11-15Learn more about an exciting fire starter: Insta Fire

Learn about Insta Fire, a very light weight fire starter you can carry in a backpack on a hike, put in a 72 hour emergency kit and many more valuable applications. Click on the link below and watch the video to see how it works.


11-15Other Sources for fuel besides electricity

Preparing for disasters

Experts believe that if a major disaster occurs we will be without electricity or natural gas for 5 months or longer. Unfortunately disasters occur all over the world, sometimes when we least expect it. As we learned from Hurricane Katrina and many others, Government assistance is 96 + hours away. Fuel is an often overlooked item when preparing for a disaster but a critical one. Fuel is a must to boil water, cook your food, heat your shelter & boost morale. Listed below are several fuel options:

Fuel Storage Guidelines

In an emergency you will most likely need to boil water, cook your food and heat your shelter. Proper ventilation is always necessary. Listed below are several fuel alternatives.


One cup of Insta-Fire will boil 2 cups of water in 10 minutes. It will light 75 brickettes in 10 minutes. It will also provide enough fuel to cook even the toughest of meals. It can also be used as a stand alone fire with 2 cups burning for approximately 45 minutes with occasional stirring. It is available in a variety of storage containers including 1 gallon bucket, 5 gallon bucket and 55 gallon drums. Long term storage is estimated at approximately 30 years.


Raw, dry wood is a very good source of fuel especially when used in conjunction with Insta-Fire. Wood often becomes wet and unusable in a disaster. (Click here to see how to use Insta-Fire to light even wet wood). In rural areas wood may be readily available at a relatively low cost. Local permits may be necessary. In urban areas wood may not be as readily available and storage areas are limited. Be cautious when burning “used” wood that has a finish on it i.e. furniture & flooring, as it may contain deadly toxins.


Available in several sizes ranging from 1 pound to very large containers and is a good source for both heat and cooking. However, most containers have a “use by date” and therefore are not recommended for long term storage. An additional propane heater or stove is required. Storage restrictions generally apply due to its explosive nature. Check with your local fire department for storage restrictions in your area.

Kerosene/Heating oil

As with propane, a variety of storage tanks are used. Kerosene and Heating oil are good sources of heat for heating your shelter but generally not used for cooking. Also, as with other fuels i.e. propane and gasoline, storage restrictions may apply. Check with your local fire department for storage restrictions in your area.


Coal can be good source of heat and can be stored for a long period of time if kept dry. Generally messy to store, must be kept dry, proper ventilation is a must and can be hard to light unless used with Insta-Fire. Charcoal briquettes are a good source of fuel to cook but because it omits carbon monoxide it must be used outdoors. (Click here for a demonstration to light charcoal briquettes).


12 alternative uses for coffee filters

By Lori Bongiorno

I was surprised to come across several articles with long lists of alternative uses for coffee filters. I'd never really considered them for anything more than making coffee, and even then I know that choosing a reusable filter or making coffee in a French press is one way to stop throwing money away and cut back on waste.

I have to admit, though, that there are some very good reasons to keep a box of coffee filters on hand. They can come in handy in a number of situations and ultimately save you money since coffee filters are less expensive than other options.

Here are some of the most interesting and practical uses for coffee filters that I've come across.

1. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they don't leave behind any residue.

2. Save a bottle of wine. Broke the cork? No problem. Just place a filter over a pitcher and carefully pour the wine into it.

3. Line flower pots. Place a filter at the bottom of the pot to prevent soil from leaking out of the drainage hole.

4. Protect china and non-stick cookware. Place a coffee filter between dishes or pans when storing or packing.

5. Wipe off smudges. In a pinch, you can use to clean eyeglasses, camera lenses, televisions, and computer monitors.

6. Keep your microwave clean. Prevent splatters by covering dishes or bowls in the microwave with coffee filters. Using another plate is your best bet, but filters are a good alternative to plastic wrap. And you can easily reuse them a few times.

7. Make a bouquet garni. Tie up bay leaves, parsley, or other herbs in a coffee filter. Drop it in your stew or soup pot, and easily remove it when you're done cooking. Recipes often suggest cheesecloth for this process, but a coffee filter is an easy-to-find alternative.

8. Diffuse the flash on your camera. Place a coffee filter over your flash to soften the brightness. You can also try putting coffee filters over lights or lamps to lessen the harshness of direct light when taking indoor photos.

9. Make sachets. Tie lavender or other dried flowers and herbs in a coffee filter to make great-smelling bundles you can store in drawers and closets.

