Quick And Easy Beefy Slow Cooker Soup Recipe

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This is a quick and easy beefy slow cooker soup that’s a family recipe made by my sister Carol. She has been learning to use her food storage on a regular basis since retiring. This recipe can be made in a slow cooker to set and forget. It’s a really hearty soup, and almost all of the ingredients can be what you have in your refrigerator, pantry, freezer or food storage containers. You can never have too many slow cookers, right? Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Carol: “Most of the items for this stew/soup came from my dehydrated/freeze-dried food storage, but I did add other items from my pantry. My goal is to learn to use my food storage so that in an emergency I’m not caught off guard trying to figure out what to do with what I have.”

My goal is to use my food storage on a regular basis so I can make sure nothing has gone rancid or bad, which I have experienced, and it wasn’t pretty. Several women in my church (including me) took large cans and filled them with crackers, granola bars, a juice can, and other emergency items for a 72-hour kit. The cans were sealed and put on a shelf to be opened at the end of the year (if not used before that in an emergency.) At the end of the year, I opened my can and was totally shocked to see that the can of juice had leaked, destroying everything in the storage can. This would have been disastrous if I’d been counting on using the items in an emergency.

I tried the freeze dried green beans and onion flakes today. I put the green beans and onion flakes in the same bowl and covered with tepid water. I waited about 5 minutes and drained them. I sprayed a frying pan with vegetable spray and sautéed the cubed precooked bacon from Costco until almost crisp. I then dumped the green beans and onions in the frying pan and sprinkled some olive oil on top. It was so easy! I love the fact that they tasted like fresh green beans, NOT canned!

Beefy Slow Cooker Soup

  • 1 pound ground beef cooked (stew meat or leftover roast would work, too)
  • 1/2 cup dehydrated carrots
  • 1-1/2 cups dehydrated cubed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup or less dehydrated celery
  • 1/4 cup or less dehydrated onion
  • 3 Tablespoons dehydrated garlic
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried corn
  • 3 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1 small jar of mild or medium salsa (I used mild)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Seasonings of your choice (I added chili powder, red pepper flakes, basil)
  • Any leftover vegetables like greens beans
  • 5-7 cups of water (or less for a stew, more for a soup)
  1. Dump it all in a slow cooker and cook on low for about 6 hours. This could also be cooked on the stove top, but the slow cooker works great because you can set it and forget.

Thanks to my awesome sister, Carol for sharing this recipe today! Do you love cooking a slow cooker soup as much as I do? Bring on the set and forget dinners! Make some dinner rolls and enjoy breaking bread with friends.

Dinner Rolls 

My favorite things:

Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Ladle

Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel

Goal Zero 90109 Solo V2 Solar Flashlight

Goal Zero (21013) Switch 10 USB Recharger and Solar Panel Multi-Tool Kit

The post Quick And Easy Beefy Slow Cooker Soup Recipe appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Homemade Broccoli Cheese Soup – Better than Any Restaurant!

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Broccoli cheese soup is one of the most popular soups sold in restaurants. In fact, even fast food restaurants have gotten on the craze of serving this delicious, creamy dish. Although we love to eat soups and salads for lunch,

The post Homemade Broccoli Cheese Soup – Better than Any Restaurant! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

5 Easy Bean Soups That Will Save You Money

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I hope you enjoy making some of my 5 easy bean soups that will save you money today. It seems like the higher the price of meat goes up the more Mark and I eat bean soups. I’m actually fine with that because I could easily be a vegetarian full time. I was just cleaning out the pantry to find some cans I could throw together for dinner tonight. I do cook beans in my pressure cooker sometimes, but since we’re down to two people, I tend to buy more cans of beans. I love the convenience of the cans, and yes, I examine the cans before they go in the shopping basket to make sure I can pronounce all the ingredients.

I buy cases of canned goods when they go on sale. The beans I like the best are pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, vegetarian refried beans, white beans, and chili beans, to name a few. When my daughters were growing up we always bought bags of pinto beans. We also ate a lot of homemade refried beans.

I have learned to eat canned refried beans on a tortilla without cheese. In my younger years, I would not have eaten a burrito without cheese. Well, I’m pretty much staying away from all dairy. I love adding a can of green chilies to the refried beans, and of course salsa I could drink from the bottle, well almost. Safe Salsa Recipe To Bottle Yourself

As you know, we can always add another can of beans to stretch a meal. Gotta love it!

Yummy Bean Soups

1. Mexican Chicken Soup


  • 3-4 cups of cooked chicken cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or instant garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped onion, finely chopped
  • 1-4 ounce can green chilies, chopped
  • 2 cups of canned pinto beans
  • 1 quart of chicken broth


Combine the ingredients in a large soup pot and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until heated through.

PRINTABLE recipe: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

2. All-Time Favorite Chili


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 red or green bell peppers, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2- 16-ounce cans kidney beans undrained
  • 2-16-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 2-14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2-16-ounce cans of chili beans, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon sweet basil
  • 1-8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 packages of chili seasoning (or just throw in some chili powder and cumin like I do)


Grab a frying pan and brown the hamburger, drain the fat and add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook until tender.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil, turn it down. Simmer for two hours on the stove, or cook in your slow cooker on low for about four hours.

