Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I was reading through the blog Your Own Home Store and had to share this article on Quinoa.
I LOVE Quinoa it is such a wonderful food and so versatile. 

My Thoughts on Quinoa:

I LOVE it!  It is as easy to cook as rice, but contains a whole lot more nutritional punch.  I think everyone should not only add Quinoa to their food storage, but to their everyday diet!
Photo Credit: Nerissa Ring
I just started using Quinoa regularly about 2 years ago.  In fact, I hadn’t even heard of it before then (should I be embarrassed to say that?).  But it has become quite the staple in our home.  I use it at least weekly.  We love it: even my kids.  I was thrilled when Shelf Reliance announced that they had added it to their line of products.
While most often used as a grain, Quinoa actually is not part of the grain family; it is a pseudocereal and is closely related to Spinach!  Crazy, huh?!

Tips / Info:

Photo Credit: T-Dubisme

Quinoa Nutrition:

Quinoa has an extremely high protein content (50% more than brown rice), and its balanced set of essential amino acids make it a complete protein source, which is unusual among plant foods.  Soy is the only other plant based food with this quality.  As such, it is a great meat substitute for Vegans.  It also provides fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Plus, it is gluten free and can be eaten by those with Celiac disease. Wow!  Didn’t I tell you this stuff was amazing?

Quinoa Uses:

I most often use Quinoa as a replacement for brown rice.  Brown rice doesn’t store well (5-7 year shelf life even when properly packaged), and my husband (who has spent years in Asia) doesn’t love it.  He loves his white rice, which I try desperately to avoid.  But we actually started eating Quinoa at his recommendation: a friend prepared it for him and he loved it.  So, we got rid of all our brown rice and started using Quinoa instead.
Photo Credit: Sweet On Veg
I also love it in soups and stir frys.  It can also be added to salads – as the main ingredient or with other greens.  Or grind it to a flour and use it in gluten free baking.  Or, try mixing it with somefreeze dried fruit and cinnamon and cooking it up in milk instead of water as a breakfast cereal.  And a fun, but less well known use: Use it as a binding agent in things like meatloaf (instead of the less healthy breadcrumbs).

Preparing Quinoa:

It is most often prepared just like rice: just boil it.  Rinse it well, then place 1 part Quinoain 2 parts cold water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer.  10-12 minutes will give you a nutty and crunchy feel / taste (great on salads or in yogurt).  18-20 minutes will make it soft and fluffy like rice (but it will not become sticky and icky like overcooked rice does). It expands to  about 3 times its size when cooked.  So 1 cup dry will yield about 3 cups cooked.

Shelf Life:

20 years unopened and 1 year opened.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Easy Food Storage Start

 As I have been doing some research on food storage I found a great site that has guest authors post ideas and in one particular post I found I thought would be greatly helpful in starting food storage in a very easy way. The author is Frippery Farms blog. I want to give full credit to her for the idea and the pictures. We no longer drink soda so I might be in search of bottles from friends that still do for this idea.
I don't know what her real name is but she has some great ideas.

Frippery Farms says:

I started my food preps with the simple basics.
Beans and rice. (I have since added wheat, oatmeal, and many other items, but today, lets stick to basics)
Even #10 cans or 5 gallon buckets of beans and rice can cost you a small fortune when you are storing anywhere from 3 months to 1 years worth of food. When you get into prepping for a family of 4 or more, the costs really skyrocket!
I get around the high cost of food prep by buying in bulk and packaging the food myself.
It is easy to do, you only need the simpliest of supplies and an afternoon of effort to get your own food storage started.
First, you need 2 and 3 liter soda bottles. If you don't drink soda, ask neighbors, check at a local recycling center, scronge through a trash bin here or there.
Why yes, that IS my bathtub! The reason they are all in my bathtub is because of my next step...scald out the bottles with the hottest water that will come out of your tap. If you have your water set kinda low, you may have to heat up water on the stove. About halfway full will do, Shake it until all soda residue is gone, then pour out. If the soda residue is dried, you may have to repeat the procedure. Remember to scald the bottle tops, too!
Next, you need to dry the bottles out. Depending on the humidity and heat of where you live, this can take from 1 day to almost a week.
I set mine out on our screened in porch. Since I live in the hottest, driest section of Texas, it only takes a day to dry. (Lucky me!) Yes, that is my yard, yes that is sand. Yes, it sucks when I try to garden, hence the box in the background.
Next you will need your rice or beans and BAY LEAVES. Very Important...don't forget the Bay Leaves! Bay leaves will repell and kill all sorts of bugs and kill their larvae if they are present in your rice or beans (or wheat or oats, or...well, you get the idea!)

