Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sweet & Sour Sauce

I had a few requests for the recipe that I used to make Sweet & Sour sauce that I canned. Thanks to Jenn and Pep, I have been using this recipe:

8 c tomatoes

4 c onions

4 c green pepper

1 (20 oz.) cans pineapple chunks (do not drain) **I used crushed pineapple

6 c. sugar

8 T. soy sauce

3 c vinegar

1 1/2 c ULTRA GEL

Prepare tomatoes: Wash and remove stems. Dip briefly (30 seconds to 1 minutes according to ripeness) in large pan of boiling water, then in cold water until cool enough to handle. She skins should slip off. Remove cores and chop coarsely.

Cut onions and green peppers in chunks the size of a quarter. Combine tomatoes, pineapple with juice, onions, and green pepper in an 8-10 quart pan. Add sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar, and bring to a boil. Gradually add ULTRA GEL, stirring until thickened.

Spoon into pint jars, leaving 1/2" headspace, and process immediately in water bath canner for 35 minutes.

Yield: 12 pints

Just an added note: I'm not into the big chunks, so I actually blend up my tomatoes, onions and peppers to my desired chunky-ness. You can do what you want.

We like to eat this with chicken and rice. Yum!


Refrigerator Pickles!

I got this recipe from Jenn in my ward and they are amazing! So simple and fast to make and very good!! If you like dill pickles, you have to try these!

Here's the recipe:

Refrigerator dill pickles
15 small pickling cucumbers
40 fresh dill sprigs
2 large onions, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1 qt. water
1qt. white vinegar
1/2 to 3/4 cup canning salt
Cut each cucumber lengthwise into four spears. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, dill, onions and garlic; set aside. In a large pan, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir just until salt is dissolved. Pour over cucmber mixture; cool.
Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Divide and put into quart jars with a lid. Keep refridgerated. make sure you date the jars.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Food Storage Class

Tonight for our Self-Reliance class, we watched a great food storage presentation on DVD given by Wendy DeWitt. She had lots of great ideas and ways to make food storage easier and delicious! I think you can watch the whole presentation on YouTube. Here are the links:

I hope the links work for you. If not, just go to and search for "Wendy DeWitt." Her videos come right up.

Also, she refers to a "book" in the videos. Here is the link to her book. It is a 26 page PDF document and you can print it out. It has some awesome information in it:


Monday, August 10, 2009

More Wheat Recipes

I am behind on posting the recipes from our recent classes, so I am going to catch up on a few of those now.

Whole Wheat Tortillas:

1 c wheat flour

2 c bread or all purpose flour

1 t salt

Combine in a mixer or with bowl and spoon.

Add 1/3 c oil or shortening

Stir or cut into flour. Add 1 cup warm water. Stir with a spoon, or in a mixer with dough hook on speed 2 for 3 minutes. If not using a mixer, knead for 3 minutes on a floured surface. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Cut dough into 12 golf-ball sized pieces.. Flatten into discs and dip in flour. Roll out to 10" diameter on a well-floured countertop. Heat a 10-12" saute pan on medium heat. No grease needed. Place tortilla on pan and heat each side for 1-2 minutes. These may be frozen till needed or refrigerated for a couple of weeks.

They are so yummy, I don't know how I can every eat store bought ones again!

Wheatberry Pineapple Chicken Salad

1 can (15-1/4 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can (10 to12-1/2 ounces) chicken, drained

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 cup cooked whole wheat

Mix together the pineapple, mayonnaise, and salt. Add chicken, almonds and wheat. Stir well. Chill several hours before serving. It is delicious!!!

Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

3 c hot water

2 cubes butter

1 c honey

6 eggs

1 1/2 t salt

2/3 c powdered milk

3 T yeast

15 c wheat flour

Combine all ingredients and just 2 cups of wheat flour and mix on low speed until moist. Continue adding flour one cup at a time until dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium on mixer and let knead for 10 minutes. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled. Punch it down and divide in two equal pieces. Roll out each piece in a rectangle and heavily spread with butter, sprinkle with brown or white sugar and cinnamon. Roll into a long roll and but into about 1 inch pieces. Place them on a greased baking sheet and let rise again. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until done. (I don't think I baked them for a full twenty minutes, they were about done by 10).

