Last Week On The Homestead: Veggies, Warm Days, And Happy Hens!


Hello friends!
Wow - we had summer-like temps last week.  Did you have warmer temps in your area too?  It was close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple of days and in the upper 70's to low 80's for most of the rest of the week.  Our average this time of year is upper 50's.  The warmth melted the last of our snow, which the chickens were pecking at until the last little bit was gone.  

Green is popping up all over the property.  Ferns, daffodils, peonies, and hostas have shown themselves.  The trees and shrubs are starting to leaf out, and kale and parsley has returned in the garden.  I was surprised about the kale.  Usually, I pull all of the plants in the fall/winter once the hard frost arrives but this year, I was able to harvest for so long that I didn't bother pulling them.  And what do you know?  They all came back!  Lettuce, peas, and broccoli should be coming soon with asparagus showing themselves in the next few weeks.  It's such an exciting time of year!

The chickens have been able to spend a lot of time out foraging and much of the garden was available to them until the end of the week.  They have expressed their happiness by leaving us a large number of eggs each day.  They are pretty funny.  They'll go out and forage and then return to their coop for a break.  After a bit they are up and out again.  We've trained them to a certain clicking noise we make so when we make that noise, they come running to us.  I feel like the pied piper when I lead them all into their coop for the night.  I shared a quick clip on instagram last week of this - they were all running and flying toward me.  

As a treat, I made our favorite vegan Peanut Butter cookies.  They are SO delicious!  The recipe is here ( and uses cornstarch to replace the eggs.  I reduce the sugar by almost half and sub half of the vegan butter with applesauce, just our preference, and they are really really good.

I've also been trying to use up the last of our frozen, dehydrated, and canned fruit and veggies from last year's garden.  We are getting close.  I think right around the time we begin receiving an abundance in the garden we should be out of last year's produce, which would be great timing!

For those of you wondering about Felix and our other feral cat friends, we are seeing Felix regularly.  I have not seen imposter Felix in quite a while, but we do see the little black cat with the white paws from time-to-time.  Felix is trusting me more again so hopefully we won't take another step back.  Last year he enjoyed hanging out (from a distance) while I worked in the yard or garden so I'm thinking we may bond in that way again.  At least I hope so.

Oh, and I've forgotten to mention this in previous posts, but we are fully enjoying our Ninja Creami (affiliate link).  I mention this in case any of you have been considering purchasing one.  Not that anyone needs another small appliance, we certainly didn't either, but I must say that we are LOVING it.  I had been thinking about it because I wanted soft/smooth fat-free or low-fat vegan ice cream that isn't packed full of sugar like the ones found in the grocery stores, and decided to get it when I was able to find it at almost half the price.  

My husband grumbled a bit initially because we don't need another machine.  And I agreed.  But then I made no sugar added fruit sorbet.  He was impressed.  Next, I made vegan ice cream sweetened with a bit of date syrup.  He thought it was absolutely delicious - creamier than I could ever get it making it in a blender.  Then I made him full dairy ice cream.  He fell in love with it.  And now it has a place of honor in our kitchen.  We make sorbet and ice cream regularly and can't wait to use it when it's hot this summer.  I really like that I can pack the pints with an ice cream blend and store them in the freezer until we want it.  Then, I blend it and serve.  Leftovers go back in the freezer and eaten later.

I do recommend that if you do end up purchasing one, watch a video such as Kathy Hester's found here (youtube) for any tips using it. (she has more than just this one video about the creami) Otherwise, it could be frustrating.  It's a very simple machine but the "manual" is virtually non-existent so troubleshooting when your ice cream doesn't look right, or the machine doesn't seem to be working correctly, is pretty tough.  Kathy is a vegan youtuber but her informational videos on small appliances, such as this one, are exceptional, regardless of how you choose to eat.  

On the menu plan this week:
Jay's dinners:
sweet & spicy chicken thighs with skillet potatoes and green beans
grilled pork chop with rice and honeynut squash
instant pot chuck roast with mashed potatoes, gravy and carrots
chicken parm with pasta and green beans
grilled jamaican jerk chicken with rice and corn

bean burger with homemade air fryer french fries & raw veggies
vegan lasagna & salad

Hoping you had a wonderful week as well!


  1. Yay, I'm so glad you've been getting warmer weather! You were definitely hotter than us for a bit. Thinking of you as the pied piper of your chickens made me smile. Wishing you a beautiful week!

    1. Yes, we were pretty surprised about the temps. We were warmer than Florida much of last week! Those silly chickens - I chuckle every time I go round them up. Have a great week!

  2. The ice cream looks great. My sister had a yonana machine where you feed frozen fruit into it and it comes out like ice cream. I know what you mean about another gadget however if you use it all the time then it's justified. Have a good week.

    1. I've heard of that machine. In fact, I think I considered buying one at some point. Wishing you a great week as well!

  3. It looks like spring has finally sprung there! Look at those girls out on the grass! It's amazing how crops return from previous plantings. We had buttercrunch lettuce come back this spring.
    The ice cream sounds amazing. I've been thinking about getting something similar, so I can make healthy ice cream for me and my son, who has sensitivities.
    Enjoy the changes that spring brings. Have a lovely weekend.

    1. Yes, it is definitely spring here. Wishing you a wonderful weekend as well!

  4. Things are really looking like spring - good for you! And I'm sure you're it just me, or does it seem a bit overwhelming cleaning up from winter? Trying to keep to my to-do list, but I admit, I'm falling behind. Anyway, the ice cream looks great - that will be wonderful on those hot, humid days this summer! Enjoy the rest of the weekend...try to relax doing something you love.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on this post!