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Paige Bass Posts

Oven Eggs

August 31, 2014 • Paige

Grease muffin cups, line with strips of flour tortilla.

Put tiny slice of ham in the bottom, crack an egg over the top and bake at 350 for 20 mins.

Take out of oven, put some cheese on top and let it sit for 5 minutes to finish.

Pizza Sauce

June 29, 2014 • Paige

One 8oz can of tomato paste
1/2 cup of water
1  TBSP minced garlic
4 TBSP basil or pesto
1 TBSP sea salt
8 dashes liquid smoke
3 TBSP Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP dried oregano
2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors blend.

Success!! – Save Our Outreach Freezer Fund

November 26, 2013 • Paige

Update December 2013:  THANK YOU!!
With your help we purchased a large, upright freezer.  The original post is below!
Finish reading Success!! – Save Our Outreach Freezer Fund

Help Save Art in Bossier City Schools!

September 3, 2013 • Paige

Bossier City, Louisiana schools art programs have been cut  back to near-nothing.  The budget is $1.00 PER STUDENT.  That is not enough to do even ONE art project, much less an entire year of instruction.

Check out this article written by the Bossier Arts Council for the details.

Please, read the article and give whatever you can spare, even if it’s only $5.00.

Donate to Bossier Arts Council via PayPal.
Important: When you get to the “Review your donation” screen, click the Special Instructions link and put “for Project Art Supplies” in the box so the BAC will know how to apply your donation.

I donated.  Will you?

Preparedness on a Budget

September 1, 2013 • Paige

September is “National Preparedness Month” – You can be the hero!


Being prepared for emergencies doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

For most of us it just takes some planning and slow-and-steady commitment to follow through.  Check out my article Basic Preparedness for a list of essential items to have in your emergency supplies kit.


Beyond the emergency supplies (food, water, first aid supplies), you need to have a plan in place.  Talk with your family about the kinds of disasters and hazards that can happen in your area, and have a designated meeting place near your home, and another one outside of your neighborhood in case it is not possible to meet close to home.


Make sure you have updated contact information for family, friends, and neighbors on hand. If the power is out, your computer is not a great place to store your contact list.

Gather copies of important paperwork, such as birth certificates, insurance policies and place those in your emergency kit.

Purchase emergency kit supplies whenever you are able to and don’t stop until you have everything you need. Watch for sales, or buy just one extra item at a time.


About once a year, check your emergency kit and update paperwork and  contact information.  Once a year is also a really good time to rotate your stored food and to check the expiration dates on everything.  If you are storing tap water in re-used plastic bottles, you should change out the water a few times each year.

Check out this guide from FEMA for National Preparedness Month for more ideas: NPM: Preparedness on a Budget

Emergency Preparedness Class in Shreveport

August 28, 2013 • Paige

Join us for a FREE Emergency Preparedness Class and discussion

September 10th at 6:00 PM at the Shreve Memorial Library on Texas Street in Downtown Shreveport

Please RSVP on FaceBook  or call (319) 459-8707 to reserve your seat!


Learning to cook can change your life

August 7, 2013 • Paige

The most important thing you can do to improve your health is to cook your own food.  

Prepackaged and processed foods contain lots of chemicals and substances that you will never find in a pantry in someone’s home.   Lots of extra chemicals are necessary to keep food looking fresh and recent, but there are serious health concerns about these dyes, flavors, emulsifiers, and preservatives.  You are probably already aware of the high levels of salt and fat that comes with mass-produced “corporate cooking” as well.

“I don’t have time to cook!”

Cooking real food does take more time than ripping open a colorful box and throwing it in the microwave, but the perception that cooking  takes “too long” is false.  A web search for “quick and easy recipes” turned up thousands of recipes that take 30 to 45 minutes to prepare, using fresh un-processed ingredients and very simple steps.

Using an electric pressure cooker, I can prepare a huge pot of black eyed peas and sausage served over rice, in less than 45 minutes, starting with dry peas from my pantry.  (Recipe below)

Not only is this healthy and clean food – it is a lot cheaper as well.    Recently I made our “Gusto Chow” for a group of ten people, and it cost me $20.00 to make a pot big enough to feed all of us twice.

