Saturday, September 27, 2014

A couple of the items in my Fall container garden
Collard greens
I have lots more things coming up which I'll post about later

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cream soup in a jar

Credit for this recipe goes to Perbain on YouTube
Thanks Perbain it's a very good soup.

Cream soup mix
2 cups dry milk
1 1/2 cups corn starch
1/2 cup chicken bullion
4 tablespoons dry onions
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon parsley (optional)
Mix well, I used a whisk

Place 2/3 cups in each quart jar and fill to to top with dehydrated vegetable of choice.  Broccoli, celery, potatoes, mushrooms etc.

A quart jar makes a large amount so if you want it for smaller portions like what comes in a can then use half pints.  That's how I did mine.
Place 1/3 cup of mix in each half pint and fill to top with dry vegetables.

To use, dump mix and veggies into sauce pan, fill jar with water and pour into pan,  stir and cook until the veggies are tender and the soup is thick, if soup gets thick too soon, add a bit more water.

I brought mine to a boil then turned the fire off and let it set a bit to reconstitute the veggies, mostly because I had potatoes in it.. after it was finished cooking I added a half teaspoon butter, it made it much richer.
Here's my bowl of cream of broccoli and potato soup.

I have to say it's pretty darn tasty

Dehydrated orange and lemon slices
I even dried the skins
Ground the skins into zest

The aroma and flavor of homemade zest is far superior to the store bought junk.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Meatless breakfast sausage
There's several recipes on the net for this Second World War recipe so I had to give it a try.
I cut the patty so you could see the texture.

1 cup oatmeal
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons sage
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel
1 1/2 teaspoons Rosemary
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Mix well and let sit 20 minutes
After 20 minutes, shape into patties and brown in hot oiled skillet.
After their browned then add 3 cups of beef bullion broth to the skillet and simmer for 20 minutes
After 20 minutes of simmering then drain liquid off, add oil and brown again.
Now they look more like sausage.
My opinion is they do taste fairly good, a lot like sausage but I personally can tell it's oatmeal and since I'm not a fan of oatmeal in meatloaf it isn't something I'd make on a regular basis.. 
Check it out and see what you think.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Yesterday's Dehydrating bargains

Went to SaveALot and found huge beautiful jalapeno's for $1.29..  got 3 trays going.  the whole bag cost under $2

Mushrooms $1 a pack.. 3 trays of portobello mushrooms
3 trays of button mushrooms for $5
Actually these were put into the dehydrator last night and are ready to come out in about an hour.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Trip to the LDS Cannery

I had been looking for somewhere to buy whole wheat that I could grind myself and accidentally came across the fact there is an LDS cannery in St. Louis and after a phone call found out that they do sell to the public.

They have a lot of items from already ground flour, sugar, instant potatoes, dried carrots, spaghetti, beans etc. but I only bought the 3 items pictured.  
One case of #10 hard white wheat for $18.30.. there's 5 1/2 pounds of wheat in each can at the cost of $3.50 each.

Dry milk 1 lb 12 oz $5.40 this is not instant milk.. I've heard this milk is far superior to the instant.

Sliced dry apples #10 can $9.75 each.
They gave me a taste of the apples and they are so good I bought 2 cans :-)
The good part is their warehouse is only 3 miles from my house.

Friday, September 19, 2014

How to stop food from going to waste

I went to fix some glazed sweet potatoes for dinner to find my package of taters that was bought a week ago looking like this

  • Pretty nasty eh?
There was no way I was going to let those yummy things go to waste so I peeled all the uglies off, put what I needed for dinner in a slow cooker and placed the rest in my dehydrator.

Look pretty nice now
One problem tho.. just enough to fill one tray.. no way am I running the dehydrator for one tray so out came some carrots and parsnips.  My family loves them roasted..
So now I have 3 trays going.. one taters and two carrots and parsnips.
After I rest a bit I'm going to scrounge around in the freezer for some frozen veggies so I can fill a bit more trays.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hand crank mason jar vacuum sealer
I bought this off Amazon, it's a break bleeder and very easy to use
Here's another picture of it
I want to be able to open a jar, use part of the dried food and be able to seal it back up when we're on camping trips or at home and the power goes off.