PRINTABLE recipe: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

3. 30-Minute Taco Soup


  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1-16-ounce can kidney beans, undrained
  • 1-16-ounce can of corn, undrained
  • 1 package taco seasoning packet (or just throw in some chili powder and cumin like I do)


Grab a soup pan to brown the hamburger and the chopped onion, drain the grease if any. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes or combine the ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 3-4 hours. Serve with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

PRINTABLE recipe: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

4. Ham Hock Bean Soup


  • Ham Hock
  • Ham hock left over from having served a spiral sliced type ham or chunks of leftover ham
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon sweet basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste (my secret ingredient-optional)
  • 3-4 cans 15-ounces white beans, not drained
  • Water to cover ham


Place the ham hock in the slow cooker, cover with water after all the ingredients are placed in the slow cooker. I like to cook this on low in my slow cooker all day for about 6-8 hours. I love the “set and forget” dinner idea.

PRINTABLE recipe: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

5. White Chili With Chicken


  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3-15-ounce cans of white beans, drained
  • 16-ounce jar salsa
  • 8-ounces of Monterey Jack Cheese with jalapenos cut into cubes
  • 15-ounces of chicken broth
  • 15-ounces of sour cream (ADD JUST BEFORE SERVING)


Brown the chicken in part of the butter with the chopped onion until cooked as desired. Combine all the ingredients, except the sour cream, in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Stir in the sour cream right before serving.

PRINTABLE recipe: Recipe by Food Storage Moms

These are five of my very favorite soups I make all the time. Just about every recipe can be made vegetarian if you want to skip the meat. There is something about bean soups, you can always add a few more beans to the soup pot or slow cooker to feed more people. Please store beans, they are inexpensive and a great source of protein. God bless you for being prepared. If you have the desire, invite some neighbors over to your home for some soup and bread. If someone is ill in your neighborhood they would love a pot of soup. I promise. Stay well, my friends. Wash your hands and eat healthily and stay away from crowds, if possible.

French Bread In One Hour by Linda

My favorite things:

Slow Cooker

Soup Ladle

Copyright pictures:

Soup: AdobeStock_59334443 by Brent Hofacker

The post 5 Easy Bean Soups That Will Save You Money appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

The Best Immune-Building Soup Recipe … Ever?

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The Best Immune-Building Soup Recipe ... Ever?

Image source: Pixabay.com

Let’s face it: Sometimes it’s just too difficult to remember to eat all the right things. When cold or flu season hits, however, I like to make up a double batch of this immune-building soup. I make a  batch large enough for two or three suppers (or lunches), and then freeze the other half for later. There are lots of different ways to make immune-building soups, but this is my favorite recipe.

You will need:

  • 10 average-sized garlic cloves
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small onions
  • ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ a teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup freshly minced parsley

This recipe serves six; adjust as needed.

  1. In a large soup pot, add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the heat on medium. Add 10 average-sized minced garlic cloves and two thinly sliced small onions. (Red, white, or yellow — your choice.) Sauté for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the onions are very soft.
  2. Chop about 4 medium-sized tomatoes and add them to the pot. Now add 2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth, 1 cup of tomato sauce, ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper, about 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and ½ a teaspoon of sugar.
  3. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup of freshly minced parsley (dried will do if you don’t have fresh on hand) and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

I hope you enjoy this garlic/tomato immune boosting soup as much as my family does.

Do you have your own favorite recipe? Share it in the section below:

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Does Chicken Soup REALLY Heal Colds? (And If So, What’s The Best Recipe?)

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Does Chicken Soup REALLY Heal Colds? (And If So, What’s The Best Recipe?)

Image source: Pixabay.com

When my kids don’t feel well, one of the only things they will eat is chicken soup – my homemade chicken soup.

But do they want the soup because it represents a strong comfort food they have known all of their lives, or is there something more?

The answer is yes, and the old wives’ tale is right. Chicken soup really is good for you.

Dr. Stephen Rennard and his team of researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha conducted a series of tests to study the health benefits of chicken soup.

“Everyone’s heard this from their mother and grandmother in many cultures,” Rennard said. “We found chicken soup might have some anti-inflammatory value.”

After examining blood samples from study volunteers, the researchers found that homemade chicken soup reduced the movement of a type of white blood cells, called neutrophils, which help defend against infection. By inhibiting movement of these cells in the body, chicken soup can help reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms, Rennard theorized.

“Researchers suspect the reduction in movement of neutrophils may reduce activity in the upper respiratory tract that can cause symptoms associated with a cold,” the University of Nebraska said in a press release.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

The study used a soup made by Rennard’s wife, Barbara. (The recipe is below.) But is also compared results of the homemade soup with several commercial brands of chicken soup and found similar results. The brands tested included Progresso chicken noodle, Knorr chicken noodle, Campbell’s Home Cookin’ chicken vegetable, Lipton Cup-a-Soup chicken noodle and Campbell’s Healthy Request chicken noodle.

Although they were not able to pinpoint exactly what ingredients made the soup so effective against cold symptoms, the research suggested that it is the combination of chicken and vegetables that does the trick.

Does Chicken Soup REALLY Heal Colds? (And If So, What’s The Best Recipe?) An earlier study conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai in Miami found that consuming chicken soup helped sick study volunteers to breath better and to have less mucus. The 1978 report, which, like the 2000 Rennard study was published in the medical journal Chest, found that chicken soup boosts the function of cilia — the microscopic hair-like projections that help prevent germs from entering the body.

Given the nickname “Jewish penicillin,” chicken soup has been a mainstay for generations of mothers and grandmothers from many cultures who seek to comfort their families.

