100% Food Storage - Garlic Focaccia


Just a 'side' of bread to go with the chili last night but... it was so good and so easy.  Zero work. 

My 'daily bread' was tossed from the bucket in the fridge into a buttered pan.  I used my fingers to squish it out and into place.

Topped with some home canned butter and lots of garlic, a sprinkle of garlic salt... and then mozzarella cheese. 

I was going to have to go into long term storage to find some freeze dried mozzarella but I got lucky and found I had food vacuum sealed a couple bags of mozzarella and they were in the deep freezer.  Yay!

I popped it into a 375 oven for about 25 minutes and... done!

My 'daily bread' bucket dough from the fridge, finger smooshed into a pan, with canned butter and garlic

Topped with mozzarella and going into the oven

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100% Food Storage - using the #10 can Auguson Farms vegetarian beef - Chili and Sloppy Joes

100% Food Storage:  Last grocery trip was November 2023.  Today is February 19, 2024.

Previous post was re-hydrating the imitation (vegetarian) beef and this post is a quick fly-by post of two of the things made with it.  The chili was for now and the Sloppy Joes were put in food seal bags and vacuum sealed for the freezer for dinner later this week.


Starting to mix in spices and ingredients to make Sloppy Joes


I've posted my regular Sloppy Joe recipe in 2008 and 2014 - maybe another time or two as well. Here it is again but this time I used food storage.  The ground beef - use frozen or freeze dried, or imitation vegetarian.  You can leave the turkey or sausage out and just double the beef.  Minced dried onion and using dry powdered milk or evaporated milk.

Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground beef
3/4 lb. ground turkey (or mild sausage)
1/2 large onion, diced
4 T chili powder
6 T bbq sauce
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 c ketchup
2 T sugar
1 c milk
4 t vinegar
1 1/2 T flour
salt and pepper

Brown the ground beef and turkey with the diced onion. Add the rest of the spices and simmer 5 minutes. Serve on buns. 

And... chili!
I posted the recipe just a couple years ago in 2022 - here:

This time around I used the imitation beef from food storage.  I did use a package of homemade mild sausage from the deep freezer.  Minced dried onions and the very last 1/2 fresh onion I had.  Green pepper was diced and frozen previously.  I had a can of black eyed peas to use in place of the refried beans and I used regular black beans, with some extra chili powder and cumin.  Diced tomatoes were in the pantry and I had a little bit of tomato paste in the fridge to use up so I added a few tablespoons of that as well!


Homemade Chili

4-5 slices bacon
1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage (crumbled)
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 medium onions
3 t minced garlic (fresh)
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 can medium green chilies, diced
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 T chili powder
2 cans (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (15.5 oz.)  Bush's Black Chili Beans
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in a pan until crispy and break up with your spatula.  Add the sausage and ground beef and brown it - adding the onion towards the end.  During the last 2 minutes of cook time, add the garlic. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients to a crock-pot or slow cooker of choice; or you can slow cook the chili on the stove all afternoon too.  Up to you.  But in the crockpot or a large pot, put the green peppers, green chilies, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, tomatoes and beans.  Add the meat and onion mixture.  Stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slow cook all day or at least 3-4 hours if you can wait that long. 

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100% Food Storage: Vegetarian Meat Substitute, Beef (flavored)

 100% food storage and what's on hand:  last grocery shopping trip was November 2023.  Today is February 19, 2024.


Although I have roasts and some ground beef in the deep freeze, in order to make the meat go further, and to use up and rotate out the oldest cans in our long term storage, I'm opening and using the first things I had bought when I felt the need to start food storage (Spring of 2012 - and knew absolutely nothing... and had zero money to spend).  The 'vegetarian' (soy) fake meats were cheap and came in a little kit so I became the proud owner of vegetarian beef, chicken and taco meat.  I've already posted about the taco meat (yay) and chicken (meh, it's fine).  But last night I opened the beef (flavored).

My husband walked through the kitchen just as I opened the can.  He peeked over the edge, smelled and announced, "Mmm... dog food!"

Yeah, it does look like puppy chow. 

I decided to make a large batch.  You use 1 part fake beef to 2 parts water, bring to a boil, and simmer for a couple minutes.

