Resources for whole wheat and grains, grain milling, training, and kitchen supplies

What’s the best grain mill & how do I store grains?

Confused Grain MillI am often asked the questions: “What’s the best mill for me?” and “How do I store grains?”  These are great questions and the answers differ depending upon your needs and your storage space.  I have a two free things to share with you to help you answer those questions.

First – as much as I wish I could come to every town, visit each home and spend time teaching all over the place – until time travel or teleportation is invented – there are only so many hours in a day and miles one can make to do what I’d love.  So, in light of that – I’d like to invite you to sign up by clicking here for ->THESE FREE ONLINE SEMINARS.<-    You may or may not be interested in all of the ones offered – but I hope you’ll come to the ones that do interest you and – especially the one I’m hosting on July 17th (Thursday at 9PM Eastern)on the topic of Home-milling & Grain/Dry Goods Bulk Storage.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Why store whole grains vs. flours or meal?
  • Why would I mill now…doesn’t it take a long time?
  • What’s the best mill for my needs?
  • Three top rules for grain & dry goods storage.
  • Mylar, Gamma, CO2 Packs, oh my! Let’s make it easier.

It’ll be FUN!  Like we’re in a class together.  I’ll be there LIVE and able to take your questions at the end and help you personally.  But you’ll need to -> sign up for the whole thing early enough <- so you can get in on that date.

Second - in order to help you with more detailed information to answer the questions: “What’s the best mill & how do I store grains?” I’d like to offer you this  FREE Grain Mill Comparison Chart.  If you’re a detailed person when it comes to making decisions and gathering information, this chart has it all in spades!  Compare speeds, sound, quality and more with a quick glance across the lines.  The grain mills on the chart range from manual to electric and ones that can be both!  So no matter which ones may interest you – you can make comparisons!

Don’t forget that we are always available to help you by email and phone too!  So feel free to contact our office via email or call 828.536.4988 during business hours. Mon – Thurs 9:00-5:00, Fri 9:00-4:00 Eastern Time  (Closed Sat & Sun)

We would be honored to help in any way possible.   Plus, we may have some savings for you too when you contact us!

Summer of Survival 2014









Partially due to my Native heritage and partially due to the fact that June 27 is National Indian Pudding Day, I just had to dive in to making this today and wanted to share it with you.

This was a great new taste!  I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was so easy!  I will admit though, that being a warm pudding and using these particular flavors, I will be adding this dessert to our Thanksgiving menu.  I’m not sure why the National Food Holiday for this one falls in June anyway?  I’d be glad to hear from you if you know…so please feel free to leave a comment below.

Hope you enjoy!

For daily updates of what food holidays there are (every single day of the year) please visit and ‘like’ my Facebook Page.

2013-06-27 20.20.20

This recipe for Indian Pudding is a warm, crock-pot version with simple whole grain and wholesome sweetening ingredients that were most available during the time of the indigenous Americans and early settlers.
2013-06-27 08.31.45

Ingredients

  • 3.5 c. milk (or use almond or coconut milk for dairy free option)
  • 1/2 c. freshly milled cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c. light brown sugar (or succanant)
  • 1/3 c. molasses
  • 2 tbsp. butter (or use coconut oil to make dairy free)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/6 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped dates or chopped raisins
Instructions
  1. After assembling all ingredients and before starting the actual mixing lightly grease crock-pot. We like to use coconut oil for this.
  2. Preheat it empty on high for 20 minutes while you’re doing the next steps.
  3. Meanwhile bring milk or nut-milk, cornmeal and salt to a low boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.
  4. Cover and simmer on very low an additional 10 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick. The mixture will become thick.
  5. In a large bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, butter or coconut oil, and spices. Mix all together until well blended.
  6. Temper this mixture by spooning in and well incorporating about 1/4 cup of the hot cornmeal. Do this step twice to increase the temperature of the egg/spice mixture.
  7. Now gradually beat the tempered egg/spice mixture into hot cornmeal mixture; whisk until smooth.
  8. Stir in raisins or finely chopped dates. Pour into your pre-heated/oiled crock and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or low* for 6 to 8 hours.

Other tips and topics to this recipe:

2013-06-27 08.33.40Grind the corn (popping corn works too) on the coarse setting in the Wondermill.

2013-06-27 08.44.16Be sure to stir continually because dairy and nut milks will stick and are easily scorched at the bottom of the pan.

2013-06-27 18.08.48Pudding will produce a skin on the top, but it works into the pudding just fine with no affect of the texture.

