Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products

Real Deals: This Week's Sales and Discounts on Natural Products for the Week of 11/11

This week’s top deals:

bliss_box

Especially for Canadians!  Save 5% Off All Orders  Take a Fancy Chocolates and Sweets Fair Trade, Organic and made from the Bean!  Take a Fancy has a deal exclusively for our readers!  You can save 5% off all orders now until December 1, 2014.  Just enter discount code REALDEALS when you order.  

Popular items include salted caramels and gooey pecans.  Check out their featured chocolate from Masala Chai, Tropical Sea, Ancient Traveler, Earl Grey’s Fancy and More!  For destinations outside of Canada please email directly at takeafancy@gmail.com

Stephanie’s note: Our family made a commitment a while back to only buy fair-trade chocolate. Sometimes, the options get a little boring. When we tried a selection from Take a Fancy, we were back to chocolate heaven. Soooo good.

Abe's

Up to 40% Off + FREE Shipping On Select brands of natural spices, seasonings, sauces and mixes at Abe’s Market

plum

As low as $11.54-$13.32 ($0.96-$1.11/pouch) Plum Organics Mighty 4 Essential Nutrition Blend Pouch, Kale Strawberry Amaranth Greek Yogurt, 4 Ounce (Pack of 12) is on sale for $17.76.  Save 20% after your coupon is applied to the first delivery of this subscription (you must be logged in). Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

bob's

As low as $10.30-$11.51 ($2.56- $2.88/ 27-Oz Bag) Bob’s Red Mill Corn Popcorn White, 27-Ounce (Pack of 4) is on sale for $12.12.  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.  

oil

 Just $17.56 Viva Labs Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 32 Ounce is on sale. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

kitchen aid

Just $419.99 $279.78  KitchenAid KV25GOXER Professional 5 Plus 5-Quart Stand Mixer, Empire Red  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.   

trimmerJust $69.99 $34.99 Panasonic ER-GB40-S Cordless Moustache & Beard Trimmer Wet/Dry with 19 Adjustable Settings.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.   

doll chairJust $47.90 $19.00 KidKraft Lil’ Doll High Chair.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.   

leap

Just $19.99 $9.99  Lowest Price To-Date!  LeapFrog LeapReader Deluxe Writing Workbook: Learn to Write Letters with Mr. Pencil Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

tinker

Just $44.99 $19.99  Lowest Price To-Date! Tinkertoy Transit Building Set.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

tractor

 Just $19.99 $12.99 Lowest Price To-Date! Green Toys Tractor Vehicle, Orange Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.  

shapeJust $19.99 $12.99 Lowest Price To-Date!  Green Toys Shape Sorter Baby Toy  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.   

legoJust $39.99 $29.99 LEGO Friends 41037 Stephanie’s Beach House.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.   

(Hat tip to Jungle Deals & Steals for the lowest price to-date deals!)

FREE Kindle ebooks:

sugar free

Sugar Free Diet: Sugar Free Cookbook With Best Tasting Low Carb Recipes 

kick

Kick Chemicals To The Curb!: How To Make Natural, Healthy Cleaners For Your Home 
 create

Creative crafting (52 Brilliant Ideas) 
organize

Organize Yourself Starting Today! 63 Effective Strategies that Actually Work and Help You Immediately Take Control of Your Life, Your Mind and Your Future
 antibiotics

Do Herbal Antibiotics and Antivirals Actually Work? The Truth About How to Naturally Heal and Protect Yourself with the Use of Herbal Remedies

This week’s best coupons:

Real Deals: This Week's Sales and Discounts on Natural Products for the Week of 11/11

Find a deal you love? Share it! Pin this week’s post, tweet it, or share on Facebook.

Want to get these deals in your inbox each week?

Sign up for our once-a-week “real deals” email. It comes out each Tuesday morning.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!
About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

How to Make Your Own Furniture Polish

How to Make Your Own Furniture Polish {KeeperoftheHome.org}

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer

Always one to look for safe and simple ways to clean my home, I was really excited to finally discover a homemade recipe for furniture polish.

