Make Your Own Hamburger Buns

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There’s nothing like a big juicy burger, right?  I like mine with bacon, provolone cheese, avocado slices, lettuce, tomato and some mkm (aka mustard, ketchup, mayo)……oh, and of course a bun.  But I couldn’t have the bun for about three years due to my gluten intolerance.  I used to get this “chicken skin” on my elbows every time I would eat store bought or restaurant bread.  I started doing some research on where flour came from and found out that the problem is not with the gluten, but with the way the millers were removing all the vital ingredients (and adding bad stuff) from our flour just so it would stay fresh.

I was bound and determined to eat bread.  Like, who doesn’t love bread?  I can let go of the pasta and the refined sugar for sure.  But, I can’t live without bread.

I found this Co-Op and ordered some grains.  I didn’t even have a grain mill but I was going to grind my own flout and provide a delicious loaf of bread for my family.

I ended up going to my friends house to grind my first batch.  I came home and made the bread.  It was the most delicious bread I’d ever had.  Seriously, it was.

I started eating bread more often and my “chicken skin” started to go away.  Uhhm, maybe I’m on to something here.  I honestly feel better when I eat the bread.  No bloat, no itchiness like with the other kind of bread either. Read

HERE for more on grinding your own flour.

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After making loaf bread, I thought to myself, ” I wonder what else I can make?”  I had become used to eating pretty much anything without bread or a bun.  Man, I really missed having a bun on a burger or a sloppy joe.

So, I did some research ( can you tell I like to research things?) and found this cool pan to make hamburger buns.  I only bought one so a cookie sheet will suffice for now. Yeah, baby!

They aren’t perfect in shape like you would buy store bought, factory made with a perfect machine buns, but they got the seal of approval from my family and that’s what is important to me.  Besides, knowing that they are healthy for us is what really matters. I’m feeding my family good nutrition.

Here’s my recipe.  I’d love to see how yours turn out.  I like using Hard White wheat but you can easily use Hard Red for a nuttier flavor.

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: Total: 3 hrs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This is a basic dough recipe.  You can use it to make sandwich/loaf bread, rolls & hamburger/hot dog buns.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups of hot water                                                2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt

1/3 cup of olive or coconut oil                                   2 tbsp. Flaxseed Meal           

1/3 cup of raw local honey                                         1 tbsp. instant yeast

4-4 ½ cups of freshly milled Hard White flour

 

Directions:

Combine water, oil, honey, salt and flax-seed meal. Add half the flour and mix thoroughly. Add yeast and enough flour to make a soft dough.  Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5-6 minutes).  Cover with plastic and let rise until double. Now, shape into 12 balls on greased cookie sheets, cover and let rise again. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

Tag me on Instagram with your photos – @lhsimpleliving

I love to share and see what others are doing in our efforts to have healthy families.  Enjoy your buns LOL and have a wonderful day!

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How to Dry Your Own Herbs

We all have good intentions when we plant herbs in the garden.  But what happens when the basil takes over or the dill weed is out of control.  Before it gets to that point, you can harvest it and dry it for use later.

I know I have wasted good herbs in the garden because I didn’t know what to do with it all.

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It’s super simple and easy to do. Kinda like one of those “set it and forget it” moments, but don’t forget to check on them things LOL.

STEP 1. Grow your herbs

OK, this step is pretty simple but hey, if you don’t want to grow your own, you can easily go buy herb plants that are already grown and start from there.

STEP 2. Pull a bunch off and get a piece of twine and tie the bottom ends together (the cut pieces)

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STEP 3. Set it and forget it LOL, well, make sure you check on them from time to time but they will take roughly 2-3 weeks to dry.  Hang them on a rack or from a piece of twine out of the way so the kids don’t pull them down or the dogs don’t think it’s a snack!  The laundry room is a good place.  No one ever goes in there, right?

STEP 4. Once they are all dry, remove the twine, grab a cutting board and a knife.  If you have a coffee grinder, you can use that too.  Just make sure it’s clean from all the coffee grinds ha ha! Take the knife and just start rough chopping the herbs to your liking and fill them into a jar.

STEP 5. Enjoy your fresh dried herbs in your soups, stews or whatever you are cooking. This is great for flowers as well.  Stay tuned as I will be posting about drying flowers for herbal remedies later this spring.

I hope you have a great weekend and share this with your friends and family.  Tag me on Instagram with your herb pictures – @lhsimpleliving

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Why I Grind My Own Flour

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Do you love bread?  Or anything made from flour for that matter?  Like, do you have to have a slice of bread from Longhorn every time you go?  Do you know what I mean?  Like a cookie or what about Chicken Pot Pie with a yummy crust!

