Sunday, December 21, 2014

On The List......



Preparedness Websites:

I am a follower of many blogs and websites. I love to learn from those who share the same interests and concerns that I do. I am also grateful when good folks like you all take a few minutes of your precious time to read our blog. It is my hope that you find something of use, a nugget or two to use in your busy daily lives. Every once-in-a-while, I am touched by the kindness of others.  I have fortunate to be mentioned on various lists as a site to visit.  Just to be included on the same lists as other's who are notable is really a great honor.

I have never been at the top of the lists, but I am really just fine with that. I will continue to look and learn, search and find, and experiment and share in my efforts to help you be as self-sufficient as can be on a daily basis.  I do this not because I am preaching a doomsday philosophy. Rather, it is a 'real-life' philosophy.  My husband's business tends to be cyclical.  We have used our food storage, and DIY skills for years.....and have always been fine.

No one knows when they may need to call upon their preparations either in skills or with food or 'stuff.  One thing is for sure, if the day hasn't come to you yet, it most likely will.  I would encourage you not to put your head in the sand.....invest in yourself and your family.  Live with more peace, live with more confidence, live with the opportunity to share and serve others because you have taken the time and interest to become more self-sufficient.

Now, if you want to see where I landed....it was down on the list...but yet still on the list(s). Thank you to those who considered me and those who took a moment to vote.  While looking on the list, please visit the many experts listed!  You will be amazed and hopefully curious to learn more!


It's the end of another year.  It is the time that many reflect and make goals for the future.  Make a list, make a plan, learn!

Consider it!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Baptism....a special gift for that special 8-year old.


I have the opportunity to teach a the CTR-A Class in our Primary. Translation, I teach the 7 to 8 year-old children in our Congregation's Children's program on Sunday.  In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, turning 8 is a very big deal.  All year, we learn about making important choices and preparing for....Baptism.  

Baptism.....

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have learned from scripture that children are accountable for their choices beginning at age 8:
And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands (D&C 68:27).
Being a medical professional, I have always found it interesting that Myelination is usually complete by age 8 as well.  What this essentially means is that nerves are protected and also transmit information faster when this process is completed. Myelination also helps with "executive functioning" which are higher order brain activities that allow for more complex thought and decision-making. That's why I think it is truly inspired that children are thought to be accountable or able to make good decisions by the time they are 8.  

When children of our faith turn 8, they can decide if they would like to be Baptized. This is not a requirement, but an opportunity if the child appears to understand and wishes to take this important step.  The Bishop of the congregation interviews the child to determine whether they are ready and understand the importance of the covenants or promises that come with Baptism.

Baptism Towel:

I had two little class members who had prepared and made the decision to be Baptized recently.  I wanted to do something special for them ahead of time, so I made the following for them:


I found this "CTR" design (which is the 'logo' for the CTR-A Class. It means "Choose the Right") on Etsy.  I think it went well overall, but I found that there were a couple of 'white' spaced in the design which I will be contacting the seller about.

Under the logo, I embroidered the child's name, and the Baptism date.


I wrapped them up with a ribbon.  (There is a poem that can accompanying them, I decided not to include it this time around).  These were delivered before the 'big day'.  The kids said they loved them and one of the boys said he wanted to watch his friend be Baptized as he was slated to be Baptized first. So, his Dad wrapped him in this towel after he came out of the water so that he would be warm while he watched his friend take this important step.  

I like the fact that this small token gift was not given on the day of the Baptism. I didn't want to take away from the meaning and importance of this very special event. I also like the fact that after the Baptism,  it can serve as a reminder of their important decision.  

Take Home Message:

  • If you have an embroidery machine or access to one, this is a very simple project.
  • I paid about $6.00/towel and I really feel that the thread cost is minimal.  I did use stabilizer and topper, but these can be done with scraps from other projects.
  • This can be personalized for each child....and make them feel special.

Consider it!




Sunday, December 7, 2014

Super Easy Black Bean Salsa Soup....on a cold winter day!

Black Beans

It is a December day, and although there is no snow outside (yet), a warm and hearty soup is always so very welcome.

Black Bean Salsa Soup:

I have had this recipe for a long time.  I just forgot about it for some reason. However, today I pulled it out and made it really fast.  It uses Food Storage Staples and is almost a convenience food straight from your pantry.

1. I used Black Beans from my Storage.  I cooked them in my Electric Pressure Cooker.  It takes about 30 minutes.


2. The recipe calls for chicken broth.  I used my First Street Chicken Flavored Soup Base.

3.  It also calls for Salsa. Well, I happened to have some of that on hand!  I can my own.

That's it!  Would you like the recipe?  Those who follow the South Beach diet plan may recognize this wonderful little gem.  