If you try this and/or tweak this recipe for Indian Puddling – I’d sure love to hear how it came out for you!  Please share in the comments below.

Thank you and Best Blessings,

Donna

 

* See this blog post if you have issues with your low setting on your crock pot being still too high.  http://www.millersgrainhouse.com/blog/how-to-fix-a-crock-pot-that-gets-too-hot/









Giveaway: Green Cycler Kitchen Composter

A Compost Starter is such a useful tool for your garden, which leads to healthier eating and a better managed grocery budget.  How much better would it be if you could get a compost Starter for FREE?  Well, that’s what we hope to offer one person with this Giveaway!

Would you, or someone you know, love to win an Green Cycler – Kitchen Compost Starter, Bin & Shredder, Black?

This is your chance because we’re giving one away!

Green CyclerGreen Cycler

This Giveaway runs from June 23, 2014 12:00AM EST to June 29, 2014 11:59PM EST. Must be 18 years or older to be eligible.
No purchase necessary. The winner will be randomly selected.

Our Friends at “The Dollar Stretcher” have reviewed this item and are happy to share their findings with everyone.

Read more about it HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Full Disclosure: We hope someone from our blog is the winner. However, if you don’t win or perhaps you happened by after the giveaway was over, please consider clicking shopping through the Amazon links below if you plan to buy this composter. Your purchased support of our recommendation is much appreciated and the minor affiliate income we gain helps to keep us, testing, reviewing, sharing and blogging – and we hope – encouraging YOU. Thanks ever so much!
Be Blessed!
Joseph & Donna Miller









Whole Wheat Bread-sticks with a Twist

Breadsticks1 (7)“Light bulb” moments and “happy accidents” are my favorite things. (:  Let me share one with you… and it comes in the form of a recipe.

One night I made double my regular Whole Wheat Pizza Crust as if I were feeding the whole army of Millers (don’t know what got into me, I guess I was waxing nostalgic thinking I had little kids at home…but I digress)… then I realized that only two of us were going to eat that night and we had a road trip the next day!

Typically I would make the extra pizza crust and freeze it (in a turkey basting bag – because they’re huge)…but this time I thought I should make some snacks for the road from the crust.  And boy did these Whole Wheat Bread-sticks with a Twist hit the spot!  Portable and filling!

So I share this happy accident with you!

Hope you enJOY, get creative and keep playing with your food!

Best Blessings,

Donna Miller of Millers Grain House

_____________________________

After making the pizza crust.  Roll out dough in a rectangular(ish) shape and begin the creative process. To avoid too ‘gooey’ of a bread stick you won’t want to use much sauce or liquid toppings, but as the example below shows we made one half has Parmesan, mozzarella, peperoni and oregano. The other half has pesto, olives, feta and some dried onion flakes. Breadsticks1 (1)

Then we used the pizza cutter to cut into strips.

Breadsticks1 (4)

After we cut the strips (and made garlic knots out of the ends that were missed with the toppings), we folded the good stuff inside, lengthwise and then gave each bread-stick dough a little twist while putting it on the cookie sheet. See the pesto, olive bread- stick below:

Breadsticks1 (5)

Bake these Whole Wheat Bread-sticks with a Twist on cookie sheets at 350 degrees F.  For about 15-18 minutes and cooled on a wire rack before bagging.

These are great served warm (of course we had to taste test them!) or once completely cooled can pack in a baggie for an easy take-along snack.

Breadsticks1 (7)

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Please visit Millers Grain House for your kitchen needs.

When you create a new customer account, you receive a coupon code to save on your first purchase!









old-radioDavid Letterman may be retiring, but I’ve got my own “Top 10″ to share with you.  It’s a little more useful than it is funny, but I hope you enjoy it.  To get the full effect, hear the little nuances, tips and tricks plus enjoy the tongue-in-cheek approach I tried in order to make frugality a bit more entertaining, you’ll want to click the audio bar under that radio pictured to the left and listen to a recent show of mine (Surviving On Shoestrings on the Survival Mom Radio Network).

To follow along and get a hint of what I break down in the show, here is a basic list of  my “Top 10 Frugal Tips & Thrifty Kitchen Habits“:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • #10 – Get Organized.
  • #9 – Do a Weekly Purge.
  • #8 – Grow Something (Garden)
  • #7 – Cook from Scratch.
  • #6 – Make your Own Condiments and….
  • #5 – Portion Control from the Beginning
  • #4 – Pack Snacks & Lunches…
  • #3 – Shop Sales & Use Coupons Wisely…
  • #2 – Plan a Weekly Menu…based on….
  • #1 – Buy Extra & Buy Bulk!