For those that do not know, I was diagnosed about four years ago with an intolerance to Gluten so I stopped eating bread.  Yeah, it was pretty miserable.  I didn’t understand what was causing it.  I spent the next few years researching and trying to make some sense of it. After meeting an amazing lady a few years ago, she changed my entire outlook on flour.  well, that’s what bread is made from, right?  I learned that it’s not the Gluten that is bothering us.  It’s the fact that the miller’s from the 1900’s started to remove the vital nutrients of the Wheat Germ and the Bran and added in a few things to give the flour a longer shelf life.  Well. that stinks.  Why would they mess with our nutrients just to keep the flour from going rancid too quickly?  It’s more money in their pockets, that’s why.

This lady that I am talking about is named Sue Becker. Click HERE  for a little more info on Sue.  I learned so much from her and I joined her Co-Op and started buying my own grains in 2015.  I thought to myself, “I’m going to try the grains and see what it does to me”.  I use to have bad “chicken skin” on my elbows and I had developed a horrible rash on my neck that would not go away for anything.  I started making homemade blueberry muffins and I noticed no bloating.  Uhmm, that’s a good sign.  I then made a homemade loaf of bread.  No side effect there either.  What!!!

Move forward to today and I am making something with the flour almost every day.  If it’s not bagels, it’s bread or rolls or my new thing is hamburger buns.  Do you understand how much I missed a Hamburger Bun??

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I’m telling you I won’t go back.  Go back to eating any other bread than this.  I highly recommend buying a grain mill and grinding your own flour.  It is so worth it.

I know not everyone will do that, so I wanted to let you know that I am going to start grinding and selling 5lb. bags of fresh milled flour.  If you are interested in buying some, please email me at wendy@littlehousesimpleliving.com.  It’s easily kept in the freezer so you can pull it out any time you need it.

I want everyone to benefit from the nutrients from the grains.  It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals that our bodies are lacking.

While I am here and sharing all of this with you, I have had several people want my bagel recipe.  I have only branched out to plain and Cinnamon & Raisin but I will let you know when I feel a little more daring and try some other variations.  Just wait.  You are going to be telling Panera to move over cause your bagels will be so amazing, especially when they come right out of the oven.  I kid my family that the “Hot Fresh Now” light is on LOL.

Whole Wheat Bagels

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This recipe comes to you from Sue Becker with a few twists of my own.  They are fun to make and freeze well; the recipe can easily be doubled.

INGREDIENTS:

2 ¼ cup of warm water                                  5 cups of freshly milled Hard White flour

2 Tbsp. of raw local honey                             2 tsp. Instant yeast

2 ¼ tsp. Himalayan salt

 DIRECTIONS:           

Combine water, honey and salt.  Add half the flour and yeast and mix well.  Add remaining flour and knead to form a slightly stiff dough (8-10 minutes).  Cover and let rise until double.  If you are using a Kitchen aid mixer or similar type, lessen the water by ¼ cup and only knead for 8 minutes.

 Divide the risen dough into 12 pieces and shape into balls, allowing them to rest.  Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water, bringing it to a boil and then add 1/3 cup of honey.  Working with only 6 balls at a time, take each ball and poke a hole in the middle with your thumb and twirl it around to enlarge the hole.  Let each bagel rest for 5 minutes.  Place 2-3 bagels at a time in the water for 1 minute. While these cook, prepare the next 6 bagels.  The bagels should sink and will rise.  After the minute, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and place side by side on a greased cookie sheet.  I put parchment paper down to make it easier for clean up.  Bake at once in a 425 degree oven for about 35 minutes.  Now, I have a convection oven and I back mine at 400 for 20 minutes.  You can cut them immediately and spread them with cream cheese or make a breakfast sandwich like we do.  Oh my holy bagel!  You won’t buy store bought ever again!!!

 Here’s a variation for Cinnamon & Raisin: Add 1 tbsp. of cinnamon and 2 tbsp. of honey after the dough has been kneaded.  If you want to make 6 plain and 6 of these, then just ½ the measurements.  Enjoy!

If you want to know more about grinding your own flour or just have questions, please comment here or email me at wendy@littlehousesimpleliving.com.  Happy Baking!

It’s Finally Here!

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I’ve been waiting all year for this day!  I absolutely love this time of year!  Is anyone else as crazy about FALL as I am?  I say this every year but it’s so true!  There is just something about the cooler air, the pumpkins, making apple butter, festivals and well, you know…..all the fun stuff!  Unfortunately, we don’t have the beautiful scenery of the leaves changing here in Florida, but I do try to make it as “Fally” (I’m pretty sure that isn’t even a word) as I can.

