My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!


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Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret of mine.  Although I don’t believe in luck, I am one of the luckiest people I know.  Somehow, I seem to win things a few times a year.  Last year, I won a generous gift card to a fancy restaurant (which my hubby and I used for our anniversary dinner) along with several other nice, but mostly small, prizes.

 

Our 23rd Anniversary Dinner which was paid for with a gift card I won.

Our 23rd Anniversary Dinner which was paid for with a gift card I won.

 

And it happened again!  Not as pricy a prize, but it is one I really love and will use!

 

Look at these fab items: PB Powder, Chia Seeds, and Flax Seeds!  Thanks, 2 Moms In The Kitchen!

Look at these fab items: PB Powder, Chia Seeds, and Flax Seeds! Thanks, 2 Moms In The Kitchen!

 

A fellow blogger was offering this prize on her website (2 Moms In The Kitchen), and I won along with 2 other readers.  It arrived a couple of days ago, and I used the PB powder for the first time today.  It was awesome! Funny thing about the Peanut Butter Powder is that I bought a #10 can of PB Powder a couple of months ago when it was on sale on Emergency Essentials’ website for $13.39 (for 44 ounces which works out to just over 30 cents an ounce ).  I didn’t realize what a smokin’ price that was at the time.  Their regular price is $16.99 (which is still a great price at 38 cents an ounce), but the PB powder sold in the store is about $6 for 6.5 ounces (or just over 92 cents an ounce). If I’d realized it at the time, I would have bought a few more cans!

 

Why was this such a big deal when I had a huge can?  Well, I drink protein shakes most days to ensure I get enough protein.  (If you want to know why I drink them, read my post here.)  I get bored with the same old flavors, so I create my own with different fruit, sugar free flavorings, etc.  I thought peanut butter would be nice, but I didn’t want to open my one can of peanut butter powder to try it out in a protein shake.  Some of my protein shake experiments have not turned out so well, and I didn’t know how quickly I’d use the PB powder if I didn’t use it in a shake.  Anyway…  I liked it, so now I know that I can open my big #10 can when I’m done with this little bottle, and I will use it all up!  I also plan to buy a couple more cans, so I always have some on hand.

 

Back to winning…  What else have I won?  Well, the last “big” prize I won was from one of my favorite blogs, “Food In Jars.”  I won this handy slicer shredder!  Isn’t it cool?

 

So fun!  It even has a crinkle cut option!

So fun! It even has a crinkle cut option!  Thanks Food In Jars!

 

So, now you know.  I win stuff.  Not all the time, but often enough to keep life interesting.  I think it’s loads of fun to win free stuff, and that’s why I offer giveaways on my blog.  It sure brightens my day when I win something fun, and I hope it does the same for you.  If you want to enter my current giveaway, please visit my giveaway blog post found here.

 

Have you ever won anything? 

If so, what’s the most fun thing you’ve won? 

If not, what food storage or home/kitchen/preparedness related item would you like to win?

 

 

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I Guess I Should Make Actual Hash Browns, If I’m Giving Them Away, Huh?

This month’s giveaway features a HUGE 6 pound bag of Emergency Essentials dehydrated hash browns.  They can be used to make all sorts of dishes whenever you would use potatoes.  I featured potato soup here (and that’s where you can enter to win this wonderful prize), but I thought you might want to see how they are when you make traditional hash browns.  Here’s my photo step-by-step.

 

I started by bringing 2 cups of salted water to a boil.  Then I added 1/2 cup of dehydrated Provident Pantry Hash Browns.

I started by bringing 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Then I added 1/2 cup of dehydrated Provident Pantry Hash Browns.

 

I simmered the potatoes for about 7 minutes, and they plumped up quite nicely.

I simmered the potatoes for about 7 minutes, and they plumped up quite nicely.

 

See?  They expanded and measured just shy of 1 cup of rehydrated hash browns.

See? They expanded and measured just shy of 1 cup of rehydrated hash browns.

