Category Archive: Product Reviews

The WonderMix Kitchen Mixer GIVEAWAY and My Multigrain Brioche Bread Recipe

WonderMix Kitchen MixerWhen I was offered the opportunity to try out the new WonderMix Kitchen Mixer in our farmhouse kitchen, I was thrilled. I have been using the company’s WonderMill Electric Grain Mill for several years now.  No matter how many times I use it, I am always astounded at how simple it is to use and how quickly it transforms the organic wheat berries I purchase through my local food co-op into beautiful, freshly milled flour. I couldn’t wait to see their new WonderMix stand mixer and put it through its paces in our farmhouse kitchen.

When the WonderMix arrived, I was taken with its unique design. I loved its square base and covered mixing bowl, knowing that dry ingredients would remain inside the bowl when mixing rather than ending up on the countertop.   After carefully measuring my ingredients with my food scale for a recipe, it can be so frustrating to watch as dry ingredients are flung from a mixer’s bowl and deposited all over the countertop.

The mixing bowl is large, with a capacity of 5.5 quarts or 22 cups. I don’t have a single recipe in my arsenal that requires that much capacity, but I’m glad to know that I can easily mix a double batch of bread dough with room to spare. Not only does this mixer have a high-capacity mixing bowl, it has the motor strength to handle heavy doughs and mixtures. The WonderMix has an impressive 900 watt motor. To put that in perspective, my current stand mixer has a 325 watt motor. The WonderMix has the capacity and the power to handle even the most grueling tasks in my kitchen and yours. With its innovative dough hook and dough divider attachment combination, I knew right away that this was a bread baker’s dream machine.

The WonderMix offers two different sets of whisk type attachments available for the WonderMix. A whisk is often the ideal tool for a recipe, but whisking egg whites into a fluffy meringue is quite a different task than mixing a batch of buttercream or cookie dough. I often find with my other stand mixer that the dough paddle doesn’t adequately beat a batch of buttercream or cookie dough into the smooth, silky texture I desire while the whisk isn’t strong enough to handle the thicker mixture. Having two different pairs of whisk attachments means that I’ll always have one that is well suited for the task at hand.

The WonderMix boasts a wide assortment of other attachments and accessories. They offer a full function blender, slicer/shredder, and meat grinder attachments. If you are interested in working with grain, both a grain flaker and grain mill attachment are also available. This sturdy, powerful unit can do the work of a multitude of appliances. Its rectangular footprint also makes it much easier for me to easily store it in our kitchen.

The helpful owner’s manual that accompanied my WonderMix was filled with helpful instructions for using the machine along with more than 40 recipes. I turned immediately to the section of bread recipes and learned that this mixer promised to fully develop the gluten in a batch of bread dough in five minutes. I couldn’t wait to put that promise to the test.

I make several types of bread for our family. My favorite bread to bake and to eat is brioche. I enjoy brioche’s texture and rich flavor. IMultigrain Brioche loaves at 1840 Farm love to toast a slice of homemade brioche, knowing that the enriched dough will yield the lovely browned surface that I enjoy so much. My family enjoys it just as much as I do, so I make a batch of two loaves every week or so.

The prospect of making a traditional brioche can be daunting for the baker and taxing for the baker’s mixer. Traditional brioche is baked from dough enriched by fresh eggs and butter. Each addition must be perfectly timed before advancing to the next step. If these steps are rushed, the dough will break apart, forming several small clumps that will resist coming back together into one congruous ball of dough. Yet care must be taken not to over mix the dough as too much mixing can ruin the airy texture that makes brioche so wonderful.

Once the eggs have been successfully integrated into the dough, butter must be added in much the same way. It is added a bit at a time, allowing the butter to fully blend with the dough. This process can take thirty minutes or more. All of this kneading puts a heavy toll on a mixer. As the dough is kneaded, the mixer must be monitored to ensure that it does not overheat or, worse yet, burn out completely. Kneading this dough for such a long time is a herculean task for a typical residential kitchen mixer.

Over the years, I have worked to develop my own brioche recipe. It delivers the same delicious flavor and airy texture without requiring so much precision from the bread baker.