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The first thing that comes to mind is making my Aunt Linda’s Pumpkin Bread.  I’ve tweaked it a little bit to make it a healthier version (sorry, Aunt Linda) but it tastes just as yummy as hers does.  You can get the recipe and make it yourself HERE.

Aunt Linda's Pumpkin Bread

I’m also usually making apple butter that I go up to Tennessee or North Carolina in the fall and go apple pickin’.  We have a trip planned to Virginia this year so I’ve got to look and make sure I can bring a bushel back for my canning.

So, here’s to FALL! I hope you have some fun and relaxing things planned this season.  Just spending it with family and friends maybe around a fire or tossing a football on Sunday afternoons is perfect enough.

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Oh, I almost forgot to mention, but here are some FREE printables for you to use.  Check out all the goodies HERE.

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I also wanted to mention that I have some new FALL signs listed in my Etsy shop.  I keep adding more from time to time and I will be adding a Painting Workshop so you can learn all my techniques.  Be sure and sign up for my newsletter so you can be first to know!

 

 

Fall Blessings,

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Kinda Amish

I was blessed this summer with a trip to the Amish County in Ohio.  I’ve wanted to go for some time now so we had a “girls” weekend and took my Aunt for her 75th birthday.  My birthday was just a week before hers so my husband and kids decided to give me cash for my birthday and told me to have a good time.  Well, I kinda begged a little for the money.  Just a little.

Unfortunately, we were only able to stay one night, but let me tell you, I decided you need 3-4 nights as there is just too much to see.  We still had a wonderful time!

We stayed in a cute inn in Walnut Creek and I went antique pickin’ for some neat goodies at an adorable antique store ran by an Amish couple.  Oh, did I find some neat things.

We then went into Berlin, which is way too commercial.  I was on a mission to find a homemade quilt made by Amish ladies and kept having the hardest time finding anything.  They were all made in China as most of the stores were.  I was looking for “real” Amish items.

Well, I ended up finding an Amish quilt shop that were handmade locally.  I was mesmerized by all the quilts but then saddened as I couldn’t afford any of them LOL.  The king size quilts were over $1,200.00.  Rightfully worth it, I just wasn’t prepared to spend that much this trip.  I’ll bring my hubby next time and that might work.

My sister found an adorable fall print table runner that I just had to have and it was in my price point and then I found a “wedding ring” pattern table runner that I fell in love with too.  I went to go check out and pay for my items and looked up on the wall and this beautiful “hanging quilt” was in the same pattern as one of the runners.  I had to have it.  Fortunately, I could afford it.  I just decided we wouldn’t eat going back home HA!

I also snagged a “quillow”.  It’s a pillow that is also a throw.  I was so excited with my purchases and new my trip was almost complete.  I was then on my search for a “real” Amish basket.

Well, low and behold, I was in another shop and found this beautiful casserole holding basket with handles.  I was amazed when I flipped it over and it was made from a 5 year old.  That just made it even more special.

We were kinda in a hurry that day as we had dinner reservations at an Amish home and a buggy ride scheduled.  I was again mesmerized at the home, the barn, the farm and the garden when we arrived.  It’s everything I long to have here in Florida.  It was so simple but yet productive.

We met the most nicest couple.  Of course their last name was Yoder and the meal was out of this world!  They have a custom where the food gets passed twice and then they have dessert.  We were able to ask them questions and I will share more on that in another post.

After supper, their son took us on our buggy ride.  At first, it felt a little “rackety” and I jokingly (but way serious) told him I’d like to stay on two wheels LOL.

I just can’t explain it all here.  If you long for the simple life, you have to plan a trip to the Amish community.  I hear there is one here in Florida near Sarasota.  I plan to take a trip down there next spring so I’ll share that experience with you then.

Well, after all I saw and learned from the Amish, I’ve decided I want to be “Kinda Amish”.  I love the simplicity of their lives and their faith and love for the Lord.  I even love their mealtime prayer: Lord, we thank you for this meal.  For all blessings you impart.  For our family, for our friends.  And for living in our heart.  Amen.  How simple is that?

I even would be willing to give up my vehicle and drive a buggy to town.  I just would hate not being able to travel like I do.  It would take way too long by buggy.  The bonnets are cute but I’m not sure I want to do all my chores in a long dress.

My family and friends would probably think I was crazy so for now, I’m going to be “Kinda Amish”.  But then again, I shouldn’t be worried about what other think of me, right?