You'll need a funnel, but I make mine from posterboard. That's a 50 pound bag of rice behind there, btw. Under 20 bucks. Bay leaves cost 2 dollars.
Put a couple of Bay leaves in the bottom of the 2 liter bottle and then funnel in your rice or beans.
When you get almost to the top, shove another Bay leaf or two in that bottle and seal TIGHTLY. If you have it, dip the top in bees wax to compleely seal out oxygen.
Two liter bottles are remarkedly easy to store in small spaces. Under beds, in a closet, where-ever. Cool, dry place.
This is a very small closet. Only 24 inches wide. It currently contains 200 pounds of rice and 100 pounds of beans!
I have been storing beans, rice, oatmeal, wheat, barley and many other grains and dry goods in this manner for several years. I have cooked rice stored this way 15 years after the storage date and it was as good as the day it was stored. cooked up fine and fluffy! Similarly, beans cooked after being stored for several years in this manner also cooked up fine.
This storage method keeps out rodents, insects and other vermin. It also keeps out moisture, so there is no mold or rot of the contents.
It is easier than #10 cans or the 5 gallon buckets (and cheaper!). Opening a 2 or 3 liter bottle with an easily resealable cap is more convenient than lugging around a 5 gallon bucket and you'll probably use up the 2 liter bottle much faster , leading to less spoilage and waste.
So, don't despair if you can't afford to order the latest and greatest from a food storage supplier online. You can have food storage on the cheap for your family! 
 If any of you have done this or have further ideas I would love to hear from you. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Freezing Information

 When we have food storage it should not just be in our closets or under our beds. In our food storage we should include our refrigerator and our freezers. We are told to at least have a 3 month supply of food for our families. Here is a link to find out what, how and how long you can freeze foods:
    USDA Food and Safety Inspection Service 

Just an example from this website :
 Freezer Storage Chart (0 °F)
Note: Freezer storage is for quality only. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.

Bacon and Sausage1 to 2
Casseroles2 to 3
Egg whites or egg substitutes12
Frozen Dinners and Entrees3 to 4
Gravy, meat or poultry2 to 3
Ham, Hotdogs and Lunchmeats1 to 2
Meat, uncooked roasts4 to 12
Meat, uncooked steaks or chops4 to 12
Meat, uncooked ground3 to 4
Meat, cooked2 to 3
Poultry, uncooked whole12
Poultry, uncooked parts9
Poultry, uncooked giblets3 to 4
Poultry, cooked4
Soups and Stews2 to 3
Wild game, uncooked8 to 12

Let's get our food storage together in all the different areas. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Shelf Life

As I have been getting back to work on organizing life part of this is the shelf life of my families food. I have found a great web site that has that information for almost anything you would want to store. The site is called Still Tasty Your Ultimate Shelf Life Guide
What a fantastic site. I am sure there are many more out there but this has been by far the most comprehensive site I have found. 
Hugs, Bobbi Jo

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blog Neglect

 I apologize  for the neglect of this blog. I am now back and ready to start posting again.

With all that is going on in the world today I feel that it is pertinent that we prepare with what we can. 
I hear from ladies that they don't have the money to work on their food storage or  their 3 month food supply. If not now when ? I know times are hard for most of us.

I want to share just a few suggestions to help out with this. These things will be things that you have heard or read before but they are worth repeating.

