Tag Archives: Food

Top 10 Must-Have Tools for the Kitchen

     A few years ago, I was all about Food Network. I watched every single show they made. I paid close attention tothe terminology they used, the ingredients they combined, and the kitchen tools they used.  Those kitchen tools?Yeah, I wanted them all. The juicers, the meat slicers, the panini press… I just had to have them!

     Then I paid closer attention. I looked at the basic tools they all used. These are the ones that really matter. Not everyone needs a shark skin grater or a donabe smoker, but everyone needs the ones I’m going to talk about in this article… so read on!

This article was written by Patrick from Survival At Home.

My Go To Spice Mix Recipes

We all have those spices that we reach for time and time again.  Well, frankly I have gotten quite tired of buying my spice “blends” at the store and not being able to pronounce half of what’s in it.  So, I have been collecting and trying recipes over the past little while to find what I like and what works for me.  I have gathered my collection here for you to experiment with, modify if you need to…and make them your own.

I have yet to find a spice rack or keeping system yet that I like and that works in my tiny kitchen…I will keep looking and when I do, I will share that with you!

Source

All Purpose Seasoning

Lightly grind up all the spices till of the same consistency.

Perfect for grilling meats and anything really!

  • 2 parts oregano
  • 1 part rosemary
  • 1 part thyme
  • 1/2 part garlic granules

 

Pumpkin Spice

This pumpkin spice blend goes well in pumpkin pie. I also use it in my coffee..yes..and on top of ice cream, in cream cheese with bagels, eggnog and many…many more uses.

  • 4 parts cinnamon powder
  • 2 parts ginger powder
  • 1 part cloves powder
  • 1/2 part nutmeg powder

 

Taco Seasoning

Used on tacos, fajitas, meats and chili.

  • 1/3 c. chili powder
  • 3 TBS. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 TBS. cumin
  • 1 TBS. garlic powder
  • 1 TBS. paprika
  • 1 TBS. salt

For Tacos:
Mix: 3 TBS. of Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix with 2 TBS. arrowroot starch, & 3 TBS. water to 1 lb. of ground beef.

 

Italian Seasoning

  •  2 TBS. garlic powder
  • 4 TBS. onion powder
  • 2 1/2 TBS. dried oregano
  • 4 TBS. dried parsley
  • 2 1/2 TBS salt
  • 1 TBS. pepper

For Italian Dressing:

Mix: 2 TBS. Homemade Italian Seasoning Mix with 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar, 1 TBS. water, 1/2 c. olive oil

For Italian Seasoning:

Use on any kind of meat or sauce you want. But don’t get too crazy here. It’s not chocolate.

 

Italian Season #2

  • 1/3 c. dry crushed oregano
  • 1/3 cup dry basil
  • 2 Tbsp. rosemary
  • 1/4 cup each thyme, sage, and marjoram

Combine spices and seal in Ziplock bag or jar.

 

Ranch Dressing Mix

  • 1/2 c. dried chives
  • 3/4 c. dried parsley
  • 2 TBS. salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. paprika

For Ranch Dressing:

Mix 3 TBS. of Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix with 1 c. organic mayo, 1/2 c. whole-milk yogurt, & 1 tsp. of honey. Add a little bit of water if it needs thinning out.

 

BBQ Spice Rub

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

To Use:

Rub on beef cuts such as T-bones, tenderloin, top sirloin and top loin (strip). Allow to marinate for 1-4 hours or overnight. Grill or broil 3 to 4 inches from heat 10 to 13 minutes for medium rare.

 

Herbs de Provence Recipe

  •  3 Tablespoons dried marjoram
  • 3 Tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 Tablespoons dried savory
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Use herbs de Provence to season chicken, vegetables, or meat.

 

Homemade Seasoned Salt

  • 8 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 3 Tbsp. pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container. use on everything! This is my favorite seasoning!

 

Homemade House Seasoning

  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1/4 cup of garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup black pepper

Mix and use on everything! This is my 2nd favorite homemade seasoning!

 

Homemade Fajita Seasoning Mix

  • 2 1/2 -3 teaspoons chili powder (vary according to how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp.cumin

To use, sprinkle chicken or steak with fajita seasoning. Sprinkle with lime. Mix and let marinate one to several hours. Fry in hot oil.

Chili Spice Blend

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

 

Dry Onion Soup Mix

  • 4 teaspoons instant beef bouillon granules
  • 8 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper

Combine spices and seal in Ziplock bag or jar.

 

 Lemon Pepper Seasoning 

  • 1 C. ground black pepper
  • 1/3 C. dried lemon peel
  • 3 T. coriander seeds
  • 1/4 C. dried minced onion
  • 1/4 C. dried thyme leaves

Combine all ingredients and seal in ziploc or vacuum seal bag (or jar) or spice jar. My husband adores this one.