Some scientists theorize that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties and that the soup provides the fluids needed to flush out viral infections in the upper respiratory tract.

Staying well-hydrated is a key part of recovering from a cold or the flu. Research suggests then chicken soup may provide better hydration than either water or commercial electrolyte drinks. Here are other reasons chicken soup heals:

  • Chicken soup usually contains salt, which in a broth can help soothe your throat much in the same way that gargling with warm salt water can.
  • The soup’s warm liquid can help clear the sinuses with its steam.
  • Chicken provides lean protein to give your body strength when you are sick.
  • The vegetables in chicken soup can help heal the body. Carrots contain beta-carotene and celery contains vitamin C, both of which help boost the body’s immune system and help fight infection. Onions help reduce inflammation and can act as an anti-histamine.

Convinced? Here is the recipe for the soup used in the study:


  • 1 5- to 6-pound stewing hen or baking chicken
  • 1 package of chicken wings
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3 parsnips
  • 2 turnips
  • 11 to 12 large carrots
  • 5 to 6 celery stems
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Clean the chicken, put it in a large pot and cover it with cold water. Bring the water to boil.
  2. Add the chicken wings, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips and carrots. Boil about 1 and a half hours. Remove fat from the surface as it accumulates.
  3. Add the parsley and celery. Cook the mixture about 45 min. longer.
  4. Remove the chicken. The chicken is not used further for the soup. (The meat makes excellent chicken parmesan.)
  5. Put the vegetables in a food processor until they are chopped fine or pass through a strainer. Both were performed in the present study.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

(Note: This soup freezes well.)

Matzo balls were prepared according to the recipe on the back of the box of matzo meal (Manischewitz).

What is your favorite chicken soup recipe? Do you eat chicken soup when you are sick? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Great Depression Soup: The Recipe You Better Save For Hard Times

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Great Depression Soup: The Recipe You Gotta Save For Hard Times

My parents were just toddlers when the Great Depression burst into their lives. It forever altered their view of the world, and not always in a good way.

My mother, in particular, would tell me horror stories about some of the things that went on during those years. Until the day she died, she always carried some sort of food in her purse, usually peanuts or crackers. She never forgot what it was to be truly hungry.

Perhaps the worst story she told me was that my paternal grandmother, who was in her early 20s at the time, woke up one January morning in a barn to find that her husband had just left her and their toddler in the night. She had no food, no money, no family, no place to live, and a baby to feed. She walked along the highway and offered her baby to anyone who would take her. She assumed that someone with enough money for a car had money to feed a baby.

These type of stories can give you nightmares and make you wonder how people survived! My mother told me many other amazing stories, about how they “just did without” or “made do” with what they had, but some of her stories were practical enough that we could still benefit from them if we should ever find ourselves in the same desperate circumstances.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Great Depression Soup: The Recipe You Gotta Save For Hard TimesOne of those was how women shared food-stretching recipes, such as macaroni and cheese or fish gravy. One recipe my mother remembered clearly was called “depression soup,” although she said her father called it “garbage soup,” a name that would make my grandmother angry.

My grandmother had a large pot with a lid that she kept in the ice box or outside in the snow. Cans (or jars) of fruit or vegetables were filled with a bit of water, and then scraped out and put in the pot. Everything, and I mean everything, went in that pot: bread crumbs, a tablespoon of rice, a shriveled-up carrot, a half-rotten potato (just cut off the bad part), fish heads and tails, bits of garlic, chicken skin, necks, livers, hearts, the hard skin of onions, broccoli ends, carrot and radish greens — you name it; unless it was rotten, it went into that pot.

Once it was about half full, my grandmother added water, perhaps a tablespoon or two of bacon grease, and cooked it for two hours or so. And that would be dinner. If you were fortunate, she baked bread.

My mother remembers that some soups were better than others. Once they began raising rabbits, the bones were used as a base. Soup made with bones and vegetables had to be tastier than soup made with carrot tops, radish tops and some bacon fat.

The point here is that while we would never dream of eating Depression Soup for lunch, remembering how people survived on scraps, literally, might come in handy for tomorrow’s world. We aren’t promised a land of fruit and honey in the future, so knowing how our ancestors survived during hard times might one day ensure our own survival.

Would you eat Great Depression Soup? Is there a better way to make it? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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20 Crock Pot Tips for the Winter

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crock pot tipsThere is nothing better than ending a cool winter day than with a bowl of something cooked in a crock pot. In our home, we adore our crock pots, all four of them. There is always one on the counter top ready to go. The soups and stews are always a big hit, and a really good crock pot recipe book is worth its weight in gold.

Lately, we have been branching out and using our crock pot for more than soup. We’ve learned some tricks and tips than can take your crock pot meals to the next level.

Which size crock pot?

Slow cookers come in a variety of sizes, usually 1 quart to 8 1/2 quarts. Follow the recipe’s recommended size. This is important becasue the correct quart cooker will allow your meal to cook properly, and you won’t have an overflow of mess to clean. Most recipes will work best in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.

Don’t peek!

Every time you open the lid, heat escapes and you lengthen the cooking time by 15 – 20 minutes. The best time to check on your dish is about 45 minutes before it should be done. You will be able to tell how much of your cooking time needs to be adjusted.

