Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

Tonight I am honored to be introducing the benefits and ease of grinding your own wheat to a local group of women, at least I don't think there will be any men there.  But if there are that is awesome!  The more people I can share this with the better!!!

First, for those that were not able to attend let me share how I got into all this in the first place...

My husband is what I call a survivalist, others would call him a prepper.  He insists we need to be prepared in case the world as we know it comes to an end. So when he started talking about storing wheat I asked him what he planned to do with it. He said that I was to bake bread with it. Of course I laughed and told him he was crazy!

About the same time I met my friend Melissa (click here for her blog) who I soon found out grinds her own wheat and bakes bread with it! Interesting that I was more easily convinced by my friend than my husband!!!  Anyway, Melissa gave me her old Bread Beckers recipe book and I immediately ordered the free CD from their website.

One of the sections of this CD made a huge impact on my view of this whole grinding wheat idea.  It quickly went from just being able to use the wheat we have stored to changing to a more healthy eating lifestyle and avoiding processed foods as much as possible.

Almost 4 years ago I made an investment in our health and bought a WonderMill and a Cuisinart. Then I had my husband bring me a couple buckets of the wheat he had stored and started baking bread. Yes, it really was that simple.  I started with the bread, and also muffins, waffles, and homemade instant oatmeal. Click on the links for the recipes.  The oatmeal does not use the wheat mill, but it was a big part of the change we made so I included it here as well.

Here is my detailed blog post on the steps I follow to making bread.  The post really did take longer to write than it does to mix the dough!
Recently I have expanded and have made Ezekiel bread, where I used the bread recipe but substituted Ezekiel mixture flour for wheat flour.  I also made some Oatmeal Cookies and my hubby experimented with Wheat Chips.
Here are some other links:
Other blogs I like:




Where I have bought wheat, other ingredients & supplies:

Bread Beckers Co-op


Emergency Essentials

My hubby found a recipe in my Wheat Cooking Made Easy cookbook by Pam Crockett. (A cookbook that I have not used nearly as much as I should because it is so wonderful).  Who knew that you could make chips that are so similar to potato chips you can barely tell the difference.  Love these!!! 

Wheat Chips

Mix together:
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups cold water

For seasoning we used 2 tsp of taco seasoning, but you could use any kind of seasoning, use your imagination!  This is a fantastic recipe for a family experiment night.

Mix together and pour small amounts (thick chip sized) onto a non-stick sprayed cookie sheet.  This is very liquid and runny so be careful not to tip the cookie sheet to much when putting in the oven. 

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until crisp, then flip and bake 3-5 more minutes.  Again, finding the right combination of minutes is all part of the experimenting fun.

Early on I did not had much success with making cookies with whole wheat and I really have not experimented much.   But here is a recipe that does work well with freshly ground whole wheat flour.

Oatmeal Cookies

Combine until creamy:
1 cup butter
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar

Add and beat well:
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients and add to above, mix well:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp  baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Then stir in:
2 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Drop by tablespoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to wire cooling racks until cooled.  Store completely covered.

The Ezekiel bread recipe from the Bread Beckers book was okay, but was something did not make alot of.  Then I recently watched a portion of one of the online classes on the Bread Beckers website where she said that she uses the Ezekiel mixture in the regular bread recipe and in other recipes as well! 

I can see that I will be using alot more Ezekiel mix flour!  I have already tried it instead of hard white flour in the regular bread recipe and had good results.  But more exciting is that it worked beautifully in the waffle recipe and I am sure that it will work well in muffins as well.  This is exciting because by using the Ezekiel mixture I am adding more protein to our diet without anyone realizing it.

Here is the Ezekiel mixture from the Bread Beckers recipe book.  This all gets ground in the wheat mill same as grinding wheat.

2 1/2 cups hard red wheat
1 1/2 cups spelt
1/2 cup barley
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup green lentils
2 tbsp great northern beans
2 tbsp red kidney beans
2 tbsp pinto beans

These are easy to make, very yummy, and freeze well.

Combine and mix well:
3 eggs
1 cup oil
3 mashed bananas
1 can of cranberry sauce

Combine dry ingredients in a seperate bowl:
3 1/2  cups whole wheat flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients into banana mixture and stir just until mixed.  For muffins fill about 2/3 full and bake at 350 for about 25.  They are done when a toothpick comes out clean.

