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Friday, February 28, 2014

Back Country Crafts Made Easy: 25 Crafts to Warm Your Heart

Back Country Crafts Made Easy: 25 Crafts to Warm Your Heart was a free book for the kindle when this post was written.

Country crafts accent your home with a wonderfully warm homespun feel and decor. Each craft project is unique in design. They range from primitive to rustic, whimsical to functional, but all bring homespun crafting into your home. Children will love the sweet little elephant, or learning to make a treasured paper bead bracelet. Art takes shape in a primitive jug, or a folk art Old World Santa, and barnwood art becomes a treasured sign. Welcome your guests with a homespun wreath, gather up all that nature has to offer by preserving it in its most natural form. Grow a gourd and shape it into a sweet little bedside lamp, or holiday snowman to light up the room. Gather up your treasured trash, or memorable book and create a wonderful keepsake. If unique is what you seek, this craft book is for you.

How To Work & Homeschool


Do you want to homeschool, but you need to keep working? Maybe you’re already homeschooling, but you would like to start a business? Perhaps you’re homeschooling, working, and volunteering, but need to create
space for yourself? How can this possibly be done? How do other parents manage?

Enter Pamela Price of Red, White & Grew. After interviewing parents who are dealing with these very issues, Pamela has written "How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips, and Strategies from Parents," published by GHF Press. Filled with real world examples and tried-and-tested approaches, "How to Work and Homeschool" will give you the ideas and confidence to develop a game plan to incorporate work, homeschool, family obligations, and more into your busy life. Pamela busts myths about work and homeschool, shares some truths, and even provides sample schedules to help you get started.

Whether you’re considering homeschooling or are a veteran looking to make a change, "How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips, and Strategies from Parents" will help you on your journey.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bug-Out Bag For Kids!

My Little Man has heard us talking so much and seen us putting together our bug-out bags that he wants one of his own.The first thing that we have to do is find him his own bag that will be comfortable for his to use and not too big. Try not to fill it to full.

Some things that can be put into a child's bug-out bag are:

compass

flashlight

mre

water or personal water filter. I have LifeStraw Personal Water Filter in our bug-out bags and plan on getting one just for him.

There are a few things that he is adding for making himself comfortable. He has a little solar powered radio that also has a charger on it for his tablet and kindle. Yeah, he tries to think of everything. LOL

He also is adding some maps of our area into his bag. Which was a great thing for a 7 year to think of. We hadn't even thought of it. Crazy how smart kids are.

a small knife

a whistle

flint

mirror

granola bars

some stuff to add to bottled water for flavor, so he doesn't get bored with just drinking water!

peanuts

rain poncho

wipes

small first aid kit

hand sanitizer

paracord

fishing kit

and there are sure to be some other things that he want to add. So far it is not very heavy. Could easily be carried by one of us if we had to. But, now he feels better knowing that he has his own bug-out bag.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How to Make a Homemade Wood Stove

You know what's the best part about D.I.Y. guides? The fact that you can construct anything by yourself in turn saving so much on what you would have to spend so much on a normal basis. It's pretty amazing what you can build by yourself nowadays with the help of these D.I.Y. Guides. This time, I'll show you how to make your very own homemade wood stove without needing to break that bank account for too much.

Back then, building your own homemade wood stove meant finding an unused 50 gallon drum a starting from there, but times have changed and innovation has kicked in. Nowadays, using an unused discarded water heater has the capability to hold 3-50 gallons of water. The first step to finding the ideal electric water heater is by finding one without any damage and rust in the heater. Remove the steel wrap around the heater to check for corrosion and rust and remember that this step is very important due for health related concerns and should not be skipped. Next turn the heater on to its side to weld on the metal legs as this will keep the heater up.

The next step will involve making holes to the heater. So make sure to be careful as not to hurt yourself. Make a cut around the upside portion of the heater and weld it back upside down. It is this portion where you should make a few holes because this will aid in the circulation of heat during cooking. Make another hole in the back of the heater as an outlet which will allow the smoke to be taken outside your house via a metal pipe, add a lever here to make sure you can control the intake of air.

Build a grill to cook your food on by cutting vertical strips on the upside portion which you welded back to the stove. Once you're done with this step, you're pretty much done, but you can also add some ventilation pipes to your new "stove" and connecting them to your chimney (if any).

It's pretty amazing how people come up with their own ways to build and construct things and how many of us follow to find out that these innovations really do work. After following this guide on how to make a homemade wood stove, you can casually invite friends and family over because you've cooked dinner on your new homemade wood stove a.k.a. a discarded electric water heater. Interesting isn't it?

Stuart is writing for many websites, He enjoys writing on wide range of topics such as homemade wood stove and how to install a wood stove. You may visit for more details.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/recycled-water-heater-wood-stove-zmaz78jfzgoe.aspx

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What Does Being Frugal Mean?

In the Websters 1828 Dictionary the word FRUGAL Means :

Economical in the use or appropriation of money, goods or provisions of any kind; saving unnecessary expense, either of money or of any thing else which is to be used or consumed; sparing; not profuse, prodigal or lavish. We ought to be frugal not only in the expenditure of money and of goods, but in the employment of time. It is followed by of, before the thing saved; as frugal of time. It is not synonymous with parsimonious, nor with thrifty, as now used.

