Monthly Archives: August 2016

Survival Food

After the hurricane season of 2004 (when Francis knocked out our power for almost a week and then Jeanne hit three weeks later to knock it out again), I vowed to prepare for hurricane season every year. We bought a generator, yet it limits us to how much gasoline we can store to run it. Recently, one of my favorite cookbook authors and travel writers, Janet Groene, released a comprehensive book that covers preparedness for emergencies titled THE SURVIVAL FOOD HANDBOOK –Provisioning at the Supermarket for Your Boat, Camper, Vacation Cabin, and Home Emergencies. (Visit her page to see her available books.)


We’re RVers, and I originally discovered Janet Groene through Family Motor Coaching magazine. How delighted I was when she moved to my area of Florida and we finally met in person! She writes weekly articles for her blogs, including and You can read all about Janet’s credentials here.

Janet and I recently lunched at Dixie Grill, one of our favorite local diners, and I asked about the new book.

Me: Survival Food reminds me of Doomsday.

Janet:  Prepping isn’t just for doomsday. It’s for anyone who journeys by boat or camper, who has a vacation home, or who wants to be able to put on a meal for unexpected company. Power outages and other emergencies happen but there are also the good times, when extra food allows you to linger longer in a great campsite or secluded harbor.

Me: Are you talking about MRE foods? Those are expensive.

Janet: MREs are expensive, which is why I write about preparing your own with inexpensive food purchased from your local supermarket.

Me: Now you have my attention! Tell me more about this book.

Janet: The book is a guide to shopping the supermarket for shelf foods to make familiar dishes. No pricey survival supplies are needed. Chapters cover how to shop, plan and stow. Every recipe in the book is made with shelf-stable ingredients to aid in any provisioning plan.  Also in the book are tips on baking without an oven, what to do when the power is off for a long period and clean-up after a food or fire.

Me: Sounds like a book everyone can use! May I share an excerpt?

Janet: Absolutely!


Chickenacho Casserole

Serves 4–6

Use drained canned chicken or reconstituted chicken bites. Tortillas can be homemade, from the supermarket shelf, or long-life tortillas from specialty suppliers.

  • 3 to 4 cups cooked, bite-size chicken pieces
  • 2 to 3 cups torn corn tortillas
  • 1 can condensed cream of onion soup
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (mild, medium, or hot)
  • 10-ounce jar cheese spread such as Cheeze-Whiz

Spray a large, nonstick skillet. Scatter chicken bits in the bottom and top with torn tortillas. Spoon by spoon, distribute soup, tomatoes, and cheese evenly over the top. Cover tightly and cook over low flame until everything is heated t

I won’t wait until an emergency to make this dish. This one certainly fits the category of a Hasty Tasty Meal. Thank you, Janet Groene, for sharing.


Filed under Healthful Eating

Solar Power! Make sun tea.

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Florida isn’t called the Sunshine State for nothing. We have plenty of sunshine, and in the summer it can be relentless. But my daddy raised me to find the silver lining in every cloud (or cloudless sky), and here’s how I capitalize on all that bright, sunny weather. Sun tea!

I’ve had sun tea that tasted, well, … nasty. I didn’t think I liked sun tea, tea snob that I am. Turns out, the stuff I’d sampled had been brewed too long. Sun tea is safe and easy if you do it right. One hour is all you need. Well…one hour and bright sunshine. ☼

I prefer my tea medium strength so I use three family-size teabags per gallon tea. You may want to use four. (If you like sweet tea, boil equal parts sugar and water in a pan for a simple syrup to stir in after you brew your tea.)

Sun Tea


  • 1 quart cold water + 3 quarts cold water*
  • 3-4 family size teabags


  1. In a glass container (I use quart canning jars), add the teabags to 1 quart cold water.
  2. Close the lid and place jar in full sun.
  3. Set timer for one hour.(Too long and the tea turns bitter.)
  4. Pour 3 quarts cold water into a 1 gallon pitcher. Add the sun tea and stir (at this point, you may add your simple syrup to make sweet tea).
  5. Pour over ice and enjoy with a slice of lemon or lime.

*Use filtered water if you have chemicals or minerals in your drinking water. I use a Brita® pitcher.




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Filed under Healthful Eating


Tilapia is a wonder food. Mild, adaptable, and plentiful, it cooks quickly and can be prepared in a variety of ways. My favorite method (and it’s the quickest) is to steam over low heat in a covered skillet. No oil, no batter, no breading…just a few seasonings like lemon pepper and/or garlic salt. Even frozen, it’s done within 10-15 minutes. Fresh cooks faster. When preparing a meal, I typically cook my tilapia last. I don’t want to risk overcooking it, and I certainly don’t want to serve it cold.

When you shop for tilapia, keep in mind the recommendations of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Buy farmed-in-USA if available. Aquaculture is suited to the tilapia, making it a sustainable fish. If USA isn’t available, buy from Costa Rica, Equador, Honduras, or Brazil farms. Do not buy tilapia farmed in China or Taiwan! (For more information, consult the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Watch List.)

Tilapia is not a new fish. It’s most plentiful in Africa and the Middle East and is believed to be the fish Saint Peter caught. In the miracle of the loaves and fishes (Matthew 14:15-21) Jesus served the crowd of 5,000 from two tilapia and five loaves of bread. Bible scholars also believe tilapia was abundant in the Sea of Galilee (Lake of Tiberius) and would’ve been the fish Jesus served his disciples when He revealed Himself after the resurrection. That’s why some refer to tilapia as either Jesus’ fish or Saint Peter’s fish. 

All I know is it’s delicious and nutritious, perfect for a Hasty Tasty Meal!


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Filed under Fish, Healthful Eating, tilapia