Email or Call if you Live in our area of WNC and want Bulk Foods!  828.536.4988 – Support@MillersGrainHouse.com

 

Now if you listened all the way through, you know that the list is only the framework, the tips and ideas and ways of looking at our kitchen habits differently are what can help encourage you

Bonus contest!

Leave a comment and answer: How many times did I say the odd phrase: …. “Not to mention….” ?

The first one to get it right…I’ll send you a copy of my first e-book: Supreme Bread Machine Cookbook

Who knew that I said that many times…? It got kind of annoying…now that’s a new habit that I need to break!

 

Best Blessings and enJOY the Journey!

~ Donna Miller









Prolong Produce: Dehydrate Bell Peppers

Maybe it’s not quite time for those special summer treats to come out of the garden, but it’s never too soon to practice how to prolong the harvest!  But bell peppers (red, yellow, orange or green) are so expensive out of season!  And what if a recipe only calls for a portion of a bell pepper? Then what do you do? Throw the rest away?  No.  But freezing them turns them to mush (and sometimes can make the freezer smell a little peppered).  The answer is to dehydrate them.  It is so easy and takes almost no time at all.

2014-01-28 13.50.03Although I like bell peppers just fine , they can become overpowering, so even when they are in season, I tend to use only about 1/4-1/2 of what ‘s called for in a recipe.  Leaving me again with a surplus of these easy to grow summer veggies.

But out-of-season produce is always far too rich for my blood.  So….

Enter my ‘out-of-season-go-to plan’ for most produce.  When produce is in the grocer and it is not the season for harvest in your area, it’s getting trucked in and was picked “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away”. This is one of the reasons you pay a premium price on produce out of season.  But if you look for the pre-cut items that are marked down from their usually higher price tag (this one pictured usually runs $3.48 for the half pint) you can save a step and a buck or two at the same time.

2014-01-28 13.52.25I bring them home and rinse and check them in a colander.  They are, after all marked down, I want to be sure that there’s nothing funky hiding in the midst.

Since these are already sliced, like most packaged produce, in uniform widths, they are primed and ready to dehydrate with ease.

I let them drain for just a few minutes while pulling out my Excalibur 9 Tray Economy Dehydrator.  I have to admit – that this one appliance has not only paid for itself by putting back items from the garden, but has helped me by prolonging the life of produce that was on sale and keep from throwing out food that has been in the refrigerator a while. 2014-01-28 13.55.52

Bounce of any clinging water from the colander and pour out on to the dehydrator tray.  There may be a need for multiple trays depending upon how big of a stash you were able to snag at the grocer when they were marked down.  Just spread these beauties out equally and give them some breathing room!

Now, if you want them to remain a LIVE food…dehydrate them below 115 degrees F.  The enzymes will stay live (not the bacteria but the enzymes that help with digestion) and just keep drying until desired dryness is achieved. This may take up to 24hrs.

However, if you’re going to put these into recipes later, or chop up little bits for meatloaf or sauces…crank them on up to 130 and you’ll be done faster!  Likely you’ll have dry peppers ready for storage wtihin 8 hours.  So it’s an ideal over night project.

Remember the Excalibur 9 Tray Economy Dehydrator costs about 1 penny per hour (often less) of electricity to use.  So either choice you make for drying purposes does not really cost you that much more to prolong the produce you dry.

2014-01-30 10.09.08

As soon as they are dry to your liking (hint: they dryer they feel the longer they will last) let them cool to room temperature and place in a jar or other air tight container.  They must be cooled to avoid sweating, but also cannot be left out too long to pick up any moisture from the air.  Inside the container place a desiccant packet.   Especially if you’re going to use these over the next few months, the desiccant packet will be fine enough. There is no need for an oxygen absorber unless you plan to ignore this food indefinitely.  If you have a food-saver you can remove air with the jar sealer attachment to remove more air in between the times you open and close the jar to use your pretty little peppers (or whatever produce you’ve dehydrated).  The desiccant packet removes any moisture thus keeping the food dryer longer. Just be SURE when you purchase or use desiccant packets that they are marked clearly for Food Grade Use like the ones we have selected as examples below.

 

I hope that you’ll use some of these tips on more than just the bell pepper and try to prolong produce of many kinds. Until next time, keep playing with your food and enJOY the journey!

