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  • Utah State Preparedness Expo - recipes

    We had a really great time in Salt Lake at the Utah State Preparedness Expo Saturday, September 12. We met a lot of wonderful people who are trying to get prepared with food storage. As I was giving out different food samples, I had several who asked for the recipes for the chili and fruit cobbler that I had made. So I thought I would share them here.

    fruit cobbler fruit cobbler

    Fruit Cobbler

    mix 3 kinds of fruit with water mix 3 kinds of fruit with water
    add sugar add sugar

    Mix 3 cups of freeze dried fruit with 5 cups of water. (You can use 1, 2 or 3 kinds) I used 2 (blueberry and raspberry). Bring to a boil and add 1 cup sugar. Boil for a few minutes. The mixture will be thin. Add 3/4 cup tapioca and mix well.



    put fruit mixture in bottom of cake pan put fruit mixture in bottom of cake pan




    Pour into a cake pan and let cool for a few minutes.


    mix cake batter mix cake batter
    pour cake batter over fruit and bake pour cake batter over fruit and bake

    Next, mix 3 cups complete white cake mix with 1 ¾ cups water. Pour over fruit mixture and bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Can serve it warm or cold.



    Chili Chili

    7 cups water 1 16 oz. can stewed tomatoes, undrained ½ c. tomato powder 3 cups dried beans that have been soaked overnight* 3 c. freeze dried ground beef 2 tsp. beef bouillon ¾ c. chili powder 1 Tblsp. cumin 1 Tblsp. oregano 2 tsp. salt ½ tsp. cayenne (optional) *I used black turtle and small red beans

    cook the beans cook the beans
    tomatoes and spices tomatoes and spices
    add ground beef add ground beef

    Put water into a large stew pot. Add the tomatoes, tomato powder, ground beef, beef bouillon, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. I cooked the beans separately then added them later. Let simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour until done. Enjoy with onions, sour cream and cheese. **The amounts on the seasonings are an estimate since my husband was helping me and never measures anything. I would suggest adding them to taste.

    Contributed by Pam Higley


  • Top 10 items to store (final list)

    water filter system water filter system

    As I promised, I had one more list from the preparedness meeting I attended to share with you. This contains the top 10 other items you should store. Once again I would suggest you look it over and consider what items you need to add to your personal storage program.


    1. First aid kit and hygiene products. Some of these will be different from family to family but they are essential to survival. There are great pre-assembled kits available or you can put your own together. Hygiene products will be very important in an emergency.
    2. Other forms of communication such as 2 way radios, HAM radio, short wave radio. Consider what will work best for your situation and budget.
    3. Water filtration and purification. Water is essential so you will need to have ways to filter and purify it. If you have to leave your home, you will need a filter or purification tablets.
    4. Extra RX medications as needed. This may be difficult to acquire, but if you can, you should get 3-6 months of your prescription medications. It is a scary thought for those who depend on their meds for survival.
    5. Clothing. You will want to have cold weather clothes, work gloves, boots, etc.
    6. A back up source of heat for your home and extra fuel. No one wants to be cold.
    7. Gasoline or diesel fuel stored in cans. There are lots of things that run on fuel and it may be difficult to obtain.
    8. Tools. Basic hand tools will have multiple uses. You should also consider tools for automotive repair.
    9. Written materials, books, and manuals for emergency situations. Since we haven’t experienced a lot of these things, we may need to study and learn how to do some very basic things.
    10. All important documents. Deeds, insurance, passports, birth certificates, medical and church records should be copied in print. Each of these should also be copied on a CD, DVD, or Flash Drive.
    I hope these lists have been helpful and have given you some ideas where you can improve your preparedness. If you have other ideas, I would love to hear from you.

