Let’s Plant!

IMG_6898We have been blessed with amazing weather the past several days.  It almost makes you forget that just over a week ago it was spitting snow and freezing.  As soon as the weather warms up each spring, I am eager to start planting flowers, herbs, and vegetables.  A couple of years ago, I started growing the herbs in old wash tubs on our deck.  I found that it was so much easier to care for them because they were literally right outside my back door.  Our vegetable garden is at the back of our property (annoyingly far from any water source) and I always blame it being to far away from our house as the reason it gets out of control every year. I could blame laziness, but would rather blame the location! Ha!  Maybe this will be the year that doesn’t happen…


I was so excited when a trip to get groceries led me to find these Ranunculus! Trust me, where we live, I seriously felt like God had put them there just for me!  These are one of my very favorite flowers, but similar to the Hydrangea, they are way to expensive to purchase just to fill vases within our home.  Last summer, I purchased a few at $3 per stem!  Not per bunch, but per single stem!  We have planted a few Hydrangea bushes throughout the past several years for the exact same reason.  A fresh-cut Hydrangea from our yard will last a few weeks in the home if kept with fresh water.  And a little tip about the Hydrangea: ice-cold water is best for these beauties, per a florist friend of mine.  I actually add ice cubes to the water when I first bring in and then just refill the vases with cold water as needed. But, back to the Ranunculus! They come in a variety of fun colors and prefer full sun and daily watering.  This site shares how best to care for these beauties.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll share more about how we plant our herbs and as the weather continues to stay warm, our veggie garden.  I am definitely not an expert, but just happen to love gardening.  Thankfully I married a farmer who happens to be excellent at growing and caring for a vegetable garden!  Any favorite flowers you think I should plant this year?  I typically go with petunias because they are easy to care for and lots of green or variegated large leafy plants such as Coleus.  Happy planting, friends!


Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:11-12 (NIV)


nut-free chocolate truffles

IMG_6989We’ve had a rough few weeks due to my oldest being home sick with a terrible stomach bug that landed her in the ER last weekend.  She is now well, by the grace of God, and come to find out, she is more like her mama than even I knew.  It turns out that we both love to watch Food Network when we don’t feel well and dream about all of the things we will eat when our stomachs feel normal again.  She said she wished she could eat all of these at one time or another throughout the past week:  macaroons, whoopee pies, and cheese tortellini (she did finally have this).  Macaroons aren’t something I ever make because they require almond flour and my son has to avoid all tree nuts/peanuts, so those were definitely not going to happen.  Whoopee pies are something we all love, but thanks to watching a little Food Network today, we found a new recipe that required zero bake time and took all of 5 minutes to prepare!  The recipe we saw on “The Chew” actually had walnuts in it so we knew we couldn’t try those.  We went searching for a safe recipe for our house and about 30 seconds later, we found this gem!  And the best part is, THE KIDS LOVE THEM!  Another bonus is they have no refined sugar and the sweetness comes from dates, so they are the perfect snack for the “no sugar” fast!  Check out the recipe, whip up a batch, and have a great weekend!


 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Quinoa Fruit Salad

IMG_6816I’m a little late in sharing, but I joined my friend, Wendy, in her 40-Day Sugar Fast this past Monday.  I highly encourage you to check out her website and join in!  You can also join a private FB group for more encouragement on this 40 day journey.  All of the details are on Wendy’s website.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 
 Psalm 34:8

Giving up sugar means something different for each person.  For me, it is giving up refined sugars and white/whole wheat flours, while keeping natural sugars from fruit, raw honey, or pure maple syrup.  I have been using quinoa in savory dishes, but thought I would try in a sweet dish.  I love the result, but my husband wasn’t sold on the texture.  He thought the flavors were there, but just didn’t love the grainy texture.  I loved both the flavor and texture, but also appreciated that this fruit salad didn’t leave me bloated, like a big bowl of fruit has a tendency to do.  Plus, this has the added protein the quinoa provides.  Play around with the fruits you add to this.  I had wanted to add blueberries and mangos, but if you live where we live, the fresh fruit selection is hit or miss.  There are variations of this recipe around the web, but this is the version I really like!  Also, if you are looking for a quick  DELICIOUS dressing for your spring or summer salad, you NEED to make this honey-lime dressing ASAP.  It is my new favorite!



