Book Review: A Practical Guide for Food Storage

What? It’s been a while?

Yes, yes it has been.

While I love writing about what I do as a homemaker and a mom and sharing it with the world, sometimes I have to step back and remember that being a homemaker and more importantly a wife and mom, is my most important job, and sometimes it’s hard to do both. It’s been one of those times for me. I forgot how busy it gets when kids get older and start to have lives of their own…and now with three teens, I’m running many different directions at once trying to get them to their events, and cooking and cleaning, church responsibilities, littles and all of that good stuff.

But, I’m back. And I had the opportunity to read a great little book that I wanted to share with you today. Charisse Merrill is a wife, mom, blogger, author, and preparer (I can totally make up words, right?) who has written a guide on food storage that anybody can read.

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There is so much peace of mind involved in being prepared for the possibilities of life. Some of these could be major big things like natural disasters, terrorist attacks, pandemics, etc. It is more likely, however, that life will happen….illness, job loss, divorce, car repairs, and other things that can effect our financial situations. These things are easier to navigate if one is prepared and the best way to do that is by beginning to accumulate food storage.

It’s really not enough, at least in my {humble} opinion, to become a “couponer” and buy hoards of items at the store for very little cents…..taking all these things and making them work into MEALS that your family will actually eat….that requires a system.

A Practical Guide for Food Storage by Charisse Merrill is a quick read with lots of good basic information, as well as recipes, lists, and a system for obtaining and tracking your food storage. For the beginner, this is a great place to start. Charisse began her system with 4 months worth of food, but you could even break that down further and focus on ONE MONTH of food, by following the steps outlined in her system, scaled for a month’s worth of meals. Then work up to 3, 6, and even 12 months of supplies.

There IS some initial work involved in any comprehensive food storage system, but Charisse spells it out and makes it easy to get started.

Some of her greatest advice:

  • Try recipes BEFORE the crisis hits -Not only does every family have their own likes and dislikes, but being familiar with the recipes and foods BEFORE you are under significant amounts of stress because of life circumstances is CRITICAL to well-being. I know this from experience. The first time we lived on food storage, I had a lot of great basic items (wheat, milk powder, rice, oats, etc). But actually making FOOD that people would EAT with these items….that was a whole other thing. It took some time and a significant toll on me to learn how to do so under pressure. Charisse has several recipes that you can try for your family if you need help getting started.
  • WATER WATER WATER! – This is one of the easiest and most neglected areas of preparedness. STORE WATER! Remember you need water for drinking, water for cooking, water for cleaning and washing. Include amounts needed for cooking as well as needed for drinking in your food storage plan. More on storing water HERE.
  • Spices! Good seasonings can take food from awful to amazing….remember to store spices, herbs, and seasonings. More HERE, as well as ideas on drying your own herbs, and making your own onion or garlic powder,.
  • A master list of where items are stored….this is one of the big excuses I hear when I talk to people about food storage….”I don’t have anywhere to put it.” There are SO MANY places to stash your food storage and making a list of where everything is makes it easy and stress free to use.
  • Have a little redundancy….for example have an electric wheat grinder to rotate your wheat and make homemade bread like this HERE, as well as a hand grinder in case there’s no electricity.

A couple of points that I wanted to make from my perspective and experience:

  • I only buy Tomato Powder now instead of cans of tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomato juice. I can use the exact amount that I need and I don’t end up throwing away bulging cans of tomato sauce (which has happened, unfortunately).
  • As a Thrive Consultant, I would tell you BEFORE YOU BUY THRIVE AT COSTCO (I love Costco, by the way), to FIND A THRIVE CONSULTANT! Your Thrive Consultant will NOT ONLY MATCH the Costco price on any Thrive item, BUT ALSO set you up so you can earn 10% back in free product and sometimes even additional 1/2 off product…MUCH BETTER DEAL! GO THROUGH a CONSULTANT! If you’re reading this, and you’re interested in more info…well, click on the little envelope in the right side bar.
  • You can absolutely adapt your food storage to what your family eats. Our family lives in a state of rotation. We live on our food storage and are constantly rotating and replacing. That way, I know what my family will eat, they are used to eating it, and I have it on hand. We’re a little different than some families in that we don’t do a lot of prepackaged food. We make almost everything from scratch. This means that my list is a little longer since I would need to include ingredients to make spaghetti sauce, cream of mushroom (or whatever) soup (click here for recipe), refried beans (recipe here, home-canned bean directions here), tortillas, etc, but that’s ok. It’s all achievable.

