Friday, May 22, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Powdered Milk Recipes You Will Love!

There is an amazing woman in my ward who gave a presentation about powdered milk at our Stake Preparedness Fair. She provided samples of all the things she made with powdered milk and everything she made was absolutely delicious. You would NEVER know they were made from powdered milk. So I'm providing you with her recipes and I hope you'll try making some of them. Yes, you can find ways to rotate powdered milk. . . even if you're not drinking it. Thank you to Lori Dunford for spending the time to test, develop and perfect these recipes!

Basic Yogurt

4 c water

1 c powdered milk

1/2 c plain yogurt or a packet of freeze dried yogurt powder*

Stir the water and powdered milk until dissolved. Heat to 110 degrees, add the yogurt and stir well. Pour into pint jars and incubate using desired method.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with fresh fruit and/or granola.

Heating pad method: Place a towel over the hot pad and put on medium heat. Place jars on top and cover with another towel. I also tried this by placing a pot on the stove and heating the water to 110 degrees. Then I placed the pot on top of the heating pad and placed the pint jars inside and put the lid on and checked it 4 hours later and yogurt was firm.

Cooler method: Heat 3 quarts water to almost boiling or in the microwave for 6 minutes and place in a cooler. Place the pint jars around the jars and let incubate for 4 hours.

Oven method: Every attempt I have ever made to make yogurt in the oven has never worked for me, so let me know if any of you figure out how to make this work.

Hot/cold Method: The principle is the same as the cooler method. Heat 3 quarts of water to almost boiling. Place in the back of the hot/cold bag and place 3 pints or 6 1/2 pint jars with the yogurt around them. Fold up a large beach towel and place at the end. Snap shut. Check yogurt in 4 hours. If not firm enough, reheat the water and let stand a few more hours.

Yogurt Maker Method: Yogurt Makers work great and I used one for many years, but it finally quit working.

Basic Yogurt Cheese

Simply pour Basic Yogurt into a cheese bag and let drain for an hour or two. A thicker consistency than ordinary yogurt is obtained by draining off the excess water. This drained yogurt can be used in recipes for dips, spreads, sauces, and dressings. This is perhaps the simplest cream cheese method. The result is tangy and delicious.

Alternate method for Basic Yogurt Cream Cheese

Dump a quart of Basic Yogurt into strainer lined with paper towels or cheese cloth. Let sit and drain overnight. If tangy flavor is desired, leave out of refrigerator, if sweeter flavor is desired, leave in refrigerator to drain.

Basic Yogurt Lemon Cream Cheesecake


12 oz. basic yogurt cream cheese

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 c lemon juice

1/2 c sugar


1 c sour cream

1 T grated lemon rind

1 T sugar

Vanilla Wafer or Graham Cracker Crusts:

1 c vanilla wafer crumbs

1 T sugar

2 T melted butter

pinch of salt

Crust: Mix ingredients until butter is absorbed ; place crumbs in round 9 inch baking pan and spread in even layer.

Filling: Blend Basic Yogurt Cream Cheese and lemon juice thoroughly. Add eggs and sugar and beat until smooth. Pour into vanilla wafer or graham cracker crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes, then spread with topping.

Topping: Mix topping ingredients and pour oer pie filling. Bake 10 minutes longer. Cool. Chill in refrigerator 5 hours before serving.

Cottage Cheese

To make your own delicious and nutritious Basic Cottage Cheese, use the easy directions which follow. This recipe utilized rennet or Junket tablets (usually found next to the jello) to help produce low-acid cottage cheese with minimal effort:

1 rennet tablet (or Junket tablet)

1 pt. buttermilk or Basic Yogurt

1 gallon Basic Rehydrated Powdered Milk.

