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pictures_with_words copy 6Nectar of the gods. . . glorious coffee.  I can’t imagine my life without it.  No only for its amazing flavor and energy boost is offers, but as images-14one who suffers with migraines, caffeine has been prescribed to me to help control them.  For me, it works really well.  As much as I love my morning cup (or 2, or 3) of java, hot coffee is not appetizing in the middle of the day during the hottest parts of summer.  Iced coffee is always a great option which I partook in by stopping at a local espresso stand drive thru, but at nearly $6 for a large double shot, it can get really expensive.  Besides that, I’m busy in the garden most summer days.  I don’t have time to get to the coffee shops.  My solution?  Making it myself for a fraction of the cost.  If you love your iced coffee, you really need to try this simple and delicious recipe.  It just might destroy the relationship between you and your favorite barista.  Honestly, no coffee-house has anything better than this blend.  And you will save a LOT of money!

I had a pound of whole coffee beans in my freezer that I used in this demonstration.  However, a rough ground bag is just as good.  Buy the least expensive brand you can get at your local supermarket works just as well as the expensive ones.  So save yourself some money and avoid the expensive brands.

Plus, you will be getting three separate recipes in this one post.  Obviously the iced coffee.  But I will show you how to make vanilla extract that you can use to make your own creamer!  Check out the links and video.

Now, gather a few things you will need:

 

pictures_with_words copy 8 1 pound course ground coffee – I keep my coffee beans whole and grind them as I need them.  For this large batch, I use my wonderful Ninja. But you can buy whole beans at the store and grind them on the course setting next to the whole beans (if you grocer offers them).

1 gallon plus 1 quart warm water – This will yield right at a full gallon of espresso-type coffee

PrepperPenny’s Vanilla Creamer using my homemade Vanilla Extract (check out my You Tube video at the end of this page)

Large air-tight container – Tall and thin or short and round, just make sure it is airtight and will allow your coffee to stay saturated

Colander(s) – As you will see, I use several sizes to make sure my grounds are completely removed and my espresso is dark and rich but not foggy

 

Pour luke warm water over coffee grounds

Pour luke warm water over coffee grounds

Simply empty your 1 pound of coffee into your container and pour warm water over it.

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Place in airtight container and refrigerate for 24 hours

In a large, airtight container, pour 1 gallon plus 1 quart of warm water.  Give a quick stir to moisten all grounds and place the lid on.  Place in your refrigerator for 24 hours.

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Straining equipment

You are almost done.  No stirring  or shaking.  After 24 hours, you have en amazingly strong cold espresso.  Now you need to strain it several times until you have removed any debris.  I start with a larger colander first, move to a finer mesh and finish with butter cloth.  You want to be sure to strain it enough to make a dark, rich coffee without any trace of the coffee grounds, otherwise your coffee will become cloudy.

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Dark enough that you can’t see through it

Your coffee will be  dark and strong you will not be able to see through it!  That’s exactly what you want.

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Now it’s time to assemble your iced coffee.   This is where you will use a combination to meet your specific taste.  I like my iced coffee creamy, so I mix coffee and creamer at a 50/50 ratio.  If you like stronger coffee, use less creamer and more coffee.  You can use your favorite plain or flavored creamer, the same kind you might buy in the grocers.  I make my own vanilla creamer which is what I use.  Click here for that simple recipe.

Add sugar or favorite sweetener, top with whipped cream and enjoy!  From experience, I can say that it will keep well in your refrigerator for at least two weeks.  Beyond that, it’s trial.  Mine has never made it past that two-week mark.

Iced Coffee

Rich iced coffee

Kick it into the stratosphere and make your own vanilla extract to use in your own creamer.  This is my video to make your own extract.  It’s great in this recipe and amazing for all recipes calling for it.

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IMG_2940I am really excited to announce that I will now be a contributing writer for the blog at ModernHomesteaders.net.  I have been a fan of theirs for awhile and being asked to contribute was very flattering and exciting.  I am scheduled to write for them once a week.

