1
175 Calorie Birthday Cake Ice Cream Brownie
2
Freezer Salisbury Steak
3
Planting our 2016 Christmas Tree!
4
Bombay Potatoes and Free Lettuce Seeds!
5
Strawberry Banana Pineapple Smoothie
6
Our New Shipping Container Flooring
7
Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions
8
Spring is here! Garden seeds are planted!
9
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars with Chocolate Frosting
10
Vanilla Celebration Whoopie Pies
11
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken and White Bean Soup
12
First 20 Weeks of Pregnancy
13
Easy Pumpkin Pancakes
14
Gluten Free Baked Vanilla Donuts with Pink Beet Frosting
15
You should grow black beans in your garden!
16
Shredded Chicken Dumpling Soup
17
Small Kitchen Inspiration on a Budget
18
Homemade Plain Scones Recipe
19
Brooklyn Farm Baby, Being Picked Summer 2017
20
A Purrfect Valentine For Your Cats

175 Calorie Birthday Cake Ice Cream Brownie

DELICIOUS and only 175 CALORIES, this Birthday Cake Ice Cream Chocolate Brownie is my favorite dessert recipe!  This healthy easy recipe uses all-natural ingredients and won’t leave you without any guilt after eating!  It’s amazing – you must try it!  This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Halo Top Creamery. All opinions are 100% mine.

This Birthday Cake Ice Cream Chocolate Brownie has been satisfying my ice cream craving.  And even better, the entire thing is only 175 calories which means I don’t have to feel guilty at all about having ice cream after dinner! DELICIOUS and only 175 CALORIES, this Birthday Cake Ice Cream Chocolate Brownie is my favorite dessert recipe! This healthy easy recipe uses all-natural ingredients and won't leave you without any guilt after eating! It's amazing - you must try it!

Have you heard about Halo Top ice cream? It’s all the buzz right now in the food world!  It has so much buzz to it my husband who doesn’t really look at food blogs except the occasional “Science of Chocolate Chip Cookies” or “This is the best pizza dough ever!” articles mentioned Halo Top ice cream to me a few days ago.  I had to stop in my tracks and realize that if my husband is talking about it, then it must be serious!  I ran to the store (more like waddled) and picked out 4 kinds to try – Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Mint Chip and Birthday Cake.  Sadly they were out of Peanut Butter Cup and Oatmeal Cookie or I would have added those to my shopping basket too.  DELICIOUS and only 175 CALORIES, this Birthday Cake Ice Cream Chocolate Brownie is my favorite dessert recipe! This healthy easy recipe uses all-natural ingredients and won't leave you without any guilt after eating! It's amazing - you must try it!

Read More

Freezer Salisbury Steak

Make-Ahead Freezer Salisbury Steak recipe that makes a comforting family dinner!  This easy to make recipe uses Cream of Mushroom Soup and French Onion Soup to create a creamy gravy to pour on top of the steak patties. All you have to do is bake it and freeze it and it’ll be ready for weeknights when you don’t have time to cook.  Serve alongside mashed potatoes and veggies for a full dinner.    This recipe is sponsored by Peapod.

Sometimes life can get busy where you don’t have a hour to cook a home cooked meal.  Instead of grabbing a boxed meal, or even worse ordering takeout,  I love making homemade make-ahead freezer meals that I know will satisfy everyone at the dinner table on those busy weeknights.    This Salisbury Steak recipe is one of our favorites and reminds me of the classic TV dinner that I used to love as a kid, but this is completely homemade.   

Make-Ahead Freezer Salisbury Steak recipe that makes a comforting family dinner! This easy to make recipe uses Cream of Mushroom Soup and French Onion Soup to create a creamy gravy to pour on top of the steak patties. All you have to do is bake it and freeze it and it'll be ready for weeknights when you don't have time to cook. Serve alongside mashed potatoes and veggies for a full dinner.

When I find myself with some free time on the weekend, I’ll make 2 or 3 of these meals to put in the freezer so I can grab one when I just don’t have time to cook in the kitchen.   The dish is so popular in my house that instead of groans that frozen meals can get, this one receives a big cheer (and even sometimes requested!).    Whenever I make it I always serve with creamy mashed potatoes and a green veggie- either Brussels Sprouts or broccoli.
Make-Ahead Freezer Salisbury Steak recipe that makes a comforting family dinner! This easy to make recipe uses Cream of Mushroom Soup and French Onion Soup to create a creamy gravy to pour on top of the steak patties. All you have to do is bake it and freeze it and it'll be ready for weeknights when you don't have time to cook. Serve alongside mashed potatoes and veggies for a full dinner.

