Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Cold Day in August

I've decided that it will be a cold day in August when I sell out in one day.
Well, guess what, folks? I'm wearing a jacket today! That means y'all need to come out and help my dream come true!

The finest tomatoes on any side of the Mississippi

Challah bread and photo cards

Back view of herbal and floral bouquets

Come and see us! (Bonus points if you know what local commercial I quoted that from)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Another Saturday at Market

Hello! We're celebrating Summer at the Conway, AR Farmer's Market!
Produce has come out in full force, which also means that the jams and jellies are in abundance! I try to use local fruit whenever possible.

Current flavors

  • Honeysuckle jelly
  • Basil jelly (use in cooking!)
  • Vanilla peach jelly - NEW
  • Strawberry peach jam - NEW
  • Ginger peach jam - NEW
  • Strawberry fig jam - NEW
  • Zucchini peach jam - Back by popular demand
  • Spiced peach butter - NEW Will knock your socks off!

If you're in the area, come check us out!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Whole30 Week One

Breakfast Casserole

Hello, patient readers! I have decided that if I share any of my Whole30 pictures, it will be later, when I share some recipes. Seriously..I'm that ashamed of my pictures. May I blame it on the detoxing that was happening at that time??

Day One
Breakfast: Breakfast Casserole with eggs, kale, coconut milk and sausage; Rooibos tea
Prepped: Crockpot applesauce; Marinated chicken (for later grilling) in olive oil, lime juice, salt, seasonings.
Lunch: Chicken lettuce wraps with avocado; fruit salad with strawberries, blood oranges, pears, pineapple, apples
Snack: Monkey salad - the normal version with sliced banana, cashews, flaked coconut (we used Bob's Red Mill)
Dinner: Chocolate chili with sweet potato shreds added
Snack: Monkey salad, shared

Day Two
Day two began what would become a regular pattern during the Whole30 and beyond: reheating something that was made the day before. The ideal way to do this is on the stove or in the oven. I mentioned that we had to start a bit earlier for each meal in order to use this method of reheating, but it's well worth it if it means not using a microwave. However, sometimes you have to use a microwave and that's okay. 
Breakfast: Leftover casserole, leftover fruit salad with added blueberries
Lunch: Leftover lettuce wraps
Snack: Leftover fruit salad with added nuts and coconut flakes; celery
Dinner: Homemade spaghetti sauce with ground hamburger meat over baked spaghetti squash; roasted broccoli and cauliflower

Day Three
Breakfast: Leftover casserole (the recipe, when made in an 8" x 11" baking pan and cut in sixths, feeds two people for three days); Leftover fruit salad (I kept adding to the mixture)
Prepped: Homemade Mayonnaise; Cooked marinated chicken breasts (look at the size of these beasties; we purchase from Zaycon) in Nu Wave oven
Lunch: Green salad with grilled chicken, avocado, cucumber, black olives, blueberries, homemade ranch, and peppers on Mom's salad 
Snack: Monkey salad with blueberries and cinnamon [recipe from Pumpkin Rose Farm]
Dinner: Leftover spaghetti over spaghetti squash
Snack: spoonful of almond butter for me, a HB (hard-boiled) egg and a banana for Mom

Day Four
Breakfast: "Smoothie" with spinach & mixed greens, beet greens, whole beet (peeled), carrots, apple, pears, bananas, juice from thawed blueberries, almonds, water
Lunch: Somehow I ended up skipping lunch and the Queen reheated something for herself
Dinner: Chicken No-Tortilla Soup (the more complicated version that we created) [recipe by Pumpkin Rose Farm]

Day Five
Breakfast: Aidell's chicken apple sausage, cooked in the oven (these things are DELICIOUS!); scrambled eggs, oven roasted white potatoes
Snack: Fresh pineapple
Lunch: Leftover chicken soup
Prepped: Made coconut butter using Wild Oats brand flaked coconut and the instructions from Mark's Daily Apple
Dinner: For me, baked sockeye salmon (part of my Elf4Health prize!!) with chopped parsley, minced ginger, lime juice, garlic powder, olive oil [recipe from Pumpkin Rose Farm]; for Mom, chicken fajitas and guacamole salad at a Mexican restaurant
Snack: Me, celery with almond butter; Mom, pear, apple with almond butter