All in all, this is a GREAT book for beginners who are looking for guidance in starting one of the best investment and insurance policies a family can have.

You can find Charisse’s book, “A Practical Guide for Food Storage” at Amazon HERE, and read more about her preparations at The Merrill Project, where she is also running a food storage challenge so check it out.

No matter where you are in your preparedness journey, make a plan to do a little more today. Times are tough and the more prepared we are, the more peace we can feel in our every day lives. So if you’re new, check out Charisse’s book. If you’re a veteran of preparedness, leave a comment with one or two of your BEST ideas gained through experience for preparing.

Have a wonderful day, and see you soon with some recipes and plans for making peace and preparedness a part of every day life.

*Although I received a free copy of this book to review, all opinions are my own.

Thrive on Black Friday 2015

Today is the day!!

The BLACK FRIDAY sale at THRIVE is well underway and there are DEALS galore to be had! Take a look at the deal sheet for Black Friday below, and then visit my site to order. There are also some packages that can be ordered only through me, so if you have interest in some great meat packages, fruit or veggie variety packs, or even a smokin’ years supply package for your family, you can call or text me at 801-367-1607 or email me at

Email me!

 

 

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I hope you’ve all had a spectacular holiday and made lots of unforgettable memories with your loved ones! I pulled out a new game that I had been saving for Christmas and my kiddos have had loads of fun with it.

You know how to reach me if there’s anything I can help you with!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, and welcome to the holiday season!

Recipe: Southwestern Chicken & Rice Soup-In a Jar!

Last month I went to my mom’s house and helped her fix a bunch of meals in jars. Using shelf stable Thrive ingredients to create some meals put together in advance, are just the thing to make life a little easier. It’s incredibly lovely to have a yummy, healthy dinner on the table in 20 minutes or less.

TEH-MIJvarietyWe did Zuppa Toscana, Chicken Noodle Soup, Southwestern Chicken & Rice Soup, Lasagna Soup, Penne with Chicken & Asparagus, and Beef Stroganoff. Now she has 12 meals on the shelf in the pantry that she can get on the table in a jiffy.

I LOVE THRIVE!!!

Not only are these quick and easy, but Thrive freeze dried ingredients also make them healthy and delicious.

Simply add your ingredients to your jar, usually with all powdered ingredients on the bottom and larger pieces on top…I will usually tap the jar gently on a towel to help settle the ingredients and make sure everything fits in.

 

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Then you can seal it with the jar lid and ring, or you can use a Food Saver to remove all the oxygen from the jar and seal it. These will last several weeks in your pantry with no loss of quality or nutrients, but are not meant for long term storage.

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Today I’m sharing my Southwestern Chicken & Rice Soup in a Jar recipe with you. This recipe originally was one I made with my canned food storage and called it 6 Can Chicken Soup. And it was pretty good. But after tweaking it and adding good stuff like Thrive Instant Brown Rice, and Thrive Veloute Sauce and Classic Tomato Sauce, it’s evolved into a whole new set of deliciousness.

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TEH-MIJsouthwesternRecHeadPRINTABLE RECIPE CARD

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
Add to quart sized mason jar, in order:

  • 1/2 cup Thrive Instant Brown Rice
  • 1/2 cup Thrive Sweet Corn
  • 1/2 cup Thrive Instant Black Beans
  • 1/2 cup Thrive Tomato Dices
  • 3/4 cup Thrive Seasoned Chicken Slices
  • 1/4 cup Thrive Green Chili Peppers

In a plastic zip-top bag, place:

  • 2 Tbsp Thrive Chicken Bouillon
  • 2 Tbsp Thrive Veloute Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Thrive Classic Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tsp Thrive Cilantro
  • 1/3 cup Thrive Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat soup pot to medium high heat. Add jar contents except for sauce mix. Toast in pot, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
  2.  Add two quarts water and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add Sauce mix and simmer another 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.

