Little Wife On the Prairie

When you are everything to everyone, well, you had better act like you have it all together.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Graham Flour

I have been baking for a long time.  I have been using healthier options like whole-wheat flour and unbleached white flour, from the very beginning.  (The linked information is exhaustive but interesting.)  I really love to chose the best ingredients to make nutritious meals for my family. 

Recently, I tried graham flour in place of my usual whole-wheat.  (The link provides a little history on the origins of the flour.)  Much like whole-wheat, graham flour contains all three parts of the wheat grain.

  The parts are the endosperm or the "white" portion of the wheat, the germ and the bran.  If you read the links, you know that whole-wheat flour takes all three parts and grinds them together.  They become the same texture.  The short version of graham flour production is that the bran and the germ are removed and coarsely ground.  Then, they are added back into the endosperm which after processing is finely ground white flour.  This results in a flour that retains a heartier and more course texture.  See...

Let me tell you, it makes a difference!  It creates such a wonderful complexity in the bread. 
Now that I have tried it, I may not ever go back!  Of course I still keep unbleached white flour around. 

So give it a try.  I used it as I would regular whole-wheat flour.  I would love to hear how you like it or don't like it.  Or share with us your favorite ingredient to cook with.  (your checkbook does not count!)

(BTW, I just used my new favorite flour to make an insanely good Cinnamon and Sugar Graham bread.  Yeah, it was great research for this blog.  :)



Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I posted this one year ago this week.  It is amazing to me that she has been gone a year.  I know this past 12 months has been so hard and full of unexpected feelings, reactions and heartaches.  I love you girls so much and pray that the healing continues.  Your mama was a special lady.  I miss her sweet face.  Much peace and love today...

This week the world suffered a most tragic loss. Janet Brown, my sweet Michelle's mama, died in surgery after unexpected heart trouble. I have to say, I did not get to spend enough time with Janet during the time I knew her. Our visits were a birthday party or a Discovery Center day here and there. But the times that I was able to share with her left a lasting warm feeling in my heart. She was the ultimate mama. I'm sure there were times when I held her hugs just a little too long because they felt cushy, soft and familiar. She made me feel as welcome as if I were her own. (I do kinda look like I fit with her girls!) She treated my babies with the patience and tenderness of a grandma. And she even bought me donuts a few times!

I think the most honorable thing about Janet is spoken most perfectly through her girls. They are beautiful, kind and caring people. They love to laugh, talk and reminisce. They love their babies and can be the protective mama bear or the silly mama clown. (or Aunt Rachel!) They hold fast to their convictions and live life to serve. That is truly "Janet style".

I know the family's pain is great. I am missing her so and I only got to spend a few years with her. I know this wound will never heal. She has left a void and always will be remembered. There will be the "I wish mom was here" times and the "I just need my mama now" times. I can't even imagine how hard this journey will be. But we who are in the faith know that Janet is telling us she will see us in a minute. She is not sad, she is dancing and worshiping and seeing the things the rest of us dream for. But for those of us left here on Earth to continue our journeys, she has left us better for knowing her and so sad to not have her with us.

Michelle, Carrie and Rachel, I love you girls and am praying God's peace for you. You girls are precious to me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Honey-Lime Vinaigrette

I love a good homemade vinaigrette.  So the Homestead Revival recipe exchange inspired me!

 Here is my favorite Honey-Lime  Vinaigrette

  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons mild honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 

  • 1 dash cayanne pepper 

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Wisk together first 4 ingredients.  Then drizzle oil in and wisk until blended.  This is a perfect light and tart dressing to go on a fresh greens. 

     I love vinegar but like to mix it up now and again with a citrus dressing.  Citrus is fun.  You really could go crazy with this recipe.  Switch the lime for orange.  Add a little chopped green onion or better yet, cilantro!

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Winter gulity pleasure.

    If you have read my blog for awhile, you know that I love to garden.  Besides bread-making, it is my favorite activity.  I love to grow food for my family.  It makes me feel good to feed them from dirt I am familiar with. 
    So more than likely if you know that about me, then you have seen my obsession with seed and seedlings.  Check out this blog if you are confused.  Spring garden 2  3 and 4 

    So last week I got this in the mail...

    If you have never visited their site, you should.  Order the catalog.  It is one for the coffee table.  It is beautiful and interesting and I could look through it for hours.  I wish I had more room to plant more varieties of seed.  You can't imagine the things you can grow!