    Contributed by Pam Higley


  • Top 10 Food Items to Store

    label bannerAs I said in my last blog, a few weeks ago I attended a very interesting preparedness meeting that had a lot of great ideas. They gave some top ten lists that I thought were really good. The first list was the top 10 non-food items to store that I wrote about last time. This time I wanted to share the top 10 food items to store. Here they are:
    1. Salt. Salt has many important attributes for food preservation as well as being a flavor enhancer.
    2. Seasonings, spices, bouillon. These will store a lot longer than the labels may say and food prepared from storage will taste much better.
    3. Honey. Honey has a long shelf life, is a great sweetener and has health benefits. It is an antimicrobial which means it fights infection.
    4. Dry bulk items. These are your staples such as rice, beans, pasta, grains and sugar. They are inexpensive and long lasting.
    5. Oil. For short term storage you should store vegetable oil and shortening. Olive oil and coconut oil are better for long term storage.
    6. Freeze dried foods. These are the most expensive food storage, but they provide variety and great flavor.
    7. Flour. If you aren’t used to grinding your own, you will need to transition or you will send your body into shock. Having some on hand will help with that transition.
    8. Kitchen staples. This would include baking soda, baking powder, yeast, vinegar, whatever you use for everyday cooking.
    9. Nonfat dried milk. Milk is one of the basic necessities and it has been proven that people can survive on just powdered milk for quite some time. It also has a very long shelf life.
    10. Pet food, animal feed. If you have a pet, he or she is going to need to eat as well. If you rely on animals, such as chickens for eggs, they will need to be fed to keep up their laying.
    Well there you have it. I hope you will check it over and see what you need to work on. I know that it made me think of some things that I hadn’t considered. Don’t be afraid to research the best way to store items and other uses for them. Next time I will post the last list they gave to us: 10 other items to be prepared.

    Contributed by Pam Higley


  • Top 10 Non-Food Items to Store

    Deluxe 2 person 72 hour emergency kit Deluxe 2 person 72 hour emergency kit

    A few weeks ago I attended a very interesting preparedness meeting. This meeting had a lot of great ideas. I especially enjoyed their top ten lists, so I thought I would share those. The first list is the top 10 non-food items to store. Here it is:
    1. Toilet paper—aside from the obvious hygiene benefits, you can use the inside rolls to make fire starters and to make pots for seed starters.
    2. Pain relievers and medicines—there is nothing worse than being sick and not having the first aid supplies you need. Check the dollar store for inexpensive items.
    3. Batteries—this one is kind of obvious. Take a look at the most common battery needs for your household and get some of every size, AAA to D.
    4. Duct Tape—there are so many uses for this. From tent hole repairs to bandages to rope. If you can imagine using duct tape in a project, it will probably work. Here is a website you could check out:
    5. Paper goods—having a supply of paper plates, cups, towels, and plastic utensils can be invaluable when the power is out. You don’t have to worry about washing dishes during a power outage.
    6. Ziplock bags—the heavy duty freezer storage strength can be used for all kinds of things. There is no better way to keep things separated and protected from water and mishaps. They should be in your emergency kits.
    7. Contractor trash bags—there are about as many uses for a trash bag as there are for duct tape. You can make rope from it, build a tent to stay dry or clean up a mess in an emergency. The heavy duty, contractor bags that you can purchase at home repair stores are the best.
    8. Soap—keep some good old bar soap on hand. Along with frequent hand washing, it is your most effective weapon in fighting germs. Better yet, get supplies and learn how to make your own.
    9. Tarps—another multi-functional preparedness item, the tarp is invaluable for protecting you and your things from the elements. If you were to sustain damage to your home or roof, you could make temporary repairs with a tarp.
    10. Feminine products—unless you want to go back to the way it was done in the olden days. The products used today were developed as bandages to absorb the blood of war wounds and can still be used for this purpose.
    Some of these items were things I had never considered storing. I hope you will do as I have done and take some time to see what you should add to your storage plan. Next time I will share the top 10 food items to store.