Day Six
Breakfast: Smoothie with kale, beet greens, beet (not going to peel them from now on), carrots, orange, blood orange, fresh gingerroot, frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, almonds, water
Lunch: Green salad with grilled chicken, strawberries, black olives, hard-boiled eggs, cucumber
Dinner: Hamburger patty on lettuce with tomato (for me), 1/2 baked sweet potato
Snack: Homemade almond butter cups [recipe by Pumpkin Rose Farm]; apple
Prepped: Chicken salad made with canned chicken, homemade mayo, spices, apples, black olives, grapes, on lettuce leaves (I made these for the next day's lunch and carried them in my awesome Easy Lunchboxes); fruit salad with coconut; almonds; HB egg for Mom

Day Seven
Prepped: Carnitas in crockpot
Breakfast: "Fried eggs" cooked in a pan with coconut oil; 1/2 sweet potato; fruit salad
Lunch: prepped meal
Snack: Larabar, shared; apple
Dinner: Carnitas on lettuce leaves; baked sweet potato; roasted broccoli and cauliflower; black olives

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Whole30 Week Four

Deconstructed Gyro

The final week. Can it be? Can it really be? Maybe I'll miss being on the Whole30.

Day Twenty-Two
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole; pineapple
Lunch: Leftover BBQ, sweet potato, coleslaw
Snack: Shared pear
Dinner: Cauliflower enchiladas with avocado and black olives

Day Twenty-Three
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole
Lunch: Leftover cauliflower enchiladas; salad
Dinner: Coconut-breaded chicken strips; roasted white potatoes; pan-fried kale

Day Twenty-Four
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole; smoothie with kale, carrots, celery, apple, banana, kiwi and water
Lunch: Green chicken salad with leftover chicken strips
Dinner: Hamburger vegetable soup

Day Twenty-Five
Breakfast: Omelette with sausage and blueberries
Lunch: Deconstructed Gyro Salad [from Well Fed 2] with cooked chicken, tomatoes, black olives, kalamata olives, cucumber, parsley, mint, and a homemade gyro/kebab sauce [also from Well Fed 2] (This is another FANTASTIC meal!)
Dinner: Simple Chicken No-Tortilla Soup [recipe from Pumpkin Rose Farm] with avocado; baked sweet potato (You wouldn't think that such a simple recipe could be so delicious, but it was!)

Day Twenty-Six
Breakfast: Fried eggs; Aidell's sausage; pineapple
Lunch: Leftover deconstructed gyro; Monkey salad
Dinner: Chicken patties; avocado; sweet potato; pear

Day Twenty-Seven
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs; Monkey salad
Lunch: Smoothie
Dinner: Hamburger on lettuce; avocado; roasted potatoes

Day Twenty-Eight
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs; Monkey salad
Lunch: Potato soup [inspired by a beloved recipe from my beloved Amma]; fruit
Dinner: Potato soup

Day Twenty-Nine
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole
Lunch: Chicken lettuce wraps; avocado

Day 30
Breakfast:Egg casserole
Lunch: Lettuce wraps
Dinner: Carnita meat over sweet potato with BBQ sauce

The end. We made it. Were we the better for it? I think so. Stay tuned for the recipes that I'll be sharing!

Whole30 Week Three

BBQ on sweet potato with coleslaw

Having two weeks under our belt was a good feeling. Having two weeks ahead of us was not a good feeling. Yin and yang, if you will.

Day Fifteen
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs
Snack: Those Chocolate Pumpkin Cups *shudder*
Dinner: Chocolate chili over a baked sweet potato and topped with avocado
This is when I had hallucinations of cornbread; I thought I saw it and I'm pretty sure I smelled it. You can be sure that my tastebuds never wanted cornbread more than they did at that moment!

