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  • 3 Easy Food Storage Dinner Parties

    3 Easy Food Storage Dinner Parties


    Hi, friends. Urban Girl, here.

    We’ve been experimenting with food storage more and more here in the Emergency Essentials Test Kitchen, and we hope you’ve been enjoying the recipes coming through in our emails (if you aren’t signed up for those, click on the blue button near the top of the blog to sign up!).

    I’ve been thinking about having a dinner party in the next couple of weeks, and I decided I want to kill two birds with one stone and have a food storage dinner party. So I’ve been looking through the recipes on BePrepared.com and I’ve come up with three dinner parties I could pull together. Here’s what I’m thinking (click each image to see the recipe):



    Appetizer: 7-layer Dip 

    Food storage 7 Layer Bean Dip


    Entrée: Beef Brisket Taco

    Mexican Food storage Dinner Party: Beef Brisket Taco


    Dessert: Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Crisps

     Food Storage Dinner Party Dessert: Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Crisps



    Appetizer: Creamy Tuscan Tomato Soup

    Creamy Tuscan Tomato Soup


    Entrée: Linguini Chicken with Vegetables

    Linguini Chicken and Vegetables


    Dessert: Peach "Shortcake" with Strawberry Basil Sauce 

    Peach Shortcake with Strawberry Basil Sauce





    Appetizer: Zucchini Corn Fritters

    Zucchini Corn Fritters


    Entrée: Cajun Chicken and Pasta

    Cajun Chicken and Pasta


    Dessert: Strawberry-Banana-Peach Cobbler

    Strawberry-Banana-Peach Cobbler



    And for drinks, I’ll make one of the delicious food storage mocktails we whipped up in the Test Kitchen. Yum!


    I’ve tried all these recipes, and I love every single one. So now I just have to decide which menu to use. I’m leaning toward the Southern-inspired dinner, but man… I really love 7-Layer Dip.

    Which of these dinner parties would you throw? Or would you go a different route for a food storage dinner party?


    Bon appetit!


    P.S. Need to get more familiar with food storage? Try some of these recipes out, or check out our Recipes page for other options. (We’ve also got a photo contest going on with our recipes… we’ve got a lot of recipes that need photos and we’d love to see what you come up with…Winning pictures will be featured and credited on our site, and if your photo is chosen you get to pick a free MyChoice can of food storage! Click here for the contest details.)

  • Baby Steps to a Preparedness Network

    We've got relationships on the brain this month. Having a friendly relationship with your neighbors can be a crucial survival tool. Ideally every individual and family is prepared, but it’s almost impossible to gather all the information, knowledge, skills, and equipment you’ll need for every possible scenario. This is where building a neighborhood group or a network of prepared people can help.

    Once you’ve got your basic short-term survival kit and food storage taken care of, take a look at other prepared families and see how you might help each other. The idea is to find like-minded, trustworthy individuals who have differing skills, and are willing to work together in a crisis.

    To make sure your support network is in place before disaster hits, follow these baby steps.

    Baby Step 1: Make a list of your skills and resources.

    Think of services you can provide and what equipment you have.

    Baby Step 2: Make a list of skills and resources you need.

    Some of the most valuable resources are people with skills and equipment that are common, yet specialized. Here are some commonly needed skills:

    • Paramedic, nurse, other medical workers
    • Construction workers (with access to a backhoe, jackhammer, or crane)
    • Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, or masons
    • Mechanics, drivers, or people with a HAZMAT license

    Baby Step 3: Meet your neighbors.

    Borrow a cup of sugar. Yeah, it’s an excuse… but if you need a reason, this one is as good as any. To thank them, make a batch of something sweet and when you take it over, chat for a bit.

    If you’re not the outgoing, introduce-yourself-in-person type, no problem! Diane Schmidt at About.com has a great idea.

    “I once wrote a note and attached it to a jar of homemade jam and left it on a neighbor's porch. I introduced our family, said where we lived, and that we were around if they needed anything. It was simple and brief and in return, we found some really great friends.”

    Baby Step 4: Get to know your neighbors better.

    Invite your neighbors over for a backyard hot dog roast, a mid-winter wassail party, or multi-family game night. The event doesn't have to be elaborate. In fact, you’ll enjoy it more if it’s casual, low-key, and fun.

    • Play games based on specific skills: knot tying, communication, problem solving, first aid, etc.
    • Play a get-to-know-you game: Write questions on cards and use them as prompts.

                            Given a specific situation (stranded in your car, lost in the woods, etc.) what would you do?
                            Have you ever survived a natural disaster?

    If your neighbors don’t respond enthusiastically, don’t get discouraged. There are plenty of people in town who are interested in prepping. They may lay low, but you’ll find them.

    Baby Step 5: Reach out to people in your area via our Forum.

    Our forum is a virtual network across the U.S. Contributors actively discuss topics and answer each other’s questions. You’ll find that there is a wide range of participants, from beginners to seasoned preppers. Click here to visit the Emergency Essentials Forum.

    You may also consider posting a note on the message board at a local outdoor supplier, hunting and sporting goods store, or on the American Prepper Network.

    Always use caution when communicating via the internet. Don’t post any personal information like your home address or phone number. If you are going to meet someone you’ve been introduced to online, meet in a public place, tell someone you trust where you’re going, who you’re meeting, and when you plan to return.

    Build up a network before a disaster hits your neighborhood!

  • Food Storage Party Dips

    Hosting a big Super Bowl Sunday extravaganza? Still trying to figure out what to feed a house full of football fans?

    These dips will be a big hit with your crowd. Plus they’re easy to make and 100% of the ingredients are from food storage (so you can party even if the power goes out)!

    Steph and I created these recipes in the Emergency Essentials Test Kitchen this week, and they got great reviews from our coworkers--especially the Taco Dip (yum... that one was my personal fave, too).

    Happy dipping!




    Bacon and Cheddar Dip


    1 cup water



    Note: All ingredients should be added dry unless otherwise noted.

    Combine all dry ingredients except cheddar and bacon. Stir in water until the dip base is smooth. Add the cheddar and bacon, and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until bacon bits are softened. Add additional water as needed to achieve your preferred consistency.

    -This dip will thicken as it sits, so you may need to add liquid just before serving (water, milk, or additional beef broth)

    -Variation: Omit potato flakes, reduce water by 2 Tbsp. Add liquid as needed before serving.

    -Serve with pretzels, crostini, crackers, or chips.


    Tomato Bacon Dip

    1 ½ cups water


    ¼ cup Freeze Dried Tomatoes + just enough water to cover them in small bowl


    Note: All ingredients should be added dry unless otherwise noted.

    Combine all dry ingredients except tomato dices and bacon bits. Mix until smooth. Add tomato dices and bacon bits and mix until fully incorporated into the dip. Add water as needed to achieve desired consistency before serving.


    Serve with pretzels, crostini, crackers, or chips.




    Taco Dip

    1 tsp. Provident Pantry Taco Seasoning (or to taste)

    1 2/3 cups water

    ½ cup Taco Mix (TVP)

    1 cup Freeze Dried Tomatoes + enough water to cover


    Note: All ingredients should be added dry unless otherwise noted.

    Combine all dry ingredients except the Taco Mix, cheddar, and Tomato dices. Add 1 2/3 cups water, and mix until smooth. Add Taco Mix and cheddar; set aside.


    Put dry tomato dices in a small bowl and add water until the tomato dices are just covered. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until hydrated.


    Pour off about 1/3 of the water from the tomatoes, and add the tomatoes and remaining water to the dip. Mix well. Add liquid before serving as needed.


    Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

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