Creative Ways with Whole Grains

Okay, so by now you most likely have read one of my past posts on Craftsy. I have to say, as I continue to take their classes and share them with you, I am more and more impressed.  I didn’t expect to find such an extraordinary resource. But it is really an invaluable wealth of information and I am learning so much along the way!

Click here to see the class I took with Craftsy and take it yourself for FREE! {Scroll down to read about my experience with this class}

Creative Ways With Whole Grains

I have to be honest and say that I have been intimidated by some of these whole grains for quite a while. For example, I would see all of these amazing dishes with Quinoa and I just wasn’t sure how to put a dish like that together. I also was concerned that it didn’t taste as good as it looked. Just recently after taking Creative Ways with Whole Grains, I have ventured out into making some more “creative dishes” and I have been pleasantly surprised. They are delicious!! And even better than that….they are soooooo easy!! This class is guided by Cooking Light executive chef Anna Bullett and has such a wonderful emphasis on healthy cooking full of flavor! She teaches how to cook some delicious meals like Wheat berry and Goat Cheese Salad, Wild Rice Stuffing, Breakfast Quinoa (Soooo yummy!), and Risotto with Mushrooms.  Anna also includes tips on some of the trickiest aspects of cooking whole grains like ratio, preparing and storage. She shares some make-ahead meals that you can keep for grabbing a quick healthy lunch as well. You do not want to miss this class!!

Craftsy’s Creative Ways with Whole Grains helped me to feel so more confident in my ability to make these different dishes. I am so thankful that it forced me to step out of my comfort zone of cooking a bit. One of my favorite aspects of the Craftsy classes that is so well demonstrated in this class is the thorough presentation. Anna covers it all so you won’t be second-guessing yourself.

Creative Ways With Whole Grains

Like I have said over and over again, one of the best things about taking the class online, besides the valuable information, was the ability to start the class and pause the class whenever I needed to. When the kids were in bed, or when I had a few minutes during the day to spare, I would sit down and watch a bit of the course in the comfort of my own home. It was so convenient! Craftsy is the perfect solution for us busy moms who want to learn, but don’t have time to leave the house and attend a class.

Here is a little more info about Craftsy:

Craftsy offers online crafting classes, taught by world renowned instructors who love the craft as much as you do. Craftsy classes are online, so they are available to you anytime you want for as long as you want, there are no scheduled class times, so you can enjoy them entirely on your own schedule. Each class is taught by an acclaimed instructor and consists of several hours of HD-quality video content… but Craftsy classes are much more than just a video!

While taking a Craftsy class, you can:

Ask your instructor questions, upload photos, and get personalized responses

Participate in discussions with your classmates

Access supporting class materials – including recipes and helpful tips & tricks

Bookmark your favorite moments in the video so that you can easily re-watch them and take notes that you can refer back to anytime

The great thing about Craftsy is that there is a class for everyone! You can learn knitting, photography, cake decorating, sewing, cooking and more!

If you are ready to check out Craftsy —->> You can take the Creative Ways with Whole Grains for FREE by clicking here!


Ruth Schwenk

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Craftsy. The opinions and text are all mine.

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for October 12–25


This month’s meal plans feature delicious family-friendly Whole30 recipes that are gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free. What’s Whole30? It’s a free nutritional program that will help you jumpstart your health and get started (or make better progress) on your healthy living journey. It’s also a great way to help you to identify potentially problematic foods that may be sabotaging your health. I’d love to have you join us and take charge of your health one healthy bite at a time!

Welcome to The Better Mom Whole Food GF Meal Plan. Our free bi-weekly menus open into a convenient pdf that includes links to each of the gluten-free recipes featured making it easy to access them with just a simple click.

Once you click on the graphics below, you can easily save these gluten-free menus to your desktop for easy access anytime you need them. Then, simply click on the links within the meal plan pdf to gain instant access to the gluten-free recipes.

New format! We’ve streamlined our weekly meal plans to focus more on our gluten-free, grain-free family-friendly dinner menu, while still providing several recommendations for healthy breakfasts and lunches too.

In addition, if you opt to subscribe to The Nourishing Home, you will receive The Nourishing Home Weekly Newsletter which includes a complete gluten-free, grain-free meal planning kit. Each week’s GF Meal Plan Kit contains a gluten-free, grain-free meal plan along with a Weekly Shopping List and a Prep Day Chart featuring helpful tips that make putting healthy meals together a snap. For details about the free Gluten-Free Meal Plan Kit for subscribers only, please visit The Nourishing Home.

Bi-Weekly Whole Food GF Meal Plan for October 12–18:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Oct 12-18 Meal Plan TNH

Bi-Weekly Whole Food GF Meal Plan for October 19–25:
(To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, once you download the pdf, simply click on the links to gain instant access to the recipes featured.)
Oct 19-25 Meal Plan TNH

In addition to the gluten-free meal plans above, we’re pleased to provide you with a free meal planning template perfect for creating your own custom meal plans. Select from the following two options:
• Meal plan template PDF

• Meal plan template EXCEL

To learn more about meal planning, please check out my FREE Video Course: Mastering Meal PlanningMy hope is that this will be a great resource
 and encouragement for you whether you’re just getting started with meal planning, or are a seasoned expert.

Always a treat to share healthy meals with you! Let’s give thanks to the Lord for providing us the opportunity to nourish our families in this way!

