Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Patriotic Project.....

Patriotic Pillowcase!

This is a cute and easy project.  I made these for my cute grandchildren (shhhh...don't tell them...they are in the mail). They are a quick way to give a hug to your children or grandchildren...and it is a very simple process! These are Pillowcases by the way!

You will need the following material:  3/4 yard of 45" fabric for the case, and 1/4 yard of your border fabric.  Use a standard pillowcase as a pattern. Remember to add 1/2" seam allowance to all sewing edges.  I placed the fold of the pillowcase on the fold of the fabric to make it easy. 

Fold the edge piece in half lengthwise

Once your pieces are cut, fold the border in half lengthwise

Pin the border edges to the edge of your pillow case.

Sew a 5/8" seam allowance along the raw edge.

I like to finish off the edges with my Serger.  You could also accomplish with an overcast stitch on your  sewing machine or use pinking shears.

Pin right sides together.

Sew long the raw edges along the raw edges only.

Drop you needle and lift up the pressure foot to turn the corner.  Finish the raw edges as you did previously.

Turn the pillowcase inside out.  Use a pointed instrument (I am using my scissors) to poke out the corners.

Press the pillow case to flatten the seams and give a crisp clean look

As I have more  than one grandchild, I used 3 different types of that everyone can have their very own.

This is a fun and simple project that gives them a little hug from Grandma & Grandpa (or Mom and Dad, etc) at night. It's easy and inexpensive to do....

Try it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day....

Image courtesy of

Well, hopefully you are enjoying this Father's Day with loved ones far and near.  We have Father's who are close by, but most are living very far away from us.  Thank goodness for technology that allows us the opportunity to span the miles and keep relationships going.

I'm sure there are wonderful gifts that have been selected and given....and hopefully you are having better weather than we are having here.

So, I thought I would include something fun that Father's and Children can do together....and of course it incorporates food storage staples.  My aim is to show you how these things are really mainstream....everyday items that you will always need and have creative and sometimes memory-building uses for as well.\

This recipe comes from Merrilyn Lloyd's Instant Delite Recipes (copyright 1988).  This booklet has many, many recipes that are really good.  Consider finding a copy for your library.

Incredible Edible Finger Paint
2 rounded Tablespoons of Instant ClearJel
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 packet unsweetened Kool-Aid, any flavor
3/4 Cup Water

Mix instant clear jel, sugar, and Kool-Aid. Add water and beat until smooth.This has the advantage of staying glossy even when it is dry.  It will also pliable.  After it is dry it will not crack or break like ordinary finger paints do The children can lick their fingers.  It tastes good and will not hurt them. 
Make some memories for Dad, or with Dad today. Times goes fleetingly by....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Food Storage....and Baby Announcements!

So, my Daughter and Son-in-law recently wanted to use a creative way to let both sets of "soon-to-be-grandparents" know what the sex of their new baby would be.  Here is how they did it. See the cake above? They used a cake mix (which is a shelf-stable food) and added dye to it to announce what they were having.  Aren't you curious to know what it will be?

Well, although they attempted to make the cake looked green. Of course I had a smart-Alec remark...."Oh's a Leprechaun!".  I soon repented....   We are very excited to see this little the next few months.

Can you see how creative you can get with shelf-stable foods?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chef of my favorites!

A couple of years ago, my sisters, my Mother, and I attended Education week together at BYU.  I felt right at home zipping between and through buildings just like I used to many years ago.  My family members blindly followed me around....they sure were trusting.....particularly since I do not have any real sense of direction. 

At the time, 2 of my other sisters were the Food Storage Specialists in their different parts of the country.  So, we were were careful to attend any classes that dealt with that subject.....enter Chef Brad.  His class was held in the Conference Center....which is one of the buildings farthest away from the main campus.  My sisters and Mom would begin walking from the Tanner building, I would scurry to the Law School parking lot and drive over and pick up my family. Why?  Well, my Mom isn't 20 anymore....and we just didn't want to miss Chef Brad.

He introduced us to cooking with grains and to a wonderful Electric Pressure Cooker.  We were so excited about this device that my Mother bought us all one for Christmas!  He also taught unique ways to incorporate grains of all types into meals.  What a healthy and delicious thing to do.

Later last year, he came to Salt Lake City and one of my sisters and I went to his class.  It cost $40.00, but I felt it was well worth it. He made wonderful things, gave the recipes (verbally), gave us yummy things to eat,  and introduced us to a Steam Oven....which is now on my covet list.