Read More

Planting our 2016 Christmas Tree!

Last year we started the tradition of planting our Christmas trees Upstate on the land.  This would be something to look back on one day, a majestic forest of pine and spruce trees with memories of the holidays.  This year we continued the tradition and planted Christmas tree #2!

Planting our 2016 Christmas tree!

I know, I know.. THE BUMP!

We had a beautiful weekend (it was 80 degrees!) so we decided to visit the land to plant the tree and do some Spring cleanup before planting season begins.  We haven’t been Upstate in almost 2 months so it was nice to get away and bask in the sunshine while digging around in the soil on a lazy Sunday.  Our Christmas tree has been inside our apartment since November, a little longer than we would have liked to keep it inside but it would have gotten cold shocked if we planted it earlier.   Somehow Matthew and I both forgot we now have a greenhouse that we could have moved the tree into during the Winter months – duh – we’ll remember this next year!  We’ve kept the tree close to the windows inside, and well watered, but it definitely showed signs of wanting to move outdoors.   We lost needles on the bottom section of the tree and had some browning, but the upper section of the tree looks great and has had lots of new green growth indoors.

 Planting our 2016 Christmas tree!

Read More

Bombay Potatoes and Free Lettuce Seeds!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tasty Bite. All opinions are 100% mine.

I always get so excited when I learn that one of my favorite food companies is helping to promote gardening and growing your own.  As soon as I learned about Tasty Bite’s Good Seed program, I knew I had to share with you guys!

Tasty Bite partnered with AmpleHarvest.org to give away free lettuce seeds to people who pledge to share their vegetable harvest!    Tasty Bite has a great range of Thai, Indian and Asian products made with real food and real ingredients.    Their products would go perfect over some fresh garden lettuce! Their goal is to help eliminate waste by helping people grow their own food and share their extra crops by donating to food pantries.  Tasty Bite Good Seed Program is over for this year, but it’s an annual program, so make sure to sign up for their newsletter on tastybite.com for alerts on next year’s Good Seed program. Tasty Bite Lettuce Seeds_3

Our lettuce seeds will be planted in about a week for our Summer garden.  We love growing lettuce because it’s a simple plant that easily grows without much care.   I’m going to repeat what I always say… but how awesome is it go from lettuce seeds… to lettuce seedlings.. Lettuce Seedlings

Read More

Strawberry Banana Pineapple Smoothie

HEALTHY, TRIPLE FRUIT Strawberry, Banana, Pineapple Smoothie! This healthy recipe is easy to make – just throw all your ingredients in the blender!  The milk (regular or almond) makes it creamy and delicious! I love this recipe for breakfast or a afternoon snack – it always energizes me! 

It’s April 10th and it’s almost 70 degrees in NYC!  Can we officially declare that the weather is changing?  I don’t want to jinx it because I know it won’t last, but the last few days of beautiful weather has me craving fresh fruit!  In the Winter I snack on bananas and apples, mostly because I can’t deal with spending $6 on a pint of out of season berries, but with Summer around the corner, I can’t wait for fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries to grow in the garden and to be cheaply accessible in local farmers markets! Summer is all about the berries – don’t you agree?

HEALTHY, TRIPLE FRUIT Strawberry, Banana, Pineapple Smoothie! This healthy recipe is easy to make - just throw all your ingredients in the blender! The milk (regular or almond) makes it creamy and delicious! I love this recipe for breakfast or a afternoon snack - it always energizes me!

This is one of my favorite smooth recipes and it includes 3 of my favorites: strawberries, banana and pineapple. I love how the sweet flavor of the strawberries mixes with the tropical taste of the pineapple.   Mix it with some milk (regular or almond milk), throw in some ice cubes to quickly chill it and you’ll have a healthy, filling smoothie in less than 2 minutes.

HEALTHY, TRIPLE FRUIT Strawberry, Banana, Pineapple Smoothie! This healthy recipe is easy to make - just throw all your ingredients in the blender! The milk (regular or almond) makes it creamy and delicious! I love this recipe for breakfast or a afternoon snack - it always energizes me!

Read More

Our New Shipping Container Flooring

How to remodel a shipping container’s floor to make it move in ready.   Find out how to easily refinish the floors on a budget to turn it into your modern dream home!  Great design inspiration and cost info for your shipping container house! 

