Sunday, January 8, 2012

BO Update & Jar Mixes

Our beautiful BO has decided that motherhood is not for her, at least not for now anyway. She stopped brooding a few days ago and has been off scratching and pecking with her hen pals. I hope she gets the urge again this spring, and sticks with it. It is such fun to have little chicks running around, and the young cocks cook up wonderfully. They are very tender and tasty. They have dark meat that is so flavorful the store bought chickens don't hold a candle to home grown. I will again, keep you posted.

On another note. I have been busy putting together quart jars of dried meals. You just layer the ingredients in a quart mason jar and seal. You have a quick meal with little prep that is filling and delicious. Here is one that I put together. You can also halve the recipe and put in a pint jar, just adjust the amount of liquid and meat accordingly when you go to prepare the soup. I do this for my oldest daughter who has recently moved out and the smaller jars are great if there are only two to cook for.

Pasta Soup

1 3/4 C macaroni or other hearty pasta
3/4 C dried lentils
3/4 C dried mushrooms
1/2 C parmesan cheese
2 TB dried onion
2 1/2 TB chicken bouillon granules
1 TB Italian seasoning
1 TB parsley
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 TB dried vegetable flakes (optional)
Layer in a quart jar. Seal. (I use my vacum sealer wide mouth lid attachment). Or put an oxygen absorber in and cap.

To use: Boil 10 C water. Add soup mix and 1 pint cooked chicken with liquid or 2 C cooked chicken (you can use cooked ground beef as well). Reduce heat and simmer 40-50 min. until lentils are tender, stir occasionally.

I also made Chicken and Rice, Skillet Lasagna and Tortilla Soup, which is one I haven't tried yet. And I  made another jar of Scalloped Potatoes which are way better than the store bought boxes, not to mention cheaper  more frugal. I will need to dehydrate more potatoes next weekend as I have almost used all of mine up. I just love them and would use them all the time if I had more. If anyone is interested in any of the other jar mixes I made, let me know and I will post additional recipes.


  1. Are you dehydrating the taters sliced in a dehydrator or in the oven? And do you have a scalloped potato recipe that uses them that you could share? We can't buy the store bought stuff because of the gluten additives, so I'd love to be able to make it myself...

    Xa Lynn

  2. Xa Lynn, I love these scalloped potatoes! I slice potatoes (I use russet or yellow) thin, about 3/8" thick. I blanch in boiling water for 6 min. Then I put in ice water for about 5-10 min. Next I put them on a tray and blot with a paper towel. I then put them on my dehydrator trays at 135 degrees and dry them. Start checking at 4 hours. Mine dry pretty fast and they can take up to 12 hours.

    You can use your oven, be sure to spray your pans so they don't stick. Set your oven at about its lowest temp, about 150 degrees. After 1 hour, turn all the slices over; then turn the slices over every 30 minutes. Drying time will depend largely on your own oven, but you should begin checking for doneness at 3 hours. The potatoes are done when they become brittle, somewhat translucent, and are not at all pliable. Their color should be pale white with a tinge of yellow; do not let them become brown or even dark amber in color. I store mine in coffee cans and jars. Mylar bags work, too.

    Here's what I do for my scalloped potatoes in a jar. I try to make several at one time so they are ready to use whenever.

    Scalloped Potatoes

    2 Tbsp. Nonfat Dry Milk
    2 Tbsp. Flour
    2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
    1 tsp. Onion Powder
    1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

    Combine the above ingredients to make 1 package of sauce mix and seal it in a small zip baggie, removing as much air as possible. Double, triple or quadruple this for however many jars of potatoes you are making. 6 TB. of mix goes in each jar.

    For each qt. jar add:
    3 cups dehydrated Potatoes
    1 package (6 Tbsp.) Sauce Mix (above)
    1/3 cup Nonfat Dry Milk (add to baggie or put in a new baggie)

    Place these ingredients into a one quart jar, making certain the sauce mix and dry milk are first placed into small zip baggies, then sealed with the air removed. Place the potatoes into the bottom of the jar, then add the baggie of mix on top. Place lid on jar and store in a cool dry place until ready to use. Attach the following instructions for later use.

    3 Tbsp. Butter or Margarine
    2-3/4 cups boiling Water

    Pour the potatoes into a medium size ungreased casserole and sprinkle the sauce mix on top. Dot with butter; stir in the boiling water. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender. If you are cooking something else at a lower temperature in your oven, adjust the baking time; at 350 degrees bake 40 to 45 minutes; at 325 degrees bake 50 to 55 minutes.
    I've adapted this recipe from

    If you like yours cheesy, you can add grated cheese. I'm making scalloped potatoes tonight, but with fresh potatoes because I've used up my mixes. I will follow the sauce recipe and adjust the amount of water in the dish and use 4 C sliced potatoes. I think I will start with 1 C of water and check halfway through baking to see if it is getting too dry. I will let you know how it is and the adjusted amounts. I hope you try this, it is much fresher tasting than the store bought, just as easy, and doesn't have all the added chemicals and ingredients.

  3. Xa Lynn,
    I made a mistake on how thin I slice my potatoes for dehydrating in my previous comment. I slice them about 3/16" thick, not 3/8" thick.

  4. Well Rose, you're on a roll so maybe you wouldn't mind posting the lasagna and tortilla soup too.
    If your interested, I'll send my vegi boullion mix. I add it to almost everything. If you dehydrate and make soup, I know you'd love this...if you're not already making it.

    I have yet to dehydrate spuds yet so I'll have to give it a try and make the jar scalloped spuds. Have you tried to dry sweet taters yet and if so how'd they work out? My DD just found 2 1/2 cases of qt jars under her house so now I know whats going to fill some of those puppies. Thanks for the ideas and recieps.

  5. PS Love your new masthead photo. Also love your Christmas tree as well. But for some reason the pics show for a few seconds then turn to a black screen. Oh well

  6. Herdog,
    I will be happy to post the other recipes! I'd be very interested in your vegie boullion mix as well. You can email it to me and I will make a new, separate post. Thank you!

  7. I feel a little silly. I have no idea how to e-mail you. I'm new to blogger and looked here and there looking for an e-mail button only to find where I can email this to someone else. But the vegi recipe is so simple I'll stick it here. Enjoy! The roots of this comes from "Simple Stratch Cooking" blog.

    4 carrots
    3 celery ribs
    1 leek, white part only, sliced
    1 small onion, peeled & quartered
    10 sun-dried tomato halves
    1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms
    2 cloves garlic
    generous handful of fresh parsley, including stems
    Salt 1/4cup (or leave out)
    1 teaspoon black peppercorns
    Put into a food processer and pulse into a wet paste. spread onto the fruit leather dehydrator sheets (or round).Dry at 125 for about 10hrs or so depending on how thick you make it. When dry it will come off in flakes which can be powdered or just crunched up in a bag. I put mine in the coffee grinder for a nice fine powder then into a canning jar. Use in soup, mash spuds, popcorn topping, meatloaf. Anything or everything its the best! Maybe not fudge. Any kind of vegis can go into this and its never turns out the same. I've used cilantro and that was to die for. Fun to play with the recipe so have fun.

  8. Herdog,
    No worries. I posted my email at the top left under my profile. Let me know if it is not showing up. I will post the other mix recipes and yours in a couple of days when I have some more time to sit down at the computer. Your vegie recipe looks good and full of flavor. I will try it for sure.


Your thoughts are welcome!