Adventure, gardening, Meal Time, Motherhood

Long Term Storage: Food and Everything Else

If 2020 has taught anyone anything its that being prepared is something that is very much needed. I hadn’t really gotten very far in the past when attempting to store food long term or even as a rotating pantry that was big enough to last a long time if needed. After witnessing first hand not having the food my family needed during a time when food was scarce and some even hard to find such as meats or meat products especially those that are typically used in long term food storage. During that time when stores were near empty and this unknown virus at the time was lurking everywhere it seemed I became afraid. I had never been put in a situation like that where I had to ration food for my family. There was that lurking question, What if we can’t get more? Or What if we don’t have money to buy more?

Those are not questions that I had ever had to face as it was always there. I remember more than a few times where my husband and I had to make the decision not to eat or not to eat as much during this time because our kids needed it more than we did. We would do anything for them including starve because we can take it and that is just the kind of thing you do as a parent for your kids. It was at this moment when I realized how foolish we had been in our spending over the years and would need to change them in the future that was if things ever started to feel normal again. Lucky for us it has started to feel normal again and I know that this is not a feeling that everyone is feeling I mean normal will never be the same again and the normal we feel now is different of course.

Rotating Pantry Vs. Long Term Food Storage

It is important to prepare; that is one big thing I learned just a few months ago and that is exactly what we have been doing with whatever extra funds we have. We are preparing for the winter firstly then plan to continue preparing for the future. For our pantry it is planned to be a rotating pantry that is kept well stocked with foods that we will use everyday but replenished so that we have them on hand when needed. What do I mean when I say rotating pantry? Well that is basically a pantry that is constantly being used up and replenished by using up the older stuff first. The stuff closer to expiring should be used first then so on after that. Then you would buy whatever was used up to replace it in the pantry.

On top of a rotating pantry I am creating a long term food stockpile by using Mylar bags to store items such as dry beans, rice, flour, oats, ect. I suggest that when or if you choose to store food in Mylar bags you do extensive research on what you can store and how to do it properly so that it doesn’t go bad in the Mylar bags. I am not a professional at all and am just sharing with you what I have done and will share future updates on how they all turned out. For me I used 5 mil sized Mylar 1 Gallon bags and a plain old iron to seal up the bags and 1000cc oxygen absorbers to take the oxygen out of the bags. The recommended oxygen absorber for a 1 Gallon Mylar bag is 300cc-500cc I believe I ordered the 1000cc because I had a hard time finding the others and so that’s what I got. Now even though I got a much larger absorber means it will work just fine but I would have been fine with a 500cc as well. No big deal as it will do the job it needs to do!

Above are the bags I put together recently I did several bags of various types of dry beans and some bags of Jasmine rice as well. On each of them I made sure to label what the contents of each were with a black permanent marker and then wrote the date I packaged them up. Even though it may sound a bit funny on the beans I also wrote that they will need to be checked for rocks before using as usually you will find small pebbles that look like beans in with the actual beans. It is always better to be safe rather than break a tooth or worse!

How did I do this whole process of packaging and sealing them up?

  1. Well first I took each 1 Gallon bag and set it in a pitcher like the pictures below.
  2. Next I carefully poured each type of food I was storing in this case each type of beans in the correct bag in increments of 3-4 lbs. in each bag. I stored black beans, 16 bean soup, & pinto beans. Then of course a few bags of Jasmine rice as well.
  3. I sealed each bag with a hot iron on the edge of my table. (You can use a wooden board for this as most people do this but I figured this would work for me as I did not have a spare board lying around). I made sure to leave a space big enough to put the oxygen absorbers in later for the final sealing. I set them all aside for them to patiently wait until I was ready for that very last step of final sealing them.
  4. I made up 10 bags of food in Mylar bags, this is important because this was the amount of oxygen absorbers in one pack. I would be able to use all of the absorbers in that one pack so none was wasted because I do not have a canning jar to seal them in to keep them fresh for longer.
  5. For that last step I set up each bag in a tote and made sure each had that opening meant for the oxygen absorber opened enough to quickly put it in then seal it up when I set my timer, because you have roughly about 15 minute to get them in the bags and sealed up before they are useless. Note: to make sure they are good to even use check the pack for an indicator that should still be pink as ever package of oxygen absorbers should have an indicator sealed inside with them to tell if they have been compromised or are still good to use. Pink is good white is not!
  6. Once I got them prepped I started the timer and went to town placing the oxygen absorbers in each first then grabbing each bag to finish the seal with a hot iron. I sealed the bags on both sides to make sure they were sealed and to double check I checked each seam just to be sure. The whole process to add the absorbers and to then seal each of the 10 bags only took about 6 minutes.
  7. For best results I will be storing them in a tote that is a solid color with a lid. To keep the light out in our basement which will also be great because it is naturally dark, cool, and dry.

