The Pantry of Today

AsItems The Pantry of Today

The Pantry of Today - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
The Pantry of Today – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Preparing Food in Yesteryear

In days gone by or yesteryear, canning was done at home on a larger and more consistent basis. People raised their own livestock.  Cattle allowed them to have milk and beef to eat.  Chickens provided eggs and meat.

Many things were grown and processed at home. Cows were milked and the milk and cream were used that day. Eggs were gathered to use in the daily meals. Produce was grown in the garden, harvested, and canned.

Over time, manufacturing processes allowed for the same items to be canned on a grander scale and for reduced costs (time, money, and effort). People began to buy items at the local store and put their time and efforts into other things other than growing their own foods and canning them.

Fast forward a few years…

For the past couple of decades, new options have been literally popping up all over for ways to buy and heat food. For example, microwave “TV dinners” take up large sections of the frozen section in grocery stores.  Canned foods which you can heat in the microwave in just a couple of minutes.  Boxed foods, which can cut the amount of cooking time, do make it easier to get something on the table.

It may or may not be faster than making it from ‘scratch.’ The quality of the ingredients and how fast you make the meal depends on what you buy and how you cook it.

Convenience Foods Can Be Helpful

Now, I am all for convenience and there are times that I do buy these products for that “quick” meal.  However, the cost of the convenience is too steep for me most of the time.

After my husband had two major back surgeries in two days and was home after five days in the hospital, I did go out and buy a couple of days of meals for the entire family just so I could focus on my husband’s recovery.  Not having to spend a couple of hours two or three times a day cooking was worth it for the short term.

I would rather spend the money on canned goods that we eat on a regular basis than on frozen foods that will be the first to go bad in a power outage.

Please do not misunderstand me. I mean no offense to those who often purchase convenience foods.

I want to help others build and keep up their food storage. Frozen foods do play into it. Budgeting does, too.

Convenience of having food now versus having food which is shelf-stable for months

The instant gratification of having food ready now (or in five minutes) versus having food ready in a few more minutes (making food from scratch or cooking up a meal) does have a price. The price is different for each person and family.

Another option for meals that is a drain on the budget (at least for us) is the all too super convenient drive-thru establishments offering fast food for 99 cents or more.

My family and I do love certain fast food places and meals. However, since we decided to focus on becoming more prepared for emergencies in 2011, our money has been spent on building our food storage and adding to our equipment.  As time goes on, we visit the drive-thru less and less.

It appears the new focus is on how fast can the food be ready to eat.  The focus is no longer on how long the food can safely be on the pantry shelf.

Where is the Pantry in Your Home?

Speaking of pantries, we’ve looked at many houses over the years.  There is a trend in the newer homes to have a small or no dedicated pantry.  Sometimes there is not adequate room to store food. Such a bummer for preppers like us!

There is less storage when living in an apartment or duplex.  Huge bedrooms are nice.  Accessible (and logical) places for pantry storage are even better for us.

Some may even ask, “What is the pantry of today?”

For me, the “ideal” pantry of today is easy to get access to (preferably right off of the kitchen). I want it indoors (not out in the garage) with built-in shelves or room for some.  I want to be able to store canned foods (cans and jars alike). Items I use regularly like paper towels, baking pans, and cupcake liners are in this dream pantry.

Emergency items including flashlights and batteries can be in this pantry as well. I tend to have flashlights all over the house.  Why?  We get power outages enough to warrant having them in each room.

We can lose power for a couple of hours to several days which happens once or twice a year on average.  For other areas, a major blizzard may keep you inside for weeks.

I know some friends and family are beginning to or are still canning and dehydrating their own foods.  It is surprising how canning, dehydrating, and growing your own food (produce, dairy, meat) is becoming popular once again.

The Pantry of Today - Mine has Dried Apple Slices dipped in Maple Syrup - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
The Pantry of Today – Mine has Dried Apple Slices Dipped in Maple Syrup – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

The pantry of today may not have everything canned at home like in our grandparents’ time.

In conclusion, does your pantry have enough food for your family to survive in case of disaster or emergency?

How does the Pantry of Today Look for You?

Please share below.  I love learning what people store in their pantries!

If you’re visiting from Commentathon or Tip Tuesday with Dr. Elise, welcome to Gluten Free Preppers!


