Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Using Whole Wheat Flour

In the mood for chocolate and pumpkin?  Here's a delicious recipe that combines the two in a cake-like tasty cookie using whole wheat flour.  These are "mookies," a cross between a muffin and a cookie.  Mmmmm! 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or 1/2 cup applesauce (healthier version)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • You may add other fall spices like ground cloves, ginger, and nutmeg to taste (optional)
Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts (if desired).

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

Source:  allrecipes.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Provident Living: Thrifty Christmas Ideas

It's that time of year to begin planning your Christmas. Beginning early and planning ahead are the keys to being frugal. Here are some tried and true ideas to make your holiday a thrifty one!

1. Make a list and narrow it down. Determine the people you have to buy presents for. Make a list.

2. Create a gift budget. Set a total limit, then divide it among people on your list. When you shop, remember your budget for each individual and stick to it.

3. Do an exchange. This will really cut costs, especially if you have a large family or group of co-workers. Instead of buying a bunch of gifts, you only have to buy one. Our family does this and it's a huge de-stresser for us at Christmas.

4. Make your own gifts. Food items are always welcome, jar mixes, favorite quotes or photos framed (this is my new favorite gift), knitted/crocheted scarves and hats, photo slide shows, etc. We had a friend who always made delicious treats and boxed them beautifully with tissue paper and decorated boxes. They always seemed special because she put so much work into the presentation.

5. Check out the thrift store and the dollar store. Some people may cringe at this item but you might be surprised at the great gifts you can find there. You may also find ways to package gifts with thrift store finds to make them unique and memorable. My friend found a beautiful bag at the thrift store and filled it with bath products. Last year, I used Christmas ornaments from the dollar store and created star-themed gifts based on them.

6. Create home-made coupons for things like babysitting, yard work, car washes, massages. I love receiving these (especially from my kids) and redeeming them when I most need the service.

7. Make recipe books or recipe cards. One of my all-time favorite gifts was a book my sister compiled of favorite family recipes. It contains all my Mom's best recipes and adds my siblings most-loved recipes. I use it all the time! You can focus on a theme like chocolate recipes for a chocolate lover, for example.

8. Give hobby-based presents. Think about the hobbies of the person you are giving to: sheet music for a musician, a plant for a gardener, golf balls for a golfer, scrapbook supplies for the scrapper, books for a reader, etc. A well thought-out gift often has much more meaning than an expensive one.

9. For kids, try making a dress-up box or trunk. It doesn't need new clothes in it; instead, look for unique costume items at thrift stores or even in your own closets or attic. One of our favorite family activities is letting the kids go to town in our dress-ups. They come up with all kinds of unique costumes. Some of their favorite items include a siblings' old cheerleader outfit, our Grandma's psychedelic 70s clothes, a black silky shirt with diamond buttons which becomes a pirate shirt, a slinky dress with belt, etc. This gift encourages creativity and ensures hours of fun.

Source:  http://thrivingandthrifty.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Apple Raisin Bread

There's nothing better in the fall than the flavor combination of apples and raisins.  Enjoy these two scrumptious versions of apple raisin bread.  The first one uses oatmeal, potato flakes and powdered milk from your food storage.  The second one uses wheat and wheat bulgur.  Enjoy!


3c apple juice

2 c raisins

1/2 c butter or margarine

2 pks reg yeast ( sub 5tsp active dry)

3t vanilla

2 eggs lrg

6c unbleach flour

1c reg oatmeal

1c mashed pot flakes

1c powdered milk

1c chopped nuts I use pecans

1/3 c sugar

3tsp salt regular

1tsp cinnamon

Heat juice and soften raisins in the juice. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 c warm water. Check temp and when it is 110 add yeast, butter, sugar, salt cinn. and eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Have the flour, potato, milk powder, oatmeal in another large bowl. Pour all liquid in and stir to make a mass. Will clean bowl. May sprinkle on more flour as you go but should be a nice soft pliable dough. I usually spray my hands with oil as I knead. It becomes lovely after 10 min or so. Knead in nuts. Let rise 1 -1 1/2 hrs. This rises beautifully. de gas and shape boules Makes 4 loaves. Rise again 1 1/2 hrs. Bake at 350 for 50 min. Cover with foil if gets too dark at the end. I also double this recipe and use a 13 qt bowl. It is a WORK OUT !


2/3 c. milk

1/4 c. cracked wheat bulgar

2 pkgs. active dry yeast

1/2 c. lukewarm water

1 egg

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tbsp. honey

2 tsp. salt

1 c. peeled, chopped tart apple

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c. seedless raisins
Heat the milk to lukewarm in a saucepan. Stir in bulgar and remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Add the egg, oil, honey, salt, apples and the milk-bulgar mixture. Beat just until blended. Add the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Beat at low speed to blend with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.

With a wooden spoon, add enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that you can knead and also add the raisins. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 8 minutes or until you have the dough that is not longer sticky.

Place the dough in a greased bowl; cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and divide into 2 loaves.

Place the loaves into 2 greased 8x4 inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise just above the tops of the pans, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the loaves are nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Sources: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10171/apple-juice-raisin-bread, http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,194,154189-225206,00.html

Financial Preparedness: Thrifty and Thriving

I have started a new blog called Thrifty and Thriving, dedicated to managing money, budgeting, saving, living thrifty and thriving.  Take a peek!  I will continually be improving the site and adding more content, so check in often or become a follower. 


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



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