When it comes to storing foods for an emergency, the first big challenge is identifying what types of storable foods will best meet the nutritional needs and tastes of each individual. Once that step has been taken care of, the next big challenge is to determine how much of each type of food should be stored to make sure that, in the event of an emergency, each individual is adequately provided for. While storing too little food could have potentially disastrous consequences, storing too much food can be both expensive and wasteful. In fact, with the proliferation of companies offering vast varieties of high-quality prepackaged emergency foods—shipped right to your door—food hoarding can be a real problem. Being that the amount of food storage you need is mainly dependent upon the size of your family and the length of time you want the food to last, here are some simple guidelines you can follow to help better prepare.
When storing water for emergencies, a good rule to follow is 1 gallon of water per person per day, with two quarts designated for drinking, and two quarts for food preparation and sanitation. You want to have enough water for 3 days minimum, which is at least 3 gallons for each member of your family. The best way to store water is in well cleaned, non-corrosive, tightly closed containers. Stored tap water should be rotated every 6 months. Store-bought bottles of water should be rotated once a year. Canned Goods, Fruits, Meats, Vegetables, Beans, and
For these items it’s recommended that you store a minimum of 2 cans per person per day. Based on the 3 day minimum supply, you’ll need 6 cans per person. Storing a variety of each food group would be ideal, i.e., 3 cans of meat, beans, or soups, and 3 cans of fruits or vegetables per person. Watch expiration dates and rotate accordingly. Again, these are minimum amounts, so you will want to store extra. Just try not to go overboard or you’ll end up discarding food that you didn’t get around to rotating.
As a rule you’ll want to store at least 1lb of dried foods per person per day. This can be rice, oats, pasta or other dried grains, as well as dried fruit, flour, sugar, beans, etc. How you select the items that make up the 1lb of dried goods will primarily depend upon the personal preferences, and the individual dietary needs of each family member.
Special Foods and Formulas:
For those who are pregnant or have an infant, formula and jars of baby food, or dried infant cereal are essential items to have in your food storage supply. How much you need depends upon the age of the baby. At the very minimum, you should store enough formula or food to sustain a young infant or an older baby for at least a week. For babies under 6 months powdered formulas will require sterile water, so make sure you have the means to boil water in your emergency kit. Some ready to drink formulas may have short shelf-lives and require refrigeration, so try to find suitable alternatives. Jarred baby food should be kept on hand, along with infant cereal for an older baby who is eating more than straight formula. Again, figuring out the proper amounts to store depends on the age of the child. Keep in mind that nursing mothers will need more daily water and nutrition than mothers who are not nursing their babies.
When planning for disaster, the needs of any 4- legged family members should be factored in as well. You will want to have enough emergency pet food on hand to last several days to a week. In some cases, depending on the size of the pet or the type of food it eats, buying just one extra bag of dried food or an extra case of canned food, could sustain the pet for a month. Don’t forget to factor in your pet’s water needs as well. The 1 gallon per day rule should be more than enough.
For those who wish to store foods primarily in bulk and for longer periods of time, there are many calculators online to help make sure that all family members are adequately provided for.
Kathy Hamilton is an emergency preparedness expert. She has been teaching classes on topics ranging from food storage to guns for over 15 years.
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Fish is an important part of any healthy diet. It has a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your heart. It also has less fat than beef, pork, or chicken. So, for a few meals a week, if you eat fish instead of steak, or pork chops, or chicken casserole, this can help you get and stay slim.
Fish is also really easy to make! It cooks a lot quicker than other meats, so it is perfect for a night when you’re super busy. One of the quickest ways to cook fish is to broil it. It’s fast and easy, and very yummy!
If you’ve never broiled fish before, it is very easy. Here is all you need to do:
- Preheat your oven to broil.
- Get some moisture in your fish. Dry fish is no good! When broiling, your fish is so close to the heat source, so it can dry out if you’re not careful. Don’t worry, this is easily prevented. When I have time, I like to marinade my fish before broiling it. Because fish is so flaky, it doesn’t need a lot of time to marinade. Even if you only have 15 minutes to marinade your fish, that will still make a huge impact. You can mix up a simple marinade (just use the same ingredients as your favorite chicken marinade, even those pre-mixed 30 minute marinades that you buy at the grocery store would work). Then, I just throw the fish in there (if you mix the marinade in a large ziplock bag that makes clean up super easy!), and put it in the fridge while the oven is preheating and I’m preparing my other dishes. If you don’t have any time to marinade at all (believe me, I’ve been there!), just drizzle some olive oil on top. Then you’re good to go!
