Wondermill Grain Mill Giveaway Worth $260

It’s kitchen month at The Simple Homemaker. We’ll be talking about simplifying our meals, our kitchen time, and our “necessities.” I’ll share recipes, tips, and some favorite kitchen tools.

To kick it off, I am super-excited to have joined a number of other bloggers for a giveaway of a kitchen tool which, ironically, I no longer have in my kitchen now that we’re on the road. But, hey, who cares! It’s a fantastic giveaway for a Wondermill Grain Mill worth $260.

Now you’re asking why on earth you would want a grain mill.

Long story short, with a grain mill, you can bulk order wheat, oats, rice, kamut, barley, spelt, quinoa, whatever, and grind it to use as fresh flour. (To learn more, watch the video below.)

Now you’re asking why on earth you would want to do that.

And this is when I say, hey, if you don’t want a grain mill, don’t sign up for the giveaway!

Seriously, though, friends, fresh ground flour is delicious and nutritious, and gives many alternatives over wheat if you are sensitive to gluten or want to vary your options. And, believe it or not, it is ultra-simple! Plus there’s no comparison to baking your own bread, and I personally love the flavor and texture from freshly ground wheat or oats in biscuits, cornmeal, or “oatcakes.”


…and that’s a big but, if that nagging little voice inside of you is screaming at you that you just can’t handle one more thing or you’re just not ready to grind your own grains or you just don’t think you ever will be ready to grind your own grains or you couldn’t care less about grinding your own grains or you’re wondering if maybe it will work on Barbie dolls to make pixie dust, please just click away. That’s okay!

If, however, you are interested in a Wondermill Grain Mill, this is a terrific opportunity provided by the Positively Real Media Network (a blog network focused on real faith, real family, real food).

Win a Wondermill Grain Mill worth $260

From what I’ve researched, the Wondermill is the world’s top-rated electric grain mill. (I cannot speak from personal experience, because back when we were stationary I used the Kitchen Aid stand mixer grinder attachment. Still, I would like to speak from personal experience!)

Movie time!

The video below will teach you all about this little wonder, aptly named the Wondermill…and if you’re a homeschooler, your kids can watch, too, and call it school. Yee haa!

I know…I totally want one, too.

Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter below. The mandatory entry is super simple – just hit “Enter.” Then you can earn additional entries for following your favorite blogs via Facebook. Increase your chances by liking them all.

This giveaway is available throughout the United States and Canada, but that’s all. Sorry to all my friends elsewhere.

Click here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(If you win, and you don’t want it, you have my address, right?)

Festive Traditions Review and Giveaway and a Kitchen Miracle

Festive Traditions Review and Giveaway (www.TheSimpleHomemaker.com)

Please note: This review is for an e-cookbook. If you purchase or win this cookbook, you will be able to download it instantly onto your computer. It is not a hard copy, although you can print it yourself.

To skip my review and buy Festive Traditions for instant download, make sure you go armed with the discount code SIMPLE25 for 25% off:

Buy Festive Traditions.

To skip down to the giveaway, click here:

Skip all the fun and go straight to the giveaway!

Today I am sharing with you a new e-cookbook called Festive Traditions: A Real Food Guide to the Holidays by Jill Marks of Modern Alternative Kitchen. It’s full of festive real food recipes suitable for a holiday dinner, New Year’s Eve buffet, Christmas morning breakfast, Christmas Eve dessert, you name it! The author calls it Festive Traditions, but I call it Little Miracle Worker. Here’s why:

If there’s anything my husband dislikes more than beans, it’s Brussels sprouts. I have a distant, blurred memory of our early years of marriage when he absolutely forbade me from ever feeding him Brussels sprouts. My memory has faded with age (wink, wink), and I served my husband Brussels sprouts prepared according to a recipe in Festive Traditions. The conversation went like this:

Festive Traditions Giveaway (www.TheSimpleHomemaker.com)

Me (with the build up): Great news! I’m not feeding you beans for dinner tonight.

Kids (tag-teaming him): Daddy, they’re delicious. You should try them.Hubby (happy, then suspicious): Yes! Wait. What is this? Are these…? You didn’t! These aren’t…Brussels sprouts are they?