Gluten Free Flours using The Country Living Grain Mill

The Country Living Grain Mill with Amaranth - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Gluten Free Flours using The Country Living Grain Mill

For our family of six, we used to buy a lot of Gluten-Free flour. I mean a lot. I bake often and have gone through phases where I was baking daily.

Purchasing Gluten-Free flours can be expensive.

The cost of purchasing these flours began adding up especially as food prices increased. We decided it was time to look at grinding our own flours.

Not all Grain Mills are alike.  Which one do we purchase?

I researched for months and asked friends who milled their own for mill recommendations. One friend, Jeni, swore by the Country Living Mill she was borrowing. As she and her family live without gluten, she was milling the grains I would be once I had a mill. I had seen their website so went back and read it some more. The detailed explanations of their mill and why they designed it intrigued me.

I had previously shown the mill website to Jonathan. He asked me to keep researching.

The Country Living Grain Mill with milled Amaranth - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
The Country Living Grain Mill with milled Amaranth – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Flour mill is high on our priority list.

After our fourth baby was born, we were deciding what on our “wish list” would be purchased with our tax refund. A mill was high on the list for me. I wanted to save money on Gluten-Free flours.

The Country Living Grain Mill is our mill of choice.

We finally decided to call the company one day. We spoke with Joel, one of the owners of The Country Living Grain Mill, who answered our questions. He said it would be no problem to test the mill with rice instead of wheat (as this option is mentioned on their website). He asked if we were local to him. We were about two hours south. He said he was happy to ship it to us or we could go pick it up and test the mill ourselves.

We drove up right then and there. We tested our mill with rice. We chatted about Gluten-Free grains and how the mill handles them.

We set it up when we got home. We have not looked back or regretted it.

The Country Living Grain Mill with Amaranth Flour 2 - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
The Country Living Grain Mill with Amaranth Flour 2 – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

Gluten Free Flours using The Country Living Grain Mill at Home

When specific flours gets low in my Tupperware™ Modular Mates, I grind some more. Usually, I add the grain and Jonathan makes sure it gets milled. He is great about turning on the mill first thing in the morning. The mill is as quiet as one would expect from a mill grinding grain. It is now white noise for me most of the time.

You can taste the difference between freshly milled flours and ones which have sat in a bag on a shelf for months.

Oh, one of the best parts of getting my Gluten Free Flours using The Country Living Grain Mill is I have total control over how fine or how coarse of a grind.  I can have coarse cornmeal and then (after cleaning out the mill) can do super fine brown rice flour.  (Super fine does take longer to grind due to the finer grind.)

Now, when gluten-eating people mention “I don’t taste any gritty flour – are you sure you used rice flour?”

I just smile and say, “Yes, I did using my Country Living Grain Mill.”

Amaranth Flour from The Country Living Grain Mill - Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Amaranth Flour from The Country Living Grain Mill – Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

I would love to hear what grain mill you use to grind your own Gluten-Free flours.  If you do not have a grain mill, have you considered it?


NoGii Products – A Review

NoGii Products - A Review
NoGii Products – A Review

NoGii Products – A Review

Note:   I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Moms Meet – A Sponsored Post Opportunity

I want to thank Moms Meet for the opportunity to do this Sponsored Post.

NoGii Products – the details

  • Certified Gluten Free
  • A variety of Protein Bars
  • Paleo bar choices
  • Protein powders (great for shakes and smoothies)
  • Does not contain any trans fat, hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup.
  • Made with sustainably sourced and premium ingredients.
  • Each bar has an ideal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
  • Great for active lifestyles.
  • Healthy products the whole family will enjoy.

As an example of a specific bar’s details, the NoGii’s High Protein Peanut Butter & Chocolate Bar:

  • Certified Gluten Free
  • Non-GMO
  • Contains 20g of high quality protein
  • Retails for $2.50 to $2.99 for one (1) 1.93oz bar

NoGii Products arrive in the mail – Time to start the Review!

I had been told I would be receiving samples of the entire product line.  I was not expecting the size of box I received.  I have loved being able to sample the different bars with my husband and four boys.  Guests in our home who have sampled the bars said they were good, did not taste “different” (since the bars are Certified Gluten Free), and were indeed healthy.