Do not over-fill

Do not put too much in your crock pot. Most manufactures recommend that you fill your slow cooker no more than two-thirds full. Check what the manufacture recommends for your specific brand and size pot. By following the recommendations, you will avoid any possible food safety hazards and your meal will be finished on time. Don’t be afraid to cook whole chickens and big meaty roasts. These can be very healthy meals. Just check that the lid has a good snug fit.

Avoid the food danger zone

Bacteria love to become an uninvited guest at temperatures between 40° and 140°F degrees. The best way to avoid the danger zone is to put your prepped food in separate containers in the refrigerator ahead of time. Do not cook large chunks of frozen meat in the crock pot. There is no guarantee that large pieces of meat will be cooked all the way through. If you need to double check your food’s temperature, a good quality digital thermometer like this one will give you the information you need without having to lift the crock pot’s lid. Works great when keeping track of food in the oven, too.

Get the most out of the meat

To maximize the flavor of your meal, brown your meat in a skillet before adding it to the crock pot. Then deglaze the pan and with wine or broth. Deglazing gets all of the caramelized pieces of meat from the bottom of the pan. Add the liquid with those yummy bits of meat to your crock pot and you will have a richer flavor in your meal.

Out with the old crock pot!

Check out the new crock pots! There are so many new options available now. If you need your crock pot to do its cooking while you are out of the house, look into the programmable models. On these models, when the food is finished cooking, the slow cooker adjusts its temperature. This keeps your food warm, but at a safe temperature until you are ready to dig in. The latest crock pot in my house has a rubber lined hole in the top of the lid for a meat thermometer. This is a pretty brilliant combination of the crock pot with an indispendable thermometer.The thermometer fits snugly into the lid so none of the heat escapes out. Perfect for larger cuts of meat.

Preheat your crock pot

It is basically a little oven. So give it about 20 minutes to warm up all the way before you start adding your food. Just like you pre-heat your oven, pre-heat while prepping your food. It also cuts down on cooking time.

Food temperature matters

Putting frozen food in the slow cooker can increase your chances of bacteria growth. Remember that danger zone of 40 to 140 degrees F that was mentioned above? Prevent bacteria by avoiding all frozen foods. Fully thaw out all meats and vegetables before adding to the cooker. We have thawed out meat in the fridge or used our microwave to thaw vegetables. The only exception to this rule would be the prepackaged crock pot meals that are sold in the frozen food section in the grocery store. Just follow the directions on the back of the package.

Gingerbread in a crockpot meal?

Toss in some crumbled gingerbread or crushed ginger snap cookies! Ginger adds a depth of flavor and texture to the liquid. Use them in beef type dishes like stew and pot roast.

Use a high quality wine

Look for wines that are dry and have a high alcohol content to add more complex flavor to your dish. The alcohol doesn’t evaporate out much because the cooker lid is sealed. So remember that a little bit goes a long way.

The best vanilla quality possible

Like the wine, use a vanilla of high quality. The alcohol in the vanilla doesn’t burn off as fast and leaves a more intense flavor. Use the same amount your recipe recommends.

Forgotten food

If you rush out the door in the morning with food in an unplugged crock pot, you must toss it. I know, it hurts. But forgetting to plug or turn the crock pot to low or high means that your food could have spent the day in that danger zone. Even having uncooked food on the warm setting needs to go too. The warm setting isn’t warm enough to prevent bacteria. It is hard to throw away food, but it is easier than being sick. Again, you need a good food/meat thermometer!

Layer your food

To get all of your ingredients cooked at the right temperature and finished at the same time, you must layer. Any root vegetables, like potatoes and carrots, need to be placed at the bottom of the pot. These foods take longer to cook and need to be where most of the heat is. Place the meat on top of the root vegetables. If you are going to cut the meat, cut it into uniform pieces for even cooking. Any other smaller or delicate foods, such as mushrooms, can be placed last. They require a shorter cooking time

Pasta and rice

These can both be tricky. When overcooked, they become an inedible blob in your dish. It is best to add rice the last 30 minutes of cooking. Cooking the pasta separately and adding it to your food right before serving is a safer bet. My friend makes this pasta dish and swears by its ease and taste. I feel the ziti is a heavier pasta and that is why it works in this recipe without being cooked on the stove top.

Crock Pot Baked Ziti

Serves 8

1 lb. box of ziti noodles, uncooked

15 ounce container low-fat ricotta cheese

1 egg

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, fresh is preferred over the green can kind

1½ cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 24-ounce jars marinara sauce, any flavor

7-8 fresh, thinly sliced basil leaves or ½ teaspoon dried basil


Use cooking spray to spray the inside of the crock pot, and rinse the noodles in a colandar and set them aside.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, egg whites, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, salt, and pepper. Stir until this is a smooth mixture.

In the crockpot, layer half of the noodles, about 2 1/2 cups. Pour 2 cups of the marinara sauce over the noodles. Use a spoon to smooth the sauce over the noodles so they are all covered and create an even layer.

Drop small spoonfuls of the ricotta mix over the sauce/pasta. Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to carefully spread the cheese mixture over the noodles.

Repeat the 3 layers: noodles, marinara, and cheese. Over the top of everything, pour the remaining marinara sauce.

Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. By this time, the ziti will be finished. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top, cover with the crock pot lid, and allow about 10 minutes for the cheese to melt.

Garnish with the fresh basil and serve.

Notes: For a heartier dish, you can add a layer of cooked ground beef, sausage or vegetables, such as mushroom and spinach after the sauce layer and before the cheese layer. This recipe freezes well. Source of original recipe is here.

