My Foray Into Food Storage

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


40 Comments

Happy 24th Anniversary To The Love Of My Life!

Tomorrow is my 24th wedding anniversary.  I can honestly say that I love my husband even more than I loved him when we married (and I loved him an awful lot way back then).  He brings out the best in me, and he makes me laugh.  I am so blessed to be married to him.  Happy Anniversary, John!

 

John and I eating dinner while watching the sunset over the Pacific.

John and I eating dinner while watching the sunset over the Pacific.  We had a lovely two days in Newport Beach to celebrate before returning to “normal” life.  I meant to take more pictures, but I forgot.  This will have to suffice.

 

Who are you grateful to have in your life? 

Who brings out the best in you? 

Who makes you laugh and forget how hard life can be?

 


2 Comments

A Family Favorite – Funeral Potatoes – Made With Food Storage

Funeral Potatoes, sometimes called Utah Potato Casserole, are delicious!  I love them!  Creamy, potato-y, cheesy, with some crunch on top.  Perfecto!

 

Funeral Potatoes, aka Utah Potato Casserole, made with Emergency Essentials Dehydrated Hash Brown Potatoes

Funeral Potatoes, aka Utah Potato Casserole, made with Emergency Essentials Dehydrated Hash Brown Potatoes

 

You know what is not a favorite thing of mine?  Prepping the potatoes for this dish.  I hate the cooking and shredding (or chopping), so I don’t make these as often as I’d like.  Also, we’re not big baked potato eaters, so when the craving for these hits, I rarely have potatoes on hand.  Yes, it’s a first world problem, so I’m not complaining too loudly about it.

 

When I received the prize for this month’s giveaway (enter here!), I realized that the shredded hash browns could be used in all sorts of recipes and not only for traditional hash browns.  As soon as I opened the package Emergency Essentials gave to me to test, I realized that these were absolutely *PERFECT* for Funeral Potatoes.  I resolved to make them asap and did last night.  Let me begin with my recipe.

 

Delicious Funeral Potatoes - Fresh From The Oven!

Delicious Funeral Potatoes – Fresh From The Oven!

 

Funeral Potatoes

Adapted from a recipe in The Essential Mormon Cookbook

 

4 cups dehydrated hash browns (or one 32-oz package frozen shredded hash browns)

2 cans cream of chicken soup (10 1/2 oz cans), or your favorite cream soup

2 cups sour cream

1 cup grated cheddar (I used sharp cheddar, you can use freeze-dried without reconstituting it)

1/2 cup butter, melted (salted or unsalted, your choice)

2 tablespoons dried onion (or 1/3 cup chopped onion)

2 cups crushed corn flakes or corn chex cereal

2 tablespoons butter melted

 

Rehydrate potatoes according to the directions on the package (for mine, I put 4 cups of dehydrated Emergency Essentials’ Hash Browns into 16 cups of salted boiling water and let it simmer for 7 minutes).  Drain hash browns and transfer to a 9×13 casserole dish.  (If using frozen hash browns, it works best if you let them thaw a bit before putting them in the casserole dish, but they do not need to be heated through.)

 

In a mixing bowl, mix together soup, sour cream, cheese, 1/2 cup melted butter and dried onion until well combined.  Pour over potatoes in casserole dish and stir until the soup mixture is evenly distributed among the potatoes.  Set aside.  Mix together crushed corn cereal and 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Spread over top of potato mixture.  Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly along the edges and the corn cereal is slightly brown.  Serve warm.

 

Here’s my photo step-by-step.

 

 

Before I assembled my ingredients, I boiled some water, added a touch of salt, and added 4 cups of dehydrated Emergency Essentials Hash Brown Potatoes.

Before I assembled my ingredients, I boiled some water, added a touch of salt, and added 4 cups of dehydrated Emergency Essentials Hash Brown Potatoes.

 

 

While the potatoes were cooking, I assembled my ingredients.

While the potatoes were cooking, I assembled my ingredients.

 

I mixed the soup and sour cream together, then I added the grated sharp cheddar cheese.

I mixed the soup and sour cream together, then I added the grated sharp cheddar cheese.

 

Next, I added dried onion. Personally, I prefer fresh onion, but my kids don't like the "crunch" of fresh onion, so we compromise and I use dried onion.

Next, I added dried onion. Personally, I prefer fresh onion, but my kids don’t like the “crunch” of fresh onion, so we compromise and I use dried onion.

 

Next, I added the melted butter (I used salted butter), and stirred well to combine.

Next, I added the melted butter (I used salted butter), and stirred well to combine.

 

After 7 minutes, the potatoes were re-hydrated and ready to use. I drained the potatoes and transferred them to a 9x13 casserole dish.

After 7 minutes, the potatoes were re-hydrated and ready to use.

 

I drained the potatoes and transferred them to a 9x13 casserole dish.

I drained the potatoes and transferred them to a 9×13 casserole dish.

 

Next, I poured the soup mixture over the potatoes and stirred until the potatoes and soup were well combined.

Next, I poured the soup mixture over the potatoes and stirred until the potatoes and soup were well combined.

 

I crushed my corn chex cereal with my rolling pin...

I crushed my corn chex cereal with my rolling pin.  (You know, I love using corn chex in my chex crispy treats.  See my super easy recipe here.)

