Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Upcoming Sun Oven Cooking Essentials Seminar

Sun Oven Cooking Essentials Seminar - Saturday, March 5th at 10:00 AM. 
(At Fitch Park - 1 East 8th Street, Mesa, AZ)

Paul Munsen, the President of Sun Ovens International, will be teaching an instructive course on how to use the Global Sun Oven.  This class is great for Beginners and Advanced sun oven users alike.  Paul has a great teaching style and always provides wonderful pointers and techniques for getting the best out of your Sun Oven.  Come and get inspired to use your sun oven more on an everyday basis.

Global Sun Oven at Preparing Wisely for 250.$ 

E-mail a friend about this product.

Would you like to receive our weekly email with updates on our upcoming events and store specials? It's free...and its fun!  Contact Troy Adair: 

How to Make Delicious homemade instant oatmeal packets (Gluten Free Oats Available)

Sugar and spice and everything...amazing! You won't, however, find these flavors in the pre-made packets from the store. Greetings from Chef Tess. Troy and Tracey have asked me to contribute to their blog here at Preparing Wisely and I am so excited to be part of what they have here.  

I try to do a post once a week on how to cook with food storage and or whole grain, and turn those foods into convenient foods we can use everyday. My husband Ace has been on an instant oatmeal kick for the last few weeks. My dear sister in law gave us a variety pack of 50 from a local Costco and ironically, we blew threw it in about a week and a half. Ace would eat 3 at a time. In an effort to not have all that extra stuff in the packets and to save money, I wanted to make some at home. These homemade packets we do are about double the size of the packets from the store...since that's about the portion Ace needs. Using the rolled oats, quick oats, sugar or powdered honey, and freeze dried fruits we had on hand, we made 20 double sized packets in about 20 minutes. The kids like to make the packets almost as much as they like to eat the contents! You can make the regular sized ones by simply cutting the recipes in half per packet. I use the regular zip sandwich bags for our double size packets. Snack size bags would work wonderfully for the regular single serving packets. Or...if you don't want to use can use whatever recycle-style containment system you want. I'm not checking any cupboards.

This is a spiced peaches and cream cobbler oatmeal mix...homemade. Doesn't it look awesome? Well...the taste is exactly like a warm peach cobbler.

I start by making 3 different varieties of flavored sugars since I do a variety of oatmeal flavors. I used vanilla bean paste, but you can also use any of the flavored oils or bakers emulsions. I prefer LorAnn. That being said, the flavor concentrates will work, but you will need to use more...and let the sugar dry completely before making your oatmeal packets.
For Spiced-Vanilla Sugar you will need:
1 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp vanilla bean paste, and 1 T Chef Tess Wise Woman of the East Spice Blend, and 1/2 tsp dry lemon or orange zest.
Combine the vanilla bean paste with the sugar until well incorporated. Add the spices.
The second sugar I make is the base for my fruit and cream oatmeal mixes. I call it Bavarian Cream Sugar. You will need:
1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp princess cake and cookie emulsion, and 1/2 tsp Bavarian cream flavored LorAnn oil.
Combine the flavoring well with the sugar.

The last sugar I make or use is maple sugar. It can either be real maple sugar (available at most maple syrup retailers) or you can make the fake stuff using this...
Use 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp maple flavor and 1/2 tsp butter-vanilla baker's emulsion.
Once I had all three sugars made, I allowed them to dry completely for 2-3 hours. Then I made sure they were nice and spoonable for the packets.
Again, I make the larger packets because I have men around here who refer to the paper packets as "shot glass" portions of oatmeal. These make the equivalent of TWO regular instant packets. If you want to make the smaller portions, simple cut divide in half portions, and use half as much fruit, flavors, and liquid to prepare the oatmeal.

To make one plain packet you need:

2/3 cup organic quick oats
2T of oat bran or rolled oats run through a dry meat grinder

To prepare: Add 1 Cup boiling water and allow to sit for 3 minutes. Use more or less water depending on how thick or thin you like you oatmeal. The secret to super thick oatmeal...using the meat grinder "treated" oats.