When you are low or out of an item you buy two. For example when you are low on mayonnaise and you go to the grocery store pick up 2 instead of one. This way you always have one on hand.
With doing these on one or two items with each shopping trip you will soon have a small supply built up.
This will save money in the long run by not having to run to the store each time you go to make something and realize you are out of an ingredient.

Be determined to build up your food storage but start small. Staring with the above suggestion is a great start.

You should also not wait to use your food storage. Integrate it into your weekly menu. You don't want to wait till you absolutely need to eat it till you learn what you like or don't like or even how to cook with it.

Your food storage isn't just your pantry closets. It is in your freezer & refrigerators too.
Keep a list of what is in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Inventory will help save you money. Knowing what you have on hand to use for your meals and also save you from running out to buy something you don't know you have already.

Make a meal plan from what you have on hand, what is on sale at the stores from reading the lost leaders of the paper. If you don't get a paper you can go on line to the stores and get signed up for a weekly flyer on line.

Do inventory before shopping trip so there are trips and money saved.
I will be honest with you I have just recently started to do this regularly and I have lowered our grocery bill by $30. This is on all products including paper products and toiletries. Granted I do have some food storage and such but this is amazing to me how much I can save by taking a little more time being organized.

Hope this helps you out. There will be more to come in the future. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

Easy & Quick Dinner

Garbanzo Bean & Veggie Burgers

Makes about 14 patties

4 generous cups cooked garbanzo beans
2 eggs
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup shredded onions
½ cup shredded peppers (green, red, yellow.. whatever you would like)
1t salt
1t seasoning salt
1t pepper
¼ t red pepper flakes
½ cup finely crushed crackers, or bread crumbs or flour

I used my food processor to shred my veggies.

Put your garbanzo beans and eggs in the food processor and blend them part way. Then add veggies and seasonings and blend until mostly smooth (this does not need to be completely smooth). Put this mixture into a large bowl. Add the crushed crackers (or bread crumbs or flour) to the mixture and stir them in well. Let this sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat a large frying pan or griddle on medium high heat. Pour some olive oil over the griddle. Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop out the bean mixture. You should be able to take this and form a patty. If it is too moist, add a few more cracker crumbs, if it is too dry you add a little olive oil to get the right consistency. Form a patty and lay it on the griddle. You can do this for however many burgers will fit in your frying pan or griddle.

Let them cook for 4 to 5 minutes and the flip them over.

Cook them for another 4 to 5 minutes on the other side. Allow them to cool slightly before eating.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Food For Thought

When we think of food storage we tend to think of the canned items that we have in our pantry or in closets, under the beds or in the garage.
What about those other items that can be stored in other places other than our pantries? I am talking about the freezer and the refrigerator.
So let's broaden our thoughts to these places and what can we put there to have for our food storage.
Below is a list I got from Food
This gives the length of time we can store items to keep them safe for us to eat. We don't want our families getting ill due to keeping things too long or not having them stored properly.

Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer

These short but safe time limits for home-refrigerated foods will keep them from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. The guidelines for freezer storage are for quality only. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.

For storage times for eggs and foods made with eggs, see Egg Storage Chart.



(40 °F or below)

(0 °F or below)


Egg, chicken, ham, tuna & macaroni salads

3 to 5 days

Does not freeze well

Hot dogs

opened package

1 week

1 to 2 months

unopened package

2 weeks

1 to 2 months

Luncheon meat

opened package or deli sliced

3 to 5 days

1 to 2 months

unopened package

2 weeks

1 to 2 months

Bacon & Sausage


7 days

1 month

Sausage, raw — from chicken, turkey, pork, beef

1 to 2 days

1 to 2 months

Hamburger & Other Ground Meats

Hamburger, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb, & mixtures of them

1 to 2 days

3 to 4 months

Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork


3 to 5 days

6 to 12 months


3 to 5 days

4 to 6 months


3 to 5 days

4 to 12 months

Fresh Poultry

Chicken or turkey, whole

1 to 2 days

1 year

Chicken or turkey, pieces

1 to 2 days

9 months

Soups & Stews

Vegetable or meat added

3 to 4 days

2 to 3 months


Cooked meat or poultry

3 to 4 days

2 to 6 months

Chicken nuggets or patties

3 to 4 days

1 to 3 months


3 to 4 days

1 to 2 months

Below is information on do's and don'ts of freezing foods

The Do's and Don'ts of Freezing Foods

One of the major forms of food preservation is freezing, and an important part of frozen food storage is the container the food is packed in.

