Recipe for a Broccoli-Chicken-Rice Skillet Casserole with a cheese sauce

The following recipe for a Broccoli-Chicken-Rice Skillet Casserole with a cheese sauce is from reader H.S.. This recipe serves six adults.

  • 3 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 cup brown rice (12 ounces
  • 4 cups (12 oz.) broccoli crowns
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt (I use the Greek style)
  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot. Add rice, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, then add the broccoli florets to the pot. Replace the cover and cook it for an additional 10 minutes. (Do not cook according to package directions; you want to undercook the rice.) Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. As soon as you put broccoli in the rice pot, preheat oven to 400°F and start making the cheese sauce. Whisk flour and milk in a large skillet to combine. Bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of the spoon, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the Cheddar cheese until melted. Add yogurt. (And salt and/or pepper, if desired.)
  3. Fold the rice and broccoli mixture, shredded chicken, and almonds into the cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized casserole dish (or if your skillet is oven-safe, just bake it in the skillet.) Mix the breadcrumbs and olive oil in a small bowl; sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is golden and the dish is warmed through.

Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? In this weekly recipe column, we place emphasis on recipes that use long term storage foods, recipes for wild game, dutch oven and slow cooker recipes, and any that use home garden produce. If you have any favorite recipes, then please send them via e-mail. Thanks!

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A Homesteader’s Guide to Composting

Do you find composting a challenge? If you do, loosen up and worry no more because this homesteader’s guide to composting will lead your path to a healthier and cleaner environment.

The Ultimate Homesteader’s Guide To Composting

What is composting? Composting is simply a process of decaying organic materials the natural way making the soil healthier and more suitable for planting. If you have been planning or looking for an inspiration to get started, here’s how to:


How Should You Begin:

1. Consider The Season

It doesn’t make a huge difference when it comes to indoor composting, but it certainly does when we’re talking about outdoor composting. My favorite time of composting is during fall. When there are lots of microbe-rich leaves available for kick-starting my compost project, I still need to consider my equipment will be in freezing temperatures in just a few weeks. Thus, I’m going to use some leaves to create an insulated layer for the outdoor composted I’m DIYing.

2. Consider Your Compostables


How much organic matter does your family have to compost each day? How quickly does this add up? The goal of these questions is to determine how much you can realistically compost at one time in your current situation. For us, I know we have more organic waste than we could reasonably transform into compost for our small gardens. The thought has crossed my mind to sell or gift the extra compost but we would need to store the excess until it is moved. Hard to believe I know, but not many of our immediate friends are compost-curious.

Here’s a quick list of compostables you can consider to create an organic compost:

  1. Dryer sheets
  2. Soy, rice, almond, etc. milk
  3. Pickles

See more here!


3. Get The Right Equipment

Luckily, a lot of things can be easily upcycled into incredible composters. You don’t need to go out and buy a fancy pre-fab kit. I thought over the many options and ultimately decided to go with something quite simple: two black garbage bins with lids. One is a size smaller and will fit almost perfectly into the larger one. The larger one will already be packed with insulation-providing leaves. Then, all that’s really left to secure is something – like a shovel or big stick – to stir the compost up with every few day.

4. Make It A Habit

Humans are creatures of habit – even when those habits aren’t the best. We’re used to tossing our tea bags, fruit peels and stale bread into the garbage. We’re used to bringing that garbage, in its plastic bag, out to the curb, to the garbage shoot, or to the collection bin.

Composting seems like more work simply because it is a little different. In reality, you’re just tossing the organic materials into a different bin. Instead of tying up a plastic bag and disposing of it,…

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February 28th is the birthday of famed Swiss investor and economic pundit Marc Faber (born 1946).

February 28th is the birthday of famed Swiss investor and economic pundit Marc Faber (born 1946).

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 105 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  5. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  6. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  2. A SIRT STIC AR-15/M4 Laser Training Package, courtesy of Next Level Training, that has a combined retail value of $679
  3. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.

More than $800,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. Round 105 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


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30 Essential Preparedness Tips for Natural Disasters –

The sky is turning greenish and the air feels supercharged, making your hair stand on end. The birds have stopped singing — an unnatural, eerie silence follows a long night of screaming wind, foreshadowing the approach of a tornado unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed. Are you ready for it?

