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Shelf Reliance Mom

Shelf Reliance Mom: April 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

30 Days of THRIVE - Bread Pudding

Hello Everyone!! Who is ready for another awesome 30 days of THRIVE Dish??? ME TOO!!!
This time I wanted to do something that my family absolutely LOVES!!!
Do you remember that yummy homemade bread that we made just a couple weeks ago? Well this is a great way to make the best of that bread. Especially if you have little ones in your home, the bread bag does not always get closed, am I right? So what do you do with stale bread? of my very favorite things....make bread pudding! This is so simple, and very flexible. It can be sweet, or savory, or you could make it into a meal by adding some chicken and veggies!

We are going with a sweet version today! Here is what you are gonna need:
***Word of Warning: This recipe is only a ratio based recipe. This will depend on your bread and
             how much you have to use. The good news is that you really can't go wrong!***
Bread (broken up into chunks)
Whole Egg Powder (I start out with about 6 eggs equivalent once prepared)
Instant Milk (I use about 1/2 as much milk as eggs)
Butter Powder (about 1 Tablespoon)
Add in your favorite spices (I use cinnamon and nutmeg)
A splash of vanilla

The key to making this great is to mix all of your wet ingredients, and then slowly add in the bread pieces. You want the bread to be wet, but no dripping. Once you get all the bread mixed in, spray (I use coconut oil) the pan you will be cooking in. I love to make them in muffin tins! The kids love them and it makes them easy for the hubby to take with him to eat on the way to work!
Bake @ 375 degrees for about 20 mins (you want them to still be soft to the touch, but not squishy)

While those are baking, you are gonna want to mix up this yummy syrup to put over the top. Trust will not miss maple syrup after you taste this yummy stuff!!

Buttermilk Syrup  (origional recipe and tutorial can be found here @ Our Best Bites)
3/4 Cup buttermilk (Here is a tutorial on making your own buttermilk from THRIVE)
1 1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup real butter
2 Tbsp Honey (prepared)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine buttermilk, sugar, butter, honey, and baking soda in a LARGE pot. (pot needs to be much larger than your ingredients because this will expand!)
Bring ingredients to a boil and reduce heat to low (you want to see small bubbles). Cook, stirring very frequently, for 8-9 minutes. (you can cook it for less time and it is more syrup like and less caramel like...up to you!)
Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Let sit for a few mintues so that you do not burn yourself....because I promise you will not be able to contain yourself after the first bite. Give it a good stir! Enjoy!!

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Mama Mondays! Quick Dinner!

Happy Monday Mamas!
I hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I did....My only complaint was that it went too darn fast!!!
Anyways, I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, (which for those that know me best know that this is dangerous!), but I "think" I have come up with a good idea....
Who wants a great, healthy, almost sinful dinner that you can put together for the family in record time? Yeah! Me too!!! Well hold on to your it comes!!!
Amazing Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
THRIVE Pasta of your choice (egg noodle pasta rocks!)

This is the most simple and crazy delicious meal!!! MY whole family loves it!!! What did my 14 month old think of it you ask? Well he ate just about as much of this as mom and dad did!!! He went to bed last night with a super full tummy!!!
Just cook your pasta as usual, and in the last minute or two, add in your chicken and broccoli! Strain and prepare your sauce (Which is insanely easy BTW) and toss everything together!! Ta-Da!!! 15 minutes and you have an amazing dinner that everyone will love!
Happy Eating!!!

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Blueberry Muffin "Cake"

I've been wanting to make blueberry muffins for a while and this week I finally did! Sad to say in the past I usually just used a box to make blueberry muffins. I have been looking for an easy, yummy, and THRIVE friendly recipe for a while and I'm happy to say I found one!

The reason I call it a muffin cake, is because that's how I got Jaxon to eat it :) And it's a thicker consistency.

You will need:

1 cup THRIVE blueberries
2 cups THRIVE flour
1 cup THRIVE quick oats
2/3 cups THRIVE sugar
1 tsp THRIVE baking soda
1 tsp THRIVE baking powder
1/2 tsp THRIVE salt
2 THRIVE eggs
1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
2 Tbs THRIVE honey (prepared)
1/4 c butter melted


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin or spray with cooking spray.
2. Next place 1 cup THRIVE blueberries in a small bowl and add 1 cup of water. Let them soak while you mix the other ingredients.
3. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients. If you are using THRIVE egg powder, go ahead and add 2 Tbs to the dry ingredients.
4. In a second bowl mix together yogurt, honey, and melted butter. If you're not using THRIVE eggs add 2 eggs here.
5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
6. Drain the blueberries and add to the batter.
7. Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes.
Makes 12 - 24 muffins (mine made 18).