For years I had used aerosol dusting sprays, simply because it was the way I had been taught to dust. Only after I started making healthier choices and greening my cleaning did I search for a recipe for homemade furniture polish.

What I found and tweaked is so.very.simple. Really.

As you start preparing for holiday get-togethers this year, try this homemade furniture polish. It takes just a moment to whip up and is completely natural. Chances are you’ll never be tempted to go back to manufactured sprays!

How to Make Your Own Furniture Polish {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Homemade furniture polish

Ingredients

1/8 cup fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Method

Squeeze half of a lemon into a small bowl. Add olive oil and a splash of white vinegar.

Whisk the three ingredients together.

Rub the polish on wooden furniture with a soft dusting cloth.

To avoid an oily surface, really rub the polish into the wood. You may want to wait a few hours for any oiliness to absorb before putting objects on top of the polished wood.

What do you prefer use as a safe furniture polish?

Weekend Links

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Links for this week:

How I stopped yelling at my kids… & how it’s changed our home @ Money Saving Mom 

November Grace @ In the Heart of My Home 

Maple-Glazed Gingerbread Bundt Cake Recipe (Grain-Free) @ Red and Honey

How To Make A Plan so that Nothing Makes You Feel Worthless This Time of Year @ (in)courage 

Reclaiming Hashtag Blessed @ Intentional By Grace 

Savory Chicken & Veggie Bites @ The Nourishing Home 

A Simple Place to Live @ Be More With Less 

To Build (or Crush) a Dream @ Hands Free Mama 

The Ultimate Christian Living Bundle!

Who among us doesn’t want to lead a life worth emulating? With great kids, a loving marriage, a successful career or business and a closer, faith-filled walk with the Lord. But for many of us, making that a reality is big challenge! Am I right? 

I am so excited to share this HUGE bundle of fabulous resources with you! Our family loves sharing all of our Ultimate Bundles with you because of the rich resources that we hope will encourage you in your walk with God and in your family.

This particular bundle is totally new to us. You’ve seen our Healthy Living or Homemaking bundles, but this is actually an entire bundle focused on Christian living marriage, devotionals, finances, parenting, encouraging fiction, a Christian classics series, children’s books (even the Singing Bible!). They include books by popular authors like Nancy Leigh Demoss, Tony Evans, Gary Chapman and more.

You can see the entire list of ebooks, resources and bonuses included right here on the website, so go ahead, check it out, and grab yours before they’re gone for good (sale ends Monday night)! And then… happy reading!

November Sponsors

Are you looking for companies that share the same values you do? Here at Keeper of the Home we curate a fabulous selection of companies that fit well with our audience. Here are our sponsors for this month!

Plan to Eat | Eating at Home is About to Get Easier

Lilla Rose | Our product line centers around unique, functional, and well made hair jewelry

Baggie Washer | Wash Reusable Baggies in the Dishwasher!

The Healthy Lunchbox | Sandwich-free Secrets to Packing a Real Food Lunch

The Ultimate Christian Living Bundle | Build your FAITH! Strengthen your FAMILY! Stretch your FINANCES!

Tropical Traditions | America’s Source for Coconut Oil

What are you thankful for this week?

Rustic Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Rustic Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes - from KeeperoftheHome.org #realfoodholiday

I suppose “rustic” is just a fancy way of saying that I make mashed potatoes with the skins on.

Why keep the skins, you ask? Not only does it make the name sound fancier, it also makes for a more nutritious mashed potato. The skins house most of the nutrients in the humble potato, including:

  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin C
  • potatssium
  • iron
  • zinc
  • phytonutrients
  • fiber

red potatoes on counter

In fact, that fiber is especially helping for slowing down the quick carbohydrate burst that comes from starchy potatoes, making them easier on your body and especially your blood sugar with the skin left on.

That, and the fact that I really dislike peeling potatoes, so claiming better nutrition seems like an easy out. Just kidding. Mostly.

(And seriously, if y’all really hate potato skins, then just peel them and carry on with the recipe. It won’t hurt my feelings.)

You may also note that my recipe contains butter, whole milk and sour cream, and I still consider it to be healthy.