30 Ways to Prepare for a Natural Disaster

From long-term preparations to last-minute tasks, here’s how to survive an extreme weather event.

1. Stock up on Nonperishable Goods

If the power goes out, you may not have a fridge or freezer to store your food. Canned and dehydrated food can meet your dietary needs until you get the power up and running again. Stock your pantry with a wide variety of options to keep things interesting and ensure you get a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber and vitamins. Some ideas include:

  • Canned tuna, chicken or chili
  • Canned vegetables and soup
  • Honey
  • Peanut butter
  • Beef jerky
  • Individual condiment packets
  • Pudding
  • Powdered eggs and dairy like milk, butter and cheese
  • Oatmeal

Visit an outdoor retailer to stock up on freeze-dried meals — like instant breakfasts and dessert mixes — that only require boiling water to prepare.

A lot of foods, like oatmeal, come in packaging that may fall apart if it gets wet. To avoid spoilage, you can transfer foods into glass or metal containers, especially if you’re anticipating a flood or hurricane.

2. Get Cleaning Supplies

Even during a natural disaster, life goes on — pets have accidents, kids spill their food and bathrooms get dirty. Stock up on several types of cleaning supplies well in advance of an emergency. If you go to the store right before a storm hits, there will be a mad scramble to get supplies, and odds are you won’t find what you need.

3. Tag Your Animals

It’s sad to think about, but pets and livestock often get lost after natural disasters. Fences may break and animals panic during storms.

Microchip your dogs and cats, and ensure the information on their chips and collars is up to date. Ensure all your cattle have unique ear tags. Sheep and goats may wear ear tags or collars. For Adal sheep or LaMancha goats — which may have tiny or absent ears — always use a collar. If you have poultry, band them to make them easier to identify if they escape.

Rabbit and pig owners often use small ear tattoos to identify their animals. Pigs may also wear ear tags. Due to these animals’ thick necks, it’s difficult and even dangerous for them to wear a collar.

4. Buy Extra Animal Supplies

Stock up on feed, medicine, bedding, toys, grooming supplies and anything else your animals need on a regular basis. While you’re at it, write down your vet’s number as well as the contact info for local emergency vets.

5. Get Candles, Batteries and Lighters

You’ll want to have plenty of light sources to use as a…

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12 Things to Own When the Dollar Collapses

These days, everyone is rightfully worried about a massive economic downturn precipitated by the collapse of the US dollar. There is plenty of good evidence why everyone should be worried about this, not the least of which is that the dollar is about to be unseated as the world’s reserve currency.

things to own when the dollar collapses collage

That, plus rampant government spending, raging inflation, and massive political and social unrest has led to a seemingly perfect storm of conditions that will expose, in shocking relief, the shortcomings of fiat currency.

America may be exceptional, but our currency is certainly not exempt from the market and economic forces and it is just about time to pay the butcher’s bill.

Accordingly, every sane person and preppers in particular are scrambling to prepare for one of the most complex and deteriorating crises in the form of a currency collapse.

You’ll need more than a survival kit and a bug-out bag if you want to make it through.

To help you in that endeavor, we are bringing you a list of 10 things that you should own before the dollar collapses.

What Causes the US Dollar to Decline and Collapse?

There has been a veritable ocean of ink spilled by pundits, experts, authorities, and common people over the years concerning what “actually” causes the dollar to dip, decline, and finally collapse.

While it is true that the forces behind our modern economy are incredibly complex, the causes for a dollar collapse tend to be fairly straightforward in nature.

Remember, it might be one or more of these factors together that genuinely precipitates the dollar collapse!

Don’t consider yourself and your investments safe just because you cannot see one or more on the horizon.

War and Disaster

Devastating natural occurrences like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods can wreak havoc on a currency’s worth as they may impede commerce plus impair essential infrastructures.

Mega disasters can have a regional impact that has far-reaching consequences.

War, as ever, is a destabilizing force that can likewise drain unfathomable amounts of money and tip economic balances.

Economic Slump/Recession

When a recession strikes, investors may become hesitant about the strength of a country’s economy, thus seeking more secure investments.

This can trigger an immediate decrease in demand for that currency, consequently reducing its value.

