Grain Mill Comparison NutriMill vs. WonderMill

 

VS.

Grain  Mill Comparison:

I love to make my own bread and using fresh ground wheat.  My first experience with making bread was when I was twelve years old and my mom gave me the assignment of making our family’s bread.  I have to admit that I hated it at first.  My mom had this old wheat grinder that would spray flour dust into the air and it was so loud!  I had to take it outside and grind the wheat.  Then I had to mix the bread by hand, which I didn’t love either.  My mom eventually bought a Bosch mixer and that was amazing!  

When I was older and started my own family I decided that I wanted to continue to make our own bread.  For my birthday my husband bought me Bosch mixer and I also received a Wondermill grain mill.  I make bread every 1-2 weeks and would freeze the loafs in the freezer to last.    My Bosch mixer handles that amount of dough with no problems and it is SO much better than mixing by hand.  Ha ha.  No surprise there.   I really loved my Wondermill as well and it lasted about 8 years.   I have since bought the Nutrimill and I have enjoyed that as well.  

Now that I have tried and tested both grain mills here’s a list of pros and cons to each:

 

WonderMill Grain Mill Pros:

It’s quiet and mess free.

It’s compacity of wheat to grind is about 8 cups, and the flour bowl capacity is 16 cups. 

I love the detachable flour bowl that comes with a lid for storage.

It’s fast.

Cons:

The machine HAS to be on before you fill it with grain.  I accidentally poured the grain into the hopper before the machine was on and broke it.  My husband took it apart and fixed it, but I didn’t love that it was so easy to break.  

 

NutriMill Classic Pros:

Large capacity at 20 cups of flour and the hopper and flour bowl match so you only have to fill it once. 

You can fill the bowl before turning it on or after.  You won’t break the machine.  Even if you stop during grinding.  

It’s quiet and mess free.

Cons:

It’s not as fast as the Wondermill.

The lid on the flour container is somewhat difficult to put on.  Although I have found adding cornstarch to the rubber rim helps tremendously.  

 

All in all my favorite has been the Nutrimill.  I love that I can’t break it by accidentally pouring in the wheat before it is turned on.  And I love the extra flour capacity of the Nutrimill. 

Here’s my whole wheat bread recipe.

 

Here’s my soaked whole wheat bread recipe.

 

Vanilla Snow Ice Cream

easy to make vanilla snow ice cream

We are on our Christmas break and good heavens we have SO much snow!  The kids go out and play in it every afternoon when it finally warms up to a slightly warmer temperature.  But all this snow makes for the perfect treat-  vanilla snow ice cream!  It is so easy and if you have snow then your set!  Most of the ingredients for this recipe are usually in your fridge or pantry.   If you are expecting ice cream texture you may be disappointed.  It is more of like thick milkshake in texture and just as delicious!  

Vanilla Snow Ice Cream

Vanilla Snow Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of snow
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!
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How to make your own Fall picnic!

 

With our homeschool days, I like to have moments that are a more out of the ordinary.  It helps tremendously to have days where you totally switch it up.  With the way we do our homeschool schedule, we plan a whole week of out of the ordinary experiences. On this particular day, we wanted to soak up the last remaining days of fall, before the cold winter sets in and we are cooped up a bit more.  (I am nervous about my first homeschool winter with four kids.)   I asked the kids what they thought of a fall picnic with a mini hike.  They were super excited about it and enthusiastically planned a fun meal while I planned some learning experiences to  go along  with the day.  

fall-picnic

Our fall picnic menu:

Beef stew– We used a canned recipe my mom helped me with but here’s a similar recipe that looks delicious!  We warmed it and put it in a thermos.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches- We wrapped them in foil to keep them warm.

Peach Hand pies–  We made a crust, and added canned peach pie filling.  They were the perfect warm treat, as we wrapped them in foil straight from the oven.  

 The kids helped prepare all the food and for my 1st grader it was a great math and reading  skill and for my 7th grader, it was Home Education.  

While the pies baked we watched these videos on why the leaves turn colors and the season of Fall/Autumn.