Day Sixteen
Breakfast: Fried eggs; Aidell's chicken sausage; zucchini-sweet potato latkes with applesauce (yes, I know that's awfully close to the "No Paleo-fying unhealthy foods such as pancakes" rule
Lunch: Leftover Potato Soup; baked sweet potato
Snack: Strawberry coconut butter  that tasted like those strawberry shortcake ice cream bars that I just so happen to adore. The recipe was for truffles, but I just ate it out of the container.
Snack: Banana; pear
Dinner: Coconut-flour-coated pork chops; mustard Brussels sprouts; baked sweet potato; salad with a funky little avocado ranch dressing that I tried to make...tried...

Day Seventeen
Breakfast: Fried eggs; Blueberry sausage patties; roasted white potatoes; homemade ketchup
Lunch: Leftover chili over baked white potato
Dinner: Taco salad with hamburger meat, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, salsa, and a better version of avocado ranch dressing

Day Eighteen
Breakfast: Fried eggs; zucchini-sweet potato latkes; blueberry sausages
Snack: Shared a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar
Lunch: Fajita meat; salsa; guacamole; Leftover Chicken No-Tortilla Soup that was gotten from the freezer and reheated
Snack: Baked Plantain Slices
Dinner: Coconut chicken patties; roasted carrots; Coconut Cauliflower "Rice" with pineapple, cashews, peas, and carrots [inspired by two different recipes]

Day Nineteen
Breakfast: Smoothie with kale, banana, pineapple juice and coconut milk that I'd frozen in an ice cube tray, kiwi, macadamia nuts
Lunch: Salad with leftover taco meat and leftover carnita meat, avocado, salsa; baked sweet potato
Dinner: Leftover chicken patties and cauliflower rice

Day Twenty
Breakfast: Fried eggs; Aidell's sausage
Snack: Smoothie with kale, apple, banana, raspberries, pummelo, macadamia nuts, coconut milk, and water
Lunch: Salad (yep, that's all I wrote down)
Dinner: The Whole30 Saturday Tradition AKA Hamburger patty on lettuce; leftover chicken patty; roasted sweet and white potatoes

Day Twenty-One
Breakfast:Scrambled eggs; shared banana
Lunch: Chicken salad on lettuce; pears, apples, flaked coconut, almond butter
Dinner: BBQ Beef [from Well Fed 2] with homemade barbecue sauce (from the ketchup that I'd made) over baked sweet potato (have I mentioned that this is the best meal EVER?!); homemade coleslaw [from Well Fed 2]
I tried to make some snow ice cream with honey and coconut milk, but that did NOT work like I'd planned.

Whole30 Week Two

Chocolate Chili

Wow. We made it through an entire week. No real changes yet and I'm not sure how to feel about that.

Day Eight
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole
Lunch: Carnitas on lettuce w/ avocado (This recipe is a real keeper, whether you're doing a Whole30 or trying to feed a man :P)
Dinner: Fajita salad w/ avocado ranch dressing
PreppedCashew Larabars

Day Nine
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole
Lunch: Fajita Salad
Snack: Smoothie with yellow grapefruit, pineapple core (where the bromelain is!), pineapple juice, kale, banana, orange, kiwi, water
Snack: Homemade Larabar
Dinner: Beef stew over mashed sweet potato (mashed and mixed with coconut oil and coconut milk)

Day Ten
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole; baked sweet potato
Lunch: Chicken Salad with avocado dressing, apples, grapes on lettuce leaves; steamed squash and zucchini
Snack: Homemade Larabar
Dinner: Beef stew over mashed sweet potato
Snack: Monkey salad (no nuts)

Day Eleven
Breakfast: Smoothie with kale, carrots, fresh gingerroot, beet, apple, banana, frozen mixed fruit, water
Prepped: Spice mixes from Well Fed 2
Lunch: Mustard Lime Chicken; garlic creamed spinach [from Well Fed 2]; mustard Brussels sprouts [from Well Fed 2]; tomatoes; mashed sweet potato; applesauce (gotta love using up all the bits of leftovers in the fridge!)
Dinner: Bison-pork meatballs (yes, bison is pretty delicious); garlic mayo for dipping; pan-fried kale; tomatoes; baked sweet potato