I made a large pot of it, which I then turned into a big pot of chili, and the rest made into a batch of Sloppy Joes.

Here is what the imitation beef looks like in the can upon opening.

And after reconstituting with water...

It does not taste like beef.

It doesn't taste bad, but it just has a very bland, taste.  I added beef base (bouillon) to it while it was cooking, which helps a little bit.  I also added some salt and pepper. 

The soy/beef takes on whatever you are making with it - which is why it's good for 'taco' night - the taco seasonings are perfect for imitation beef.  However, made into chili, it was really good too!  And the sloppy Joe's were a little different tasting than normal (since I usually use ground beef and ground mild sausage or chicken sausage) but it too was good.   But plain reconstituted imitation beef?  Not really beef like at all.  It likes spices and sauces and flavorings.


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100% Food Storage: Pizza Night (pepperoni, chicken alfredo and jalapeno popper pizzas) and a quick 'shopping' trip to my pantry

100% food storage and what I had on hand... last grocery shopping trip was November, 2023.  Today is February 18, 2024.


Yesterday I did a quick 'shopping' trip to the 2-3 year storage pantry.  
Flour, black olives, alfredo sauce and green olives.
Pizza night!

I used my 'daily bread' that I have talked about a hundred times (but mention again because I always have new readers here for the first time that might not know) that is in a bucket in the refrigerator that I pull out to make whatever I need that day - be it bread, rolls, buns, garlic bread, pizza, etc. 

I don't have any fresh/frozen spinach in the freezer any longer so it was time to break into the #10 can in long term storage.  They are... fine.  It's just like using parsley, as it's the same size.  When I can get fresh spinach from the early spring garden planter, that will be nice!  The chicken was a mixture from the freezer of pre-cooked chicken mixed with some of the long term storage reconstituted vegetarian fake chicken I used a couple weeks ago and cooked a bunch of, then food sealed and froze for future meals... like this.  This pizza was the last of the fresh mozzarella from the deep freezer as well. I'll look to see if I have any smaller food sealed bags, but if not, I'll have to go to the long term storage to get freeze dried mozzarella out.

Here is me making a Chicken Alfredo Pizza.

A pepperoni and green olive pizza - still have some pepperoni in the deep freezer, and the sauce is homemade from storage items (posted recipe last week) and have food sealed bags in the deep freezer.  The Parmesan on top is the 'green top canister' you buy at the store - I have one in the fridge and a couple in our 2-3 year storage.
This one is a jalapeno popper pizza - I used mayo with Ranch dressing mix powder sprinkled on for the base.  The last of the mozzarella cheese, real bacon crumbles from the deep freezer (bags you buy at Sam's or Costco or the grocery freeze for use whenever you need them or you could use imitation bacon bits from long term storage).  I topped with some cheddar - grated from a block I had in the deep freezer.  When the cheddar is completely gone I'll switch to the freeze dried in the #10 cans.  Jalapenos are from food storage - the glass jar of mild jalapenos you can buy anywhere and store forever in your fridge.
Mr. Husband is also taking leftovers to work for his lunch/dinner.
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100% Food Storage - hits and misses on sour cream powder, stored Velveeta, canned Queso (taco night)

100% Food Storage:  Last grocery trip was November 2023.  Today is February 17, 2024.



FIRST TRIAL:  did it work?


Yesterday was rough, and I had zero interest in coming up with dinner but... it has to be done.  That's one of the good things about the meat in food storage - whether it's canned, home canned or freeze dried, it's already 'cooked' and ready.  It just involves heating it up, reconstituting it or just adding it to whatever you are making.

Taco night it is.

The first thing I'm going to note for my future reference are the FAILS

I know it's so, so difficult to have sour cream when you are living on 100% food storage.  I do have sour cream powder in my pantry but it's one of those food storage items that is more for baking and cooking than it is for actually trying to make 'sour cream'.  Cookies, cakes, beef stroganoff, yes... actual sour cream?  No.  BUT... I wanted to try something new to me to see if it would work.

Spoiler alert... it didn't. 

Sour cream powder has the fat taken out.  I saw a can of shelf stable 'table cream' in the pantry and thought to myself "I wonder if I could mix that with the sour cream powder to get a sour cream taste/flavor with the creaminess of the actual table cream, which would provide the 'fat' for taste and texture?"