10. Use for sewing projects. Coffee filters make a great backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

11. Make tea bags. Wrap loose tea in a filter and tie with a string.

12. Use for storage. Wrap Christmas ornaments and other rarely used fragile items before packing away.

Environmental journalist Lori Bongiorno shares green-living tips and product reviews with Yahoo! Green's users. Send Lori a question or suggestion for potential use in a future column. Her book, Green Greener Greenest: A Practical Guide to Making Eco-smart Choices a Part of Your Life is available on Yahoo! Shopping and Amazon.com.


Fava Beans Recipes

Fava Bean & Tomato Salad


20 tomatoes
1 pound fresh fava beans
1/4 pound finest prosciutto
1/4 pound gruyere
3 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
pinch sea salt


Set a pot of water, with a pinch of salt, to boil. Put a bowl of ice water in the sink. As the water is coming to a boil, shuck the fava beans. How to do this? Snap and extract. There should be three or four beans per pod. (Be sure to feel the inside of the pod, which is as soft as dryer lint.) When the water has come to a boil, plop all the shucked fava beans into the pan and let them bob there in the boiling water for thirty seconds. After that, immediately drain them and plunge the fava beans in the ice water to stop cooking. After a moment, take them out and let them chill in the refrigerator for a few moments.

Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin from individual beans by peeling it off. Fava beans are kind of a pain to prep....but they pay off in flavor.

Meanwhile, slice the grape tomatoes in halves, lengthwise. Cut the gruyere into small squares, about the same size as the fava beans. Make up a simple vinaigrette, by combining the olive oil, white vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss everything together, with the fava beans, then thread small slivers of the prosciutto in among the beans, tomatoes, and cheese. Eat with the small sigh of spring.

Grilled Fava Bean

Serves: 4


2 pounds Fresh Fava Bean Pods


Spray whole fava bean pods with cooking spray. Place pods directly on hot grill of BBQ. Turn fava pods frequently until pods char and begin to burst open (about 7 to 10 minutes). Remove from grill and cool pods for 10 minutes. Remove fava beans from pod and peel beans by pinching one end of the bean to pop bright green fava bean from it's waxy shell. Grilled fava beans are delicious served as an appetizer with slices of Parmesan cheese.

Rigatoni with Fava Beans and Artichokes
Source: Adrieene Meier, Ocean Mist Farms


3 Ocean Mist Artichoke hearts and bottoms cubed
1 cup (5 ounces) blanched shelled fava beans
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
1 yellow onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 cup spinach leaves coarsely chopped
One 28 ounce can plum tomatoes (drained)
1 pound rigatoni pasta (cooked)
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
grated Parmesan cheese.


In large frying pan over medium-high heat warm olive oil.
Add carrot and onion and cook until tender, about 7 minutes.
Add artichokes, fava beans, spinach, broth, salt and pepper.
Cook until heated through.
Stir in tomatoes and simmer about 15 minutes.
Add cooked drained rigatoni to sauce and gently toss.
Plate and top pasta with shaved parmesan cheese.

Sauteed Fava Beans


boiling water
tap water
2 lbs fresh fava beans, in the pod (yields about 1 1/2 to 2 cups shelled beans)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced, to taste
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste


First, shell the beans from the fava pods.
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil, then add salt – the amount depends on how much water you have, but it should be very salty, like seawater.
In a bowl, combine ice and tap water to make ice water; set aside.
Add the shelled beans to the boiling water and let cook for about 3 minutes, then remove from saucepan and immediately plunge into the ice water to halt the cooking.
Let the beans cool, then peel the outer skin from each of them.
Over medium heat in a skillet, melt together the butter and olive oil, then add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the peeled fava beans and sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are done to your preference.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, serve, and enjoy!

Note: in choosing your fava beans, get the pods that are firm and fresh looking.

Note 2: once you've made these basic fava beans, you can add other delicious items such as caramelized onions or fennel, chunky fresh tomatoes, and/or a bit of chopped proscuitto.


11-16Cookie Recipe (using white beans)

Beans are considered a Super Food for the amount of nutrients, such as dietary fiber, iron, zinc, and folate, contained within the bean. Beans also count as a food found in both the vegetable and the meat/bean food groups. Did you know the USDA My Pyramid food guide recommends to eat several cups of beans each week?

The Food $ense Nutrition Program in Salt Lake County offers many ideas of ways to increase your consumption of beans. One of them is this delicious, healthy, oatmeal cookie. Don’t be fooled by the first ingredient (mashed white beans); the beans replace shortening or butter and therefore take away the added fat AND add a bundle of much-needed nutrients. Try them! You’ll not only be impressed, but you’ll have one more healthy snack to add to your recipe collection.