This is a delicious, quick, easy meal that you can have on the table in 20 minutes. One you can feel good about. I’d love to know if you make it!

Have a happy Halloween this weekend. Can you believe Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner!??!!?

 

Recipe: Magnificent Stuffed Peppers

Magnificent and delicious stuffed peppers at theEssentialHomemaker.com

 

I love not shopping….like, LOVE. It’s so nice to have a Home Store, where I buy and store stuff in advance to have on hand when I need it, thereby eliminating most emergency trips to the store. Such a stress reducer!

This morning I went out into my garden and found eight beautifully ripe green bell peppers, so naturally, my first thought was “I MUST make some stuffed peppers!” Thanks to my Home Store, I already have every thing I need, right at my fingertips.

I love this recipe….I tweaked it to include all kinds of veggies and swapped out the rice for quinoa, which makes for a lighter dish, and the method I use for cooking the quinoa adds a nutty, irresistible flavor.

YUM!

TEH-MSPrecipeheadPrintable recipe card

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare cheese if using freeze dried and cook quinoa.
  2. Put ground beef, sausage, and onion in pan on medium heat. Stir frequently to toast, 3-4 minutes. (If using fresh beef, sausage, and onion, brown and drain).
  3. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes, until fragrant, stirring frequently.
  4. Add spinach, zucchini/squash, tomatoes, quinoa, tomato powder, Classic Tomato Sauce, and 2 1/2 cups water. Simmer 7-10 minutes and adjust seasonings to taste, and liquid as desired. Add basil.
  5. Pour chicken broth into a 9×13 pan. Place pepper halves cut side up into the broth.
  6. Fill pepper halves with meat/quinoa/veggie mixture.
  7. Cover tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes.
  8. Uncover, sprinkle with cheeses, and bake 15 more minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

*Tip for making practically perfect fluffy quinoa: rinse quinoa well under cold water and drain at least 20 minutes (if using Thrive Quinoa, you can skip this step and the draining). Add to hot pan and toast until fragrant. Remove to bowl. Use a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts liquid. Bring liquid (water, beef or chicken broth or bouillon) to a rapid boil. Add toasted quinoa and cover with lid, leaving a slight vent.  Reduce to med-low heat and maintain a strong simmer. Cook 16 minutes or until water is gone. Remove from heat, remove lid. Let rest 10 minutes; fluff with a fork.

**Tip for reconstituting freeze dried cheese: put cheese in a bowl. Very slowly add water, while constantly stirring. Once you notice water beginning to collect on the bottom of the bowl, STOP. You have enough water. Put in a zip top bag and flatten. Place in refrigerator a minimum of one hour. This method produces an amazing reconstituted cheese that tastes great and melts wonderfully.

Give these yummy stuffed peppers a try…sneak a veggie or two into those bellies! Let me know if you make them!

Growing a garden and utilizing my Home Store are two ways that I make PEACE and PREPAREDNESS a part of my EVERY DAY LIFE.

See you soon!

 P.S. If you want to know how YOU can have YOUR own Home Store, you can check out this link, or contact me by clicking HERE or the little envelope icon in the right hand side bar. I’d LOVE to share with you all the great things about THRIVE and how it’s changed my life. If you’d like to earn FREE and half off product, or even earn a paycheck, be in touch! I can help you!

Recipe: Healthy Homemade Popsicles

Just a quick post today to share one of our family summer favorites…

Stacks of homemade popsicles at theEssentialHomemaker.com using Thrive Drink Mixes

 

The summer is winding down but there’s still plenty of requests for Popsicles at my house! My hubby tells me that one of the ways families and kids make some extra money in Peru is by making these Chupetes or popsicles, that they sell at little stands. Of course we had to find a way to make our own. One of my favorite ways to use the Thrive drink mixes is in homemade popsicles….I usually mix a little stronger than recommended, for more flavor punch, but I love that the drink mixes don’t have the artificial colors and flavors in them, and that I can feel good giving them to my kids.