NoGii Products - A Review Copyright Adrienne Z. Miligan
NoGii Products – A Review


So many varieties of bars to choose from…

I like these bars as they are high in protein.  Sometimes it is difficult for me to get my boys (or myself) to want a snack with protein.  These bars are great!  We can grab one on the way out of the house.  Or eat one when we are tempted to graze the kitchen.

This photo below is of my third son holding his latest bar.  This is the NoGii “Nuts About Berries” Paleo Bar which he said was “Yummy!”


NoGii Products - A Review  this is a NoGii "Nuts About Berries" Paleo Bar Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
NoGii Products – A Review this is a NoGii “Nuts About Berries” Paleo Bar


My family enjoying NoGii Products

I grabbed this photo of my two little boys eating their NoGii “Nuts About Berries” Paleo Bar.  (My oldest two boys ate theirs before I could get the camera.)

My two little boys eating NoGii "Nuts About Berries" Paleo Bars for NoGii Products - A Review Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
My two little boys eating NoGii “Nuts About Berries” Paleo Bar for NoGii Products – A Review


Here is a photo of my third son eating his NoGii Paleo Bar (he picked which bar he wanted):

My son eating a NoGii Paleo Fruit Bar for NoGii Products - A Review Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
My son eating a NoGii Paleo Fruit Bar for NoGii Products – A Review


I plan on making some cheesecake using the NoGii Vanilla Bean Protein Powder once the weather cools.  Yes, cheesecake made with protein powder.  Check back for photos and my recipe!

Enter the NoGii Tablesetters Contest to win lunch with a friend and Elisabeth Hasselbeck in New York City!

Be sure to enter the NoGii Tablesetters Contest before the deadline!

The winner will receive a trip to New York with a guest.  Winner and guest will have lunch with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Visit NoGii online

NoGii website

NoGii on Facebook

NoGii on Twitter

NoGii on Instagram

Follow the conversation with #nogiitablesetters and #NoGiiLife

Visit Moms Meet online

Moms Meet website

Moms Meet on Facebook

Moms Meet on Twitter

Moms Meet on Pinterest

Moms Meet on YouTube

Follow the conversation with #momsmeet

Join Moms Meet and earn great rewards for your participation. Earn 100 Bonus Coins for joining now.  (Referral link for my Moms Meet account.)

NoGii Products – A Review

I hope you have enjoyed learning more about NoGii Products.  My family and I have had fun taste testing the samples Moms Meet provided.

Please let me know if you have had NoGii Products.



Gluten Free Flour Blend

Gluten Free Flour Blend

Over the years, I have baked with several different Gluten Free flours.  Each Gluten Free baker likes (and dislikes) different flours and have their favorite Gluten Free flour blends.  Gluten Free cookbook authors (like myself) are no different.

Gluten Free flours I have used in the past:

  • Sorghum flour
  • Brown rice flour
  • Teff flour
  • White rice flour
  • Corn meal
  • Sweet rice flour (normally used to thicken, different than white rice flour)
  • Corn flour
  • Potato starch (not to be confused with potato flour)
  • Tapioca starch (also referred to as Tapioca flour)
  • Coconut flour
  • Millet flour
  • Potato flour
  • Quinoa flour
  • Amaranth flour
  • Fava-bean flour
  • Corn starch
  • Garbanzo (chickpea) bean flour

One by one, these flours have either been removed from being used or are now a favorite of mine.  Some of the flours including sorghum, the bean flours, millet, and Teff have been removed from my pantry due to how I personally feel after consuming food made with them.  I no longer use potato starch and potato flour as I am nightshade allergic.  I try not to use coconut flour as it requires an additional 20% increase of liquid in the recipe.  My goal is to keep my wheat-based recipes the same and make Gluten Free by changing the flours (and any obvious substitutions as needed, like a Gluten Free soy sauce).

My current Gluten Free Flour Blend consists of the following flours with my most-used percentages:

  • Brown rice flour (35% – I mill my own and use a super fine grind.  This is a whole grain.)
  • Tapioca starch (25% – I like this as it is not a nightshade like potato starch.  This is a starch.)
  • White rice flour (25% – I mill my own and use a super fine grind like the brown rice flour.  This is a starch.)
  • Amaranth flour (15% – I mill my own.  Amaranth helps bind everything together and is considered a whole grain)

I use these four flours from my Gluten Free Flour Blend in different ratios depending upon what I am making.  I first started using amaranth in my flour blend when trying to get my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies to not run all over the pan without the use of Xanthan Gum.  Now, I have removed Xanthan Gum from the recipe by using a small amount of amaranth flour.