Jaxon ate 2 "cakes" for breakfast, they must be good!

You can find the original recipe here.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - Potato Bucket Part 1

Hello Thursday!!!
Well I am so excited to share another THRIVE with a RE-purpose post today!!!
We have been talking about ways that we can re-use the things that we already have on hand because of our Q shipments and our home store! So far we have seen some awesome ideas! A great way to re-use the boxes to make organizing bins, an awesome window herb garden, and some wonderful #10 can baskets! You may be thinking to yourself, what is left? We have already found an awesome way to re-use everything!!! WRONG!!! What about our friend the 5 gallon bucket?
There are plenty of awesome ways to re-use a 5 gallon bucket, (mixing paint, storage, compost bin, toy storage,etc), but this one is my favorite!!! Today we are gonna use our 5 gallon bucket to plant some potatoes!!! I know!!

**First let me add a disclaimer, I was planning on using a THRIVE bucket, however, my 4 legged children decided that it would be of much better use as a chew we get this camo bucket instead. However, this would work just as wonderfully with a THRIVE Life bucket! Doesn't she look sooooo sorry?!

So First, you need to gather your supplies:
Potato Seeds (I used certified starter seeds, simply
       because I wanted to make sure that they were
       organic and disease free. Once you get your
       first crop, you can just use starter from the ones
       you pick! Cool Right?) 
Sun :)

First you need to Drill several holes in the bottom of the bucket to allow for drainage.
Add a layer of gravel to the bottom about 2-3 inches thick. This helps keep your soil in and also aids in drainage.
Add a layer of soil, about 6 inches thick. Cut your potato seeds so that you have an eye on each piece. I used 4 per bucket to allow for enough room. Place them in the soil equally spaced with the eyes towards the top.
Add another layer of soil to the top of the seeds, only about 2 inches. Your bucket should be just under half full. As the potato plants grow, you will add more soil to the top until you reach just 2 inches from the top.
I will keep you updated on the progress of our little plants as they grow!!
Happy Planting! 

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

30 Days of Thrive: Best Ever Cornbread

When I joined Shelf Reliance (now THRIVE Life) I was super impressed with the chicken salad, but the cornbread is what REALLY knocked off my family's socks off.  My kids would scarf those suckers down like they were cupcakes and they were the highlight of any meal. These aren't the bone-dry, flavorless crumbly mess that most cornbread turns into.  These are incredibly flavorful and sure to please as they have at every food demo I've done so far.

As you can guess, I can take no credit for this recipe because it was developed by THRIVE Life, but they allow us to share this awesome recipe with our lovely party attendees so, you can thank TL for this complementary side.

The best part is they are made out of ALL food storage.  Yay!

I will warn you that one time I made these with some store bought cornmeal that we had leftover from before I started buying THRIVE and I made this same recipe.  It's not the same.  There is something about the Yellow Dent Corn that they use and the texture they grind it that makes the THRIVE Cornmeal really something else.  My family did not enjoy it and tasted the difference.  It was the first time I'd ever made them that they weren't all gone within the meal.  Funny how these things work sometimes!

I am adding this to the 30 days of THRIVE list because we eat it with our Chicken and Rice dish, Taco Soup and THRIVE Express Entrees so I am sure that it will be included as sides in your family's dishes in the future as well.

Another thing that I love about these muffins is that they can be cooked in an 8x8 dish or in a 12 pan muffin dish.  (Found that one out on accident when I went to do a food demo and the host didn't have an 8x8 dish. Aren't accidents you learn from the best!)

Try them out and let me know what your family enjoys them with. 

