I cant tell you how many times these last two days worth of posts have gone through my mind  in the last two weeks. I will be making something in my kitchen and simply grab a jar out of my cupboard, whether that is dried foods, canned foods, a spice, whatever, and think about writing it down for you.

Once you start on the path of home-canning and drying your own foods, straight from the garden, from the grocery or farmer’s market, etc, and then combining them with basics that you either make or purchase, it puts you in a whole different frame of mind when it comes to food and the preparations of it.


I was talking to a dear friend yesterday, and I was trying to explain to her how I approach grocery shopping. I know many MANY people who think in a two week cycle. Or even, as she pointed out, a one week cycle. They have NO IDEA how to transition from shopping for that time period to the way I approach things. Our conversation has been going through my mind as I finish up this series, and I just want you to know that I am quickly pulling together another one that shows you how to gradually transition from that way of thinking to long-term planning for your family.
It is challenging.
It takes committment, but it also takes one single step at a time.
How do I look at the grocery store?
Well, as many of you know, we feed our family of five (three children, all in growth spurts currently that eat more each meal that I do! Sheesh!) for around $300 a month. My grocery list for my husband includes picking up, in multiples, the things that are great deals and traditionally on sale during that time period, about 20% fresh items we use bi-monthly
(think carrots, fruit, etc),
and replacing the items we have used from our pantry.
Frankly, if there were a regional or national disaster tomorrow, our family would be financially, and physically provided for, and one family that would not need assistance from anyone for a time.
And watching all the hysteria going on in the East Coast (with a media promoting and feeding it) makes me sad, and makes me hope that there are families, just like ours, who are simply hunkering down, taking it in stride, and know that they have no need to head out and buy out a grocery store.
Finally, I just wanted to say this.
Folks, you don’t get to the point my family is at without making it a journey of a lot of small steps.
And you never start the journey at all  
without taking that first one.
Pick ONE THING, and learn how to do it this week, or this month. Start another new thing the next week or month. Learn to grow something. Learn to make something. Learn to start a storage for your family, whether that is in dried foods or canned foods.
Just get started.
Because you will be glad you did.
All right, so lets talk about the mixes I keep on hand in this house. or at least some of them because frankly, I don’t have time to cover everything, just give you links, and share some of them with you.
You all know, or should know, that 99% of my baking is done using my Master Mixes. Sharing this information with you via my E-book The Master Mix Way has been enormously successful as at this point in time we have sold over 800 copies without ever featuring it on Amazon.
It simplifies the process of making things at home with increasing your ability to do it in a short amount of time, and become less-reliant on the grocery store, OR on the processed and packaged foods that so many buy as a “time-saver”. Click the highlighted link above to check it out.
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But what we are covering today are four of the  basic recipes that I have downstairs as bases to my meals. They are packaged using my food saver. I make them six or ten at a time. And it takes me three second to get one, throw it in a pot, crockpot, or pressure cooker, dump in the water or other ingredients the meal calls for, and walk away. Since most of my piano lessons happen during the 3-6pm time range (right when I would be cooking dinner), the suggestions I have for you today from Amazon are featuring the things that I rely on week after week to get us a hot dinner on the table in a very short time. Please remember that every little bit helps, and supports my family for allowing me to do this 5-6 days a week, a couple hours a day.
Meanwhile, scroll through the recipes, contact me if you need to, or ask questions below on the comment section,
and check back for answers.
Tomorrow we will be covering meals in a jar that you can pressure can and simply dump, heat, and serve…many of which are absolutely fantastic. 
***the second day to this series will actually be posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013.
Many blessings to you and yours,


 Quickly, since rice and spaghetti noodles are sharp when broken, double package them. I put them in ziplocs first, then process them through the food saver. I also slip the index card with the recipe right into the bag, and vaccuum pack it with the meal, so that way I know what I need to replace when I am out or getting low.
 ALSO, you can package the rice separately from the ingredients otherwise listed, cook the rice in the pressure cooker, and cook the remaining ingredients on the stove top, so you can serve curry or whatever right over the top of the rice as a restaurant would. 

Split Pea Soup Mix
3 cups split peas
1 cup dried onion
1/2 cup dried carrot slices
2 tsp salt
4 slices of garlic, dried from whole clovesThis is to dump in your crockpot. You add one pint chunked home-canned ham, liquid and all, (or two depending on how thick and meaty you like your split pea soup). To this mix add 8 cups of water, and turn crockpot on low for 8 hours.Taco or Enchilada Filling Base2 1/2 cups rice (we use a mix of brown and long grain white rice)
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup dried yellow and red sweet pepper pieces
1 cup dried corn
4 garlic chips
1/2 cup dried onion pieces
2 dried chili peppers, whole with seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds, basil, oregano and chili powder
1 tsp salt
2 TBS tomato powderI add this bag of ingredients to my Nesco Pressure cooker, add one pint chicken, OR 1 cup dried hamburger rocks and one pint or large can of tomtatoes with green chilies. To the pressure cooker then I add 6 cups water after stirring all the ingredients well together. I seal the lid, turn the pressure cooker on high for ten minutes, let it cool down naturally, and serve either in shells, or fold into shells, cover with cheese and enchilada sauce, and bake for another 30 minutes. I often have leftovers, and we make tacos with the first serving of it, then I make up a batch of enchiladas for the freezer with the rest. Feeds my hungry families, and the prep time is super minimal.Beef Stroganoff Helper

1 1/2 cups rice
1/2  cup spaghetti noodles, broken in small 1 1/2″ pieces
3 tsp beef bullion
1/4 cup broken dried mushrooms
1/2 tsp dried celery pieces
2 tsp tarragon
1 tsp thyme
2 Tbs dried whole milk powder
2 tsp chives

Add 1 pt of beef broth, 3 pts of water, and 1 pt home-canned ground beef, or one cup hamburger rocks. Simmer 20 minutes, covered. Remove about 1/2 cup of liquid and add 1 Tbs of cornstarch, and stir/simmer until thickened, then add back into the pot. Remove from heat, add one small container of sour cream or thickened yogurt, heat through, and serve.

Rice Curry Base

3 cups rice
1 cup lentils
1 cup carrots
1/2 cup red peppers
1/2 cup dried onions
1/4 cup dried celery
1/2 cup dried corn
2 tsp chili powder and curry powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic salt
Mix well, To use add one bag to pressure cooker, add 3 cups water, one pint chicken broth, 1 can coconut milk, and one pint home canned chicken. Process on high pressure for 12 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve. We eat this with a salad when possible, and it is sooooo good.