I am like a broken record.  I wonder how many of you know what a vinyl is.  oops off track. OK, so because this is the official Prep month, I wonder, what are you doing to prepare?
Are you still buying atleast one extra food item when you buy something needed? Is that helping your larder build?

How well are you prepared if the power goes out?
Flooding?
Evacuation and forced Evacuation?
Fire?  We have had too many here in Washington lately.
Freezing?
Heat?

Do you have water stored? Do you have a water filter? A way to boil water if you don't have power?
Does you have gas or briquettes stored for you BBQ and or Butane stove?
Do you have fuel for a generator if you have a generator?
Do you have a pressure cooker (different from a canner)? OR a Saratoga Jack Thermal Cooker (bottom of the post it talks about them, and yes I still sell these)?
Do you have food in your pantry?

Another major thing people don't think about is the toilet. You realize that if the power is out, you won't be getting water to your toilet after you flush. Make sure you have water nearby so you can flush.  Oh, and do you have enough toilet paper?

In August I saw major evacuations in Eastern Washington due to fires. And again on the news last night they are having high wind warnings (so the fire will spread very fast) all over Eastern Washington.  What does that mean? It means lentils and wheat prices will most likely sky rocket. If those fields go up two major staples prices go up.... food for thought.. or is it Thought for Food?  The latter I think.

I have food, a heat source, several cooking sources, water source, BOB's packed, and fuels.
What are you missing? I suggest you get it. If you don't know where or how, email me. I can help you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Peaches, Nectarines, Apples and Pears.. OH MY!

Now that we finally have the "fruits" of our labors coming in... what to do with them? IF you can keep your kids from eating them all and complaining of belly aches, and have enough to put up for winter, then I will make some suggestions.

FREEZE: freezing peaches and nectarines is EASY!!  DON'T freeze pears, they fall apart. So peel and pit your fruit. Cut into the desired size pieces, sprinkle with sugar, place in freezer bags and seal. Lay flat in freezer.  You can also use a citrus dip to prevent browning.

DRY: I love this!!!  You can dry any fruit. So for pears.. to peel or not to peel, it's up to you, but we prefer peeled. So we wash the fruit, peel it, and slice about 1/4-inch thick. This dip in watered down orange juice. pineapple juice or lemon juice and put on dehydrator trays. We do the same for peaches and nectarines. We use these as snacks. You can also do this with bananas, and my kids LOVE them this way.

CAN: So many options! You can do a light syrup, or heavy syrup. You can make butters, chutneys, salsas.. it is amazing! I suggest getting a Ball Canning, freezing and dehydrating book. Usually a new one comes out every year. I have made pear butter (absolutely divine, just don't scorch or burn it), banana butter, peach butter, fruit in light syrup, peach jam, triple berry jams, apple butter, apple sauce, apple pie filling, peach pie filling, apple juice, zucchini jam (yes it is good!!).

The BALL book is great!!  BUT, you can also use their website.

Ok, so don't be afraid, get ready to jump in up to your elbows because you will be sticky all the way up!! You can always email me if you have questions.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"McDonalds" Pancakes

Me: "Good Morning, what would you like for breakfast today?"
The Brood: "Pancakes"
Me: "What kind of pancakes would you like?"
The Brood: "McDonald's Pancakes"

McDonalds pancakes.. easy. Now I don't make these like the restaurant. I don't use preservatives, weird oils, and "white" flour. Originally I made these using a few tablespoons of cannery vanilla pudding, but since I am out of that, I just add some vanilla.

Now mind you, I don't use store bought flours. I know, I am weird. I make my own all-purpose flour. Yes I grind the grains myself. Remember you can use beans for oil, which I did today! The kids didn't notice a difference either. Give this recipe a try.

Our version of McDonalds Pancakes:

1 egg
2 TBS oil, or bean puree
3/4 cup sour milk (usually reconstituted powdered milk, and I put 2 tsp lemon juice in it)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 TBS sugar
1TBS baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 handful of oatmeal

Mix it all up and cook it on a hot griddle. Now for our family I did multiply this by 4. IF any leftover batter, then I store it in a jar in the fridge. Usually someone wants pancakes when everyone else is having eggs.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quinoa and Black Beans

No, not my recipe, but a fabulous one!!  This one was given to me by my friend Cortney who got it from Amanda Segeberg

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped or minced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, RINSED & DRAINED and toasted
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels or lima beans
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained (or dried beans soaked and prepared ahead of time)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; saute' until transluscent/soft. Add cumin and cayenne pepper and cook one minute. Add quinoa, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in corn or lima beans, black beans and cilantro.