The texture was great.  The smell and taste however were not anything even remotely close to sour cream.

Determined to try a couple more things before failing completely, I tried to add some lemon juice.  Nope.
I tried a little vinegar.  Nope.

Those were my best guesses.  I then covered it and let it chill for 4 hours to see if the flavor would improve.  It didn't.

I asked for other family member input and we all agreed it was a cross between 'cucumbers' and 'cheese'. 
I had some on my tacos.  It made me enjoy them less.  I didn't like them. I ate them (not wasting food) but I didn't like them.
I threw out the fake sour cream.  

OTHER FAILS:  I am trying to use up and rotate out 'older' products and also test out what is storage-safe and a complete waste of money.  While getting the table cream out of our 2-3 year pantry for my sour cream trial, I spied a box of Velveeta that had been pushed to the back, and had another product sitting on it - so that it was completely missed this whole time and I didn't even know it was there. 

Velveeta was 'original' style and best by date was December 2022.  So, it was just over 1 year past. 
Opening it up, it stuck to the foil and basically was pulling apart in huge pieces, and looked like rubber.  (Granted, it kind of does anyway... it's not a real quality food product to begin with!  But it was a trial to see what options I could store for 'cheese' variety.)

It had a very slight 'off' smell - still edible, still fine and safe to eat if we needed to, or if it would have been mixed in with pasta to make homemade mac and cheese in an emergency food situation, but since we are not in that "we have turned into Venezuela" situation YET in this country, it wasn't a food I was ok with eating (yet) or serving to family.  It went into trash.  *NOTE*  I've been VERY happy with the tightly sealed, smaller envelope style packages of Velveeta style cheese sauce.  But the boxed Velveeta isn't sealed well enough through the sealed foil to store very long.  I would not want to use it past it's best-by date unless we absolutely had to.

Canned white Queso:  It was the popular Rico's brand and I've posted a couple weeks ago when I opened and tried other cans of it and the yellow cheddar version.  I think this is the last can of white queso in the 2-3 year storage pantry and knowing it probably wasn't going to be at its top quality, I grabbed it as an "OPEN AND TRY" with no expectations task.

And I was right.  It looked fine, tasted... fine and was... fine.  But it was also just a little bit off in flavor just enough that in order to use it without hesitation, I'd want to mix it in with the taco meat to form a nacho dip, or use in hot pasta, etc.  

Honestly, I think I'm being a little too judgemental over the canned Rico's cheese because even when it's freshly bought and brand new, I have issues with the chemical 'taste' that comes through.  I have a very, very sensitive nose that can smell chemicals and preservatives better than most, so I think the canned cheese (2021) is fine for everyone... else. 

But, I have small packs of Velveeta in the regular pantry I can use if I need to in the near future.   I tossed the can.


I've already posted about this product - but we had more of it last night.
Vegetarian, (imitation) Taco Meat.
Surprisingly good (see previous posts for more in depth chit-chat about it).

TACO SAUCE:  Regular readers know we always keep homemade Taco Bell style taco sauce on hand... always.  I haven't bought taco sauce in years and years because homemade is just so easy and tastes better.

We ran out a few weeks ago and I just hadn't made up another batch yet.    This is a 'half' version of my regular recipe, as I make the whole 3 cup version, using the whole little can of 6 oz. tomato paste, and keep it in glass jars in the refrigerator. 


Just grab a saucepan and add;

1 1/2 cups water
1 t corn starch

Stir until dissolved. Add;

1/2 a can of tomato paste (use 3 oz.)
1 1/2 T vinegar
2 t chili powder
1 t salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper
Heat to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes, stirring every so often. Cool.

To make a hotter version, add another teaspoon of chili powder, and another 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne - but I wouldn't serve it to children, it's far too spicy and 'burny' for little ones.  To make it even milder for the little ones, leave out the cayenne all together.  A nice mild, taco bell flavor sauce all can enjoy.

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100% Food Storage and Freezer - Burgers!

Last grocery shopping trip was for Christmas baking ingredients in November 2023.  Today is February 15, 2024.