Wait a day

Some foods are better the second day. Many soups increase in flavor when they have had time to sit. About 24 hours should do it. If your dish has any sinewy tissue, like brisket, it will also have an improved flavor after sitting in the refrigerator for a day.

Choosing the right cut of meat for the temperature

For low heat, chose pork shoulders, chuck roasts, short ribs, chicken thighs and drumsticks and any other tough or fatty meat. They tend to become tender and moist. Avoid cooking chicken breasts, pork loin and other leaner cuts of meat on low. They often get dried out. Trim any excess fat before cooking. You don’t want greasy liquid floating on top of your dish.

Dairy last

Milk products, like yogurt, milk and sour cream should be stirred in the last 15 minutes of cooking. If you add them earlier, they tend to break down and you will not have the creamy consistency you are looking for.

Vegetable mush

If you end up with mushy veggies, scoop them out and puree them. Reduce the puree in a sauce pan and make a glaze to pour over the meat or add it to your sauce. To prevent mushy tomatoes, try sun dried tomatoes or use whole canned tomatoes and cut them into large pieces. Diced or crushed tomatoes can disintegrate into your dish.

Consider desserts in your crock pot

The sealed lid allows moisture to stay in the most delicious cakes, breads and brownies. Even cheesecake! Consider using your slow cooker to make party mixes and to roast nuts. Breakfast in a crock pot is an easy way to start the morning. Steel cut oatmeal or a breakfast casserole can be easily prepared the night before. A crock pot also does a great job with oat groats.

Give your crock some TLC

Any sudden change in temperature can cause the ceramic insert to crack. Place a dish cloth in between the insert and cool countertop if needed. Let the insert come to room temperature before you expose it to a hot or cold element. There are plastic liners available that are specifically designed to be used for crock pots. The make clean up easy!

crock pot tips

The Best Soup You Will Ever Eat – The Taste Of The Fall Garden Clean Up

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It is simply the best soup we ever make. Period! And the funny thing is, we say that every single year at just about this time. Each fall, as we clear out the garden, it has become tradition to make a huge

The post The Best Soup You Will Ever Eat – The Taste Of The Fall Garden Clean Up appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

The Reality of 2 Weeks of Food Storage

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The thought of food storage can be very overwhelming, especially if you are new to being self sufficient. You have just realized the need for food-storage and the dangers of what is happening in the world. So now what are you going to do about it? You may find some very good answers in the video below.

The best answer that I have is research and lots of it. You Tuber ObessivePrepperAz shares her thoughts on an easy and affordable way to start off making sure you have two weeks’ worth of food. She walks you through how to calculate food storage for your family and points out some very helpful hints.

However, ObsessivePrepperAZ is just touching on the bare minimum you will need in her video, but by adding things like rice or noodles to some of your storage you can turn one can of soup into a pot of stew. Her tips and secrets are very helpful for a beginner prepper.

She focuses on how many cans of Campbell Chunky Soup you would need for one meal a day. One of her viewers suggested a very effective way to stretch those cans to feed four people 2 or 3 meals per day. That is a LOT more than one can of soup for one person.

“Tip: Double that food storage with one bag of rice, one bag of dried potatoes, and two packs of cubed bullion. Take two cans of that chunky soup, add I cup rice OR potatoes, and a bullion, add at least 3 cups water; make it into a large pot of stew. Feeds four, 2-3 meals per day. Stew is salvation.”

We hope you enjoy her suggestions and please feel free to comment some of your tips and advice to help the newbies!! We all have to help each other become reliant on ourselves.

The Reality of 2 Weeks of Food Storage


The post The Reality of 2 Weeks of Food Storage appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How To Make Dehydrated Soup Cubes

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How To Make Dehydrated Soup Cubes Looking for some tasty food during some of my wilderness trips, I dug up an article for making dehydrated soup cubes. It’s a neat way to preserve food and doesn’t take much room in your backpack. This is a great idea! Being able drink some tasty, hot organic soup after …

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The post How To Make Dehydrated Soup Cubes appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Try it Today: No-Recipe Soup

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no recipe soup

If you need a recipe before you can make a pot of soup, this article is for you! No-Recipe Soup is so easy to make that sometimes I wonder why soup recipes are needed at all.

To be fair, there are varieties of soup and variations of soup that call for specific ingredients in specific quantities, but if you want a big ole pot of hot soup, especially on a chilly evening, there’s truly no need to Google “soup recipes”! You only need to browse through your fridge and cupboards to come up with your own creation.

Why soup?

Have you ever thought about soup as being one of the most economical, simple, and filling meals you can prepare? I’d be very surprised if you couldn’t come up with a No-Recipe Soup right this very minute.

Any and every soup contains two or more of these five basic categories of ingredients:

  • A soup base
  • Protein
  • Produce
  • Seasonings
  • Grains/starches

That’s all there is to it, and with that combination in mind, you can invent literally hundreds of soups yourself. For penny-pinchers, nothing beats soup because there needn’t be any expensive ingredients and, even better, every ingredient is shelf-stable.

Start with the soup base

In the soup base category, invest in a few #2.5 cans of bouillon. I recommend these larger sizes over the tiny jars of bouillon and bouillon cubes at the grocery store. Also, humidity can turn a pile of bouillon into a solid mass as hard as a stone, so a #2.5 can will provide plenty of bouillon for many batches of soup but not so much (as in a #10 can) that the bouillon hardens before it can be used up in a reasonable amount of time.