 

I preheated my non-stick pan over medium high heat, added some oil, and placed the drained rehydrated hash browns in the pan.

I preheated my non-stick pan over medium high heat, added some oil, and placed the drained rehydrated hash browns in the pan.

 

Originally, I thought I'd split the hash browns with my youngest son, so I split the hash browns into two roughly equal portions.

Originally, I thought I’d split the hash browns with my youngest son, so I split the hash browns into two roughly equal portions and added a touch of salt and pepper.

 

I flipped them so they could brown just a touch on the underside (although they were cooked and hot throughout).

I flipped them so they could brown just a touch on the underside (although they were cooked and hot throughout the hash brown).

 

I removed them from my pan and placed them on paper towels for a couple of minutes to drain some of the excess oil.  I'm sure they would have tasted just fine, but any fat I can remove is a plus for my cholesterol!   Then I plated and served them.  Of course, my son ate them all, and he declared them good!

I removed them from my pan and placed them on paper towels for a couple of minutes to drain some of the excess oil. I’m sure they would have tasted just fine, but any fat I can remove is a plus for my cholesterol! Then I plated and served them. Of course, my son ate them all, and he declared them good!

 

These were super simple to make and were quite tasty.  I’d definitely make them again and I’m sure my family will be thrilled when I do.  I generally don’t make hash browns, because they turn out so much better when I’ve cooked the potatoes beforehand, and I just don’t want to take the time to do so most days.  I had hash browns on the table within 15 minutes, which is a huge time savings.  The fact that they tasted so good makes me never want to make them from scratch again!

 

What is your favorite quick and easy breakfast?

Want to win these?  Click here to enter.


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Super Simple Potato Soup… And A Giveaway!

We’re halfway through the marathon called May, and I thought it was high time for another giveaway!  Emergency Essentials generously provided our prize.  Thank you!!!  They were also kind enough to give me a second item to test, so I can honestly tell you what I think about it.  And I like it…  A LOT!  What am I giving away?  Take a look…

 

Hash Browns!

Hash Browns!  See them on Emergency Essentials’ website here.  They’re on sale for $19.99 this month with an additional $1 off per bag if you purchase 6 bags!

 

Dehydrated hash browns!  A HUGE bag of them with 143 servings!  They rehydrate quickly and easily making them perfect for everyday use in my house (and yours).  Sure, I can go the traditional route and use them to make hash browns, but I decided to start with something a little different.  I made potato soup with them yesterday.  It was quite hot here (in the upper 90s), and although soup is a warm dish, it doesn’t heat up my house.  It was delicious!

 

I will be sharing a few different recipes with you throughout the length of this giveaway, so you will have some great ideas about incorporating traditional “food storage foods” into your every day diet.  Let me begin with the recipe I used last night.  (Want to skip the recipe and go right to the giveaway?  Scroll to the bottom of this post for details.)

 

Quick and easy Potato Soup topped with sharp cheddar and hickory smoked bacon!

Quick and easy Potato Soup topped with sharp cheddar and hickory smoked bacon!

 

Super Simple Potato Soup

Adapted from a recipe by Dana Bobek

Prep time about 20 minutes

 

1 stick of butter, salted or unsalted

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 fennel bulb, diced (you can omit, use celery, or add extra onion to replace this ingredient)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

8 cups of hot water

2 “tubs” of Knorr Homestyle Chicken stock (Not sure what this is?  Amazon carries it here.  Or you may replace this and the water with 2 cans of chicken stock and 4 cans of water)

2 14-oz cans of evaporated milk (3 cups – you may use cream or half-n-half, if you prefer)

4 cups Provident Pantry Evriday Dehydrated Hash Browns

1 potato, cooked in the microwave until cooked through (3-4 minutes), chopped including skin (optional)

salt and pepper, to taste (I added about 1/2 teaspoon of each)

 

Mix together  hot water and Knorr homestyle chicken stock, using a whisk to combine.  Set aside.  Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat, then add onion and fennel.   Cook until onion and fennel are tender (about 5 minutes).  Stir in flour and cook for about 1 minute.  Gradually add evaporated milk and water/chicken stock mixture, stirring to incorporate.  Next, add the Provident Pantry Evriday Dehydrated Hash Brown Potatoes.  Turn heat to medium high and let mixture come to a low boil.  The soup will thicken as it gets closer to a boil, and the dehydrated hash browns will plump up.