Just grilled burgers tonight for dinner - courtesy of the deep freezer. Not store bought though - regular readers know I grind my own beef.  So, last spring and summer, roasts were bought (Costco and Sam's).  I then grind them myself into ground beef and package them in food sealed bags, weighed, and write with a Sharpie on the package how much is in it, for future meals.

I also came up with this cheeseburger/hamburger spice mix about 20 years ago and we've used it ever since.  When it runs out we just fill up the container again.  The container is an old spice bottle with the 'recipe' wrote on a piece of paper and clear packing tape around it. 

The food sealed bags of ground beef look like this, straight out of the freezer. 

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100% Food Storage: Cheesy Bacon Mushroom Soup


Had absolutely NO idea what I was going to make for dinner.  As I stood in the kitchen thinking, I decided something to go with the fresh loaf of 'daily bread' I made this morning. 

Soup.  A hearty, thick, creamy soup.

Busy with The Littles, and not sure what kind of soup I'd make, I started with the basics.  Dehydrated celery in a pan with some water.  Heat it.  Onions.  I had 1/3 of an onion in the fridge to use up (I bought onions in October or November and still have 2 or 3 left).  1/3 was not enough so I added about 2 teaspoons dried, minced onion.  Let that come just to boiling, turned off the heat and left them while I finished doing...  all the things.

Back in the kitchen later.  What next.  What kind of soup do I want to make?

I have celery and onions cooked and tender now.  Opened freezer.  Mushrooms!  I had sliced and food sealed mushrooms last Fall.  Grabbed one.  Added it (frozen) to the celery and onions mixture, and put it on simmer.

Back to... all the things with the 3 and 1 year olds.

Ok.  Back to the kitchen.  Soup. 

I have a small pan with with celery, onions and mushrooms in about an inch of liquid.

Another pan on the stove... scoop in a few tablespoons of flour.  Added a few tablespoons of butter. 
Heat the rue and whisk.

Grabbed a 1 1/2 pint jar, filled it with 1/3 whole milk powder and filled the rest to the top with cold water.  Shake shake shake.  Added to the flour/butter rue.

Got out the heavy cream powder.  1/2 the jar with heavy cream powder, the rest to the top with cold water. Shake shake shake.

Added to the pan.  Whisked until it came to a bubbling boil.  Reduced heat.  Added 1 T chicken bouillon base and 1 1/2 cups water. Whisk.

Cheese drawer.

3/4 of an 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
3 oz. cheddar, cubed
6 slices American Cheese

Whisking and stirring until it's melted.  Add in the celery/onion/mushrooms.

Ok now we have a thick, creamy mushroom and cheese soup...  it needs... bacon!

Into the freezer and grabbed the bag of crumbled real bacon bits (the sam's club bag which I have 2 more in the freezer - woohoo!).

And... heat through.  Serve!



Milk powder
Heavy Cream powder
Chicken bouillon base
Salt and Pepper
Crumbled real bacon
Cream Cheese
American Cheese
Cheddar Cheese

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100% Food Storage: Homemade Buns (the 3 ingredient artisan bucket bread with a couple additions and made into buns)

Last grocery trip was November 2023.  Today is February 12, 2024. 

 One thing I've mentioned often over the past 2 months is "my daily bread"  as in, "... give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses..."   Because I wasn't planning on living on food storage (especially not 100% what we had on hand) at the time, I wasn't prepared with extra bread so I immediately got out my food grade bucket and used my old artisan bread 3 ingredient recipe to start making a daily 'bucket bread'.

As the days and weeks went by I improvised to the original recipe and now I usually make it with flour, sugar, salt and yeast although I still play around with it and sometimes add some egg (powdered) or milk (powdered).   You can find more photos and the original recipe here:

Here is what it looks like when I mix the flour, yeast, a bit of sugar and a bit of salt in the bucket with some hot water.  I simply put the lid on and pop it into the refrigerator.  I take it out the next day (or sometimes a day later - it can live in the fridge for up to a week) to make whatever the bread item is we are having that day/night.


This basic dough is usually made into our 'daily bread' for toast, buttered bread, grilled cheese and other sandwiches.  Sometimes it's garlic bread.  Sometimes it's a garlic bread ring, monkey bread or pizza.  Other times it's buns or rolls.

