{in the garden} april 23rd

with our mild spring and winter we got an early start to our garden.

and, when i say “we”, i really mean ryan.

ryan is in charge of our veggie garden, and he started planting in early march!

he added our backyard compost that has been “cooking” for a year.

the strawberries are already coming up and flowering. they are always fun for the kids (and us) to pick.

he planted three more blueberry bushes, so we now have a total of six.

he planted a second artichoke plant…maybe this year we will actually get an artichoke!

he planted greens, which we have already started to harvest and eat.

the tomatoes are in the ground and are already starting to flower.

he also planted asparagus, potatoes, and italian oregano.

and, he planted hops.

yes. hops.

maybe he’ll be brewing his own beer soon, too.

{and, he calls ME the hippie.}

we still need to plant our basil, maybe a few peppers, some cucumber, and carrots.

we always go organic for fertilizer and pest control.

this year will be no different, but  i am hoping to integrate essential oils into the pest control.

i promise a photo tour by the end of the month…we’ve got another project going on that is taking a lot of my time…stay tuned!

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home is…in the garden 2015.

*i am not a medical professional, and cannot treat, cure or diagnose you. always consult a doctor first. more than likely your doctor will not be trained in essential oils and will not know all the facts about them, so do your own research first. we are our own advocate.


28-day detox & gluten-free bread recipes

I am on day five of the pre-cleanse for a 28 day detox.

It is led by the dietician at our healthclub…it’s not a fast, colon cleanse, or caloric restrictive program.

We eat whole foods and eventually replace a couple of meals with smoothies.

Basically, we eliminate alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars and flours, dairy products, and foods containing yeasts.

We will eat a lot of organic veggies, lean protein, and some fruits.

Since baby girl has a wheat and dairy sensitivity this is probably how we should be eating anyway. So, I am looking forward to this challenge and hopefully making some longterm changes for our family.

We tend to eat pretty healthy, but when Ryan travels I eat like crap.


And, he probably does, too.

I get tired and the last thing I want to do is cook, so I make some mac & cheese or a hot dog for the kids, load the rest of their plate up with the berries and fruits I know they will eat, but we all miss out on the veggies that are so good for us!

I am cheating myself and my kids.

I hope that I can change that and cook some family friendly foods that are easy and good for all of us!

I got sidetracked a bit by an impromptu roadtrip to Idaho over the weekend (more on that later). I guess it’s a good thing I am just in the “pre-cleanse”.

At any rate, it has prompted me to pull out the Pamela’s Baking Mix from the pantry and try out some gluten free/sugar free/dairy free recipes.

Last week I baked some banana bread that the whole family liked. I doubled the batch and added a bit too much salt, but otherwise it was very tasty. Here is the recipe:

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar or honey
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup banana, mashed
1-3/4 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Beat together butter, sugar or honey, eggs and banana. Add remaining ingredients and mix together. Pour into a large greased loaf pan.

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 1 hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Just a few minutes ago the little guy and I put some chocolate chip pumpkin bread in the oven. I did not make the topping…we’ll have to see how it turns out! Here is the recipe for that one:

Pumpkin Bread with Crumble Nut Topping

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar {I used honey instead}
2 large eggs
1 cup of canned pumpkin
1-1/3 cup Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves

¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Topping: (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of nuts (sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans)

Beat together butter, sugar, egg, and pumpkin. Add remaining bread ingredients and mix together. Gently mix in chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased loaf pan (8 x 4). Mix nut topping ingredients and smooth evenly over batter to the edges. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or when toothpick inserted comes out almost clean.


I am using organic ingredients where I can and find that Trader Joe’s has a great selection. I also shop at Safeway and use their “O” brand. We also live less than 2 miles from a Whole Foods and I know I can find plenty of organic and gluten free cooking supplies there. I am finding it hard to find options that are BOTH organic AND gluten free, but I am sure it will happen soon.

home is…making healthy lifestyle changes.