Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bunny Poop (Don't Knock the Name!)

Bunny Poop

12 oz butterscotch chips
12 oz chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup roasted peanuts (about half of one of the little cans)

In a large stock pot, melt all the chips and peanut butter over low heat, stirring constantly. When smooth, take off heat and add marshmallows and peanuts. Stir until uniform. Pour into greased 9x13 pan and spread evenly with spatula. Chill until set. Cut and serve chilled or it will soften. Keep refrigerated.


You may have thought this time of year
Meant jellybeans and eggs,
And unsuspecting, fluffy chaps
With furry, hopping legs.

But, here’s the proof
That Easter Bunny’s got a wicked streak.
Don’t reach under that lawn chair
‘til you stop and take a peek.

‘Cause though you may be looking
For those chocolate eggs and loot.
You might just find that morsel there
Is really Bunny Poop!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Self-Reliant Newsletters - 2008 to 2009

Here is a list to download our 2008 to 2009 Self-Reliant Newsletters.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Basic Herb Information

Storing Herbs
Sunlight ruins cut herbs, so tie them loosely but securely in a plastic bag and put them int he lowest part of the refrigerator. Herbes like cut chives, tarraogon and chervil are good up to a week, mint for two weeks, and thyme, sage and rosemary even longer.

Freezing Herbs
Chopped and stored in freezer tubs, herbs can be useful during the winter, however fresh is always preferred. Probably the best way to freeze herbs, however, is by making herb butter (either of the mixed herbs or individual ones).

Chopping Herbs
Ideally you need a good-sized cook's knife with a 7 inch blade that is slightly curved and a wooden chopping board. Chopping gadgets tend to squash the herbs and make them mushy. Arrange the herbs on the choping board by spreading them out, then rest the blade of the knife horizontally on the board at the edge furthest away from you. Hold the pointed end between the finger and thumb of one hand to steady it, take the handle in the other hand, and make sharp cutting movements swingng the handle towards you as you chop - so that the blade swivels in a fan shape across the herbs, and back again.
Chives are an exception as they are far easier snipped with kitchen scissors. Basil should have its leaves torn rather than chopped to best retain all the fragrant oils.

Herbs recommended to work well in their dried form

Basil - nowhere near the character and flavor as it is fresh, but works fine in soups and sauces through the winter
Bay leaves - better dried than fresh as they can tend to have a bitter flavor
Dill - can be used successfully if you infuse the leaves in warm water for a few minutes, then drain and use as fresh
Oregano - works well and as a substitute for marjoram
Rosemary - works alright, but it is recommended to be chopped as finely as possible since it's much more spiky when dried
Sage - dries well without losing much flavor
Tarragon - dried is useful if you steep it in warm water for a minute or two before using
Thyme - works well, especially in stocks and stews

Thanks Stephanie for this post!

Herb Recipes

by Home and the Range

½ cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup oil
¼ cup lemon juice (fresh)
1 cup cooked wheat berries
1 tsp salt I (dash season salt & garlic)
1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
½ cup garbanzo beans

Put salt, seasoned salt & garlic in oil and lemon juice. Pour over other ingredients and let stand 2 hours or overnight.

Soft Creamy Cheese with Herbs

8 oz block cream cheese (not low fat)
2 green onions, very finely chopped
2 TBSP fresh chopped parsley
1 TBSP fresh snipped chives
1 tsp chopped taragon
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed
freshley milled black pepper and salt, opt

Combine all the above ingredients together in a bowl, then form the cheese into a round cake-shape, and serve with crusty bread or over water biscuits/crackers. It can also be used as a spread over baked potatoes, or melted over new potatoes or any root vegetable.

Herb Butter

8 oz butter, at room temperature
4 TBSP fresh chopped parsley
1 ½ TBSP snipped chives
1 tsp fresh chopped tarragon or thyme
1 large clove garlic, crushed
2 TBSP lemon juice
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Combine all the above ingredients together. Store, covered with foil, in the refrigerator in small 2 oz portions (or use a plastic wrap lined ice cube tray within a plastic bag). This can also be a good way of storing fresh herbs in the freezer.

Bella's Rosemary Red Potatoes
by All Recipes

6 red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges
3 TBSP butter, melted
3 TBSP vegetable oil
1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix together melted butter and oil, then pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place the potatoes into the dish, and stir until coated. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir the potatoes occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Herb Roasted Chicken (Slow Cooker)

1 (4-5 lb) roasting chicken
salt and pepper
1 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ - ½ tsp paprika
2 TBSP olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced

Remove giblets from chicken. Remove as much fat and skin as possible. Rinse and drain chicken; pat dry. Sprinkle cavity of chicken generously with salt and pepper. Combine lemon-pepper seasoning and remaining 5 ingredients. Rub mixture all over chicken, coating wht top well. Place chicken, breast side up in a 4-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 4 to 5 hours or on low 7 to 8 hours.

