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February 2012

January 2012

Hobby Farm Home

Hobby farm 1

"It is important to make my outdoor-kitchen space attractive so I'll want to be there."


Hobby farm

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Lisa Kivirist about outdoor kitchens for Hobby Farm Home Magazine. It is such a fun subject, Lisa was great to chat with (it turns out we have friends) and something we all need to make the most of. I wanted to thank Lisa (and Hobby Farm). I already knew Lisa as I have read several of her articles and heard about her amazing B & B, Inn Serendipity. She just came out with a new cookbook Farmstead Chef. It is a really interesting look at sustainable living and cooking. I want to try her Beer Cheese Soup  recipe soon. I recommend it!! By the way, the article says I live on 100 acres, I wish! I live on an acre and half but I will take 100 acres :-) If you get a chance check out the cooking alfresco article!!


A Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy & More Elimination Diary

Snow 1172012

    As many of you know, last summer Chloe was having severe abdominal pain. We thought she might be allergic to gluten, so we put her (actully all of us) on a month long elimination diet. No diary, eggs, soy, chocolate (that was a hard one), night shade veggies and citrus. It is hard to be 15 and not eat pizza or pasta with red sauce. Chocolate and cheese were the foods she missed the most.

    Still I was determined we would all eat well. This was not going to be a month of loss but of gain. We would look at this as a new challenge and would eat well. Boy did we eat well! I cooked my butt off even though we found out hubby had shingles and then the girls got chicken pox. We survived, they did well and healed quickly.

    Anyways, I kept a diary of all the dinners we ate. Even though it ended up Chloe is not allergic to anything (thanks goodness and has been pain free for months!!) we are still making some of the recipes and incorporating a more gluten free diet. I thought I would  share with you our diary and links to some of the recipes we used. I hope it inspires anyone with has to go on an elimination diet or anyone who wants to eat a more healthy!!

PS. It was quite a snow storm last week. Poulsbo did not get the ice but lots of snow. This is a view out my bedroom window at 7:30 in the morning. Can you see the lights reflecting off the water?

It Just Makes Me Happy

Winter moon

  Good day everyone! I wanted to say hi because it sounds like we are in for some serious snow. Although one never tell around here! There are so many zones and micro climates in this area, it can be very different 5 miles down the road. Actually, I would LOVE to get snowed in. Today is our Friday and hubby is home for the weekend.

  My Pinterest this week is this wonderful snow print! Well if I am not around, I am out making snowballs xox

Italian Pumpkin Meatball Soup

Meatball soup 2

It has been cold and clear here lately, so we are enjoy a lot of soups. My family use to hate soup but suddenly they love it, thank goodness!This soup is one I post about on FB and someone requested the recipe. Really you could add any veggies to it but I like the combo of pumpkin and kale. Enjoy!!

Italian Pumpkin Meatball Soup

Cooked Meatballs*

8 cups broth, any broth will do but I love veggie broth for this.

4 minced garlic’s

½ cup white wine

2 bay leaves

2 cups of pureed pumpkin or winter squash (or 3 cups of cubed, peeled uncooked pumpkin)

3 cups chopped kale uncooked

2 cups cooked white beans, I cook big batches of cannellini beans because they are creamy and thin skinned. Then I freeze them in one cup increments for future use.

1 14oz can roasted tomatoes, chopped (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


1, in a large stock pot add broth, garlic, bay leaves and wine. Then add pumpkin and simmer 10 minutes. (If using uncooked pumpkin, simmer broth until the pumpkin is tender. Pull out bay leaves and puree the pumpkin or leaved cubed, if you like.)

 2, add kale, beans and tomatoes. Simmer five minutes or so, until kale is cooked. When ready to serve add meatballs. Garnish soup with parmesan cheese.



¾ cup ground beef (or any meat)

2 eggs

½ cup bread crumbs

3 minced garlic cloves

¼ cup or more if you want it cheesy of parmesan cheese

1 TBL. salt

2 tsp. pepper

½ tsp. fresh grated nutmeg. If you do not have fresh nutmeg just leave it out.


Pre-heat oven 350°F.

In a bowl mix all ingredients above. Roll the mixture into very small meatballs, about the size of a large marble. Set meatballs on a baking tray and bake 20 minutes or until cooked.


Keep pinot

    Do you like my "water" bottle David bought me? We were in Oregon, lost in pinot-land, I did not want to come home :-) I cannot think of a lovelier way to spend ones days, than going from one beautiful winery to the next, tasting and discussing wine!

    January always feel like a wakeup call to me. Which is good (I say with a monotone voice) but who really wants a wakeup call? I am really not one for New Year resolutions but I do feel the need for a fresh start. We are on sugar overload (although I am sure that will pass quickly!!), the steampunk theme is so four weeks ago, my freezer is barren and I have a wish in my heart that is lagging. As I said I am not big on resolutions but I am for making ones dreams come true. For me it is easy to know what my dream is, which is finishing my second Wren book but it more of an issue of finding the time to do it. So I am planning on carving out more time to write and less time running around. Not really sure if it can happen but that is my wish. So do you have a wish you carry in your heart? Are you working on making it come true?? It is all in the baby steps. Do not feel like you have to do something big. Just move forword, one step at a time, not over thinking it. Forward gets you to someplace new!!

    By the way, do you notice me using the word wish a lot? It is the theme of this next book. Having wishes but holding them gently. Not all our wishes will come true but they will never come true if we do not wish them!