Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Esther Earl's Banana Nut Bread

Since bananas are on sale this week I'm posting this amazing Banana Nut Bread recipe.

Banana Nut Bread
by Esther Earl

1 ½ cups mashed bananas (about 3 1/2 bananas)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
¼ cup melted butter
1 ½ cups sifted flour (or whole wheat flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup nuts (I used walnut)

Mash bananas & cream with sugar, eggs and butter. Add dry ingredients & mix together. Add nuts (optional) and stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Financial Resource Fair

Saturday, November 7, 2009 9:30 am – 1:00 pm

The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints
Green Valley Stake Center
410 Valle Verde Dr. (just north of Warm Springs)
Henderson, NV 89014

Learn financial strategies from the experts
in entertaining and informative workshops and displays

Topics Include:

Financial empowerment
Employment services
Avoiding identity theft
Available college money
Tasty food storage
Myths & heath
Mortgage restructuring
How to buy & sell online
Christmas with Spirit
How to write a resume
Valid wills & trusts
Living abundantly while living on less
Interviewing skills
Retirement planning
Effective couponing
How to cut hair
Debt reduction strategies

Thursday, October 15, 2009

La Bonita Supermarkets

La Bonita Supermarket is one more grocery store to price match from. I can view their weekly specials online, but haven't figured out how to print out their ad. That option doesn't seem to be available online. I do know that Rene at the Neighborhood Walmart at American Pacific & Stephanie does get this ad delivered to her home and she brings it to work with her. You can always figure out what you want to buy and then check out with her. Most Walmarts won't price match unless you have a printed ad with you.

Here is the original post for price matching at Wal-Mart.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pantry Essentials - SRS Meeting October 1, 2009

This month we are focusing our goals on starting (or completing) our 3 months of pantry items & meals. Three-month supply items are foods that you normally eat, including canned and commercially packaged foods.

Buy it: Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage.

—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007, 1

Store it: Amy talked to us about the many different kinds of containers available to store our long and short term food items

Use it: Rachelle talked to us about how to rotate and use our 3 month’s supply and Stephanie led us in a discussion on the book “I Dare You to Eat It”


The entire newsletter can be downloaded here. Click on the links to view our posts on Storage Containers, 30 Days of Pantry Meals, Smart Shopping, Book Review "I Dare You to Eat It", Green Living & Recipes!

30 Days of Pantry Meals

Pantry Checklist

Rachelle planned a months worth of meals using Pantry & Food Storage items. Here are some of her forms to share with you! Decide how many times a year you will serve each recipe. To avoid appetite fatigue, choose at least 2 weeks of different main dish options. Input your options on the options page. Then use your options page to complete your monthly menu page.

Shopping Smart

Price matching, couponing & seasonal shopping are some of the many ways to shop smart.

Price matching: Some stores will match the prices of their competitors, in the hopes that you will shop with them instead of their competition. Of course, often the competition does the same thing. Price matching can be done at many stores such as Staples, Best Buy, Target. & Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart is my favorite store to price match at since they also price match groceries. Here is the complete post on Price Matching at Wal-Mart

Couponing: This is an excellent way to get items at a discounted price. Many stores will also take their competitors coupons such as Michaels will take Joanns coupons and Staples will take Office Max coupons, etc. There are also many couponing blogs out there. I cannot hope to cover all that they do, so here is a list of my favorite coupon blogs. These blogs will tell you everything you need to know about couponing and how to get started.

Las Vegas Coupon Mom (Robyn's Blog)
A Thrifty Mom
Couponing 101
Shopping Frugal

Seasonal Shopping: This is buying things during their lowest price of the year, such as turkey and baking supplies in November. Purchasing items when they go on clearance is also a great way to stock up. I buy all my Christmas wrapping paper in January when it is 75% off. Here is a great article from Moms By Heart about Yearly Sales and Clearance Cycles

Buy at the Lowest Price Point: When things have a long shelf life, stock up on that item when it hits it's lowest price point! For example at the last Smiths Case Lot Sale, they had tuna for .50 a can. I know we eat about 1 can a week, so I bought 50 cans which is enough to last us about 1 year. Here is A Thrifty Mom's explanation on this same principle.

Buy Online: Sometimes the best prices for non grocery items can be found online. & Ebay are my two favorite places for lower prices. Many items have free shipping as well! Do your research and you’ll be able to get some great deals!

Book Review - I Dare You To Eat It

I Dare You To Eat It
By Liesa Card

I Dare You to Eat It walks readers step-by-step through designing food storage to fit your family’s needs and preferences.