Frugality Means :


1. Prudent economy; good husbandry or housewifery; a sparing use or appropriation of money or commodities; a judicious use of any thing to be expended or employed; that careful management of money or goods which expends nothing unnecessarily, and applies what is used to a profitable purpose; that use in which nothing is wasted. It is not equivalent to parsimony, the latter being an excess of frugality, and a fault. Frugality is always a virtue. Nor is it synonymous with thrift, in its proper sense; for thrift is the effect of frugality.
Without frugality none can become rich, and with it few would be poor.
2. A prudent and sparing use or appropriation of any thing; as frugality of praise.


  •  
  • This is what we all need to do - learn to use our time and resources wisely. Be frugal with everything. Not be wasteful. Being frugal is going to be different for every household. Every ones idea of being frugal is going to be different. 
  •  
  • We all need to step back and really search through how we are spending our time and money and decide how we can all be more frugal.
  •  
  • Grab a notebook and write down what you can live without. Ways to save! Time and money. Do you spend too much time on your computer? Facebook take up a lot of your time? TV? How can you save money in the kitchen?
  •  
  • There are many ways to save around your house. Take the time , have a family meeting, and work out ways to save. BE FRUGAL!!


  • Food storage recipe - homemade croutons

    Great for adding to soups! Easy to make. Frugal recipe for a crouton to add to soups. Taste great in potato soup. i buy bread in the deli that is marked down to use for making  these. great way to save money.

    NEED:

    3 tablespoon butter

    1 crushed garlic clove

    1 tablespoon parsley

    1 thick sliced white bread, cubed

    Melt the bjutter in your skillet.

    Add. The garlic , parsley, and bread cubes. Cook for about 2 minutes. Turn it often and cook until all sides are golden brown.

    Monday, February 24, 2014

    A Guide to Basic Wilderness Skills of the Southeast

    A Guide to Basic Wilderness Skills of the Southeast was a free kindle book when this post was written.

    This book is the published version of an ongoing effort at wilderness survival skills collection and other bushcraft skills.

    Route Planning – Map and Compass Basics
    -Parts of a Compass
    -Attributes of a Topo Map
    -Orienting your map with the real world
    -Pace Counting
    -Terrain Association
    -Knowing Your Back Azimuth
    -Navigating Around Obstacles
    -Using Non-magnetic and Non-electronic Navigation Aids
    -Weather
    -Logging a Travel Plan

    Gear/Equipment
    -Building a Personal Survival Kit

    Water
    -Filtration vs. Purification Methods
    -Creative Water Sources and terrain indicators
    -Civilization
    -SODIS

    Food
    -Pre-packaged
    -Fish
    -Wild Game
    -Edible Plants

    Fire
    -Structures
    -Ignition methods
    -Safety
    -Cooking

    Shelter

    First Aid

    Ducks And Geese - Homesteading Animals 2 Book Bundle: For Meat Eggs & Feathers! Includes Duck & Game Recipes For The Slow Cooker (Homesteading Animals Bundles)

    Ducks And Geese - Homesteading Animals 2 Book Bundle: For Meat Eggs & Feathers! Includes Duck & Game Recipes For The Slow Cooker (Homesteading Animals Bundles) was a free kindle book when this post was written.

    Rearing Ducks and Geese for the homesteading or ‘Hobby farm’ is the subject of this two book bundle by Best Selling author Norman J Stone.
    This bundle offers the opportunity to get these two books in the popular ‘Homesteading Animals’ series at a bargain discounted price. Introducing the basics of caring for and getting the best out of the most popular animals to be found on the average homesteading; Norman lays out in simple terms the different characteristics and requirements of the Ducks and Geese, that you may consider keeping for eggs meat - or downy feathers for the pillow and duvet!
    The first book in the series is all about keeping and raising Rabbits for meat and fur. 

    50 pound bag of Grits on the way!!!

    Honeyville Food Products
    I just put in my order to Honeyville Food Products for a 50 pound bag of white corn grits! Kept in the right conditions they can last up 1 year. But longer if you store them other way. I am also getting some oxygen absorbers and getting out my food saver.

    Grits are easy to cook and they fill you up. Great source of iron and protein . http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/generic/grits-cooked-corn-or-hominy-regular

    Simple recipe for buttered grits!

    1 cup of grits

    5 cups of water

    1 teaspoon salt

    butter to taste ( we use a lot of real butter!)

    In a large pot bring the water to a boil than lower to simmering.

    Slowly whisk in the grits and stir them constantly until they thicken up.

    Turn the heat to low. They will probably still bubble up every few seconds. Cook for about 30 minutes. Cook longer if they are coarser. Stir them  often so they don't scorch on the bottom.

    Once they are tender and cooked add the butter and salt. Serve hot. I always serve mine with scrambled eggs on top.


    Homesteaders 'Quick Bites' Guidebook: Raising Chickens - My 5 Top Tips (K.I.S.S Quick Bites) [

    Homesteaders 'Quick Bites' Guidebook: Raising Chickens - My 5 Top Tips (K.I.S.S Quick Bites) was a free kindle book when this post was written.