- Line your pan with tin foil, and spray the tin foil with cooking spray (or rub it with oil). Fish fans love fish’s flaky texture. But that flaky texture also means that fish falls apart very easily. So, you want to make sure to prevent this! If you prepare your pan properly, you can ensure that your fish won’t stick, and then it won’t fall apart on you.
- Season your fish well. Fish, especially certain varieties of fish, can be very bland on their own. So, you just always want to make sure to season your fish well before cooking it. Even if you’re only using salt and pepper, never miss this step. Lemon pepper seasoning is very popular with fish. Cajun seasonings are also really good. Fish works well with so many flavors, so feel free to experiment in this area!
- Broil your fish. Broiling fish only takes about 10-20 minutes, so watch it closely. You’ll know it’s done when it i no longer translucent, and it flakes apart with your fork.
This guest post was written by Brandon Beeks who is the author of the home theater screen paint blog at ScreenPaintHD.com
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Here you go!
- Monday: Copycat Olive Garden Chicken & Gnocchi soup, garlic bread
- Tuesday: My husband’s birthday!! We went to our favorite sushi restaurant, yum yum!
- Wednesday: Teriyaki chicken (used my quick cooking method, and cooked in teriyaki sauce the last couple minutes of cooking), brown rice, green beans
- Thursday: Charity’s fettuccine
- Friday: Steak (just hit it with some steak seasoning and cooked it on the George Foreman), ricearoni, brussel sprouts
- Saturday: Zesty shrimp & pasta, salad
- Sunday: Hamburgers, grilled asparagus, banana splits
Tags: meal plan
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Have any of you tried Olive Garden’s new Chicken & Gnocchi soup yet? If you have your mouth is salivating already. If not…try it! It’s a really good creamy soup, a little different than your normal creamy soup because of the gnocchi. Last time my husband and I went to Olive Garden he got this soup with his entree, and I did a Google search for the recipe once we got home because it was so good! This recipe is spot on with the restaurant’s.
One word of warning though: if you’re on a diet, this probably isn’t the recipe for you. If’s full of milk and cream…but as you’d expect it’s delicious! Next time I make it (and there WILL be a next time I can guarantee that!) I’m going to play around with it and try to substitute some of the milk for chicken broth or something and see how that comes out, so I’ll let you know! But for now here is the recipe for the full-fat version in all its glory:
Copycat Olive Garden Chicken & Gnocchi Soup
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces**
- 1/3 c. flour
- 1/2 c. shredded carrots**
- 1 stick celery, chopped
- 1/2 c. fresh chopped spinach
- 2 & 1/2 c. milk
- 1 & 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 3 chicken bullion cubes
- salt & pepper to taste
- 17 oz. pre-made gnocchi**
- On medium heat, cook chicken and garlic in a large pot in olive oil until cooked through.
- Stir in flour and mix well until the flour is cooked into the chicken.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except for the gnocchi.
- Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add gnocchi; cook for 3-4 more minutes till cooked through.
- Chicken: I just bought a rotisserie chicken and cut that up and used the meat from that (weeknight meal), so either that or cooking the chicken like the recipe says will work great.
- Carrots: You can buy carrots already shredded by the bagged lettuce.
- Gnocchi: Even though I loved the soup, I really didn’t like the pre-made gnocchi that I bought. The gnocchi in the one we had at Olive Garden was much better…much lighter (fluffier) and had a better taste. So next time I make this I’m going to try to make my own gnocchi with it. I heard it’s not too hard, and I think it would be worth the extra effort because I think it would make a big difference and the rest of the soup is so good that you want each element to match! I don’t know, it could have just been the brand of gnocchi that I bought…so I’ll play around with it and keep you posted!
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If the name of these hamburgers don’t get you excited, I don’t know what else to tell you about them. All else I can say is that I found this recipe online the other day, made them last week, and my husband and I both liked them so much that he asked me to make them the next night for dinner. I don’t know if we’ve ever done that before! Don’t get me wrong, we eat leftovers, but I don’t remember the last time I actually went through the process of making the exact same dinner two nights in a row. So…here you have it:
Stuffed Hamburger with Avocado
- 1/4 c. mayonnaise
- 1/4 c. Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp prepared steak seasoning
- 1 ripe Hass avocado, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- garlic salt**
- 4 slices cheese**
- 4 hamburger buns, sliced**
- spinach leaves
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- Prepare grill (or plug in George Foreman grill).