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Click Here To Visit Modern Homesteaders

I will be talking about my road to prepping and the accomplishments I have made.  I hope to show how anyone, even if you are on a tight budget, how to start and build up emergency supplies and equipment.  But as importantly, I will be teaching alternative cooking methods, food preservation and other great DIY projects to help save you money.  I will share product reviews and a host of other things that should help you develop your own plan or hone in on the plan you have to move you ahead.

I’ve seen many things happen in the way of disasters.  Things like hurricanes, tornadoes, super storms, terror attacks and an economic system teetering in the brink of decline.  I see families displaced, left without a home to live in or even clothes on their backs.  I see these people at the mercy of charities and government agencies for their very survival.  I don’t want my family to be like those families we all see on television after such a big event. I hope you will follow me as I contribute to the great work Shane is doing at Modern Homesteaders.  If you don’t already subscribe to Modern Homesteaders, please click this link and visit them on Facebook by clicking here.

My Signature

Visit My Online Store

Visit My Online Store

Expedition Supreme Kit

Expedition Supreme Kit

Supreme 1 Year Food Supply

Supreme 1 Year Food Supply

 

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As we all know, there are great tips and information about gardening, propagating and harvesting food from your garden.  A master gardener I am not.  I feel like I learn something new every day about growing my family’s food.  Watching the TV program, Through The Wormhole, I saw a doctor who is famous for cloning animals use honey as a growth hormone to start new plants in a demonstration for his approach to animal cloning.  I was fascinated because I know there are many uses for honey, but I did not know it was used in this way in the garden.

Lavender with cinnamon Cinnamon growth hormoneI’m sure many of you have seen this post going around Pinterest and FaceBook in using cinnamon as a growth hormone in starting new plants.  Well, I was excited and tried using it to propagate a new, beautiful lavender plant I got this year for Mother’s Day.  More than two weeks into it, I see nothing more than what I started with.  Clearly, the cinnamon will not work with lavender, at least not mine.  But this plant is so beautiful that I want to ensure to have plenty of it for years to come and having several copies of the same plant should help me meet that goal.

So, because the cinnamon is not working, I am trying honey.  Local and organic as it should offer the best local pollination in my opinion.  The uses for honey is vast.  I’ve seen many articles related to beauty, health and medicinal uses for it.  But I’ve not run across this purpose before I specifically started researching it.  From my research, I’ve decided to use the following recipe.

  • images-61 cup honey
    – Pure, or raw, honey is said to be better than regular store-bought honey (which has been processed) and yields the greatest results.
  • 3 cups boiling water
    – Mix the honey with your boiling water and allow to cool. Place this mixture in an airtight container (such as a mason jar) until ready to use, storing it somewhere away from light.

It sounds simple enough.  If you are interested in trying this method, click this link to find a well written article all about it.  I will let you know if and how this method works in comparison to the cinnamon method.

 

 

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Soup, whether it’s winter or summer is a regular rotation in my meal planning.  With a side of bread and or salad, it’s a healthy way to get in a well-balanced meal.  This happens to be one that my family loves so I decided to make it into an easier recipe using my food storage.  I have worked inside and out all day and when it came to dinner time, I needed something fast.  I’ve cooked with my THRIVE for so long, it’s just a natural “go-to” meal for us.  Tonight I decided to convert our favorite Stuffed Green Pepper Soup recipe in to a convenient Meal In A Jar recipe.  No cutting veggies (which I didn’t have fresh anyway), no frying up ground beef (THRIVE is already cooked) and virtually no cleanup.  I was so pleased with the result that if you love the convenience of boil and serve Meals In A Jar, I knew you would love this easy recipe, too.

Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

Meal In A Jar Newsletter

Prepping Jars

Stuffed Green Pepper Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: PrepperPenny
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 6
This recipe converts my standard soup into a meal in a jar. It’s an excellent soup!
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup THRIVE Tomato Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Garlic Granules or Powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp THRIVE Beef Bouillon Powder
  • 1 Cup THRIVE Freeze Dried Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Cup THRIVE Freeze Dried Onion
  • 1/2 Cup THRIVE Freeze Dried Tomato Chunks
  • 1/2 Cup Instant Rice
  • 1/2 Cup THRIVE Freeze Dried Green Pepper (Or Red/Green Bell Pepper)
Instructions
  1. Layer ingredients as I have listed them. You may need to shake (or pound) your jar as you fill it to make sure it all fits.
  2. Top with a 100cc Oxygen Absorber if you are not going to cook this for more than a few days. Or you can use you vacuum seal system to draw out the air.
  3. To Cook: Boil 10-12 cups of water and empty contents into it. Reduce boil to a simmer and cook (stirring frequently) for 20-30 minutes. You can add more water for a more brothy soup or cook to reduce for a thicker soup. Salt and Prepper to taste, serve with a side of sourdough bread and salad, enjoy!

 

To purchase any THRIVE Freeze Dried ingredients, please visit my store by clicking below!

For any THRIVE food, please visit my store by clicking here

For any THRIVE food, please visit my store by clicking here

 

 

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cornbread

Bread making is a very important skill to have.  But it’s not limited to raised or leveled bread.  There are many types of breads to keep in your recipe files.  This one is posted from the University of Illinois Extension office under their diabetic recipes.

 

Double Corn Bread
Recipe Type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Author: PrepperPenny via Univ of IL Extension
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 egg whites (or ¼ cup egg substitute)
  • ½ cup non-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) can creamed corn
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder and baking soda in large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  3. Separate eggs or measure egg substitute and place in small bowl. Add sour cream, oil, and creamed corn and mix well.
  4. Add corn mixture to dry ingredients and stir only enough to dampen flour.
  5. Spray muffin tins or 9×9 inch pan with cooking spray.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin tin or pan. Spray top lightly with cooking spray.
  7. Bake muffins for 20 minutes, pan for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm. Cut bread into 12 servings.
Serving size: 1 Calories: 107

 

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Finished MIJ ChiliI am married to a Texan.  A few things I learned to cook when we were married was bbq brisket, bbq beans and chili.  He really is a chili snob.  So I felt really challenged when I set out to make a dry version from the ingredients we have in our food storage.  After all, preparing for hard times is being affected as little as possible.  Having your favorite foods will make the hard times much easier and healthier to face.  It took a few tweaks, but I put a recipe together that he is very happy with and is regularly rotating into my menu.

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Add and adjust your personal preference in spices. Sprinkling a dash of red pepper will add some heat

As with any meal in a jar, they are quite pretty sitting in my glass front, antique cupboard.  But I have to say, these make adorable gifts, too.  I have given away many and always get great reviews.  With a decorative tag where you write or print the cooking instructions on and a mini-bottle of tabasco, they are a fun gift to give and look even more pretty in your cupboards.

For more information on freeze-dried food, I have put information in this document to answer questions you may have.   Meal In A Jar Newsletter.  For safely preparing your jars, I have put together this document  Prepping Jars

Chili Meal In A Jar
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: American/Mexican
Author: PrepperPenny
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 4-6
Layer your ingredients in the order listed. You may have to lightly pound you jar on your countertop to get the ingredients to settle and fit in your 1 quart jar. If you have a vacuum seal system, use the attachment to draw out all the air. If you do not have one, you will need to add a 100cc oxygen absorber which will draw out any air.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup THRIVE Tomato Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Mix
  • 1 Tbsp Beef Bouillon
  • 1 Cup THRIVE Instant Red Beans
  • 2/3 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried Ground Beef
  • 1/3 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried Sausage Crumbles
  • 1/4 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried Onions
  • 1/2 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried Mixed Bell Peppers
  • 1/2 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 Cup Celery
  • 1/4 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried Green Chili Peppers
Instructions
  1. Bring 8-10 cups of water to boil. Empty ingredients into the boiling water and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes.
  2. Adjust salt, pepper and preferred spices to taste
  3. If you like chili mac, simply reduce the amount of instant beans and replace with the pasta of our choice. Or you can simply add pasta when you cook this meal.