Tonight it is buns to go with the homemade chicken, feta sausage patties on the grill.

My Daily Bread
Bucket Bread

3 cup flour (any kind - this is a mixture of all purpose leftover from Christmas baking, and home-ground white wheat berries (hard white) I ground myself a couple weeks ago).
1 t salt
1-2 t sugar
1/2 - 1 t yeast
1 1/2 - 2 c hot water
I think in today's dough version I had added a tablespoon of whole egg powder and a bit of dry milk powder to it. 

Bucket was in the refrigerator yesterday and last night.  Brought out today, grabbed bits of the gooey dough and formed into balls, using just a light dusting of flour on my hands.  Let set in a warm spot about 30 minutes while I preheated the oven to 375.  Baked for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Removed from oven and after snapping a really fast photo, rubbed them lightly with butter.





Here they are literally about 10 seconds out of the oven...........  right before I rubbed butter on them.








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100% Food Storage: Carrot or Vegetable Casserole (an old, vintage church cookbook style, grandma recipe)


A older, 'vintage' Grandma recipe that I've been making off and on in various ways for years now (since my own kids were itty bitty) that can be varied with whatever you want or whatever you have on hand.

I posted this recipe in 2008 using all carrots from the garden:

Carrot Casserole

2 pounds carrots, cubed, chunks or sliced
1 c water
1 medium sweet onion
2 T butter, melted
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c Ritz Crackers, or similar buttery flavor cracker, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbed
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 c more buttery crumbs for a topping (optional)

Combine the carrots and water in a saucepan and cook about 15 minutes until just tender. Drain and mash just a little bit to give it a mixed texture. Saute' onion in butter until translucent but not brown. Combine all ingredients in a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 c crumbs if preferred, bake uncovered at 350 for about 40 minutes until hot completely through and golden.

Later I posted the recipe again using many vegetables I had on hand, like zucchini and yellow squash.

Vegetable Casserole (Use;  Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Onions, Carrots)

2 - 3 cups squash;  either yellow or zucchini or a mixture of both, sliced and cooked just tender
1 medium sweet onion like Vidalia, chopped and added to the squash cooking the last 3 minutes
2 carrots, sliced or grated (if sliced, add to the cooking squash or use a can of sliced carrots if you need to substitute)
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 T butter
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 T sugar or substitute
1 c cheddar cheese, grated
1 - 1 1/2 cups crackers, crumbled such as TownHouse or Ritz
Dash Cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Put the well drained zucchini or yellow squash and onions into a mixing bowl.  Add the carrots, egg, butter, mayonnaise, sugar, half the cheese, half the crackers crumbs and the cayenne and salt and pepper.  Mix gently.  Put into a buttered casserole dish.  Top with the remaining cheese and cracker crumbs.  Bake at 350 for about 25-35 minutes until warmed through and golden.


Last night for dinner we had this casserole and again, improvising what I was wanting to use up, and what we had in food storage to work with.

The carrots are the the final ones in the bag of carrots given to me in November (?).   They are locally grown, and may have originally been part of a food bank, or maybe just gifted to someone.  They don't eat or use carrots and they gave them to someone else.  They also didn't use or cook with them so they gave them to someone who gave them to my daughter.  A whole bag of fresh garden carrots, but she doesn't love carrots and never cooks with them (nor wanted to clean and cut these for fresh with ranch) so she gave them to me.  I've been using a few here and there ever since but they needed to be used up as a couple were starting to get a bit soft. 

FOOD STORAGE substitutes:

So, carrot casserole it was!  I didn't quite have enough, so I grabbed a jar of home canned carrots as well.
I had some leftover green onion tops from a few weeks ago that needed to be used up from the fridge.
The egg was powdered whole egg.
The butter, home canned.
The crackers were dry canned from the pantry (food sealed with a dry canning attachment sealer)
Mayo and spices I have. 
Cheese is from a block of cheddar I had in the deep freezer.  It's my last one, so I'll have to switch to freeze dried in the future when this one is used up.


dry sealed crackers - I used Keebler Butter Flavor

home canned butter - canned back when butter was affordable!

powdered egg

canned baby carrots when I had a bunch to 'use up'

The original plan for this recipe/dish - using up the fresh carrots and some leftover green onion tops

Mixed the egg powder in with the mayo and spices - and water to reconstitute the egg per directions (I think 2 1/2 T)

Lots and lots of cheddar on top as I grated too much but just decided to use it all.  We love cheese so it's all good.