FOOD STORAGE TIP: If a #10 can is more economical than the smaller size, just scoop out as much bouillon as you think  you’ll use within 2 or 3 months and seal the rest in a canning jar or Food Saver bag.

You’ll use this bouillon for any soup that is broth-based and usually, bouillon comes in chicken, beef, and vegetable flavors. Some companies sell soup “stock”, which is just a richer flavored bouillon. If you make your own stock, by all means use that for the freshest flavor and nutrients you won’t get with store-bought bouillon.

Of course, not all soups start with a broth base. You may be in the mood for a rich and creamy chowder or cream-of-something soup. In that case, you’ll want to start with a cream base. If you have fresh cream, milk, or half-and-half, fill the pot with as much of the liquid as you need for your soup/chowder. From your food storage pantry, you can use dried milk. I double the amount of dried milk when I reconstitute it for soup or chowder, and you would never know that fresh milk hadn’t been used. I’ve also used powdered sour cream combined with dried milk for a different flavor.

The last category of soup bases is the tomato base. You’re in luck if you have tomato powder on hand. Acidic tomato sauce and tomato paste in cans have a shelf life of 12-18 months or so, which isn’t bad if you’ll be rotating them in with your everyday cooking, but tomato powder is the better bet when it comes to long-term storage. Combine tomato powder with dried milk for a cream of tomato base. Yumm!

Add protein for more nutrients

The addition of protein can be beans or legumes (very budget-friendly), canned/freeze-dried/fresh meat/chicken or TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein).  A little protein goes a long way in a soup, and many options are suitable for long-term storage. Combine some rice with beans in your soup recipe and you have a complete protein combination. Just by switching out chicken for a cup or so of black beans will change the flavor and texture of your soup, and voila!  You have a new soup recipe!

Your soup’s cooking time will depend, in part, upon which type of protein you’re using. Freeze-dried chicken, for example, will take just 5 or 6 minutes to rehydrate in the hot broth — this is perfect for quick meals. Dried beans and legumes take longer and you’ll need to keep an eye on the soup so the liquid doesn’t boil down before the beans, in particular, are tender and ready to eat.

Produce adds nutrients and fiber

The type of produce and amount you use are completely up to you in your batch of No-Recipe Soup. Personally, I love to melt a bit of butter in my soup pot and cook chopped onion and celery until both are tender. This step is easy but adds a deeper, rich flavor to the finished dish.

If you’re adding several different veggies to your soup, you’ll probably need less than a cup of each variety. Fresh is great, but soups are where dehydrated and freeze-dried produce really shine. They rehydrate and cook through far more quickly than fresh produce,while retaining nearly all the same nutrients. When you use freeze-dried and/or dehydrated veggies in soup, remember they will absorb some of the liquid, so expect to add a little more milk or water, as the case may be.

#10 cans of mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, green onions, and more easy to store for several months, even after the can is open. Soup/stew blends are also handy because they combine several different veggies that are typically combined in many different recipes.

It usually doesn’t take much of any one ingredient for a soup to be a success and the beauty of this step is that there are no hard and fast rule when it comes to combining ingredients.

Seasonings for variety

A black bean soup can have a Cajun flavor, a Mexican flavor or a hearty ham flavor depending on how it’s seasoned. Stock up on a healthy supply of herbs, spices, and other seasonings so you can add variety at a moment’s notice. Go easy with your salt, pepper, herbs, and spices at first and give your soup the taste test. You can always add more of any one seasoning, but it’s really hard to backtrack if you’ve been a little too heavy handed.

Grains/starches add fiber, calories and nutrients

Those buckets of wheat contain a grain that adds flavor, texture, vitamins and more when they’re cooked up in a soup.  Yes, cooked wheat, or wheat berries, is a very healthy addition to soups, and this makes it wonderfully versatile. Barley, quinoa, and white or brown rice are inexpensive additions, adding calories and bulk for filling up tummies. Add, perhaps, a quarter cup or so of your selected grain. If you overdo this ingredient, the grain will absorb so much water that you may end up with a casserole instead of a soup!

Add a handful of macaroni or any other small pasta for yet another version of your No-Recipe Soup! Inexpensive and filling, small pasta is a great way to extend your soup if you discover you need to serve 8 people rather than 3 or 4.

Potatoes in just about any form are yet another inexpensive and versatile ingredient for your soup. A few scoops of leftover mashed potatoes are just right for finishing off a creamy leek soup or turning a cream-based soup into a thick, hearty chowder.  Dehydrated potato dices are inexpensive, and a little goes a long way.

Tips for No-Recipe Soup success

  1. At first, you may have to just “eye it” in order to know how much liquid you need for the number of people you’re serving.
  2. Adjust the amount of “stuff” you put into your soup according to whether or not you want, or prefer, a soup with more or less liquid.
  3. Adjust the simmer time of your soup according the the density of the vegetables you’re adding. For example, fresh cauliflower will take a lot more time to become tender than fresh mushrooms or freeze-dried bell peppers.

Bottom line? You really don’t need a recipe for making soup! Add a little something from two or more of these categories, heat, and give it a taste test! You know better than anyone which ingredients your family likes best and what you have in your pantry and refrigerator. Soup is really the perfect survival food, and there’s no reason to not enjoy a different variety of No-Recipe Soup every day!