It’s been a few months since I last posted about our Upstate Adventure and what’s going on with our shipping container! As some of you might remember we bought a shipping container to turn into a vacation home.  First – we painted the interior – what a difference some white paint makes (life motto!).   But how about those ugly original floors…?!   Well it’s time to redo the flooring to make it safe and move in ready!

Before and After (can you believe it?!)
How to remodel a shipping container's floor to make it move in ready.   Find out how to easily refinish the floors on a budget to turn it into your modern dream home!  Great design inspiration and cost info for your shipping container house!

Our container has traveled around the world (literally – you should see it’s travel logs that I downloaded) so you can imagine the flooring had some wear and tear to it.   We decided to go with a used shipping container instead of getting a brand new one because we were on a budget and we aren’t scared of DIY projects.  In fact you might even say we like DIY projects and look forward to our weekend escape of getting our clothes dirty.    

Read More

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

DELICIOUS Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions that are easy to make in your Crockpot! This 4 ingredient recipe is the best and will have melt in your mouth onions ready for your favorite dish in 5 hours! Serve them with soups, casseroles, sandwiches, salads, chicken, pasta, burgers, pizza and more – seriously, you can add them to almost anything!

These Caramelized Onions came at a perfect time since we just planted our onion seeds for Spring, and I was able to use the remaining 3 pounds of last years onions for this recipe.    It’s always magical when the timing works out perfect and you can go from harvest to seed without much waiting in between.    

DELICIOUS Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions that are easy to make in your Crockpot! This 4 ingredient recipe is the best and will have melt in your mouth onions ready for your favorite dish in 5 hours! Serve them with soups, casseroles, sandwiches, salads, chicken, pasta, burgers, pizza and more - seriously, you can add them to almost anything!

These Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions are what dreams are made out of.   By slow cooking them we’re bringing out the natural sweetness of the onions as the sugar caramelizes.   What starts as a full crockpot of onions is going to turn into a much smaller amount as they melt down.   What you’re left with (besides an amazing smelling house that is going to make your neighbors jealous) is savory, sweet onions that are ready for you to add anywhere – soups, casseroles, sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza – seriously, you can add them to anything!   My husband came home and he started to immediately swoon upon the first smell of these sweet onions.   On the first bite, his knees buckled and I had to catch him!  The man loves his onions.      

DELICIOUS Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions that are easy to make in your Crockpot! This 4 ingredient recipe is the best and will have melt in your mouth onions ready for your favorite dish in 5 hours! Serve them with soups, casseroles, sandwiches, salads, chicken, pasta, burgers, pizza and more - seriously, you can add them to almost anything!

This recipe will be for sure one that will stick around with us for years to come after we pick our garden onions.  I hope you give it a taste – I think you’ll be really happy you did!

Read More

Spring is here! Garden seeds are planted!

I’m officially declaring it Spring because a few days ago I was able to wear a dress without tights under!  Since it’s Spring that means one thing – it’s time to plan our garden!  We always look forward to planting our seeds in Spring and the organization that comes with it.  First we talk about what grew good last year, what we didn’t think do that well, what we grew too much of (bok choy!), what we need more of.  Then we discuss adding new vegetables to the garden – is there anything that we really want to grow that we aren’t already? From there we view catalogs, make a list, order any seeds that we might need and start planting.

The answer some of those questions…. the garden is staying pretty similar to last year with some little changes.  Cauliflower continues to be challenging for us to grow and leaves us not feeling that it’s always worth it.  Matthew wanted to get rid of cauliflower completely this year but I talked him into giving it one more chance, so we’re trying a new variety (Snow Crown).  Cauliflower, don’t let me down, you’re on notice.   We grew almost 100 bok choy plants last year which was crazy, so this year we are growing less, and I will be picking it earlier in the season to enjoy it in it’s “baby” size.  We’re getting rid of radishes, they’re so easy to grow that it almost feels wrong to stop but I just haven’t been in a radish mood.    

How to Plan Your Spring Garden. Spring is a great time to organize your seeds and decide what vegetables grew great and didn't work last year. Follow these tips and ideas for a successful Spring garden planting season!

The new addition to the garden is celery! We’ll be trying to grow it for the first ever this year so stay tuned on how that goes!  Isn’t it amazing to see 100 future celery plants in my hand?  (We aren’t growing 100 though!)

How to Plan Your Spring Garden. Spring is a great time to organize your seeds and decide what vegetables grew great and didn't work last year. Follow these tips and ideas for a successful Spring garden planting season!