     Welcome to my K.I.S.S Quick Bites introduction to Raising Chickens. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) Is part of a series of introductions to the world of homesteading and self-sufficiency. And ‘Quick Bites’ is all about putting essential information in such a way that it can be ‘swallowed whole’, and absorbed at one sitting – so to speak.
    Chickens are perhaps one of the easiest of the farm animals to look after, and certainly one of the most instantly productive with regard to egg laying. A ‘must have’ for any homestead, They do however require certain things to be in place before they can ‘perform’ and provide you with a goodly supply of fresh eggs.
    This publication lays out the top 5 things I believe must be right, before you will get the best out of your chickens.

    The Ultimate Disaster Supplies Guide: Disaster Kits For Disaster Preparation (Disaster Preparation, Disaster Supplies)

    The Ultimate Disaster Supplies Guide: Disaster Kits For Disaster Preparation (Disaster Preparation, Disaster Supplies) was a free kindle book when this post was written.


    You HAVE To Survive 72 Hours, But Are You Ready?


    Today only, get this Kindle book for for FREE Regularly priced at $5.99. Read on your PC, Mac, smart phone, tablet or Kindle device.

    If a disaster struck today, would you have everything you need to survive the first 72 hours? This is a MUST in today’s world. The weather is unpredictable, wars are imminent and you and your family are left vulnerable. Learn what you need to have to survive!

    This book will take you step by step through the process of determining what is important to have and how to get it. Don’t leave anything to chance. Be PREPARED! If it happens today, tomorrow or a week from now you’ll finally be ready.

    Download the book NOW and see what you need to:
    • Feed you and your family
    • Provide clean drinking water
    • Protect your family
    • Stay clean
    • Stay healthy

    Don’t wait another minute. This is too important. Download the book TODAY!

    Download your copy today!


    To order, click the BUY button and download your copy right now!



    Tags: disaster preparation, disaster kits, disaster preparedness, disaster supplies, survival supplies, survvival items, survival kits

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

    Electromagnetic Radiation Survival Guide - Step by Step Solutions - Protect Yourself & Family NOW! - Up To Date EMF Info

    Electromagnetic Radiation Survival Guide - Step by Step Solutions - Protect Yourself & Family NOW! - Up To Date EMF Info was a free kindle book at the time of this writing.


    Electromagnetic Radiation Survival Guide is a practical and actionable step by step , complete and up to date EMF/EMR detection and protection guide and reference manual. It covers the most important EMF/EMR issues including cell phone & telecommunication towers, smart meters, cell phones, tablets, laptops, Wi-Fi, Blue-tooth, hi voltage electrical cables, electrical appliances and wiring. Dr. Jonathan Halpern, PhD has extensive background in Health Sciences and Engineering and a keen interest in EMF's role in health and sickness.The proliferation of electrical power and wireless technology has caused a massive increase in electromagnetic fields (EMF) in our environment. There is now substantial scientific evidence that Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) exposure well below existing safety standards may cause a range of bio-effects that increase the risk of serious diseases including cancer, neuro-degenerative disorders, sleep disorders and behavioral disorders. Indeed EMF has become one of the greatest health hazards of our times. The time to protect ourselves against electromagnetic radiation is NOW.

    Conflicted: The Survival Card Game

    Just now heard about this card game and it really sounds awesome. Conflicted: The Survival Card Game is a game that has scenarios that you might get into during a SHTF episode.You are the leader of a groups of people that have bugged-out and you have to make the decisions that will get your groups to survive. There are 2 decks to get and they are looking for other types of scenarios that can be used to make other decks.

    Mouthwatering Potato Soup Recipes - Discover Your Own With These 3 Tips!

    Learning to make your own homemade potato soup recipes can be exciting, satisfying and very full-filling. When you create a soup (that everyone loves) for family or a friend and they ask where you got such a wonderful recipe, what would you rather tell them?
    "I just got it from some website or cookbook..." OR would you rather tell them "I made the recipe up myself and it's the newest edition to my own cookbook!"
    If these are the words of gratification that you want to hear, then here are 3 tips to help you create the delicious recipes that you desire.
    Tip #1 - What Type of Base?
    The base of a soup has the greatest effect over all others.
    There are 3 main bases to start with that you can use for your potato soups, cream base, clear base, and puree based.
    • Creamy Bases - Creamy potato soups are usually smooth and comforting with a subtle taste. There are many ways to make a creamy potato soup but we are just going to go over 3 popular ways to get a creamy base.
      • Cream Base 1 - The easiest and most used is just by adding enough heavy cream until the desired consistency and tastes are met. Another similar method would be using milk but this would be a lot thinner and a lot less creamy.
      • Cream Base 2 - A bit more complicated but most likely not to difficult for you is using a light roux and milk. Just add 2 teaspoons of roux for every cup of milk to the soup, stir well, until the desired consistency is reached. Be careful, roux can make your soup extremely thick.
      • Cream Base 3 - The least used of the 3 but second easiest would be using cornstarch and powdered milk. Dissolve 1 1/4 tablespoons cornstarch to every 2 cups of soup broth you have in a small bowl of cold water. Add 5 tablespoons powdered milk to every 2 cups of soup broth you have and the cornstarch/water mixture to the soup at the end of cooking and stir well for 1 1/2 minutes.