How Cooking Can Change Your Life

The first 7:30 of this video is quite eye-opening.

As Michael Pollan says, cooking is about creativity and control.   If you exercise greater control over exactly what goes into your body, you have a much better control over your own health.  Pollan also said “Really great cooking comes from care and conviction, not from a complicated recipe or specific methods.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to cook right now.  There are thousands of recipe websites with pictures and videos that can teach you how to make anything you want.

Learning how to cook is the easy part.  Training yourself to get in the kitchen and DO IT instead of going the “easy route” is the difficult part.  I admit, it took me a few years to learn how to cook and to train myself out of the habit of getting “easy” prepackaged food, but these days we happily go several months without any prepackaged meals.

learn-to-cookGusto Chow Recipe

Serves 3 – 10
Not to be confused with Gusto Chow for 100


1 lb bag dry black eyed peas
1 package of smoked sausage
1 large onion, diced
4-6 stalks celery, diced
2 cups dry, uncooked rice

Seasonings: minced garlic, salt, pepper, liquid smoke, and herbs
(we use basil, oregano, and marjoram)


Electric pressure cooker
2 quart sauce pan
cutting board and a good knife

Optional: Tea kettle or a second pot for boiling water, if you want to really speed things up!


Sort and rinse peas and set them on the stove to boil with enough water to allow the peas to expand. Get the peas to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute, but not longer than 5 minutes. Turn the heat down and let the beans simmer while you do the other steps.

Slice the smoked sausage and brown it in the pressure cooker. Pour off extra fat.

Add the diced onion and celery, and sauté until done.

Drain peas and add them to the pressure cooker, add water to cover.
(Here is where that kettle of boiling water comes in handy!)

Add garlic, herbs, and seasonings to taste.

Attach the pressure cooker lid and set it to cook on High pressure for 30 minutes.

Make rice on the stove while the pressure cooker is doing its thing, and you will likely have 20 minutes to sit down and relax until your home-cooked meal is ready.


If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you would simmer the black eyed peas and sausage on the stove for 90 minutes. This is perfect for a weekend, but the pressure cooker makes it work on a week night.
But an electric pressure cooker costs $80!!  Yup, they do.  If you just look at the savings of using dry beans over canned, you’re saving $5 or more PER MEAL. Because we can use more dry beans, we are eating a LOT less meat.  We are using basic ingredients which are cheaper.My pressure cooker lowered my grocery costs by nearly $100 every month.

HOPE Shreveport 07/20/2013

July 21, 2013 • Paige


Basic Preparedness: Severe Weather Season

June 10, 2013 • Paige

Starting this now could save your life.hurricane

Hurricane season began on June 1st, and according to NOAA, this season is expected to be “active or extremely active”. 

Preparing for severe weather and other disasters isn’t difficult or expensive.  If you are as financially-limited as most of us are these days, just build up your disaster supplies over time.  Put together whatever you have on hand today and add things one item at a time whenever you can.

Water: 1 gallon per day, per person. 

If you have nothing else, have 3 days’ supply of water stored up. If you can’t buy bottled water, fill soft drink bottles with water from your sink, cap them tightly, and store them away from sunlight. Sanitize the bottles, first.   Look for the triangle recycling symbol with the number 1 on it.  Any other type of bottle might decompose or break.   Then, every 6 months, pour the water out and replace it with fresh water. Add a bottle of water to your stash whenever you can and you’ll have what you need pretty fast.

Food: 3 day supply, non-perishable

Store a 3 day supply of food for each person. Canned food is best, but don’t forget to include a manual can opener!  Try to avoid dried or salty foods, as you’ll need lots of extra water. If you can’t spend much, buy just one can of food for your disaster supplies whenever you go to the grocery store.

Radio: Hand-crank or battery powered

You will need to stay informed of news and weather reports when the power is out. A quick internet search turns up several used emergency radios for less than $5.00, and new ones for about $15.00.   That might seem like a lot for one item, but staying informed can save your life.

First Aid Kit

If you can’t fork out $15 or so for a first aid kit, start with what you have: a zip top bag with some bandages, gauze, medical tape, and alcohol wipes or cotton balls and a bottle of alcohol if that’s what you have. Try to have some triple antibiotic ointment, as well.  It is very important that you can clean and bandage small wounds to protect against infection.


