Saturday, December 31, 2011

fresh ground wheat

Well, as everyone knows, I finally got my grain mill. Here is our first goody we made with the freshly ground wheat. Delicious!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Scones
with fresh whipped cream!

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sucanat
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, cold
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sucanat, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Cut in the butter or coconut oil until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the milk and chocolate chips and mix. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few times and roll into a thick circle that is about 9-inches around and 1/2-inch thick.

 Cut the dough like you would a pie, into about 12 pieces. Lay pieces onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake about 15 to 18 minutes. Serve with fresh whipped cream!

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Well, we finally got a grain mill. It was a gift from my father and mother-in-law for Christmas. Thank you!!!!

 I have been talking about getting one for a while now. I did quite a bit of research and decided the Nutrimill would be the one for me. We went to a homeschool convention in Memphis, TN this year and I got to see one up close. I am so excited about being able to grind fresh flour each time we make bread, cookies, anything that takes flour. I purchased some grains through one of our food co-ops a while back. My friend was nice enough to bring her mill over and grind some for me. I still had some grains left in the freezer so tonight, the girls and I got them out for a test run.

We decided to grind some hard red wheat.

It is amazing how these little grains can be ground so fine by this awesome machine.

We are looking forward to tomorrow so we can bake some delicious, fresh, whole grain bread. We will be using the bread recipe from the West ladies on our Homestead Blessings DVD, "The Art of Bread Making". Here is the recipe. It is delicious!

Bread Dough

2 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon yeast

Mix the warm water and yeast in a bowl and let proof for about 5 minutes. Then mix in the salt, oil, honey and 2 cups of flour. Mix well and then add more flour until you have a nice dough, about 4 to 5 cups. Knead and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes in a warm place. Punch down and form into loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and use a fork to poke several holes into the top of the dough. Let rise for about an hour. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

We have even added 2 eggs to give it a little different texture. More like a sandwich bread.

With the flour we milled tonight, I plan on making some yummy Raisin Oatmeal Scones for breakfast in the morning.

God Bless!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

More Herbal Remedies

A few days before Christmas, I decided to make some herbal glycerites. Like I didn't have enough to do already! I read this book and began learning alot about herbs and herbal tinctures and glycerites. I highly recommend this book if you are wanting to make your own "herbal medicines". When I first started learning and making tincts and glycerites, I wanted something for the bugs to take to build their immune systems. I started with an Astragalus glycerite. Its key actions are antioxidant, immune support and tonic.

I recently made another Astragalus glycerite but added peppermint this time to help with the bitterness of the root.

I made a Mullein/peppermint glycerite to help one of my bugs with a cold. It is considered the herb of choice for respiratory problems. It loosens mucus and expels it out of the body.

I also made an activator which help to activate the healing energies in the body and another formula to help boost the immune system to prevent illness or to help the body fight infection. They call this formula "herbal vaccines". I found these recipes in the book mentioned above. These are only a few of what I want to make. It takes time to make tinctures and glycerites so I try to make a couple a month. There are so many that can be made. Play around with it and see what you can come up with.

This is something I am very passionate about but it is not for everyone and is not intended to replace any medical advice from a healthcare professional.

1 part yarrow flowers, 1 part elder flowers, 1 part peppermint

"Herbal Vaccine"
4 parts echinacea root, 2 parts thyme, 1 part licorice, 1 part elderberries

Juice of Many Oranges

A couple of weeks ago, we purchased a couple of boxes of navel oranges.

 One of our friends in our homeschool group offered to pick them up for us. We were able to purchase #1's or #2's ("seconds"). I purchased one of each. There wasn't much of a difference in the quality of the oranges, only the price. 
The girls and I decided it would be nice to have an abundance of freshly squeezed orange juice in the refrigerator. We have used many juicers here lately but the one in the picture is by far the best and easiest one to use. We were able to put a whole gallon of juice in the frig to enjoy!
We are hoping with all of that delicious Vitamin C, we will keep our immune systems healthy enough to fight off any nasty bugs we might come in contact with.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homemade Christmas Goodies!

Every year around our home, we make everyone in the family some neat little homemade gifts. This year, so far, we decided to make really good taco seasoning, peppermint bath salts and whipped honey. Here is how we did it!

Peppermint Bath Salts

8 cups Epsom Salt
3 cups sea salt
1/2 tsp. vegetable glycerin
6 - 8 drops peppermint essential oil
1/4 cup dried peppermint leaves (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and put in a jar. We used 1/2 pint jelly jars.

Taco Seasoning

1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon sea salt

Mix all ingredients together and put in a container of your choice. We used 1/2 pint jelly jars with this also.

We buy our honey from a local farmer. We had a lot of honey on our shelves so we decided to whip some up and give it as gifts. I took about 1 cup of honey and used my Kitchenaid mixer with the whisk attachment. It only takes a few minutes to make this delicious whipped honey!

These are just a few of the homemade gifts we will be giving for Christmas. The girls and I really  enjoy making these together and giving them to our loved ones.

God Bless!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Semi-Healthy Homemade Pie Crust

At one of our Keepers meetings last year, a mom in our group taught the girls how to make homemade pie crusts. Ever since then, we have been enjoying the pie crust recipe. It is by far, the best crust I have come across in a long time. We try to cook and eat healthy in our family so I decided to make it a little healthier than the original recipe. Here is the original recipe.

3 cups plain flour
1 cup Butter flavored Crisco shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white sugar
10 Tablespoons cold ice water


3 Cups organic pastry flour or whole wheat flour (I want to try spelt, just haven't gotten around to it)
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon Celtic grey salt
1 Tablespoon Organic sugar
10 Tablespoons cold ice water

Mix all of your dry ingredients. With a pastry cutter, cut in the coconut oil. If your coconut oil is liquid, stick it in the refrigerator for a few minutes until solid, and then cut it in. Add the cold ice water and knead it into a ball. This recipe makes three crusts.

It is best to use the pie crusts fresh. I made three of these crusts and used one of them and put the remaining two into the refrigerator for a day or two. When I was ready to use them, I realized that the coconut oil makes them rock hard. I let them sit out on the kitchen counter for a while. When they become room temperature, they are ready to use. You will need quite a bit of flour to roll them out on. They want to stick. All in all, I think they turned out pretty good.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


This past Friday, one of our homeschool groups got together for a little fun making gingerbread houses. We try to do this fun activity every year. This time, the gingerbread houses were mini sized. A little harder to make but still fun. Here are a few pictures.......
This one is Big Boys, as you can see in the picture, he was in a hurry to go play with the other boys with those CARS!
Red Bug having some fun!

That face says it all!


Friday, December 2, 2011


Here is our Christmas tree for this year. The picture does not show the real beauty of it. We have so many ornaments that we have collected over the years. It is so much fun to get out the ornaments and reminisce about them. Each of our bugs have the own "First Christmas" ornaments. They always get to hang their own ornament along with asking many questions about when they were born. One tradition in our home is to put up our tree on Thanksgiving night. It is so much fun for us putting up our tree and enjoying it for quite a while. Taking it down is another story!