    • Clear Base - A clear base, the easiest of the 3, normally has a rich and bold flavor with no extra additions like heavy cream to the stock, the base IS the stock.


    • Puree Base - A puree base is loaded with rich flavors and is exactly what it sounds like. All the solids are pureed with the stock of your choice after the soup is cooked. This is best achieved with an immersion blender which you can dip right into the soup and blend with. Another way would be to strain the solids out of your soup and add them to a blender then add a few cups of broth and puree. Then add the puree to the broth, mix well and voila!

    Tip #2 - What Type of Stock / Broth?The best way to a great base is your stock and creating your own homemade stock can have an amazing effect on your soup. Though it's slightly time consuming, it is also very easy and rewarding.
    3 basic stocks are used for potato soup recipes. Chicken stock, vegetable stock and beef stock.
    • Chicken Stock - Chicken stock is the second most popular stock used for potato soup and has a strong and very rich flavor adding a bit of bite to your soup. A basic chicken stock is usually made by slowly simmering chicken bones, skin, meat, celery, carrots, garlic, onion, parsley, salt and pepper in a pot of water.
    • Vegetable Stock - The most popular of the 3 stocks used in potato soup is vegetable stock. It has more of a natural and relaxed flavor compared to chicken stock. It is full of natural vitamins and nutrients to keep your body healthy. A very basic vegetable stock is achieved by slowly simmering carrots, garlic, parsley, onion, celery, leek, bay leaf, mushroom, salt, pepper and sometimes parsnips, thyme and potatoes.
    • Beef Stock - Much different from the 2 above and often not used in potato soup, beef stock has a very rich and bold flavor and great in some soups with potatoes. Beef stock is made with beef bones, fat, meat, onions, celery, carrots, bay leaf, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, thyme and sometimes tomato.

    Tip #3 - What kind of ingredients do you want to use? Now that you know what kind of base texture and stock you want, we need to figure out the ingredients that go well with each. This is only a guideline to help you choose your ingredients.
    • Ingredients for a creamy base. - Bacon and cheddar are the most popular ingredients in creamy potato soups. Some other great ideas would be carrots, green beans, onions, garlic, celery, green onions, chives, chicken, ham, shallots, thyme, peas, dill, salt, black and white pepper. Good stocks with a creamy soup are vegetable and chicken stock.
    • Ingredients for a clear base - With beef stock would be tomatoes, green beans, onions, garlic, celery, parsley, chunks of beef, bay leaf, barley, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, ground beef, salt, mozzarella and black pepper. With vegetable or chicken stock would be chicken, ham, carrots, white beans, green beans, celery, garlic, thyme, squash, onion, zucchini, shallots, white wine, dill, salt and black pepper.
    • Ingredients for a puree base - Carrots and tomatoes are great for a puree based soup along with these healthy additions. Onion, garlic, zucchini, squash, bell pepper, kidney beans, shallots, celery, green onions, sweet potatoes, peas, dill, salt and various peppers. The most popular stock with puree based potato soup recipes is vegetable stock although chicken stock is used sometimes but rarely. There are many more tips for you to create a great potato soup recipe but these 3 are the most important basics to get you started.
    Ken Tireman is a cooking enthusiast who takes special interest in soup recipes and tips to help others make delicious potato soup recipes [http://www.savory-soup-recipes.com/potato-soup-recipes.html] along with a large list that's packed full of his own great soup recipes to warm you up for this winter at [http://www.savory-soup-recipes.com]

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

    The Great American Jerky Cookbook: A simple guide to making your own authentic jerky with 52 delicious jerky marinade recipes

    The Great American Jerky Cookbook: A simple guide to making your own authentic jerky with 52 delicious jerky marinade recipes was a free kindle book at the time of this blog post.

     Using this simple book, you will be ready to start making your own jerky quickly and easily.

    The Great American Jerky Cookbook contains 52
    recipes for delicious jerky marinades and simple, easy to follow instructions for making your own jerky at home.

    This guide covers equipment you may need, including how to use your home oven for jerky makin’. It also covers the best types of meats to use and which to avoid. You will learn how to prepare and cut the meat for the most tender jerky, how to use marinades, how to dry the meat, how to test jerky to make sure it is done, and how to store it.

    The marinade recipes include:

    Good Ol’ Fashion Jerky
    Teriyaki Jerky
    Pepper Hot Jerky
    Cowboy Jerky
    Barbecue Jerky
    Sweet and Sour Jerky
    Hawaiian Jerky
    Alabama Honey Jerky
    and many more.

    Stocking The Vegetarian Pantry Book: How To Stock Your Pantry For A Healthy Diet

    Stocking The Vegetarian Pantry Book: How To Stock Your Pantry For A Healthy Diet was a free kindle book at the time of this posting.

     Are you newly vegetarian or vegan? Are you just beginning to transition into the lifestyle and not quite there yet? Confused by all the strange, unfamiliar ingredients? This is the book for you. It demystifies all the confusing terms for you. This book also gives you an overview of some of the health benefits to be gained from eating and living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Some of the topics discussed are Miso, it's nutritional value and uses, how to use sea vegetables and gain their wonderful benefits, what's really hiding in your olive oil bottle and many more! A must have for people transitioning to a plant based lifestyle!