Best Blessings,  Donna

In full disclosure, yes we do make our living from the sale of items (which we also use personally and can in good faith recommend) such as these desiccant packets and the Excalibur Dehydrator. If you like what we share with you, please consider purchasing your needs with us at Millers Grain House. We promise to treat you like family. (:









Another chance to win Whole Wheat Bread Making eBook

Easily enter below for a chance to win this helpful eBook!

Why feed your family processed, dead and tasteless grocery store bread (that has little to no nutritional value and that is often loaded with unhealthy chemicals and preservatives) when you can easily make your own healthy, whole wheat bread from home for a fraction of the cost?

  • Maybe you think home-made wheat bread is too heavy and dense?
  • Maybe you think it’s bitter and doesn’t taste good?
  • Maybe you think it’s too difficult to do or that your family won’t like it?

Let this ebook show you how that list above is totally wrong!  You can do it, it will taste great and your family will love it (and be healthier too).   Here’s a peek inside:

Hopefully you can see how I’ve broken down the steps and techniques and you’re interested in learning more.  But for a while…there’s an extra perk!

  • Enter below through December 10th and you could WIN it this eBook !

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But if you don’t win – you can pick up a copy of the Whole Wheat Bread Making eBook  or there is a Paperback version if you prefer the real deal in at your finger tips.

Best of success to you in the giveaway and the kitchen!

Donna Miller









What’s your #1 Thanksgiving Left-over?

ThanksgivingSorry. Nope. Turkey doesn’t count – it’s too cliche’.

We all have too much of that left over after Thanksgiving, but it is often a planned left-over food.  We know it’s going to happen and we have a plan or two for what to do with all that extra turkey. Even if we get sick of it, we have plans.

 

What I want to know is:

  • What other food ends up as a surplus at your home after Thanksgiving?
  • What do you have in abundance that you really don’t know what else to do with other than to reheat it…again and again and again?
  • What will you have that you’re likely going to throw out if you can’t stand it anymore in it’s current form?

We want to help you save money and your sanity, but we need to know where you need the help.

So if it’s a side dish, a dessert, gravy or anything other than turkey that graces your table at Thanksgiving still lingers far too long after the guests and holiday are gone – we want to know about it!

We want to help you address the mountain of mashed potatoes, or the cranberry sauce that seem to take up residence in your refrigerator and spill, hide and eventually grow off-spring long after the Thanksgiving holiday has run it’s course.

Please take the quick survey below …

Then in the days following Thanksgiving, come back here for some ideas on how to turn your left-over items into completely different foods.  Better yet, sign up for the newsletter and we’ll send you a note when the recipes are up.

You don’t have to face a kitchen full of the same old same old same repeated stuff that gets nuked and reheated to oblivion.  It can all get used!  We’re here to help!  But we need your help first.  Please take this short survey!  Thank you!

Best Blessings for a Peaceful Thanksgiving!

Donna

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.









Bonus Whole Grain Recipe: Calzones
Each month I send out a recipe to all of the newsletter subscribers…so if you got notice of this – you’re one of the subscribers!

 

Yay you get a bonus whole grain recipe!  Because this is going up on our blog and you get updated.
But if you just happened to stumble upon this recipe, first – we’re happy to have you find us and secondly – you may want to subscribe to the newsletter because you get these bonus recipes plus a lot more!  Subscribe here.

 

WMwithKernels
First though, before we get into the recipe – let me say that if you’re not yet milling grain into fresh milled flour, you are missing out on so much nutrition, so much taste and spending way too much for dead bagged flour (grains cost less and create 50% more flour per volume).  So if you’re curious about mills, click the Wondermill to the left – and check out the options we carry and recommend.

 

Now on withe show, this is it….

 

If you can make a pizza crust -you can easily use the crust to make a calzone to change up the typical pizza and still enjoy an easy whole grain Italian meal!

 

Whole Wheat Calzones

Calzone

Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts
Makes two 16 inch pizza crusts

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups Warm Water
  • 4 TBS Organic Evaporated Cane Crystals
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 4 Cups Freshly Milled Hard Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • ½ tsp Onion Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Instant Active Yeast

Bread Machine Method:
Place all ingredients in the machine in order given. Make a ‘well’ for the yeast and put in the ‘well’. Set to dough or pizza dough setting. Machine should punch down after first rise.

Food Processor Method:
Use ‘S’ Blade. Place all dry ingredients in the food processor. Turn to pulsing while drizzling in the oil. Stop when mixed in. Now turn on and leave on drizzling in the water until dough forms a ‘ball’. Let ‘ball’ clean the sides and round the bowl between 20-25 times.

Place in greased bowl, cover and put in a warm place (85 degrees) until doubled in size.