Best Ever Cornbread
2 T THRIVE Powdered Milk, not reconstituted (either non-Instant or Instant will work)
1 c water
1 T vinegar
1/4 c plus 2 t water
1 c THRIVE Flour (I prefer wheat instead of white)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and 8x8 pan or a 12 muffin pan.
2. Whisk together Powdered Milk, 1 c water.  Add vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl whisk the Butter Powder and Egg Powder into 1/4 c plus 2 t water.
4. Add milk mixture into egg/butter mixture and then add the remaining ingredients whisking until few lumps remain.
5. Bake in a preheated oven for 22-30 minutes if using an 8x8 dish or 15-20 minutes if using the 12 muffin pan.  (I used to be in a lower altitude before moving to Denver and have noticed a huge difference in cooking times since moving.  Check on yours periodically by doing the toothpick test and find the time for your area)
6. Serve warm!

Question of the Day:
What side dish does your family gulp down?

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Mama Mondays - Prosperous Pregnancy

Happy Mondays Mamas!!!
I am hoping that we will all love the 4th Monday of the month as much as the others! Why you ask? Because every 4th Monday will be prosperous pregnancy Monday! YAY!!!
Ok so I realize that you may not be jumping for joy right now (especially if your baby belly is gettin bigger ;) these days!), but this is something that is very near and dear to my get excited!!!
While I was pregnant with my little one, I was also highly stressed and overworked, a plight not unlike most of you! What did I do to combat this? Well, I have already mentioned my top 5 tips, and those helped alot!!! I quickly learned that the way that I ate really affected my day. The days that I tried really hard to follow my eating plan, I felt so much better and had much more energy. The days when I "cheated" and ate differently, I felt crummy. So I decided to get some awesome go-to meals that packed a big punch! I usually make them in big batches and stick some in the freezer, that way I could just pop em in the toaster oven as I rushed out the door to work! 
Something that is important to remember while you are pregnant is that huge shifts in sugar affect your growing baby. You want to try and eat consistently and make sure that you have a great protein source when you eat.
My all time favorite breakfast is Ricotta Pancakes with fruit. (I love them with blueberries, but you can add anything to them!!) These are like a super food!! They pack in only 17 carbs per serving with a huge 12 g of protein!! YES!!! I KNOW!!! And they are so yummy!! Here is what you need:

Makes 2 Servings
3 Tablespoons THRIVE Flour
2 teaspoons THRIVE Sugar (or Stevia)
1 teaspoon THRIVE Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon THRIVE Whole Egg Powder (or 1 egg)
2 Tablespoons Water
1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
Blueberries, Strawberries, Bananas, Raspberries, Blackberries, or whatever else you like! (You can rehydrate these or leave them freeze dried)

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Stir in egg powder, water and ricotta cheese until well blended. Gently fold in blueberries or other fruit.
Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on top, then turn to brown other side.

If you want to do a big batch to have some on hand, you will need:
Makes 14 servings
1 and 1/4 Cups THRIVE Flour
1/4 Cup THRIVE Sugar (or Stevia)
2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon THRIVE Baking Powder

7 Tablespoons THRIVE Whole Egg Powder 14 Tablespoons Water
3 and 1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
Blueberries, Strawberries, Bananas, Raspberries, Blackberries, or whatever else you like!

I hope you love them!

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Thrifty Thursdays...a day late and a dollar short :)

So I am typically very on top of my blog posts.  If I say I'm going to do it, I am going to do it.  I am embarrassed that this Thrifty Thursday post is coming, well, on Saturday, ahem.  I promise it has been a crazy busy week with much that has been out of my control, but thankfully this baby growing in my tummy is doing well so I guess that means we're doing great.  I'm 32 weeks tomorrow... THANK GOODNESS! I cannot wait until 37 weeks and then she can come on out.  Knowing her stubborness though, she will choose 37 weeks as a time to stop letting me have contractions and will wait until the last day of 42 weeks to come.  Anywho, back on target!

This month we have been showing you simple ways to revitalize your home for Spring Cleaning using basics that you just happen to have lying around the home rather than having to buy a bunch of pricey organization boxes, planting pots and buckets.  I will have to edit this post throughout the week as I finish my spring cleaning project, but wanted to let you see what I've done with the #10 cans so far.

As I told you in this post before we have already adjusted our home quite a bit.  My sister and her two kids moved in with us in December.  We are making room for our sweet little edition coming our way in June, and now my wonderful mom is coming to live with us so I can be on some much needed bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy.  So, we are going from 4 people living in our home to 9 by the end of June.  While we are happy to have everyone coming, we've definitely had to make some major adjustments to how things are stored.  I want to show you guys a few things I've done as the week progresses.  Stay tuned for updates!
A cute birthday bucket I made for my sister.  She can reuse it now for
a styling trash can at the office or pencil holder... the possibilities are endless really.