Dissolve rennet tablet in warm water. Pour Basic Rehydrated Powdered Milk into a large heavy pot and heat to 90 degrees F. Add buttermilk or Basic Yogurt, stirring to mix. Add dissolved rennet. Cover pot and leave overnight in a warm place. The next day, a gelatinous, almost solid mass, like firm yogurt, has formed in the pot. This is the curd. With a silver knife, cut through this curd to break it into small pieces. Place pot on top of a large cake pan so you can pour the water around it. (This is what I found works best) Shake the pot gently while it is being heated to help distribute the heat more evenly throughout the curd. When the curd temperature reaches 110 degrees F, turn off the heat, leaving the cheese bowl in the water for about 30 minutes. Then pour the cheese into a cloth bag (I used a pillow case) or several layers of cheesecloth and hang it up to drain. When the curds have drained, mash the cheese with a form, work in a little sweet or sour cream if you used skim milk, or moisten it with a little basic Yogurt if you don't want the extra fat. You now have a delicious Basic Cottage Cheese!

Cheese Filled Jumbo Shells

1 package 12 oz San Giorgio Jumbo Shells, uncooked

4 c basic cottage cheese (see recipe above)

2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 t dried oregano leaves

1/4 t ground black pepper

3 eggs

1 T fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley

1/2 t salt

3 c spaghetti sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Combine cheeses, eggs, and spices. In 13 X 9 inch baking dish, spread 1/2 c sauce. Fill each cooked shell with about 2 T cheese mixture. The easiest way to do this is to place cheese mixture inside a ziploc bag, cut a tiny hole in one corner and use like a pastry bag to fill the shells. Layer one-half filled shells in prepared baking dish; spread one-half remaining sauce over shells. Layer remaining filled shells over sauce, spread remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cover with foil. Bake 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. 8-10 servings.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 c water

1 c sugar

3 T butter

1 c powdered milk

Heat water, sugar and butter until boiling. Allow to cool slightly. Pour into a blender and gradually add the powdered milk, through the hole at the top. Blend until smooth. Can store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks, makes slightly more than one can of sweetened condensed milk.

Key Lime Pie

1 c water

2 c sugar

6 T butter

2 c powdered milk

1/3 c sugar

2 eggs

1 c lime juice

Optional: 1 T lime zest

2-9 inch graham cracker crusts

Boil water, sugar and butter together. Let cool 15 minutes. Pour into a blender. Gradually add the powdered milk a very little at a time and blend until smooth. Let cool for 15-30 minutes in blender.

Add the sugar and blend for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs and blend another 2 minutes. Finally, add the lime juice and blend 2 more minutes. Pour into the graham cracker pie crusts. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes depending on oven. Cool, chill and serve with whipping cream.

Bercher Muesli
2 c oatmeal
1 c milk
2 c yogurt
2 chopped apples
1 c blueberries or desired fruit
1 c chopped strawberries or 1 c raspberries
1 c chopped nuts
1 c coconut (optional)
Juice of 2 lemons
Sweeten to taste (I use stevia)
Pour milk over oatmeal and let sit while you chop up the fruit. Add remaining ingredients. Feel free to use whichever fruit you prefer. This stays good for at least one week and is a great snack for kids after school.

Source: Lori Dunford

She referenced: "Making the Best of Basics," Family Preparedness Handbook by James Talmage Stevens,,

*Lori purchased yogourmet brand freeze dried yogurt culture and it seemed reasonably priced. She purchased it at Yogurt starter. You should also be able to purchase it at a Health Food Store although it may be more expensive.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Premio Dardo Blog Award

A hearty thank you to Sondra from Clean Frugal Living
for honoring me with the Premio Dardo Blog Award.

She said, "I really love your site. I love all of your wonderful preparedness ideas."

The Premio Dardos award is for bloggers who distinguish themselves for showing cultural values, ethics, great and fun writing skills, as well as individual values, through their creative writing.

The rules of the award:

1. To accept and show the distinct image

2. Show the link to the blog from which you were given the award

3. Choose 10 blogs to give the Premio Dardos Award to.

4. Let the nominees know about their award.

Most of the blogs I read are personal family blogs so I will share the awards with them privately as they may not want to be advertised to the world on my blog. I am honored to receive this award! Thanks again, Sondra!