My marriage and my book review hinged on the next few moments. My kids and I decided that if Daddy liked them, the book was a keeper. It all rested on him. You know, I’ve got to give him just a wee bit of credit, because after some cajoling he tried the Brussels sprouts without whining quite as much as I had expected.

In fact, he had seconds. And this is what he said:

“If Brussels sprouts tasted like this, I would eat them.”

I know, that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, but the fact is, he loved the Brussels sprouts. In fact, we’re serving them again on Christmas Eve, and the kids are super excited.

(I didn’t think, back when I was sitting through college calculus and advanced writing, that I would someday be publicly singing the praises of Brussel sprouts, but here I am…singing.)

My Review of Festive Traditions

My family tested Festive Traditions extensively and we enjoyed a number of recipes that would work to make your holiday meals healthy and delicious. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Brussels sprouts (big, victorious grin)
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Spinach artichoke dip
  • Cheesy potatoes
  • Salmon with dill dip
  • Potato-Crusted Quiche
  • Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
  • Lemon-Poppy Seed Biscuits
Festive Traditions Giveaway (www.TheSimpleHomemaker.com)
Stuffed Mushrooms

Here’s what I like about Festive Traditions:

  • At a time when people typically indulge, these foods taste indulgent, without using any processed foods.
  • Some of the recipes are absolutely fantastic.
  • We had most of the ingredients in our cupboard (mind you, we’ve been eating this way for a long time). There was nothing too far out there, although we did replace a few ingredients for more easily attained items.
  • Some of the recipes are very simple to make, such as the spinach dip, stuffed mushrooms, and chicken soup for starters.
  • There are symbols on each recipe indicating which are dairy-free, egg-free, etc., so that you can meet the needs of your guests or family.
  • It’s festive!

Did we like all the recipes? 

No, we did not like the butternut squash soup, and next time I’ll leave the pecans out of the pecan waffles. I know, they won’t be pecan waffles anymore, but it’s a texture thing for my kids. Everything else went over very well, especially the salmon, the mushrooms, and indeed, the Brussels sprouts.

Festive Traditions Giveaway (www.TheSimpleHomemaker.com)
Spinach Artichoke Dip

Was it simple?

I have been cooking from scratch for years, so to me, it was relatively simple. If you are new to real foods, a small number of these recipes (green bean casserole comes to mind) may be overwhelming to you. It’s okay. You can relax and enjoy the many simple recipes (stuffed mushrooms anyone?), and work your way up to the less simple options. Alternatively, you might consider Modern Alternative Mama’s more basic book, Real Food Basics as a launching pad. If you know your way around a kitchen, you’ll do just fine with Festive Traditions.

Are the ingredients readily available?

A few of the ingredients I did not have in my cupboard or “normal” grocery store. When cooking real foods, if you find you don’t have a special ingredient, you can generally substitute it with ingredients you have available in your pantry, so don’t worry about that too much. We happen to have things like coconut flour, but if you’re not ready to experiment with that, you can use something you have on hand, like wheat flour.

If you’re interested in purchasing Festive Traditions for your holiday meal prep so you can download and start cooking instantly, use the code SIMPLE25 to get 25% off through December 27.

Buy Festive Traditions here.

The Festive Traditions Giveaway

Enter to win a copy right here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for dropping by! Have a Merry Christmas!


Crock On Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook Review

Disclosure: I’m pretty sure just about every link on this page is an affiliate link, meaning if you purchase an ebook or Kindle book through one of my links, I receive a portion of the proceeds at no cost to you. It’s a neat way for readers to support their favorite blogs. Crazy awesome, isn’t it? 

If you want to skip my review and go check out the Crock On ebook or print version or read the comments about the Kindle version, I’ll totally understand. I’m all about streamlining.

I am a recovering cookbook junkie. I love all things cookbook. My cookbook cupboard used to groan with overburdened shelves. And then I purged…the cookbooks, that is. One of the cookbooks I purged was my highly rated, but highly disappointing crockpot cookbook. It was filled with canned soups and powdered mixes, and the recipes rarely turned out well.