It’s too long to go into here, but I firmly believe that our bodies need good, old-fashioned saturated fats from dairy just like great-grandma grew up on. The source matters, and so I choose grass-fed and raw as much as possible, but the most important thing is sticking with traditional, and not modern, fats!

Rustic Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes - from KeeperoftheHome.org #realfoodholiday

Rustic Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 8

  • 5 lbs potatoes (I prefer a yellow or red potato, but anything is fine), chopped into large chunks. If you’re keeping the skins on, I recommend organic.
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter — grass fed is ideal, as is raw/cultured
  • 1 cup dairy — I like to use 1/2 cup sour cream (or creme fraiche) with 1/2 cup whole, raw milk. But you could use all milk, all sour cream, buttermilk, etc.
  • 1-2 heads of roasted garlic cloves, minced or pressed (personally, we like more than less– I put two whole heads of garlic, about 16 cloves, into mine!)

Dairy-Free Variation: Substitute coconut oil for the butter. Instead of using milk and sour cream, you could use a mixture of chicken broth and coconut milk, or just omit the coconut milk and use all chicken broth (but you won’t want quite as much, since it is thinner than dairy). This will give it a rich flavor and you probably won’t even miss the dairy.

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Put a large pot of water on to boil (I use a small stockpot).

roasted garlic for potatoes

This is what the garlic look like after being roasted. See how I’ve opened them by cutting off just the tips?

2. Snip the top off the garlic head(s) (but leave the peel on). Put them on a tray or uncovered pan and let them roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until soft and fragrant and the peels are brown on the edges.

3. Boil the potatoes in their skins until they are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork (about 20-30 minutes). Don’t leave potatoes boiling or sitting in hot water longer than necessary, because they will develop more of a gluey consistency. Best to drain them straight away, even if you won’t get to them for a little while.

salt butter potatoes

blending potatoes
4. Add the butter to the pot until melted. Add in sour cream (milk, creme fraiche, broth, etc.), milk, salt, and garlic. Using either a potato masher or a hand mixer, begin to mash the potatoes and mix in the butter. I don’t like mine super-smooth, but you can beat them until smooth if you like them that way. It helps to give it a few minutes to let the flavors shine, especially the garlic.

Rustic Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes - from KeeperoftheHome.org #realfoodholiday

Looking for more delicious, real food recipes to fill up your Thanksgiving table?

 

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Over the next few days, this fabulous group of bloggers will be sharing Thanksgiving-inspired recipes and ideas to help you enjoy a Real Food Holiday! Check out the hashtag #realfoodholiday for more inspiration!

What will you be serving for Thanksgiving this year?

3 Easy-to-Make Centerpieces Under $5

 3 Easy-to-Make Centerpieces Under $5 {KeeperoftheHome.org}

By Andrea Green, Contributing Writer

With the holidays right around the corner, many of us will be hosting friends and family for dinners, desserts, games, and festivities.

First, you’ll want to enlist the help of your kiddos. Head out on a nature walk and you can gather up the natural supplies together.

These centerpieces require you to gather up colorful fall leaves and/or pinecones. The cost of these is free. The memories you’ll make with your kids is priceless.

3 Easy-to-Make Centerpieces Under $5 {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Leaf Votive Centerpiece – $3.98

Supplies Needed:

Filled votive: $1.49
Rubber band: Came on daily paper, so FREE
Raffia ribbon: $2.49
Colorful fall leaves: FREE

3 Easy-to-Make Centerpieces Under $5 {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Wrap the rubber band around the filled votive. Tuck leaves into the rubber band, then tie raffia ribbon around the votive to hide the rubber band. That’s it!

3 Easy-to-Make Centerpieces Under $5 {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Pinecone Centerpiece: $3.98

Supplies Needed:

Tray with sides: Look for anything around your home – even a cookie sheet – and use it FREE
Glass vase: $1.99 at my Goodwill
Candle: $1.99 at my Goodwill (used but still most of the candle remained)
Pinecones: FREE

3 Easy-to-Make Centerpieces Under $5 {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Place candle inside glass vase. Place vase in center of tray. Surround the vase with pinecones. It’s quick and easy but it makes a big impact in the center of your table.

