Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shirley J

I am always looking for products to enhance my year supply. The last few days I have posted on spices, which are essential for food storage. My dear friend Carey alerted me to a company that I am very interested in! The name is Shirley J, and the link to their website is here. They have lots of seasonings and spices, soup bases, etc, that seem to be priced quite good for the amount you get. I am excited to try the bouillon, since I use that in so many of my homemade mixes. You can check out their blog here. Also, they are having an open house where you can go and sample their products. It is going on now through April 11th at their store (15 East 400 South, Orem, UT). Let us know what you like!

Bread Packets

Using your whole wheat is so fun! If you have a grinder, there is nothing like melt in your mouth, warm whole wheat bread. Some recipes I have tried leave the bread dry and crumb-like, while others are lacking flavor. Some take so incredibly long to make that I have to plan a whole day! I don't have time for that- so, I have been on a quest for the perfect whole wheat recipe- one that tastes divine, isn't dry and crumbly, and is FAST! I found one that I really like. This came from Crystal at www.everydayfoodstorage.net which is one of my favorite websites! One thing that she suggests, and that I have incorporated, is making bread packets. After you grind your flour (or if you purchase whole wheat flour), make up bread packets. Each packet contains the dry ingredients of the bread in a large Ziplok bag, and will make 2 loaves. When you are ready for hot bread, just put the water, yeast, oil or butter, bread packet, and vinegar together. Knead for 12 minutes with the dough hook (can do by hand as well). Her recipe has the dough rise twice. I don't do that. Here is a tip: After you are done kneading the bread dough, cut the dough in half. Roll out with a rolling pin like you are going to make cinnamon rolls. Roll up the dough and place in bread pan. Do the same for the other loaf. Let raise only once, in the pan. (See photos at end of post)

Here is the recipe:

EZ Wheat Bread recipe (This is for 2 loaves)

2 1/2 cup warm water
2 Tblsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey or 2/3 cup brown sugar
5.5 cups whole wheat flour (or whatever combination white/wheat you like..I use 100% hard white wheat).
1/2 cup wheat gluten
2 tsp salt
4 Tblsp nonfat non instant dry milk
2 Tblsp butter/margarine/oil
2 Tblsp vinegar
½ cup potato flakes (NOT potato pearls)

Mix ingredients in order listed in mixing bowl of mixer with dough hook attachment (like kitchen-aid) for 12-15 minutes. Let rise until double, 1- 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, and shape into loaf or rolls. Let rise again until double and bake 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.

If you are making this recipe in a bread machine, follow your bread machine’s directions for wheat or whole grain selection and add the ingredients in the order listed for their recommendations. (only one loaf will fit in a bread maker)

EZ White Bread (This is for just 1 loaf)

1 1/8 cups warm water
1 3/4 - 2 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tblsp sugar (you can use a little more sugar if you like your dough a little sweeter)
3 cups flour
1 Tblsp vital wheat gluten (remember you don’t need as much gluten if you’re not using whole wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 Tblsp butter/margarine or oil
1/4 cup potato flakes
(you don’t really need vinegar for white bread, remember the dough enhancers are primarily needed for whole wheat bread)

Add the ingredients in the order listed into a mixer bowl (like a kitchen-aid) with a dough hook attachment and mix on low for 10-12 minutes. Or mix it on the dough cycle in your bread machine.
After all the mixing is complete, if the dough still seems too gooey and you are unable to handle it, add 1 Tblsp flour at a time, and mix after each addition until the dough is manageable with your hands.

Let rise 45 mins -1 hour, punch down and use to make bread, cinnamon rolls, cookie sheet pizza, rolls, or anything else you can think of! Let rise after you have made your creation and bake according to the direction of the recipe you are making.
If you are making it into bread, form into a loaf at this time, place in a loaf pan, let rise in a warm place 45 min -1 hour and bake 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
If you are making this recipe in a bread machine. Follow your bread machine’s directions and add the ingredients in the order listed in their recommendations. (only one loaf will fit in a bread maker)

Note: Use brown sugar if you are making the packets. If you are making the recipe to use then, use honey, or dried honey powder.
Bread Packet

Dough after it has been kneaded in Kitchenaid for 12 minutes

Dough rolled out

Rolling dough up to put in pans

Dough ready to raise

Dough ready for oven

Finished product! (In less than 1 1/2 hours!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lipton Onion Soup Mix- but BETTER

This is an incredibly good clone of the real thing. I think it actually tastes better! At the grocery store, Lipton onion soup mix costs about $1.00-$1.50 per envelope, which contains approximately 5 tablespoons. That equals to be about .20-.30 cents per tablespoon. It is soooo easy to make your own, and the cost is so much cheaper (about .06-.08 cents per tablespoon).