In the past few months, I attempted to adapt my recipe to incorporate some of our freshly milled whole wheat flour into the recipe. I didn’t have much luck. The loaves lacked the airy texture I love. No matter how I adjusted the recipe, the resulting loaves were too dense. It seemed that no matter how long I worked the dough using my mixer, I fell short of creating that lovely smooth characteristic that my Farmhouse Brioche always delivers.

I did finally determine that I could use my stand mixer to work the dough for several minutes and then knead the dough by hand for between 5 to 10 minutes in order to create a dough that was smooth and elastic enough to pass the windowpane test.

I had almost given up any hope of creating a multigrain brioche recipe that could be worked entirely by a mixer. Then the WonderMix arrived and I returned to the farmhouse kitchen, hopeful that this powerful machine would have the muscle I needed to fully develop the gluten and create a loaf that was exactly what I was looking for.

As the dough came together, I set my kitchen timer for five minutes. The WonderMix worked the dough without straining. When the timer sounded, I turned off the mixer and removed the dough. It was smooth and elastic, easily passing the windowpane test. The WonderMix had delivered on its promise to fully develop the gluten in five minutes.

I have made several batches of bread since then. Each batch has been just as beautiful and delicious. From now on, I will be using the WonderMix to make this multigrain brioche and all of our other homemade breads.

Now you can use this recipe to make your own loaves of multigrain brioche. You can also enter to win your very own WonderMix! One winner will be randomly selected on April 21, 2015. All subscribers to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and In Season Magazine will be automatically entered to win. You can earn additional entries through the widget below and increase your odds of winning this amazing mixer. Good luck to all who enter!

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1840 Farm Multigrain Brioche
Makes two loaves

12 ounces (1 ¾ cup) warm water
21 grams (1 Tablespoon) honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon Dough Enhancer (optional)
600 grams (5 cups) All-purpose flour
240 grams (2 cups) whole wheat flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, grated

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.   Whisk the warm water and honey in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the liquid. Allow the yeast to rest as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine the salt, dough enhancer (if using), and flour. Grate the butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.

Add the eggs to the bowl with the warm water and honey. Whisk until combined. Mount the bowl on the mixer’s base and attach the dough hook and dough divider. Add the dry ingredients all in one addition before turning the mixer’s motor on low speed.

Mix for a few minutes, until the dough begins to take shape. The dough will appear to be slightly dry. With the motor running, begin adding the grated butter a bit at a time, allowing the butter to be incorporated into the dough before adding more. Continue this process until all of the butter has been added.

Stop the mixer and asses the dough. It should be shiny and moist, but not excessively sticky. The ball of dough should be smooth and elastic. If it is too sticky, simply start the mixer and gradually add up to ½ cup of All-purpose flour to the dough. Take care not to add too much flour as it will yield a finished loaf that is too dry. Increase the speed of the mixer slightly and work the dough until it passes the windowpane test, approximately five to ten minutes.

If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread.  This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf.  By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.

Conducting the windowpane test is simple.  After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it has been worked sufficiently, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent, allowing light to pass through it (much like a window).  If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise.  If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.

Once your dough passes the windowpane test, transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl to rise in a dough proofer or a warm, draft free location.  Allow the dough to rise until it has nearly doubled in size. Using my dough proofer set at 82 degrees, this takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, divide it into two equal sections. Form each section into a loaf and place in a buttered or oiled loaf pan. Be sure to oil the top rim of the loaf pan as this dough has a tendency to rise well above the top of the pan. Oiling the top rim of the pan will make releasing the baked loaf from the pan much easier.

Transfer the two loaves back to the proofing chamber or warm, draft free location for rising. Allow the loaves to rise until they have reached a height of more than one inch above the top edge of the loaf pans.  Using my dough proofer, this takes about one 60 – 90 minutes.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.

Once the loaves have risen sufficiently and the oven has reached the proper temperature, transfer the loaves to the oven.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning near the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaves are fully baked, they will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Remove the baked loaves from their pans to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely before slicing or storing.

 Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.  You can also learn more about My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients and share your own with me.

2015_Spring_Post_FOOD

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/the-wondermix-kitchen-mixer-giveaway-and-my-multigrain-brioche-bread-recipe/

Vitamix Pro 750 Passes the 1840 Farmhouse Test

For years, I have heard from professional and home cooks about the wonders of the Vitamix.  Chefs extol its virtues in their professional kitchens.  Home cooks like myself are just as taken with its abilities.  From their accounts, it seemed that there wasn’t anything that the Vitamix couldn’t handle.

Several weeks ago, our sponsor JL Hufford sent me a Vitamix Pro 750 to test in our 1840 Farmhouse kitchen.  Finally, I would be able to form my own opinion about the Vitamix.  From the moment I began to unpack the unit from its box, I was taken with the sturdy construction.  This is a very solidly constructed piece of equipment.

Once I had unpacked the Vitamix, it was time to put it to work in our kitchen.  First up was one of my son’s favorite beverages, our homemade take on the Orange Julius.  We’ve been making this recipe for years in our standard blender.  Unfortunately, we have never been able to achieve that frothy, smooth texture that we hoped for using our blender.  No matter how long we blended the ingredients, it just didn’t become a homogeneous mixture.VitamixOrangeSq

So, we gathered the ingredients, placed them in the Vitamix container, and selected the smoothie setting.  We turned on the power and watched as the ingredients were effortlessly transformed into that frothy, silky consistency that we had tried so hard to achieve in the past.  After pouring the mixture from the container, I added warm water and a touch of dish soap, returned the container to the base, and powered it on using the cleaning setting.  In moments, the unit was clean, needing only a quick rinse with fresh water to remove the soapy solution.

During that first week, we used the Vitamix Pro 750 to blend many other smoothies, soups, and liquids.  We made a recipe of our Smoky Chili Puree to flavor a batch of Black Bean Chili.  In seconds, the tomatoes and chilies in the container were pureed and smooth.  It was clear that liquids were no match for the VItamix.

Now that we had established the ability of the Vitamix to handle smoothies, sauces, and soups, it was time to move on to processing items that weren’t liquid based.  First up was a batch of pizza dough.  I would have never thought of making pizza dough in this machine before reading the extensive 350 page cookbook that was included in the package.  The Vitamix effortlessly transformed the ingredients into a smooth ball of pizza dough.

After pizza dough, I set out to make a family favorite using the Vitamix.  It was time to make a Gooey Butter Cake.  The Vitamix powered through the buttery crust without any trouble.  Next up was the gooey mixture of cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.  I’ve made this recipe dozens of times, but both my stand mixer and food processor fail to create a completely smooth mixture.  No matter how long I allow the butter and cream cheese to come to room temperature, no matter how long I blend or process the ingredients, lumps are still present.

After placing the ingredients in the Vitamix container, I processed it on setting 3.  After the blade had stopped, I removed the lid to inspect the mixture.  It was completely velvety and smooth.  There wasn’t a single lump in sight.  The Vitamix had done what my blender, stand mixer, and food processor had failed to do.  It was official:  I was now a member of the contingent of cooks who believe that the Vitamix can handle anything.  This machine had passed the1840 Farmhouse test with flying colors.

I am very grateful that JL Hufford allowed me to put the Vitamix Pro 750 to the test.  It passed every challenge I gave it and earned my resounding seal of approval.  I’m even more grateful that they’re offering a special 10% savings on this amazing machine to the members of our 1840 Farm Community!  This is a limited time offer, so don’t delay.  If you’ve been dreaming of adding a Vitamix to your kitchen’s arsenal or giving one as a gift, this is an amazing opportunity to save.

Visit JL Hufford and enter the coupon code “skyhigh10″ to save 10% on your purchase of the Vitamix Pro 750 until 12/14/14.  I hope that you’ll take advantage of this amazing savings and then you’ll share with me what delicious dishes you’re making using your new Vitamix.  Until then, here are the recipes that we tested with our Vitamix.  Enjoy!