Oatmeal Cookie

· 3/4 cup white beans, mashed

· 3/4 cup brown sugar

· ½ cup granulated sugar

· 1 egg

· 1 teaspoon vanilla

· 3 cups oats

· 1 cup whole wheat flour

· 1 tsp. salt

· ½ tsp. soda

Preheat oven to 350º. Beat mashed white beans, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and mix together. Add to bean and sugar mixture; mix well. Drop onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 350º F for 10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Yield: approximately 36 cookies

Optional: Nuts, coconut, raisins, and/or chocolate chips may be added with dry ingredients


XXXXXXXXXXXX72 Hour Kit: Food and Water

A three day supply of food and water, per person, when no refrigeration or cooking is available

Protein/Granola Bars
Trail Mix/Dried Fruit
Crackers/Cereals (for munching)
Canned Tuna, Beans, Turkey, Beef, Vienna Sausages, etc
Canned Juice
Hard Candy/Gum
Water (1 Gallon/4 Liters Per Person)

Bedding and Clothing

Change of Clothing (short and long sleeved shirts, pants, jackets, socks, etc.)
Rain Coat/Poncho
Blankets and Emergency Heat Blanks (that keep in warmth)
Cloth Sheet
Plastic Sheet

Fuel and Light

Battery Lighting (Flashlights, Lamps, etc.) Don't forget batteries!
Extra Batteries
Water-Proof Matches


Can Opener
Radio (with batteries!)
Pen and Paper
Pocket Knife
Personal Supplies and Medication

First Aid Supplies

Toiletries (roll of toilet paper- remove the center tube to easily flatten into a zip-lock bag, feminine hygiene, folding brush, etc.)
Cleaning Supplies (mini hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, dish soap, etc.)
Immunizations Up-to Date
Medication (Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, children's medication etc.)
Prescription Medication (for 3 days)

Personal Documents and Money (Place these items in a water-proof container!)

Genealogy Records
Patriarchal Blessing
Legal Documents (Birth/Marriage Certificates, Wills, Passports, Contracts, etc)
Vaccination Papers
Insurance Policies
Credit Card
Pre-Paid Phone Cards
Bag(s) to put 72 Hour Kit items in (such as duffel bags or back packs, which work great) Make sure you can lift/carry it!
Infant Needs (if applicable)—formula, bottles, pacifiers, baby food, diapers, wipes.



xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxWeekly Preparedness Goals

1. Obtain a suitable 72-hour kit container (backpack, duffel bag, garbage can w/ lid, etc.)
2. Check the batteries in your smoke detector
3. Place a flashlight next to your bed and one in an alternate location; check batteries
4. Add 1 1/2 gallons of water per person to 72-hour kit
5. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
6. Add a can opener to 72-hour kit
7. Add 2 cans tuna fish/canned meat to 72-hour kit
8. Add 1 large roll paper towels to 72-hour kit
9. Add 1 blanket to 72-hour kit
10. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
11. Add 4 rolls toilet paper to 72-hour kit
12. Add 1 bar of soap to 72-hour kit
13. Add stress relief factors to 72-hour kit (books, magazines, coloring books, games)
14. Add pocket/utility knife to 72-hour kit
15. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
16. Add 1 container of baby wipes to 72-hour kit
17. Add 1-2 changes of clothing to 72-hour kit
18. Add 48 ounces of non-carbonated canned juice to 72-hour kit (date for rotation)
19. Add 1 can of fruit, 1 can of vegetables to 72-hour kit (date for rotation)
20. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
21. Add 1 box of matches to 72-hour kit
22. Add hard candy (jolly ranchers, lifesavers) to 72-hour kit
23. Add 1 1/2 lb peanut butter to 72-hour kit
24. Add Ziploc bags (variety of sizes) to 72-hour kit
25. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
26. Check the batteries in your smoke detector. Practice escape routes.
27. Add 1 box of crackers to 72-hour kit
28. Add plastic utensils to 72-hour kit
29. Add a large candle to 72-hour kit
30. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
31. Add 1 lb. Graham crackers to 72-hour kit
32. Add flashlight to 72-hour kit; check batteries
33. Add disinfectant (betadine, bleach, sterile wipes, hand sanitizer) to 72-hour kit
34. Add paper cups to 72-hour kit
35. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
36. Add basic first aid kit to 72-hour kit
37. Add 1 lb dried fruit to 72-hour kit
38. add 1/2 lb non-fat dried milk to 72-hour kit
39. Add battery powered radio to 72-hour kit; check batteries
40. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
41. Add items related to individual medical needs to 72-hour kit
42. Add diapers, feminine hygiene supplies to 72-hour kit
43. Add toothbrush and 1 tube of toothpaste to 72-hour kit
44. Add hand shovel to 72-hour kit
45. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
46. Verify each family member's tetanus immunization is up to date
47. Add 1 large roll heavy duty aluminum foil to 72-hour kit
48. Add 1 axe to 72-hour kit
49. Add paper plates to 72-hour kit
50. Add $10 cash to 72-hour kit
51. Add 1-2 boxes pre-sweetened cereal to 72-hour kit
52. Add photocopies of personal documents to 72-hour kit (wills, insurance policies, birth certificates). Send 1 copy to family member/friend in separate location