Oh...and a pinch of salt. I use Redmond Real Salt. It's my favorite.

I usually make about 20 packets of plain oatmeal and then add my different flavor varieties to make it more interesting in the mornings. We keep a large variety of freeze dried fruit on hand in our pantry. It's very convenient...and crazy awesome in oatmeal. I love it a lot more than dehydrated fruit because it is 100% free of moisture, so the packets don't get lumpy and odd. The only thing that should be lumpy and an old lady's patootie. Did I just type that out loud? here's a few of the freeze dried fruits I keep around from Preparing Wisely:
Berries and Bavarian-lemon cream oatmeal packets:
add 3T freeze dried berries (I crush them up a bit before I measure them) to a packet along with 2T of the Bavarian Cream sugar and 1T Sour Cream Powder" , and 1/2 tsp dry lemon zest

Don't let the sound of the sour cream freak you out. It's amazing! Now if you don't want to use the powdered sour cream you can use non-dairy coffee creamer (any flavor). It works too...but it's not nearly as natural. Auntie Em used to use flavored instant pudding powder. Just remember that it won't be as sweet as the flavored sugar so you may need to add a little more sweetness.
To prepare the berries and cream oatmeal, add 1 1/3 cup boiling water and allow to sit for 3 minutes.
One of my all time favorite oatmeal packet flavors is my Spiced Peaches and Cream Cobbler. It reminds me so much of those Sunday night peach cobblers my mom would make when I was a kid.
To each plain packet you will need to add:
1/3 cup freeze dried peaches (diced rather than the sliced ones)
2T Bavarian Cream Sugar
2 tsp spiced vanilla sugar
1T Sour Cream Powder"
Just to tease you a little...this is what it looks like before you add the boiling water. I add 1 1/2 cups boiling water and let it sit for 3 minutes.

Maple Pecan Oatmeal Packet:
One plain packet
3T maple sugar
3T chopped toasted pecans

Add 1 cup boiling water and allow to sit 3 minutes.

Cinnamon vanilla-orange roll Oatmeal Packet:

One plain packet

2T spiced vanilla sugar

1 tsp dry orange zest (or 1/4 tsp dry orange crystal light)

Add 1 Cup boiling water and allow to sit 3 minutes
There you go. Make some oatmeal packets.

For those on gluten free diets...We 
carry gluten free Bob's Red Mill Oatmeal! This is purity tested for absolute gluten free integrity. 


Convenient and Air-Tight Food Storage Containers



Many people have been using PETE Jars for storing food for years.  However, not everyone is familiar with these containers.  Plastic PETE Jars derive their name from the symbol on the botom of the container.  On this particular type of jar, the symbol is 1 with the letter designation of PETE or PET.  This type of plastic is considered BPA Free and air tight.  This type of plastic container is commonly used for juice containers, sports drinks and other liquid and food products.

So, why use PETE Jars?  For us, having our grains, seeds, nuts and legumes in PETE jars encourages us to use and rotate our food storage.  Keep the jars in the pantry, in your cupboards or on a bookcase like we do and have easy access to your for storage.  The PETE jars  are so air tight that you can add an oxygen absorber with a metal lid and it will hold a tight seal and help provide a great long-term food storage option.  Many of them are made in a square design, so they maximize space.  They are clear, which helps you see the contents easily.  However, this also means that for long-term storage they should be stored in a box or kept in a dark place.

We also prepared a short video on storing food in PETE Jars.  This will help you see how easy it is to use them for short or long term food storage.


Thrive Six Grain Pancake Mix

Easy to Make Pancakes that are Fluffy and Tasty
6 Grain Pancake Mix

The Six Grain Pancake Mix from THRIVE has a great shelf life of 10 years and mixes up easily with just water to provide a delicious breakfast.  This mix re-constitutes well and can easily be stirred after adding water with just a fork.  The pancakes cook up fluffy and golden on the griddle.  The six grain mix includes red wheat flakes, white wheat flakes, barley flakes, rye flakes, rolled oats, and ground sunflower seeds to provide a really great tasting pancake.  Check out our video review below for more information and to see how easily the pancakes mix together and how good they look!