OrangeGeniusSqSmokyChiliSq

PizzaDoughSqGooeyButterSq

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/12/vitamixpro750/

A Dog Lover’s Giveaway

Our farmhouse dog Pete Townshend has been busy testing out several fantastic dog products here at 1840 Farm. Omega Fields, Goodwinol Products Corporation, and You Had Me at Woof have generously offered their products for our Dog Lover’s Giveaway.

Our Dog Lover’s Prize Package includes a one pound package of Omega Fields Omega Canine Shine Omega-3 Supplement, one 12 ounce package of Omega Fields Omega Nuggets Treat Supplement, one bottle of Goodwinol Shampoo, and a Hand Embellished collar from You Had Me at Woof’s Etsy Shop.  If you’re not familiar with these products, take a moment to learn about our experience using each of them at 1840 Farm:

Omega Fields Omega Canine Shine Omega-3 Supplement

Omega Fields Omega Nuggets Treat Supplement

Goodwinol Shampoo

Hand Embellished Dog Collar from You Had Me at Woof

I know that you will enjoy using these products as much as we have with Pete here at 1840 Farm.  Enter to win and we’ll randomly select one winner on November 27th.  Good luck to all who enter!

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/11/a-dog-lovers-giveaway/

You Had Me at Woof Hand Embellished Collar

One of my favorite Facebook pages to follow is Read to Roo.  I love seeing Roo’s smiling face in my newsfeed and sharing stories of his work with the members of The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook.  While I have never met Roo in person, I can’t help feeling a connection to him.  Earlier this year, I published a post entitled, “The Greatest Dog” which explained that connection along with the fantastic work that he does to help enable children to become confident readers.

So, when Roo’s page shared a photo of his new custom dog collar, I couldn’t wait to learn more about it.  One click and I was in You Had Me at Woof’s Etsy shop finding myself amazed at the wonderful collection of hand embellished collars they offered for sale.

I just knew that our farmhouse dog Pete Townshend needed his own collar from their dazzling assortment.  After looking through the selection, I found that it was difficult to choose just one design.  I liked so many of them!

Then I saw a Snoopy collar and fell in love.  I have a lifelong love of all things Snoopy and this collar was perfect for me and for Pete.  Now all that was left for me to do was wait for Pete’s collar to arrive in our mailbox.

When it did, I was eager to open the package and see the collar in person.  I was astounded at what was waiting inside.  Both the product and its packaging were unique and of the absolute highest quality.  With one collar, You Had Me at Woof had made me their newest fan.

The collar was packaged inside a stamped, reusable muslin bag.  The collar itself was sturdy and strong and  features a reflective safety clasp.  The embellishment detail is firmly attached and appears to be seamlessly integrated into the overall design of the collar and its appearance.  A beautiful ribbon detail with “You Had Me at Woof” was applied to the collar without compromising the look of the Snoopy collar.  Everything about the collar was beautiful.

The package wasn’t the only thing that impressed me.  I also discovered a hand stamped, custom made dog treat waiting inside the package, Pete was suddenly very excited about a collar arriving in the mail.  I fastened the adorable Snoopy collar onto Pete’s neck and rewarded him with the fresh biscuit.  Pete carefully carried the grain free pumpkin molasses dog treat to his favorite sunny spot in the window of our Parlor and ate every last crumb while sitting in the warm sunshine.

With the treat gone, he settled in and took a nap.  Snoopy may have preferred napping on top of his red dog house, but Pete’s spot is the window.  Bathed in sunshine, both Pete and Snoopy seemed perfectly content.

Pete has been wearing his adorable collar for several weeks now.  I still love it just as much now as the day it arrived.  I can’t help but smile when I see Snoopy and Woodstock toasting marshmallows over a campfire looking up at me when Pete stops by to see what I’m working on in the farmhouse kitchen.

You Had Me at Woof offers a wonderfully diverse selection of collars and accessories.  I hope that you will visit their Etsy shop to select something for the dog or dog lover in your life during this holiday season.   Their collection of holiday collars is amazing.  Pete just might need another collar to celebrate the season!