Read More

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars with Chocolate Frosting

Guilt-free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars with Melted Chocolate Frosting on top!  You’ll love how easy this recipe is and how these bars don’t fall apart!  These bars are great for breakfast or dessert and are packed with protein!   To keep it light on calories substitute 1/2 cup Stevia Blend instead of sugar.  

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whole Earth Sweetener Co.. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have a sweet tooth that can’t be contained right now.  If life continues this way, the baby’s favorite food will definitely be donuts.  Because I was craving something sweet but wanted to watch the calories (that means you can eat more!) I made these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars with Chocolate Frosting using Whole Earth Sweetener Baking Blend, which has less sugar and calories than traditional sugar per serving.  In the recipe, I will give you both options, Whole Earth Sweetener Baking Blend and sugar, but I wanted to share with you how great this raw sugar & organic stevia blend has been for me and my baking adventures.   Guilt-free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars with Melted Chocolate Frosting on top! You'll love how easy this recipe is and how these bars don't fall apart! These bars are great for breakfast or dessert and are packed with protein! To keep it light on calories substitute 1/2 cup Stevia Blend instead of sugar.

These bars are delicious.  A few weeks ago my husband went on a Bachelor’s Party weekend to Vermont skiing.  Because I knew the boys would need fuel in between skiing down the slopes and playing Magic the Gathering (it was a wild weekend), I sent Matthew on the trip with a whole pan of these bars.   The bars were quickly gone,  and the boys were happy.   Lots of times when you do a chocolate frosting you worry that they will be messy to handle, but if these can take on a road trip – then you can imagine how great they’d be for your own road trip, school/work lunches, birthday parties, sleepovers, or just having some always on the kitchen counter ready to be enjoyed. Yummy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars with Melted Chocolate Frosting on top. To keep it light on calories substitute 1/2 cup Stevia Blend instead of sugar.

Read More

Vanilla Celebration Whoopie Pies

Tracking PixelIt’s time to celebrate with these classic Vanilla Whoopie Pies!  This easy recipe makes delicious vanilla whoopie cake pies with marshmallow creme filling (just like homemade Amish Whoopie Pies!).  These pretty treats are perfect for a birthday party or baby shower celebration (Its a girl!) with the help of pink food coloring and rainbow sprinkles.   This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.

These super delicious (seriously, I ate so many in the past day, someone take them away from me!) whoopie pies scream CELEBRATION!  They are perfect for celebrating birthdays, baby showers and “I’m special, so let’s celebrate with whoopie pies” kinda days.   I mean do we really need a reason to celebrate cake tasting whoopie pies that are pretty pink in color, baked with rainbow sprinkles and then have more sprinkles on the yummy marshmallow creme?  Nope, we don’t need a reason.  So bake yourself some Vanilla Celebration Whoopie Pies!

It's time to celebrate with these classic Vanilla Whoopie Pies! This easy recipe makes delicious vanilla whoopie cake pies with marshmallow creme filling (just like homemade Amish Whoopie Pies!). These pretty treats are perfect for a birthday party or baby shower celebration (Its a girl!) with the help of pink food coloring and rainbow sprinkles.

Whoopie pies are one of my childhood favorites.  Whenever we made weekly trips to the Amish Market I would beg Mom and Dad to spoil me with a whoopie pie for the trip home.  These Whoopie Pies taste just like I remember as a kid, they pies are soft and taste like cake.  The cream inside is made up of powdered sugar, butter and marshmallow fluff so it’s rich tasting, sweet and very addicting (it’s my favorite part of a whoopie pie!). 

It's time to celebrate with these classic Vanilla Whoopie Pies! This easy recipe makes delicious vanilla whoopie cake pies with marshmallow creme filling (just like homemade Amish Whoopie Pies!). These pretty treats are perfect for a birthday party or baby shower celebration (Its a girl!) with the help of pink food coloring and rainbow sprinkles.

Read More

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken and White Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken and White Bean Soup is packed with healthy, hearty vegetables which is going to warm up your dinner table! This recipe is easy to make – throw all the ingredients in your crock pot for 8 hours and it’s ready! Even better – this meal is economical and doesn’t cost much to make!

This Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken and White Bean Soup warms my heart physically and emotionally.  It’s everything a comforting Winter time soup should be – easy to make, makes the house smell great, is filling and makes me feel warm.  
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken and White Bean soup is packed with healthy, hearty vegetables which is going to warm up your dinner table! This recipe is easy to make - throw all the ingredients in your crock pot for 8 hours and it's ready! Even better - this meal is economical and doesn't cost much to make!