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100% Food Storage - Birthday Cake Coffee Creamer




Quick photo of mixing up some coffee creamer yesterday.  I don't use creamer in my hot coffee, but I do when I have iced coffee.  However, we are also 100% food storage right now and we are using some store bought ground coffee to supplement our better tasting k-cup and Nespresso pods, so admittedly, sometimes creamer just makes bad coffee taste better.  

My husband likes peppermint mocha creamer in the winter time, but yesterday I was thinking Birthday Cake flavor sounded good.  It's a 'taste and adjust to your own likes' type thing though - so if anyone is reading this and wanting to make it, just keep tasting it and adjust your flavors based on what you have on hand and what you like best.

Base:   1 can sweetened condensed milk
Add about 1 cup worth:  Whole milk, half and half, cream - (shelf stable, powdered made into milk, cream powder with water, etc.)
Extract:  Cake flavor and vanilla;  OR a mixture of vanilla/almond;  OR   vanilla/almond/butter extract; OR LorAnn Princess flavor with a dash of extra vanilla

Shake well or use an immersion blender briefly to mix.  Store in your refrigerator.  Use as you wish in any coffee drink, or even hot chocolate drinks, or hot milk. 






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Living on Food Storage 2024: Raspberry Macadamia Cheesecake Cookies


I made two sizes - these are the larger 3-4 inch size, warm with a fresh raspberry glaze

Valentines Day is coming up this week, so it seemed like a good time to make the family some cookies.  Still 100% food storage here so that gives me an excuse to make silly things like cookies that have sugar and flour in them because as my readers know, we are typically sugar-free an low carb.  

These are cheater cheater cookies - (cheater cheater, cookie eater) because they use a cake mix instead of having to come up with the flour, sugar, etc.

Raspberry Macadamia Nut Cheesecake Cookies

1 white cake mix
1 egg or equivalent egg powder/water to equal one egg
1-2 t vanilla
1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese or powdered cream cheese with water to equal 8 oz.
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) (canned, or butter powder/liquid to equal)
1/3 c freeze dried raspberries
1/2 c macadamia nuts (you could use white chocolate chips if you wish)
optional:  sugar to roll the dough balls in

3/4 c powdered sugar
1 T corn syrup
1 t raspberry extract or emulsion (or use more freeze dried raspberries if you don't have this)
vanilla - dash
milk, cream, coffee creamer or anything similar, even water in order to thin the glaze

Mix the cake mix, egg, vanilla, soft cream cheese and butter.  It will be thick and sticky.  Stir in the nuts and raspberries.  Form balls or scoop to size, roll the dough into granulated sugar before placing it on a greased or parchment paper lined pan.

Bake at 350 for about 11 minutes.  Let the cookies on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes, remove to a wire rack to cool.

Mix the glaze and spoon or drizzle over the cookies, either letting it drip, or smooth it out with the back of a spoon or butter knife, etc.  Let cool completely and let the glaze harden.

Just barely stir in the raspberry pieces - too much and they'll break down and turn your cookie pink.

Warm from the oven, with fresh glaze... I made 2 sizes.  These are the small 1 1/2 inch size.

A couple of the ingredients from the pantry







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Living on Food Storage 2024: Last night's dinner - steak and potatoes, and homemade Texas toast

Draining the 3 jars of potatoes

Food Storage isn't just 'canned' such-and-such or dehydrated or freeze-dried; it's storing foods in all different manners.  This includes your refrigerator and freezers of course.  Last night's dinner came from our freezer and canned goods, as well as my homemade 'daily bread' I've been making every day.

We did not plan on eating from food storage yet, so there was no special prepping or last minute 'buying up' of anything.  I do however, keep a well stocked pantry and freezer on any given day and that's what has been a blessing through this time.  

My last regular, normal, average grocery shopping trip would have been around the first week of November.  I did a 'baking ingredient' shopping trip on 25th in which I bought items I needed to do my Christmas cookie baking.  Then on November 26th I stopped into the grocery store with the 3 year old and 1 year old with me to pick up a couple items as I promised the 3 year old we could buy his favorite orange/tangerine juice. 