Day Twelve
Breakfast: Sausages, eggs
Lunch: Smoothie with kale, carrots, banana, cranberries, almonds, kiwi, pineapple, pineapple juice, coconut milk
Dinner: Carnitas; salad with balsamic vinaigrette (Confession--I freaked out after realizing that the balsamic vinaigrette was made from wine and thought that I'd ruined my entire Whole30. Turns out it was safe after all...)
Snack: Pumpkin Coconut...stuff. It was this recipe I'd tried to make and it didn't turn out too well. I tried to save it by turning it into pumpkin-coconut butter cups, but that was even worse and eventually made me want to vomit. Even the thought of them makes me want to vomit.

Day Thirteen
Breakfast: Smoothie (by this time I was tired of being so detailed with my record-keeping that I became less specific, at least with the repeat meals)
Lunch: Green grilled chicken salad
Snack: Homemade Larabar; pistachios
Snack: Rest of smoothie
Dinner: Burger on lettuce; homemade ketchup [from Well Fed 2 but I was not super thrilled with the taste]; mustard (an excellent Whole30 companion); roasted white and sweet potatoes

Day Fourteen
Breakfast: Eggs; fruit
Lunch: Green chicken salad with strawberries, grapes, pear
Dinner: Carnita meat (this was a fend-for-yourself-too-tired-to-make-much night)
Snack: Monkey salad (my monkey salads usually consisted of banana, coconut and cinnamon, though sometimes I'd throw in some blueberries)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Delays and Construction

Hi, folks!

I just wanted to pop in to say a couple things.

First, I'm sorry for the delay in posting the weekly Whole30 menus. I've been trying to get the photos edited, though with not much success. I'll get it all up soon!

Good news...I'm trying to make the blog look more professional! I started the blog because we had started selling at our local farmer's market and I wanted to include a website on my jam and jelly labels. I've decided that it's high time to turn my blog into a more professional-looking site. I'm working with a very talented artist friend to create a business logo and banner.

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Whole30 = Conquered

It's over! What's over? The Whole30! 

 Two-thirds of the faculty of Pumpkin Rose Farm recently finished their first Whole30! Princess Me and the Queen Mother decided that we would try the Whole30 program, beginning February 2. 

First things first: about the Whole30. Basically, it's a reset for your body, achieved by cutting out dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol and sugar. Also off-limits are carrageenan, MSG, and sulfites (which are found in processed foods). The last big rule is not to recreate baked goods, junk food, or treats (such as Paleo pancakes, etc).
Yes, it's hard. No, it's not impossible. If you're interested, you can find all the information at

I feel the need to share a disclaimer concerning my food photography. I started out by taking pictures on my point-and-shoot camera, then ended up taking the rest of the photos with my phone. After about the first week and a half, I didn't try very hard to make the pictures look professional (or even semi-professional). This was mostly due to the fact that by the time the food was ready, I didn't want to try to have to "pose" it and take beautiful pictures. I just wanted to eat it. Then, I looked back at the pictures and discovered that some were blurry. Too late...the food was already a distant memory. I won't be posting all of the pictures that I took, partly because of aforementioned blur. Hindsight is 20/20....

Although we didn't see much improvement in health conditions, I did notice that digestive disturbances were fewer than before. Also, some pounds and inches were lost.
I think the biggest benefit that I've seen is the mental change. We've better learned how to plan meals and how to make healthier substitutions and wiser food choices.
It also makes me want to work harder on the farm gardens this year. I can think of no better place to get vegetables than from one's own garden (if possible). 

I learned that you can overcome food temptations (even though at the time it felt like the hardest thing in the world). One afternoon, everyone around me was eating some pizza from a local pizza place that makes delectable, unique pizzas. Once I smelled the dessert pizzas, I thought that I was done for! However, I made it through with two plates of salad. I was thankful for the green olives and sunflower seeds on the salad bar because they amped up the taste and made dressing unnecessary. 