Why leaves turn colors in the fall?

15 facts about Autumn

After the pies were out of the oven we packed everything up and headed to eat our scrumptious food!  

We found a fun hiking trail and the kids found many leaves that were in the process of turning colors and that made the video we had watched beforehand a valuable lesson.  

fall-picnic-hike1 fall-picnic-hike

My 7th grader enjoyed learning more about my DSLR camera and showing her brother how it works.  

fall-picnic-1

We studied the helpful signs as we walked, about wildlife and plants that inhabit that area.
fall-hike

It was so fun to explore together and adding yummy picnic to the mix is always a win!  

How to make your own Peach Hand Pies

Peach Hand Pies

There’s something about fall that makes you want to slow down, bake a yummy treat and snuggle in a blanket by the fire.   Peach hand pies sounded like a yummy treat as I had just canned the last of my peaches in a yummy pie filling and I really wanted to use it.   Hand pies are easier for my toddlers to eat and are mobile which makes them perfect for picnics! 

This was a super fun and simple process that was perfect for involving all of the kids in.  Even the toddlers got helped.  My 12 year old loved decorating the tops with cute leaves.  Perfect for fall.  This is definitely something we will have to add to our Thanksgiving menu.  

 

peach-hand-pies

 

 

How to make your own Peach Hand Pies

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 24

How to make your own Peach Hand Pies

Ingredients

  • 1 quart jar of peach pie filling or two canned jars (about 4 cups of pie filling)
  • Pie crust
  • Egg Wash
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB water

Instructions

  1. Roll your pie crust out to be a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Use a round plate, or biscuit cutter and cut your circles. Ours were a little over 4 inches wide. But you can do whatever size you want!
  2. Take disk of dough and add a few tablespoons of the pie filling being careful to leave about 1/2-inch border, and top the pie filling with another dough disk and pinch the edges shut with a fork or your fingers. Place on a greased pan or silpat cooking mat.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes, we were in hurry and threw them in the freezer for 10 minutes. Beat together your egg and water and brush on top of the pies.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
  5. We like them served warm. But you can serve them at whatever temperature you prefer.
  6. Makes about 24 pies.
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Rice Pudding

 

Do you ever cook way too much rice for dinner?  Do you hate leftovers but hate to waste the food?

Me too.

This is the perfect recipe to use that leftover rice and give it a totally different spin.  It won’t just be dinner leftovers… it’s dessert!  Or even breakfast!

rice-pudding

 

Rice Pudding

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Rice Pudding

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/12 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional raisins-- we have an avid raisin hater at our house so no raisins here.

Instructions

  1. Mix the rice, milk, sugar and salt in a sauce pan on medium heat and stir constantly until thickened. Lower heat and add cinnamon and raisins (if you're using them). Cook and stir for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. If you'd like, sprinkle some cinnamon on top.
  2. Serve warm or cold.
  3. We prefer warm and we like to eat it for breakfast.
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How to make your own never fail pie crust

Never Fail Pie Crust…

seriously, cross my heart, not even kidding!

Making a good homemade pie crust use to be my nemesis.  I could never, ever make a good pie crust.  They would almost always without fail, fall apart.  Usually, I would just purchase the dough at the store and stock it in my freezer.  That was until my good friend shared her pie crust recipe with me and it is truly amazing!   So I thought I better share it with the world because you just never know when you are going to need a quick pie crust recipe.  Where would the world be without good friends?

 

pie-crust-recipe

 

 

Never Fail Pie Crust… seriously!

Never Fail Pie Crust… seriously!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter flavor crisco
  • 1 cup hot or warm water

Instructions

  1. Mix your flour and sugar together and then take a pastry cutter and cut in crisco, until it is well-combined and soft and crumbly. Add your water until the dough pulls together and sticks. You may not need all the water.
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How to freeze fresh tomatoes

how-to-freeze-tomatoesIt’s that time of year.  The last few things in the garden are ready!  What are you going to do with it all?  I admit, this is the first time I have had a successful garden.  Now when I say had, I mean, my sister and I helped our 90-year-old Grandpa with his amazing successful garden that many people have envied over the years.  Boy, we got schooled!  Grandpa shook his head many times at us about some things, for instance, the two rows of beans additional to his row of beans.  Yeah, I had no idea a number of beans we would have!  When I mentioned this to Grandpa, he laughed so hard he began to cry.  I don’t think I have ever seen my Grandpa laugh more than a chuckle.  It was priceless.