What you'll need:
Emptied and cleaned #10 cans
2-3 Sheets of Themed Paper
Double-sided tape or Hot Glue
Ribbon (optional)

Since I was trying to use a theme that would be a little more lasting for my son's room, I chose to use pirate themed paper.  I used 12x12 scrapbooking paper.  Because the cans have a perimeter that is larger than 12 inches, you will have to overlap some of the paper.  Have fun using the different size scraps to add more depth to the designs.  I wanted to make the look a little more "rough" so I tore the edges of the solid paper.  You can choose which way you want to go with that.

Going for a cleaner look?  You can apply ribbon on top of where the two pages would meet to make a cute decorative look.

I have used these buckets more than just Storage Containers to revamp a room.  Here are a few ideas:
(Pictures to come of those which I still have on hand!)
  - Buckets for "spare parts"  You know, all of those nuts and bolts to different random things that you are afraid to throw away in case they become handy in the future.
  - Buckets for odd game pieces - Don't you just hate when you find puzzle pieces, little white balls to Hungry Hippos or little cherries from Hi Ho Cherry-O and you don't want to throw it away because it'll be needed again eventually... store them all in the same place so you know where to look
  - Buckets for pens, markers, pencils, etc.
This is where I first got the inspiration for most of the others.
  - Gift buckets - I really hate paying $5-7 for a gift bag that might just get trashed.  Why not decorate a bucket for cheap (or free depending on what you have at home).
  - Date Buckets - Surprise your spouse with a bucket with a movie or movie tickets, some candy, popcorn, a sweet note.  You can really make it geared for your hubby and add a little bottle of massage oil and promise that long needed back rub.  Don't you love it when someone goes the extra mile...its like a what flower arrangements do for ladies.
  - Mommy Buckets - Know someone who could really use a little break.  Why not create a little spa bucket... lotion, bath salt, candle, chocolate... sweet escape, yes please!
  - Easter/Halloween Buckets - Just drill holes and tie ribbon on either side of the can.
  - Reuse cans for Make a Mix containers - I love making my own instant meals so its fun to decorate and label a bucket for whatever food it is I'll be storing.
  - Break down larger buckets into smaller containers.  This is nice so you're not having to expose the food as often each time you open the container.
  - *Another Hubby Idea* Target Practice - I guess when they are empty you don't get to watch things explode when you shoot them, but you can paint them or tape target pictures to them.

Some uses I haven't tried but have seem at friends homes:
  - Furniture! We spent the night on a bed that was laying on a bed frame made completely of buckets and boxes of #10 cans... BRILLIANT!
  - #10 Can Stoves

Ideas from around the web:

  - Stilts for your kiddos
  - Flower Arrangements
Courtesy of
  - Santa Clause centerpiece decoration

Thanks for stopping by!

Question of the Day:
I'm sure there are thousands of ideas out there. What do you do with your empty cans?

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Noodles and Veggies

My toddler is a picky eater. When he was on baby food he ate like a champ and I often joked that he didn't discriminate when it came to food. Fast forward a year and some months later and I have a hard time getting him to eat a lot of things. One thing that he loves is spaghetti like noodles. He'll gobble up spaghetti, chow mein, and ramen. Now I'm not necessarily proud that little man eats ramen, but hey I'm human!

I had made myself some ramen one day when I was craving some comfort food, and he wanted some. I started to think about how I could make the ramen better. And I remembered one of my professors in college. He started talking one day about all of the different ways you could amp up your ramen, and the one I remembered most was adding frozen peas. So I pulled out some THRIVE and a package of ramen and in just a few minutes I had a happy customer.

You Will Need:
1 package of ramen (any flavor)
2 Tbs THRIVE peas
2 Tbs THRIVE corn
1 Tbs THRIVE carrots

Boil 2 cups of water. Add your ramen noodles and then just toss in the veggies. Boil for 3 minutes. Periodically mix up veggies and noodles (you might want to break up the noodles before you boil them if your making it for a little one). I like to drain some of the liquid before adding my seasoning, but that's just me. If you are concerned about the sodium content (holy cow!) you can skip the packet and flavor it anyway you like, salt and pepper, a dash of low sodium soy sauce, I'm sure there are lots of options! Serve to your eagerly awaiting toddler and watch them ask for more!

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