    Some other non-food items that are great for emergency storage supplies can be found at

    Contributed by Pam Higley


  • Make Every Day Earth Day

    earth day“We rarely stop to examine the effects on the environment unless we are hit by a natural disaster…The natural balance of the world is shifting dangerously away from us and we should take care of our environment before it is too late.1

    When was the last time you stopped and smelled the roses? How about the last time you took a walk outside to clear your head? Think back to when you were a child—do you remember rolling in the grass and playing in the dirt? Or picking a flower for your mom? Or watching the birds soar freely above the trees? Anymore, there seems to be too much focus on technology and wasting money to buy the “latest trend”, that we seem to be missing the true beauty of nature. It even gets to the point that some people are being lazy and taking advantage of this world.
    When was the last time you chewed on a piece of gum? When you were done, what did you do with it—did you wrap it up and throw it into the garbage? Or did you just spit it out onto the street? If you did the latter of the two, then you littered. A lot of people litter, carelessly leaving garbage wherever they decide to toss it. They disregard it and leave it there to be the next person’s problem. But what they don’t realize is it’s becoming everyone’s problem. Being careless of our garbage is leading to so many problems, such as animals eating it and getting sick—they suffer a slow, painful death and because of the food chain, whatever eats that sick animal will then also get sick. On a much larger scale, think about all the houses and cars and all the garbage that gets washed into the ocean after hurricanes. What happens to all of that floating debris? It doesn’t just disappear. It gets eaten by the fish and the other creatures that eat the fish. Guess who else may be eating that same fish? Yes my friend, you! You and your family and loved ones.
    The waste we put into the atmosphere throughout our daily lives is ruining the earth’s climate. Things are changing, maybe slowly, but it’s still possible to make a positive difference and try to preserve the world for our future generations. There is so much you can do to help take care of this planet! Help the world out by doing your part—make sure your garbage gets put into the garbage cans and not thrown carelessly onto the streets. Recycle as much of your plastics and cardboard materials as you can in your area. Reuse your things to help make this place better. Got old clothes that are still in good condition? Find an organization that will donate them to relief funds for victims of natural disasters.
    Think you have to drive everyday to work? Try carpooling to reduce the exhaust and other chemicals vehicles put into the air. You can also ride a bike or walk to your destination if it’s not too far. This is also great exercise and gets you moving and gives you a chance to enjoy what’s around you.
    Plant a garden! This is a wonderful way to make sure you and your family are eating fresh vegetables and fruits and gives you a chance to create something and appreciate it more. If you don’t have a place to plant a garden, it’s a great idea to have a collection of food storage, such as dehydrated fruits and freeze-dried vegetables. Having a food supply is a great backup for just in case—just in case you can’t make it to the grocery store, just in case there’s a drought or flood that ruins all the produce. We all like to hope that bad things don’t happen, but this isn’t a perfect world, and we need to do our part in being prepared for when the bad thing do happen.
    Plant some trees in your yard to help increase the oxygen supply of the world. This also will create shade, keeping you cool in the summertime. Don’t have an area to plant trees? You can always find an organization like the Arbor Day Foundation to donate money to and they will plant trees all over the planet. In fact, did you know that Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 because of Arbor Day?2
    Each and every one of us affects the future of this earth, so I encourage and challenge each of you to do your part in taking care of our planet and celebrate every day as Earth Day.


    Contributed by Angelia Kunz


  • Spreading Christmas Cheer

    Spreading Christmas Cheer Spreading Christmas Cheer

    Nowadays people seem to think that Christmas is all about the gifts they receive and spending money on fancy items or “the latest trend” that they really don’t need. However, that is not what Christmas is about. It’s about being Christ-like and giving to those around you—giving to those in need and giving to those less fortunate; giving a material item or even better, giving your time and kindness to those around you. Good or bad, rich or poor, in the end, we’re all human, and we should do our personal best to show love and compassion to everyone who comes into our lives. Do something so simple as to smile and wish a stranger a happy holiday. Hold the door open for someone. Do a good deed by shoveling someone’s sidewalk or driveway. Or if you can, go a step further and spend a little of your money on a stranger or a few random people. Donate a toy to an organization that will give it to children whose families can’t afford a lot. Give someone in need a few necessities like a blanket or some food. Share some Christmas cheer with your neighbors by surprising them with a nice cup of cocoa.

    hot cocoa

    Make a big batch of hot cocoa in your crock pot just by adding the hot water and hot cocoa mix and stirring it on low until it’s nice and hot. Or if you don’t want to waste any of the delicious hot cocoa mix, use your crock pot to heat up just the water, and then put the cocoa mix into the cups.