    You want to make sure that when storing food it is sealed in some container to keep bugs out, that it is somewhere cooler to keep it from spoiling, and also that it is not somewhere that will get wet or where there is moisture even if the food is sealed in Mylar. Always take precautions because it could mean the difference between starving and not starving some day!

Setting Up a Rotating Pantry

My family has been fortunate to be able to purchase some Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers for longer food storage but it is not required. They are a bit expensive and a lot of places were starting to go out of stock and weren’t expected to get them in anytime soon at least the correctly thickened ones that are meant to last a long time. As there are different sizes of thickness for Mylar bags that effect the ability for the bag and product inside to last for longer and shorter time frames. The recommended thickness is at least a 5 mil or higher as they tend to give the longer storage times versus a lower thickness of a bag. They will hold up better and will keep their seal when they are thicker. I got all of my Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers from a combination of stores Pack Fresh USA and Discount Mylar Bags; I would recommend going directly through these companies rather than through Amazon because you would be in direct connection with the company selling to you rather than through another party. I find this to be the best way to do any kind of shopping for stuff like this.

I have done lots of research even before covid happened I had started this process before just never finished it well never really got going just learned about it through research. I have gotten a late start to this now and I think a lot of people have; so let me make something clear Mylar bags are not a necessity and you shouldn’t feel like you have to do food storage quick at the moment at least. Right now during this time where stores are restocking and people are calm is the time to build a food stock pile or rotating pantry nice and easy. No need to panic buy or rush.

Panic buying will only drain your bank/funds and leave you with nothing or possibly very little depending on when you do your panic buying which is usually at the very last minute possible when things have turned for the worse. Pretty much three months ago for a lot of people including myself. Instead be smart about your food purchases so by that I mean whenever you get your regular groceries grab some extra stuff that you don’t need and this should not be limited to food think about all of the things you need on top of food to make your lives easier like soaps, dishwashing detergent, laundry soap, feminine products, diapers, wipes, sanitizer, cleaning products, medications, and so much more! Just when you can grab a little extra when you are shopping and over time you will be surprised on how much you can accumulate by doing this. I suggest that you shop clearance items and if you are able to freeze things grab extra dairy products or meats and freeze them. You could even learn how to can food but that is if you can find the equipment needed for canning as of lately it has been quite scarce. You should figure up how much you and your family will need for at least a 3 month span then start accumulating that amount of extra stuff and food. Then after that continue to at least 6 months.

Other Things to Think About

So now you have established a plan and possibly started accumulating your Rotating Pantry now what? Well there are some things that you should think about which kind of ties into when I previous talked about storing food in Mylar bags it is sort of the same for any form of food pantry like storage. Where and how are you going to store your pantry and household items? This place should be dark, cool, & dry and free from insects or rodents if possible. If you do have insects or are worried about items be sure to place the items that would be vulnerable to damages into airtight lidded containers that are a hard plastic. Items such as boxed pastas, instant potatoes, or anything that would sustain damage from moisture, light, heat, insects, or rodents should be placed inside such containers. And then of course store these items so that they are easy to rotate so I would recommend organizing them for sure instead of just tossing them in a tote. This will be my next thing I need accomplish in my pantry when I can get all of the storage totes that I need to get that is.