Well, perhaps you have seen the "Fusion Grain Cooking Show" that he hosts on BYUTV.  It's worth setting your DVR for.  Since grains constitute a significant portion of long-term storage....don't you think it is worth learning about?  Do you know any grains besides wheat, and rice?  There are so many unique, but tasty grains. 

To view the episodes have already been broadcasted, check out this link. 

Oh, and just in case you are wondering where I got this close-up shot of him.....I asked him to pose after the SLC cooking class.  He was kind enough to do that.

Here is an episode on a wonderful grain called Amaranth:

Learn more about Chef Brad.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Preparedness 4 deaf......

Sometimes we find the task of becoming more self-sufficient and prepared a bit overwhelming.  Now, imagine that you have family members who have specialized needs. How do you communicate or prepare for them?   I cam across this site....preparedness4deaf.  It gives instruction via verbalization, and Sign Language and it has many videos. 

Someone was really thinking when they prepared this site and these videos. Kudos to them!

Here is one to view ....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dear 16-year-old-me....

I loved this video.  A good friend of mine posted it on her facebook page.  It moved me as it most likely will move you.  However, I have a different perspective.  I lived with the 'aftermath'.  I have 5 darling children....who came into my life in 2 different ways.  Two came the traditional way and 3 came all at once. And, just for your information, the 3 are not triplets. When I married, I had 3 little ones who became my focus and my heart. With the arrival of my last two heart was filled and overflowing.

Listen to this message, or you may be listening to the sobs of a 9-year-old little girl who is crying at night for her mother....who has passed away from Melanoma.  The frustration of an 11-year-old boy who is nearly everything.  And the tears of a 5-year old boy who is crying because he is beginning to forget how his "Momma" you make sure that her picture is out for them all to see.

My kids have all expressed frustration about my insistence that they wear Sunscreen....and with a high SPF.  I don't care about that.....but I do care that they are around to see their children grow up and enjoy the blessings of life.

When I was a teenager, these concerns were not discussed, and I remember a lot of us using baby oil to help get a quick and deep tan.  Holy Cow....what an invitation to disaster!  So, as you listen to the frustrated and sometimes angry comments of your children when you insist that they wear Sunscreen......suck it up.  You can handle this.  If you are a teenager.....suck it up and protect your future. As much as we have made some wonderful family memories together....imagine how much these oldest 3 would have appreciated making them with.....their......Mother.

The Elements.....

Image  courtesy of Stock Photos

Elder Melvin J. Ballard: (he wished) “to call the attention of the Latter-day Saints, and indeed if I had the power, the attention of all the world to the fact that God is speaking through the elements. The earthquakes, the sea heaving itself beyond its bounds, bringing such dire destruction as we have seen are the voice of God crying repentance to this generation, a generation that only in part has heeded the warning voice of the servants of the Lord.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1923, p. 31.)

Have the elements got your attention yet?

Yes, it refers to repentance....but consider that we have been commanded to provide for our families as well.  If you haven't chosen to, or are overwhelmed by the prospect to prepare.....take can do it.  It is a process that begins with a change of heart.  Make becoming more self-sufficient a matter of prayer.  Once you are 'converted' to the idea of having your food storage and emergency preparedness items, you may be surprised at how many opportunities the Lord will place before you.  Your perspective on how to accomplish this task will change and as you enjoy the journey, you will experience peace. 

So, what are the elements telling you?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Featured on "Safely Gathered In"

If all the world is a stage, then I may briefly make an entrance.....stage right!  Recently, I was asked to be a guest blogger on "Safely Gathered In".  I really love this blog and was very flattered that they would invite me to  write a post on Gardening for them.  My thanks for their kindness So, if you wish to see my suggestions on please go here.

As for 'real' garden pictures from my back yard, here is this summer's line-up...

I tried an experiment. I sprouted my the peat pellets....with my 'under-the-counter' lighting (...can you see my cookie jar off to the right?).  The red cubes are actually bins I purchased from a Dollar Store that  I turned upside down.  This was a very simple way to sprout as my extra bedroom that I used previously is occupied this year.  These little stars are making an appearance soon.

Although Broccoli is a 'headliner', I really wanted to point out the PVC Pipe. It is the real star of this picture.  I am a very busy person, like most of you are. There are little holes drilled into the bottom of these pipes.  It is hooked up to my automatic Lawn Sprinkling System.  This is great for me as I don't have to remember to water my garden, it is done automatically.  It is a very cost-effective way to water your plants.

