Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tortilla Success

I have been putting off making tortillas for awhile, but I finally got around to actually making some earlier this week. I have watched tortillas being made in the past, and I thought they would be a great item to have on my food storage menu, since they take few ingredients and cook fast, so not that much fuel would be required to cook them. I looked around and looked around and looked around...and procrastinated...

I finally settled on this recipe, which I found over at the Happy Housewife.

Then I procrastinated some more.....

Flash forward to a night where I didn't feel like scrubbing potatoes and was low on ideas for blog posts, and the time just seemed right. So I tried the recipe.

High points: They tasted really good. The kids really liked them, and they disappeared almost as fast as I could make them. Even my child who doesn't really like bread was eating them. However, their popularity made it very inconvenient to get a picture, since I was hungry myself by the time I sat down, which reminds me of the single, solitary low point:

I probably wouldn't have been particularly happy with a picture, because my tortillas weren't round. They were more...glob-shaped. Yeah, entirely my fault. So they weren't uniformly shaped, but since we were just eating them with chili, there wasn't really a problem. However, there would have been some difficulty had we been trying to make tacos or something with them. Soooo, I guess I will have to practice the rolling-out methods that will lead to round tortillas. After I master that particular point of tortilla making, it will be more of a total success.

I recommend this recipe--easy, fast, and delicious. And if you can make your tortillas round, you're ahead of me already.... :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

More ways to use your long-term storage...

And when I say "more ways", I mean a lot more ways, many of which I haven't had a chance to even look at yet. Thanks to a kind e-mailer, I received a message with some wonderful links to recipes, one of which contains a lengthy list of recipes. I quote from said e-mailer, who actually took the time to put some of the actual recipes in the e-mail:

"These recipes are for making instant meals for long term storage. The sites have many more.
Just mix up, measure into bags seal and put in buckets."

Here are the sites:

Soup Mix in a Jar Recipes, (I'm looking to try this one sometime, of the ones I've looked at so far... and there are even more types of mixes below the list of soup recipes)

AllFreeCrafts.Com, where you can find chicken noodle soup and minestrone in a jar recipes

This Veggie Rice Mix---I don't know if there are other recipes to find here yet, but this one looks pretty good.... :)

It's really the first link that has the most options to choose from, and hopefully you will find something that you and your loved ones would like. It's always good to have different options that are easy to make, and the recipes that I have seen in the first link so far look pretty good--I have a lot to go through on the list still, but I thought I'd give you the links so you can find what you like--gotta love variety, probably even more so when you are using your long-term supplies...thanks again, kind e-mailer!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wish I had seen this a couple of months ago...

I came across the blog, Cooking: Prepare by applying heat and a little bit of love, not long ago. Too late to make Christmas treats, but when I saw this Festive Pretzels recipe, I thought, "Wow, that would be great for next year!" I haven't tried them yet, but they look incredibly easy, and you know how much I like easy recipes....

Then I got to thinking that these could be great for Valentine's as well, if you stuck to red and white M&M's--I mean, they're totally made with hugs and kisses. I will probably still file it away for December, but I thought it might come in handy for someone, and who knows, maybe I'll make some with my children before then.

I look forward to trying more recipes that are posted on the blog--I would recommend checking it out. I just thought I'd mention the pretzels now as a possibility for more festivity this weekend. (This post will also make it incredibly easy to find the recipe again before the holidays.) And just speaking for myself, I wouldn't turn down chocolate of any color.... :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rolls and Rotation

Decided I would finally try another recipe that I entered into my emergency notebook awhile ago, this one, from Mennonite Girls Can Cook, in fact. They came out looking like this:

Yeah, if you check out the link, their rolls are prettier, and they probably taste better, too, since I forgot to add the salt. Fortunately, I don't think anyone else noticed that I forgot the salt, and these rolls disappeared pretty fast. An added plus--this recipe made so many that some are headed for the freezer for another meal anytime now.

Now for the rotation part. This recipe calls for 5+ cups of flour, which I knew by looking was more than was sitting in my handy-dandy flour container on my counter. I had some small bags of flour in my storeroom, and a big bag of flour in my storeroom. Those who read my blog regularly may recall that I would rather just buy something and put it in my storeroom and walk away, coming back occasionally for a visit that results in warm fuzzy thoughts that run along the lines of, "I love big bags of flour...", or "Tuna is a good source of protein, tuna is a good source of protein...", than to actually use said storage. Unfortunately, warm and fuzzy thoughts do not necessarily turn into useful and necessary action, so the big bag of flour has been sitting there for awhile instead of being used in new and/or old recipes.

So today was the day I opened the big bag of flour and later secured it with a clip. I need to properly store it in a bucket with one of the colored reusable lids that I have (sorry, the name of said lids escapes me at the moment) and do it right. To be honest, I probably would have used the flour that I consider to be more every day flour in the smaller packages if I didn't know that flour does not have an incredibly long shelf life, like say, wheat, some of which I also have stored. The long shelf life of wheat is one of the justifications I use for not grinding it yet, but yeah, that also is not the most productive way of thinking.

So yes, I am rotating my flour now, and have yet to start using a grinder on my wheat. Still kind of a victory for me anyway. Ah, baby steps. And those who may be like me, please remember to rotate your flour--you can only visit it so many times in your storeroom before it goes rancid....sad, I know. I love those visits....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sometimes you just can't tell...

We love baked potatoes around here. In fact, we use them as the main star of the meal when we put chili and various other toppings on them, or as a side for meatloaf. After buying some oatmeal in the sale mentioned in the previous post, I was in the mood for meatloaf, which I learned to make growing up, and the recipe for which used to be found on the back of the Quaker oatmeal box. Someone has kindly posted the recipe online here. Easy, with few ingredients, and delicious. I usually use tomato sauce and ground turkey--beef or turkey, it's all good.

Ah, one of my favorite foods. And, as an added bonus, if you put baking potatoes in 1/2 hour before the meatloaf, they will be ready at the same time.

So I had the oatmeal. I had the egg, the tomato sauce, and the turkey. And I had lovely, huge, beautiful baking potatoes--after all, we live in Idaho. So I started scrubbing potatoes, and cutting off blemishes, and as memory serves, the first potato was only lovely on the outside. Just under the skin there was black throughout. Bye-bye, potato.

Ok. Well, we usually buy at least one extra baking potato in case something like this happens, but by the time I had wrapped one for the oven and thrown away a total of three, I was done. One potato made it into the oven before the meatloaf, and the remaining potatoes went into the refrigerator for another day. One person ate the baked potato, and the rest had instant mashed. Not as good, but tasty enough.

There is no way the farmers could see this particular problem before they sold the potatoes, and no way that the grocer could know either. And there is no way that we could know until I was in the process of preparing them for dinner. In some situations, you just can't tell ahead of time that you are going to have a problem, no matter how carefully you plan. Everything looked good. But sometimes, even if it is not an emergency, your food supplies can provide you with a Plan B.

Gotta love having a plan B, even if it you were looking forward to Plan A......