    Instant Potato Soup Mix

    When cool afternoons or rainy days approach it is always a good time to make a pot of homemade soup. Soup is generally an especially popular meal with the men in your life whether they are your 12 years old sons or your thirty some year old husband. In many cases a dehydrated version of soups can be created in the event that fresh products are not available at the market place. This situation could result from a major national emergency such as hurricanes or floods which would prevent the supply trucks from arriving at their destination. With our instant soup recipe all you will need to do is open the jar and pour the contents into a medium pot of hot, boiling water.

    The following recipe will make enough soup for 12 servings therefore you could perhaps invite a neighbor in for a mealtime treat. This affords you the opportunity to show your friends and family how simple and inviting a sufficient food storage program can be. When saving up your family food supplies always remember to store what you eat and eat what you store.

    Ingredients

    1/4 cup of granules of chicken bouillon
    3 cups of instant mashed potato flakes
    2 tablespoons of dry minced onions
    1 teaspoon of black pepper
    1 tablespoon of dry parsley flakes
    1/2 tablespoon of dill weed
    1/2 teaspoon of thyme
    1 cup of instant milk
    1 teaspoon of turmeric
    1/8 cup of crushed bacon bits

    Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl except for the bacon bits. In your food processor or by hand grind up the bacon bits until they appear crumbled up. This will allow them to combine with the other ingredients better. After crumbling up the bacon bits add them to the mixture and stir well until they are evenly mixed with the other products.

    Package the final product in quart jars and place an oxygen absorber in each. The jars of potato soup should store nicely for at least eight to ten years.

    To use this recipe take 12 cups of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add the dry mixture and lower the heat to a simmer. Allow to cook for 20 minutes until all ingredients are tender.

    To add some variety to the above recipe you could add some canned or dehydrate ham to the initial ingredients. Serve with a sprig of parsley if available or top with some fresh sliced onions, in either case serve with croutons or homemade Italian bread.

    By Joseph parish
    Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish
    http://www.survival-training.info

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    Prepper Survival Pantry: The Survivor's Guide To Food Storage, Water Storage, Canning And Preserving

    Prepper Survival Pantry: The Survivor's Guide To Food Storage, Water Storage, Canning And Preserving was a free kindle book at the time of this posting.

    The Prepper's Survival Pantry


    Free Today Only! $10 Value! Join the crowd and download now!



    Understanding how to prepare for and survive a disaster scenario is often times the difference between life and death for you and your family. Prepping for a disaster starts with creating your own custom food and water storage system. This book will cover techniques for creating a food storage system as well as more advanced techniques you can use to prolong the shelf life of your food storage cache. As a bonus we will also include our best selling canning and preserving book with updated recipes! So join the crowd and download now!


    This book will cover:
     

    The Three Pillars of Disaster Survival

    An Infrastructure Collapse Scenario 

    Why You Should Prepare

    The Enemies Of Food Storage

    The Food Storage Starter Kit

    Food Storage Mistakes

    Canning And Preserving

    Water Storage

    and much, much, more!

    Zombie Titanic

    Zombie Titanic was a free kindle book at the time of this blog post. Great read for anyone who loves zombie books. A totally different take on the sinking of the Titanic.

     'Professor,' said Elizabeth, in the tone she normally reserved for over-familiar suitors and clumsy seamstresses. 'I confess to being quite at my wits' end. Surely no invention, however grand, can be worth your life? What on earth could be of such importance?'
    The professor regarded her with bemusement.
    'Why, guns, Miss Harkness.' he said, gravely. ' A veritable plethora of guns.'



    The Titanic, pride of the White Star Line, largest ship on the ocean, is about to make its maiden voyage...but below decks, a terrible plague threatens everyone aboard. Can jiu-jitsu practising suffragette Elizabeth Harkness, Spanish-American war veteran James Tavistock and William Moss, the strongest man on the sea, save the passengers from a watery grave?

    Chopping Wood Tips

    Chopping Wood Tips For The Homeowner was a free book for kindle at the time of this posting.

     Chopping wood tips for the homeowner explains various wood splitting tools, that will enable the homeowner to define an easier solution to splitting firewood. Each piece of firewood needs to be examined before splitting, to find its weak spots. If your splitting wood with anything other than a hydraulic wood splitter, you will find these tips very helpful.

    There are 3 things the homeowner needs to look for and when you recognize and do these three things, your firewood splitting experience will be much easier.

    Even hydraulic splitters can be damaged if you don't follow these 3 things that are explained in this book. Firewood processing can be an enjoyable experience once you learn how to split wood the correct way even if you are using a wood splitting axe.

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Food Storage Recipe - Homemade Scalloped Potatoes

    I use this recipe a lot. I love it - no measuring or anything. Put everything into a oven safe bowl and bake until done.

    Homemade Scalloped Potatoes

    NEED:

    Potatoes - however many that you want to use for how many people you will be feeding. Slice them thin.