I was bummed, because I really wanted to love my crockpot, and I really wanted a cookbook to help make that happen.

Enter Crock On by Stacy Myers of Stacy Makes Cents!

Stacy’s beautiful cookbook belongs on a coffee table. I love perusing it, reading Stacy’s entertaining writing, and admiring the beautiful photography. It’s my new favorite e-cookbook. In fact, I like it so much, I bought a print copy.

Broccoli Soup

Oh, I almost forgot. I love cooking out of it, as well.

And so will you.

Here’s why.

First, the recipes are delicious. Let’s face it. That’s the top priority for the husband and the kids. If it isn’t good, it…well…isn’t good.

Second, the subtitle of Crock On is A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook. I like the Whole Foods aspect of the book, because every recipe uses real, healthy, wholesome ingredients, unlike most crockpot cookbooks that call for powdered mixes and canned soups. I like the Semi portion of that title, because it indicates that the recipes aren’t over-the-top. In other words, every recipe contains ingredients that are readily available (and easily pronounced). It’s wholesome, yet doable.

Well played, Stacy. Well played.

Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Check out some of these recipes:

  • Mexican Chicken Chowder
  • Hominy Taco Chili (I ate this three days in a row.)
  • Broccoli Soup
  • Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes
  • Carolina Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches
  • Chicken Tetrazzini
  • Maple Sesame Chicken
  • Swiss Steak
  • Sloppy Chicken
  • Beef and Broccoli (This was a hit.)
  • Cream Cheese Chicken
  • Broccoli Casserole
  • Pizza Potatoes (Major yum!)
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Garlic Smashed Potatoes (This was on our Thanksgiving table.)
  • Creamy, Cheesy Corn
  • Coconut Sweet Potatoes
  • Upside Down Apple Pie
  • Honey Baked Apples and Pears
  • Granola Apples
  • Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cake
  • And plenty more

Want to try a recipe? Here’s a page pulled right out of the cookbook (with permission, naturally, so don’t tattle on me). Click on the image to see the full version or to print it.

Cheesy Sausage Potatoes

Looks good, doesn’t it?

Stacy’s beautiful cookbook is only $5 as an ebook or on Kindle. It is worth much more, but Stacy’s goal is to help her readers save money, so she set the price low. She’s neat like that. I personally think the print version would make a great gift. (Ask her for an autographed copy–it makes her blush.)

Buy Crock On here as an ebook or in print.

Buy Crock On for Kindle here.

Crock On


Smart Sweets Ebook Review

Ever since I delivered baby number seven, I’ve been craving j-u-n-k, JUNK!  I’m talking “bake me a batch of cookies so I can eat them ALL.”  I’m talking “give me a handful of corn dogs with non-organic, nitrate-laden dogs inside and corn syrup-saturated ketchup on the outside.”  I’m talking “break out that chocolate we bought LAST Christmas.”

Smart Sweets Giveaway

We don’t have corndogs, and chocolate does not agree with me (although I totally agree with chocolate), so that left me with eating a batch of cookies all by myself.  I was up for that.

But my baby was not.  As a nursing mother, I try to maintain the same diligence in monitoring what goes into my body after the baby is born as I did before.  That means gobs of sugar are o-u-t, out. But it doesn’t mean the fun foods have to be o-u-t, out.

Smart Sweets to the rescue!

Smart Sweets: 30 Desserts to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth is a real foods dessert cookbook written by Katie Kimball of Kitchen Stewardship.

Smart-Sweets-book-cover_thumbI loved this book even before I tried any of the recipes.  Here’s why:

Information: Katie summarizes real food dessert baking exceptionally well.  She is very open about how healthy (or unhealthy) desserts are, how “smart” each of the different sweeteners are, and what your basic ingredient options are on the road to eating smarter sweets.