3 Easy-to-Make Centerpieces Under $5 {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Popcorn and Pea Centerpiece – $3.48

 

Supplies Needed:

Green split peas: $0.50
Popcorn: $0.50
Filled votive: $1.49
Glass flower vase: $0.99 at my Goodwill

3 Easy-to-Make Centerpieces Under $5 {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Layer the popcorn and peas in the glass flower vase. Tuck the candle into the peas and popcorn. This is made easier if you have a funnel. Trust me when I say kids love to pour the popcorn and peas down the funnel.

3 Easy-to-Make Centerpieces Under $5 {KeeperoftheHome.org}

For one more practical and inexpensive decorating idea, consider welcoming fall with edible decorations.

The holidays should be about enjoying family and friends. These simple centerpieces require little effort and little money, so you can focus on what matters: the people you love.

3 Easy-to-Make Centerpieces Under $5 {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products

Real Deals: This Week's Sales and Discounts on Natural Products for the week of 11/4

This week’s top deals:

burt

As low as $5.94-$6.64 Burt’s Bees Fabulously Fresh Peppermint & Rosemary Body Wash, 12 Fluid Ounces is on sale for $6.99.  Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

7th 
As low as $21.17-$24.36 ($0.44- $0.51/roll) Seventh Generation Bathroom Tissue, 2-ply, 300 Sheets, 12-Count (Pack of 4) is on sale for $31.96. Save $6 after your coupon is applied to the first delivery of this subscription (you must be logged in). Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

runa

As low as $12.94-$14.79  Runa Amazon Guayusa Spice Tea, Organic Cinnamon – Lemongrass, 1 Pound is on sale for $18.49.  Save 15% when you clip the coupon below the product description (you must be logged in). Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

abe's

Up to 25% Off Select Brands of Chocolate at Abe’s Market. Sale ends TODAY (November 4, 2014)

 

Thinking of Christmas gifts…

minecraft

Save $2  Just $32.99  LEGO Minecraft, Micro World.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

green toys

List price $27.99  Just $18.19  Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet Floral Arrangement Playset.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

doodleLowest price to-date!  Crayola Doodle Magic Lap Desk is on sale for $24.42 (reusable art supplies = more eco-friendly art, plus less mess for Mom :).  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

doll

  List price $33.24 Just $$29.99  HABA Clara Doll.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.   

blend

Lowest Prices Ever!  Certified Refurbished Blendtec Blenders an additional $30 Off + FREE Shipping.  Holiday Promo November 1-December 1, 2014.  While supplies last.  Total Blender Classic Certified Refurbished $279.95 with your additional $30 off get it for just $249.95! (new $399.95)  Or check out the Designer Series Certified Refurbished $379.95 with your additional $30 off get it for just $349.95 (new $479.99).

crock

List price $49.99 Just $29.99  Crock-Pot SCCPVL600S Cook’ N Carry 6-Quart Oval Manual Portable Slow Stainless Steel Cooker.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. juicer 

List price $149.99 On sale for $46.99  Chefs Star Juicer Wide Mouth Fruit & Vegetable Juice Extractor – Stainless Steel.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

tool belt

List price $90.10 Just $64.95  Milwaukee 49-17-0190 Tool Belt   Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. (Do a lot of DIY projects? Or have a hubby that does?)

FREE Kindle eBooks:

(Note: Prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing)

detox teas

The Ultimate Detox Teas – Discover Herbal Teas To Cleanse Your Body, Improve Your Health And Feel Great (Herbal Teas, Detox, Detox Cleanse, Detox Drinks, … Body, Detoxification, Drink, Diet, Recipes) [Kindle Edition]  

secret

The Best Secrets of Natural Remedies 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Natural Remedies to Prevent and Cure Illnesses, Cold and Flu for Your Family (Herbal … Cures, Prevent Diseases,Natural Remedies) [Kindle Edition] 

7

The 7 Habits That Will Change Your Life Forever [Kindle Edition]

kabob

30 Great Kabob Recipes [Kindle Edition]

penny

Penny to a Million: Junior Entrepreneur Guide [Kindle Edition]

stretch

Keep Calm and Stretch: 44 Stretching Exercises To Increase Flexibility, Relieve Pain, Prevent Injury, And Stay Young! [Kindle Edition]  

This week’s best coupons:


Real Deals: This Week's Sales and Discounts on Natural Products for the week of 11/4

Find a deal you love? Share it! Pin this week’s post, tweet it, or share on Facebook.