 

If you are adding the optional baked potato, add it once the mixture reaches a low boil.  Then add salt and pepper, to taste (whether or not you’ve added the optional potato).  I added about 1/2 teaspoon of each.  Serve alone or with your favorite toppings (cheese, sour cream, green onion, bacon, etc.).

 

Here’s my photo step by step.

 

Gather your ingredients.

Gathered my ingredients.

 

I prepped my chicken stock and water mixture, then set it aside.

I prepped my chicken stock and water mixture, then set it aside.

 

 

I melted butter in a large pot over medium heat and added the diced onion and fennel.

I melted butter in a large pot over medium heat and added the diced onion and fennel.

 

After cooking the onion/fennel mixture for about 5 minutes until they were tender, I added all-purpose flour (to form a roux).

After cooking the onion/fennel mixture for about 5 minutes until they were tender, I added all-purpose flour (to form a roux).

 

After stirring in the flour, I let the mixture cook for about 1 minute.

After stirring in the flour, I let the mixture cook for about 1 minute.

 

Then I added a little of the evaporated milk.

Then I added a little of the evaporated milk.

 

Almost immediately, my roux mixture became very thick.  Don't worry when this happens to you.  Just continue to gradually add your evaporated milk, stirring the entire time.

Almost immediately, my roux mixture became very thick. Don’t worry when this happens to you. Just continue to gradually add your evaporated milk, stirring the entire time.

 

It will become smooth.  I promise.  See?  I'm still adding milk and stirring.

It will become smooth. I promise. See? I’m still adding milk and stirring.

 

Very soon, all the evaporated milk and broth mixture were incorporated and the soup looked like soup (not a big gloppy mess).

Very soon, all the evaporated milk and broth mixture were incorporated and the soup looked like soup (not a big gloppy mess).

 

Next came the dehydrated hash browns.

Next came the dehydrated hash browns.

 

While the soup was coming to a boil, I chopped up my fresh potato.  This was not necessary for flavor, but my family is used to having potato with skins in our soup, so I added it to keep the soup somewhat familiar.

While the soup was coming to a boil, I chopped up my fresh potato. This was not necessary for flavor, but my family is used to having potato with skins in our soup, so I added it to keep the soup somewhat familiar.

 

After the soup reached a boil, I added the chopped potato and seasoned the soup with salt and pepper.  Then, it was ready to serve!

After the soup reached a boil, I added the chopped potato and seasoned the soup with salt and pepper. Then, it was ready to serve!

 

Doesn't it look delicious?  Fast and delicious, that's my way to cook on a hot day.

Doesn’t it look delicious? Fast and delicious, that’s my way to cook on a hot day.

 

Without further ado, here’s the details on my giveaway.

 

1.  Visit Emergency Essentials’ website here.    (You must visit Emergency Essentials’ website using a link in this post for your entry to be valid.)  Take a look at the Dehydrated Hash Brown recipes on this page, come back here, and post a comment telling me what you’d make with them (other than traditional hash browns).  If you have your own recipe you want to adapt, that counts to.  You may do this ONCE.

 

2.  After you have posted a comment about a Hash Brown recipe, you may claim additional daily entries (one entry per day starting the day after you post about a hash brown recipe).  If you wish to claim additional entries, simply visit Emergency Essentials Website here (website visit using link in this post is REQUIRED) and find another recipe on their website you’d like to try, then come back here and post a comment telling me which recipe and product you’d like to try.  NO DUPLICATE RECIPES may be posted for this entry opportunity.  Each post must contain a different recipe to be valid, and your entry will be disqualified if you post the same recipe as one posted in a prior comment either by yourself or another user.  You may use Emergency Essentials’ search box to find a different recipe, or click on a product and take a look at the recipes for that product.