Ok, on to what to do when you have a very successful crop of tomatoes.  My mother had an amazing crop.  She has freeze dried many tomatoes in her Harvest Right in-home freeze dryer, and froze many bags for salsa to get her thru the winter.  I love going to my moms and trying what she has freeze dried, the tomatoes are pretty strong and to me taste exactly like tomato soup with one bite!  I haven’t taken the time to reconstitute what she dries because I love them just dried. She has also done many other things, and I have done a few.  I’ll have a blog post soon of some of the things that we have freeze dried, that are oh so yummy!

Wow, I’m rambling today, sorry.  Onto freezing garden fresh tomatoes.  My mom freeze dried and froze all that she needed and passed the excess onto my sister in law and I.  This is what we did with ours.  This process took a lot less time than I was dreading.  Probably from garden tomato to diced, bagged and ready to go in the freezer tomatoes took about 45 mins to an hour.

First I filled a Water-Bath Canner (this one is a whole kit) with water and put it on the stove to boil. filling-pot-with-water

boiling-water-to-remove-skins-on-tomatoes

While waiting for the pot to boil, I washed off the skins of all of the tomatoes I had.  I didn’t have a big batch, but just enough for me and my family.  Once the water in the water-bath was boiling, I put all of the tomatoes I had into the pot.  Let them boil for 10 minutes or so and check them occasionally.  What you are looking for is cracking in the skins.

boiling-tomatoes-to-remove-skins
tomato-skins-cracking-in-boiling-water
tomato-skins-cracking

As I found tomatoes that had cracks in the skins or the skins were floating off, I put them in a bowl and transferred them to my sink that was filled with cold water and ice.  This cools them down for handling.  Once the tomatoes were cool enough to touch, I would gently peel off the skins.

peeling-tomato-skin-off-tomatoes

After I got all of the skin off of the tomato, I cut the tomato in half, quarters if it was a good sized tomato, and would place it in the center of the Chopper.

how-to-dice-tomatoes
dicing-tomatoes-from-garden

As the chopper got full, I would dump it into another bowl.  Once I got all of the tomatoes diced and in another bowl, I used my 2 Cup Plastic Measuring Cup (oh I want these!) and poured it into Ziploc Quart Freezer Bags.pouring-diced-tomatoes-into-freezer-bag

Zip up the freezer bag and you’re done!!  Don’t forget to write tomatoes and the year on the bag 😉

diced-tomatoes-to-freeze

I plan on using these bags for salsa and soups.  I will just replace one bag for 1 can of diced tomatoes.  Can’t wait to try it out.  I will let you know how it goes and will also share my super easy salsa recipe soon!

Canned Chicken

how-to-can-chicken_4

I am ALL about convenience, so when I am reading a recipe that calls for cooked chicken breast and I don’t already HAVE cooked chicken breast, then it is not happening.    So when my mom gave me a jar of her canned chicken and it actually tasted good I was SOLD!    

I was even more amazed at how easy and simple it is to can your own chicken.  This is now my 4th year of canning chicken and it is a staple in my pantry.    I use it for chicken enchiladas, soups, chicken salads, pizza, calzones, etc.  Anything that calls for cooked chicken!  It’s SO awesome!  

Let’s get started on how easy this process is:
 
I usually purchase my chicken breasts from the local grocery store in bulk.  I get a better deal that way.   