Here are a couple other great herb recipes from Your Homebased Mom, Compound Butter & Herbed Oatmeal Bread

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Utility Shut Off and Safety

Thank you Lee Lloyd for allowing me to post this on our blog (and thanks to Melissa for sending me Lee Lloyds information in the first place!)


In the event of a disaster, you may be instructed to shut off the utility service at your home.
Do you know how to turn off your main water valve? Your electricity? Your gas?

Attached is some information that will help you in a natural disaster or even a problem that could become a disaster in your home at anytime such as a leaky water heater, faucet, tripped circuit, gas leak and many other problems. Just become familiar with these 3 things (water, natural gas, electricity) to protect your home, yourself, pets, and/or your family. It only takes 5 minutes to learn where these things are and 5 seconds or less for a disaster to destroy everything.

*The pictures on the attached email are actual photo’s from my (Lee Lloyds) house. Most all of yours should look very similar.

Here is the 3 page PDF for you to print out and learn how to shut off your utilities!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Homemade Solar Oven (Kyoto Box)

image from

With warmer days here I thought many of you might find this useful. Each year Las Vegas has an average of
  • 150 Days above 90 degrees
  • 97 Days above 100 degrees
  • 22 Days above 110 degrees

Let's use our warm days to our advantage! Of course, if you don't want to make your own solar oven you can purchase them from Sun Oven.

The Kyoto Box is a solar cooker constructed from two cardboard boxes, aluminium foil, and an acrylic cover. The oven traps the suns rays, creating enough heat to cook or boil water. It was invented by Jon Bohmer, a Norwegian born inventor based in Kenya.

The Kyoto Box consists of two cardboard boxes. The inner box is painted black, facilitating the absorption of heat from sunlight, and covered with a transparent acrylic lid to trap heat. The box is placed inside a slightly larger cardboard box that has been lined with aluminum foil; the foil focuses the sun's heat on the inner box. Temperatures inside the box can quickly reach 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit) on a sunny day. According to the Kyoto Energy website, temperatures can reach a maximum of 165 degrees Celsius. Bohmer claims that the oven is capable of boiling 10 liters of water in two to three hours.


The Good Human shows their homemade solar oven, which is modeled after the Kyoto Box. There is also this short You Tube Video, which shows a solar oven made with a car solar shade.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Self-Reliance in All Things - Physical Health

Physical Health

"Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof;
all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly. All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life... And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint."
Doctrine & Covenants 89:11-12, 14, 18
One of the best ways that we can make ourselves more self-reliant is by increasing our level of physical health. If we are maintaining a healthier lifestyle and learning how to better care for others' physical ailments, by way of first aid and home safety skills, we can be more likely to avoid physical ailments ourselves as well as care for our families and neighbors in an emergency.

There are a number of ways that we can increase our own level of physical health. Primarily, we can be obeying the Word of Wisdom. We can also practice "sound principles of nutrition, physical fitness, weight control, immunization, environment quality and sanitation, mother and child health, accident prevention, dental health, and medical care." Learning basic first aid and home safety skills are also important elements.

Something as simple as getting regular doctor's screenings can make a great difference in tracking our health. Your physician will also be able to assist you in setting other goals for better nutrition, physical fitness, and weight control. You have the power within yourself to make a positive change today. You will feel better and so will your family. As you strive to make your physical health a priority, you will also find that you have more energy. Not only will you be taking better care of the temple you have been given, but you will then be able to better use it to bless others and do the Lord's work.

Thanks to Stephanie for this post!

Introduction post here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Don't throw away your Ham Bone!

Instead of using ham hocks, use your leftover ham bone from Easter!

Split Pea Soup
by Food Network

1 pound green split peas, picked over, rinsed, and drained
2 large smoked ham hocks, about 1-1/2 pounds total
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
10 sprigs parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
8 cups cold water (you may want to start with 7 cups, and add more as needed)
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven combine the peas, hocks, onion, celery and carrot. Tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf together with kitchen string. Add the herb bundle, water, and salt, bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1-1/2 hours or until the peas are tender. Remove the pot from the heat and remove the hocks. Cool. Remove the meat from the hocks, discarding the bones, fat and skin. Cut the meat into cubes. Remove the herb bundle and discard.

Puree the soup with a hand held blender or in batches in a blender. Heat the soup to a simmer with the meat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Self-Reliant Challenge

This is our last challenge for the 2009-2010 year! You have until May 1st to complete all your challenges. For a list of all the challenges this year please click here. Prizes will be awarded on May 7th at our last meeting of the 2009-2010 year. Self-Reliant Meetings will start again in September.

  • Document Challenge: Compile all of your Insurance/recovery information. Include homeowners’, auto, life, and disability policies and cards; blank claim forms and contact information; and a list of local adjusters.

  • Complete One of the Following:
    - If you don’t participate in curb-side recycling, call and have the containers delivered to your home. Start today!

    -Implement one new energy saving technique in your home by changing your light bulbs, Taking Shorter showers, Desert landscaping, etc…

  • Grow one herb in a small container or sprout wheat or beans in a jar.

    You can also download the entire 2009-2010 challenges 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.