    For each cup of hot cocoa, I use 3-5 tablespoons of the hot cocoa into each cup, then finish with the hot water.

    Crockpot Hot Cocoa
    add cocoa mix and hot water to cups add cocoa mix and hot water to cups

    You can also make a small batch of whipped topping and freezing little dollops of it to serve on top of the hot cocoa. For some added Christmas cheer, you could grind up some candy canes or little peppermints, and sprinkle the powder onto the whip topping dollops before freezing them.


    make small batch of whipped topping to garnish make small batch of whipped topping to garnish
    crush peppermint crush peppermint
    sprinkle on whipped topping and freeze sprinkle on whipped topping and freeze






    Once it’s ready, pour it into some to-go cups with a bow on top or some cute Christmas mugs to give away to your neighbors. You could even put it in a red solo cup as long as it’s not too hot! Then finish it by attaching a cute little saying on it.

    A small act of kindness can start a chain reaction of making this world a better place. So this Christmas season, do what you can to help make this holiday a little merrier for those around you. Ask yourself, what you can do to help make another person’s day a little brighter. So we at Rainy Day Foods would like to make your day a little brighter by giving you the opportunity to win a Mini Mug Pak. Just leave a comment under this post on Facebook to be entered for a chance to win. If you follow this link to our Pinterest page and repin our Hot Cocoa Gift Pak, you will also be entered to win!

    Contributed by Angelia Kunz




  • Wintertime Traveling Tips

    winterWintertime is here again. The snow is on the ground, the temperatures are lower, the days are shorter, and water has started to freeze. We as humans seem to forget that when these changes occur, we have to adjust the way we travel. The driving conditions are a lot different in the wintertime than in the summertime. As the snow falls, the roads get wet. If the temperatures get to 30 degrees or lower, then that wet road is going to start to freeze, too. Even if the wet road isn’t frozen, it could still be slick, especially once the sun sets or if the wind has been/is blowing. The holiday season is upon us, and that means there are going to be lots of people traveling in these winter conditions. As you and your loved ones travel, keep my top-five tips in mind to help you and your family get together safely:
    1- First and foremost, SLOW DOWN!! From personal experience, this is one of the most important things you can do. It only takes a second to lose control of your vehicle, but if you’re driving slow enough, your chances of regaining control are a lot better. Be sure to pay attention to your surrounding vehicles so that if they are speeding, you can be aware and prepare to slow down or pull over to let them go around.
    2- Allow yourself more time to get to your destination. Being late not only offsets your day, but also everyone else's, making for a long, stressful, and busy day for everyone. So instead of causing a chain reaction of people being late, leave at least ten minutes earlier than you normally would. By doing so, you allow for any delays that may occur so that you can still arrive to your destination on time without being tempted to speed and causing any accidents.
    3- It’s obvious that in the wintertime you’re going to want the heater on in your vehicle, but you don’t want to get overheated. If you get too hot you tend to sweat, and if you have to get out of your vehicle with wet clothes on, you’re more apt to catch a cold and get sick. In order to avoid this, set your heater on a medium heat instead of straight hot, and set the fan to blow either on the floor and defrost or straight on defrost—that will keep you from getting too hot inside your vehicle while still keeping the inside temperature warm and comfortable. Also it helps to dress in layers—if you start to feel warm, take a layer off before you get too hot. You can always put it back on later if you get a little chilly.
    4- Always make sure your vehicle is prepared for the worst. It’s best to always have your vehicle ready for emergency situations. Keep your vehicle stocked with extra coats or a couple blankets, a sealed emergency can with food and water and any other emergency supplies that can come in handy (and a can opener taped to the can so that you can open it), and a mini first aid kit. You should also make sure you have jumper cables in case your vehicle’s battery dies, a cell phone charger for your vehicle in case your cell phone dies, a red flag or small towel just in case you need to get another vehicles attention or become a hazard and need to make sure other vehicles notice you.
    5- When traveling long distances, be sure to tell someone where you are going and roughly how long you expect to take to get there. If you end up having to stop or get delayed for more than a half hour, make sure that while you are stopped you check in to let that person know what’s going on. NEVER TEXT AND DRIVE!!! EVER!!!!! In fact, STAY OFF THE PHONE COMPLETELY WHILE YOUR VEHICLE IS IN DRIVE!! If you are traveling alone and need to check in, take a minute to stop safely and make your call or send your text, otherwise have someone else that is in your vehicle do it for you.
    Life goes by fast enough as it is!! So much of that time is spent working and doing chores and other duties that keep us from what really matters—spending time with our family and loved ones. That little bit of time we allow ourselves to be with the ones that mean the most should be well spent and cherished! So make sure you and your loved ones travel safely and cautiously at all times, and have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