You want to take the chicken breast and trim off any fat.  That way your don’t have any chewy, squeaky parts.  Then you stuff those babies as tight as you can into the jar size of your choice, leaving 1-inch headspace at the top.   I usually use pint size jars, as that would be about two cups of chicken, which I have  found most recipes call for.  

how-to-can-chicken

Once the chicken is in the jars, add 1/2 tsp of canning or pickling salt to each jar.  Following the salt, wipe the rims of the jars clean.  If the rims are not clean then the jar will not seal properly and you will have spoiled chicken.  

While you’re wiping those jars clean, you want to have your canning lids in boiling water for a few minutes so the rubber is nice and soft and ready to seal. 

how-to-can-chicken_1

 

You want to use a pressure cooker to process your jars.  My jars processed for 75 minutes at 13 lbs pressure.  Your pressure will be different according to the altitude in your area.  You can call your local extension office to find out the safest way to process your meat for your altitude. 

After  the 75 minutes, you wait for your pressure gauge to go back down to zero before taking the lid off.  Pressure cookers can be dangerous if used improperly.   Taking the lid off before it reaches zero could cause the pressure cooker to explode.  

how-to-can-chicken_3 

Take your jars out carefully and allow them to cool on the counter.  You will hear the lids begin to seal.  After 12-24 hours  you can check to see that your lids have sealed.  Do not check your lids until after at least 12 hours, as you can cause a false seal by pressing down on the lids before they have had time to seal themselves.  

Good luck and enjoy your ready to eat chicken!

Canned Chicken

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Canned Chicken

Ingredients

  • Raw chicken
  • Canning or pickling salt
  • Canning jars (either pints or quarts)
  • Canning lids
  • Pressure cooker

Instructions

  1. Cut any fat off of the meat and put raw meat into canning jars, leaving 1 inch of head space. Add 1/2 tsp salt to pint jars and 1 tsp to quart jars. Put lids in pan of water to boil until rubber rim is soft. Wipe jar rims and put hot lids on.
  2. Put jars in pressure canner and add 2 1/2 quarts hot water to canner. Put lid on and turn on high. When it starts to steam, time for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes put regulator on and start time when it reaches 13 lbs pressure. (Here's a handy altitude chart to find out what your pressure should be.) Keep pressure at the correct pressure for 75 minutes. You may need to adjust heat accordingly. Watch carefully and never leave a pressure cooker unattended. Let drop to 0 before opening.
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Apricot Glazed Meatballs

apricot glazed meatballs

Apricot Glazed Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Apricot Glazed Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs or cracker crumbs (I used saltine crackers.)
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine egg, bread crumbs, salt, onion, beef, and zucchini. Mix together and shape into one inch balls. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Take out of oven and place in casserole dish. Combine the apricot preserves and barbecue sauce and pour over meatballs. Bake 10 more minutes.
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How to make easy caramel popcorn

easy-caramel-popcornOoey, gooey caramel popcorn…..I THINK SO!!I have always enjoyed when other people make caramel popcorn. It is so delicious and a perfect touch to a sweet craving.  

I have always enjoyed when other people make caramel popcorn. It is so delicious and a perfect touch to a sweet craving.  It seems to cure my sweet tooth every time.

I have always feared caramel popcorn due to the understanding that it is complicated. (Remeber, I am not much of a cook….yet!)  I must have just been told this when I was little, due to parents not wanting to make it for me!  Now that I am a parent, I completely understand why they would say that.  

I came across this easy simple recipe in a Ward cookbook, and it changed my thinking!  I can have  delicious gooey caramel popcorn in 15 mins!  15 minutes to a cure a craving, PERFECT! 

Try it out for yourself! Caramel popcorn is a perfect fall treat.  My 11 year old usually makes the caramel while I pop the popcorn.  It’s that simple!

Better yet……this is just as soft and gooey days after 🙂

Easy Caramel Popcorn

Easy Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients

  • Large bowl of popcorn (salted optional)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup Karo syrup

Instructions

  1. In saucepan heat until it boils- Karo syrup, butter, and brown sugar
  2. Continue to boil to a soft ball stage
  3. Remove from heat and pour over popcorn
  4. Mix into popcorn with wooden spoon
  5. This makes one large bowl or can be made into popcorn balls
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