Black Bean Salsa Soup (SouthBeachDiet.com)

Ingredients
2 cans black beans, rinsed (I used beans that I have canned or use my pressure cooker)
2 cans of chicken broth (as noted above, I use a soup base)
1-1/2 cups of chunky salsa (I use my canned salsa)
1 can of green chillies (from my pantry)

Directions:
In a blender of food processor place 1 can of black beans, chicken broth, and salsa.  Blend until smooth.  Place mixture into a saucepan with the rest of the beans and chilies.  Mixture will develop into a wonderful creamy soup. Warm on your stove.  Makes about 6 servings.

Top with a dollop of Sour cream and green onion if 'permitted'.  (I broke the rules and put just a little shredded cheddar on top). 


Take away points:

  • Use beans from your storage....either ones you have canned or dry beans that can be cooked in either your pressure cooker or in a pan after soaking.  It makes use of of your food storage staples.
  • I keep a soup base on hand to use in place of chicken or beef broth.  It is less expensive and takes up a fraction of the space in your pantry.
  • Using your canned salsa is a great because you are able to benefit from your efforts at harvest time.
  • I figure I made this meal for under $3.00.

Try it!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

In Honor of Thanksgiving....


In honor of Thanksgiving this year, I want to thank our wonderful readers who have viewed and contributed to our blog.  I feel blessed to have you as a part of my life and hope to share more time with you all in the future.


I hope your day is also filled with a prayer of Thanksgiving.  Prayer has always been a part of the Thanksgiving tradition even from the very beginning.  Would you like a little proof?  Here is a public notice given to the Plymouth Colony from 1636:

"In ye Meetinghouse, beginning some halfe an hour before nine & continued untill after twelve aclocke, ye day beeing very cold, beginning wt a short prayer, then a psalme sang, then more large in prayer, after that an other Psalme, & then the Word taught, after that prayer - & then a psalme…" and then was followed by dinner, "…the poorer sort beeing invited of the richer."

Today, I wish you health, happiness and joy as you and your family reflect on the goodness that you enjoy.  There is goodness in any situation, no matter how trying.  It is a time for gratitude, forgiveness, and love.  Make good memories today.....

May the Lord bless you all this Thanksgiving Day!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cooking your Turkey.....early!

Why you might want to cook your Turkey early!


This is an encore post from a few years ago.  The information still applies and I hope it helps you prepare for your upcoming holiday!  It takes one more stressor out of your plans!

Many folks are intimidated with cooking a Turkey.  I certainly was the first time I attempted it. After I was done, I remember thinking....'what was I afraid of?"  

I cooked a Turkey yesterday.  I try to reduce the stress of the actual holiday....so that I can enjoy it as well.    Here is the method I use and find that it works well. I hate being the only one who isn't in a position to 'play' before the big feast.  I decided to do this because my husband carves the turkey before we serve it anyway so the presentation is not a big deal


Yes, I am using my Roaster Oven again.  So, I laid out the rack on the counter. See the little blue box.  In my world, this is a 'must'.  Get the Oven Cooking Bags for Turkeys.  They are totally worth it.



Take your thawed Turkey out of the wrapping.  If you are buying a frozen Turkey, let it thaw in your refrigerator for several days.  This is a very safe method to thaw your bird.   Rinse the bird.



Remove the neck and giblet packets from the neck and little 'butt' opening. Rinse the cavities.  After rinsing, I often salt the cavities.



I cut up onion, apples, and always add citrus.  These help keep the meat moist and flavorful.  



Fill the cavities with these.  You can also add herbs such as Rosemary as well.



Follow the directions on the box of the Oven bags by putting in flour and shaking it in the bag.



Tie the legs closed to keep your content inside the cavity.  You can also use toothpicks to keep the other cavity closed.



Place your Turkey in the bag.  I placed the bagged Turkey on the rack and then carefully loaded it into the Roaster Oven. You can place you Turkey in your Standard Oven at this point as well.  



Put water into your oven as well, set the temperature gauge, put the lid on, and wait until it is cooked.  You hopefully can see the little red 'dot' on the Turkey.  I am a big proponent of using these little gauges.  Why?  they not only ensure the Turkey is cooked, but you may also be surprised at how fast your Turkey can cook not only in the bag, but also in the Roaster.  The combination can cut some time off the process.



On the day of Thanksgiving, I use my Roaster Oven to warm the Turkey meat inside another Cooking Magic bag with a big of water.  The meat is still moist and delicious.  You can make gravy with the drippings ahead of time and warm it either in a crock pot or in a saucepan.  Then I serve it to to everyone!

Consider it!

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