Can be served immediately or refrigerated and served cold.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

hmmm.... Beans instead of oil....

Now I know why we are told to have beans in our storage!! You can use them in place of oil.. How great it that??!!! I got this from Crystal, a fellow prepper.


If your recipe calls for oil, you are going to use a bean puree. What is a bean puree you ask? It’s simply cooked beans with enough water to whirl in your blender. If you want a simple way to try this, take a can of beans (the entire can) and dump it in the blender and blend it. Done.

********************************************************************************
What I do is drain the can or jar of beans, rinse them, then put them back into the jar and fill the jar with cold water. Then I pour them into my food processor and blend them until smooth. Then I use them one to one for the oil.
********************************************************************************
If your recipe calls for butter, you are going to use cooked, drained beans.

For substituting beans for both butter and/or oil you are going to use a 1:1 ration. That means if your recipe calls for 3/4 C. oil, you are going to use 3/4 C. bean puree. If your recipe calls for 1 C. butter you are going to use 1 C. beans. You’ll use the same measurements for beans as your original recipe says to use for either the oil and/or butter.

When wondering which beans to use-you are going to match color for color. If it is a chocolate cake, use black beans. If it is a spice cake, use pinto beans. If it is a white cake, use white beans. Now, here is the tricky part…you can also use white beans in chocolate cake but you can’t use black beans in your white cake. Your family will wonder what all of those black specks are. To be safe, you can use white beans in almost anything.

Now, you’re going to add the beans however your recipe says to use the butter and/or oil. So, if your recipe says to cream the butter with the sugar-you’re going to cream the beans with the sugar. If your recipe says to add the oil to the dry ingredients, you’re going to add the bean puree to the dry ingredients.

If you are using beans in something like brownies or cookies that are supposed to be chewy, the beans will not make it chewy-it will be cake like. So if you’re family is big on chewy that doesn’t mean you have an excuse not to use beans. It just means you need to use half oil/butter and half beans. It will still be chewy and you’ll still be saving money and adding fiber and protein! Remember, I’m not big into all or nothing-even a little or half is better than nothing and it’s important that your family likes what you make!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Deals to Meals

Are you having a hard time figuring out where to start your food storage? Or are you unsure of how to use all the food storage you have? Deals to Meals to the rescue!  These ladies have been working hard to show people how to use the food storage we are supposed to have. You do NOT want to stock pile food and then not rotate it and use it. You have to know how prepare it or you will starve when you finally need it.

Check out their blog, from where to start on getting food storage, to recipes and meal planners, not to mention couponing. Head on over and check out Deals to Meals, and start learning step by step...


Deals to Meals

Upsetting..

This is wrong for any government. If they keep shutting down farmers, what will we be stuck eating? Processed, chemical foodstuffs that's what.. Farmers and their farms should be protected and honored, NOT destroyed.


IF this passes in Michigan, several other states will follow. This needs to stop, heritage breeds are not the nasty boars taking over the south and headed north.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Recently my cousin was diagnosed with Celiacs. My daughter and I have been gluten free for about 6 or more weeks now. I know how hard it is eating gluten free  because we have also been  corn free for 9 or 10 years. So here is our favorite recipe so far, on the gluten free trail. This is one of our favorite recipes that I adapted to GF. ALSO, we usually use half of the chocolate chips called for. These freeze great!



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten Free)
1/3 cup oil or melted butter
1 cup brown sugar packed
2 eggs**
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup any combination of white rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, sorghum flour or bean flour
2/3 cup any combo of brown rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour, millet flour, buckwheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthum gum or guar gum (ONLY if making GF)
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Bake in lined muffin tins at 400 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes or until done, depending on your altitude and oven.

This recipe easily doubles, triples and quadruples!! Below are measurements for a large can of pumpkin :)

1 1/3 cups oil or melted butter
4 cups brown sugar packed
8 eggs**
1 large can of canned pumpkin or 4 cups
4 cups of fine flour (allpurpose OR combo of rice, tapioca, potato starch)
2 2/3 cups heavy flour (whole wheat OR combo of brown rice, coconut, almond, bean, millet)
4 tsp salt
4 tsp xanthum gum or guar gum (ONLY if making GF)
2 tsp cloves
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
4 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups chocolate chips

Bake in lined muffin tins at 400 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes or until done. Depends on oven and altitude.