 

3.  This giveaway runs from May 14, 2014 – May 28, 2014, giving you 15 entry opportunities!

 

And here’s the lovely prize!

 

Here's the prize for my current giveaway (ending May 28, 2014) - a 6 pound bag of dehydrated hash browns containing a whopping 143 servings!

Here’s the prize for my current giveaway (ending May 28, 2014) – a 6 pound bag of dehydrated hash browns containing a whopping 143 servings!

 

Not sure how big this really is?  Take a look at a size comparison.

 

Please note that I'm only giving away the huge bag of hash browns, but I want you to see a size comparison, so you can see how collosal this bag is.  Next to the bag is a #10 can, and next to the can is a 15 oz can from the grocery store.  Can you see how huge this is?

Please note that I’m only giving away the huge bag of hash browns, but I want you to see a size comparison, so you can see how colossal this bag is. Next to the bag is a #10 can, and next to the can is a 15 oz can from the grocery store. Can you see how huge this is?  (Sorry the picture is blurry.  I should really check that before I post the picture, huh?)

 

 

Now for the fine print…

No Purchase Necessary.  Making a purchase will not increase your chance of winning.

– Open to those who have reached the age of majority within their state who are US residents with a mailing in the USA only.  (Sorry, my non-USA readers!)  If a winner with a mailing address outside the USA is selected, they will be disqualified and a new winner will be selected.  This giveaway will be conducted in accordance with California and USA laws.

– Number of Prizes: 1 (one).  Prize contains 1 6 pound bag of Emergency Essentials’ Provident Pantry Dehydrated Hash Brown Potatoes (approximate retail value $30). Prize will be shipped at no cost to the winner to the USA address provided by the winner.

– Odds of Winner: Depends on number of entries received.

– One Winner will be selected at random using random.org.

– How to Enter:  There are two ways to enter.  First, you may visit Emergency Essentials’ Website using a link in this post and post a comment on Foray Into Food Storage’s post titled “Super Simple Potato Soup… And A Giveaway” (http://forayintofoodstorage.com) indicating which recipe you’d like to make with this product.  You may do this once.  Once you have posted on this product, you may use the second entry method for additional entries. Second, you may visit Emergency Essentials’ Website using a link in this post and find a different product and recipe you’d like to try, then post a comment on Foray Into Food Storage’s post titled “Super Simple Potato Soup… And A Giveaway” sharing which product and recipe that is.  Each post must contain a different recipe to be valid, and your entry will be disqualified if you post the same recipe as one posted in a prior comment by yourself or another user. You may enter once daily during the entry period (5/14/2014 – 5/28/2014).  Each comment counts as one entry with a maximum of one entry per day.  Not responsible for misdirected entries or for equipment or internet failure.

– Winner will be notified via the email provided within 2 business days after the giveaway ends.  If the winner fails to respond within 72 hours or if a valid email address was not provided, the winner forfeits the prize and a new winner will be selected.  You will receive the winner notification from forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.  Check your spam folder to make sure you don’t miss the notification.

– The winner will be listed on my blog (first name only) once eligibility has been confirmed, and the prize has been accepted.

– This giveaway is solely sponsored by My Foray Into Food Storage with the prize provided by Emergency Essentials.  The only consideration given by Emergency Essentials is the prize featured above and a duplicate item furnished to me to test.  ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN!  No additional consideration or compensation has been provided to My Foray Into Food Storage.  This giveaway is not affiliated with WordPress or any other sponsor.  This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with WordPress.

 

So, hop to it!  Check out Emergency Essentials here and tell me…

What recipe would you like to try?

 

 

 

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