Pete has been a lucky dog lately, testing out several fantastic dog products here at 1840 Farm.  Now it’s your turn to be the lucky one.  Several companies including Omega Fields, Goodwinol Products Corporation, and You Had Me at Woof have generously offered to add their products to our Dog Lover’s Giveaway.  You can enter to win this fantastic prize package to share with your best friend or the dog lover on your holiday gift list.  Visit our post:  A Dog Lover’s Giveaway to learn more and enter to win.

Good luck to all who enter!


The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. Samples of the products that I review are sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to use the product and evaluate its performance. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

I have personally learned which products would be a good fit for our farm by reading reviews written by other homesteaders and bloggers. It is in that vein that I choose to review products here. It is my hope that my reviews will help readers to determine which products might be best suited for use in their homes and on their homesteads.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

For more information, please view our Disclosure Statement and Privacy Policy.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/11/you-had-me-at-woof-hand-embellished-collar/

Goodwinol Shampoo

Bathing our farm dog Pete can be an interesting experience.  He’s a good sport about it, standing in the tub as we go about his bath.  Yet, no matter how patient he remains or how successful he is at fighting the urge to shake soapy water all over the bathroom, I still seem to end up soaked and then find myself cleaning up the bathroom.  In short, the dog gets clean and the bathroom and I get dirty.

No matter the outcome, Pete Townshend still needs a bath. While he is a non-shedding breed, he is still a dog.  He loves to tromp through the sloppiest conditions that Mother Nature brings to his backyard.  He, on occasion, smells like a dog that desperately needs a bath.

So, when our sponsor Goodwinol Products offered to send me a sample of their Goodwinol Shampoo, I was happy to accept.  I already use several of their products here on the farm, and I was eager to try their shampoo the next time Pete was ready for a bath.  I didn’t have long to wait.   I armed myself with the bottle of shampoo, the dog in question, and a stack of towels and marched towards the bathtub.

As soon as I opened the bottle of Goodwinol Shampoo, I was greeted by the pleasing scent of cedar.  The aroma was light and a decidedly non-perfume scent.  While I can’t speak for Pete’s preference when it comes to the scent of his shampoo, I was happy to have a scented shampoo that didn’t leave him smelling like he had visited a perfume counter.

I do love the way the cedar oil lends a pleasing scent to the shampoo.  I also love that it serves a much more important function.  The cedar aroma that I enjoy is known to naturally repel ear mites, fleas, mosquitoes, and other bothersome pests.

The cedar oil is paired with Benzocaine to help alleviate the dry, itchy skin that so many dogs suffer from.  Lanolin is also included to help soothe and soften the skin.  Lanolin is derived from the wool of sheep and is an oily compound that is an effective moisturizer.

Goodwinol Shampoo is also approved for use on cats.  It is safe enough to be used for puppies and kittens.

Goodwinol Shampoo worked beautifully for Pete and for me.  Yes, I still ended up worse for the wear and wet from head to toe.  I didn’t mind as Pete ended up smelling fresh and clean.  That lovely cedar scent stayed with him for days and his coat was soft and shiny

Pete has been a lucky dog lately, testing out several fantastic dog products here at 1840 Farm.  Now it’s your turn to be the lucky one.  Several companies including Omega Fields, Goodwinol Products Corporation, and You Had Me at Woof have generously offered to add their products to our Dog Lover’s Giveaway.  You can enter to win this fantastic prize package to share with your best friend or the dog lover on your holiday gift list.  Visit our post:  A Dog Lover’s Giveaway to learn more and enter to win.

Good luck to all who enter!

 


The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. Samples of the products that I review are sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to use the product and evaluate its performance. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

I have personally learned which products would be a good fit for our farm by reading reviews written by other homesteaders and bloggers. It is in that vein that I choose to review products here. It is my hope that my reviews will help readers to determine which products might be best suited for use in their homes and on their homesteads.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

For more information, please view our Disclosure Statement and Privacy Policy.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/11/goodwinol-shampoo/

Omega Canine Shine

Our farmhouse dog Pete Townshend is known for eating anything in his path.  His habits of eating blueberries fresh from the garden and begging adoringly for popcorn, oatmeal, and carrots are well-known.  So, I wasn’t at all concerned when Omega Fields asked if he would like to try their Omega Canine Shine as a supplement to his daily diet.  I knew that he would happily enjoy this new addition to his meals.