TIP: If you make a soup that is to die for, be sure to jot down the ingredients and quantities that you used, so you can replicate it, exactly, another time. Did your No-Recipe Soup turn out kind of meh? No need to put anything in writing! Just give it another try, with a different combination of ingredients on another day!

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Written by The Survival Mom

Yummy Soups You Can Make With 5 Ingredients or Less!

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Yummy Soups You Can Make With 5 Ingredients or Less! (With What’s Already In Your Pantry) Soup is one of the most economical meals you can make, and the 9 soups in this article can all by made with 5 ingredients or less! For those of us that are doing our best to be frugal, not …

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‘Kitchen Cures’ For The Common Cold

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‘Kitchen Cures’ For The Common Cold

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If you get a cold this winter, help is just a few steps away, right in your kitchen. While I can’t promise that these remedies will heal you overnight, they will definitely make you feel better and may reduce the degree and length of time that you suffer.

Make a Steam Tent or Take a Bath

One of my favorite home treatments for a cold is an herbal steam. Simply take a couple of spoonfuls of dried herbs and toss them in a large heatproof bowl. Cover the herbs with boiling water. Sit in front of the bowl. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel. Inhale the head-clearing moisture and herbal medicine.

You can use this technique for children, but ensure that the water is quite a bit cooler. Make a game out of it. With very young children, you may need to go into the “tent,” too.

Ordinary cooking herbs contain powerful properties which inhibit viruses and bacteria. Oregano, rosemary and marjoram possess some of the most active antimicrobial actions. Sage is very soothing if you also suffer from a sore throat. For herbal steams, inexpensive bulk-size containers of herbs are just fine. Don’t use kitchen spices such as ginger or cinnamon for steams, as they are too stimulating and can be irritating. Add a bit of citrus peel to your steams, too.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Use the same herbs for herbal baths. Children benefit from the use of catnip, dill, mint and fennel. They are soothing and gentle. The catnip and mint help relieve fevers if used in a tepid bath.

Enjoy Hot Brothy Soups

Mom was right when she fed you chicken soup when you were sick. Soups are terrific medicine for colds. While chicken soup is fine, any brothy soup is beneficial. Soups are easy to digest, so they conserve what energy you have for healing. If you suffer from chills, a cup of hot soup may be just what you need to warm from the inside. While most children and many adults prefer mild-tasting soups, I recommend spicy types for maximum benefit. They warm you up better.

Use plenty of the germ-fighting herbs mentioned above in your soups. Other herbs and spices which are particularly beneficial include cayenne, turmeric, ginger and black pepper. The hot-flavored herbs improve your circulation, including that of germ-fighting lymphatic fluid. They also help to relieve the aches and pains that may occur when you have a cold.  Hot soups get everything flowing. Your nose may run more while you are eating your soup. That is healthy. It gets the offending virus or germs out of your tissues.

Include mushrooms, particularly shitakes, in your soup. They are powerful immune-boosting aids. Include plenty of colorful, fresh vegetables, which are packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants which promote healing. Be sure to toss in lots of garlic and onions.

Make Some Cough Medicine

‘Kitchen Cures’ For The Common Cold

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Very effective cough medicine can be made by heating up some honey. Pour the heated honey over some kitchen herbs in a heatproof container. Use at least one teaspoonful of dried herbs, or one tablespoonful of fresh herbs, for each cupful of honey. Place a lid over the container. After 20 minutes, strain out the herbs. Use up to one tablespoonful of syrup every four hours. Any of the aforementioned herbs work well. Try thyme, lemon and fresh garlic for a potent antiviral blend. It will soothe irritated throats and reduce coughs.

If your throat is particularly sore, use sage and a pinch of cayenne. While it might seem odd to add such a potent herb to a syrup which is formulated to ease a sore throat, cayenne possesses numbing properties once the heat wears off.

All of the children’s herbs mentioned above may be made into syrups for them. Make a delicious honey syrup with chamomile. It has antispasmodic actions which gently quiet children’s coughs. Plus, it tastes great. The amount to administer is based upon the size of your child. Do not administer honey to babies.

Juice Your Favorite Fruits and Vegetables

Dehydration makes mucus thicker, and may cause fevers to intensify. Stay hydrated with freshly made juices. Juices contain concentrated amounts of vitamins and minerals which your body needs to heal. They are particularly useful if you have little appetite. Like soups, drinking juices conserves your body’s energies so that it can fight off the cold more efficiently.

Smoothies made with a little yogurt are fine in moderation. While many dairy products shouldn’t be consumed when you have a cold because they may increase thick mucus production, a little bit of Greek yogurt added to a smoothie provides protein. Yogurt sooths inflamed tissues of the throat and gastrointestinal tract as well.

There is no guaranteed cure for the common cold, but kitchen remedies are tools which promote healing, provide your body with the nutrients needed for healing, keep you hydrated, and help to relieve symptoms.

What kitchen foods or advice would you add to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Discover The Trick To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

How To Make Bone Broth, Just Like Your Grandmother Did

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How To Make Bone Broth, Just Like Your Grandmother Did

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Making bone broths should be an activity in every home. Our great-grandparents made these nourishing concoctions regularly, and by doing so used every part of an animal and stretched their food resources.

