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May 4, 2017

BOIL WATER WARNING




Not too long ago my city had a boil water notice go out. Now my city never had a boil water notice in all the years that I have I have lived here. I wasn't even that sure on why I was really supposed to do. After a couple hours, it got me thinking...

What if this was worse? What if this was a regular thing. Am I prepared? Can I handle boiling water for everything for long periods of time? The answer was no. Which is really shameful seeing that I live in in a state that gets lots of hurricanes. Hell, we even have a football team named the hurricanes. That should let you know how common they are here. I had only a couple bottles that I could keep water in and a big plastic jug in the fridge. That's all. Well, that won't get me far. So I started looking to see what was available. As much as I'd love to not have plastic I have to be realistic here. Plus I need to be able to easily store and access the items. 

I looked around and came across some neat storage containers that stack which is awesome because this will help save space. I also thought camping gear would be of good use just in case power went out as well during hurricane time. Below are just some items that would be useful primarily in a boil water order. Of course, they can be used any other time if you wish.

Camping Shower
I have this one. In a pinch, it's great as long as you have some place high to tie it too. Our shower wasn't high enough to allow the spray hose to work without kinking up. So we had to use it outside. Long term use would get annoying but for a few days, this would work well.  





Mass Storage
Even though I try to not to gt things that can't be just folded away when not in use, I really like these, I like the fact they stack and look easy to fill. It may take some time to fill them when boiling water, with only being 5 gallons each it shouldn't be too bad.  




Pots
If you are able to boil on your stove then go ahead and use the pots you already have. I do not have grill safe pots but this on is pretty nice. Lighter in weight than I expected and get's the job done. I like that it holds a good amount of water. Allowing the process to happen faster.



Water Bottles
For fast access when washing hands or drinking we always have glass bottles around. I swapped out my plastic and metal ones for glass. The glass bottles are a lot stronger than they used to be and the tops are usually bpa free which is nice.



All of these items can be used year round if desired. But they are just really handy when you freak out over a boil water warning like I did. :)

Have you ever had a boil water order? How long did it last? Were you prepared? Do you live off the grid and this is daily living for you? Let me know in the comments and share any other suggestions you might have. 


March 30, 2017

DIY SPICE MIXES


Making your own spice mixes is a lot easier than you think. By making your own you can really lessen your trash pile since you would be able to buy in bulk. Which allows you to control the chemicals you are consuming if you are buying from bulk stores. Bulk stores tend to support non-GMO and organic farmers. Now if you are growing your own spices and herbs, invest in a dehydrator (I am eyeing a solar one). This way you can truly control what you are putting into your body. Win win.

I've compiled a short list of commonly used spice & salt mixes.


POULTRY RUB 1
2 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Sage
3 tsp Garlic Salt (**look at the salt list to learn how to make it yourself)
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Thyme

POULTRY RUB 2
(1 TB Each)
Garlic
Onion
Thyme
Salt
Paprika
Chili
Black Pepper

CURRY
2 tbsp Cumin
2 tbsp Coriander
2 tbsp Turmeric
1 ½ tsp Cardamom
½ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Salt

LEMON PEPPER
Zest from 2 Lemons
2-3 tbsp Black Pepper
2 tbsp Salt

CHILI
2 tbsp Chili
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Cocoa (unsweet)
½ tsp Garlic
¼ tsp Cayenne
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Smoked Paprika

TACO
2 tbsp Chili
2 tbsp Cumin
1 ½ tsp Onion
1 ½ tsp Garlic
½ tsp Cayenne
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp Oregano
1 tsp Paprika

ALLSPICE
1 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Clove

PUMPKIN PIE & SWEET POTATO PIE
2 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp All Spice
½ tsp Cloves

APPLE PIE
1 tbsp Cinnamon
dash Cardamom
1 tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp Cloves

SALTS
When making seasoned salts, you need to bake them a little to make sure the salt absorbs the flavors well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your salt mixture. Bake at 200ยบ for 20-30 mins. You can use whatever salt you want, I choose to use a certain Kosher salt because it is the lowest in sodium
.

SEASONED SALT
1 cup Salt + (1 tsp of each) Garlic + Paprika + Black Pepper

GARLIC SALT
1 cup Salt + 2-3 Garlic Cloves

CHILI LIME SALT
1 cup Salt + 3 tsp red pepper flakes + 2 tsp lime zest

SRIRACHA SALT
1 cup Salt + 3 tbsp Sriracha

ROSEMARY LEMON SALT
1 cup Salt + 3-4 tbsp Rosemary + 1 Lemon zest

SAFFRON-FENNEL SALT
1 cup Salt + 1 tsp Saffron threads + 2 tsp Fennel seeds

LAVENDER SALT (excellent on cantaloupe)
1 cup Salt + 3 tsp Lavender buds

TRUFFLE SALT (so good over eggs) (Do not bake this mix. Let sit over time)
1 cup Salt + 1 small Truffle finely chopped + 3 tsp Truffle Oil

There are plenty of other combos. Feel free to make your own mix. The point is, there is no point is paying so much for chemical filled ones.

March 28, 2017

CRANBERRY CITRUS SHORTBREAD COOKIES





One of my favorite cookies are shortbread cookies. I love how buttery they are and how well they go with coffee or tea. However what I like the most is how simple it is to make. I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do.

*Note: I used mandarin oranges because that's what I had on hand. Mandarins have a very soft flavor so I would suggest use stronger oranges if you are wanting an orange flavor.

(click here button)


CRANBERRY CITRUS SHORTBREAD COOKIES
CRANBERRY CITRUS SHORTBREAD COOKIES


Ingredients:

Cookies:
1 cup softened butter (non-salted)
¾ cup powdered sugar
½ cup dried cranberries (chopped)
1-2 tablespoon citrus zest
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Glaze (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon zest
3 tablespoon citrus juice


  1. Beat 1 cup softened butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in chopped cranberries, orange zest, and vanilla extract until blended.
  2. Add1/4 tsp baking powder, and 1/8 tsp. Salt. Begin to add 2 cups of flour ½ cup at a time, at a slow speed. Making sure to scrape down the sides.
  3. Once the dough is well-blended drop it out onto wax paper. Shape shortbread dough into 2 (7-inch) logs. Wrap each log in wax paper, and chill 4 hours. (You can also freeze logs in zip-top plastic freezer bags)
  4. Preheat oven to 325°. (Be sure to check your oven for correct temp. Not all oven heat the same)
    **If frozen, let logs stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Cut each log into 24 slices. Place shortbread slices 1 inch apart on lightly greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  5. Bake shortbread slices at 325° for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of slices are a light golden color.
  6. Remove shortbread from baking sheets, and place on wire racks; let cool completely.
  7. Once they have cooled mix your glaze, and drizzle on top with a spoon or fork. You can also place in a Ziploc bag and snip off the tip of one end.
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