Adaptability: Are you gluten-intolerant, dairy-sensitive, or allergic to eggs?  You can still use this book.  Is the only sweetener you have in the house the plain ol’ white stuff?  Your dessert won’t be quite as “smart,” but you can use it.  Each recipe contains tips, alternatives, and frequently asked questions so you can adapt the recipe or baking process to suit your needs or tastes, gradually moving toward more natural sweeteners as your taste buds adapt.  Adaptability is awesome!

honeySymbols: Katie includes symbols to easily and quickly indicate allergen alerts as well as how “real,” expensive, and time-consuming each recipe is.  When you need cookies now…like totally now…the time symbol is crucial.

Ingredients: You can find these ingredients. They’re real, normal ingredients! I am elated!  In fact, most of them are right here in my pantry, and probably in yours as well.  And if they’re not, she offers many alternatives as well as advice on where to find them.

Attitude: Nowhere in the entire book does Katie give you the impression that you need to attain a certain level of “smartness” to feel good about how you feed your family.  She offers a gentle guide to making indulgent food better for you, but gives you options for wherever you are in your journey.  I love that about her.

But what about the recipes?

The recipes assuaged my cravings beautifully, and the family was happy, too.  Here are some quotes from the mouths of my children after eating desserts from Smart Sweets:

“These are fantastic!”

“May I have more…please?”

“I love these. Make them again!”

“This is a great flavor combination.”

“Don’t bother baking them. Let’s just eat the dough.”

cookie_cartoonOne anonymous person who is not a honey fan did not care for the honey flavor in the honey-molasses cookies that the rest of us loved…and then that anonymous person ate the rest of the batch after the family went to bed.  That anonymous person’s words were thereby negated by that anonymous person’s action.

We did have a texture-related incident with a pudding recipe involving arrowroot and forgetting to stir, in which case the words “worms” and “boogers” showed up, but that was the fault of the distracted stirrer (the crazy craver mentioned earlier), and not the recipe.  The flavor itself was great, and it was eaten up…boogers and all.  Had I stirred, all would have been well.

Enough talk!  Do you want to try a recipe from Smart Sweets?  Of course you do!

Download this free recipe for Apple Crisp.

Enough baking! Do you want to win a copy of the ebook Smart Sweets? Of course you do!

Giveaway Closed

Win a Copy of Smart Sweets

To enter, do any or all of the following, and leave a separate comment for each entry:

TN_9-12-07_50cSign up for my newsletter.  Leave a comment that you did so.  If you are already a subscriber, leave a comment saying so, and you will be entered.


TN_11-12-07_27cCheck out the Smart Sweets table of contents.  Come back here and leave a comment about a recipe or anything else that catches your eye. (Did you notice the bonus recipe?)

TN_9-12-07_48cShare this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or both, and leave a comment for each share. (Feel free to like The Simple Homemaker or follow TheSimpleHome while you’re sharing, although they won’t earn you an entry.)

TN_11-12-07_26gBake the apple crisp and bring it to my house. On second thought, that probably borders on bribery.  Best skip that entry.


If you would rather not wait, you can buy your own copy, download it instantly, and use it today to bake Christmas goodies. The Simple Homemaker readers can use code SIMPLE25 to get a 25% discount on Smart Sweets until December 26.  (It pays to be a TSHM reader!) If you then win the free book, Katie will refund your purchase. (Isn’t she great?!)

Buy Smart Sweets

Happy (and smart) eating! I’m off to make the classic butter cake and eat more pumpkin cookies, all in the name of doing a thorough review!  It’s a tough job.

TSHM disclosure statement: Katie gave me a free review copy of Smart Sweets. (Thanks, Katie!)  That in no way influenced my review or opinion of the book.  (If it had, would I have mentioned the boogers?) In fact, I’m going to buy one of her other books, Healthy Snacks To Go, based both on how much I like this book and also on the Healthy Snacks To Go table of contents and reviews.  The links in this post are my affiliate links. If you purchase a book from Katie through one of my links, I will receive a small commission.  I will not buy corn dogs with it.

Giveaway legaleze: This giveaway is for one ebook (not a hard copy book), which will be available for download.  The giveaway ends Friday, December 16, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST.  It is open to anyone over age 13 the world over.  This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Twitter.  The winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by email and on this blog.  The winner will have 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen…sorry!