This will in turn ripple out into other financial sectors, sometimes creating conditions for another recession or depression and leading to the tanking of the currency.


When inflation rises to an excessive degree, the worth of a nation’s currency can suffer. This is because their money holds less value as prices for commodities and services increase.

Consequently, the purchasing power of its citizens falls significantly and, in practice, their currency has been devalued out from under them. This is why inflation is usually called a “hidden tax”.

Social and Political Turmoil

When a nation experiences political volatility, investors become hesitant to invest due to uncertainty about…

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Camping On Top Of The World | Homesteading Simple Self Sufficient Off-The-Grid

Camping is one of the great American pass-times.  It’s the ultimate way to experience nature and travel without breaking the bank.  But did you know there’s a way you can go camping on top of the world for less than the cheapest hotel room?

The US Forestry Service rents out old fire lookouts, sometimes for as little as $30 per night.  These cabins offer spectacular views of some of the most beautiful landscapes in this country.


Click to View More Photos

It’s a rustic way to travel, and amenities are few. And, because you’re at the top of a mountain,water is scarce.

But adventure cyclist Casey Greene has stayed in many cabins in Montana, Washington, and Idaho, and says it’s an experience like no other.

“They’re just incredible destinations,” he told The Huffington Post. “The fact that you get to climb a mountain and then you get to sleep up there in this little shack up top, watch the day unfold and see how the light changes the mountain — it’s pretty unique.”

Click here to learn more.

Would you like to camp in an old fire lookout?  Do you have any other great camping ideas?  Let us know in the comments.

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POLITICO: The raucous battle over Americans’ online privacy is landing on states

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a D.C.-based nonprofit, is at the center of the multi-statehouse push among privacy advocates. The group has also been pressing lawmakers in Maryland and Michigan to introduce state versions of the measure, and hopes to make inroads in as many states as possible.


Caitriona Fitzgerald, EPIC’s deputy director, hopes that a state version of ADPPA creates an alternative to the industry’s push for weaker state privacy laws. The modified bill has a significant advantage over industry proposals because of Congress’ push last year, she said.

“It’s been negotiated by both sides in Congress, industry was looking at it, advocates were looking at it, so much of the work is done for them,” Fitzgerald said. “There’s probably some comfort in that for state legislators, that all those negotiations have already happened.”

Read the full article here.

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Top Tips for a Successful Hunting Trip: How to Plan and Prepare for Your Next Adventure

Hunting trip

There’s no doubt about it: hunting is a rewarding experience. According to Hunting Mark, there were 15 million hunting licenses issued in the U.S. in 2020. The population of the country in that year was 329.5 million, which means approximately 4.6% of the country’s population was issued a hunting license in that year.

A National Shooting Sports Foundation report also suggests that hunters spend a whooping USD 27.1 billion or more on hunting expeditions.

But if you’re new to hunting, it can be overwhelming. We have compiled a few tips to help you plan and prepare for your next trip.

Let’s take a look.

Find the Right Location

Finding the right location to hunt is important because it can make or break your trip. You want to ensure that you’re going somewhere with plenty of game and isn’t too crowded, so do some research before heading out into the woods.

  • Research the area you are going to hunt by looking at maps and reading books about it. You may also want to talk with locals who have hunted there before.
  • Understand regulations regarding hunting in different areas, including seasons (for example, bow season vs. gun season), bag limits (how many animals one person can kill), license requirements (if any), and restrictions on weapons/gear used while hunting (such as muzzleloaders).
  • Be aware of weather conditions in your chosen location. The type of terrain will affect how much sunlight reaches certain parts at different times during day/night cycles, as well as anything else that might affect visibility, such as foggy days or rain storms.

Many websites will give you top-ranking hunting sites in America to choose from. For example, Forbes lists the top 10 states for hunting expeditions, ranked by experts. According to the site, Alaska is the number one choice for hunters because of its big game hunting. Colorado comes at number two with many public hunting places. And Montana is at three because of its vast, open forest and rangeland.

Get Your Permits and Licenses

Before you can start planning your hunting trip, knowing if you need a license and/or permit is important. Some states require both, while others require neither. Check with your state’s wildlife agency for more information on their hunting requirements so you can be sure not to miss anything when preparing for your adventure.