Onion Soup Mix Recipe
Makes 40 Tablespoons

1.5 cup dehydrated onion
2/3 cup beef bouillon powder
8 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed celery seed
1/2 tsp sugar

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

About 5 tablespoons of mix are equal to 1 1/4 ounce package.

To make onion dip: Mix 5 tablespoons with one pint of sour cream.

Roasted Red Potatoes:

  • Use 2 red potatoes per person (depending on size of potato). Cut into fourths. Put in large ziplok bag.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 3-5 tablespoons onion soup mix, and 1 tablespoon rosemary.
  • Toss.
  • Bake in single layer at 400 degrees until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

Savory Pot Roast:

  • one beef pot roast of your choice
  • 5 tablespoons onion soup mix
  • baby carrots
  • new potatoes
  • 2 cups water


Place beef pot roast in crockpot and sprinkle with onion soup mix. Add carrots and new potatoes. Pour water over pot roast. Cook on low 8-10 hrs or until tender. Thicken the gravy with a little flour or cornstarch. If you are really on the ball, when you put the roast on, put a batch of bread in the bread maker and set the timer so they will be finished at the same time. When you get home, all you need to do is fix a salad and dinner is done.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

If your family is anything like mine, we LOVE taco's and mexican food! Here is a recipe that is much more economical than the taco seasoning packets. Each taco seasoning packet at the grocery store costs between .99 cents to $1.59. Each packet holds about 2 TBS which seasons 1 pound of ground meat. This equals to about .59-.79 cents per TBS. By making it yourself, it costs between .06-.10 cents per TBS. Not bad! And, it tastes fabulous!!

Taco Seasoning Recipe

Large batch (about 3 cups/48 TBS)

1 cup dehydrated onions
1 cup chili powder
4 TBS salt
16 tsp cornstarch
4 TBS dried garlic, minced
4 TBS cumin
4 TBS red pepper flakes, crushed (optional)
8 tsp beef bouillon granules
6 tsp dried oregano

Combine the ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.

Add 2 TBS mix to 1 lb cooked and drained beef and 1/3-1/2 cup water and cook until done.

To make tacos even faster, use canned hamburger. I will post at a later time how to can ground meat. Dinner in less than 5 minutes!!


One of the best things you can store in your food storage is a variety of spices. These make ordinary food extraordinary! In the next few posts I will share some money saving ideas using your stored spices. Some of my favorite spices to have on hand in bulk are: dehydrated onions, garlic salt, garlic powder, onion salt, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, taco seasoning (homemade), onion soup mix (homemade), oregano, basil & rosemary.

I like to buy dehydrated onions at the LDS church cannery (#10 can with 2.8 lbs). Price: $7.15. This is much cheaper than buying them at even Costco or Sam's club. Most other spices are cheapest at Costco or Sam's. After buying the bulk spices, I fill up a smaller container that goes in my cupboard in my kitchen. The large container I keep in my food storage room. When my small container is empty, I just refill it with the large.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why start a blog??

OK, so I am new to the blogging world! I do not claim to be the top expert in the things I will post about, but hopefully this blog will give some tips & tricks on what has worked for me and my family in the areas of food storage, finances, cooking, organizing and all the other fun things that I enjoy. Recently a lot of people have asked me about how we got our year supply of food, how we eliminated our debt, how I can make a dollar go so far, and such. These are all hobbies of mine, and I seem to obsess a bit about it. So, in the future, I will post ideas about these and many other things. In addition, if I put the information on my blog, I can find it quickly :) Stay tuned....