Bone broth contains many important nutrients that support good health. Some benefits include:

  • Bone broth is one of the best sources of absorbable calcium, especially for those who cannot tolerate dairy foods or who do not consume dairy as part of their home culture.
  • Beef broth, chicken broth and fish broth are good sources of magnesium.
  • Bone broth is a good source of sodium. Sodium is important for many body and cellular functions, such as adrenal gland health, water balance regulation, muscle contraction and expansion, and maintaining a proper acid-alkaline balance in the body.
  • Bone broth that includes chicken or calf feet is a good source of silicon. Silicon is a very important nutrient for supporting strong and flexible bones, healthy cartilage, connective tissue, skin, hair and nails. Silicon also helps to protect the body from aluminum toxicity.
  • Bone broth is a good source of iodine, potassium and other important trace minerals that are easy to assimilate.
  • Bone broth helps to support the immune system and provide the body with resistance to infections diseases.

Broth Versus Stock

For the most part, the words “broth” and “stock” are used interchangeably in culinary applications, but there is a difference. Broth often incorporates leftovers of various kinds, such as from a roasted chicken eaten for dinner. Stock requires more of a prescribed formula, and is made regularly in the traditional kitchen to become the base of sauces and soups.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Other differences between the two are that stock generally incorporates more bone, and broth incorporates more meat. Stock has a more gelatinous texture and will be clearer in appearance. Broth is thinner and has a cloudier appearance.



It might be tempting in busy times to buy canned stocks and broths from the local grocery store. But these usually contain many unhealthy ingredients that you probably do not want to be ingesting or feeding to your family. These include MSG and other excitotoxins that are harmful to the body, especially to the brain.

Tips for Making Bone Broth

  • Always begin with cold water. This allows the fibers of the ingredients to open slowly and release their flavorful juices into the broth. The broth should be simmered after reaching an optimal temperature to promote clarity of the broth.
  • Be sure to skim the liquid as the impurities float to the top during simmering.
  • Adding vinegar or acidic wine during the cooking process helps to draw out important minerals, including calcium, magnesium and potassium.
  • Boiling down stocks will concentrate their flavor, producing a sauce that is useful for many culinary applications.
  • You can tell if your stock contains enough gelatin by letting it chill in the refrigerator, where it should thicken into a gel-like liquid. If it is not thick enough after chilling, you can boil it down to reduce it further.

Stock will keep in the refrigerator for five days (it can be re-boiled if you have passed this time frame by a few days), and in the freezer for several months. Any containers of stock should be labeled with the date made and a description of contents.

Chicken Broth Recipe

  • 2-3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings (free-range chickens are best)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • Optional: ½ teaspoon thyme, 1 tablespoon salt, and 12 peppercorns


  1. Place the chicken into a large pot, along with the rest of the ingredients (except for the parsley). Adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the ingredients at this time will yield more minerals from the bones into your broth.
  2. Bring everything to a boil and simmer uncovered for 2 hours.
  3. Skim off all scum as it rises to the top of the liquid throughout the cooking process.
  4. Add the parsley approximately 10 minutes before the broth is done cooking.
  5. Once the stock is done, place a sieve over a large bowl (line it with some clean cheesecloth if needed), and carefully pour the broth into the sieve so that it drains into the bowl below. The cooked chicken meat can be used for salads or ethnic dishes. Discard the remaining solid matter.

What are your best tips for making bone broth? Share your advice in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

Leftover Turkey Recipes That Don’t Suck

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The big meal is over. The sink is full of dishes. The stove has cooled down and the guests have gone home. Now it’s time to ask yourself the big question: where can I find some great leftover turkey recipes?!?

Help has arrived! Here are some great ideas for ways to use leftover turkey that go beyond a simple sandwich.

SONY DSCSandwiches and Sandwich Fillers

Turkey sandwiches are a classic leftover meal for a reason – they are fast, tasty, and (can be) yummy. That “can be” is the problem. Who hasn’t gotten sick of turkey sandwiches in the week after Thanksgiving? These give you more options for your lunch box.

Curried Turkey Salad

12 Creative Turkey Sandwiches

Turkey Wraps with Curry-Chutney Mayonnaise and Peanuts

And more…15 Best-Ever Leftover Turkey Sandwiches

Dinner (Pizza and more!)

stumboHere are some fun twists on classic meals, like turkey and dumplings instead of chicken and dumplings and turkey tetrazzini. Instead of delivery pizza, make your own barbeque turkey or turkey Alfredo pizza. It is so much healthier than delivery, and cheaper!

Meat and Potato Casserole

Turkey and Dumplings

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Stuffing Casserole

Barbeque Turkey Pizza

Turkey Alfredo Pizza

Slow Cooker Cranberry Turkey Breast

Turkey and Mushroom Risotto

Carolina Style Leftover Turkey Stumbo (a stew that is so delicious that it wants to be a Gumbo)

Preserving it for (much) Later

Sometimes, we just have too much to eat before it goes bad. That’s when it’s time to make some jerky and can some turkey to enjoy weeks or months later.

Turkey Jerky

Canning Turkey

What favorites of yours did we miss? Add them in the comments so the rest of us can try them the next time we have a turkey at our own homes.

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Soup Night: A Food Storage Recipe that Pops!

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Another great one by Chaya Foedus:

Wow!  This was amazing, and multiple helpings were had by all.  My inspiration, as nearly all good soups are, was based upon a recipe from the book, “Soup Night.”  These recipes are fantastic just as they are and I rarely make changes.   I do, however, utilize my food storage to keep up a rotation of…

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