Want to get these deals in your inbox each week?

Sign up for our once-a-week “real deals” email. It comes out each Tuesday morning.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!
About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

Cinnamon Apple Salad Recipe: A Perfect Holiday Side Dish

 Cinnamon Walnut Apple Salad {KeeperOfTheHome.org} By Emily McClements, Contributing Writer

My mom is a great cook. She grew up on a farm in Northwestern Ohio with vegetables from the garden, fruit from their fruit trees, fresh milk from their cow with real cream and homemade butter, eggs and meat from the neighbors’ chickens, and fresh beef from their cattle. She learned how to cook from her mom, my grandma, who was also an amazing cook, and then she passed her love of fresh, local, and homemade food on to my sisters and me.

I remember a lot of things about the food we ate in our family when I was growing up. When I was younger we had a garden in our backyard, and even after it became too much to keep up, my mom frequented the Farmer’s Market once or twice a week to feed us local, in-season fruits and veggies. I grew up loving beets and lima beans; two things I still can’t get my husband or kids to touch.

Over the past few years, as I try to get a nourishing meal on the table for my family every night, I’ve realized my mom had more than a few tricks up her sleeve for quick and simple meals when I was growing up. One of my favorite memories, breakfast for dinner where my dad cooked the pancake batter into animal shapes for my sisters and me, was actually a night off from cooking for her. Or “pizza boats” were really just an attempt to throw together a quick dinner using leftover buns and spaghetti meat sauce with a sprinkle of cheese on top, and popped into the toaster oven.

Then there was one of my favorites, apple salad, which seemed like a treat to us, but I now realize was just a simple, and delicious, way to serve us fruit in the winter time. Now I serve apple salad to my own family, with a few just a few small changes from my mom’s original “recipe,” to make it a little healthier. It’s still an easy way to serve fruit as a side dish, and this recipe is perfect to include in your upcoming holiday meals too!

Cinnamon Walnut Apple Salad {KeeperOfTheHome.org} 

 

Cinnamon Apple Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4-6 smaller apples, or 3-4 large apples
  • 2 bananas
  • red or green grapes, halved (optional)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • cinnamon to taste

Cinnamon Walnut Apple Salad {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Directions

1. Mix yogurt with maple syrup and vanilla in small bowl. Chop walnuts. Set aside.
2. Chop apples and place into a large serving bowl.
3. Sprinkle apples with a few shakes of cinnamon, to taste.
4. Pour yogurt mixture onto apples and stir to combine.
5. Cut up bananas into pieces on top of apples. Add chopped walnuts and grapes, if using, to bowl and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately.

A few notes

You can also use vanilla yogurt in place of the plain yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla mixture.  My mom would add marshmallows as well, and I think that’s why we thought it was a treat. I leave the marshmallows out now, but if you have some homemade ones, it might be fun to add them for a special occasion. The yogurt helps to keep the apples and bananas from turning brown once cut, but it’s still best to serve this as soon as it’s made. It keeps nicely in the fridge if you have leftovers, but it doesn’t look as appealing after sitting for a while. Enjoy! Cinnamon Walnut Apple Salad {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Did you have a favorite food or meal growing up that you realize now was just a quick trick or a shortcut to serving a healthy meal? Share your favorites with us in the comments!

Weekend Links

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Links for this week:

The Ministry of Mums @ (in)courage 

Why Women Don’t Need to Be Ashamed of Needing to Feel Beautiful @ Lisa-Jo Baker

Five-Minute Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake (with Coconut Flour) @ Red and Honey

Does simple living always mean “less”? @ The Art of Simple 

The Art of a Distraction Free Life @ Be More with Less 

Rustic Honey Caramel Apples @ GNOWFGLINS 

The Gift of Skepticism @ Shaun Groves 

3 Creative Ways to Love Kids Through Hard Spots @ A Holy Experience

Also, congratulations to Thomas M. who won our Blendtec giveaway! You can pick up your own Blendtec on their website and be sure to take a look at their certified refurbished models that give a nice discount but don’t compromise on quality!