 

Meatloaf Seasoning Mix

Make your own Meatloaf seasoning mix! I got real tired of buying the package at the store.  This following recipe makes 1 package for one meatloaf.

You’ll Need:

  • 2 tsp. dried mustard
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder

Combine all the spices and seal in Ziplock bag or jar.

Meatloaf Recipe:

1 package Meat Loaf Seasoning Mix
2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 slices bread, finely crumbled or 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce

Combine the Seasoning Mix, ground beef or turkey, eggs, milk and bread crumbs in large bowl, Shape into a loaf and place into a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Spread ketchup or BBQ sauce over top of loaf, if desired. Bake at 375F for about 1 hour or until cooked through.

This article can also be viewed at Simply-Living-Simply


Simply Pumpkin Pie

Welcome to your Simply Pumpkin Pie Tutorial AND Recipe!  Yes, Simply Living Simply is all about Semi-Homemade…but today were making Pumpkin Pie from Scratch…yes, SCRATCH!  So a quick overview.  We need pumpkins, sugar/baking pumpkins are best.  Two will do you.  A blender, some time, your favorite pie crust recipe (check back this week when I will be sharing Stacy Harris’s Pie Recipe!), and ingredients for your pie.

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s get bakin!!

 

Kat’s in the kitchen!

Pumpkin Puree Tutorial

1.  Choose 2 pumpkins, preferably sugar/baking pumpkins.

2.  Wash or wipe off the outsides. Place on foil lined cookie sheet.

Time to bake the pumpkins

3.  Preheat oven to 350 and bake in the middle for 20-1 Hr.  Time depends on how big your pumpkins are and how many you are baking.  Don’t cut the tops off or poke holes.  Leave those pumpkins ALONE…NO TOUCHIE!

4. When a knife inserted easily comes out clean … your done, they are done!

5.  Take out carefully, they are hot and heavy.  NOW cut the tops off carefully…STEAM will escape and its HOT!!

6.  Allow to cool…this takes about 30 minutes.

7.  Cut in half to help cool.  Then divide into sections.

Cut in half to cool

8.  Seeds scoop out easily with your knife or a spoon.

9.  Carve off the skin (like when sectioning cantaloupe)

Carve out the flesh and cut into chunks for storage or puree

10. Cube into chunks.

11.  You could now put into plastic freezer bags for later use OR puree

12.  To Puree: fill blender halfway full, add a little water, turn blender on, add more water if needed for consistency.  Blend till smooth.

 

Pumpkin and a little water, that’s it folks

13.  Store in freezer bags in 2 C. increments, easy for recipe use!

Simply Pumpkin Pie

Let’s get your pie going now…the pictures you will see are 1 pumpkin pie.  There are only 2 of us here…and 2 pies is just overkill and dangerous!

1.  Preheat your oven to your desired temperature…we are going for 425

2.  Find your pie plates and get your most favorite pie crust in there all beautiful like!!

 

This is my favorite whole wheat crust…Stacy Harris original!

3. Now we add all our ingredients to our bowl.  You know the drill, Pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, spices, and evaporated milk.

4. Mix

Mix Everything together

5. Pour…isn’t it pretty?!

All ready for the oven

6. Bake!

Waiting is so hard…smellin good!

7.  EAT…no wait, it’s hot…..but your so tempted, right??!!!

Out of the oven, cooled and ready to EAT!
Simply Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Rating: 5

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Please note, the pictures in the tutorial are only 1 pie, I halved the recipe up above. Watch your crust, if they start to brown too much, put foil sleeves over them.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 16 oz. Pumpkin Puree, Homemade
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 large DEEP dish pie shell or 2 Shallow pie shells

Instructions

  1. MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  2. POUR into pie shell or shells
  3. BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
  4. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
  6. Top with whipped cream before serving.

 

This fantastic article can also be viewed at Simply-Living-Simply.  Like them on Facebook while you are there!

Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Supply of Food in 3 months

Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Supply of Food in 3 months / The DayOne Gear BlogDid you ever stop to think about what you would do if all of your preps were gone?  Heaven forbid such a misfortune might happen, but what if your pantry was wiped out in a fire or flood?  If you had to start over, how would you go about it?

As many of you know, my daughter and I have recently moved across the continent, from the easternmost part of Ontario to the Pacific Northwestern US.  Because we were crossing the border, driving through extreme heat, and then storing our belongings in a trailer for a month, I couldn’t bring our food supplies.  We still have our tools and equipment, but we are starting over as far as our pantry is concerned.  As well, we only brought a small trailer, so we are also starting from scratch for goods like toilet paper and laundry soap.