Thrive Drink mixes are perfect for making homemade popsicles!

 

If you use the Thrive Summer Limeade (sooooo yummy!) or Classic Lemonade, remember you need to add your own sweetener. It would even be a good idea to dissolve the sugar in boiling water and let cool. This will give you a better texture in  your final product. You can even throw some fresh or freeze dried fruit into the liquid, in the Peruvian tradition.

 

Making homemade popsicles at theEssentialHomemaker.com using these awesome bags

 

We bought these great little bags on Amazon. We DO have some of the reusable popsicle molds, but I really like the convenience of the bags.

Simply pour your liquid in, secure the tops, and freeze! The kids can hardly wait until they’re done!

Give it a try! You might discover you like the convenience of these health{ier} homemade treats.

Have YOU made your own popsicles? What are your favorite flavors?

Making homemade chupetes is one way we can make peace and preparedness a part of EVERY DAY LIFE.

See you soon!

Pinterest: My Most Popular Pins

teh_top10PI love Pinterest, don’t you? I know some people get intimidated by the sheer volume of info on Pinterest and the whole idea that one must “keep up with the Mrs. Joneses” of the world. Fortunately, I don’t fall into either category, so Pinterest and I have a close relationship. So close, in fact, that Pinterest sent me an email recently telling me viewers favorite Pins from my website. It was kinda fun to see them all, so I thought I’d share them with you, in case you missed them the first time around. I’d love for you to take a look and if you feel so moved, hover over the images in the original posts and click to pin. Here they are, my top 10, listed in popularity from 10 to 1….

TEH-pizzafeat10. Homemade Pizza: amazing homemade crust, easy and flavorful sauce, and topping ideas give you everything you need to know to kick the delivery habit and make your own flavorful, delicious and healthy pizza at home in about an hour…

 

file00018774182909. Water Storage: One of the quickest, cheapest, easiest and MOST IMPORTANT things you NEED to do NOW for your prepping…

 

TEH_tortillas12 8. Homemade Tortilla Mix: Have you ever had homemade tortillas??? Fast, easy, and SO YUMMY! You’ll never want to buy them again….

 

TEH_chcopbcrba7. Choco-Coco PB Crunch Bars: Sweet enough to be a treat, but full of good for you stuff like oats, coconut oil, natural peanut butter, these are a fast and easy bar to satisfy your hungry beasts….

 

TEH_quinoafeat6. Thrive Quinoa Energy Salad: Super healthy and packed full of good for you quinoa and veggies, this is a guaranteed energy booster…

 

 

TEH-100Bread 5. Best Ever 100% Whole Wheat Bread: Everybody LOVES homemade bread, right? Just the smell of it is pure heaven! But I’m sure, if you’ve ever baked bread that you’ve found it loses it’s appeal after a day….well, NO MORE! The recipe will give you soft fluffy bread that keeps its lovely texture for several days….you’re gonna love it!…

 

TEH-DisinfectingWipes-ingredients4. Homemade Disinfectant Cleaning Wipes (reusable): Whether you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint or desire a departure from harsh and toxic chemical lists an arm long, this is a great “recipe” for reusable cleaning wipes to use around your home…

 

TEH_burritos93. Make Ahead Bean & Cheese Burritos: Sometimes in the effort to move away from prepackaged, processed foods, we suffer in the convenience department. With just a pinch of planning and forethought, you can have the convenience of frozen burritos at your fingertips. Your family,  your schedule, your sanity will thank you…

 

TEH_bouillon 2. Veggie, Chicken or Beef Bouillon Mix: We all love the convenience of bouillon, but many, I’m sure, bemoan the plethera of chemical compounds in commercial bouillon cubes/powder. First and foremost on the list of shame at our house is MSG. My son is allergic, so I came up with this quick and easy and MEGA-flavorful mix that includes HEALTHY on it’s list of accomplishments…

 

TEH_creamofsoup3 1. Cream of Soup Mix: Forgive the BLAH pic from one of my earliest posts. This soup mix is anything BUT blah….full of flavor and just as quick and easy as opening a can, but OH SO MUCH better for you. You can customize this Cream of Soup mix in any of a 1,000 ways and never have to run to the store again for a can of condensed soup…

 

Thanks for taking a stroll through memory lane with me….it was fun to see what the most popular pins on my website have been since January 2013 when I started my little blog. I’d love to know YOUR favorite post on my blog, or which post you’ve pinned to Pinterest. I’d also love to know your favorite posts from out there in digiworld that help YOU make Peace and Preparedness a part of Every Day Life so I can go take a gander, so leave me a comment! I always read them!