Other Gluten Free flours I like to use

Corn meal and corn flour are the two flours I use in addition to tapioca starch when making my Gluten Free Cornbread.  Corn starch is what I sometimes use to make gravy or when I need a thickener.

The fun part with my favorite Gluten Free Flour Blend is I can change the ratios based on what I am baking, how the ratio worked (or did not work) the previous time, and what I have on hand.  (I mill my own flours using a Country Living Grain Mill and there are times when I have more of certain flours than others.)  This Gluten Free Flour Blend works with store-purchased flours, too.  My family chose to purchase a mill to save on the cost of flours with a family of six.

What is your favorite Gluten Free Flour Blend?

Please share!


Pantry Inventory 101

Pantry Inventory 101 using a Metal Shelf for Organization and Accessibility Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Pantry Inventory 101 using a Metal Shelf for Organization and Accessibility

Pantry Inventory 101:  Do you know what is in your pantry?

Over the years we have done a “pantry inventory” to see what we have and items that we need to purchase.  We used to do this about every six months as a family project.  It used to take a good part of the day (especially when our boys were younger).  Now, we can usually do it in a couple of hours if we all stay focused.

How to track the inventory

The problem has been keeping track of what we still have and what has been used in between the full pantry recount of the inventory.  This has been a struggle for us and not just about tracking the food.  We have had discussions about how to track it, if we need to track it, and where to keep the tracking information.

For a while, we were diligent about marking off each item used from the pantry.  We did well.  Then we made a big meal and kept grabbing more cans off of the shelf.  We forgot to mark off the items with the excuse of “we will do it later.”  Right.  Later came and went without the tracking sheet being brought current.

I have read multiple blog posts by others on this topic.  Each person and family has their own way of doing it.  Whatever works for them is what they need to use.  As long as, in the end, you know how much food you have and what you need to continue adding, it is all good.  I will write more about these different ways in another post.

Counting the food

Normally, when we do our full pantry inventory, the older boys take everything off of the shelves.  The little boys help in the process as much as they can for their age.

Once the shelves are cleared, Jonathan will stack the items as the boys take him cans, boxes, and bags.  Jonathan organizes by expiration date so that the oldest is in front.

First In, First Out (F.I.F.O.)

Why does he organize the food by expiration date?  Food storage food needs to be used according to the F.I.F.O. principle of “First In, First Out.”  It can get a little crazy with lots of cans that have a wide range of expiration dates.

There is a benefit to purchasing the boxed cases of canned fruit or vegetables like the ones sold at Costco.  The box can be opened and placed on the shelf.  No stacking of cans and all cans inside have the same expiration date.

As each item is taken back to Jonathan from our living room floor, I write down the numbers.  Sometimes I write down the items and then the quantities.  Other times, I remember to print out my list so that I can just write down how much we have of each item.

What to store in the pantry for daily eating and emergencies

So what do we store in our food storage?  We store food.  We store a variety of beans, rice, pastas, grains, flours, sugars, baking supplies, fruits, vegetables, and more.  We also store items needed for emergencies like candles, mess kits, flashlights, batteries, and other non-food items.

Once we have counted it all and reorganized the shelves, I am able to determine what we need to purchase to add back what we have used.  Also, it helps us build to our desired amount of each item that we have previously determined.

Pantry Inventory 101 featuring freshly milled flours and baking supplies Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan
Pantry Inventory 101 featuring freshly milled flours and baking supplies

“Eat what you store and store what you eat.”

If you have done any emergency preparedness planning at all, I am sure you have heard this quote often.  It bears remembering as it is the best way to make sure you buy what you eat, eat what you buy, and use it before it goes bad.
By doing a Pantry Inventory, it will help you see how much food you really do (or do not) have in the house.  Sometimes it is surprising how much food we really do have in the home.  This allows me to better use what we have for the next month’s menu.

How do you track your pantry inventory?

What system do you use to keep track of your pantry’s inventory?  I would love to hear how you manage it for your family.


Note:  This was originally posted on my writing site at Adrienne Z. Milligan.  This post now has its home here on Gluten Free Preppers.