    Contributed by Angelia Kunz


  • Frankenstein Brownies!

    Fun and easy Halloween treats!              Fun and easy Halloween treats!

    When it comes to Halloween, there are many different monsters that come to mind—ghosts, witches, vampires, zombies…but the one that seems to stick out the most in my mind is Frankenstein. So for this special treat, we’ll use Rainy Day Foods Brownie Mix to make brownies and dress them up with frosting to make them look like Frankenstein’s head.

    • Easy to mix! Easy to mix!


      Start by preheating the oven to 350 Degrees. Then take 4 ½ cups brownie mix in a medium-sized bowl and gently stir in 3/4 cups HOT water until well mixed.




    • Easy to bake! Easy to bake!

      Grease an 8” x 8” glass pan and pour in the brownie batter.






    • Resist until cooled! Resist until cooled!




    Cook for 25-30 minutes—you’ll know when it’s done by sticking a toothpick in the brownies and the toothpick will come out clean.




    • Don't eat til frosted! Don't eat til frosted!

      Let the brownies cool COMPLETELY before trying to cut them. Once cooled, cut them up and set them out on a platter, giving yourself room to decorate them.



    • No need to be careful!  They are supposed to be scary! No need to be careful! They are supposed to be scary!Take some white frosting and add green food coloring.




    Take some white frosting and add green food coloring.


    • Have fun with faces and smiles! Have fun with faces and smiles




    Use chocolate frosting in a Ziplock bag to give them Frankenstein face!




    Contributed by Angelia Kunz.

  • Halloween Dirt Cups

    dirt cupsHAPPY OCTOBER!!

    October is one of my favorite months! It’s filled with all the beauty that fall has to bring! It’s when all the leaves on the trees change color, almost as if they’re giving an encore before they leave for the winter. It’s harvest time—the final pat on the back for all the farmers’ hard work. It’s the month that hunting season starts in my household, so we look forward to that and the delicious meat it brings to our freezer. It’s also the first month of the final three holidays that all kids get most excited about—starting with Halloween! They always look forward to letting their imaginations run wild and dressing up as one of their favorite characters…and all the candy they get from trick or treating!! As parents, we enjoy our candy here and there, too, but it’s also nice to have a dessert that’s not just a candy bar. So, with the help of Rainy Day Foods, I’ll show you how to make some fun Halloween desserts.

    This first one is called “Halloween Dirt Cups,” using Rainy Day Foods Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix. It’s a pretty simple dessert to make, but you can dress it up and get pretty wild with it! You can make a couple for your family, or make several dozen for a fun Halloween party treat! This time around, I’m only making two, so keep that in mind as you read on.
    Start by putting 4 Oreo cookies (minus their frosting) into a plastic Ziplock bag, making sure to get all the air out.

    Oreo cookies without the frosting Oreo cookies without the frosting
    crush the Oreos in a plastic sandwich bag crush the Oreos in a plastic sandwich bag

    Then using a coffee cup, crush the Oreos into a dirt-like powder.

    crushed Oreos crushed Oreos

    Pour the “dirt” powder into two clear cups. Set the coffee cup and Ziplock bag aside for later.

    clear cups with cookie crumbs in bottom clear cups with cookie crumbs in bottom

    Next step is to whip up some chocolate pudding in a separate bowl.