Frugality Challenge #6

Try putting $1 a day, plus pocket change, into a large envelope or a jar.

At the end of the month, you probably will have about $50 to deposit in your savings account. That's $600 a year (not including interest!)

My father-in-law used to say that "pennies make dollars" and I try to keep that in mind every day. We have been saving pocket change for years and have accumulated a lot of savings this way. I call it our "mad money" and use it only for emergencies like last minute school lunch money or taking the kids out to ice cream on rare special occassions. For the most part, the savings simply add up over time. One time, we filled a #10 can with spare change and upon taking it to the bank, discovered that we had over $500 in it. We had no idea we had that much money just sitting in our house.

Financial Preparedness: Using a Credit Card Wisely

If you choose to use a credit card, here are some tips to help you use it wisely:
  • Use only one or two cards.

  • If you are just starting out, consider using a secured credit card to impose some self-restraint. Using a secured credit card requires you to put money in your account in advance and only draw on what is in your account with your credit card.
  • Keep track of what you charge just as you would a checking account. That way, you won't be shocked when the statement arrives.
  • Use cards only for essential needs.

  • Save for big-ticket items instead of putting them on a card. If you must borrow for that item, there are less expensive loans from banks and credit unions that may be available.

  • Pay credit card bills as soon as they arrive. This lowers the average daily balance on which interest in charged and avoids late payment fees.
  • Always pay more than the minimum balance due. If at all possible, pay off the balance each month. If you develop the habit of paying the balance each month, be sure your card is one that doesn't charge interest as long as the balance is paid in full by the due date.
  • If the balance begins to mount, quit using the card for a while.

  • If the balance continues to mount, leave the card at home.

  • If the balance still continues to mount, call the credit card company and request to have the credit limit lowered.

  • Use a low-interest rate card, with either a low annual fee or no annual fee. Shop around using the Internet or offers sent to you in the mail. Rates vary widely, (Retail cards issued by department stores tend to charge the highest interest rates.)

  • Be wary of cards that offer extremely low interest rates "for a limited time." all too soon, the time is over, and the new interest rate being charged may be well above average.

Source: Your spending, Your Savings, Your Future: A Beginner's Guide to Financial Readiness, National Endowent for Financial Education, 2004.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Easy mixes

I love quick mixes. Here are three that will help you utilize your food storage, stock your pantry and save meal preparation time. Enjoy!

Quick Mix
(equivalent to Bisquick)
5 cups flour
3½ cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ cups instant nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar

In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients and blend well.
Put in a large, airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place and use within 10 to 12 weeks.
Makes about 13 cups.

Hot Fudge Pudding CAKE
1½ cups quick mix
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
¾ cup chopped nuts
½ cup milk
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup cocoa
1½ cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an unbuttered, 8-by-8-inch pan, combine quick mix, oil, vanilla, sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, nuts and milk and blend well. Combine brown sugar and ¼ cup cocoa in a small bowl. Add to water and bring to a boil. Gently pour over the top of the cake mixture, and do not stir. Bake 35-40 minutes, until the edges separate from the pan. Cool in pan 15 minutes before serving. Makes one 8-inch square cake.

Instant Oatmeal Mix
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
½ tsp salt

Grind oats and salt in a blender or a food processor (in two or more batches if necessary) to the consistency of wheat germ. Scoop half-cup portions into separate, resealable bags. Flavor each portion using mix-ins below.

1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped dried apples
1 tablespoon cranberries.
(You can also leave out the cranberries and use 2 tablespoons of apples)

Brown Sugar and Spices:
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.

Cinnamon Raisin:
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of raisins
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.

Pecan Delight:
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped pecans

1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon of blueberries
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Cooking instructions: Add 1 cup water to packet (1/2 cup oatmeal and mix-ins) in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 2-2½ minutes. If a creamier oatmeal is desired, use 1 cup milk instead of water or add 1?3 cup instant non-fat dry milk to the cup of water.