Side Comment:  We picked up his juice, some salad ingredients, a couple other items, and as a special treat, he picked out some Johnny Pop's Organic Rainbow Fruit Pops.  On a normal shopping trip I probably would have hesitated and not bought them because they are a bit expensive and I would have tried to talk him into a cheaper option or said the dreaded 'oh, maybe next time' and I'm so so so so so happy I did not.  It was a small grocery trip that day and I splurged and knowing what I do now, I'm so thankful I said 'sure'.  

The weather has been so cold he hasn't wanted them often, but about once every week or two - so we've had this special treat in the freezer for both him and his teething baby brother... such a blessing and it makes me smile.   YES I can make my own homemade version when/if I need to but it's the little things like having these in the freezer when I least expected to need/want them that makes my heart glad. 

Little did I know that would be my last grocery shopping trip for months. 

Last trip to the grocery store was November, 2023.  It's now February 10, 2024.

Last night's dinner was a splurge.  After 2 months of hell, we had a tiny bit of good news and I guess I felt the steel band around my chest loosen just enough that I decided to raid our deep freezer and pull out some frozen steaks.  I'm so happy and blessed that prepped and stocked our freezers when we could!  These steaks were from Sam's with a date of August 2023. 

Paired them with the last of a bottle of Dale's Seasoning and Marinade I had in the pantry.  I do have another bottle in the 2-3 year food storage pantry as it's almost exactly like my 'homemade' marinade I've been using since 1996.

Steaks marinating

The potatoes:  Regular readers know that for the past 20+ years we've chosen to be primarily and usually not only sugar free but low carb and typically keto.  But God put it on my heart to can potatoes for the days ahead - so strongly that I couldn't ignore it.   We love potatoes!  We just don't eat them often in our regular daily meals because of the starch and sugar. 

But I knew that if and when we felt it was time to eat from our food stores, I would be so happy to have potatoes!  So can, I did!  They have been so awesome to have on hand over the past 2 months! 

Last night, with the steaks brought out and thawed from the deep freezer, I made roasted potatoes faux 'Lipton Soup Mix' style.  We've been making them this way for about 30 years now - first with the store bought envelopes of the soup mix and over the past 20 years, with the homemade faux version - ever since I learned the ingredients in a lipton onion soup mix and how easy it is to make my own version.

Grilled the steak, roasted the potatoes and cut up the homemade daily bread in nice, thick 1" slices, slathered them with home canned butter and grilled those as well for a side of Texas toast.

I first posted a homemade version of an Onion Soup Mix in February of 2008.  Since then I basically make it the same except no sugar, and I started to add celery seed almost immediately - and sometimes parsley if it was going in a dish that the green flakes added a visual perk to. 

Basically you just need these for a homemade Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Dried minced onion - about 1/4 cup
Beef bouillon granules or pounded cubes - I use about 1 or 1 1/2 T beef base or use about 4-5 cubes, crushed
Onion powder - 1/2 teaspoon or so
Celery Seed - 1/4 - 1/2 t will do
Option:  a little sugar or parsley
About 10 years ago I started to keep a container of dehydrated onion in my pantry in a jar.  When I can use these, I crumble or chop them instead of store bought dried minced onion because the flavor is better and bumps it up a notch. I don't measure anything anymore, but the above measurements are pretty close.  You can add a dash of sugar if you usually eat sugar as the typical American palate is used to sugar or corn syrup being in literally almost everything so you might be used to it having just a dash (1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon) in your mix.

Toss your diced potatoes with oil, the season mix and some salt and pepper if you wish - bake at 400 until golden brown and as crispy as you like yours.






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100% Food Storage 2024: Homemade Pizza - under 40 minutes

Last grocery trip was November 2023, today is February 8, 2024.

It was late afternoon, super busy, The Littles underfoot and no plans yet for what I was going to make for dinner.
My 'daily bread' to the rescue!  

"My Daily Bread" is the bucket I keep in the refrigerator that I've placed 3 cups flour, 1-2 t sugar, 1/2 - 1 t yeast, 1 t salt and 1 1/2 - 2 c hot water.  I use this every day to make a new loaf of bread (or rolls, pizza, etc.)  As I pull it out each day to use it for bread or whatever, I immediately replace it with more, mix and put it back in the fridge.

