Friday, September 30, 2011

National Emergency Preparedness Month

  As September comes to a close, National Emergency Preparedness Month does as well. This is not to say we shouldn't always be preparedness-minded. Being truly prepared for life's unexpected emergencies means constantly focusing on what areas your family could improve on.
  Financial security is one area of special importance to me and my husband. During my husband's 19 month lay-off, we were able to remain afloat because we had already learned many of the keys to budgeting. We had no debt prior to his layoff, and intended to keep it that way...and we did!
  If there are some things your family could improve on in the "finances department", here are a few great financial calculators to help get you started.


   Although I'm not particularly fond of standing in my kitchen all day canning, it's something I can't help but do each year. I'm compelled to do it, and I'll tell you why. If you have never had home-canned peaches or pears, or pumpkin pie made from home-canned pumpkin, you have missed out on one life's true pleasures.
   This post was intended to come two weeks ago; mother nature had other plans, however, as our peach harvesting season came late for the third year in a row. So I have started my peaches a little late, which means pears and grape juice will be late as well in my home. I have, however completed homemade apricot-pineapple jam and tomato sauce (I will try to get a post up about that). In the coming weeks you will want to watch for posts on canning pears and pumpkin.
  I have quite a storage of home-canned products. I have found canning my own foods saves my family money, builds our storage, and besides all that; it tastes better and is healthier than the stuff you buy in the store, which is also what so attracted me to Shelf Reliance's THRIVE line. So if canning is something you've always wanted to try, but just haven't gotten around to you go!

Canning Peaches 

  Place new jar lids in a saucepan, cover with water and place on the stove over medium heat.
  Make a "simple syrup" by placing 3 cups sugar and 4 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low until ready to use. One recipe of simple syrup will fill about 4 quart jars.
  Wash peaches in cool water to rinse off any debris or pesticides (Note: A half bushel of peaches will yield about 15 quarts of peaches). 
  Working in batches, blanch peaches for about 45 seconds in boiling water (I use a stockpot with a steamer basket, so I can easily get the peaches in and out); immediately transfer peaches to a sink filled with cold water. Slip the skins from the peaches (they should slide off easily using your fingers), cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. You may either quarter the peaches or keep them halved (I quarter mine so I can save my wide-mouth jars for pears).
  Begin filling your quart jars with peach quarters (fill to within 1 inch of the top of the jar), turning the cut sides in so the pretty side is facing the outside of your jar (doing this also allows you to fit more peaches in each jar). Place 1 teaspoon "Fruit Fresh" (found in your supermarket canning section) in each quart jar.
  Fill jars to within 1 inch of the top of the jar (where the ring portion of the jar begins) with simple syrup.
  Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth. Place a lid on top and a screw-top jar ring; screw tight.
  Place filled jars in a large pot and cover with warm water. Place pot over high heat; bring to a boil. Process jars (meaning keep the jars in boiling water) for 30 minutes. Remove jars from pot and place on a cloth on the counter. Let the jars of peaches rest undisturbed until completely cool- you should start hearing soft popping noises as the jars cool, this is the lids sealing. Once all the jars have cooled completely (about 3 hours), check to make sure all jars have sealed-do this by lightly touching the center of the lid; if you feel the lid give under your finger, that jar has not sealed. Place jars that did not seal on their own in the fridge and use within a couple days.

Monday, September 19, 2011

And The Winner Is...

The winner of the first ever "THRIVE With The Basics" giveaway is...

Brooke Brooks
You now have 48 hours to contact me (before 9:00 am MST Wednesday). If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.
The winner needs to Contact Me with their e-mail address and shipping address. I will process the order for your items and have it shipped to you, once I have received your information (processing and shipping may take 1-2 weeks).


True Random Number Generator 5 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Monday, September 12, 2011

THRIVE With The Basics Giveaway-1 Week Left

Only 5 days left to enter the 1st ever giveaway here on my blog. Here are the details. Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to win over $30 in great products!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Using Ricotta Cheese Whey In Baking & Pinto Bean Bread

  I have been making my own Ricotta Cheese for a few months now and, until yesterday, never took the time to figure out what to do with the whey that remains once the curds are strained. I was certain there were some good uses, but what I found astounded me. Whey is a complete protein with tons of fantastic benefits. Whey can be given to cats and dogs to help their coat stay shiny, can be used to water plants, can be used in place of water when cooking rice or noodles to add flavor, but best of all, is a fantastic substitute for liquids in baking breads (it substitutes straight-up for milk or water, cup for cup). A light clicked on in my head, and I realized that I had been dumping something magical down my sink every time I made ricotta cheese. Well, that won't be happening again! Whey can be stored in glass jars (with the lid on) in the fridge for several weeks, so you better believe, that's what I'll be doing.
  I have been wanting to try a recipe for pinto bean bread in the THRIVE Cookbook (contact me to find out how to get this fantastic book for only $14.95)for quite some time, so I decided to adapt the recipe using the whey and see how it turned out. The results were phenomenal! I think the next time I make this bread (you bet there will be a next time!) I think I'll do part white and part wheat flour to make it even healthier still. Here's my recipe:

Pinto Bean Bread
2 c. ricotta cheese whey (or any other cheese whey), at about 110 degrees
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 c. THRIVE Pinto Beans, cooked, pureed, and unseasoned
2 Tbsp. THRIVE Iodized Salt
2 Tbsp. THRIVE White Sugar
2 Tbsp. shortening
6-9 c. THRIVE White Flour

Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer the warm whey and yeast. Add beans, salt, sugar and shortening. With the mixer on low, begin adding flour until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn mixer up to medium speed; add more flour if dough becomes sticky (you want a soft pliable dough and because of the beans, it will naturally be a little more sticky, so continue to add flour until it no longer is). Turn mixer to high and mix about 5 minutes, until you have a smooth, soft dough. 
  Turn dough into a lightly greased bowl. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the dough with it. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  Turn dough onto a very lightly oiled counter; divide into 3 even loaves (I use my kitchen scale), and place in loaf pans. Cover loaves with a clean cloth and let rest in a warm place until doubled in size (2-3 hours, depending on how warm your house is).
  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes, or until golden brown (I baked mine 30 minutes, brushed the tops with egg-wash, then baked an additional 15 minutes).

  If you are getting low on any of the THRIVE products required for this delicious recipe, contact me, or order from my Shelf Reliance website.

How To Make The Perfect Pie Crust

Check out my post here (for the link, click the banner below).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

THRIVE With The Basics First Ever Giveaway!

Giveaway has ended.
With September being "National Emergency Preparedness Month", I decided there is no better time to do my first giveaway here on my blog! 

You have until Friday, September 16, 2011 (@ midnight MST) to enter. The winner will be announced Monday the 19th on this blog. Once the winner is announced, he/she will have 48 hours to contact me. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

One winner will receive the following:

THRIVE 6 Grain Pancake Mix Pantry Can (Retail Value $5.69)

THRIVE Taco TVP Pantry Can (Retail Value $7.29)

Burn Free 2 oz. (Retail Value $5.95)

Dynamo Crank LED Flashlight with Cell Phone Charger (Retail Value $15.99)

 Total Retail Value of these products is over $30!
If you do not live close by and win, I will have your gift shipped to you.
  Each comment counts as a separate entry.  You must be a follower of "Thrive With The Basics" to qualify (I will check so don't forget this step). There are 4 ways to enter, you can do just one of them or all 4.

This is a fantastic opportunity to try a couple THRIVE foods that I absolutely love, and to add to your emergency supplies as well. Good luck!

Emergency Preparedness Screamin' Deals!

Did you know September is “National Emergency Preparedness Month”?

  With all the delicious THRIVE foods Shelf Reliance has to offer, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the fantastic emergency preparedness supplies we have as well. When I first began thinking about emergency preparedness supplies, I have to admit, I was a bit overwhelmed. I wasn’t sure what my family needed, and in some cases, how much of it. After finding Shelf Reliance and exploring their website, I came across their “Emergency Kit Planner”. The emergency kit planner works just like the “Thrive Planner” in calculating what emergency supplies my family needs for a given period of time. I encourage you to take the opportunity over the next week to get online and check it out.

  Now for the fun stuff! With it being “National Emergency Preparedness Month”, let’s do a few Emergency Preparedness Screamin’ Deals!

72 Hour, 4-Person Emergency Kit- $218.80 (A savings of over $70 from purchasing these items individually through me!)

Essential Tools:

   1 Multi-function Pocket Knife (includes scissors, screwdriver, nail file)
   60 Yards of 2” Duct Tape
   1 Premium 14-in-1 Multi Tool (includes hammer, pliers, wire cutter, wire stripper)
   5 Plastic Drop Sheets (9” x12”)
   1 Steel Trifold Shovel
   1 Waterproof Pouch
   1 50’ Polypropylene Rope
   2 Heavy Duty Backpack (1 main compartment, 2 small top compartments, 1 medium compartment, and 2 zipping side pockets).
   2 5-pc Mess Kits
   4 Knife, Fork, Spoon Sets
   1 Notepad and Pencil

Heat and Shelter:

   4 (four) 10-hour, Disposable Heat Packs
   4 Waterproof Matches
   1 Wing Stove with Fuel Tablets
   4 Emergency Blankets
   4 Ponchos with Attached Hood (one size fits all)
   2 Tube Tents with Rope

Light and Communication:

   4 Bright Sticks (provides up to 48 hours of light, 12 hours each)
   1 Hand Crank Flashlight/Radio/Siren (no battery or electricity needed)
   2 Metal Whistles

First Aid:

   1 First Aid and CPR Booklet
   1 Four Person First Aid Kit
   4 (four) 3M®, N95 Deluxe Dust Masks
   1 Emergency Survival Guide
   4 Pairs of Industrial Leather Work Gloves

Food and Water:

   12 Coast Guard Approved 1200 Calorie Bars
   2 24oz Filtration Bottles
   8 - 8.45 fl. oz. Coast Guard Approved Emergency Water Servings


   2 Fluoride Gel Toothpaste (.6 oz)
   2 Hand Sanitizer(4 oz)
   4 Cloth Wash Towels
   4 Tissue Packs (10 tissues in each pack)
   2 Rolls Toilet Paper
   4 Tooth Brushes
   12 Wet Naps

4-Person, 1 Week Sanitation Kit- $135.49 (A savings of over $70 from purchasing these items individually through me!)

   5 Bio-degradable hygienic products:
       7 Gotta-Go Sanitation Bags
       8 bio-toilet paper rolls
       2 multi-purpose camp soaps
       8 tissue packs
       12 tampons
   1 Port-A-Potty lid with 6-gallon bucket and seat lid (white)
   1 Super Solar Shower that heats enough water for 3-5 showers in as little as 3 hours. *Requires no outside energy source.
   1 Lightweight, tri-fold shovel constructed of 100% steel that is ideal for the proper disposal of waste.
   2 Plastic drop cloths
   1 Hand sanitizer (4 oz.)
   4 Toothbrushes
   2 Fluoride toothpaste tubes
   4 cloth wash towels
   84 Wet Naps
   1 Barrel Buddy II / Gas shut-off tool
   4 N95 dust masks
   1 Poly camo rope
   1 Duct tape (60 yds)
   2 BPA-free Water Filtration Bottles that eliminate 99.99% of bacteria, contaminants, and pollutants while retaining beneficial trace minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium.

Shelf Reliance Water Filtration Bottle Case of 12- $173.49 (A savings of over $63 or $4.62 less/bottle, from purchasing the bottles individually through me!)

-Removes 99.9% Giardia Lamblia and Cryptosporidium cysts
-Filters 30 gallons (200 refills)
-Inhibits the growth of bacteria

To highlight a few of my other emergency supply favorites:

Quickfire (5 gallon)- $56.42
-5 gallons would be about a month supply for 1 person (3 meals a day, 1 cup per fire)
-Needs a flame, not a spark
-Water resistant
-30 year shelf life
-15 minute burn time per use

Water bricks- $15.99
-Similar to Lego’s; Great to store & stack (better than big 55 drums or 25 gal buckets for small spaces)
-Can store food in as well
-Stack 6 high—No wasted space!
-BPA free plastic that contains a UV additive these bricks won't crack, leak, or break down. The UV additive gives them a 15+ years of life.

Aquamira- $14.84
-Includes two 2 oz. bottles (part A & part B)
-1 kit treats up to 60 gallons of water for a 5 year storage instead of 6 months!
-Perfect as a preserver for emergency storage of water, boat and RV water tanks and cisterns.
-Can be used to treat and control slime build-up in animal watering troughs.

Burn Free- 4-oz. bottle $6.95
-Cools burns; from minor sunburns to life-threatening full-body burns
-Recommended by hospitals
One of my all-time favorite products because I burn so easily. I’ve used it several times this summer with amazing results!

Contact me to get in on these Screamin’ Emergency Preparedness Deals while they last!

  One final note; Shelf Reliance has just released their new “Under-the-bed Harvest Rotation System”. This shelving is a great option for those short on extra space. This brand new FRS system has the same width and the depth as a regular Harvest and can hold pantry size or smaller cans. Dimensions: Height: 10.5”   Width: 36”      Depth: 24”
This new Harvest FRS is only $75.99 when you purchase it through me!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Products & Our Grand Opening Sale!

Our Grand Opening 5-Day Sale

Shelf Reliance has moved into their new American Fork location; and for the next 5 days we are offering an additional 5% off! Check out this price list.

  If there are products from our "sale" price list, or any new products from the flier above that you are interested in purchasing, you may do so on my Shelf Reliance website. You are also welcome to contact me directly.