 

DIY Food: Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Don’t you love convenience? I really love convenience….

There is a certain canned soup company that was part of my cooking repertoire almost daily until a couple of years ago. Their condensed soups made cooking quick and easy. But once you start reading labels, there’s no going back, and I now make my cream of soup mix and use it anytime I need Cream of Mushroom, or Cream of Chicken soup.TEH_creamofsoup3

I didn’t have a convenient substitute for the  condensed tomato soup, until recently, so we stopped eating all the recipes we used to have that used it.  I never loved the condensed tomato soup….it was too sweet and wimpy in flavor, so I am THRILLED that Thrive’s Tomato Sauce Mix is bursting with flavor, doesn’t have the “sweet” taste and is in my Home Store…yep, keep it in my pantry.sauces-tomato_1Sometimes, you don’t want (or have the time) to spend hours slaving over the hot stove. You’ve got a million different directions you’re running and need dinner on the table ASAP. This is a great “kid approved” dinner you can have on the table in 20 minutes or less (I say less, because if you don’t have 8 people in your house, it’ll probably take you a lot less time that it does in our house).


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Serves 4-6
Printable Recipe Card

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup Thrive Tomato Sauce Mix (NOT Tomato Powder)
  • 1 1/2-2 cups whole milk, Half & Half, or cream (I prefer a mix of whole milk and Half & Half)
  • 1 tablespoon Thrive Freeze Dried Basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in sauce pan. In the meantime, combine Tomato Sauce Mix, basil, and garlic powder in a bowl.
  2. When water reaches a boil, whisk sauce mixture into the boiling water.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer and whisk 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add cream, Half & Half, or whole milk, and salt and pepper to taste, and heat through. Add more milk as needed to reach desired consistency.

*To make a more hearty soup, add a tablespoon or two of any or all of the following: Thrive Sausage Crumbles, Thrive Chopped Spinach, Thrive Freeze Dried Chopped Onions, or Thrive Zucchini.

**If you’re making this 100% from your Home Store, you can substitute 1/2 cup Thrive Instant Milk Powder, 2 cups water, and 1 tablespoon Thrive Butter Powder for the whole milk/cream/Half & Half

Serve with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches or a handful of saltine crackers for a delicious and easy meal.


What is YOUR favorite quick and easy “kid approved” meal? Have you had to make any changes to it, in order to make it healthier?

Thanks for stopping by, and as always, I look forward to your comments!

Recipe: Homemade Pizza…Toppings, Toppings Galore

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photosource: morguefile

We’ve got you squared away with an amazing crust, and a delicious sauce…now you just need to know what to top your pizza with! Certainly you can go to the store and buy all the produce and meats and cheeses to do all of the things I’ll suggest, but consider how great life would be if you didn’t have to. Did have to get coats and shoes on the kids and load them into the car to make a run to the store. Didn’t have to wash and peel and chop and shred. Didn’t have to cook and sanitize. That’s a good life. And it’s all possible using your HomeStore ingredients.

Truly, the possibilities here are really endless. Have purists at your table? Then you need CHEESE! I like to do a blend of different cheeses when I make pizza at my house. Especially if I have any little bits and pieces of parmesan, or cheddar hanging around. What about if you don’t have cheese and don’t want to run to the store???

Here is where the HomeStore concept really comes in handy. Right now in my HomeStore, I have Thrive Mozzarella, Cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack cheese. These freeze dried cheeses WILL melt if prepared properly! I’ve found that the trick is to VERY slowly trickle water into your bowl of freeze dried cheese, WHILE STIRRING. STOP once the water begins to collect on the bottom of your bowl. Then, I transfer to a zip top bag and lightly flatten it, and put into the fridge for a couple of hours. I took some of this cheese, prepared as detailed above, to a Pampered Chef party to use on one of their yummy dishes, and it melted like a dream and NOBODY could tell the difference! So yeah, it’s amazing.