If you are in serious trouble, yelling won’t last long.  Your will only be good for a few shouts before you start to lose your voice.  A whistle makes a very loud sound with almost no exertion.

Dust Mask

Protecting your breathing passages from contaminants can be critical to protecting your life.  Mold can be a huge problem after a hurricane or flooding.

Don’t forget special-needs items:

Supplies for babies: extra formula and diapers, etc.
Supplies for pets: food, liter, extra water

Other items which are good to have in your disaster kit:

Plastic garbage bags
zip-top bags
liquid household bleach
duct tape
plastic sheeting
extra clothes and shoes
sleeping bags or blankets
games and toys
candy and comfort foods

Natural Homemade Deodorant: It really works

May 21, 2013 • Paige

There are a lot of reasons to stop using commercial deodorant and antiperspirant.  Here is a place to start reading, if this is the first you’ve heard:

Let’s face it: Everybody sweats and there is nothing that any of us can do to stop it, but we CAN easily control body odor with natural homemade remedies.  Body odor is caused by bacteria, not by sweat, so the key is to use an antibacterial deodorant that doesn’t irritate your skin.  I’ve tried several natural commercial products, and none of them worked for me, so now I make my own.  I’ve been making moisturizer from coconut oil for a long time, so why not?

Making your own natural deodorant is incredibly easy, but it may take a little trial-and-error to find what works best with your body.  Write down what you put into your deodorant so that you can make it again without having to guess.  The first time you try this, make a small amount so it is easier to adjust it.

There is no “the best recipe”.  Most are based on baking soda with arrowroot powder, corn starch, or salt and a little essential oil in a base of virgin coconut oil.

natural deodorant

A note about the ingredients:  Use the good stuff whenever you can because it makes a world of difference.

Virgin coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, so it makes a great base.  Some people just use straight coconut oil and stop there, but I live in Louisiana so I need something more powerful.

Tea Tree oil is my preferred essential oil due to its antibacterial properties, but you can use whatever you like.  Sweet orange and lavender essential oils are also popular.  Word to the wise: Don’t use peppermint oil.

Get Started:

Choose your ingredients, and mix them in equal parts:

Baking soda +  corn starch


Baking soda  + arrowroot powder


Baking soda  +  salt*
(Salt was awful for me, but others swear by it)

Add just enough coconut oil to form a thick paste, about the consistency of commercial deodorant.  Add a few drops of essential oil and thoroughly mix everything together.   Be careful not to add too much essential oil, as some of them can burn the skin.

For every 1 cup of natural deodorant, I can only add about 3 drops of essential oil or my skin will develop a hot red rash that is not fun.  I’ve seen a lot of recipes contain 10 drops of this, 15 drops of that, so it’s possible that I’m more sensitive than the average person.  Better safe than sorry!  You can always add more later.

Store your deodorant in a wide-mouth container that you can easily get your fingers into, and keep it in a cool place.  Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, so consider keeping it in the refrigerator in the summer time.

To apply, rub a little bit of deodorant onto your fingers and spread it under your arms – pretty simple.

This stuff really works.  If you’re nervous, try it on a weekend.  That’s best if you don’t know what is going to work for you anyway.  I was very nervous at the idea of ditching my Ultra Maximum Strength antiperspirant for an entire work day, but it has been 85 degrees in Shreveport, Louisiana for the last week and I’ve been doing just fine the whole time!   I’m sure I’ll use the commercial stuff from time to time but I’m not soaking myself in aluminum every day any more.

Troubleshooting help:

If your arm pits develop a red rash, or start burning, you likely have too much baking soda or too much essential oil.    Dilute it with some more coconut oil, and/or more arrowroot or cornstarch, and adjust until you’re comfortable.   This is why you start with a small batch.  You also might get irritated skin if you apply deodorant too soon after shaving, but that happens with commercial brands, too.

At the end of all this…  If you still feel like you need the commercial products, don’t sweat it. (har har)  There are so many other ways to simplify and make healthier choices.  The sky is the limit!