Food and household items are very important things to stock up on but there are other must haves to think about. For instance if you have pets or other animals you need to think about keeping a food source open and readily available for them long term. You should also think of how you would provide clean water not only for them but for you and your family as well. A way to sanitize and clean your water so it will be drinkable is just as important as having a food plan. Then if you have animals depending on you as well as a family you need to think about how to accomplish this whether you get a water filtering system, invest in rain barrels for water collection from rain/snow, or if you invest in some sort of purification plan from other sources. There are a lot of ways to obtain fresh clean water you just need to figure out what will work best for your family and any animals you have!

Now what if a scenario happens that forces you to utilize your food pantry & water system for purification but the power goes out. What would be your plan for a power shut down? Most people depend on electricity in there homes to survive in these modern times but it would be wise to have a back up plan if the power grid were to shut down suddenly. A generator would be something to invest in but one with enough power to power items such as freezers and refrigerators’ or AC units and other important items that run on power. With this being something that would help keep freezer running which are important for my family because it preserves some of our food I would suggest a solar powered generator. Stocking up on enough fuel to run a gas powered generator long term seems like it may not be the right choice since a power grid outage would also effect surrounding business such as gas stations and fuel is a resource that would have to be replenished once it ran out. It would be very unpredictable to assume that you would always have access to a gas station in the future if something like this scenario ever happened in real life. Unless the sun all of a sudden goes out of commission you would have the best luck with a solar generator along with proper knowledge of how one works ect.

Speaking of knowledge being able to accumulate knowledge both in your head and in a physical book will be of great value because a book will generally last longer than the internet. The more knowledge you fill your mind with now will be able to help you in times that may happen later on when that knowledge isn’t readily available to learn at that time. Maybe you print off information from the internet, buy books, or simply copy from the internet or books by long hand if you don’t have access to a printer and also cannot buy books. There are tons of ways to accumulate knowledge but definitely worth investing in it in the end.

Finally one of the last things that is important to think about in preparing for just in case scenarios in this post is that you should make yourself familiar with growing your own food some way and all of the knowledge needed to not only grow your food but to also preserve it and keep it going year after year. It would be wise to learn this skill even if you just have a few plants in containers growing on a porch or if you have a full on farm with animals and crops. Being able to grow/raise your own food will be valuable if you ever ran into future scenario where food was scarce again not only for eating but also as a way to barter for other items that you may need and don’t have. You should not leave any stone unturned when it comes to learning new skills and preparing for the future just in case something like what happened just months ago happens again or much worse! Get prepared!


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homeschooling, Meal Time, Motherhood

Raddish Kids

Being home for most of this year has brought so many great companies & products into our families lives. I am always on the look out for new activities and teaching fun to do with my kids. I want all of my boys to be able to be independent and take care of themselves eventually with out help. One of my goals for this year is to teach them at least the older two how to cook and fix some of their own meals. I will of course cook most of their meals being their mom but I also want them to feel comfortable in the kitchen and comfortable making some of their own snacks or meals as well. I recently came across a pretty neat company that helps kids achieve just that independence.

Raddish Kids

Join Raddish Today. A cooking club for kids.Raddish is a cooking club for kids. The kitchen is the tastiest place to learn!

Raddish Kids is a monthly cooking club that teaches kids of all ages how to cook with confidence in the kitchen, either with help of an adult if they are not quite old enough or by themselves if they are ready to move to the next level in their journey in cooking. While keeping kids ages 4-14+ in mind Raddish creates and sends out monthly cooking kits that help learn all about the kitchen and the many different recipes that can be created.

How does it work?