Returning for an Encore onions.  They have survived the winter and are ready to go.  I wasn't sure they would last, but they are just fine.  I may plant my onions in the fall this year to see if they come upon their own next spring. 

And finally, a Perennial strawberry plants.  I love to see them begin to grow so early in the season.  Don't you just love fresh Strawberries?

So, Mary....Mary......quite is your garden growing? 

I hope you and your garden are doing well and that you are looking forward to the fresh produce that hopefully is coming your way. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summertime Salad....anytime!

Not long ago, my son left for his mission.  We had a luncheon at our home after he spoke in our Ward/Church.  Since it had been a very busy weekend (Wedding, reception, baby shower, family, missionary....) I decided to make things that were good, but easy.  Here is one.  This is a Tortellini Salad that I like to make....from my food storage items. It is really delicious!

It went to my storage room and got Olives and a bottle of Vinaigrette.

I cut up dehydrated pepper slices (that I dried a few months ago) and soaked them in hot water (total time was about 20-30 minutes)

This is a 7 ounce box of dried Tortellini.  It's empty because I neglected to take the picture of if when it was full!

Cook the Tortellini according to the package directions

Strain the Tortellini in a colander.

Add sliced Olives and the re-hydrated peppers.

Place ingredients in a gallon Zip-loc bag and pour in Vinaigrette.

Place in your refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight.

I would show you a finished product in a pretty bowl but when the company came, my helpful family members placed the salad in a bowl and served it quickly.  When I thought about taking a picture...well there was really nothing left! 

A variation that you could add would be sliced Pepperoni, which I also have in my food storage.  This is an easy and delicious salad to make from shelf-stable foods that you can store.

Consider giving it a try!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Food a Wedding Reception?

My Niece recently was married (sealed in the LDS Temple) to her best friend...and now husband.  Her mother (my sister) did a lot of work to make this day be a very special one for her daughter. Not only is this sister very creative, but all of my sisters are.  There are 4 of us, and 3 of us are very creative in many ways....and one of us (me!) is very analytical.  However, through the efforts of my sisters, a patient Step-Father and his daughters...this reception was beautiful.

Some of my sisters (and nieces) put together bouquets and boutonnieres, others were cooking and decorating.  I was volunteering for dish duty, ran the errands, hauled items in and out of the house, and made suggestions of how to organize and sequence how things could flow better.  I also took a lot of behind-the-scenes photos and some special family photos.

I loved the food that was planned and prepared for the reception.  It was delicious...and much of it could have been made from your pantry.  No kidding, several were made from shelf-stable foods.  Let's take a look.....

These are Cake Balls.  They are very simple to make, but are delicious and make a nice presentation.  Here is the recipe.....don't blink! Prepare any cake mix and cook in a 9x13 inch pan.  Let cool, and then shred the cake.  Take either a package of Cream Cheese or a container of prepared Frosting. Microwave to soften. Then mix the cake with the softened cream cheese or frosting.  Roll into ball.  Freeze the balls until they are firm...not hard.  Pull out of the freezer and place sucker stick inside.  Dip into dipping chocolate and adorn with the sprinkles of your choice. These are placed into little wrappers (think Reece's Peanut Butter Cup papers).  These are delicious and unique.  They were a crowd favorite.

This is Tortellini pasta that was cooked, placed on skewers and refrigerated.  The sauce is a bottled Alfredo Sauce.  People dipped and spooned away all night eating this entree.

Here it is again with Marinara Sauce....yum!

This is baked Brie cheese.  Brie and Frozen Pastry sheets are easily found in most grocery stores. Here is how it was served...

I have several types of these crackers in my storage.  I actually have had pastry sheets in my freezer to have on hand. The Brie can be easily purchased just  prior to making this dish.  By the way, there were plenty of crackers left...but the Brie disappeared fast!

Also, don't forget that you have to transport some of these things from one location to the other.  Here, my sister had purchased several disposable cake plans very inexpensively.  They stack nicely......

Think outside of the box......Food Storage does not have to be boring!

Its A Matter of .....Science

Seriously, I would have 'tuned in' much more had my BYU professor have taught me like this!  Plus....the chairs look a whole lot more comfortable than when I was in the catacombs of the Eyring Science Center....

The world needs more teachers like this!

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