    Here are a few of the new things I would like to try this year.  (These varieties and pictures are all from Baker Creek.)

    The Green Doctor is a new variety of cherry tomato!

    Jing Orange okra.  Doesn't it look gorgeous! 

    Orange purple smudge tomato.  So ugly it's beautiful.

    I've had my eye on the Moon and Stars melon for years.  I really want to grow it this year!
    This is called Red Wonder Wild Strawberry.  I "wonder" if it's a strawberry I can actually grow! 

    So, as you can see, the craziness is starting up again!  I will now draw out approximately 15 different garden plans and proceed to purchase more seed than I can possibly use to go with the seed I have left from last year.  It's a sickness. 

    What are you looking forward to planting this year?  Is it a new variety or the one you loved last year.  Or is it your hiney in a chair beside the pool?  We all have our weaknesses. 

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    I'm back and I'm done!

    I feel refreshed and renewed after my short blogger break.  Though I was not posting, I was very busy.  I compiled my blog book and sent it to print last night!  Whew.  That was rough.  I am not a detail person so having to move this here and move that there, is a bit torturous.  But it is done and I am happy! 

    So now I'm back to writing.  I have thought of a million things to write about during my time off.  Now I can't really remember what they were.  Shocking. 

    So this morning, when my daughter came out of her room dressed in something crazy, I knew I had my topic for the day.  Where do you draw the line with your child's fashion choices? 

    Admittedly, I am a fashion idiot.  I have no natural ability to put an outfit together.  But I do like to look cute!  Unfortunately, my daily look is more bag-lady than fashionista.  It is my station in life right now.  Diapers, dishes, laundry and cooking.  It is not a high-fashion situation.  Heck, I'm lucky to get out of my robe on some days.  Let me rephrase, I am lucky to get to stay in my robe most days but on some days I have to actually put on clothes. 

    Question: Have you ever changed out of jeans and a t-shirt to "more comfortable clothes", like sweatpants?  Just wondering if I am the only one who's dress attire consists of old ratty jeans and my husbands discarded work t-shirts. 

    Back to my daughter.  She has always enjoyed dressing up.  When she was just under 2, we put a little mirror down on her level so that she could see herself.  She would create an "outfit" of aprons, big gold chains and mom's shoes and stand in front of her mirror admiring her creation.  It's starts early people. 

    A few years later, both grandmas got her a boxes of dress-up clothes.  She was in little-girl heaven!  She never wore regular clothes.  It was always a princess dress or a ladybug costume, with or without the bridal veil.  She was very amusing. 

    Today, she came out of her room dressed in typical Jolie style.  A long-sleeved green shirt with a crazy rock-n-roll print, a ruffled skirt with grey cotton leggings underneath, and long red socks pulled up over the leggings.  I questioned her about her choice in sock placement.  "I like it that way." was the only response I got. 

    Now the socially appropriate mom in me wanted to make her change.  I started pictureing her teachers shaking their heads, wondering what kind of mom sends her kid to school dressed that way. 

    But I let her go.  As I have one hundred times before.  As I was driving home from dropping the kids off at school, I reflected on my feelings about her choice in clothes.  Of course I want my child to make good choices.  And at this time in her life, I am here to guide her choices.

     But my greatest hope for my daughter is that she would be confident in the person that God created her to be.  Part of that confidence is in her sense of style!  I would never want her to forgo her own sense of what is right for her, to conform to what is right for everyone else.  That applies to everything in her life.  I want her to be comfortable being different.  I want her to love who she is, not for her perceived perfection, but for the perfection of her idiosyncracies.

    If one day she decides that she wants to dress just like her friends, that will be fine.  (As long as those clothes don't include fishnets and bustiers.)  I just want it to be her choice.  But I have to admit, I might be a little sad about it.  I love to see her quirky little personality come out in her clothes!  I just pray that, no matter what she wears, that she would keep her individual spirit. 

    Oh God that you would spur her to be set apart for you.  No matter what that looks like.  Bless her today.   

    Now it's your turn.  Tell me your kid struggle.  Does your boy want to eat only mac n' cheese?  Does your girl all of a sudden refuse to carry the backpack she has had all year?  Or is it something more serious that you are dealing with?  We all have some concerns for our children.  Share with us.