Joyfully Serving HIM, Kelly at The Nourishing Home

What’s For Dinner? My Quest to Bring Joy Back to the Table

dinner post tbm

Not long ago my children and I met some new friends at the park. As moms getting to know one another typically do, we shared about where we grew up, how we handled the challenges of parenting, what was making us laugh, and little quirks about our kids. As we sat on the bench chatting, my new friend leaned in and with a look of severity said, “I’m sure you can relate to the one thing that I’m really struggling with: my children need to eat. . . . like multiple times every day.” Be still my heart. We had only known each other for such a short time, how was she able to see into my soul?

All jesting aside, there are times when my desire to nourish my family with healthy, hearty and beautiful meals can be really overwhelming. In seasons of welcoming a new baby or caring for an aging relative, moving or just getting up to speed with a change in the school schedule, meal planning  can feel nearly impossible. As my children have grown older, I have come to realize that there really is no slowing down, there will always be a transition that I must weather well, a crises to avert, a difficulty to overcome- or even just busy seasons with activities to navigate.

There will always be challenges, and yet my desire to light candles, to love on and to connect with the members of my family is unchanging. The most important thing we can bring to the table is a heart for fellowship with one another!

Sitting at the table is one of my favorite times of our day as a family, but often the planning required to get there zaps my joy. I have tried exactly one million and one ways to meal plan and while there have been seasons I have accomplished this task quite well, it mostly just drains me and I am left  with questions about how to make meals fit all the needs of our family. When should we have leftovers? Should I have made a double batch of that? Are we eating too many calories? Is there an easier way to do this? 

This summer, after an extended period of kitchen blahs, I was determined to bring JOY back to my dinner table. I knew I needed a plan. Without a meal plan, our time at the table falls apart and we end up eating pancakes or scrambled eggs. True story. So, exhausted from travel, lacking inspiration and facing an empty fridge, I decided to start by printing off  the Better Mom Whole Food Meal Plan. After a few months of seeing it make a big difference in our home, I wanted to share how it has impacted my family with you, because I know I am not the only woman out there who has no idea how to answer when the kids ask, “Mom, what’s for dinner?”

If you feel unorganized like I did and don’t know where to begin, if you long to be able to focus on relationships instead of logistics, can I encourage you to give this meal plan a try? There is a sweet offering of grace in this meal ministry and I want to shout it from the rooftops because it has anchored our family to having sweet time together at a time when it seemed like being overwhelmed might just win.

Kelly from The Nourishing Home has put together an absolutely beautiful and entirely FREE meal plan for The Better Mom Readers. Really, absolutely, for always and forever FREE!  She has links to all the recipes used for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a pdf shopping list for the week and most of all- a heart for moms. This ministry has freed me to love on my family and not get lost in the logistics of the kitchen. It is practical and so very valuable!

-Every recipe is made with whole food, with gluten free and paleo options.

-Each menu plan utilizes leftovers, and indicates time saving measures for meal preparation (like grilling up extra chicken at dinner time to use in tomorrow’s salad).

-Careful thought about balancing out your plate with flavor, color and nutrition abounds in these meal plans!

-Every other Saturday the menus, with full recipe links are posted at The Better Mom. These are absolutely complete and absolutely FREE!

-Subscribers to The Nourishing Home (Also a free service!) additionally receive shopping lists and other recipe extras.

The next Bi-weekly meal plan will be available at The Better Mom tomorrow! I hope it is a practical encouragement to you and that your coming week is filled with yummy food and precious time with your family!



Celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day

johnny appleseed

John Chapman, often called Johnny Appleseed, was born on September 26, 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts. His father, Nathaniel Chapman, was a farmer and a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Sadly, John’s mother died of tuberculosis during the war. His father apprenticed him to a local apple orchard.

John took his knowledge and expanded the business to parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, including the northern counties of present day West Virginia, becoming an American legend in the process.

Remember Johnny Appleseed with apple-themed activities this week.

~ Visit an apple orchard as a family, and pick up some crisp apples for munching later.

~ Make some caramel apples and roll them in chopped peanuts, coconut, colorful sprinkles, or mini-chocolate chips.

~ Buy several varieties of apples and slice them up for a blind taste test for your family. Members can vote on which ones they like the most. Try ones like Gala, Honeycrisp. Pink Lady, Braeburn, Fuji or Cortland.

~ Or try your hand at one of these great apple recipes that are beyond the normal apple pie or crisp.

Apple Pasta Salad

1 bag cole slaw mix

2 cups tri-color pasta

2 apples coarsely chopped (your choice of apple)

½ cup dried cranberries

4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into small bites

coleslaw dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool. Mix pasta with cole slaw, cut apples, craisins and cheddar cheese. Add dressing to your taste. Chill and serve.

Harvest Pork and Apples

1 cup apple cider or juice

1-1/2 to 2 pound pork loin

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

salt & pepper to taste

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed

½ cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon dried sage

Brown pork loin in vegetable oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once browned, place in a greased slow cooker, along with the apple cider. Mix apples and squash with the spices and herbs and place around pork loin. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.

Blessings as you celebrate,

Karen Ehman

Everday.Confetti.coverFor more fun ways to celebrate creatively with your family and friends throughout the year, check out Karen’s latest book Everyday Confetti: Your Year-Round Guide for Celebrating Hopidays and Special Occasions.

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