Save $15 on a 6 month membership

  1. First things first you will need to “Join the Club” by choosing your monthly subscription rate. You can choose from three different options as far as billing is concerned: Monthly, 6 Months, and 12 months. Each with their own set of perks of course! The monthly priced kit is $24 and includes everything in the kit that would normally ship you can add an apron on for purchase but it is not included in this option they are $15 each with a max of 4.); however the 6 months option adds on a sweet perk with a free apron for the first box added into the mix (I will explain why this is so cool in a minute). The 6 month option is also quite neat because the price per box drops down to $22 (that is $132 paid up front; with a savings of $12). If you want to save $4 more per box and still get that free one time apron in the first box try paying for a while 12 months at a time as you will pay a cool $20 per box. (This option totals $240 up front which in the end saves you $48).
  2. Now you have got you kits all tidied up and they will be shipping out to you shortly what is it that you will be expecting? Every kit includes of course the monthly cooking kit, some digital recipes and activities, as well as a great online community through Raddish Kids many social media platforms and website! Each kit has its own theme for each month it is sent out; which means specialized recipes for each one of those boxes surrounding the theme. How cool is that? I thought it was pretty cool and wanted to share it with you, because why not!
  3. Remember those aprons I talked about earlier? Well here’s what is so cool about them. Your apron is a place to hold all sorts of memories as you create amazing recipes with your family through your journey in the kitchen but it also is a special badge holder of sorts. Each cooking kit sends a special badge (patch) that you can sew or attach to your apron as a keepsake. You get to have something that ties a bond of sorts to each apron kind of like a little trophy of what you have accomplished. Also included in every kit you will receive the neat badge, some recipe cards, new culinary skills, and a new kitchen tool to help you on your journey for the current recipe or any others you come across in the future. Your kit will always be different as kits never repeat so don’t worry about filling out your very own cookbook because your readers won’t get tired of creating those fun recipes you have collected for your book!

What are you waiting for?

Join the club. The Raddish monthly kits are great for family fun & learning. They will give you and your little ones a new connection with your kitchen so go check out Raddish Kids, your kitchen adventure awaits!


Thanks for reading my post! I hope you enjoyed, don’t forget to drop a like below and follow me on social media. Stay tuned for more posts on the way soon!

Meal Time

Crockpot Curried Chicken

Sitting in the kitchen watching my grandma cook in the kitchen is probably one of the best memories I have of my grandma. I remember one family recipe in particular growing up. It isn’t a huge secret as it was more of an adopted recipe which my grandma learned the original recipe from one of her closest friends. She loved it so much it became a family tradition for our side of the family.
Curried chicken with onion, potatoes, carrots, & tomatoes served over a bed of delicious steamed rice. The flavors are delightful!Every time I think about this recipe I find myself going down memory lane; it is the best! No matter how much I love the original which uses bone in chicken with skin and instead of being cooked in a crock-pot it is cooked on the stove top all day long. As a mother of three I don’t have the time to stand at the stove all day long cooking to make sure it cooks right. In efforts to still carry on the tradition of this dish with my own little family I needed to figure out how to cook it a little easier but still in the same low and slow kind of way to get all of that flavor out. I needed to use the crock-pot!
I figured out how to make it work and produce that same flavor profile that I remember growing up and here’s exactly how I do it.


Ingredients:

6 Whole Carrots (washed/peeled)
1-14.5 oz Can Stewed Tomatoes
1-28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Onion
5-6 Medium Sized Potatoes (washed)
2-3 Tbsp Curry Powder (or more if you love curry)
2 tsp Garlic Powder (Optional)
1 Cup Water
2-3 lbs Raw Chicken ( I used chicken tenders, however my grandma always used bone in and skin on chicken so any kind will work fine.)
Salt & Pepper to your taste
2 Cups of Rice (or desired amount)

Instructions:

  • Spray your crock-pot with cooking oil or simply grease with oil of choice.
  • Peel & cut your onion into quarters; peel & chop carrots; cut potatoes in small pieces then place all of them in bottom of crock-pot.
  • Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of curry powder over vegetables.
  • Pour in 1 can of tomatoes. (Doesn’t matter which can)
  • Add in chicken over top of vegetables.
  • Sprinkle with the rest of curry powder & add in garlic powder.
  • Pour in other can of tomatoes.
  • Then add in the cup of water.
  • Cover with lid.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken is cooked through & vegetables are tender.
  • Serve over rice cooked according to its own directions when ready to serve.
  • Add salt & pepper for taste.