Farmers Group Touts Lentils & Other Healthy Legumes

Farmers group touts lentils, other healthy legumes
By Blake Nicholson
Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:06 p.m. MDT

BISMARCK, N.D. — Lentils are a hot topic among gourmets these days, with recipes for them popping up in most major food magazines.

Lentil and other legume farmers hope to capitalize on this interest and convince consumers and food producers to use them in breads and cookies as well as the more traditional soups and stews. To do this, they've formed a new marketing venture aimed at promoting the health and other benefits of lentils, dry peas, garbanzo beans and other so-called "pulse" crops.

"They're barking up the right tree," said Brad Barnes, associate dean of culinary education at The Culinary Institute of America.

Growing interest in Indian and other international cuisines, along with greater awareness of intolerance to gluten, a protein found in many grains, have fostered an interest in lentils and legumes, Barnes and others said. A general push toward eating healthier also has made high-fiber, high-protein, low-fat legumes more appealing, said Tina Ujlaki, executive food editor at Food and Wine magazine.

"I think a lot of people are trying to move meat to the side of the plate rather than the center of the plate," Ujlaki said. "More people are trying legumes, vegetables. Also, people are trying to cut costs, and these ingredients are not that expensive.

"There's big bang for your buck moneywise and healthwise."

The interest comes at a good time for farmers, who have seen production of lentils and dry peas rebound after drought ravaged the crop in 2008 in the top two producing states of North Dakota and Montana. The U.S. had record crops last year, producing 1.7 billion pounds of dry peas and 590 million pounds of lentils, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Right now, most of the market for the two crops is overseas, with two-thirds or more of U.S.-grown peas and lentils being exported, said Eric Bartsch, general manager of Bismarck-based United Pulse Trading Inc. Much of the demand has been in drought-ridden areas of India and other parts of South Asia as well as Turkey.

"Demand in the U.S. is still not huge, but it is growing," he said. "We see it as definitely becoming a major part of our markets in the future."

Domestic demand has increased with the growth of ethnic minorities, but Barnes said more people of all races have become interested in Indian and other foreign foods. The Internet has made it easier to research international foods and find ingredients.

"With the information pipeline out there, it's certainly easier for someone interested in food to discover Morocco," he offered as an example.

"Global flavors and perspective in food and the culinary arts are growing every day," he added.

Farmers hoping to capitalize on this interest have formed the American Pulse Association, a joint venture of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council and the US Dry Bean Council. Chief executive Tim McGreevy said he expects new research and other efforts "will have a huge impact on domestic consumption here in the next five years."

One priority for his group is encouraging research to support ideas about legumes' health benefits. Another focus is getting the crops used more often in mainstream food manufacturing.

"We're heavily weighted toward traditional uses of these products, which is soups and stews," McGreevy said. "There hasn't been extensive research done on how these pulse flours can be worked into breads, tortillas ... muffins, cookies."

Industry leaders are holding a planning session this week, in Beltsville, Md., with about 50 science and industry experts. After they come up with specific plans on how to proceed they will seek funding from agencies such as the Agriculture Department and the National Institutes of Health, McGreevy said.

Ujlaki and Barnes said products made with legume flour would probably be attractive to people who are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease, a digestive disorder triggered by proteins found in wheat, barley and rye.

"If you go to a health food store, you'll see half the cookie aisle is gluten-free, half the crackers are gluten-free," Ujlaki said.

The final part of the American Pulse Association's plan is to promote legumes' environmental benefits. Unlike corn and other crops that require a lot of expensive fertilizer, legumes put nitrogen back into the soil.

Beau Anderson, who farms in northwest North Dakota and teaches farm management at a Williston college, said they fit in well in crop rotation plans farmers use to protect soil and stem off plant diseases. They also require less work with emissions-spouting farm equipment, McGreevy said.

"The United States and the world are crying out for improvements to our health and to our environment," said Cindy Brown, vice chairwoman of the American Pulse Association. "Pulse crops offer tangible solutions to these problems."