 

For any THRIVE food, please visit my store by clicking here

For any THRIVE food, please visit my store by clicking here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Infused OilOne thing I strive to do in planning my home store, I try to make sure I either have or can make all the things my family and I enjoy in these “good” times.  I don’t want to be pulling out buckets of legumes and beans without having the flavors I’m accustom to going into them.  Simple things really do make life more comfortable.  And this technique to infusing oil is an example of planning to thrive while others struggle to survive.  Pay attention to the little things.  Those sometimes unnoticeable extra’s that you might take for granted.  This recipe was given to me to share by reader Tess Pavlin.  She has tried and tweaked this until she was sure it was wonderful and felt comfortable in making it public.  Win for us, right?

Infused oils will spice up your cooking and lend to wonderful healing and relaxing massages.

When you are ready to start making essential oil from your herbs, follow these four steps carefully:

  1. Put a handful of your herbs or flower heads into a clean glass jar. Choose either a single herb such Basil Infused Oilas basil or a mixture such as oregano, rosemary and thyme. Crush them to release the flavor into the carrier oil. Make absolutely sure your herbs are completely dry.  Water will likely make your oil go rancid.
  2. Pour 12 oz. of oil into the jar until the leaves or flowers are completely covered. Put a well-fitting top on the jar and let it stand in a warm (but not sunny) place shaking daily for two weeks.
  3. Straining Infused OilAfter the two weeks, strain off the herbs (use a cotton muslin cloth or an old open weave linen handkerchief) and then repeat the process of infusion with a fresh handful of your herbs (but using the same oil). Do this, as many times as necessary until you have a jar of strongly flavored aromatic oil.
  4. Store your aromatic oil in a small to medium-size sterilized bottle and label it. Clean the rim and tightly seal the cap to reduce the chances of air getting into the bottle. Make sure that you keep your stored oils out of sunlight.

Always remember:

Use a good-quality, mild-flavored oil such as sunflower oil or grapeseed oil. You don’t want the taste of the oil to compete with the flavor and smell of your herbs. For this reason you should avoid using extra virgin olive oil.Cover your herbs completely with oil during the infusing process. Any bits sticking out will oxidize and spoil the flavor of the oil.

Before storing the oil make sure you have removed all the plant material. (If you don’t the oil will become cloudy and sour)

WHAT OTHERs ARE DOING WITH THEIRs

Another way to speed up the process of infusing your oils is by using a small crock pot on its lowest setting.

  1. Gently bruise the herbs or flowers by crushing the in the palm of your hands before adding them to the pot. You can also press them with a wooden spoon or in a mortar and pestle but it is not necessary.
  2. Add 16 oz. of oil to the crock pot and turn heat on low. Add the herbs, leaves, or petals. Let simmer covered for 12 hours. Stir lightly and turn off overnight. Day 2 turn back on and simmer again for 12 hours. Day 3 repeat. Strain oils through cheesecloth to remove solids and bottle the oils. They will keep for a minimum of 3 years if tightly sealed.

Extra Tip:  Add 1/2 teaspoon of Vitamin E (per pint) to your beauty and medicinal oils to preserve them. You could also try using 15 drops of grapefruit seed extract.

Alternative methods.

1. OVEN INFUSED HOMEMADE OILS – Place your herbs in an oven safe dish and cover with the natural oil of your choice. Cover the dish and place in the oven at 200 degrees or the lowest possible setting your oven has. Cook for three hours. While it’s still warm, strain through cheese cloth and squeeze the oil from the herbs. Pour the oil into a sterile bottle or jar.

2. STOVE TOP INFUSED OILS – Using a double boiler, GENTLY simmer oil and herbs for 2 hours. Strain through cheese cloth. For a stronger infusion repeat using the same oil and fresh herbs.

Infused oild in crockpot3. CROCK POT INFUSED HOMEMADE OILS – This method can only be used if your crock pot has a “warm” or very low setting! This works great for infusing several oils at once. Fill your sterile pint jars with your herbs and oils. Place the jars in the crock pot and cook on low for eight hours. You can do up to 5 different oils at once with this method depending on the size of your crock pot!

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