**YES, you can use egg replacer. YES  you can use 1 TBS flax seed oil soaked in 1/4 cup warm water for a few minutes in place of eggs, works great!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Black Bean Brownies with Medjool Dates

Ok, three variations!! So read all the way down. Both of these are pretty low in fat, HIGH in fiber and protein!!  We love all of the black bean brownie recipes.  NOTE: you can use pinto beans or white beans instead!!!! 



Variation #1:

3 eggs

1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 TBS oil or melted butter
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 8x8 inch pan.
In food processor, place dates, black beans and oil/butter and puree until smooth.
Add baking soda, vanilla and cocoa powder and again puree until completely smooth.
Allow food processor to blend for 3 to 5 minutes without stopping to emulsify.
Add eggs and mix well.
Pour batter into greased baking pan. Bake until slightly firm on top and edges pull away from the sides of the pan or toothpick comes out of center mostly clean (about 30 minutes).
Allow to cool and then frost as desired.


Variation #2 (lower fat):
 
3 eggs

15 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 TBS oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In food processor, chop dates, oil and black beans until smooth.
Add baking soda, cocoa, vanilla, and applesauce. Puree until smooth, allow processor to run for 3 to 5 minutes with out stopping.
Add eggs and mix well.
Pour batter into greased 8x8 pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out mostly clean.
Frost as desired when cool.
Makes 16.

Variation #3 (MY FAVORITE, BESIDES ORIGINAL)

3 eggs
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 tsp.- TBS real vanilla
1/2 cup baking cocoa
3 TBS oil
1/2 tsp baking soda OR powder
Dates
Granulated sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Using a 3/4 cup, fill it half way with chopped pitted dates, then fill the rest of the way with sugar. Place everything in the blender or food processor, EXCEPT chocolate chips. Blend until smooth. Add chips and blend just until they are broken up. Pour into greases 9x9 pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Frost when cooled.

Frosting #1 : Better Crocker Fudge Frosting (cut in half for bean brownies above!!!!)


1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/4 cup milk (cow, goat, rice, coconut, almond... whatever kind you like)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon agave nectar OR corn syrup
dash of salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix granulated sugar and cocoa in 2-qt. saucepan. Stir in milk, butter, agave nectar or corn syrup and salt. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Boil 3 minutes, stirring occasionally; cool. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread over brownies. Let cool.

Frosting #2:

1/3 to 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 to 4 TBS whipping cream

Combine and melt slowly. Pour over brownies and let set up for about 5 minutes before cutting.

Black Bean Brownies

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 eggs
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla (I never measure vanilla.. I just pour some in)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly grease 8x8 square baking dish
Put all ingredients except chocolate chips in blender. Blend until smooth. Add chocolate chips and blend just a little to break them up a tiny bit.
Bake in preheated oven on middle rack until the top is dry and edges start to pull away from pan, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Frost with favorite frosting.

Frosting #1 : Better Crocker Fudge Frosting (cut in half for bean brownies above!!!!)


1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/4 cup milk (cow, goat, rice, almond, coconut... whatever kind you like)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon agave nectar OR corn syrup
dash of salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix granulated sugar and cocoa in 2-qt. saucepan. Stir in milk, butter, agave nectar or corn syrup and salt. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Boil 3 minutes, stirring occasionally; cool. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread over brownies. Let cool.

Frosting #2:

1/3 to 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 to 4 TBS whipping cream

Combine and melt slowly. Pour over brownies and let set up for about 5 minutes before cutting.

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 2012 FLOODING

Dear River,

I know that when I last wrote you I said, "I miss you." BUT I did not say I missed only you. I am appalled that you have come running across my yard to my door to see me. When I said I missed you, it wasn't you alone. I said, "I miss you and the warm and hot sun." I also said, "I also miss seeing salmon and trout in your waters." Now I know there are not any large salmon or trout in your waters, I know I won't find their precious eggs on my beach when you get the cold shoulder from me and realize I am happily married! I promise to visit you as a friend with my husband, children and dogs during summer. Now please leave..