Until next time……

What are some ways you are Kinda Amish?  Could you go full Amish?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

P.S. All photos are © Wendy Walker Photography unless otherwise noted.  You are welcome to pin my photos, share them or use them in your own blogs, but please do not claim the photos as your own. Thank you!

Blessings!

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My Summer|Honoring My Dad

Wow!  I can’t believe summer is drawing to an end.  I’ve had a whirl wind of one.  How have you been spending yours?

My summer kicked off by heading to Washington, DC to honor my dad at the Vietnam Veterans In Memory Program.  He passed away back in January of this year and his one wish was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  Well, you have to be pretty important or die in a war, so this was the next best thing.  Dad would have loved this!

My sister and I were able to speak about dad in front of thousands and were given a plaque, which will be kept in a vault to be displayed in a future museum.  We were also part of their annual Rose Ceremony where we honored all veterans who have passed away.  This was truly an amazing program to honor Vietnam Veterans and I’m so glad we were able to be a part of it.

If you have a loved one that has passed away as a result of an illness related to Vietnam, I encourage you to apply for this program and go honor your loved one too!  They have all the details right HERE.

My next trip this summer was going to West Virginia to a surprise birthday party for my 75 year old Aunt.  It was so awesome seeing the expression on her face when she pulled up to my cousin’s house.  Priceless!  We had a luau and her birthday present from her daughters was a trip to Hawaii!  I am so excited for all of them!  Well, my sister and I decided to give her something equally exciting but not as extravagant LOL.  We gave her a trip to the Amish Country in Ohio.  We paid for her half of the room, Sunday dinner, a horse and buggy ride and dinner on that Monday in an Amish home.  We were only able to stay one night, but man, did I absorb and learn so much in such a little time.

 

 

This trip to the Amish community was also my birthday present.  My husband and kids gave me some nice cash so I could enjoy myself and buy a few things.  My only items I really wanted were a homemade Amish quilt and a basket. Well……

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You can read all about the rest of my trip to Amish Country in my next post!  Don’t be mad, I promise it will be worth the wait!

I’ve also been busy this summer pickin’ primitives and antiques around the state and both Ohio and North Carolina.  I moved into a larger booth space at Trader Mae’s which will allow me to sell some of my new found goodies.

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Fall is just around the corner and it’s my favorite time of the year!  I’ve got lots of new signs coming out as well!  Be sure and follow me on my Facebook Page here to stay up to date on what all I have going on.  You can also sign up for my newsletter HERE.  I’ve got some painting workshops I am scheduling once the weather gets cooler.

Stay tuned; enjoy the rest of your summer and blessings!

P.S. All photos are © Wendy Walker Photography unless otherwise noted.  You are welcome to pin my photos, share them or use them in your own blogs, but please do not claim the photos as your own. Thank you!

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Using What You Have

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Sometimes things just don’t work out.  Especially in the garden.  All the years I have been gardening, I have yet to find a cage/trellis/thing a ma jig or anything that will work for my tomatoes.  I LOVE tomatoes and always plant several varieties.  They start growing and then basically take over their space!

Well, I am excited that this year I am trying a few new things that I think are going to work out pretty nicely.  As I was planting this spring, I spaced my tomato plants far enough apart but I forgot which variety I planted so I guess I will have a surprise when they start growing LOL.

In my search to build the perfect “cage” so to speak, I walked out back of our shop to see what I could find.  I always use stuff laying around here before I go out and buy something. Being in construction, we are always have something I can use LOL.  And, I don’t like being wasteful.

I found two pieces of re bar and I used mason twine, which is much stronger than your normal twine.  I already had an old chain link gate that I started training one of my tomato plants but I knew it wouldn’t be enough.  So, I pounded the re bar in the ground in front of the tomato plant and then wrapped the twine around and staggering it every 4 inches.  This one will work out good cause as the tomatoes grow, I will just hang them on the twine.

The other tomato plant, I set two fence posts the length of my garden bed and then just tied the twine and staggered it.  As this one grows, I can train it to go through the twine and then hang the tomatoes as they grow.  I am so excited and so glad I’m not frustrated this year with my tomatoes!

Now that I have my trellises made, I have to tell you that I have never been able to grow tomatoes in the month of June before.  It’s just way too hot here in Florida.  This year is different since trying the Back to Eden Gardening method.  I am truly amazed at how planting God’s way has made a difference in how my garden grows.If you get a chance, check out their video on how it all works.

What types of things do you use for trellises or cages?  Do you use things around your property or have you found something in a store that’s truly amazing?  I’d love to hear either in an email, comment below or on my Facebook page.

 

Blessings!

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