Now that he has been enjoying this healthy supplement for a few months, he has developed a new habit.  This one has nothing to do with him actually ingesting food.  Instead, it has to do with him anticipating its arrival.

Every mealtime, he waits with great anticipation as I place his food in the bowl.  Then, as I reach for the bag of Omega Canine Shine, he follows my every movement.  As soon as I touch the package, he registers his approval in a very canine manner.  He begins licking his lips as if he is about to dine on a T-bone steak.

The first morning he reacted in this way, I thought it was mere coincidence.  Now that I have seen him repeat it at every meal for weeks, I know that it is much deeper than that.  Instead, he is truly giving me his nod of approval.

I am happy to see that he looks forward to the Canine Omega Shine that I add to his morning and evening meals.  I am even happier to know that I am increasing his intake of essential fatty acids and giving him something delicious to look forward to.  While he may not realize it, those essential fatty acids help to reduce shedding, combat bothersome itching, and maintain his good health.

Pete and I have enjoyed our time evaluating Omega Canine Shine.  His coat is shiny and healthy and he comes running at mealtime.  Now we both want to make sure that you have the same opportunity to share this supplement with your best friend.  Thanks to Omega Fields, you can do just that.

Pete has been a lucky dog lately, testing out several fantastic dog products here at 1840 Farm.  Now it’s your turn to be the lucky one.  Several companies including Omega Fields, Goodwinol Products Corporation, and You Had Me at Woof have generously offered to add their products to our Dog Lover’s Giveaway.  You can enter to win this fantastic prize package to share with your best friend or the dog lover on your holiday gift list.  Visit our post:  A Dog Lover’s Giveaway to learn more and enter to win.

Good luck to all who enter!


The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. Samples of the products that I review are sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to use the product and evaluate its performance. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

I have personally learned which products would be a good fit for our farm by reading reviews written by other homesteaders and bloggers. It is in that vein that I choose to review products here. It is my hope that my reviews will help readers to determine which products might be best suited for use in their homes and on their homesteads.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

For more information, please view our Disclosure Statement and Privacy Policy.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/11/omega-canine-shine/

Omega Nuggets

As a dog owner, I am always looking for ways to ensure the good health of our dog Pete.  Lucky for me, Pete is a willing participant.  He happily indulges my attempts at grooming and eagerly eats the healthy food that I select for him.

When it comes to the grooming, I would like to think that he tolerates my efforts because I am such a wonderful owner and he loves me so much.  Deep down, I believe that his motives might not be quite so pure.  In fact, he may be allowing me to give him a haircut because he knows what will happen when I am finished.  He knows that I have an Omega Fields’ Omega Nugget ready and waiting for him.

While Pete enjoys the flavor of these bite sized treats, I enjoy knowing that they deliver more than great taste.  These Omega-3 treat supplements contain essential fatty acids and antioxidants in a delicious treat perfectly sized for use as a training reward.

Omega Nuggets are made using human grade ingredients.  They contain wholesome ingredients including ground flaxseed, barley, and molasses.  These treats promote healthy skin and coat.and are all natural and don’t contain any artificial preservatives.

I’m not sure if Pete cares about the ingredients in the treats that he loves so much, but I do.  I’m happy that I can provide him with the flavor he loves and the nutrition he needs with Omega Nuggets.  We both want to make sure that you have the same opportunity to share this flavorful and healthy treat with your best friend.  Thanks to Omega Fields, you can do just that

Pete has been a lucky dog lately, testing out several fantastic dog products here at 1840 Farm.  Now it’s your turn to be the lucky one.  Several companies including Omega Fields, Goodwinol Products Corporation, and You Had Me at Woof have generously offered to add their products to our Dog Lover’s Giveaway.  You can enter to win this fantastic prize package to share with your best friend or the dog lover on your holiday gift list.  Visit our post:  A Dog Lover’s Giveaway to learn more and enter to win.