-Don’t over complicate using your long-term storage from the cannery. Remember, “just add water”, all of the basic staples purchased from the cannery cook – with water!

-Determine the amount of long-term storage you will need with the following idea. Divide your long term storage into seven categories comprised of wheat, rice, beans, oats, pasta, and potatoes, with a duplicate category of either rice or wheat, totaling seven categories. Then use the following formula:

Amount of Long-Term Storage Items Needed

The number of people in your family (example: 4 family members)
x 2 (example: 2 x 4 = 8)
the number of cases in each of the 7 food categories you should have
(example: 8 cases of wheat, 8 cases of beans, 8 cases of pasta, etc)

- Select everyday recipes your family enjoys as the foundation of your three month food storage.
-Take the five long-term storage items (wheat, rice, beans, potatoes, and pasta) and select six recipes that can be made from each item. This will give you thirty recipes. Multiply by three and you will have three months worth of food.

-Remember, you don’t have to have a grinder to use your wheat. The simplest way to use your wheat is to cook it over night in the crock pot. In the morning you will have wheat berries to use as cereal or in soups or casseroles. Wheat berries can also be frozen and used later.

- Preparedness isn’t just a plan for the wealthy. Don’t be discouraged if you have very little to spend. If you buy one can of anything for food storage, it counts!

Liesa Card's website is

Storage Containers for Long & Short Term Storage

Here are some brief descriptions of the different types of storage containers. Click on the link to view the entire handout from Provident Living

#10 Cans: #10 cans and oxygen absorbers are for sale to Church members at home storage centers. Canning sealers are available for use in the centers. #10 cans may be used to store foods that are dry (about 10% moisture or less), shelf-stable, and low in oil content.

5 or 6 Gallon Plastic Buckets: Plastic buckets may be used to store food commodities that are dry (about 10 percent moisture or less) and low in oil content. Only buckets made of food-grade plastic with gaskets in the lid seals should be used. Buckets that have held nonfood items should not be used.

Foil Pouches: The pouches are made of multilayer laminated plastic and aluminum. The material is 7 mils thick (178 microns) and protects food against moisture and insects.

PETE Bottles: Bottles made of PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic can be used with oxygen absorbers to store products such as wheat, corn, and dry beans. PETE bottles are identified on the container with the letters PETE or PET under the recycle symbol #1. Moisture content of stored foods should be about 10% or less. PETE bottles can also be used for shorter-term storage (up to 5 years) of other shelf-stable dry foods such as white rice.

Storage Conditions

Storage life can be significantly impacted by the following conditions:

• Temperature: Store products at a temperature of 75°F/24°C or lower whenever possible. If storage temperatures are higher, rotate products as needed to maintain quality.

• Moisture: Keep storage areas dry. It is best to keep containers off of the floor to allow for air circulation.

• Light: Protect cooking oil and products stored in PETE bottles from light.

• Insects and rodents: Protect products stored in foil pouches and PETE bottles from rodent and insect damage.


Green Living - Energy & Water Conservation

Conserving energy & water is not only easier on the pocketbook, but shows that we care about the Earth by being careful with her resources. Here are some simple ways to conserve.


*Turn off lights, fans, t.v.'s, computers, and other "plug-in" items when they are not being used.

*Phantom loads (also called vampire or ghost loads) are the electricity used by appliances and other electronic devices when they're not in active use. (These include televisions, microwaves and coffee makers that are equipped with LED clocks, stereos, and radios. And don't forget your cell phone charger; it may draw power even when the phone isn't hooked in or after the phone is fully charged.) To eliminate "phantom loads", use a power bar to turn the power on and off as needed.

*Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which convert 20% of the electricity flowing through them into light. (A standard light bulb converts only 5% of the electricity flowing through it into light.)

*Carefully inspect the seal around doorways in your home. Make sure there are no gaps where the air can be sucked out.
If you are a home owner, you may want to consider getting a professional energy audit. The cost of the complete energy analysis is typically $300-$500, give or take. That may seem like a lot of money, but this analysis is well worth the expense--you'll save much more than that over time if you follow up on the auditor's recommendations. Energy auditors provide a written report that lists potential energy improvements.


*Turn water off while you are brushing your teeth.

*Take shorter hot showers.

*Instead of letting water run as you rinse dishes, fill up one side with soapy water and the other with rinse water. Dunk the washed dishes in the rinse water.

*As often as possible, wash laundry on the cold/cool water setting.

