Book Review: Welcome To The Farm by Shaye Elliott

I have a new book that I've been reading - Welcome To The Farm by Shaye Elliott of The Elliott Homestead.  I own her previous 2 books as well, both of those are cookbooks, and I've been following her blog for a few years.

A funny thing happened about a month and a half ago.  I was catching up on reading posts on Shaye's blog and saw that you could pre-order her book on Amazon.  I threw it in my cart and didn't yet check out, I was waiting to see what else I needed wanted.  A few days later I received an email asking if I

{healthier} Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

I, for the most part, have given up white/processed sugar.  The reason I say "for the most part" is because I do eat a few things that have a bit of sugar in it from time-to-time.  But when I want something sweet, I try to turn to fruit or homemade treats such as this which uses dates, honey and/or maple syrup instead of sugar.

These. are. yummy.

Even J, who hasn't changed his eating habits, loves these little balls of goodness.  Initially he passed on trying them.  After I convinced him they were worth a try, however, he declared them "really good".  And then he ate 4. Perhaps to prove his point?

Anyway, I recommend you make 1 batch to "test" them, but give yourself time to then whip up another batch.  Or two.  You can always freeze the leftovers.  If there are any......  just sayin'.

Eat Local: Menu Plan Week of May 8, 2017

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Eating locally is challenging for us right now, as it is for most of you.  Root vegetables that have been stored all winter are about gone and the spring veggies are, for the most part, non-existent as of yet.  So, it's mostly grocery store shopping for another few weeks.

We did a poor job last summer of ensuring we had put away enough fruit and veggies to last all winter.  We just didn't have the time to devote to the garden or to the preserving of food.  We're hoping to turn that around this year.

When you eat a lot of fruits and veggies the cost can get out of control very quickly.  My first few weeks of plant-based whole foods eating was expensive.  I didn't have the time to meal plan as well as I typically do, so our weekly grocery costs were around $100.00 to $140.00.  Yikes!  After a few weeks I regained control over the ridiculous spending and we're back in line.  I was also making 2 completely separate meals initially.  Now, I make a plant-based whole foods meal and add a side of meat for J.

This has saved money, time and sanity.  A win-win-win.

Here's this week's menu:

Kale-Quinoa Salad

I've found that I love quinoa in salads.  It feels light, accepts the flavor of dressing very well, and partners deliciously with just about anything.  This salad is very flexible.  Don't have chickpeas?  Leave them out or substitute with a bean.  Don't have dried cranberries?  Omit those too or substitute with dried apples, pineapple or mango (sulfate free, of course).  Use your favorite dressing in place of the vinaigrette if you choose, or, if you have a honey-balsamic blend on hand, it's delicious with 1 Tablespoon dijon blended in as the vinaigrette.

This is a super easy salad packed full of goodness!


It's Spring!!!  A few of the days have felt like summer, however, I'm reminded by the occasional 40 or 50 degree day that it's indeed spring.

The dogs are thrilled with the sunny days.  There's nothing like hanging out on the back deck, sunbathing and supervising the neighbors.  And the Coop Girls love it for the same reasons!  That and supervising my every move in the garden.  They can't seem to understand that the garden isn't producing yet.  Based on the heckling I get, I think they believe I'm holding out on the veggies.....

Saturday it was rumored to rain, however, it was a false alarm which we celebrated by purchasing a pear tree, some more blueberry bushes, and a couple landscaping bushes which will add privacy and color to the yard.  The pear tree is a bartlett pear with 3 other varieties

Banana Bread Muffin Tops - Vegan and Gluten Free

So, I've been eating a plant-based whole food diet for just over a month.  I promised to share recipes of some of the new things I've tried.  Along with plant-based eating, I've been limiting the oils as well and have cut out white sugar.  This also means cutting out a good majority of baked goods, which has worked out fine, but sometimes you just need a sweet little snack.

These are simple and delicious!

And a great way to use up ripe bananas.

I've made quite a few recipes from Oh She Glows which is where this winner comes from.
Click here to find the recipe.

Oh, and a side note on the cutting out of white sugar.  My teeth have been sensitive for about 20 years and they are now not sensitive to hot/cold and sweet.  

Weekend {the chicks are here!!}

the chicks are here!!

The chicks are here!!  Seventeen little fuzzballs are hanging out under the heat lamp, eating and drinking all day long.  Ten are staying with us as the newest egg layers and seven are being raised for our beloved pet sitter.  Ours were purchased in an attempt to keep eggs plentiful.  There are a few Ameraucana's, Welsummers, Plymouth Barred Rocks and Wyandotte's.  Blue, green, chocolate brown and brown eggs will be here soon as these girls should be laying by fall, just when the others take a break to molt.  It works out perfectly.

April is here and so is the sun!!  After a couple strong snowstorms the last couple of weeks, it was a welcomed break.  The garden is well rested and ready for a spring clean-up.  Oliver visits it a couple

Happy Snow Day!

18 inches and counting.....we should get 4-6 more inches overnight.

How about you?  Are you enjoying sunshine or white loveliness?

My New Lifestyle - Whole Foods, Plant-Based Eating

So, my lifestyle took another turn since I posted about our next food challenge.  I was sick for about 2 months last fall/winter with a sinus infection that just wouldn't go away.  At the start of that, I went to the doctor for antibiotics and found that my blood pressure was up higher than it had ever been.  I've always had "normal" numbers so I was shocked to hear this.  I was sick with another sinus infection yet again about a month ago.  I went to the doctor again at the onset of this round and my blood pressure was up even a bit more from the previous time.  When my doctor used the word "medication" for me to consider, I was done.  I knew my lifestyle would change immediately.


I know I've haven't posted regularly in a bit but I'm back.  I've been severely sick twice, traveled for work a lot, traveled for my own business a little, and shoveled a lot of snow.  That about sums up the last month or two.  Joking of course.....

Here's what we've been up to around here.