Caramel Frosting

2/3 c butter

1 c brown sugar

1/2 c evaporated milk

Heat all ingredents in saucepan until it comes to a boil. Turn heat to low and cook for 2 minutes. Removed from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Beat in 3 cups of powdered sugar.

These turned out surprisingly light and fluffy for being made from all wheat flour. Yummy!


Friday, July 31, 2009

Beans, beans, the musical fruit. . .

So, we had a great class on beans the other night! Thanks to all those who came! I promised I'd post the recipes for the things I made for it. So, here they are:

Black Bean Brownies

1 15.5 oz can black beans rinsed and drained (I just used some that I had previously cooked in a pressure cooker)

3 eggs

3 T oil

1/4 c cocoa (I put a little more than this in)

1 pinch salt

1 t vanilla (I put a little extra of this in, too)

3/4 c sugar

1/2 c milk chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients (EXCEPT chocolate chips), pour into 8x8 pan and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

They really were delicious--see, they are half gone already!!!

Fast Refried Beans

1 1/2 c boiling water

3/4 c pinto or black bean flour (I grinded up pinto beans)

1/4 t cumin

1/2 t chili powder

Mix dry ingredients and whisk into water. Cook for 1 minute over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce to low. Cook 4 minutes.

I added some salsa, too. I have to say that I didn't really like these. But, I did add more seasoning to them (garlic salt, more chili powder and cumin) and put them in the fridge. I have been afraid to try them, though. . . I need to, just so I can say if they are any better. . .

This is a cream of chicken soup base. It is 5 T white bean flour, 1 3/4 c water and 4 t chicken bullion. Whisk for 3 minutes.

It turned out sooooo yummy! I am definitely going to be making this on a regular basis! (It had been sitting out on my table for awhile before I remembered to take a picture, so sorry about it not looking fresh. :)

I also attempted canning some black beans. I washed and rinsed the beans and put 1/2 c of beans into each pint jar and filled with almost boiling water.

You have to can them in a pressure cooker (thanks, Mylea) for 75 minutes. They are just like a can of beans from the store now! But it only cost me pennies. . .

I guess I forgot to take a picture of my baked chimichangas, but it is my favorite new meal (thanks Nancy)!!! You can put just about anything you like in a tortilla, wrap it up like a burrito and bake it at 375 for 15 minutes. You get a nice crisp chimi without all the fat from the oil (even though they taste so good that way, too!). I put cheese, black beans, Mexican rice, chicken and salsa in mine and loved them!

And, drumroll is the cookie recipe you have been waiting for:

Oatmeal cookies with beans

I think I need a catchy name for these. . . any suggestions are welcome!

This makes a very large batch. You can half it, but I like to make a lot and put them in the freezer or give them away. :)

2 c white beans, cooked and pureed

2 c sugar

2 c brown sugar


4 eggs (I use powdered eggs)

2 t vanilla


4 c oat flour (You can grind up whole oat groats, or blend up rolled oats in your blender until fine--I've done it both ways and they both work great)

5 c quick oats

2 t baking soda

2 t baking powder

1 t salt

2 t cinnamon (opt.)

1 c coconut (opt.)

2 c chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

2 c white chocolate chips--this is my favorite combo. You can do all chocolate chips, or raisin, or half and half, or half white choc. chips and half craisins is super yummy, too. Whatever you like.


Drop on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 min.

They are so yummy. My kids are always asking to make "bean cookies."


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wheat Meat Class

So, last night we had a great class on how to make gluten out of wheat, or "wheat meat." Gluten is a part of the wheat that is mostly protein. It is a very healthy alternative to meat and our bodies can digest it very easily (unless you are gluten intolerant). Here is what we did:

First, you start out making a dough with whole wheat flour and water. I made a large batch 7 cups of water and 12-15 cups of flour. Mix and then set aside for 20 minutes. (If you will not be getting back to it for longer than 20 minutes, refrigerate).