- Combine mayo & mustard, set aside.
- In a bowl, combine meat, Worcestershire sauce & steak seasoning. Mix well. Divide meat mixture into 4 equal portions and form each portion into two thin patties; set aside.
- Gently combine avocado, lemon juice and garlic salt, making sure all the avocado is covered.
- Top half of the patties with the avocado mixture, then top each with another patty, pinching to seal, forming a smooth edge.
- Grill over medium-hot coals for 5-6 minutes per side or until no longer pink inside (I just cooked ours on the George Foreman grill!). Just before removing from the grill, place a slice of cheese on each patty & allow to melt.
- Place buns cut side down on the grill to toast. Remove burgers & rolls form the grill.
- Serve burgers with mayo, mustard, ketchup, spinach, & tomato slices.
- Ketchup: the original recipe didn’t call for ketchup (just the mayo & mustard), but the second night I made these we put ketchup on them and liked them better with it.
- Garlic: The original recipe said to put roasted garlic on top of the avocado, and it told you how to make the roasted garlic, but I thought that just took too much time, so I just used garlic salt. I’m sure the roasted garlic would make them taste even better, so if you have enough time to deal with that you can view the original recipe.
- Cheese: The original recipe called for Jalsburg cheese, but I just used muenster and it tasted great.
- Buns: The original recipe called for ciabatta rolls, but I just used normal wheat hamburger buns.
Tags: Avocado Stuffed Hamburgers, Stuffed Hamburgers
Posted in Budget Cooking, Quick Recipes, Simple Weeknight Meals! | No Comments »
Some more ideas for you:
- Sun: Dinner at my cousin’s house. She made artichoke chicken. I brought strawberry daiquiris.
- Mon: Southwest salad (romaine, rotisserie chicken, corn, avocado, shredded cheese, black beans, topped with ranch dressing mixed with bbq sauce)
- Tues: Cod on George Foreman grill, green beans, pasta roni
- Wed: Avocado Stuffed Burgers, salad
- Thu: Avocado Stuffed Burgers, chips & salsa (yes, we really did like these enough that we had them two nights in a row!)
- Fri: Zesty Shrimp & Pasta (we could seriously eat this once a week for a year and not get sick of it!)
- Sat: Valentine’s Day…we went out to eat
Tags: meal plan
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My cousin invited us and a couple of our other cousins over to their house for dinner last Sunday. She was making the artichoke chicken recipe that I gave her (I made it once when we had them over for dinner and she fell in love with it and makes it all the time now too!). Everyone was bringing something for the meal, and she asked me to bring rice to spoon the sauce over. But where’s the fun in that? So, I decided to also bring a yummy drink for us all to have with dinner.
As most of you know, my husband and I don’t drink alcohol. But why should that stop us from being able to have a “special” drink every once in a while? It shouldn’t! I wanted to bring strawberry daiquiris, but I didn’t have a recipe for that, so I found this one on recipezaar. We were so surprised at how great these were with such simple ingredients! They have a really good mix of sweet and tart, which I love. The kids were fighting over the last few sips of these!
These will be a great go-to for summer bbq’s. Everyone brings different salads and sides, but who thinks to bring a yummy frozen drink? Well, now you do!! And now you’re the most popular person there.
Strawberry Daiquiris (Virgin)
- 4 c. frozen strawberries
- 6 oz. pink lemonade concentrate
- whipped cream**
- Combine in blender, process until smooth.
- Gradually add ice until desired consistency.
- Pour into glasses.
- If desired, top with whipped cream.
- Water: You might have to add a little water to these to get them to work with the blender. Add a little bit if you need to loosen them up a bit, they’ll still taste absolutely great.
- Whipped Cream: The recipe didn’t call for whipped cream, and I didn’t add it when I made them, but I just went back to the original recipe on recipezaar, and one of the pictures of it had whipped cream on top. I think these would taste even better with the whipped cream…I wish I would have thought to add whipped cream to them the first time I made them…next time I make them I’m DEFINITELY going to add the whipped cream!
- Rum: If you prefer the non-virgin variety, the original recipe called for 3/4 c. light rum…so go ahead and knock yourself out!