On the emotional side it makes me happy because it is filled with vegetables from our Summer garden.   Besides the carrots and celery we are using our canned stewed tomatoes which I can’t get enough of.   We canned so many of these tomatoes I lost track of how many.
Stewed Tomatoes in Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken and White Bean Soup

Read More

First 20 Weeks of Pregnancy

Talking about the first 20 weeks of pregnancy for a first time mom.  Symptoms, Mood, Weight, Ultrasound Pics, Doctor Visits and more discussed! 

I wasn’t sure if I was going to make these types of posts.  And then I got to thinking more about it and felt it would be fun to look back on one day.  Instead of documenting every 1 or 2 weeks, I’m doing Weeks 1-20… and then probably 20-30 and then 30-40, or something like that.  I guess time will tell as I’m facing new experiences.

So here we are..  I’m in Week 24 now but we’re going to just discuss the first 20 weeks for now.  We’ll save talking about how baby is now participating in zumba classes in my belly for another post.  I guess we can get the stats and dates out of the way first.  We had sex on October 14 to make the baby (hello TMI).  Yes, I know the exact date.  My Doctor never believes that I know the exact date but I know because we were working hard on a job and only had time/energy to do the sexy dance once during my peak ovulation week.  You know how they tell you in school it only takes once to get pregnant?  They’re telling the truth.   My ovulation was peak on October 15.  Before trying to get pregnant I had no idea you could track your ovulation with test strips.   I would highly recommend them, even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant as it’s pretty wonderful to really start to witness how amazing your body is and how in tune we can get.  If you’re trying to conceive I’d also suggest using a app (I used Ovia) that tracks your period, symptoms, etc and lets you know when you’re most fertile.   We took a pregnancy test on October 29, which would be DPO (that’s days post ovulation) 14.    It was positive.   So calendar speaking, we found out around Week 4 we were with baby (to make things more confusing the first day of the last menstrual period becomes the date from which pregnancy is counted to start even though conception occurs about two weeks later.)

Pregnacy-Week-1-20

Read More

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

You’ll love how easy this Pumpkin Pancakes recipe is! These delicious extra fluffy pancakes made from scratch are low carb and packed with protein (1/2 cup pumpkin!). They make a healthy substitution instead of buttermilk pancakes. My family considers them “the best pumpkin pancakes in the world!”.

I know you’re probably thinking “Isn’t NYC in a snowstorm right now, but yet you’re posting a pumpkin recipe?”.   You’re right.  NYC is under a blanket of beautiful white snow.  And I still have over 100 pounds of pumpkins from the Fall garden decorating my apartment.    Can you believe it?   We have big pumpkins, pie size, and munchkins sprawled out all over the apartment just like it was still Halloween.   I have to clear a few out as they go bad, but at this rate I think I’m good to go with fresh pumpkins for at least the next few months! 

You'll love how easy this Pumpkin Pancakes recipe is! These delicious extra fluffy pancakes made from scratch are low carb and packed with protein (1/2 cup pumpkin!). They make a healthy substitution instead of buttermilk pancakes. My family considers them "the best pumpkin pancakes in the world!".

Being a girl who loves pumpkin year round and doesn’t believe that pumpkin only needs to be celebrated in the Fall I wanted to bake up a pumpkin breakfast to satisfy my pancake craving I’ve been having (hello baby!).    Pumpkin pancakes are one of those foods that are near perfection for me.  Throw a little dab of butter on top, definitely add some maple syrup and you have the perfect breakfast (or dinner!).  These pancakes are fluffy, moist and have a delicious flavor of pumpkin and spices to take them to that next level.  Pumpkin pancakes, I love you.

You'll love how easy this Pumpkin Pancakes recipe is! These delicious extra fluffy pancakes made from scratch are low carb and packed with protein (1/2 cup pumpkin!). They make a healthy substitution instead of buttermilk pancakes. My family considers them "the best pumpkin pancakes in the world!".

If you don’t have any fresh pumpkins lying around in March, don’t worry.  You can use frozen pumpkin puree that you kept from your Fall pumpkins (remember how easy it is to make?) or you can use canned pumpkin.  Either way, I hope you enjoy these Pumpkin Pancakes soon!

Read More

Gluten Free Baked Vanilla Donuts with Pink Beet Frosting

These donuts are so pretty and yummy!  Gluten Free Baked Vanilla Donuts recipe with a bright pink frosting on top!  The icing glaze is completely all natural and made with beet powder – which has no beet taste to it!  These cute donuts are great for birthday party, bridal party and wedding desserts!