If you have traditionalists, there’s pepperoni, which freezes great so you can stock up when there’s a good sale and freeze it. Or how about Thrive Sausage Crumbles… a guaranteed win. No cooking or draining. No nitrates. This is one of my favorite products…use it several times a week…a tablespoon here, a 1/4 cup there. Extremely versatile and easy to use. Simply add enough water to ALMOST cover your amount of crumbles, give it a stir and let sit for a bit (5-10 minutes usually, while I prepare other things) and it’s ready to go. The trick with freeze dried foods, I’ve found is that you don’t want to drown them.

pineapple pizzaTEHLike Hawaiian? Thrive Ham Dices and Pineapple Chunks to the rescue. Like mushrooms on your Hawaiian? We’ve got that, too. Or canned olives that you store in your HomeStore. Or Green Onions?

What about those of us who like everything but the kitchen sink on our pizza? There is Spinach, Chopped Onions, Green Onions, Tomato Dices, Green Bell Peppers, and Red Bell Peppers.

Or you can get all fancy and do a:

alfredoTEHChicken Alfredo Pizza with Seasoned Chicken Slices, alfredo made from Bechamel Sauce Mix, Green Onions, Tomato Dices…you could even use some Bacon TVP if you wanted!
Mexican Pizza with Ground Beef, seasoned with Taco Seasoning, Green Onions, Tomatoes, Olives, Instant Pinto Beans (cooked and mashed) OR Instant Black Beans, Green Chili Peppers
Meat Lovers pizza with Sausage Crumbles, Pepperoni, Ham Dices, Ground Beef
cheesesteakTEHPhilly Cheesesteak Pizza with Beef Dices, Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Onions, Ranch Dressing and a combination of cheeses.
and just about anything else your imagination can come up with!

Hopefully I have shared some ideas that will help you make good use of your HomeStore. It’s really empowering to have everything you need at your fingertips, because of planning and intention.

What’s YOUR favorite pizza topping? Is it something you can store in your HomeStore and have to use at a moment’s notice??

 

Recipe: Homemade Stuffed Crust Pizza

Wanna Save $$$ and Be on Santa’s Nice List???

Well, at least on your FAMILY’s nice list.

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This great pizza recipe will keep you from going out when the weather outside is frightful, and it tastes…well,  utterly delightful.
Even better, you’ll know every single thing that goes into it, and will be happy to provide your family with good food without all the scary words, additives, and fake colors.
And as if that wasn’t enough, this is something  you can make 100% from your HomeStore….oh yeah.

Over the next three posts, I’ll share my tips for making a top notch homemade pizza, right there in your home, in less than an hour. So in case you didn’t realize just how cool this is….you can have homemade pizza on the table in less time than it usually takes to do delivery or take out. You can thank me later.

The first part of a great pizza is the crust. This crust is so versatile and delicious that you can do almost anything with it!
This recipe will make 4 medium pizzas, 3 large pizzas, or what we sometimes do is make two large pizzas, and save some dough in the fridge for cinnamon sticks or individual pizzas for lunch the next day. See, versatile already.

Let’s get cookin’!

When making your stuffed crust pizza, shape each piece onto an oil covered cookie tray or pizza pan. If making a stuffed crust, push the crust up the sides of the pan. If not, you can just push to the edge.

 

TEH-pizza2 Put cheese sticks, either purchased, or cut, around the edges of the pan and fold the crust over the top, pinching/pressing to seal. OPTIONAL: at this point you CAN let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I never do.

 

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Get some butter and melt it, add some garlic salt, and maybe some italian seasoning to taste…you can just go crazy here….or not.

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Brush crust, especially edges, with butter seasoned to taste with garlic salt.

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Bake in a 450ºF oven for 7-8 minutes. Pull out of oven and top with sauce and favorite toppings. The pan is hot so be careful not to burn yourself. Brush the edges again with the butter/garlic salt mixture and return to oven until cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown, about 7-8 more minutes.