Meal Time

Brown Sugar and Maple Granola

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

A couple of months ago I started to make my own yogurt from scratch in the crock-pot and have only been perfecting it since may I add. I have since discovered that using Greek yogurt as your beginning starter will make for a smoother and thicker yogurt in the end. I use a vanilla Greek yogurt and it is my opinion that the vanilla gives it less of a tart taste as well. Anyways with all of this homemade yogurt I wanted to add something to my yogurt besides fruit. I needed a granola recipe that was a perfect fit for me and my family, as I just wasn’t finding the right flavor combinations in other granola’s we tried. What better way to get exactly what you want than to make it yourself.
Below I thought I would share my granola recipe with you; we like it maybe you will too. I will mention that we don’t eat this every day as we only have yogurt once in a while when we have it and when we do it is not every single breakfast meal. The granola is sweet with sugar and maple syrup which would be way to much to have every single day for breakfast it is best as a once in a while kind of treat for our family especially my kids. It helps add another flavor note to our homemade yogurt besides the usual, enjoy!


Ingredients:

4 Cups Oats
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Oil of Choice (I used Olive Oil)
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium sized bowl mix together the oats, salt, cinnamon, & brown sugar.
  • Next add in the vanilla, oil, & maple syrup. Mix well.
  • Pour mixture onto a large oiled baking sheet, then spread it out flat but even.
  • Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
  • After the 10 minutes remove from oven and mix around with utensil, spread back out evenly.
  • Place back into oven for 10 minutes for a second time.
  • Take out of oven when done and set aside to cool completely moving it around while cooling to break it up easier.
  • Make sure to keep an eye on it while it is in the oven as some ovens can vary temperature wise. If that is the case turn your oven down a bit taking it out to let the oven cool down a little.
  • Once cool place in an air tight container to store or eat right away because it’s that good!
  • ( Eat by its self for a sweet treat, add into yogurt, or add into cereal. )



Meal Time

Taco Rice

Easy peasy is the way to go most days for our family especially at meal time! If I can make a healthy meal that is quick and well liked by everyone including my kids I know that I have done the impossible! A couple weeks ago I first threw this recipe together and it was a hit so I made it again for supper just the other night.


Ingredients:

1 Can of Stewed Tomatoes (drained)
1 Can of Black Beans (drained & rinsed)
1 Can of Corn(drained) (or use fresh sweet corn)
2 Cups of Rice (I use white rice)
1 Packet of Taco Seasoning
Salt/Pepper to your taste
1 Cup Shredded Cheese (of your choice)
Add Meat if you want more flavor.

Instructions:

  • Cook rice according to directions.
  • After rice is done add it to a medium sized bowl.
  • Add in tomatoes, beans, & corn. Mix together.
  • Next add in the taco seasoning. Mix until well incorporated.
  • Then finally add in the cheese. The rice should still be warm and it will melt the cheese.
  • Enjoy!
  • For a fun twist put in a oven safe dish add some more cheese on top, then heat in 350 degree F oven until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve as is or add some fresh toppings on top (sour cream, fresh tomatoes, salsa, ect.) with some tortilla chips.

Meal Time

Breakfast Sausage Loaf

I am always mixing and matching in the kitchen throwing this and that together and creating some very out of the box meals. I am trying to go through my freezer meat because we will be adding a half a hog in our freezer in October. We have quite a bit of breakfast sausage in our freezer that I have been trying to think of new recipes to use them in; thus creating the Breakfast Sausage Loaf. It makes for a unique breakfast that has it all included in this package deal! You got meat for protein and of course added eggs to bind it all together which only adds to the protein. Then you have some sort of grain to add to the binding ingredient to make it loaf like I used some Ritz Crackers but you could use toast too! Then I added in some veggies in the mix. I originally made it up for a supper idea but ended up eating it for breakfast and it was quite good! My kids ate it up with me. We added some white gravy on top of ours with some toast to make a biscuits and gravy feel. I thought I would share this simple recipe with you maybe you would like to make it too!