There are several different types of packaging materials that work well in freezers. They include rigid containers, flexible bags, collapsible cover boxes and freezer wrap. These materials help prevent freezer burn and the breakdown of textures in frozen foods; they also prevent color and flavor changes.

Rigid containers can hold most foods. The containers are re-usable and are easy to stack. They are helpful for storing foods that contain liquids.

The most common and popular rigid container is one made of moisture-vapor-resistant plastic with a snap on lid. With proper care, these plastic containers can be used for years.

Wash lids in warm, never hot, water. Be careful as you remove the lid from the container because the lid may stretch and not fit securely. Then the container will not be airtight. It is best to let cold water run over the lid before removing. If the lid stretches, use freezer tape to seal it securely on the container. Use plastic wrap and aluminum foil in place of freezer tape. Stretch the wrap or foil on top of the container under the lid.

Glass jars can also be used to store frozen foods, but they should not be used to store liquids. If you use glass jars, be sure to choose the wide-mouth, dual-purpose jars that are for freezing and canning. These jars are specially made to withstand freezing and boiling temperatures.

The wide mouth of the jar allows easy removal of partially thawed foods and gives room for expansion during freezing. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace (the unfilled space above food or liquids in jars or freezer containers) for expansion. Also, new lids should be used each time and rinsed in cold tap water before applying to the mouth of the jar.

Standard canning jars with shoulders can be used for frozen food storage, but there is a danger of breakage if the jar is filled above the shoulder. Thaw food before removing from these jars. Extra care should be taken when thawing foods stored in glass.

Another popular method of storing frozen foods is using bags made of moisture-vapor-resistant polyethylene. They work well for dry food products and also can be used for liquid packs.

When sealing a freezer bag, leave no air in the bag with the food. After removing all the air, twist the top of the bag to form a spiral and fold it over like a gooseneck. Wrap the gooseneck several times about a half-inch from the food with some sort of a closure material. If a covered-wire closure is used, be sure to wrap the ends so they won�t puncture the bag. The bag should be loose to allow food to expand during freezing.

Collapsible cover boxes are often used with freezer bags. They protect the bag from puncture and make it easier to stack the packages. With good care, cover boxes can be reused for several years, but it is better to use new bags each time.

A good material for wrapping meats and other large and irregularly shaped foods is freezer wrap. Common types of freezer wrap are freezer paper, freezer cellophane and freezer aluminum foil (0.0015 thickness).

If freezing paper is used, only the paper made especially for freezing should be used. Do not confuse ordinary wrapping cellophane or butcher paper with specially developed grades recommended for freezing.

Household wax paper, plastic wrap and heavy-duty aluminum foil are not recommended for wrapping foods to be frozen. Extra-heavy-duty aluminum foil can be used for freezer storage for up to eight weeks. Wrap meats from the supermarket in suitable freezing wrap before freezing because the supermarket wrap is porous and may contain small holes.

Freezer tape helps seal packages of food to be frozen and makes the packages more airtight. However, such tape must hold a tight seal at 0 F or below.

Several materials are not good for long-term storage of frozen food. Foods stored in these materials for long periods of time may develop freezer burn and absorb undesirable odors. The materials include wax paper, paper cartons, cottage cheese cartons, cardboard ice cream or milk cartons, any rigid container that may crack and any container that has a poorly fitting lid.

Good materials for freezing should be airtight when properly sealed, be moisture-vapor-resistant, be durable and able to withstand cold temperatures, easy to clean, odorless and tasteless. They should not absorb oil, grease or water. They should also be easy to handle, seal, label, stack and take as little room as possible.

Source: Evelyn Crayton, Extension Foods and Nutrition Specialist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, (334) 844-2224

Prepared by Jana Huggins, Agricultural Journalism Intern