Being without my one-year supply of food makes me feel uncomfortable and very vulnerable, given the economic circumstances in the US today.  To make matters worse, because of the timing of the move, I won’t have a garden to rely on this year aside from a couple of tomato and pepper plants that my friend kindly allowed me to plant in her own garden.

We are fortunate enough to be staying with friends while waiting for our new home to become available, and much to our anticipation, we’ll be moving in this week.  I’ve gotten away from blogging about the day-to-day stuff, but I thought that it might be interesting, especially to new preppers, to see how we rebuild our food supply and get our little farm going on a very tight budget. (That move was expensive!)

Why do you need a one year food supply?

Simple. A one year food supply means freedom.  It means that you are less subject to the whims of the economy. You can handle small disasters with aplomb.  You aren’t reliant on the government if a crisis strikes.

Food is a control mechanism and has been for centuries.  I wrote an article recently about how governments around the world have used food as a way to subjugate people and bend them to the will of tyrannical leaders.

Here we are, just like at other times in history, right on the verge of losing freedoms to the government machine.  In question is our right to bear arms, our economy, our choices in health care and taxation without representation (via the Obamacare bill).  The offerings at the grocery stores are not just poor, they’re toxic, but growing your own food is frowned upon and made difficult.  Many people believe martial law is close at hand, and there is discussion in the US Congress about microchipping people and about requiring global ID cards.

We are being spied on, taxed, and silenced.  The sheeple don’t care – they just want that next refill on the EBT card, or the next paycheck that will go to pay the minimum payment on their maxed-out credit card. There will be different levels of resistance before it gets to the point of starving people into submission.

First, there are the liberal left-wingers, who don’t require persuasion or bribery – they are giving away their freedom with both hands for the greater good.

Then, you have the dumbed-down population on assistance by choice.  It would be an easy thing to persuade them to take a microchip or hand over their guns.  In fact, we’re seeing just that with the buy-back programs, where folks are trading guns for gift cards.

As times get more desperate (and they will, you can count on it) regular everyday people, like the ones you work with, will give up what seems like a tiny amount of freedom in order to have the “privilege” of putting more food on the table or keeping a roof over the head of their families for another month or two.

That’s when the real crackdown will begin.  When the majority of people are subjugated, tagged and inventoried, even more than they are now,  that’s when the rest of us will be targeted.  Suddenly, without an ID chip, we won’t be able to access our bank accounts.  This would mean that we can’t buy necessities or pay our bills.  If we won’t surrender our weapons, we won’t be able to send our kids to school or access our money to buy food.  Our children won’t be able to see a doctor if they’re sick.  The plan will be to make us so desperate that we will opt for subjugation over freedom.  And they’ll use food to do it.

But you can avoid all of this…simply by being self reliant. And that starts with a pantry full of food.

The Plan

The goal is to rebuild a healthy one-year food supply over the next three months.  I plan to do that using the following methods:

  • Shopping the sales
  • Buying in bulk
  • Buying from local farmers and preserving the harvest
  • Getting a fall garden going

Our budget isn’t big.  We are starting at square one – our cupboards are absolutely empty. Our journey is comparable to that of a family with a week-to-week budget who is just beginning to build a pantry.  Because we are concurrently shopping for groceries and all of those odds and ends which arise when you move into a new home, I won’t be able to blow an entire weeks’ grocery money on a 100 pound bag of sugar and a 100 pound bag of wheat berries – I have to also keep us fed, healthy, and in clean clothing. After a few weeks of building the pantry, I’ll be able to forgo a weekly shopping trip and put that money towards some large purchases.

pantry now 300x209 Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Supply of Food in 3 months

Today’s Shopping Trip

Today we took a small shopping trip to Big Lots and found some good sales.  Please keep in mind that the foods I purchased can probably be found cheaper than what I paid. However, I opt for organic and chemical free whenever possible. The good health we enjoy from our careful eating habits is well worth the added expense to me.

  • 2 boxes of organic granola $1.95 ea
  • 1 box of organic puffed wheat cereal $1.50
  • 1 box of couscous $2
  • 4 pounds of organic brown rice $2.80
  • 1 box of organic instant oatmeal packs (cringe) $2.50
  • 2 pound bag of sea salt $2
  • 2 cans of organic pasta fagioli soup $1.50 ea
  • 5 containers of spices $8
  • 1 bottle of extra virgin olive oil $6.50

Total with tax:  $33.72

Except for the olive oil, half of the above items will be repackaged and moved to the pantry for storage.  We also purchased

  • 60 rolls of toilet paper $15.00
  • 2 pump bottles of hand soap $1 ea.
  • 1 jug of laundry soap $4
  • 2 bottles of dish soap $1 ea

The laundry soap will last us until we gather the supplies to make our own homemade soap in a couple of weeks.