Mixer & Hand Methods:
Mix yeast in with the flour and set aside. Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Mix one cup of flour mixture in at a time until all incorporated. Knead 3-5 minutes until 2 finger poke test bounces back quickly.

Place in greased bowl, cover and put in a warm place (85 degrees) until doubled in size.

Forming:
Calzone2Divide dough in to 2 (for large) or 4 (for small) balls of dough. Roll each out on to a floured surface and fill the center with a combination of cheeses: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Provolone and extra goodies such as mushrooms, peppers, pepperonis, cooked ground sausage (we like turkey sausage), onions (go light they get watery) and more.  The possibilities are almost endless.

Fold one side over the other (stuffing in the middle will move) and turn up the edges and seal with a fork. Prick a few holes in the top for steam to escape.

Place on a cookie sheet or pyrex dish and brush a light egg wash.

Baking:
Bake at 375F until golden brown. Remove to cool for just a little bit so no one gets burned cutting into the gooey goodies inside the tasty pockets!

For more fun ideas in the kitchen, subscribe to Millers Grain House YouTube Channel

Also, come join us on:

For more off the cuff ideas, coupon codes for discounts and impromptu recipes!

Best Blessings and enJOY the journey!

Donna

WMwithKernels

If you can make a pizza crust -you can easily use the crust to make a calzone and put a twist on an Italian meal!

Calzone

Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts
Makes two 16 inch pizza crusts

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups Warm Water
  • 4 TBS Organic Evaporated Cane Crystals
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 4 Cups Freshly Milled Hard Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • ½ tsp Onion Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Instant Active Yeast

Bread Machine Method:
Place all ingredients in the machine in order given. Make a ‘well’ for the yeast and put in the ‘well’. Set to dough or pizza dough setting. Machine should punch down after first rise.

Food Processor Method:
Use ‘S’ Blade. Place all dry ingredients in the food processor. Turn to pulsing while drizzling in the oil. Stop when mixed in. Now turn on and leave on drizzling in the water until dough forms a ‘ball’. Let ‘ball’ clean the sides and round the bowl between 20-25 times.

Place in greased bowl, cover and put in a warm place (85 degrees) until doubled in size.

Mixer & Hand Methods:
Mix yeast in with the flour and set aside. Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Mix one cup of flour mixture in at a time until all incorporated. Knead 3-5 minutes until 2 finger poke test bounces back quickly.

Place in greased bowl, cover and put in a warm place (85 degrees) until doubled in size.

Forming:
Divide dough in to 2 (for large) or 4 (for small) balls of dough. Roll each out on to a floured surface and fill the center with a combination of cheeses: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Provolone and extra goodies such as mushrooms, peppers, pepperonis, cooked ground sausage (we like turkey sausage), onions (go light they get watery) and more.  The possibilities are almost endless.

Fold one side over the other (stuffing in the middle will move) and turn up the edges and seal with a fork. Prick a few holes in the top for steam to escape.

Place on a cookie sheet or pyrex dish and brush a light egg wash.

Forming:
Bake at 375F until golden brown. Remove to cool for just a little bit so no one gets burned cutting into the gooey goodies inside the tasty pockets!

Calzone2

- See more at: http://bakingwholegrains.com/whole-wheat-calzones/#sthash.N6k2gbUA.dpuf









Okay, I say the description of  ‘great’ …and then I feel like an egomaniac since they’re my books…but I have had a lot of folks say they really like them so I’m just going off of their feedback when I say ‘great’.  Please don’t think I’m tooting my own horn :/

I enjoyed writing them, testing the recipes and making sure I could convey exactly what I would if you were right here in breadbookthe kitchen with me.  So, it is my hope that they are something you will enjoy too.

The two e-books are my “Supreme Bread Making with Bagel ebook2Video” and my newest “Whole Wheat Bread Making“.  By clicking those links you’ll see what is in each e-book.

BUT… this post is more than showing you these to e-books…I want to give them to you if you win!

You can enter this Giveaway to have a chance to win BOTH!

Take a look at how it’s set up. You don’t HAVE TO do them all…but the more you do, the more points you rack up toward extra entries in the Giveaway!  So…it’s up to you how many points toward wining you will want.

The Giveaway contest ends this Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway









A message from Donna...

Hello & Welcome!
Thanks for stopping by. Please make yourself at home, and be sure to let me know if I can assist  in any way.

If you are looking for whole grains, classes, grain mills, sun ovens or other kitchen appliances, be sure to stop by the store:  www.millersgrainhouse.com/store