These donuts are stunning.   They are beauty pageant material.    With a golden brown baking finish, and the prettiest natural pink color frosting on top  you might as well call them Miss Donut World 2017.  And the taste?  Oh my! Give the donuts their sash and crown already because they’re delicious!

These donuts are so pretty and yummy! Gluten Free Baked Vanilla Donuts recipe with a bright pink frosting on top! The icing glaze is completely all natural and made with beet powder - which has no beet taste to it! These cute donuts are great for birthday party, bridal party and wedding desserts!

FAQ for this recipe:

Where can I buy a donut pan?
You can buy one at kitchen supply stores, most large department stores and of course – Amazon!  I recommend getting 2 pans as most recipes make 12 donuts.

Is your recipe right, do I really need to use 6 eggs?
Yes, you really do.   Coconut flour is super absorbent and needs extra liquid in it.   When substituting coconut flour for all purpose flour, you should add 1 extra egg for every 1/4 cup of coconut flour being added.  For example, this recipe when using all purpose flour calls for 2 eggs, but since we’re using 1 cup coconut flour we need to add a extra 4 eggs equaling 6 eggs.   I know this sounds crazy if you’ve never used coconut flour but you’ll be amazed by how much the flour absorbs the liquid.

Can I use all purpose flour instead of coconut flour?
Yes,  use 1 cup all purpose flour and 2 eggs (instead of 6).

My donuts always fall apart when they come out, what did I do wrong?
Most likely you didn’t cook them long enough so please (especially with this recipe) make sure to use a toothpick to insert into a donut to make sure they are fully cooked.  When you are absolutely sure they are fully done, remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. After that I use a butter knife and gently scrape around the edges to remove each donut.  

Do you have any other frosting recipes?
Sure, try chocolate or peanut butter frosting.

Do I have to use beet powder?
Of course not – that just gives them a pretty natural color. If you want to add no color to the frosting, don’t add add beet powder (it will just be a plain white frosting).  If you don’t have beet powder you can use blueberries (great for a natural dye) or food coloring (not so natural).

How many donuts does this recipe make?
It makes 12 dozens.

These donuts are so pretty and yummy! Gluten Free Baked Vanilla Donuts recipe with a bright pink frosting on top! The icing glaze is completely all natural and made with beet powder - which has no beet taste to it! These cute donuts are great for birthday party, bridal party and wedding desserts!

Read More

You should grow black beans in your garden!

How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden.  Looking for a new plant to grow in  your garden this year?  Try growing black beans!  They’re easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

It’s the beginning of March which means your garden has already crossed your mind. We’ll start planting seeds indoors in about a week for our Spring garden, but it’s never too early to start planning for Summer.   Whenever I post a black bean recipe I get a few readers that say they want to grow black beans.  You know what? You should! You all should! If you are looking for a new plant to grow in your 2017 garden, why not try dry black beans? 

How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

Quick How to Grow/Harvest Black Beans

The black beans we always grow are Midnight Black Turtle Soup beans from Johnny Seeds.  We’ve had year after year success with them so if you’re looking for a recommendation, get them. We grow our black beans in the “beans” garden bed where they grow alongside dry white beans, soy beans and green beans.  To get a idea of how much time they take to grow, last year we planted black beans  (directly in the soil) on May 29 and we pulled them to dry on September 10.  On average they take 100-110 days to fully mature, ours took 104 days to be exact.  The way that you know the plants are done is when the plants topple over and turn brown.  The other trick is is to shake the bean pod.  If you hear the beans rattling around then you know they’re full developed and ready to be picked.   You’re going to want to hang up your black bean plants to dry for a week so just yank up the entire plant and tie up in some place that will remain dry.   We usually ties ours up in our garden shed.   Once they’re all dry, now comes the fun/terrible part – time to individually pick each pod off the plant, break it open and remove the beans. And just like you have black beans to use and store.

Tips/Info:

If you intend on eating these often, I would suggest growing 15 plants per person.   This should last you throughout all the seasons until you grow again.   If you really love black beans, grow even more!  The black beans won’t go bad, so it’s not like you’ll be wasting them if you grow too many.

Black beans are incredibly easy to take care of, they are kind of no nonsense plants.  Plant them, water them occasionally, give them sunshine and they’ll grow without any additional help.   

You can grow these in the ground or in containers – both work great.

How to grow black bean plants from seeds in your vegetable garden. Looking for a new plant to grow in your garden this year? Try growing black beans! They're easy to grow, produce a good yield and store great for recipes!