This can also be baked as 2 loaves.  Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes.

This is a well written book and an easy, quick read.  The story was certainly fascinating with many twists and turns, and characters to both love and hate, but the final outcome was much too predictable.  However, this is far outweighed by the author's ability to provide beautiful imagery and descriptions that entice all the senses.  I also found it interesting that I was much more captivated by the dynamic of the main character and her new family than I was with the romance storyline.

Disclosure: Thomas Nelson Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program.

I review for BookSneeze

Nothing better than a historical romance with a unique twist.  This one captured my attention right away because the story begins with a parallel to the Ruth and Naomi story.   When I first picked up this book I never expected to gain a better understanding of a Bible story, especially one that I recently studied in depth!  Even though this is a fictional story and ultimately has very little to do with the actual Bible story, I was drawn in by the imagery and insight related to the actual Bible story. I suddenly had a much better understanding of the hardships Ruth and Naomi had to endure just to survive and the difficulty Ruth, as a foreigner, must have had just to fit in to her new community.

This is a first novel for this author and it is an exceptional debut (even the cover is intriguing)!  The main characters are quickly developed into characters that are easy to love.  The development of the main characters continues further and they are soon characters you are cheering for.  A refreshing aspect of the author's writing is that many of the secondary characters are also very well developed and easy to love -- or hate.   The story has several sub-plots that are expertly woven into an outstanding novel such that I was truly disappointed when I got to the end.

What was the best part of the book?  Easy...the most entertaining and refreshing part of reading this book is the fact that I actually laughed out loud, several times! I may occasionally chuckle or smile while reading a book, but to actually giggle is rare.  I highly recommend this book and eagerly anticipate reading more from Regina Jennings.

Disclosure: Litfuse Publicity Group provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of their blog tours program. See the blog tour details here

About the book:
She's Finally Found a Place to Call Home... How Far Will She Go to Save It?

With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to their Texas family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have just three months to pay.

Though facing eviction, Rosa falls in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. They welcome her vivacious spirit and try to help her navigate puzzling American customs. She can't help but stand out, though, and her beauty captures attention.

Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, Rosa must decide to what lengths she will go to save her future. Read an excerpt:.

About the Giveaway:
Win a Kindle Fire from @ReginaJennings in the Sixty Acres and a Bride Giveaway! RSVP for #Facebook Party on 3/27.

Celebrate with Regina by entering to win a Kindle Fire and coming to her Author Chat Party on 3/27!

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/26/12. Winner will be announced at Regina's Author Chat Facebook Party on 3/27. Regina will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and some beautiful silver jewerly!
So grab your copy of Sixty Acres and a Bride and join Regina and friends on the evening of March 27th for an evening of fun.

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

Song of My Heart is a delightful and charming novel.  The characters are easy to love and it is easy to feel compassion for them when their raw emotions are exposed. The plot is interesting, unique and full of suspense  - the storyline easily draws you in to keep those pages turning. 

Although it there is a romantic side to the story (it is a historical romance afterall), the Christian tone is strong and refreshing. I found the main storyline to not be as much about the romance but more how the main characters are pulled in directions they never imagined they would go. The highlight of the book for me was when the main character realizes how far she has strayed from her morals and she begs God for forgiveness.  She is immediatley filled with determination and the courage to face whatever is to come her way.  It is a wonderful lesson in knowing that no matter how far we stray from the path God wants us to be on, He will always meet us where we are.

Disclosure: Litfuse Publicity Group provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of their blog tours program. See the blog tour schedule here

About the book:
Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can't work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent--though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.

McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit. After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.

Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter's unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she's far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he's come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?

About the Giveaway:
Win a Nook Tablet from Kim Vogel Sawyer and RSVP for her "Song of My Heart" Facebook Party {3/29}!

Celebrate with Kim by entering to win a Nook Tablet and connecting with her at the Book Chat Party on 3/29!

One "songbird" winner will receive:

  • A Nook Tablet
  • Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/28/12. Winner will be announced at Kim's Book Chat Facebook Party on 3/29. Kim will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and much more!
So grab your copy of Song of My Heart and join Kim and friends on the evening of March 29th for an evening of fun.

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!