Tags: Strawberry Daiquiris, Virgin Strawberry Daiquiris
Posted in Budget Cooking, Desserts, Drinks, Quick Recipes, Simple Weeknight Meals!, So Easy it's Embarrassing | 1 Comment »
My cousin Charity is a great cook, I’m always getting a lot of great recipes from her. This is her Fettuccine Alfredo recipe. I’m not sure if she made this up on her own of got it from someone, but I made it the other night and Chase and I both absolutely loved it! It’s quick and easy enough that you can make it on a weeknight, but it’s also good enough to cook for a more special weekend meal, or when you’re having company over.
Please don’t let the fact that it’s made with a packet make you think it’s not absolutely GREAT. The ingredient list might seem a little bit interesting…but TRUST ME, the flavors blend SO well together! If you don’t already have a good alfredo recipe, here’s a great one for you. Of, if you do already have one that you like, still try this one because it really has a great new unexpected twist that you’ll like! It’s almost like a southwest twist, with the tomatoes and the cilantro…like I said, just trust me on this one and try it!
Charity’s Yummy Fettuccine
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 8 oz mushrooms, cut in quarters
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp white wine**
- 1 small can diced tomatoes
- 1 pkg Alfredo mix
- 1/2 pt (1 c. heavy cream)
- 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
- handful cilantro, chopped
- grilled chicken or shrimp (optional)
- Cook fettuccine according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic, cook until mushrooms are tender.
- Add wine, boil for a couple minutes.
- Add tomatoes, Alfredo mix, cream, & Parmesan cheese. Cook another couple minutes.
- Add cilantro just before serving over fettuccine (salt & pepper to taste).
- The original recipe didn’t call for this, but I added grilled chicken when I made this…mmm! I think it’d also be really good with shrimp. Just a suggestion!
- Wine: We’re not an alcohol drinking family, but sometimes I cook with wine, because all of the alcohol cooks out when you cook with it. So I just buy white cooking wine (can be found in any grocery store on the shelves, usually by the vinegar) for recipes like this one.
Tags: fettuccine alfredo, southwest alfredo
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Like my last post, I really don’t know what more I can say about Spinach Artichoke Dip. Everyone’s had it, everyone loves it. Seriously, have you ever met someone that doesn’t love spinach artichoke dip?? Think about it! This is my favorite recipe I’ve tried. The cream cheese makes it really rich and creamy. Mmm…
I made this for my family’s big Christmas Eve dinner, and everyone loved it! All my family were making comments like, “excuse me miss fancy nice dish!” and “wow Jasmine when did you learn to cook like this?” (I haven’t seen them in a while…and they don’t need to know that everything I make is so simple!).
Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 1/2 pk frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
- 1 pk cream cheese, softened
- 1 c. parmesan cheese
- 1/2 c. mayo
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained & diced
- 1 squeeze fresh lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- sprinkle of paprika
- tortilla chips or bread
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (except paprika & chips).
- Pour into a baking dish.
- Sprinkle the top with paprika.
- Bake for 20 minutes, till heated through & bubbly.
- Serve with tortilla chips or toasted french bread slices (slice french bread, rub with olive oil, sprinkle w/salt & pepper & bake/broil till crispy).
- I made a double batch of this and was VERY happy that I did!
Tags: Spinach Artichoke Dip
Posted in Appetizers, Once a Month Cooking, Quick Recipes | 1 Comment »
Not much to say about Orange Julius. Everyone’s had it, everyone loves it. If you haven’t had it try it. Enough said.
If you don’t already have a recipe for Orange Julius (I didn’t before a few weeks ago!) then here’s one for you. It’s awesome. So yummy, so easy. Like I said, everyone loves it. My cousin made this for our Appetizer Fest over the holidays for a yummy drink to go with all the appetizers. Then I made it for our Christmas morning breakfast. They’re so easy that my husband’s 13 year old brother took over after the first batch.
- 1 can oj
- 1 c. milk
- 1/4-1/2 c. water
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 12 ice cubes
- Blend all ingredients in a blender.
- Make sure you get a glass of it before everyone else drinks it all, cause it definitely goes fast!
Tags: Orange Julius, Yummy Breakfast Drink
Posted in Breakfast, Budget Cooking, Drinks, Quick Recipes, So Easy it's Embarrassing | No Comments »