    Milk

    butter

    salt and pepper

    flour

    shredded cheese

    Slice the potatoes up and layer in glass oven safe pan. Pyrex is best. Put some flour all over this. Put Real butter over this in chunks. Salt and pepper it to taste and then pour milk over all until it JUST covers the potatoes. Bake in oven at 375 degrees until the potatoes are tender and the milk is cooked into the potatoes. Cover it with some cheese and bake until the cheese melts. Another few minutes.

    This is an easy dish and can be changed up some. You can add bacon or ham. You can use different types of cheese. Just about do anything to this.


    How to Buy, Store and Prepare Potatoes

    No doubt about it...the beloved potato is clearly the most popular vegetable in the United States. Potatoes easily adapt to many flavors and methods of cooking. This article defines the characteristics and the best uses of some well-known potato varieties, how to choose and store potatoes and several basic ways to prepare potatoes without any or a minimum of added ingredients.

    Well-Known Varieties, Characteristics and Best Use

    Russet Potatoes - This potato is slender, oval shaped with a rough brown skin and lots of eyes. They have a mealy texture when cooked and cooked russets will start to fall apart when cut due to the low moisture and high starch content. This variety of potato easily absorbs butter, dressings and sauces. They are best used for baking, frying and mashing.

    White, Red and Yellow Potatoes - These potatoes are round and keep their shape when cooked. Due to their high moisture and low starch content, they have a firmer texture and won't fall apart when cut after cooking; they are also slow to absorb butter, dressings and sauces. These potatoes are best for boiling, steaming and roasting. They are also excellent creamed or scalloped and in salads. Yellow and red potatoes may be mashed, but they will not be as fluffy as russet potatoes.

    New Potatoes - Freshly harvested and marketed during the late winter or early spring, new potatoes are tiny to small potatoes of any variety. Their skin is tender and they do not need to be peeled. When cooked, they have a firm, waxy texture. New potatoes are best when used soon after harvest and prepared by boiling, steaming or roasting.

    Tips for Buying Potatoes

    > When buying potatoes, choose ones that are firm, have smooth skins and are without any sprouts or blemishes. Avoid potatoes with wrinkled skins, sprouted eyes, cut surfaces, soft or dark spots, decayed areas (usually at the ends), or sunken spots.

    > If possible, purchase potatoes that are fairly clean but unwashed. Potatoes that have been washed will spoil quicker.

    > Avoid purchasing potatoes with a greenish tint or cast. This indicates that the potatoes have been exposed to light during storage, which can produce a bitter taste and may be toxic to some people.

    > Choose potatoes that have a heavy feel and are uniform in size and shape. They will cook in about the same time and will be easier to peel.

    How to Store Potatoes

    > Store potatoes in a well-ventilated cool, dry, dark area such as a cool closet or dry basement (never under the kitchen sink).

    > When stored between 45F to 50F (7C to 10C), potatoes will keep for several weeks. If stored at room temperature or in a warm place, potatoes will remain at top quality for only about 1 week.

    > Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator. The starch will begin to change to sugar and alter the taste; the potatoes will also turn dark after cooking.

    > It is best not to store potatoes near onions.

    Tips for Preparing Potatoes

    > To clean potatoes, soak briefly in cool water to loosen the dirt and make scrubbing easier. Scrub gently under running water with a vegetable brush or sponge; trim away any eyes or blemishes.

    > Always be certain to remove any sprouts or eyes when peeling potatoes and if a potato appears green under the skin, peel it deeply to remove the green part...that green portion could possibly make you sick.

    > To prevent potatoes from turning dark, cook immediately after peeling or cover with water and add a small amount of salt, lemon juice or vinegar.

    > When preparing French fries, soak cut potatoes in lightly salted chilled water for approximately 1 hour to remove some of the starch and produce crisper fries.

    > Use cooked (not raw) potatoes when making a potato dish ahead to prevent the potatoes from discoloring. Consider cooking the mixture until almost done, cool and refrigerate; complete cooking just before serving.

    > Potatoes and dishes with potatoes do not freeze well due to their tendency to become mushy when thawed and reheated. Partially cooked French fries, mashed potato patties and baked stuffed potatoes may be frozen.

    Potato Yields

    Three medium potatoes equals approximately 1 pound, which will yield:
    * 2 cups French fried potatoes
    * 2 cups mashed potatoes
    * 2-1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
    * 3 cups peeled and sliced potatoes
    * 2 cups potato salad
    * 2-1/2 cups shredded potatoes

    Basic Methods of Cooking Potatoes
    Baked in Oven - Select and scrub potatoes of similar size. Prick each several times with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking and to prevent the skins from bursting. If a soft skin is desired, rub with cooking oil before baking. Place potatoes on a baking sheet allowing room between potatoes for heat circulation or stand them upright in a muffin tin. (If potatoes are wrapped in aluminum foil and baked, they will have more of a steamed texture.) A medium-size (6 oz.) potato will bake in 40 to 45 minutes in a 425F (220C) oven or in about 90 minutes at 350F (175C). When baking several potatoes, keep in mind that a dozen will cook in the same amount of time as a single potato. To reduce cooking time, slice potatoes in half lengthwise, coat cut side with cooking oil and place cut-side-down on a baking sheet. Half of a medium potato will be fork-tender in 25 to 30 minutes when cooked in a 375F (190C) oven. To check for doneness, hold potato with a hot pad and pinch with fingers or pierce with a fork. To serve, use a small knife to cut a cross on top and push on sides and ends gently to fluff.