Read More

Shredded Chicken Dumpling Soup

Easy to make recipe for Homemade Shredded Chicken Dumpling Soup with potatoes, carrots and celery. This creamy soup is a healthy comfort dinner food! Best served with biscuits to dip into the chicken broth! Mom, your families are going to love this!

This soup is a Winter comfort food favorite.   It’s so delicious that I can almost guarantee that whenever I make it, we’ll have it the night after again because the craving will still be there.  That’s what happened last week. I made it on Wednesday, we ate it all, we loved it.  On Thursday we decided we were going to make it for dinner again.  And we ate it all again.  

Easy to make recipe for Shredded Chicken Dumpling Soup with potatoes, carrots and celery. This soup is a healthy comfort food!

The best thing about this soup besides the homemade dumplings (yum!) is that it’s also filled with veggies – potatoes, celery, carrots – everything a good chicken soup should have in it.  

Easy to make recipe for Shredded Chicken Dumpling Soup with potatoes, carrots and celery. This soup is a healthy comfort food!

FAQ for this recipe:

Can I substitute or add additional vegetables?
Feel fee to make it your own and add additional vegetables if you’re trying to empty out the fridge – onions, peas, green beans, and bite size cauliflower are all equally good in it.  Just don’t skip on the potatoes – never skip on the potatoes!

Can I use chicken bouillon cubes instead of broth?
Absolutely, I do it all the time.   

Can I make this vegetarian?
You sure can.  Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and don’t add in chicken breast.  You might want to add in some additional protein like white or great northern beans. 

Are dumplings hard to make?
No.  Homemade dumplings are one of the easiest things to make.  It’s really just about mixing some simple ingredients together and then dropping it into hot broth to form the dumpling.   The dumplings might not be the prettiest you’ve ever seen, but they will taste just as delicious. 

Do I need to make a side dish for this soup?
I never do, it’s pretty hearty as is.  I like to serve with some buttered bread or rolls.

How many servings is this recipe?
3-4 supper servings.

How good is this soup?
So good you’ll make it again tomorrow.

Read More

Small Kitchen Inspiration on a Budget

Tracking PixelEasy ways to refresh your small apartment kitchen on a budget!  This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lowe’s.

Based on the many recipes I post here on the blog, and the endless baked goods on Instagram, I spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen. Actually, at a recent therapist visit the Doctor asked me what I do to relax.  I responded “Yoga…and I hang out in the kitchen”.   I love spending time in the kitchen baking afternoon sweets, making dinner, recipe creation and getting my full garden harvest preserving on once Summer rolls around.  During garden season it’s not rare that I have to put one day aside a week to preserve our vegetables, so I consider myself kitchen devoted.

Easy ways to refresh your small apartment kitchen on a budget!

Unfortunately my kitchen is not a dream.   When I moved into my apartment, close to 12 years ago, it was a nightmare.  There was hardly any space to not only cook, but at the bare minimum cabinet space.  I think when we first moved in there was 3 cabinets, a (ugly) sink, a (ugly) stove and a (ugly) refrigerator.  My kitchen loving heart ached.    Thankfully the kitchen and I have grown together and it’s turned into something more pleasing and usable.  Now I have lots more cabinets! I have a island! I have shelves! I have storage! I have a beautiful refrigerator and too many kitchen gadgets and appliances to the point whenever I get a new one my husband asks “Another one?”.  Yes, another one!   So although my kitchen still isn’t the dream, I feel like we’re finally in a ok place with each other. 

Read More

Homemade Plain Scones Recipe

EASY delicious Homemade Scones that are perfect to serve with clotted cream, jam and tea!  This is a one bowl recipe that creates crumbly English soft scones – just like at a tea house.  The secret to this recipe is sour cream! Add blueberry or raspberry to them to make them berry flavored! 

Scones have been on my “must conquer” recipe list for quite some time.  Making the perfect scone is hard and I usually was left with something that was dense and cake-like and not crumbly and light, how scones should be.  But no more – scones, I’ve come and conquered you.   I’m in love with this recipe so much that I worry I’m going to be making these at least twice a week because they’ve become our new favorite afternoon snack (I always have one with my daily tea!).   Make sure to serve them warm with clotted cream and jam.  If you want to add fruit to them, you can totally can, just read my FAQ below for help.  Enjoy!

EASY delicious Homemade Scones that are perfect to serve with clotted cream, jam and tea!  This is a one bowl recipe that creates crumbly English soft scones – just like at a tea house.  The secret to this recipe is sour cream! Add blueberry or raspberry to them to make them berry flavored!