My favorite moment of the month was on Day One, when we sat down to breakfast and the Queen exclaimed, "I forgot the monkey salad!" We began the program knowing that a monkey salad would probably make many appearances and, sure enough, it did.

Another disclaimer: I know that smoothies are somewhat of a bone of contention in the health community and that the Whole30 program generally frowns upon the making of such beverages which, quite often, turn into sugar bombs. However, I do believe that when in had in moderation (everything in moderation!) and when made with proper ingredients in proper ratios, smoothies are fine.

Things I liked about the Whole30  
  • The new perspective on food and nutrition. Mindless snacking became a thing of the past because, if I wanted to eat something, more often than not I had to make it. Meals had to have protein, fat, and vegetables and really needed to be able to keep us satiated for a while. As a result, I looked for ways to bulk up meals.
  • I was forced to make foods that I probably would have never gotten around to making. Last year I tried my hand at making homemade mayonnaise and the result made me never want to attempt to make mayo again. Then, I found instructions for making it with an immersion blender; no slower-than-slow drizzling of oil or room-temperature ingredients required. This mayo changed my life, or at least my food life. I now make the mayo almost weekly and use it in many ways that I would have never used store-bought to make. We didn't even eat mayo before. Another food-prep obstacle that I overcame was making coconut butter and Larabars.
  • We learned to think ahead so that the microwave didn't have to be used. Since most of our meals had to be eaten over two or three days, we started each meal's reheating process sooner and were able to use the oven or the stove.

Things I didn't like about the Whole30
  • I started out feeling too controlled by it. I was so scared that I would accidentally eat something that was off limits and then all my efforts would be ruined. In the first couple of weeks, we learned how easily we would grab something and pop it into our mouths, just because it was there. I spent my nights dreaming that I'd accidentally eaten something that was off-limits. Thankfully, those dreams stopped about halfway through the month.
  • Snacking was discouraged, therefore, I always felt bad if I ate just a Larabar or something in between meals. There weren't many convenient snack options, since there are very few Whole30-compliant packaged foods. That's all fine and dandy, but I didn't always want to make something and I sure didn't want to have to come up with a mini meal, with the protein-vegetable-fat rules.  

Tips for Your First Whole30
  • If you like sweet potatoes, make them one of your closest friends during the Whole30 (and beyond). For us, they appeared in almost every form imaginable and at every meal. The best way to eat them, in my opinion, is to bake them and spoon some extra virgin coconut oil on top, with salt and pepper. You can also add cinnamon or a homemade spice mix. 
  • Coconut, in all forms, is a must in your Whole30 pantry. Coconut milk in a can makes a great substitute for milk in many recipes!
  • Add as much food (preferably vegetables) as you can to each meal. I changed my plan of attack during the last half of the month and started eating more at meals. Instead of having a monkey salad or some fruit a couple hours after a meal, I added it to my meal. Most of the time, I ate everything on my plate and, occasionally, I finished off the Queen's food, too.
  • BE PREPARED! This might seriously be the most important thing you can do in order to succeed. Have at least a week's worth of meals and snacks planned and the ingredients on hand, if possible. I'm so grateful for all of the other Whole30 participants who have shared their recipes and menus! Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean has some excellent tips for food prep. I highly recommend checking it out.

Best Recipes
Deconstructed Gyro 
Creamed Spinach 
Simple Chicken No-Tortilla Soup 
Chicken Patties 
Chocolate Chili 
BBQ Beef meat or Carnita meat over a sweet potato with homemade BBQ sauce drizzled over. Seriously, this is one of the best meals I've ever had.

That's all I can think of...for now. I'll share the menu, pictures, and some recipes in my next posts. I hope to get those up this week. Please check back!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Things to Come

Hi, all!

Just wanted to pop in to say I haven't forgotten about the blog and that we're in the midst of a Whole30 program. Since blogging from my phone it's a difficult task, I will make this post short.
However, I plan to do a review at the end of the 30 days, complete with photos!

Tune in at the beginning of March!