Here is what my dough looked like:

Next is the rinsing process. I split the dough into small balls for the class so everyone could experience making their own gluten. Doing it myself, I would split the dough into sizes slightly larger than a softball. You need a large bowl filled with room temperature water. Then start kneading your dough ball in the water. Aren't these ladies doing a great job? :)

The dough will pretty much fall completely apart, get stringy, and then start to stick together again. This is the gluten. Once you have a small ball of gluten, the rest will start to cling to it. The bowl of water will be left with bran and starch from the wheat. Good job gals!

This is what your water will look like afterwards. White with bits of bran on the bottom. There is so much you can do with this water! Save it in a glass jar and put it in the fridge. Add the water to just about anything, and you can scoop off the starch for soups, thickenings and other stuff. You can use the bran to make cereal, muffins, cakes, and tons more. That will have to be another post.

Once you have your ball of gluten, take it back to the sink and rinse it off a little more under room temperature water. This is what it looks like when you are done:

Now you have a couple choices of how to cook it. You can steam it. This is my homemade steamer--just a stock pot with a metal colander. Just place your gluten pieces in the steamer for about 30 minutes. I turn them over after 15 minutes.

This is what they look like after they have been steamed:

My favorite thing to do with them is to ground them up. You can use either a food processor or a blender to easily grind up the gluten to look like ground beef.

It makes a great meat extender, or you can just eat it by itself. I made taco meat out of the ground gluten and didn't add any real meat at all. It tasted great!

Another cooking method is to simmer and bake. This is the raw gluten (straight from being rinsed). I rolled it out and cut it into strips.

Then I simmered some in chicken broth and some in beef broth. There are some great seasoning mixture recipes in "The Amazing Wheat Book" by LeArta Moulton. It really is an amazing book. I am looking into make a bulk order of it to get it cheaper, so if you are interested, let me know.

After simmering the gluten (and it absorbes the liquid really fast!) spread it out on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 30-60 minutes--until texture is chewy. Turn them over a few times while baking. You can also stick them in your dehydrator. They turn out kind of like jerky.

This really is just a small start as to what you can do to with wheat and gluten. You can make large batches of gluten and prepare it how you would like and it will keep in the freezer. I hope this insipires you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wheat 101: Wheat Nuts

Thanks to all who made it to our Wheat 101 class last night! Here is one of the things that we did:

Wheat Nuts

What are wheat nuts? They are like corn nuts, but made out of wheat. So, one thing you can do with all that wheat sitting in your pantry. : )

I had these for the first time last summer and have made them several times since. It is so easy and they are a yummy snack. Here's how to make them:

I use 3 cups of wheat (red or white) and about 8 cups of water. Put them in a pan on the stove and simmer for 1 hour. (Alternative: Put it in a crockpot on low before you go to bed and they will be ready in the morning)

When they're done, drain any excess water. This is what you get:

I take a medium sized pot and fill it with oil (about 2 inches from the top). I use a metal strainer ($2.50 at Wal-Mart) to create my deep fryer. Fry no more then 1/2 cup of wheat at a time. When the oil gets hot (this is tricky because I don't know what temperature my oil is at. I warm it up on medium-high (7-8 on my knobs) and then move the heat down to medium (6). Put 1/2 cup of wheat for 2 minutes. I then dump the kernels onto a paper plate to let dry and start another batch for 2 minutes. You have to fry them twice to get them crunchy, so after my second batch is done, I put them on a second paper plate and then put the kernels on the first paper plate back into the pot for another 2 minutes. Because life is kind of hectic, I put the lid over the wheat when it is the first time in the fryer so I can keep track of which fry time it is--first or second. . .

And the second time in the fryer, I leave the lid off. That way, whatever I do in the two minute increments I don't have to remember how many times the wheat has been fried.

This is what it looks like after one fry:

Ater the second time frying, I put them ont a large cookie sheet covered with paper towels and then sprinkle them with some seasoning. Our two favorites are garlic salt, and cinnamon and sugar. They are a great snack (don't eat too many at first. . . it's a shock to the body if you haven't been eating whole wheat . . . and whole wheat bread doesn't count. Trust me). I like to sprinkle the garlic ones on salads to give them a little crunch or add it to trail mix or granola.