    Rainy Day Foods Chocolate Pudding Mix Rainy Day Foods Chocolate Pudding Mix

    Take 2 cups of cold water and gradually stir in 1 cup of pudding mix. Whip it by hand for about 5 minutes or until there are no clumps and the pudding starts to thicken up.

    Pour the pudding into the clear cups on top of the crushed Oreos. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.

    add the pudding to the cups add the pudding to the cups

    Once the pudding has set up, put 5 more Oreos without their frosting in your Ziplock back and crush them up into small chunks. Pour the chunks on top of the pudding, and now you’ve got “Halloween Dirt Cups”.

    add more crushed cookies on top of pudding add more crushed cookies on top of pudding
    seen from the top seen from the top

    You can put a couple Sour Patch Kids on top to make “Zombie Kid Cups”
    You can add gummy worms on top to make “Worm Dirt Cups”.

    decorate for variety decorate for variety

    You can take one half of an Oreo with the frosting still on, write on the frosting with a chocolate frosting or sprinkles and make it into a headstone for “Graveyard Plot Cups”.

    additional decorating ideas additional decorating ideas
    Graveyard Plot Cups Graveyard Plot Cups

    You can even make a zombie hand reaching up out of the dirt!

    Zombie Hand Cups Zombie Hand Cups

    The possibilities are endless!! Lots of neat tricks you can do with this simple treat.

    final productContributed by Angelia Kunz



  • Hot Meals for Hunters - Meal Idea #6

    q & e lasagna

    For our last “Hot Meals for Hunters” blog, we’re letting our mighty hunter prepare his own meal while he’s out. Rainy Day Foods offers a variety of Quick and Easy Meals in a Mylar bag that has either a pasta or a rice entree, or there’s also the option of Tomato Basil Soup. The nice thing about these meals is everything is dry and doesn’t require being chilled, but the best thing is the Mylar bag actually doubles as your disposable serving bowl. As long as the hunter has a lighter or matches to make a fire, some kind of little cooking pot to boil water in, an eating utensil, and one of these meals in his pack, then he can have the option of eating dinner while he’s hunting and working up an appetite. Each meal simply requires the boiling of water to cook the pasta or rice, and that can be done safely in the Mylar bag. After removing the oxygen absorber from the Mylar bag meal, add the boiled water, reseal, and leave in the upright position for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta or rice is tender. Please remember to use caution as the Mylar bag will be hot! Stir up the contents, and eat up!

    For the Pasta Quick and Easy Meals, Rainy Day Foods has the following options available:
    *Mac and Cheese
    *For those who love meat, feel free to add some Rainy Day Foods Freeze Dried Ground Beef or Rainy Day Foods Freeze Dried Diced Chicken to these pasta meals! If you do add the meat, you may want to add a little extra water
    For the Rice Quick and Easy Meals, Rainy Day Foods has the following options available:
    *Teriyaki Oriental Rice with Imitation Chicken
    *Ala King Rice with Imitation Chicken
    We made the Lasagna, adding one cup of the freeze dried ground beef:

    Quick & Easy Lasagna Quick & Easy Lasagna
    Remove oxygen absorber from noodles and sauce mix in the mylar bag. Remove oxygen absorber from noodles and sauce mix in the mylar bag.
    Add freeze dried meat, if desired, to the noodles and sauce and mix together in the mylar bag. Add freeze dried meat, if desired, to the noodles and sauce and mix together in the mylar bag.
    Add boiling water to the mylar bag and stir thoroughly, reseal and leave in upright position for about 10 minutes. Add boiling water to the mylar bag and stir thoroughly, reseal and leave in upright position for about 10 minutes.
    The Quick & Easy Lasagna makes 2 servings. The Quick & Easy Lasagna makes 2 servings.

    Contributed by Angelia Kunz


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