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  • Mountain House Review (Part 2): Stroganoff, Teriyaki, and Noodles and Chicken

    mh-classic-bucket Mountain House ReviewWhat’s an emergency? Most of us think of natural disasters: hurricanes, floods, earthquakes.

    But what about when mom is sick and dad isn’t around and five kids ages 3 to 13, most of whom have various dietary restrictions, need to be fed?

    That happened this week. Fortunately, during the last two weeks we’ve been trying meal pouches from the Mountain House® Classic Assortment (SKU: FC B395). The bucket contains 12 pouches of six different meals. Two pouches of Beef Stroganoff to the rescue.


    Beef Stroganoff

    “What’s Beef Stroganoff?” one of my children asked.

    “It’s ground beef and noodles,” I replied.

    beef-stroganoff Mountain House ReviewNotice I neglected to mention the traditional mushrooms and sour cream. I didn’t want them to run away from the table, screaming, before they’d tried it. Some of my children are incredibly picky. I have an autistic, 5-year-old son who, until last year, ate fewer than 10 foods. I also have a special needs 11-year-old who, at nearly every dinner, informs me that she’s “allergic” to everything on the table.

    She was the only one who didn’t try the Beef Stroganoff. Everyone else liked it. Though the rehydrated mushrooms were large enough to be obvious, they apparently looked enough like ground beef to fool the children. I later caught my 5-year-old sitting on the table next to the serving bowl, shoving stroganoff into his mouth with both hands.

    We liked the sauce’s flavor, probably because it was more cream-of-mushroom soup than sour cream. The mushrooms were not the least bit rubbery, which, frankly, surprised me considering their dehydrated-rehydrated status.

    However, the best part of the meal for me was its ease and speed. I’d been sick all day and wasn’t up to cooking. Two packets of Beef Stroganoff and a salad made a quick, healthy, tasty dinner that cost less than a trip to a fast food restaurant.


    Noodles and Chicken

    noodles-and-chicken Mountain House ReviewAn advantage of variety buckets like this one is that it allows family members to realize they actually enjoy food they normally wouldn’t try. My 9-year-old fruit hater discovered she loved the Granola with Blueberries and Milk. My 3-year-old little carnivore learned that the noodles in the Lasagna were as good as the meat. (You can find my review of those products here.)

    Occasionally, however, it means running across a food that one person loves but the rest don’t.

    I thought the Noodles and Chicken tasted great. The noodles were tender but not soggy, the chicken was flavorful and the sauce was thick and spiced perfectly.

    However, a few months ago, my children simultaneously decided they didn’t like chicken. (I wish they’d made that decision before I bought the 40-pound box of frozen chicken breasts, rather than after.)

    My 3-year-old was the only one who ate more than a bite. She asked for seconds. The rest asked for hot dogs.

    Food storage does no good if no one likes it. The nice thing about this Classic Meal Assortment bucket, and other food storage buckets, is it allows you to try many different entrées. Then, when you see what family members like, you can buy pouches or larger cans of their favorites. You’re not wasting food or money.


    Chicken Teriyaki with Rice

    chicken-teriyaki mountain house reviewI’ve discovered one way to get my kids to (occasionally) eat chicken: put it in Chinese-style recipes. I served one of the two Chicken Teriyaki with Rice pouches according to the package instructions. I made stuffed egg rolls using the other pouch. The children who didn’t like chicken ate the egg rolls, and the ones who didn’t like egg rolls ate the Chicken Teriyaki with rice. Success.


    Stuffed Chicken Teriyaki Egg Rolls


    1 package coleslaw mix


    3 cups shredded cabbage and

    ¼ cup grated carrot

    2 Tablespoons soy sauce

    2 Tablespoons water

    2 teaspoons ground ginger

    2 teaspoons garlic powder

    1/8-1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder (you can get many varieties in supermarket spice sections, but the best is in Asian stores)

    Green onion to taste (optional)

    One pouch Mountain House Freeze Dried Teriyaki Chicken with Rice, prepared

    One package egg roll wrappers (You can find them in the produce section of grocery stores)

    Cooking oil spray



    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking oil spray.

    In a large saucepan or wok, sauté coleslaw mix or cabbage and carrots, and green onion, with 2 Tablespoons soy sauce and 2 Tablespoons water. Add ginger, garlic powder and Chinese 5-spice powder.

    Add Mountain House Freeze Dried Teriyaki Chicken with Rice, stirring to prevent burning. Remove pan from heat.