    Baked in Microwave - Choose 4 medium (6 oz. each) slender potatoes of similar size. Scrub clean then pierce each potato with a fork 10 to 12 times. Cover bottom of microwave oven with a double thickness of paper towels. Arrange potatoes in a 'spoke-fashion' with the smaller ends toward the center and at least 1 inch apart. Cook on 'high' (100% power) in a 700-watt microwave oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Rearrange and turn over after first 5 minutes. Remove from microwave and wrap each individually in aluminum foil. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes or until uniformly soft when pinched between fingers. When cooking a single potato, microwave on 'high" for 2 minutes, turn over, cook for another 2 minutes and check for doneness. Add 2 to 3 minutes cooking time for each additional potato.

    Boiled on Stovetop - Scrub, peel and quarter potatoes. Place potatoes in a saucepan and add enough water to cover; add 1/2 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender (approximately 15 to 20 minutes). Remove from heat and drain. Return to low heat and shake pan until potatoes are dry. Be careful not to overcook potatoes or they may become watery. One or two slices of onion may be added to water while boiling potatoes to add flavor.

    Boiled in Microwave - Scrub, peel and quarter 4 medium (6 oz. each) potatoes; place in a shallow microwave-safe baking dish. Add 1/4 cup of water and cover. Cook on 'high' (100% power) in a 700-watt microwave oven for 10 minutes. Stir after first 5 minutes to rearrange pieces and to move the ones in the center to the outside edges of the baking dish; continue to cook for remaining 5 minutes. Remove baking dish from the microwave and let stand for 3 minutes (covered) or until potatoes reach desired doneness.

    French Fried - Scrub and peel potatoes. Cut into 1/4-inch thick slices with a knife or crinkle cutter, then cut slices into 1/4-inch thick strips. Place potato strips in a bowl of cool water. Add a small amount of salt to the water to prevent discoloration. Soak up to 1 hour to remove some of the starch and maintain crispness. Heat 4 to 6 inches of cooking oil to 375F (190C) in a deep-fryer or heavy saucepan. (Important: Do not overfill fryer or saucepan with oil.) Drain potatoes from water and pat dry with paper towels. Place a handful of potato strips in a wire basket and slowly immerse in the hot oil. Cook until golden brown and tender (approximately 5 minutes). Shake basket occasionally while frying to prevent potato strips from sticking together. Drain on several layers of paper towels. Continue to cook small batches until all strips are fried. Sprinkle lightly with salt to prevent fries from becoming soggy and keep warn in a 300F (150C) oven until served.

    Grilled - Scrub potatoes of similar size and coat skin with cooking oil or soft butter. Place each potato in the center of a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil (cut into approximately 6x9-inch pieces). Season each lightly with salt and pepper. Bring the longer sides of foil together, then fold the edges several times to seal, allowing space for steam. Fold up short edges of foil and pinch together to seal. Place foil-wrapped potatoes on a grill approximately 4 inches above medium-hot coals. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender, turning several times. Cooking time may need to be adjusted according to potato size and heat of the coals.

    Hash Browned or Home Fried - Prepare steamed or boiled potatoes; drain. Dice or slice into 1/4- to 3/8-inch thick pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl and gently stir in optional ingredients such as chopped onion or diced cooked ham, if desired. Lightly season with salt and pepper; set aside. Generously grease a large skillet (preferably with a 'non-stick' finish) with several tablespoons of cooking oil, shortening or strained bacon fat. Place skillet over medium-high heat and add seasoned potatoes; toss gently to coat all pieces. Lightly toss potatoes frequently during cooking (do not flatten with a spatula). Cook until potatoes are golden brown (approximately 10 to 15 minutes). Additional fat may be needed during cooking to prevent sticking. Season cooked potatoes to taste with additional salt and pepper before serving.

    Mashed - Prepare peeled and diced potatoes by the boiling or steaming method; drain well. Mash potatoes using a potato masher, electric mixer or ricer until no lumps remain. For each pound of potatoes, gradually add 1/4 to 1/2 cup warm milk and 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Beat potatoes with a wooden spoon, whisk or electric mixer until light and fluffy (additional milk may be added to bring potatoes to desired consistency.) Do not over beat or the starch will break down and potatoes will become gummy. If potatoes are not to be served immediately, spoon into an oven-proof casserole or baking dish, dot with additional butter, cover and keep warm in a preheated 250F (120C) oven.

    Pan Roasted - Partially boil or steam peeled potatoes, cooking for only 10 minutes until potatoes are barely tender; drain. Arrange potatoes in a baking dish and generously coat with melted butter or margarine. Bake (uncovered) in a 400F (200C) oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Frequently turn and baste potatoes with additional butter as they cook. Potatoes may be seasoned with salt, pepper, parsley or other herbs before serving.

    Riced - Boil or steam peeled potatoes; drain. Force potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill. Add melted butter or margarine to riced potatoes and serve immediately. Riced potatoes may be used to prepare mashed potatoes (see 'Mashed Potatoes' technique above).