Ingredients:

1-2 LBS Ground Sausage
1 Onion-Chopped
2-3 Sweet Peppers-Chopped (1 Bell Pepper)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup to 1 Cup Cracker or Bread Crumbs (add until you get a good binding)
Salt/Pepper
Cooking Spray (for spraying pan)

Directions:

  • Preheat Oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Pre-spray a pan with oil (9 x 13 cake pan) (baking dish)
  • In a medium sized bowl mix together the sausage, chopped onion, chopped peppers, & Garlic powder. Mix well.
  • Next add in the eggs and start adding in the bread crumbs starting with 1/2 Cup. (if you need more add more).
  • Mix together with meat mixture until very well incorporated.
  • Next pour mixture into the baking dish and form into a loaf shape.
  • Place in oven at 375 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook for 30-40 Minutes; or until the internal temperature is 165 Degrees Fahrenheit with a meat thermometer.
  • If you would like at this time pour peppered gravy over the top or serve it on the side with other breakfast sides. Enjoy!


Thanks for reading this recipe post I didn’t get a chance to take pictures as I made it however your just making a basic meatloaf but instead of ground beef or ground turkey you are using breakfast sausage instead. Also you will not add ketchup … unless that’s your thing! Here is the link to my Homemade Meatloaf Recipe if you need a picture reference that is similar, if you are unfamiliar with the meatloaf. Drop a like below and follow my blog! Also follow me on social media. Stay tuned in for new posts coming soon!

Meal Time

Made From Scratch Broth

Learning to become one with your kitchen is something that you will be thankful for even years from now. For me being able to explore & learn at a young age in our family kitchen helped me become the person I am today in my own kitchen. I essentially have become one with my kitchen. Everything has its own place & everything has a purpose. Over the years I have just learned how to cook lots of different things and some just came from inspiration & imagination. I can just see in my head what I wanted to cook/make and I did.

How to make made from scratch broth

The kind of broth will vary upon the type of ingredients that you have but the process is all the same. You will need a large stock pot to make a bunch of broth at once but you can use a smaller one as well. I make all kinds of broths and after they cool down I freeze them so I can use them in future recipes or to make flavor filled soups/stews.

Ingredients of Choice

Animal bones (chickens, cow, or pigs are what I use; but you could use deer, rabbit, turkey, or other game)
Vegetables or Vegetable Scraps
Water

As you see it doesn’t take much to make a broth, if you are making a meat based stock you can even add veggies to it or mix the flavors of other proteins together. It really comes down to what ingredients you have to work with. For me when I make a broth for my freezer or just to use right then and now I use what I have on hand. No need to go out and buy ingredients. When I am cooking & there is leftover bones or scrap vegetables I will put it all in a gallon sized bag or freezer safe container and just collect it in the freezer until I am ready to use it. The freezer keeps the ingredients from going bad until I can make a stock out them.

Directions

  1. Set your pot of choice on the counter.
  2. Add in the bones/vegetables your using.
  3. Then fill the pot up so that the ingredients are covered with water, I fill my stock pot up about 3/4’s the way full. (keep in mind as it cooks down some of the water will evaporate)
  4. Place pot on the stove top & set to medium low/medium heat. (you want it to boil on low so it doesn’t boil over)
  5. Cook everything down for at least 2 hours or longer.
  6. Once your satisfied that everything has gotten cooked long enough remove from heat and let it cool down so its not so hot to be able to drain it with out getting burned.
  7. Take a large mixing bowl & place it in your sink then place a large colander over top of the bowl. Pour the broth over the colander to separate the liquid from the solids.
  8. Empty the cooked vegetables/bones in near by trash bin or compost bin. The broth liquid is ready for use right away. If you want to freeze it instead it needs to cool down to room temperature.
  9. It needs to be cool enough to work with if you plan on freezing it. After it has cooled down you can either put it into freezer safe zip lock bags directly or put them in other containers to freeze that way. If you put it directly in bags you will then lay them out flat on a sheet pan that will fit in your freezer so they can freeze flat then you would take them off the sheet pan once frozen flat. I will freeze them this way sometimes but I have recently started freezing the broth in freezer safe containers first then putting them into my freezer safe zip lock bags afterwards. This helps when I want to remove it from the bag for use a lot easier. Some people will also use ice cube trays as a freezer safe container.

