Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter Weather Threat, how do you prepare?

Here in the Eastern part of North Carolina where I live, we don't get much snow or any winter weather threats for that matter.  When we do it is almost ALWAYS ICE, not much is snow and if we do get snow it is generally a snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain mix.  What kind of winter do you have where you are from?  How do you prepare for the threat of the storms?

Sometimes it takes a little prep for us simply because we don't get it enough to keep everything on hand and we don't think to prepare early.  Some of the ways we try to prepare for this great event though are as follows:

1.  Flashlights and batteries, as I said we get ice mainly and ice likes to take power lines down.  No power line, no power. Candles and matches also if you are just sitting in a room together, and they may just make you house smell nice while you wait for the power but DO NOT leave them burning if you are not able to get your eye on them or if you go to bed.
2.  Propane, Kerosene, Wood, Depending on what secondary heat source you have.   In my case I have a Kerosene heater and I will stock up on a little extra Kerosene in the event the power goes out we still have a source of heat to keep us warm.
3.  Extra blankets, the heat already feels like it is having to work in over drive so we keep extra blankets in the car, in case we break down or get stranded, and home, so we don't have to run the heat so high.
4.  Food, in the South for some reason everyone hears snow and they run to the store to buy ilk and bread.  It has become a joke among many other states, especially those that get a lot of snow, but it is what it is.  That being said, you need to have bottled water, can foods that don't necessarily have to be warmed up to eat, peanut butter, bread, any kind of food you and your family will eat that dosen't have to be kept cold or heated up.
5.  Non-electric can opener, for the obvious of opening those cans of food, when the power goes out.
6.  Clean, and warm clothing, done properly you can layer your clothes to keep warm and not feel quiet so wrapped up and still stay really warm.  This is a practice we try to do even whe it is just cold out side.
7.  Charge all cell phones, and tablets, your cellphone may be the only way you can call and check on another family member or if you have to leave call for emergency help.  Tablets and other smart devices can be used to get the up to date info on what is going on with the weather.  Also can be a form of entertainent, LOL
8.  Fill up your gas tank before hand, If the power goes out and you have to get to the emergency room you need to know you have enough gas to get there, in major traffic and if for some reason your car was to break down, you could leave the car running while keeping warm. 
9.  board games, sounds silly right?  Not really, now days most "Board Games" still have some type of electronic you need so get some old fashioned board games to keep the family entertained while waiting for the storm to blow over. 
10.  Medications, make sure you have enough to get through the storm.  If you are going to run low call your Doctor or pharmacy and let them know.  They can make previsions for you so you don't have to do without.  Also you want to keep all your needed meds in one place, maybe an old make-up bag in case you have to leave home in a hurry you can just grab the bag and go.
11. Baby formula, diapers, wipes, baby food, I don't have a baby so I tend to forget this sometimes but a big one if you do a little ones.  You don't want to have to get out in the storm for diapers when you could have prepared yourself in advance. 

Most of these are NOT just for your home, in fact it would be a great idea to have a few of these on hand in your vehicle.  There is nothing like being stranded on a highway, cold, no food, and no water to drink.  Make a home and car emergency kit and this can be for any storm.  Biggest thing to remember here is, if it is something you and your family enjoy and it is non-perishable then get it together in your storm kit. 

Did I miss something that you would like to add?  Leave a comment and let me know what are some other things that you feel is needed.  Personally I think I need a stock pile of chocolate, you know for the long days of hyper kids, no school, and to add to my coffee or hot chocolate <3. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chicken Casserole with a twist

I love to cook for my Family and sometimes I actually make something that just wows me.  So I would like to share with you my simple recipe for Chicken casserole and then a little twist my husband added.

Chicken Casserole:
5 Leg Quarters or whole chicken
Cream of chicken soup
peppridge farm Stuffing (blue bag)
Salt and Pepper
Chicken Broth (made from boiling chickens)

Boil your leg Quarters until done, I usually let them cook until they almost fall off the bone.  Remove from water/broth and place into a separate bowl to cool.  While you are waiting for the chicken to cool down so you can handle it, I like to take my casserole dish nd put a layer of Cream of Chicken soup in the bottom of the dish.  Once the chicken is cooled down, you can start de-boning the chicken and putting the chicken into the prepared casserole dish.  Once you have removed all fat, bones, and any other part of the chicken you'd rather not eat, I usually like to take a little bit of the broth and pour over top of the chicken.  Salt and pepper to taste, remember you can always add more at the table but you can't take any away!  Then add another layer of Cream of chicken soup, now here is where I can't tell you how much to add because I like my casserole a little juicy.  So I add about 4 cans but this is up to you.  Place your stuffing mix in a bowl, melt butter and a little of the broth in the microwave.  Once it is melted, pour it over the stuffing mix.  Again here I don't want it soaked but I want the entire bowl to be mixed well.  Then put a layer of the stuffing mix over top of the casserole and bake in the oven.  I bake mine at 400 for about 30 to 45 minutes.  This depends on the size of the dish you are using, you are only cooking until it is golden brown.  Once it is done too perfection, remove from the oven and allow it to cool down at least 10 to 15 minutes so the cram of chicken soup isn't runny.  I use a sppon, scoop and serve.

Now I told you in the beginning that my husband added a new twist to this recipe, so let me share...

I bought some of the flour tortillas because he likes the sausage Burritos (recipe coming soon) and I tend to keep these on hand most of the time.  Now he is a bread eater, but this time he took a tortilla and put him some casserole in it, rolled it like a soft taco, and ate it.  He said it rocks.  Now you have to understand that while my husband will eat chicken he is NOT a fan of it because he worked in chicken houses growing up.  So now he had rather not have but.  He came back to the casserole about 5 times last night, so I know he really enjoyed this one! 

If you get a chance to try this recipe, come back and let me know what you think.  This is a great alternative to soup on a really cold day or night, and feeds a family of 5 to 6 maybe more depending on how much your Family can eat.