*Check the hot water temperature on your water heater. Many manufacturers set the temperature valve at 140 degrees, but 120 degrees is sufficiently hot, and lowering the temperature also reduces the risk of scalding from tap water (especially for babies and young children).

*Check that your sprinkler and/or drip system are running on the assigned days for your area, and at the correct time of day (between 7 p.m. and 11 a.m. for our area). Watering midday and afternoon can cause water waste because of quick evaporation from the heat and wind. Be sure that you're not watering so much that the water runs off your lawn and onto the sidewalk.

(Resource: "Mother Earth News" Oct/Nov 2008 issue, pg. 84-92)

Recipes with Pantry Items!

The cannery is a great resource to buy your long term food storage. A current price list can be found at

Recipes can also be downloaded in a pdf format: Main Dishes & Desserts

6 Can Chili

1 lb ground beef (cooked & drained)
¼ cup dehydrated onions or ½ cup fresh
2 cans (15 ½ oz) chili beans in sauce (undrained)
2 cans (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 can (15 oz) black beans (drained & rinsed)
1 can (10 ¾ oz) cream of mushroom soup
1 tsp chili powder

Add the ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover & simmer over low heat 30 minutes, stirring occasionally

Chicken Pot Pie

Pie crust for 2 tops and 2 bottoms (ok to substitute store bought)

4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups shortening
12-14 TBSP ice water


4 small cans of chicken with juice (drain some of the juice)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of potato soup
½ bag of frozen peas & carrots (or use 1 can of peas and diced carrots)
pepper to taste

Combine chicken, soups, peas and carrots and pepper. Pour into pie crust. Place top layer of crust on and bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes


1 cup cornmeal
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup flour
1 egg (or use gelatin substitute)
¼ cup sugar
1 can corn, drained
3 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk (fresh or from powdered milk)
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 425°F. Put half of the olive oil in a 9x9x2 cast iron skillet and preheat in oven without burning oil. Mix all remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour batter into preheated cast iron skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. (If you don't use cast iron, mix the other half of the oil in the batter and cook as usual.)

TVP Tacos

1 1/3 cup TVP
¼ cup Taco Seasoning (1 pkg)
1 (14 oz.) can low sodium beef broth

In a large skillet, heat the broth over medium heat. Add TVP and stir well. Allow the TVP to reconstitute for 2-3 minutes. Add taco seasoning & stir well. Allow to cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve in place of ground beef in your tacos. Garnish tacos with refried beans, sour cream, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, olives and cheese.

Here is the link to TVP Hamburgers

Cake Mix Cookies

2 eggs (or use gelatin substitute)
2/3 cup shortening
½ dry cake mix

Blend 2 eggs and 2/3 cup shortening. Add half of dry cake mix. Roll dough into 1” balls and bake on ungreased sheet 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees. Cookie tops will be cracked when done.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

1 pkg. Duncan Hines spice cake mix
2 ½ cups uncooked rolled oats
2 eggs (or use gelatin substitute)
¾ cup cooking oil
½ cup milk
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
¼ cup dark brown sugar

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Drop from a teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.

Pumpkin Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 can pumpkin
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 cup water
1 egg white (or use gelatin substitute)
1-2 cups chocolate chips (optional)

Beat all ingredients with mixer for 2 minutes on medium high speed. Bake in greased and floured 13x9 pan in 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes.

Gelatin Egg Substitute

1 tsp Knox unflavored gelatin (in the Jell-O section)
3 TBSP cold water
2 TBSP + 1 tsp warm water

Mix gelatin and cold water until dissolved. Then add warm water and mix. Substitutes for 1 egg!

October Self-Reliant Challenge

Here is the Self-Reliant Challenge for October.

  • 72-Hour Kit Challenge: Purchase three small cans of food or three 1200 calorie energy bars. (3600 Calorie Mainstay Bars are on sale at
  • Recipe Challenge: Select one recipe your family enjoys that can be mostly made from pantry items. Purchase double the ingredients to have a second meal on hand.
  • Document Challenge: Photocopy social security cards and immunizations records. Laminate them or place them in a zip-loc bag.
  • Prepare & Share Challenge: Once during the next eight months, take a recipe from the basket. Prepare and share it in our monthly class.
You can also download this challenge in pdf form here.

Each meeting we will also be passing out monthly challenges prepared by Rachelle. We would love for everyone to become “Self-Reliant Certified” by completing all the monthly challenges. Our last meeting will be dedicated to those who have completed some or all of the challenges. Prizes will be awarded to those who have completed all the challenges.