I pulled out the dough, and grabbed a pan. 
Swirled a bit of olive oil from the pantry, and plopped about 3/4 of the daily bread dough into the pan. 
Using my fingers to poke and press, flattened it out with dimples to cover the bottom of the pan. 
Added some pizza sauce (homemade from the freezer, made from food storage items a week or two ago) and then topped with pepperoni slices from the freezer (when that is gone, will switch to the pepperoni bites I have in long term storage in a #10 can) and lastly, mozzarella.  I still have some in the deep freezer, but again, when gone, will switch to freeze dried mozzarella or make homemade from whole milk powder.

Oven was preheating to 425 degrees while I got out the bucket from the fridge, and pressed and poked the dough into the pan and then made the pizza.  Baked about 25-ish minutes at 425 or until golden brown. 

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Living on Food Storage - finally doing the cliche' meal... ha ha. Hamburger Helper!?

Mr. Husband is so excited about tonight's dinner...something I don't think we've had in a couple decades.  Yes, I'm serious.  Decades.

He saw me making it on the stove and couldn't believe what he was seeing.  "Cheeseburger Macaroni!?  We have Cheeseburger Macaroni!?"  "Yep, apparently I put some in storage!"

Yesterday I was looking for something in our 2-3 year pantry and came across a food grade bucket that said "Hamburger Helper" on the side.  Oh yeah... I totally forgot about that!

For longer term storage, I had bought boxes of cheeseburger macaroni and opened each of the boxes in order to pour the pasta into a mylar bag, with the cheese/seasoning packet and an oxygen absorber.  I then put them into a bucket.  Tonight I made a husband very happy in a "OMG I'm 20 years old again and eating Hamburger Helper!" way.  

Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.  My secret to fresh boxed meals.  

Hamburger was from the deep freezer.
Mix from 2-3 year storage.
Milk was from powdered mix, mixed and chilled.

Served with homemade bread of course!!!


















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100% Food Storage 2024: Roasted Lemon Chicken and Long Grain Wild Rice


Tonight's dinner... a yummy lemon chicken that I planned to grill but it's really cold outside and sheet pan dinners are just so, so easy that I put it into the oven and roasted it instead.  Along side it was a box of Long Grain Wild Rice from the pantry which uses just butter and water to prepare.  (I used home canned butter - which you can see in the photo below in the background.)

The chicken was from the freezer although other food storage options would be canned chicken, freeze dried chicken and of course that vegetarian chicken I've been trying to use in various dishes for the past couple weeks.  I honestly was going to throw it on the baking pan with the real chicken before I roasted this, but I was busy talking to my husband while I threw this together, and totally forgot.

The lemon you see is the one and only tiny lemon from our dwarf lemon tree we bought a few years ago on clearance at a hardware store at the end of season. We move the bucket outside on warm spring days and then it stays outside during the summer, and lives in the garage during the winter months.  Some years it's given us 6-7 lemons but last summer just the one.  (It seemed to be an 'off' year for most everyone with the dwarf version trees that I know.)   This lemon has been living in the refrigerator for a couple months waiting on me to decide which was the one and only dish I would make with our single lemon.  This chicken dish was it.  :)

Preparing it - the chicken has been marinating a couple hours.  The rice is next to it, ready for the microwave.
The butter (home canned 2021) in the background

Lemon Chicken

Chicken (whole chicken, butterfly or spatchcock it) I used breasts and thighs (boneless)
Lemon Juice - about 3 T
Olive Oil - about 3 T
Salt and Pepper
Smoked Salt (hickory flavor) or use Smoked Paprika or whatever you have
Garlic cloves - about 5-6 minced or chopped

Mix the oil, lemon juice and seasonings with the garlic.  I used a stick blender since I was using
whole garlic cloves and this made it easy to blend it all and chop the garlic at the same time.
Pour over the chicken, slice the fresh lemon and lay the slices over all,
and let it marinate for at least a couple hours, up to 24.
Grill the chicken, basting with the marinade, or bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes
or until done.

I served with long grain wild rice.






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