It sounds kind of times consuming, having to be at the stove every two minutes, but I tend to do a lot of organizing in my kitchen while I'm waiting for the timer to go off. It's amazing how much you can accomplish in those two minute increments while you're waiting for the wheat to fry.

So, here's the bottom line in case you've gotten lost in my explanation:

Cook your wheat either on the stove or in the crockpot. Fry it twice for 2 minutes each. If they are not crunchy still, fry them a third time and maybe turn up your heat. Then season and eat. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Coupons, Coupons, Coupons!

We had a great coupon class tonight at my house! Thanks so much for those who came and those who shared their knowledge about saving money with coupons!

I have added on several websites and blogs about couponing that should help You all get started. If you every need help getting started, I am more than willing to help, and I am sure the other ladies who shared their tips and tricks!

We will be having another class on Thursday morning at 10AM at my house. Whether you are new to coupons or a pro, please come!

Food Storage 411

Here is a great article to read about what you need to know about food storage!

It is well worth the read.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I've heard a rumer. . .

. . . that the cannery will be lowering their prices! The new prices will go into effect on June 20th. I do not know what they are, but everything will be lower except potato pearls and flour. So, that will effect our dry pack canning this month, but I do not know exactly how yet. I will keep you posted. This will be great for our monthly canning, won't it?

Here's the link to the order form:,11666,8133-1-4352-1,00.html

One more note about the cannery--when I was there last month, I saw that they have small mouth canning lids for $.99 a box!! That is the best price I have seen! So, when you start canning, get your lids there! (If you are really interested and not wanting to drive over there--for those in the ward, let me know and I can totally pick some up for you when I go to get the stuff for canning).

WinCo Bulk Bins

So, some of you may know this, but at Winco in the bulk bin section, you can actually order 25# bags of food. They usually have some bags out on a shelf in that section like rice, beans, oats, birdseed. . . . But, you can special order anything! If you look closely on the label (towards the top left), it tells you what size of bag it comes in (for example, 25# bag) and down on the right, there is a price for the 25# bag.

Why is this so great? Winco has a much wider variety of grains and legumes than what the cannery offers. If there is something that your family eats a lot of you can get a big bag or if it's something that you want to learn how to cook with, you can try out a little and then get a 25# bag. Then order extra cans for our monthly canning session and can it! :) Most grains and legumes are okay to can in the #10 cans. It will give more variety to your food storage. So don't be afraid to try something new. I bought some pearled barley today and that is what I am going to learn how to use. I'll keep you posted on what I do with it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Powdered Milk

Since we have been canning powdered milk for the past couple months, I thought some of you might be interested in this incredible packet I found through an LDS Food Storage Yahoo group that I belong to. It has TONS of information about powered milk, including many recipes. If you have time, please look through this!! It is amazing!!

Pandemic Preparedness

Here's a good article I just read. I have been reading about the pandemics in the past and how they each started out mild and then came back for a second wave much stronger. Whether or not the swine flu is going to become a major pandemic or not, it would be a great thing to be prepared for one!

The church has a whole bunch of information that has been on the Provident Living website for quite awhile now about pandemic preparedness. It's pretty tricky to find. Here is the link:,11666,8041-1-4414-1,00.html

It is just another way that we can work on being prepared for things to come. I remember around a year ago there was an article in the Ensign (sorry I can't properly reference it, I'll have to look it up) about some sort of preparedness topic. Anyway, there was a picture along with the article that had all sorts of preparedness items in it, such as a flashlight, food, etc. Also in that picture, there was a mask (a surgical mask, or N95 respirator is what the church recommends). Anyway, part of being prepared for any kind of pandemic that could happen.

Going right a long with this is building up your 3 month supply of foods that you normally eat. As you do your grocery shopping just keep this little rule in the back of you head: Need 1, Buy 2, Need 2, Buy 4. Doing this, your pantry will become stocked with those food that your family eats. In case of any emergency where we might not be able get to the store, or in case store shelves are not able to be stocked.