Good luck to all who enter!

.


The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm.  Samples of the products that I review are sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to use the product and evaluate its performance.  The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided.  Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

I have personally learned which products would be a good fit for our farm by reading reviews written by other homesteaders and bloggers.  It is in that vein that I choose to review products here.  It is my hope that my reviews will help readers to determine which products might be best suited for use in their homes and on their homesteads.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed.  Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed.  It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life.  It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

For more information, please view our Disclosure Statement and Privacy Policy.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/11/omega-nuggets/

Fennel Friday – Smoked Cheddar Gougères with Fennel Pollen

Gougères are a favorite here at 1840 Farm.  We have been enjoying them for years.  A holiday or special occasion almost always includes a batch of gougères served at our family table.

I’m a tinkerer by nature, constantly adjusting recipes ever so slightly.  Sometimes, I just can’t help myself.  Once, I even attempted to modify our recipe for gougères.   The whole family was disappointed with that batch.  They just seemed to be missing something.  Sometimes, making a recipe different doesn’t make it better.

I learned my lesson, at least with this recipe.  Since that fateful day, I have not made even the slightest change to our gougères.  Well, that is until last week.  This time, I was smarter about it.

I didn’t make a change to the cheese in the gougères or in the method I used to make them.  Instead, I made them as I always did and then embellished them with a little something special that arrived in the mail a few days earlier.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in the Fennel Friday Cooking Club by The Hungry Goddess.  It’s not every day that a Goddess invites you to have fun in the kitchen playing with delicious ingredients.  I couldn’t possibly say no, so I didn’t.

Instead, I happily accepted the invitation and joined Fennel Friday.  A few days later, my package of ingredients from Pollen Ranch arrived.  From the moment I opened the package, I was taken with the delicious aroma emanating from the tins contained inside.

I couldn’t wait to try the fennel pollen.  Gougères seemed like the perfect place to start.  A tiny sprinkle of fennel pollen was added to the top of each mound of dough before they were transferred to the oven.

I only added the fennel pollen to half of the batch.  I really had learned my lesson.  I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have to explain to my family why I had done the unthinkable and tried to tinker with our gougère recipe again.

As the gougères baked in the oven, the farmhouse kitchen began to have the most amazing aroma.  It was equal parts smoked cheddar and fennel. It was intoxicating.

A few minutes later, the gougères were ready to remove from the oven.  I always find it difficult to wait as they cool.  I know that they will have a deeper flavor when room temperature, but they smell so delicious that it seems torturous to wait even a minute.

I was rewarded for waiting.  The first bite made me a believer in the ability of fennel pollen to improve an already fantastic recipe.  The pollen added a wonderful herbal punch to the gougères without masking their earthy, rich flavor.

I waited anxiously as my family gave them a try.  Everyone agreed.  The fennel pollen was a nice addition to our gougères.  As we enjoyed them, we discussed what other recipes we could add it to.

I can imagine a whole host of recipes that could be garnished with a dusting of fennel pollen.  I know that my tinkering instinct will be indulged as I try a few of them in the coming weeks.  Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing them with you right here.

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Stay tuned!

Smoked Cheddar Gougères
makes 60 one inch puffs

8 oz Whole Milk

4 oz Butter
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 cup Flour
4 large eggs
4 oz Sharp Cheddar, grated
2 oz Smoked Cheddar, grated
Pollen Ranch Fennel Pollen

Position the racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper. Measure the flour into a small bowl. Crack all of the eggs into a bowl and set aside until they are needed. Grate the two cheeses and gently combine them.

Combine milk, butter, and salt in a medium sized pot over high heat. Monitor the mixture closely, stirring often, to avoid scorching. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and add the flour in one addition. Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Continue to stir continuously for two minutes until the dough is completely smooth and leaves a film on the bottom of the pot. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for five minutes.

Once the five minutes have elapsed, add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition. With the addition of each egg, the dough will break. This is normal; rest assured that the dough will be perfectly smooth by the time the fourth egg is incorporated. Once the eggs have all been added, stir in the grated cheese until it is evenly distributed.