    Steamed - Scrub and peel potatoes. Use a steamer or wire rack on the bottom of a large saucepan. Add enough water to just reach the bottom of the rack and bring to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes, cover tightly and cook until fork-tender. Cooking time will be approximately the same as when boiling potatoes. (Note: New potatoes are particularly good steamed. After gently scrubbing potatoes clean, peel a thin strip from around the center of each potato to prevent the skins from bursting while steaming. Cooking time will be approximately 15 minutes - be careful not to overcook.)

    One Potato, Two Potato...

    The potato is a relatively inexpensive vegetable, low in calories, a good source of fiber (especially the peel) and a virtual "storehouses" of vitamins and minerals. It is very versatile and adapts well to many methods of cooking.

    It is not complicated to learn how to purchase, store and select the proper type of potato for a particular cooking technique. There is a wide variety of ways that potatoes may be prepared and an endless number of main-dish, soup, salad, baked good and side-dish potato recipes. Since there are really no steadfast rules (just guidelines), try experimenting to find out which variety and cooking technique you personally prefer.
    Copyright ©2005 Janice Faulk Duplantis
    Janice Faulk Duplantis, author and publisher, currently maintains a web site that focuses on both Easy Gourmet and French/Cajun Cuisine. Visit http://www.bedrockpress.com to see all Bedrock Press has to offer. <> Janice also publishes 4 free monthly ezines: Gourmet Bytes, Lagniappe Recipe, Your Favorite Recipes and Cooking 101. Visit http://www.bedrockpress.com/subscribe.html to subscribe.

    Food storage recipe - beef stew

    I love this recipe. I use it a lot. Use cheap stew meat or you could even get cheap steaks and cut them up into bite size pieces. I use my dutch oven for this recipe.

    Beef stew

    Need:

    3/4 pound of stew beef or other cubed beef

    Salt , pepper, and flour

    1 onion sliced

    2 carrots, diced

    2 potatoes, diced

    1 tablesppo parsley

    2 tablespoon oil

    Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and flour on the meat and brown it with the onion in the oil. Add water to cover it. Put lid on pan and cook slowly until the meat is mostly done. About 2 hours. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook until they are tender. Add the parsley and serve.

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    How To Plan For A Blizzard

    How To Plan For A Blizzard ( Or Major Storm) was a free kindle book at the time of this posting. With the way that this winter has been for most of us, this is a much needed book and it is free today.

     The famous blizzard of 1888 occurred from March 11th through the 14th. Snow fell at times up to 3-4 feet in New York, New Jersey, Conn. and Massachusetts.Huge drifts were reported and some covered entire houses.Drifts were reported to average 30-40 feet, over the tops of houses from New York to New England, with reports of drifts which covered 3-4 story houses.Severe floods occurred throughout the New York City area and in Brooklyn in particular.This book provides specific guidance for citizens and even officials to mitigate even the worst potential damage given simple preventive steps taken on an anticipatory basis.

    Homeschool minute - teaching the presidents

    I have a little man that pretty much has to have everything be like games. We were going over the flash cards last night and he got bored by about the 10th card! This morning I got up early and using a printable that I had printed a while ago and some craft sticks I made him something that is funner for him and more hands-on.

    Craft sticks

    Printable of all of the presidents

    Glue

    Write the president name on front of stick. I wrote the dates and the number of which president they are on back of stick. Glue the head on! Easy and almost free! Craft sticks were a dollar at dollar tree!

    Fun for him.

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    Beef Jerky In The Oven

    This is an easy way to make beef jerky and you do not have to to have a Food Dehydrator to make it.

    Beef Jerky

    NEED:

    2 pounds of flank steak, round, or lean chuck steak - let it be semi-frozen so that it is easier to cut into slices

    1 cup of water

    1 teaspoon of coarse salt

    1/4 cup of soy sauce

    1 1/2 teaspoons of liquid smoke

    1 teaspoon of onion powder

    1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

    1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

    a dash of tabasco

    Cut all o the fat off of the meat. Mix all of the ingredients , except the meat, in a bowl. Slice the meat into thin and long strips. Put the strips of meat into the mixture and let marinate for a couple of hours. Set the oven temperature to 200 degrees and hang the strips of meat on the oven rack. I bought an extra one just for using for making beef jerky. Leave the door open slightly and the strips should be ready in about 24 hours.

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

    Cooking In Your Fireplace

    If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your house than you have a great way to cook if the power ever goes out. It is not hard to do. Just need a few things, like a pie iron or a Dutch Oven, and you are on your way to having a meal while you heat your house.

    For cooking with a dutch oven in your fireplace you should have some way to have it hanging over the fire. Sometimes fireplaces have a bar built in them to use for hanging pots. Or you could use a Campfire Tripod easily enough. A roasting fork would be easy to use also, just place a couple of hot dogs on it and hold over the fire. Yummy! Fun for the kids.You could also pop some popcorn over the fire with one of those long handled camping corn poppers.

     A Pie iron is a must. With its long handle it is the best for doing sandwiches in or take apart and use for a skillet. Just use a bit of butter or cooking spray and the stuff won't stick. You can do just about anything in a pie iron. Imagine cooking up some beans in your dutch oven over the fire and then having some corn bread done up in your pie iron! That is a great meal to have done in your fireplace!
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