Your not so distant friend,

Lisa

Yes a little humor to deal with the stress of our first flood of winter. Honestly I was expecting this last year, but I guess things have changed and we now flood in January instead of November. So far the river has slightly jumped the bank, my sump pump has been on all stupid night, so I haven't slept in two nights.

So here is our/my next natural disaster.. are you prepared for flooding? We are supposed to have a lot of flooding this year. I am almost afraid to go to work today, why???? Well, first off the Issaquah river is trying to find me, and second of all the Snoqualmie river isn't far from my clinic, infact we have not flooded at our clinic, nor will we as when they rebuilt they put us up on stilts, BUT, that isn't to say that the river wasn't lapping at the building! I remember doing helping hands in Snoqualmie a couple of years ago, and I am sure we will be doing that again this February. I'll try to get over to the Snoqualmie and take a picture and send it out for you all to see, but yes, I am sure it will be high. Right now as of 5:15 am the Issaquah creek is at phase 3 flooding in town, and at my house at phase 1. I know more is coming... Snoqualmie river is at phase 1 but was at phase 2 a little bit ago... So yes, flooding could be imminent.

How shall we prepare?? BOB.. what? BOB.. WHAT?! Bug Out Bags ... yes I even have one for the dogs and cats and chickens. Although I now have more poultry so I will have to use a couple more boxes to move them. Where would I go?? Normally I would say high ground, but my mom's house is empty so we could go there, although it would be really hard on Amber. We would take over her basement ;) literally.. So what is in my BOB? Ya know a lot of preppers call them BOB, but that is the name my brother goes by and it just sounds wierd.. ha HA... ok,

BOB:
water bottle
water filter
rocket stove (scout ones)
mess kit
2 pairs underwear
2 pairs socks
flash light
hat
sweat suit
small first aid kit
sleeping bag (grab pillow off bed along with snuggly)
100 hour candle (in select bags)
matches
flint
lighter
pocket knife
zip loc of food: instant oats, peanut butter or nuts, gum, homemade hard candy (when I have it), ramen (gross), hot chocolate, lots of raspberry zinger tea and peppermint tea, granola bars

No it isn't as much as the emergency ones we made a couple of years ago. Remember you need to rotate clothing so it fits, and rotate food so it isn't .. icky. Rotate your matches as they can get moist (hello this is western WA).

Dogs BOB:
dishes
food
water
blanket
Cats BOB:
dishes
food
water
blanket

Chickens BOB:
feed
water

The other things I grab:
laptop
genealogy
camp gear (totes with all my camping stuff in them, including tent and stovetec rocket stove)
thermal pads for sleeping on
saratoga jack thermal cooker
hand grain mill

And if time permits: MORE FOOD including wheat, beans, salt and sometimes some spices or herbs, dried fruit, candy (sugar can be a comfort in times of distress), redmond clay (for when diarrhea hits), muck boots or extra shoes, more blankets, two larger first aid kits

Now this is our FLOOD season BOB, if we are evacuating for other reasons, depending on what it is, I would pack my trailer with as much food as I could, along with my second stovetec rocket stove and fuel for the gas stoves and stovetec stoves.

I am not sure how high the water will get... one of those two edged swords as we paid an arm and a leg for flood insurance (kind of want it to have not been in vain as it was required by mortgage company!!) and at the same time, I don't want the stress of a flooded house! We saw how hard it was on my BIL and SIL, and right now I don't know how well I would handle it.

Guess I will deal with it when if it happens.  Stay safe, stay dry, and pack your BOB..

Power Outage January 2012

My goodness it has been a crazy couple of weeks. So much going on. Let's list them:

Cold outside
Freezing outside
Raining
Freezing outside
Snowing
Freezing outside
Power Outage
Communications lines down too!!!
Freezing rain
Snowing
Freezing
Raining
Raining
Freezing
Raining
Freezing

How long was your power out? How about your communications lines (phone, email, cell phone)? Did you have a source of heat? A way to cook? A way to boil water? A water source? A generator and plenty of food?

During all this wonderful fun (and I don't mean that sarcastically, I love it when the power goes out.. honestly, ask my kids), I got to help hubby deliver oxygen tanks to powerless patients. Lots of them. It was crazy, having rehab and nursing facilites calling saying, we just lost power (on Friday!! days after we lost it). Generators that blew up.. it was nuts. Many people had to be moved to places with heat. I have not heard of any deaths from this storm we had, but of course, I had no communications so no tv, so I heard nothing.