Quinoa Fruit Salad


  • 1 cup quinoa (I prefer the pre-rinsed version)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Honey-Lime Dressing:
  • 5-6 tbs raw honey
  • juice of 2 limes
  • Fresh Fruit:
  • 5-6 cups chopped fresh fruit


    Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Let cool.
    For dressing: blend honey and lime juice with whisk or immersion blender until well blended.
    For fruit: wash and chop according to size you prefer in traditional fruit salad.
    Combine all ingredients in bowl. Stir gently until all ingredients mixed well. Top with fresh, chopped herbs if desired.
    Note: I used white quinoa, which when chilled with fruit, will take on the color of the fruit. To avoid this, use red or black quinoa. Enjoy!
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lemon-lavender scones


Spring is almost here, can you feel it?  The birds are finding their way back to our farm and I know most people don’t love the time change we endure every year, but I love having the daylight last just a little longer after the darkness of winter.  Don’t be confused, though, this girl loves winter and I may be the only one that was disappointed with our lack of snow this year.  Once March hits, snow or no snow, I’m ready to move past winter and head into spring.  These Lemon-Lavender Sconces would be a great addition to a weekend brunch menu, a spring bridle or baby shower, or an after school snack, which is what they were used for at my house.

IMG_6675Lemon and lavender are a favorite combination of ours, both in food and essential oils.  In fact, the first time I ever made lavender shortbread cookies, my husband loved, to my surprise.  I feel like lavender is either a “love it” or “hate it” herb and there is no in between.  This scone recipe uses lavender in both its whole form and then also to infuse the cream prior to adding to the recipe.  I have to add that this is the easiest scone recipe I’ve used and yielded the best result of any I’ve made.  Typically I just find a great go to recipe and stick with it and give you the link to find the original recipe, but this recipe I created by combining a few different recipes and then tweaking to our tastes.  I will go ahead and say right now that I do think most scone recipes mimic so many others in various ways that it would be hard for someone to actually stake a claim as the “original” recipe developer, but if my recipe is similar or spot on with yours, please feel free to let me know.  This is very simple to put together and the hardest part is probably infusing the cream with dried lavender and not because it’s difficult, but because it takes planning ahead for the time involved.  Nowadays, you can find dried lavender at most health food or specialty grocery stores.  I’ve even been know to drop a single drop of pure lavender oil into recipes if I’m out of dried, but the dried version shows off by adding tiny purple flecks to the finished recipe.  Do you have a favorite scone recipe?  My friend, Lori, mentioned Strawberry-Rosemary Scones! I’m thinking those will definitely be apart of our summer menu rotation once my rosemary starts producing again.  What are you most looking forward to this spring, both in the kitchen and outside?


lemon-lavender scones

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1 Scone


  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender + 1 teaspoon for infusing heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Glaze:
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-3 Tbs milk depending on how thick or thin you want glaze
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


    To begin, heat heavy cream, honey, and 1 tsp dried lavender over medium heat just until it starts to foam. Remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes. Strain lavender from cream. Discard the lavender and cool the cream. Once cool, refrigerate until cold.
    Lemon-Lavender Scones:
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, dried lavender, and lemon zest. Using a pastry cutter or pulse button in food processor, to cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients. Fold in the chilled lavender infused heavy cream, egg yolk, and lemon juice until well combined and crumbs are folded into the dough.
    Form the dough into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten the ball into a circle about 1/2"-3/4" thick (a rule works great). Cut the circle into eight equal triangles.
    Bake for 14-16 minutes (time may vary based on your oven), or until slightly golden brown. Let cool completely.
    Lemon Glaze:
    Cool scones completely before glazing. Use a sharp (chefs) knife to separate the cooled scones before glazing. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, milk, and lemon juice until well combined and smooth. Drizzle glaze over scones.
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