What does choosing to be happy look like in your life?

5-Ingredient Southwestern Enchiladas

5-Ingredient Southwestern Enchiladas  {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

By Rachel Marie, Contributing Writer

I see a lot of friends asking in social media about dinner ideas – and I, for one, can always use more ideas.

One night a friend posted that she was having chicken enchiladas so I clicked over to the link, especially since I love Mexican food. The recipe had cream of chicken soup; I don’t normally use that since most of the canned varieties have MSG or even hidden MSG, which gives me terrible headaches.

But I wasn’t going to give up. Surely I could make a real food version. And I tried it!

This recipe only has 5 ingredients and has become one of my go-to’s for a fast dinner or even to bring to a potluck over the years.

5-Ingredient Southwestern Enchiladas

Ingredients

5-Ingredient Southwestern Enchiladas  {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Method

  1. Gather ingredients, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook chicken. Sometimes I like to put all wet ingredients into the Crock-Pot and let it cook for a couple of hours.
  3. Grease a baking dish and line the bottom with tortillas. (A square dish makes enchiladas thicker, a rectangle dish makes them thinner.)
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except cheddar and tortillas)and place spoonfuls over the first layer of tortillas thoroughly. Top with cheese.
  5. Repeat steps until you have a final layer topped with cheese (should be about 3 to 4 layers).
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden on top.
  7. Enjoy!

5-Ingredient Southwestern Enchiladas  {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

It’s always great when I can find easy dinners, especially if they don’t have a ton of ingredients.

Here’s a list of dinners made with 5 ingredients or less (not counting the salt):

What are your go-to dinners?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

How I’m Learning to Make Incredible Artisan Bread (and a Giveaway So You Can, Too!)

How I'm Learning to Make Incredible Artisan Bread (and a Giveaway So You Can, Too!)

Of all the foods we ate while on our trip, one that stands out most to me was the bread in France.

It didn’t matter where we were. Rural town or large city, we would seek out a local bakery and get a fresh loaf each day.

Sometimes we chose the large, rounded loaves with a cross etched in the middle. Other times a simple, crusty baguette. There was sourdough, and chewy white loaves, and hearty multigrain breads.

So many options, but what they all had in common was that their traditional baking methods made those few ingredients – flour, water, salt, and maybe yeast – absolutely sing with the richest flavor.

Every nuance of the grain came out, in a sweet and almost nutty, hearty flavor that you just don’t get in regular sandwich loaves from the store. Their flavor comes from the added ingredients, and often from a bit of sweetener. The difference with the bread in France (and really, most of Europe) was that the bakers had learned to coax the bread’s true flavor to come out of hiding.

I’ve been baking bread, on and off, for a long time. And I can make a not-too-shabby loaf. But it doesn’t taste like the artisanal loaves we ate in France.

When I was talking several months back with Craftsy about which courses I’d like to review (you can read my knife skills review here), I was immediately drawn to the Artisan Bread Making course.

As much as I adore a superb, hand-crafted loaf of artisanal bread, I really can’t afford to buy it very often and truthfully, it’s pretty hard to find high quality bread where I live. Which means learning to make it myself was probably my best bet.

Learning to bake Artisan Bread

I began the course several weeks ago, on a slow afternoon where I had time to sit down and really take in the instructions. Lessons 2 and 3 (Supplies, Definitions & Steps, and then Preparing the Dough) were really important for me, because I wanted to deeply understand the science and art behind what makes a bread really great, instead of just good.

The instructor is a professional baker and instructor named Peter Reinhart, and it’s clear that not only is he passionate about the art of bread making, but he understands it inside out. I appreciated his careful and thorough explanations. He demonstrated the tools that would be most helpful in my bread making, but also offered alternative ways to do things if I didn’t have all the right things on hand (which I didn’t).