Richland Source reported that Ohio is the leading state in the U.S. in terms of the sale of hunting permits to non-residents. Hunters in Ohio have purchased 409,672 permits for all hunting seasons, and for the 2022-23 hunting season, hunters from all 50 states have purchased deer permits to use in Ohio.

Other states that rank highly in issuing non-resident hunting permits include Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia.

Plan Your Shooting Gear

Whether you are hunting a big game animal or just target practice, it is important to have the right tools for the job. This can include firearms, ammunition, clothing, and safety equipment.

You can find a one-stop shopping solution to all your shooting gear needs online on…

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EPIC, Coalition Call for ICE to Cancel Contract with LexisNexis for Invasive Surveillance Databases

In a letter signed by more than 80 immigrant rights, racial justice, government accountability, human rights, and privacy organizations, EPIC and coalition members called upon ICE not to renew a $22 million contract for a suite of surveillance services. LexisNexis gives ICE agents access to the Accurint database compiled from thousands of sources and includes billions of government records, utility bills, phone records, medical records and more. ICE uses Accurint as well as other LexisNexis tools to surveil immigrants and choose targets for deportation raids. In just a 7 month period in 2021, ICE searched the database more than 1.2 million times.

The coalition letter demonstrates how ICE’s contract with LexisNexis is used for the “the identification, location, arrest, and removal of noncitizens”. Purchasing this data allows ICE to avoid state and local sanctuary policies, ignore the requirements of privacy laws, and acts as an end-run around 4th Amendment warrant requirement.

EPIC recently published the report, DHS’s Data Reservoir, which analyzes the ways that the Department of Homeland Security, in particular CBP and ICE, collects and circulates location data. In one of EPIC’s ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against ICE, EPIC has obtained thousands of pages related to ICE’s use of social media surveillance companies including Shadowdragon and purchases of location data from LocateX

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Scandinavian Root Cellars Are Unique & Effective

There are countless root cellars in Scandinavia.  The popularity of storing food on the farm and woodland homestead has been persistent in a country with both a long tradition of DIY food growing and a climate that necessitates a system for winter food storage when the gardens go dormant.   

In my travels I found many cellars dating back to 50s and far earlier. The older cellars had large natural stone block walls, and the new ones were poured concrete. It was interesting to note how many were still in use even though those who built them were no longer around to fill them up with carrots, beets and potatoes. 

These are the most popular crops I found in the cellars I visited. But there were also rutabaga, turnip and even some hardy flowers bulbs being held over for spring planting. 

Scandinavian root cellar cellars

Features of Scandinavian Root Cellars

The Scandinavian cellar has a few features that stood out. You can find similar features in other cellars, such as those in North America. But I saw some particularities that gave me a sense of the builders being innovators. 

The cellars were often built into a small ridgeline or hillside—often glacial morraines and eskers (which are common in northern Europe). This takes advantage of a few geographical features.  First, the cellar gains protection and thermal mass from the earth on three sides.  Second, it means availability of ample boulders and cobble stones to make a façade for the cellar and retention walls for the front.   

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However, unlike my own cellar—which is deeply buried in my glacial moraine ridge with over 4 to 6 feet of soil cover—these Scandinavian cellars were more often built toward the top of the hillside, with less soil cover and often a frame roof.  This offers less protection from extreme cold, but the temperatures in southern Sweden are not as cold as my own Ontario winters. 

Still, with roof trusses possibly filled with wood chips as an insulation and the roof covered over with snow, there must be enough protection.  When there was no pitched roof, the rounded earthen mound would usually have an overhang of corrugated metal to keep rain and snow off the doorway. 

Read more: These garden veggies are root cellar rock stars!

Air Management

That being said, the cellars often had stairways down into the cellar and made use of triple airlocks!  Two horizontal-style cellar-style doors would lift up. Rhen, at the bottom of the staircase, there would be a regular vertical door into the second airlock, followed by a third vertical door into the cellar. 

This would have a great thermal regulating effect in extreme weather, despite people going in and out. 

These cellars all had air intakes and exhaust.  The exhaust went out the top, a normal feature in a cellar. But more often than not the cold air intake was built…

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