I apologize I did not get any pics of the process. The next time I do a broth which should be rather soon I will do an update post showing the steps in picture form as well as how I freeze the broth. Thanks for reading. Drop a like below.

Meal Time

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer

I have been really enjoying being able to cook & share recipes here with you guys; I try to mix it up a bit so its not always the same old meal time recipes. Here’s one that will help save some money as you may have these ingredients in your kitchen already. They just need to be put together to make something else! I have three boys two of them are always loud and the other will join them as he grows. Raising loud always on the move boys means I may not get the best sleep as there is always something then what little time I do get to myself has to be divided up or I will never get anything done, good bye nap & hello everything else that I need to do. One thing that I look forward to and that coincidentally helps with the lack of sleep is Coffee!
Some people can do straight black coffee nothing else I am not that person. I enjoy trying all kinds of different flavors of creamers. They are just so expensive and now with trying to just make it by with money being tight I have started looking at the ingredients in my kitchen a lot different than before. Throwing this & that together to make something else will save you money especially if you would have just bought it at the store knowing you have these simple ingredients on hand at your own home. You get the most out of ingredients that you have bought previously or on the cheap versus paying an extra fee for a store bought luxury item/items.
Recently I used up all of my coffee creamer that I have on hand; sure I can just have sugar as a sweetener. However I really like using coffee creamer because it really transforms my coffee into something luxurious. Don’t we all enjoy some sort of luxury at some point. Anyways I discovered a way to make my own Homemade Coffee Creamer. I chose to make vanilla as that is the kind of flavoring (extract) that I have on hand but you can make all sorts of flavors. You just need a few ingredients & a container to put it in.
(possibly a funnel for putting mixture into the container)


Ingredients

2 Cups Milk
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2-3 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

Add together all ingredients to a small medium sized bowl.

Whisk together until well incorporated.

Carefully pour mixture into container of choice to store it in, I am using a old coffee creamer container. I am also using a funnel to pour my mixture into the container.

Store in refrigerator for as long as the milk you used is good for.
I would recommend writing in marker on a piece of tape and sticking it on the container to remind you of the date of the milk depending on if you use up all the milk that you had.
(I am using milk that I thawed out from the freezer so the date doesn’t matter much for me. I will just taste it as I use it to make sure it hasn’t soured.)



Thanks for checking this simple easy recipe out! Check out my Meal Time page for more recipes.
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Meal Time

Chocolaty Chocolate Milk Muffins

Upon looking in my fridge I discovered about a 1/4 of a gallon of chocolate milk about to expire tomorrow according to its date. By the smell of it I would say that is pretty spot on! What to do with it, was my impending question. I will bake it into something of course.

Did you know that you can use milk that is past its date or that has spoiled to cook with? The trick is to use it before it gets chunky!

After some thought I settled on Chocolate Muffins but with a twist because I would be using chocolate milk instead of regular milk and I ended up adding some other ingredients in to make it just chocolaty enough without over sugaring them. In our house we try to use everything up the best we can so this was right down our ally.


Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Oats
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Milk Chocolate Chocolate Chips

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 2/3 Cups Chocolate Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Butter
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit
Grease a 12 count muffin tin with oil.
Muffin baking cups are optional. (grease those if your using them)

  1. Combine all dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, except chocolate chips.

2. Then add in the vanilla & egg.
3. In a separate bowl mix the melted butter in with the chocolate milk to temper them before adding to the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
4. Lastly add in the chocolate chips. Stir until incorporated. (Mixture should not be too thick or too loose somewhere in between.)

5. Fill the muffin tins up about 3/4 full each with mixture. (if you have extra just fill them up to top, be careful to not overfill though)

6. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes (when you poke a tooth pick in it should come out clean with no batter on it)

7. Enjoy


This recipe allows for the chocolate chips to give it a little extra sweetness through out the muffin. As a mom I don’t want breakfast to be filled with too much sugar so if you like sweet muffins (or really cupcakes…) feel free to up your sugar content a bit more before baking! They are sweet through out with out being overly sweet. My kids enjoyed them! They are the perfect breakfast or quick go to snack that won’t send you into sugar coma.