Something else I got to do during the power outage was help move my clinic back to it's original site!! yeah, I love our new building.. Our first official day open we had so many patients we didn't have time to talk with the patients. Today I finally had a chance to ask patients how they did during the outage. It was heart breaking. A lot of people didn't have a heat or cooking source, so they ate crackers, and if they had it, cold campbell's soup (undiluted because they didn't have water). A few had pipes that burst in their houses from the cold. The farms were hit hard with orchards being devastated by the freezing rain and so main branches or even the whole tree fell.

How prepared were you? I know many say they are prepared or were fine. But honestly what could you have had or done that would have made things better? A generator is what I hear alot.. a wood stove or stove insert? More wood? Water? candles? certain tools (chain saw, hatchet, ax, tarps, ropes)...

BUT remember you have to store the fuel for a generator, and yes fuel does go bad. And you don't want to store a generator with fuel in it. Is the wood you have green (fresh) or is it seasoned? And just because you split it a year ago, did you keep it dry?

I actually went out on my back deck and filled my soap making pots with snow, and melted them by the fire, then heated them on the stove to wash dishes. I also melted snow by the fire so we could flush the toilet.

Light??? My goodness you don't really realize how early it gets dark until you don't have power and at 4:15pm you are in the dark! I have an aladdin lamp, but the smell of the lamp oil burning gives me a headache. I like the candles alot, but try finding candles here like you can in Utah.. for a decent price, get real.. not going to happen. Candles are pricey.. Have you heard of an oil lamp? Like the ones used in the bible? yes, they are easy to make and use, you just need some pomace oil (a type of olive oil) and some cotton string or fabric.

Entertainment: Well, with the freezing rain I was not about to let my kids go out, slip on the ice and need a hospital visit, so after I did the chickens, and the dogs were done, we played board games, hide and go seek, colored, figured out meals, and how we would cook them.

Food: Did you try to find something to make at home, or try to find a restaurant with power? We had fun cooking with the fire and with my Saratoga Jack Thermal cooker. We used the cold outside to keep fridge food cold. We ate what needed to be eaten first, and didn't make enough for leftovers because I didn't want to fuss with storing it.

If I didn't have a camp cookstove, a BBQ, a canning stove, or my gas range.. I would have had to only rely on my fireplace to cook food for my family. Well, I have decided I want to have a back up plan. What if the next thing to hit knocks out the gas lines? How will I cook? fire... well, yes, but it's a real pain to cook outside in the freezing temps with your dutch oven. It's even harder to keep it at the right temp. So what to do?? I have decided I am buying some Stove Tec rocket stoves. Actually, I am getting two. This way I have one for camping, and one for emergencies. And also this way I can boil water on one and cook something else on the other at the same time. Yes they are a little expensive, but you know what. It is small, light weight and easy to use.

By the way, my BBQ was out of propane, and I am not even sure where my coleman stove is. My canning stove take propane.. Glad I had my gas range, but using it meant I had to have windows open for ventilation.. I actually have a patient who never ever turns on his exhaust fan when using his gas stove, and never has! (Actually it kind of explains a lot about him..) but for safety sake, please ventilate when using your natural gas stove! One thing we found ironic is my sister gave us each an MRE with heat pak from the Army (courtesy of her hubby) as gag gifts (except Peaches, she got a game instead.. LUCKY!!). We decided to use them just before we found out about this storm. Yes you could survive on them, and you won't have to worry about a bathroom, because they plug you up for weeks!! bonus right?! HA HA, kids thought they were fun, but I remember them from my dad's navy days, yuck.. and I think it was even the same packaging from the navy camp out I remember from the 1970's !!!

Ok, I ask you again. If you couldn't use a generator.. What would you do with your freezer food? Obviously you'd have to figure out how to preserve the food another way, and quickly. What would you do? I would can the meat, dehydrate what I could, and an whatever else I could. I would also make meals around what thaws out first. Usually fish thaws first, then chicken and ground meats, then roasts.

What would you do with your freezer jam? fruit? veggies? beans? meats? breads? So much to think about.. ugh... information constipation.. but you can't let that happen! Just want you to think about it, and start making up a plan.