FAQ for this recipe:

Do I need a food processor for this?
In theory, no, but it makes the scones much easier to make and gives them their signature crumbly scone texture.  If you don’t have a food processor you can mix by hand but just make sure you really get that butter to a crumbly coarse texture. To do this you might want to try grating the butter separately to get it crumbly.  In general I think a food processor is a kitchen must have and once you have one you will quickly be using it a few times a week and wonder how you lived without it.

Does my butter need to be chilled?
Yes, the butter should be chilled or frozen.  Using room temperature butter will not result in crumbly scones.

Can I add berries/raisins/chocolate chips to these?
Absolutely.  After making the dough add 1/2 cups of preferred add-in (I love raspberries) and stir them to combine with a wooden spoon. DO NOT PULSE FOOD PROCESSOR WITH ADD-INS!

Do I have to use sour cream?
Yes!  Sour cream is going to make them extra soft.    If you’re worried about them having a sour cream taste don’t worry – they don’t (and this comes from a girl who doesn’t like sour cream!).

How many servings does this recipe make?
I like to cut my dough into 8 big scones, but you could easily cut it into 16 smaller scones.

What is clotted cream? You recommend serving with it.
Clotted cream is life changing and whenever possible your scones should be enjoyed with it. It’s a rich, cream spread – kinda similar to butter but thicker and more sweet.  It’s kinda a butter/ice cream mixture if that makes sense at all.  Clotted cream is made by slowly cooking heavy cream for many hours until it thickens up.   You can google recipes on how to make it if you’d like.  It’s easy to make but takes lot of time and needs quite a bit of heavy cream.  You could also just buy it like I do.

Can I put icing on top of the scones?
You sure can but I’d recommend using a light icing if you do.   In my opinion clotted cream and jam are so much better on scones than icing.

Read More

Brooklyn Farm Baby, Being Picked Summer 2017

A seed was planted, the plant is getting bigger, and in July we’ll be able to harvest.  What type of plant are we growing?  A baby!  Instead of our garden, it’s growing in my belly!  Brooklyn Farm Baby is coming in July!

I’ve already shared a few revealing videos and pictures on social media but I’ve kept it completely hush hush on the blog until now.  Being half way through, now at 20 weeks, I wanted to make a post to let you know that we’ll be adding a human baby girl to our family in the Summer.   Are we excited? Yes! Are we terrified? Yes! Are we dreaming of what we’ll be able to teach her and show her? Yes!  Are we in disbelief that a hospital is actually going to let us leave with a baby in our car to take care of for the rest of our lives?  Yes!

Matthew and I have been talking seriously about adding to our family for the past 5 years.  It was always about waiting for the perfect time, but the more I sat with this and grew older the more I came to realization that no time will ever be perfect.  I’m always going to be worried.  I was worried before.  I’m worried during.  I’m going to be worried after.    So last year we started the plan into action with preparation doctor appointments and other things that you do when this is a definite planned pregnancy.    Then the fun part started, you know the part that everyone tells you is going to be romantic and great because you’re going to physically do the sexy dance that leads to a baby.  Then months pass and it’s no longer that fun.  It’s now a schedule.  It’s me texting Matthew with directions like “Ovulation is max peak, be home by 7:30 tonight because I want to go to bed early”.    Oh the romance of having a baby!

18 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

She’s gorgeous already!

Read More

A Purrfect Valentine For Your Cats

Show your cat you love them on Valentine’s Day with a tasty meal!

I love our cats so much that I like to make holidays extra special for them, especially Valentine’s  Day.   No, I won’t be sending them flowers or chocolate, but instead I’m going to give them what they really want – a tasty meal!   Toes loves food.  Her favorite hobby is licking gravy out of bowls, while batting her Maine Coon eyelashes at me. One loud purr (she’s really loud) from Toes on my lap, and it melts my heart and makes me spoil her with whatever she wants.  In the morning when my alarm clock goes off, she bursts through the bedroom door,  jumps onto the bed and hops on to my chest purring with morning excitement.  Is she excited to see her Mom? Or is she excited for breakfast?  Well, probably both, so I decided to combine them and give her a great Valentine’s Day breakfast made by her Mom this year.

Show your cat you love them on Valentine's Day with a tasty meal!

First, start out by giving your cat a Valentine.   Hand it to them and watch them either rub their cheeks on it or completely ignore it.  Toes ignored mine, no hard feelings taken.

Show your cat you love them on Valentine's Day with a tasty meal!

Read More

For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.    |     Privacy Policy