 

Then, I mixed it with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Then, I mixed it with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

 

Finally, I topped the potato mixture with the corn cereal/butter mixture and popped the casserole dish in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Finally, I topped the potato mixture with the corn cereal/butter mixture and popped the casserole dish in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

30 short minutes later, I had delicious Funeral Potatoes!

30 short minutes later, I had delicious Funeral Potatoes!

 

Don't those look good?

Don’t those look good?

 

Now, I’ve showed you three different ways to use dehydrated hash brown potatoes. 

Can you think of another way to use them in your every day cooking?

 

 

Laurel Laurie Staten Nguyen Newhall, CA


16 Comments

Chicken Enchiladas – They’re Americanized, But, Hey, They’re Fast And They’re Good!

Yesterday was my son’s 21st birthday.  I know it’s hard to keep track of all the birthdays and special occasions around here.  My birthday was a little over 2 weeks ago, my third son’s birthday was last week, my second son’s birthday was yesterday, Mother’s Day was this past Sunday, and my anniversary is coming up on the 25th.  All that craziness coupled with the regular end-of-school insanity makes for fun times in our house.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Of course, I add to the craziness by making whatever my kids what for their birthday dinner. It’s a fun tradition which my kids look forward to.  The only requirement for the meal is that it has to be something I can actually make (no restaurant meals).  It can be something the birthday boy loves and everyone else hates.  It’s their choice.  Sometimes the birthday boy goes for a complicated dish (like Chicken Tikka Masala, which takes hours), and other times, like last night, my son went for Chicken Enchiladas, American style.

 

Enchiladas!

Enchiladas!

 

What do I mean by American style?  There is no ounce of authenticity in these.  NOT ONE!  But they’re quick and easy to make, and they taste good.  Everyone can eat them, except for my husband who has a hard time with cheese.  But it was my son’s birthday, and if 5 out of the 6 family members can eat dinner, I consider it a success.  Usually, I would feel bad if my husband (and sole financial provider) can’t eat what I make for dinner.  But it was youth night at church, and we usually eat out for youth night.  So he grabbed a burger at In-N-Out and was quite happy with it.  Problem solved.

 

How do I make these little gems?  Let me tell ya!

 

Easy, Delicious Americanized Enchiladas

Easy, Delicious Americanized Enchiladas

 

Chicken Enchiladas

Adapted from a recipe by Rachel Anderson

 

Flour or Corn Tortillas, soft taco size (8 per 9×13 pan)

Chicken (I use chicken breast, about 1 pound per 9×13 pan)

Oil (I use olive oil)

Cheese (I use sharp cheddar and, occasionally, Monterrey jack – use at least 2 cups per 9×13 pan)

Enchilada sauce, homemade or canned (I use Old El Paso or Great Value Brand, mild.  I don’t like it too spicy.)

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Cut up chicken into small pieces and cook over medium high heat in a skillet (with oil).  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside when chicken is cooked through.  Pour a small amount of the  enchilada sauce into a 9×13 pan, then pour remaining sauce into a flat dish which will allow you to dip the tortillas in the sauce.  Remove one tortilla from the package, dip both sides into the enchilada sauce, then set it in the pan.  Fill with chicken and cheese, then roll it up with the seam down.  Continue until all enchiladas are rolled.  Pour remaining sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.  Serve and Enjoy!

 

Here’s my photo step-by-step.

 

All ingredients assembled, except for the chicken...

All ingredients assembled, except for the chicken…

 

Which I cooked in a non-stick skillet with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Which I cooked in a non-stick skillet with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

 

I prepped my 9x13 casserole dish by pouring a little enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan, then I poured the remaining sauce into a pie tin.  I find it is the perfect size and shape for dipping the tortillas in the sauce.

I prepped my 9×13 casserole dish by pouring a little enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan, then I poured the remaining sauce into a pie tin. I find it is the perfect size and shape for dipping the tortillas in the sauce.

 

See?  It fits perfectly.  I dipped both sides of the tortilla, leaving the edge sauce-free to keep my hands cleaner.

See? It fits perfectly. I dipped both sides of the flour tortilla, leaving the edge sauce-free to keep my hands cleaner.  I know that flour tortillas are not traditional for enchiladas, but I said these were Americanized, didn’t I?

 

Next, I transferred the tortilla to the pan and filled it with chicken and cheddar cheese.

Next, I transferred the tortilla to the pan and filled it with chicken and cheddar cheese.

 

Then, I rolled it up with the sauce-free side of the tortilla on the outside (since the sauce in the pan would coat it).  Then I placed it in the pan with the seam side down.

Then, I rolled it up with the sauce-free side of the tortilla on the outside (since the sauce in the pan would coat it). Then I placed it in the pan with the seam side down.

 

It took less than 10 minutes to roll all of these and get them ready for the oven by pouring the extra sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkling them with cheese.  Next, I popped them in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes.

It took less than 10 minutes to roll all of these and get them ready for the oven by pouring the extra sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkling them with cheese. Next, I popped them in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes.

 

And, Voila!  My son's favorite dinner was served!

And, Voila! My son’s favorite dinner was served!

 

I think there are only 2 enchiladas left this morning, so dinner was a great success.  This little tradition helps make birthdays special and I love it!  It’s quite a bit of fun for me to let one of my sons be “king for the day,” or at least for dinner.

What birthday traditions do you have in your house?  Please share them!

Also, DON’T FORGET!  Enter to win a great prize in my May giveaway here.