Screenshot 2014-10-27 22.12.58

Because I really wanted to learn the most basic, foundational techniques first, I started with a Lean or Straight Dough, which is simply flour, water, yeast and salt. This is what you’d use to make your basic baguettes or boules (rounded loaves), as well as a batard (somewhere between the long, skinny baguette and the rounded boule).

It seems common sense to me now, but I had never realized that each of these breads would be made with the same basic dough, but that it was the size and shape of the bread that affected the crust and the softness or chewiness. If you’re all about that crust, you want a baguette. If you really enjoy that lovely, softer texture (the crumb), you’ll want to make a boule so you have more soft interior and less crust. Like both equally? Go for a batard, to get the best of both worlds.

Making the dough was both easier and more complex than I thought. It was easy in that there were so few ingredients to measure and no heavy mixing or kneading required. I loved that.

It was a bit more complex in that it required me to set a timer and keep going back to my dough every hour to stretch and roll it for a few minutes before allowing it to sit again. That said, I think that once you get the hang of it, the process wouldn’t feel complex but would just be a quick pause that you take as you go about your day.

My understanding of the why behind this method is that rather than the constant kneading, you very gently pull the dough to work the gluten but without overworking it. You’re allowing the gluten to develop very naturally, and this contributes to the uneven holes that develop, which give it that true artisan look and which also allows the rich flavors to fully develop.

Either way, I made it through these steps and came to the shaping. His instructions were so clear and easy to follow. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how to shape any of these three types of loaves from now on!

We chose to make two small boules, at least for our first attempt (but next time, I’d like to try a batard).

Here’s our finished loaf:

whole boule loave out of oven artisan bread

I know that I made a couple of small mistakes, just by not following along quite carefully enough. I didn’t realize until after that I had mistakenly allowed the loaf to finish rising on my flat surface instead of in the bowl as he showed in the videos, and I think that contributed to a slighter flatter loaf than I might have had otherwise.

Also, I cheated slightly, and instead of using all organic unbleached wheat flour, I used half Einkorn flour (for those who have never heard of it before, Einkorn is an ancient form of wheat). I was curious to see how it would work and if the gluten would develop well since Einkorn has lower gluten levels than regular wheat, but it still seemed to work just fine.

There weren’t specific directions for the exact baking time, only instructions for what to look for (color of loaf, sounding hollow when tapped, and an internal temperature). I don’t own a food thermometer, so I couldn’t check the internal temperature and had to guess based only on the color and sound.

boule loaves artisan bread

We cut into it, to see if we had actually succeeded in our attempt. It was light, moist, and a perfect amount of soft, chewy crumb, with a wonderful flavor.

cut boule loave air holes artisan bread

Peter noted that the sign of a real artisan loaf is uneven air pockets spaced throughout. My air pockets are a bit too uniform, but there are some larger, uneven pockets in there, so that means that (while not perfect) I did get it somewhat right. My next loaf can only get better, right?

Now, reading this post, you might think that I actually have some sort of preexisting knowledge about artisan bread baking, right? But you’d be wrong. I haven’t even made it halfway through this course yet, but pretty much every knowledgeable-sounding thing I’ve spouted off in this post came straight from the course and Peter’s awesome teaching. How cool is that? I sound like I know what I’m talking about, y’all!

(Even better, my bread tasted pretty stinkin’ good. We ate it with homemade turkey vegetable soup and my kids raved about it and devoured a loaf and a half in a single sitting.)

Want to try your hand at making artisan breads?

You can! Head on over to the Craftsy website, where you can sign up for the Artisan Bread Making course.

The generous folks at Craftsy are also giving away a course to one lucky reader, which is a $39.99 value. I hope it’s you!

Enter to win the Artisan Bread Making course HERE.

Please note that the giveaway will only be open for a limited time, closing on 11/5 at 11:59pm MT. The winner will be contacted via email by Craftsy.

Giveaway is open to anyone internationally.

Disclosure: I received this course for the purpose of review. This post has been generously sponsored by Craftsy. 
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