    Put about ¼-1/3 cup mixture into each egg roll wrapper. Roll according to directions on package. Place on cookie sheet.

    Spray the tops of egg rolls with cooking oil spray and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through, until lightly browned.

    Makes 12-18.


    Blog Image mountain house review

  • Hurricane Matthew Strongest in Decades

    Hurricane Matthew is heading for Florida, and when it makes landfall, it could bring “massive destruction that we haven’t seen in years,” according to Florida governor Rick Scott.

    Hurricane Matthew Path The predicted path for Hurricane Matthew

    According to CNN, Hurricane Matthew could hit Florida as soon as Thursday night. All of Florida is under a state of emergency in preparation for the hurricane. On Tuesday night, cars lined up at gas stations to fill their tanks before the storm hits. CNN reported one station had cars waiting but no gas to give. Georgia and the Carolinas are also under a state of emergency for at least some counties.

    In a press conference, Scott warns that the waves will be crashing upon rooftops for those near the surge areas, and that everyone in an evacuation zone needs to evacuate immediately. "This storm will kill you," he said. "Time is running out." The Weather Network hails Hurricane Matthew as one of the strongest storms to hit Florida in recent decades.

    Hurricane Matthew out of stock food Dried and canned goods were nearly out of stock more than 24 hours before Hurricane Matthew hit Florida - image via The Weather Network

    Hurricane Matthew is a Category 4 storm, according to Fox News, and was even a Category 5 for a brief stint and could still reach that strength before landfall. The storm’s intensity could still fluctuate as it approaches the mainland, but remember, even Category 1 hurricanes can cause massive damage. As a reference, Hurricane Sandy was a Category 1 when it came ashore in New Jersey.

    Hurricane Matthew has already made its way through Haiti and Cuba, wreaking havoc as it stormed by. According to The Weather Network, some areas were smashed by 24-foot waves, not to mention “high winds, strong storm surge and torrential downpour.”

    Twitter showed the world the immense destruction that some areas were afflicted with.



    In Haiti, Fidele Nicolas told AP that Hurricane Matthew was the worst he’s seen in his lifetime. Where Nicolas lives, many homes were severely damaged and others washed away in the raging floods.

    Hurricane Matthew in-haiti Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in Haiti - via Fox61

    Hurricane Matthew has brought about the largest humanitarian crisis in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake, which left more than 200,000 people dead. Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, initial reports suggest that more than 10,000 people are living in shelters, and hospitals are even running out of clean water.

    Thursday could be the earliest the mainland sees Hurricane Matthew. Since the time of its arrival is fast approaching, the time for preparation has all but passed.


    How did you prepare to meet Hurricane Matthew? What would you have done differently? Let us know in the comments!

    Hurricane_Blog_Banner Hurricane Matthew

  • Italy Earthquake Devastates Entire Towns

    Italy Earthquake - via The Mirror Searching for survivors - via The Mirror

    A magnitude 6.2 earthquake – along with a string of more than 80 aftershocks – hit central Italy early Wednesday morning. At least 120 people are dead, and entire towns are in crumbles. One such town is Amatrice, to which the mayor explained, devastated, “Half the town doesn’t exist anymore.” At least two other towns have been reduced to rubble, and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams arrive at more remote areas.

    The earthquake rattled central Italy during the early morning hours when most people were still asleep. Homes fell and roads buckled. The shake was so powerful it was felt more than 135 miles away. Italy is situated on two fault lines, making it not only the most earthquake-prone country in Europe, but also in the entire world.

    With homes destroyed, people are now essentially homeless. The same thing happened in Nepal in 2015, although on a much larger scale. Because homes were destroyed and residents were fearful to spend the night in a damaged home, Kathmandu and the surrounding area became a city of tents.

    City of Tents - Italy earthquake Kathmandu's tent city

    Having some sort of emergency shelter is always a good idea. A tent will keep you protected from outside elements, but even a tarp draped over tree branches is better than nothing. Sometimes you may need to rely on these alternate shelters rather than a compromised home.

    Earthquakes can strike anywhere and at any time. In the case of the Italy earthquake, it struck around 3:30 in the morning. Lights will be out and power will be sketchy, at best. Having an earthquake kit – stored in a safe container, such as a bucket – will help you through those literal dark times with your prepared flashlights and other gear and supplies.

    While the Italy earthquake is devastating, it is still a good time to reflect on your emergency preparations and continue to build it up with the gear and supplies you need. Being prepared before the disaster is essential for riding it out as safely and comfortably as possible.


    Earthquake_Blog_Banner Italy earthquake

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