It comes with the hose, several size pointy tips for the hose plus a gauge so I know when the pressure reaches 20 lb which is the same poundage a Food Saver reaches when the jar is pressurized.

The white part on the jar is a  jar sealer attachment intended to be used with a Food Saver machine.  Very versatile because I can either use electric to seal them or hand crank with this nifty gadget.
Here's a picture of some things I sealed this morning.
One pound of mixed veggies in each pint jar, 1 1/2 pounds of green beans fit in one pint jar.

One huge bag of kale dehydrated fit into two pint jars.. one large bag of dehydrated spinach fit into one quart jar, 15 medium sized potatoes sliced and dehydrated fit into one pint jar with a bit left over.  The pasta in the background is not sealed, it's in a canister and probably will be sealed in quart jars when I get some clean and sterilized.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'm loving my new dehydrator.
this is a jar of kale for this winters zuppa toscana soups.  I've also dried celery and broccoli and currently I have fresh ginger and garlic in the dehydrator.. when that's finished I have several apples that need dried.

I've read that some people like to eat dried kale as a snack.. gag not me LOL  I'll wait for the dried apples.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My new Nesco American Harvest Dehydrator.
It's been years since I've owned a dehydrator and I don't know why I didn't replace it sooner but I'm sure I'm going to love getting back in the swing.
Actually I probably do know why I lived without one for so long.. there was more people to feed so eating up bulk veggies wasn't an issue but now there's only three of us and I'm tired of freezing the extra and months later finding the bags full of ice crystals.  That just won't happen to dehydrated veggies or fruit.
This morning I filled all 8 trays with things from my fridge, bag of kale, bag of spinach, bag of broccoli and half a head of celery... all had been in the crisper for a week.
When the celery is dried I'm going to grind some up for celery salt.
I've heard dried kale makes a great snack, I plan to give that a try.  Other then that, I'll be using the dried greens in soups.

We eat a lot of Italian Zuppa Toscana and it calls for kale and I don't always have any on hand so having some dried will be real nice..
Click here Zuppa Toscana for the recipe.

Friday, September 5, 2014

HOMEMADE CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP.. and a slice of rich dark artisan bread.. it just doesn't get much better then that.
Have you noticed how the cost has gone up for cream soups?  Even Aldi is now charging 79 cents a can.. that's pure highway robbery considering cream soup is nothing more then a seasoned white gravy.

I'm not going to give you a recipe, you can find them all over the net, you name it, cream of chicken, cream of celery etc.  If you know how to make white gravy then you're well on the way to creating your own cream soups.

If you come across those sites that tell you how to make bulk cream soup mix by mixing butter and flour together and storing it in the fridge.. I say "skip on by"  go to the ones that show you how to make it by starting with a roux like you make your gravy.  In fact if you're a pro at making white gravy then all you need to look up is the seasoning part.. such as beef broth in mushroom, chicken broth and poultry seasoning for chicken etc.

Maybe about now you're thinking "I don't have mushrooms or cooked chopped chicken on hand all the time"  If you plan ahead you can.. I made this from frozen mushrooms I had in the freezer.. when mushrooms go on sale I buy a bunch, slice, saute and freeze them in half cup pouches.. I also do a lot of grinding my own chicken meat and I fry some up to freeze in pouches for things like this.
Cream of celery shouldn't be a problem either.. I've always got sliced frozen celery in the freezer.

Here's a link to a general idea of how to make it.. I would cut the flour back to two tablespoons per cup of liquid or you're going to have one heck of a thick soup.  If it's soup I'm planning to eat then I use one tablespoon flour per cup of liquid, for gravy I use two tablespoons flour per liquid.
Lets face it, most times you open a can of cream soup you add water or milk to thin it down so why torture yourself by making it thick and then having to dilute it.. get it right from the beginning.
Basic cream soup

I would love to hear from you if you make your own cream soups or if you try it for the first time and how you feel about it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter softened
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 F
Measure all ingredients into large bowl, with mixer at medium speed beat until well mixed.
Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls, place 3 inches apart on cookie sheets.
Dip fork into flour and press deeply across top of each cookie; repeat in opposite direction.
Bake in oven 15 minutes or just until cookies are lightly browned.
With pancake turner, immediately remove cookies to wire rack and allow to cool
Store in tightly covered container.
Makes 36 cookies.