Just some food for thought!

Strawberries on Sale

Strawberries are on sale at WinCo right now 4lbs for $2.98. One per purchase. Go and make some jam!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Water Storage

Probably the most important thing that we can have in our food storage is WATER. It doesn't matter how much food we have, we need water to survive. So, you might want to make this move up to the top of your food storage priority list if you do not have your water storage yet. We have been asked to store a 2 weeks supply of water. You should have a gallon of water per person in your family per day.

This comes straight from

Drinking Water

Water Storage Guidelines

Commercially bottled water in PETE (or PET) plastic containers may be purchased. Follow the container’s “best if used by” dates as a rotation guideline. Avoid plastic containers that are not PETE plastic.

If you choose to package water yourself, consider the following guidelines:


Use only food-grade containers. Smaller containers made of PETE plastic or heavier plastic buckets or drums work well.

Clean, sanitize, and thoroughly rinse all containers prior to use. A sanitizing solution can be prepared by adding 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to one quart (1 liter) of water. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.

Do not use plastic milk jugs, because they do not seal well and tend to become brittle over time.

Do not use containers previously used to store non-food products.

Water Pretreatment

Water from a chlorinated municipal water supply does not need further treatment when stored in clean, food-grade containers.

Non-chlorinated water should be treated with bleach. Add 1/8 of a teaspoon (8 drops) of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) for every gallon (4 liters) of water. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.


Containers should be emptied and refilled regularly.

Store water only where potential leakage would not damage your home or apartment.

Protect stored water from light and heat. Some containers may also require protection from freezing.

The taste of stored water can be improved by pouring it back and forth between two containers before use.

Additional Information
Note: The following links are not to official Church publications but are provided as additional resource material:

Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted.
If water comes directly from a good, pretreated source, then no additional purification is needed; otherwise, pretreat water before use. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. Consider using plastic bottles commonly used for juices and soft drinks.
Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

Water Purification Guidelines

If your water supply has become polluted, it should be purified before use. Depending on the nature of the contamination, water may be purified by boiling, disinfection, or filtration.

Bringing water to a rolling boil for 3 to 5 minutes will kill most water-borne microorganisms. However, boiling of water may concentrate toxic chemical or heavy metal contamination.

Household bleach, if used properly, may be used to kill microorganisms. See Water Storage Guidelines for more information. The use of bleach does not address toxic chemical or heavy metal contamination.

Water filters can be effective in purifying water contaminated with microorganisms, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals. The effectiveness of these products depends on design, condition, and proper use. Water filters produced by Seychelle have been used successfully by Church missionaries for many years.

To learn more and to find local emergency preparedness stores, search the Internet for water purification and emergency preparedness supplies.

Food Storage Calculator

With all the dry pack canning we have been doing, I thought it might be helpful for you to know what the recommendations are for a basic year supply of food for your family. There are many different calculators online. You can google it or you can use one that I found. Go to this link:

You can personalize it to give you the amounts you need. If you have any questions or can't get the link to work, please let me know.

This is just something to help you get started. For me, food storage became so much easier when I knew the amount of food that I needed!! It gives you an end goal. But, also keep in mind this is just the very basic food that will keep you alive for a year. Once you have accomplished this goal, you can move on to some things that might make it more pleasant to live on food storage for example, spices, dried foods, and chocolate chips. :)

Remember: Being prepared means doing a little bit all of the time, rather than a lot all at once and then . . . NOTHING!

Happy storing!


With springtime here, I thought I'd share this with you. I was actually looking for something else on and I saw that they have a new section on gardening! Here's the link:,11677,6637-1,00.html. There is a ton of great info there!! I love and count on the ward garden to get great produce and to learn how to garden, but I do use my own backyard garden to experiment and try to grow things and use what I have learned.

Good luck with your gardens!


Welcome to the Caldwell 9th ward Self-Reliance blog!

I am going to be posting all sorts of great information, links, recipes, ideas that have to do with self-reliance. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know! For those in the ward, I will be starting with info that I have previously email out, but stay tuned. . .