Ok, this was all just things running through my head this week. Seeing the less fortunate through work and hearing what they endured because they didn't have a plan.. it just killed me, and it could have been prevented!

So there it is, I am doing an order for some Stove Tec Rocket Stoves. If you'd like to order with me, write me back and let me know. I am ordering the Deluxe Metal 1 Door Stove (it has a metal liner so it lasts longer.) We can save on shipping if I order a large order and have it sent to one address.

Also, the thermal cooker will work great with the stove tec. I am excited to use them together.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is "green" mean to you?

Everyone over 35 should read this.. This was emailed to me by my son:

Checking out at the supermarket recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. I apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days“.

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations“.

She was right about one thing–our generation didn’t have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then? After some reflection and soul-searching on “Our” day, here’s what I remembered we did have….

Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of Wales. In the kitchen, we blended & stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a water fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?


Back in the day (until I got married so prior to July 1991) I remember walking or riding my bike EVERYWHERE! School, the store, friends houses (even if they lived a few miles away), EVEN work (heaven forbid!!).. I remember having to shake the milk jug because the milk would separate or even better, the milk in the glass 2L bottles. I remember that my mom HATED margarine (originally called oleo) because it was not butter and didn't even taste like butter. I remember when the bakeries at the grocery stores actually baked bread and sliced it their (Mom, remember Buttries with Aunt Elaine, my class one year got a tour of the bakery and they were slicing the breads with a special wire cutter). I remember everyone had a garden, even if it was small.. Although my dads was a quarter of an acre (I also remember dragging a huge metal triangle thing behind our 1971 Malibu Chevelle to level out the back yard.. Then turning that triangle into a compost at first, then a garden). I remember the kitchens at the school actually COOKING lunch! You know, spinach with vinegar, real macaroni and cheese, real food.. not processed food, and if you tried to throw away your veggies you had to prove you had eaten some. I also remember pop bottles, not the small 12oz ones that Coke uses now but the nice 16 and 21 oz ones..we turned those back in to get the deposit back same as for milk bottles. As for our parents and grandparents not caring for the environment, it wasn't them, it was the companies that dumped chemicals, it's the companies harvesting petroleum and natural gas that don't care. Our parents and grandparents were the original greens. People today don't make things do or do without, they throw something away that could be fixed and buy a new one.. how green is that?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chili Casserole

I got this from the Taste of Home Casserole Cookbook, I did make some changes though. ALSO, I make this in my Saratoga Jack Thermal Cooker, and we love it. I double this for my thermal cooker sometimes.



Chili Casserole
1 pound bulk pork sausage or hamburger or ground poultry
2 cups water
1 can (15-1/2 oz) beans (pinto, black, chili, cannelini, white), undrained
1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes undrained, or salsa
3/4 cup uncooked rice (long or short grain)
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 TBS chili powder (I only use 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. Bug juice (worcestershire sauce)
1 tsp. prepared mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder or a couple of cloves of garlic minced

Cheddar cheese

**In large pot for thermal cooker, brown the meat and onions over medium heat; add garlic when meat is half way done and continue to cook until not longer pink; drain. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the rice and cheese. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then sprinkle in rice and stir. Bring it back to a boil, then cover and place in thermal cooker.

Stove directions: In a skillet, cooke the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the next 10 ingredients; stir well. Cover and cook on low for 7 hhours or until rice is tender. Stir in cheese; cook 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.

Power Balls

I love these, my kids love these!  These are yummy and very good for you.

Power Balls
1 pound (16 oz.) pitted dates or figs
1 cup peanuts, raw or roasted (or whatever nut you like)
1/2 to 1 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/2 cup flaked grains (oats, or barley, or wheat, or rye... whatever you have)
1/4 cup craisins or raisins (optional)
1 - 2 TBS rice protein powder (optional)

Toasted coconut (toast under broiler until golden, you will want to watch it closely and stir occasionally).

Check dates for pits. Pits will break your food processor  blade. They are very hard, and are sharp at both ends. I usually bend the dates in half to check for pits.

Place peanuts in processor and blend a little. Add dates and blend until smaller. Add any other dried fruit and mix until fine. Now add the vanilla, grains and protein powder. Mix until fine.

Roll into 1-inch FIRM balls, then roll firmly in the toasted coconut. Store tightly covered in fridge.