Using a spoon or a Tablespoon sized cookie scoop, drop the dough by rounded Tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets leaving 1 inch of space between each gougère. Sprinkle a pinch of fennel pollen on top of each mound of dough.  Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 20 – 28 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.

The gougères will be done when they become golden brown in color and have a puffed appearance with a dry exterior. Remove the gougères from the oven and place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool. Gougères can be served warm or at room temperature.

Note: Rounded Tablespoons of dough can be frozen individually on a tray lined with freezer paper. Once they are completely frozen, store the gougères in a freezer bag until ready to use. To bake, simply place frozen gougères on a prepared baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 – 36 minutes.

This post is included in the Fennel Friday Cooking Club on Fennel Friday and The Hungry Goddess

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/05/fennel-friday-smoked-cheddar-gougeres-with-fennel-pollen/

Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder Giveaway

Raising baby chicks is a wonderful experience.  Here at 1840 Farm, we have counted ourselves lucky enough to enjoy the process twice.  Each time, we were captivated by the sight of the tiny birds in our brooder.  We couldn’t help gathering in our barn to watch the little, fluffy birds mill about.

Both of our brooding experiences were positive.  The day old chicks matured into young pullets, moved into their coops, and went on to become beautiful, egg laying hens.  The major difference in our brooding experiences was our use of my favorite piece of brooding equipment:  The Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder.

I can’t say enough about the quality and effectiveness of the EcoGlow.  The EcoGlow provides the warm environment that chicks require without bringing the danger of a brooder or coop fire to your farm or homestead.  Instead of worrying about the brooder’s temperature or our safety, we could simply enjoy the experience of raising our chicks, content in the knowledge that all was well.

Now you can do the same.  Our sponsor, Brinsea Products has generously provided a Brinsea EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder for this giveaway.  We’re proud to share Brinsea and their line of high quality line of products with our readers.  We use Brinsea products here at 1840 Farm and believe that they are the best products on the market.

I know that you will be just as happy with the Brinsea EcoGlow as I am.  You can learn more about the EcoGlow by reading my posts at Community Chickens detailing our experience using it here at 1840 Farm.  But first, take a moment and enter the giveaway to win your own EcoGlow Brooder.  Good luck to all who enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/05/brinsea-ecoglow-brooder-giveaway/

South Hill Designs by LeAnn Gratton

I love learning more about the members of The 1840 Farm Community.  I enjoy reading about their experiences as much as I love to share mine.  A few months ago, I had the chance to learn more about LeAnn and the beautiful lockets that she offers through her business South Hill Designs by LeAnn Gratton.

I browsed her online shop and found an amazing collection of lockets, chains, and charms.  My daughter and I continued to browse and later created our own custom locket.  Each charm we selected had a special meaning from the small dog that reminded us of our Miniature Schnauzer Pete to the music note that represents our shared love of music.

When LeAnn offered me the opportunity to host a giveaway for my readers, I didn’t hesitate.  Instead, I jumped at the chance for one of you to win a $50.00 credit to build your own custom locket.  As luck would have it, the winner will have just enough time to create their locket in time for Mother’s Day

I hope that you will take a moment and visit South Hill Designs by LeAnn Gratton’s online shop and Facebook page.  I know that you will enjoy her collection of beautiful jewelry as much as I did.  The winner will be randomly selected and announced in an 1840 Farm blog post and on our Facebook page.  Best of luck to all who enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/04/south-hill-designs-by-leann-gratton/

Product Review: Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

Product Review:  Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder (click to continue)


Click to continue

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/07/product-review-brinsea-ecoglow-brooder/

OXO Food Scale Winner

Congratulations to Steve from Kempner, Texas!  He was randomly chosen as the winner of the OXO Food Scale with Pull Out Display.  The winning entry was chosen by Random.org on Saturday morning.  Over sixty entries were received in the drawing and Steve was lucky number 16.

I hope that Steve enjoys using the OXO Food Scale as much as I enjoyed hosting this giveaway.  Follow 1840 Farm for more contests, giveaways, and product reviews this summer.  You could be the next lucky winner!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/04/oxo-food-scale-winner/

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