Folks, it really is that easy. And all this time, BIG PIZZA had you thinking that you had to get good pizza from THEM. Here’s the recipe and printable recipe card for the Stuffed Crust Homemade Pizza.

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Makes 4 medium pizzas
printable recipe card

Ingredients:

10-12 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 scant tablespoons instant dry yeast
4 cups warm water
1/3 cup oil

Directions:

1. Put 7 cups flour, milk powder, salt, sugar, and dry yeast in a mixing bowl. Add water and mix one minute.
2. Let stand about 2 minutes. Add oil and remaning flour, until mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Knead 5-10 minutes (5 in a kitchenaid type mixer, 10 by hand). Divide into four pieces. (If you don’t want to make 4 pizzas, you can make breadsticks/cinnamon sticks, you can cook up the extra dough on your pizza pan and then freeze, or you can freeze the uncooked dough.)
4. Shape each piece onto an oil covered cookie tray or pizza pan. If making a stuffed crust, push the crust up the sides of the pan. If not, you can just push to the edge.
5. Put cheese sticks, either purchased, or cut, around the edges of the pan and fold the crust over the top, pinching/pressing to seal. OPTIONAL: at this point you CAN let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
6. Brush crust, especially edges, with butter seasoned to taste with garlic salt.
7. Bake in a 450ºF oven for 7-8 minutes.
8. Pull out of oven and top with sauce and favorite toppings. The pan is hot so be careful not to burn yourself. Brush the edges again with the butter/garlic salt mixture and return to oven until cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown, about 7-8 more minutes.
*The possibilities with this really are endless. You can mix in 1 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning into the dough, in step one, or you can mix in 1 teaspoon garlic powder.

 

In my next post, I’ll be posting the yummy sauce that we use on our pizza!
Have YOU tried making pizza? What are your favorite things to put on it?

Recipe: Cauliflower Soup with Chicken and Curry

I am a vocal advocate of comfort foods….they are so….comforting.

Today I’d like to share one of my family’s favorite recipes (no small thing when you’re feeding 8 people, to be in unanimous agreement), perfect for chilly fall and snowy winter days. Perfect for serving with fluffy Parmesan breadsticks.

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This is Cauliflower Soup with Chicken and Curry….so good…so comforting and delicious.

Make up a big pot and hide in the closet with a bowl full  enjoy your family’s delight.

 

Cauliflower Soup with Chicken and Curry
The Essential Homemaker

Serves 9

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 9 Tablespoons flour
  • 9 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups milk or light cream
  • 3 cups chopped chicken
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • curry powder to taste

Directions:

  1. Brown chicken till no longer pink. Add onion and saute until translucent.
  2. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile in soup pot, cook cauliflower in 3 cups of the chicken broth. Cook until tender. Remove from pot and set aside.
  4. Melt butter in pot. Stir in flour and a dash of pepper. Let cook, stirring frequently, 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add broth and cream, whisking until smooth. Cook and stir until bubbly.
  6. Cook and stir 1 minute more.
  7. Stir in onion, chicken and cauliflower; heat thoroughly.
  8. Add curry powder to taste and sprinkle with parsley.
  9. Adjust liquid as needed to reach desired consistency, by adding more cream or broth.

 

If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to go to all those steps, you can take a little shortcut. This gets a yummy meal on your table in as little as 15-20 minutes, with convenient and nutritious items from your own Home Store.

In a Hurry Cauliflower Chicken Curry Soup
The Essential Homemaker

Ingredients:

 

Directions:

  1. Whisk soup mix into 7 cups of cold bouillon/water mixture in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  2. Reduce heat, and add chicken. Simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower and onion and simmer another 5-10 minutes til chicken, cauliflower and onion are softened.
  4. Add salt, pepper, and curry powder to taste.
  5. Add remaining 2+ cups bouillon/water mixture to bring to desired consistency.

I hope you enjoy!
I’d also love to hear about YOUR favorite comfort foods! Post a comment telling me what says “comfort food” to you.