Almost Hamburger Helper Mix in a Jar
2 c nonfat dry milk
1 c corn starch
1/4 c beef bouillon powder
2 Tbsp onion flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp garlic powder

Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.

Use this mix for the following recipe:

Chili Mac
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 c water
1/2 c macaroni noodles (uncooked)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 T chili powder
1/2 c Hamburger Helper mix

Combine all and simmer 20 minutes or until macaroni is cooked.
Note: I sampled this at our stake preparedness fair and it was very good!

Sources: Deseret News,5143,705300240,00.html?pg=4, Scranton Stake RS Presidency

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Financial Preparedness: Steps to get out of debt

Are you drowning in the anxiety that accompanies debt? Reclaiming your financial future starts by taking positive steps to get out of debt. Even if you have serious problems with debt, there is hope. Consider taking at least some of the steps below:

  • Don't wait to act. Just as investments compound over time, so do debts.

  • Create a get-out-of-debt plan. Although each creditor has to receive payment every month, put any extra cash toward the debt with the highest interest rate.

  • Cut expenses. Try to find a few things that you could stop buying or buy less often.

  • Sell rarely used items. Sell these items yourself. Avoid going to a pawnshop.

  • Honestly assess your ability and then take the appropriate action. If you bought a car and are having trouble making the payments, for example, it may be better to sell the car and pay off the loan than to let the creditor repossess the car. A repossession will hurt your credit record.

  • Try to increase income. Is it possible to get a second job or get paid overtime and use the money to reduce debt? )If you have family responsibilities, first consider what effect your absence will have on the well-being of your family. It's important to balance the need to get out of debt with the need to spend time with your family.)

  • When one debt is paid off, keep making the same payment--just put it toward another remaining debt.

  • Consolidate loans. Shift higher interest loans to a single lower-rate loan and stop running up new charges.

  • Keep only one or two major credit cards. Cut up the other credit cards and call the credit card companies to cancel the accounts. Keep the remaining one or two credit cards at home (as long as the card won't be used by anyone else.) Consider having the credit limit lowered.

  • To stop most credit card offers from arriving in your mail, call (888) 5OPT-OUT.

Source: Your Spending Your Savings Your Future: A Beginner's Guide to Financial Readiness, National Endowment for Financial Education, pp. 26-27.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Delicious soup using white beans

I sampled this soup at our stake preparedness fair last weekend. It was absolutely delicious and is a great way to use beans from your food storage.

Potato Bean Soup
1/2 C sliced celery
3 medium carrots, shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp butter
1 onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes, unpeeled and cut
2 tsp dried dill or fresh
1 15 oz. can of white beans
1/2 c sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt
1 T flour
4-5 c chicken broth

Cook celery, carrots, onion and garlic in hot butter for 4 minutes. Stir in broth, potatoes and dill. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Lightly mash 1/2 of the potatoes. Add drained beans. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, flour, with a little salt and pepper. When mixed together, stir into soup, continue stirring and cook until the soup thickens.

Preparedness Quotes

"When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, 'We can’t afford it, even though we want it!' or 'We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!'" - Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2009 General Conference

"Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.

"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt."
- President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference

"Avoid the philosophy that yesterday's luxuries have become today's necessities. They aren't necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us."
- President Thomas S. Monson, April 2006 General Conference

“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
President Gordon B. Hinckley

"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult--the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35,) when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual." Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Every father and mother are the family’s store keepers. They should store whatever their family would like to have in case of an emergency…(and) God will sustain us through our trials.” President James E. Faust

“We live in a most exciting and challenging period in human history. As technology sweeps through every facet of our lives, changes are occurring so rapidly that it can be difficult for us to keep our lives in balance. To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”- Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, Nov. 1995

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free." President Thomas S. Monson

"Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.

“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …

“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …

“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …

“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” - Elder L. Tom Perry, October 1995 General Conference

“Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375

“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked." D&C 29:8

"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not aquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." President Ezra Taft Benson

"Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:34, 36

"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.

"The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." - President Spencer W. Kimball

“We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says." - President Spencer W. Kimball"/>


All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site & will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.