The dried beans and the peanut butter weren’t a good price, so I’m still on the lookout for those.  We’ll require some fresh items once we get moved in this week: fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy products, and I plan to pick most of those up at the farmer’s market on Friday.

If you’re new at this…

Please don’t be discouraged when you see all of the doom and gloom out there.  You can take the most important step today…the step of getting started.  I invite you to take this journey with me – we’ll both have a year’s supply of food in no time at all!

Please take a moment and read the original article HERE The Organic Prepper

This article can also be viewed at Simply-Living-Simply

Autumn Squash

There is a chill in the wind, leaves falling from the trees and the temps dip into the low 50′s at night here.  We grab sweaters and jackets when we leave the house and it’s dark when we get home.  It’s Fall…with Winter fast on her heels.

Thankfully God has brightened our chilly Fall days and Winter nights with glorious beautiful squash….Acorn and Kabocha we will spotlight today, but there are many others.  Speghetti, Butternut, Delicata, Hubbard, Turbin and yes….Pumpkin!, just to name a few.

 

Acorn Squash

Acorn

Until the recent rise in popularity of butternut squash, acorn squash were the most commonly available squash in the U.S. They are a great all-around squash, with moist, sweet, tender flesh. They are good for roasting, baking, steaming, mashing, and sauteeing. Smaller ones are perfect for stuffing and make an excellent vegetarian main course for special occasions like Thanksgiving.

Acorn squash are round, with even groves around the entire squash. They are mostly dark green, with occasional splotches of orange and yellow. The flesh is a slightly yellowish pumpkin orange. They tend to weight between 12 oz. and 2 pounds.

 

Kabocha Squash

Kabocha

Kabocha squash have a remarkably sweet and tender flesh with a slightly nutty flavor. The peel is really more of a rind and is difficult to cut. The dense, smooth, sweet flesh is so tasty it needs very little fuss in preparation. Roasting it or slicing and baking it with a bit of butter or oil and salt are all this delicious squash needs. The dense flesh also holds its shaped with cooked, even in liquids, which makes it perfect for using as chunks in soups or steamed dishes. It pairs well with ginger and sesame as well.

Kabocha squash are large, round, and squat. They are dark green and mottled, often with bumpy skin and make lovely table decoration until they’re cooked.

Recipes

We couldn’t end this post without some recipes for the season and to celebrate the wonderful bounty from God!

Baked Acorn Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 Acorn Squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and bottoms trimmed to lie flat
  • 1/4 C. Heavy Cream
  • 8 Springs of Thyme (you may use dried to sprinkle)
  • 1/2 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place squash halves cut side up on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide cream and thyme among the halves.
  4. Bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 35-40 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake until cheese is melted.

 

Autumn Pork Chops – Crock Pot Alert!

Ingredients

  • 6 Thick pork chops
  • 2 Medium acorn squash
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet or brownn sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Orange peel, grated

Instructions

  1. Trim excess fat from pork chops.
  2. Cut each squash into 4 or 5 crosswise slices; remove seeds.
  3. Arrange 3 chops on bottom of Crock pot.
  4. Place all squash slices on top; then another layer of three remaining chops.
  5. Combine salt, butter, sugar, bouquet sauce, orange juice and orange peel.
  6. Spoon over chops.
  7. Cover and cook on low 6−8 hours or until done.
  8. Serve one or two slices of squash with each pork chop.

 

Autumn Chicken, Rice & Kabocha…Oh My!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp oil, divided
  • 6 skin-on chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Med. white onion, diced
  • 1/2 Lrg. Kabocha Squash, seeded and cut into large chunks (4 Cups)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 6 Sprigs Oregano (or can use dried)
  • 1 1/2 C. Whole Wheat & Wild Rice
  • 1/4 C. Chardonnay wine
  • 3 1/2 C. Chicken Broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In large heavy pot with tight fitting lid, heat 1 Tbsp oil over high heat.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Working in batches, cook chicken skin side down till golden brown 6-8 minutes. Flip, cook 1 minute more.
  5. Transfer to plate, discard fat, wipe pot clean.
  6. Reduce heat to medium, add remaining oil to pot.
  7. Add onion and squash and cook till onion is translucent – 8 minutes or so.
  8. Add garlic and oregano and cook till fragrant.
  9. Add rice and cook, stirring until opaque.
  10. Add wine and cook, stirring, till completely evaporated.
  11. Return chicken to pot, skin side up, add broth, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  12. Bring to a boil, cover, transfer to oven and cook till liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
  13. Approx 25 minutes. Let sit, covered for 10 minutes.

 

This article can also be viewed at Simply-Living-Simply